My Big Fat Greek Kendo Session

Summary:
September 6, 2014: Elektra checks out a potential asset.

Empire State University

A small college campus in New York.


Characters

NPCs
none


Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7ki9huDqCw]


The weekend on campus is often a curious thing. It's like an entirely other animal as the population of the Empire State University takes a nosedive as students head back home or stay in their apartments or dorms, making the normally bustling campus a ghost town, at least when compared to the hustle and bustle of the school during the week. The long concrete sidewalks running between buildings are mostly empty and the cafeteria is closed. But still, there are the occasional gathering points where people meet to pass some of the time available to them.

Just one such place is the University's Athletic Center. It's the large building close to the edge of the campus where the school's basketball team plays its home games. But it's not just for basketball. Within that school there are rooms for weight training, a boxing ring, racquetball courts, and a few training halls.

It's this afternoon in one of those side training halls that right now a class is in progress. Were one to peek through the doorway into that large room with the padded floor they'd see a group of a dozen students, sexless at first glance as they are all garbed in black armor and dark blue protective helmets. Each Kendo practicioner wields a wooden shinai, the practice blades lashing out back and forth as the students test each other, the weapons making a resonant clatter as like strikes like.

And amongst those students is another armored figure walking up and down the line slowly. Bare of foot and garbed in the classical manner, he pauses beside a student now and again and makes faint adjustments to their stance, their strikes, even their manner as the class trains.

-

There are those in the world who trade in information. Not secrets, information. And while information itself has become a billion dollar industry, some people's 'life's work' is learning about others. Rumours, whispers, and conjecture all have their merit in nearly any industry. Among the social elite, however, such information has both exchange value and use value. For Elektra Natchios, the murmurings of others often present as important first steps in long brokerages. Long-games herald her modus operandi.

Consequently, today the glass contains a new student, another body in the classical armour, sexless and altogether unimposing. The protective helmet conceals their face, and their own stance is, quite purposefully, sloppy.

The figure cants its helmeted head at the instructor, a silent question posed about whether it's assumed the position expected of it, but the question doesn't last.

Talent rather than sloppiness often inspires conversation.

Across from this new student, a student enrolled in multiple classes long-term parries forward, wielding the shinai towards the newbie in the room.

The newbie easily slides backwards, its stance correcting itself through a combination of muscle memory, flexibility, and practice agility. The new student twists around backwards, a clean tight motion, shinai in hand and it manages to knock its opponent by hooking the weapon underneath the seasoned students' feet.

"Are you okay?" the distinctly feminine voice behind the mask asks of her opponent. And then she adds, "Just a bit of beginners' luck on my part, I think."

-

As the experienced student tumbles on the mat heavily, the armor giving a faint clatter and clang as the helmet's metal rings smack against the shoulder pads. There's a string of invectives hurled from the young man as he scowls and roughly pulls off his helmet with one gauntleted hand. "The hell are you trying to pull!" The young man glowers, probably a sophomore, red-haired and flushed with anger behind those bespectacled eyes. "This ain't the SCA!"

The faint commotion causes some of the other students to pause, their bamboo blades halting in mid-strike. A few questioning looks are given up and down the line and then the voice from the instructor is heard as he says sharply. "Alright that's enough for one night, hit the showers."

Some of the onlookers look back and forth, but what sensei says is law and so they move towards the locker room, some of them pulling off their helmets and most of them shooting glances over their shoulders in the direction of the two remaining students and their teacher.

It's in that moment that the redheaded young man is seething that the sensei approaches. There's no hint to his identity, just barely a dark silhouette seen behind the mesh of the helmet. Yet his voice is strong and resonant as he tells them, "You're both in the wrong. In part."

The mats whisper faintly as it crunches softly under his bare feet. He looks between the two of them, "That was not a stroke we teach, true." Then the helmet turns to look upon Elektra. "Yet had you been fencing for true your tendon would have been severed and you would soon be dead from her next stroke." How can he tell she is a she under that armor? That remains to be seen.

-

The young man's reaction is met with a tilt of the female student's head. It's not until the sensei discusses her that her head turns to watch the sensei. A simple tug of her own helmet, and a sliding motion reveals what the sensei had already assumed: the new student is indeed a she.

And, unlike her male comrade, she currently seems calm. Curiosity reflects in her eyes as she regards the sensei, silence being her recourse for the moment, at least. As she stands in her spot, her stance has that sloppy quality she'd purposefully practiced earlier, feet too parallel, weight too even. Her fingers, still curled around her shinai, relax keeping it loose in her grasp.

Her black hair, drawn into a tight pony tail, green eyes, and freckle dusted cheeks only further emphasize the novice image she attempts to project. And, with the faintest curl of her lips, she shrugs, "No harm, no foul?"

-

She can almost _see_ the conflict in her former opponent's features, if not feel it from those subtle tell-tale signs of her empathy. At first he's still angry, but then… she's also beautiful. But then she did cheat. But still… beauty. Ego wages with ambition and for a moment cowardice wins as he embraces the anger and scowls at her. He seems about to say something but shoots a glance at the slightly taller man still in his armor. Instead he bites his tongue, scowls, then stalks off on his way to the showers.

Turning to the side, the instructor follows the young man's departure. His features, literally unreadable, betray nothing. But she is a master in her own right, a genius of reading stance and tension. Yet there in that teacher, there is no tension, no investment. It's almost as if he were a blank slate of a sort. Yet subtly… very subtly she can feel that faint touch of 'chi', that ephemeral power and focus when one master meets another. And if she can sense him…

Turning back to face her it's only then that he pulls the helmet free roughtly with one hand and a strong movement. The Hand may have had a picture of him from ages past when Alexande was eleven. Even then he was a handsome boy. But now when his eyes meet hers, when she can see those golden locks of his hair with some soaked with sweat and matted to those angellic features, she might realize that he is simply beautiful. But not in the vain way of beauty in the modern age, the way of silicon and scalpel. His beauty is a thing akin to ages past when renaissance artists would have each rushed to capture his visage in the medium of oil, or stone.

One gauntleted hand pushes his hair back and he holds her gaze for a time, saying nothing, yet she can see in those dark dark eyes of his a hint of a startrail and a faint crimson glow. It's a look that is levelled on her heavily and whispers of old primal fears, that tells the instinctive side of one's mind, 'I know you. For I am fear.'

-

There's another curl of Elektra's lips as she regards the sensei. She inhales a sharp breath and doesn't look away, maintaining that eye contact and her own study of him. The consideration given him warrants another small smile, a kind of sacrifice to the situation. It's a social nicety, a practiced curve of her lips, and something learned for the benefit of her father, rest him.

The smile deadens some, but remains affixed to her face as she watches him, the crimson glow noted and regarded with a turn of her head. With eye contact broken, she knows she has to regroup. She clears her throat, the innocence of her role as a student seemingly crushed underneath the energy she emits, but she maintains the guise, even if they both know its illusion, "I surprised myself." The words aren't actually a lie. "I hadn't aimed to follow through like I did." And then, perhaps more truthfully, she adds, "But old habits die hard."

It's only with the last that she faces him again, having righted her expression with that tightlipped put-on smile she'd learned to hold when among the gossips.

-

Those dark eyes glow faintly, most others would not notice them, it is only the fact that they are standing face to face that she can see the hint of the infinite in the depths of his irises. But then his gaze narrows faintly as he looks on her, and perhaps for the first time he /looks/ at her. Not in the way of a man considering a woman, but in the way of one fighter gauging another. She can almost sense him as she considers her reach with hand and foot, considers the mark of her physique and the determination in her eyes.

And then, in the next moment, he smiles.

It's a small thing, a ghost of a thing that perhaps breaks the hint of a spell. If those eyes are the devil's own, then when he smiles it's almost as if it were the downfall of saints.

"Who are you?" He asks quietly with that same small smile, looking less like the foreboding deity and more like the twenty something student that e is. Then he adds levelly, "And why take this class when you have no need?"

-

"Who are any of us?" Elektra counter-asks coyly with a mischievous smile. The helmet in her grasp is rolled downwards, and tucked between her arm and her side. Otherwise her posture is still, and her body, despite its physique, is used to finding stillness. Smoothly, she offers, "I'm not convinced many know." In her cryptic response, her smile reveals a small flash of her teeth as her chin drops to her chest.

As for why she's here, her chin lifts again and she notes, "A true student never stops learning. And, if she lets herself, can learn from anyone. At any time." Following these words, she issues him a small bow. "But," her smile becomes more knowing "I didn't come to learn from my opponent. Not today, anyways."

-

Stepping away from her he starts to walk to the side, perhaps expecting her to walk with him. He mirrors her movement of a moment ago, tucking the helmet under his arm and then lifting a gauntleted hand to his mouth. Using his teeth he undoes some of the leather straps, loosening them first and then dropping the freed piece of armor upon the ground. It is before he starts on the other when he tells her, "Why is it that I feel we could each learn from the other?"

Turning to face her the second gauntlet drops to the ground, landing next to his helmet. He begins to loosen the straps on the chestpiece slowly as he watches her and says to her calmly, "Ask of me what you will. I admit my curiousity is piqued." And to be fair, it is. He seems hard for her to read, she can sense aspects of him from where she stands. She gets a small window into the whorling mass of emotions that represent him and what she may feel might surprise her. It is repression in essence. The swirl of rage, reckless wild abandon, wild flares of intensity all held so strongly in check. But she can also sense the dichotomy of it, another facet off him is that control, the curiousity. It's clear that she represents a conundrum to him and that intrigues him, and though he gives no hint of it physically there is a curious attraction to her mystery as not only a woman, but as a possible adversary… and that sits well with him.

The breastplate falls to the ground on the pile of armor, leaving him standing there in the white gi top and the loose black bottom of the kendo practicioner. And as he stands there with the setting sun distantly shining into the training hall and casting him in a hazt halo of light, all senses seem to come together. The vision, the silence, the faint smell of him and the practice hall; almost like something akin to sweat and steel and exertion.

-

The motion is enough to draw Elektra in the same path, her steps hardly purposive, almost languid, when she follows him. But there's nothing lazy about her manner. He can sense her open intrigue, despite her more shielded thoughts and guise of serenity. Even if she should bear no emotions at all, she's already fascinated by his whirlwind of feelings, and fascination is hard for her to conceal. The question, however, causes her emotions to flux. "Because all students, whether by design or mercy, are also teachers," she answers soothingly. Despite the quietness of her voice, she speaks with authority, earned through blood, sweat, tears, and even death.

She bends down to place the helmet on the ground with care, and the straps of her own armour are loosened. "Your class seems to have some notoriety amongst my social circle." The armour is shed slowly, leaving her as a mirror of his own clothing. Save for the splash of red on the belt cinched at her waste.

Her eyes lid light and she observes, "My father had a sensei tutor me many years ago. But I've heard that you are a master teacher and one I should meet." There's a pause. "How did you know I was a woman?"

-

As she asks that question he looks to the side, those dark red eyes glowing faintly moreso, a small contrail left behind the turn of his head almost as if one had looked upon an incredibly bright light and then looked away with the afterimages slowly fading on one's retinas. Yet he smiles as he looks back to her, meeting her gaze. That smile is a contagious thing, yet edged with potential strife and giving a subtle hint of what could be fangs. "You have questions, as do I. Perhaps we will answer each in turn."

That having been said he walks away a few steps from where he left the armor, the fabric upon his legs swishing faintly as he moves and the mats crunching soft under his bare feet. He turns to look upon her and there is a hint of that wild abandon in his eyes as he turns his hips just so, plants his foot ahead of the other, brings one hand up and held low with palm open as he takes a stance she is most likely long familiar with.

And then quietly, soft words will cross the way between them as he tells her with a hint of challenge in his voice. "Knock me down if you can, and I will answer."

-

Elektra's head cants curiously at his challenge. There's a moment where she appears to second-guess herself, reconsidering her position here. But it doesn't last, and she shoots him a small smile in turn. "Fair," she agrees. She stretches where she stands, neck lulling to one side and then the other, prompting a faint pop as she loosens her muscles. Light barefoot steps traipse after him. Her paces stop several feet in front of him, and her stance mirrors his own.

It's at that moment that Elektra's mind clears. She stills her thoughts. Combat, for Natchios, is a form of meditation. She issues Alexander a bow, a simple sign of respect for this game of exchange.

She closes the distance between them, her arm reaches upwards to hit her opponent. The first strike is easily parried, hardly a surprise. And the parry has her reeling backwards slightly, spinning around in a tight circle to catch herself. And the motion brings her back to him. As she crouches downward, her weight shifts from one leg to the other, and it's with both momentum and agility that her opposite leg spin kicks from her hip. The kick misses thanks to her opponents' agility.

And it's the miss that earns him an easy, very genuine, smile. Evidently, Natchios isn't experiencing disappointment.

The sparring continues for some time, the pair trade numerous kicks and hits.

It's not until she really enters his space, putting herself in a place of vulnerability that she trips him, pushing her leg underneath his knees that she sees him meet the floor.

She backs off and bows again.

-

For a time they match against each other and their movements entwine like a pair of dancers each seeking to find the perfect step that will lead to the acceleration of their steps. While they move and lash and strike his eyes hold hers and there's that blaze of intensity between them. She is a master in every sense of the word, and the way he moves it assuredly reminds her of some of her old masters that she has since exceeded.

In moments like this it's as if time slowed, leaving between them all of the sensations of the moments in the curious quiet of the training hall. The only sounds coming from them is the scuff of footsteps, the short controlled breathing, the smack and slap of flesh and bone striking its like in kind. And then when she moves in she will sense the warmth of him as they pass close together, the scent of his effort made visible by the faint beadlet of sweat upon his brow, the firmness of their well-muscled forms as they lock for an instant, then move away.

And then there is that instant that she finds the opening and robs him of balance. It's only a bare moment but she seizes it and he falls back onto the mats with his palm slapping hard upon them as he dissipates the energy. It gives her the advantage as she stands over him. And then she bows…

Only for her to realize in that instant that he is familiar with the Hand's tradition. There is no end to their match til one surrenders or one is unable to. But perhaps it is not as serious as that when he smirks up at her and suddenly her legs are scissored sharply.

It's enough for him to knock her onto the mats by virtue of surprise and he's rising upon one knee beside her fallen form. A fist draws back, loose white fabric of his gi top bunching, then snapping with the speed of the striking knuckled punch aimed down at her bare throat. A lethal strike, had it hit… yet instead it holds off an inch from the target as he shouts sharply, "KIIIYAII!"

-

It's not the first time Elektra's been put into a compromising position, and it likely won't be the last. She relaxes underneath him, amusement draining from her eyes as the master assassin gets bested using one of the tricks trained from her arsenal.

As his boy straddles over hers aiming for further attack, her elbows draw into her sides, tugging closely to her body. Her feet press against the ground. Her bridged position is enough to throw off his balance, just a little, and his hands fall to the ground just above her shoulders. It's then that she strikes.

Her hands wrap around his arm, and she tugs his elbow into his body. One of her feet wraps around his, blocking him in. She bridges upwards again, her body throwing off his centre of gravity.

When she turns over, she has him locked in her grasp, trading positions with him. Her eyebrows draw upwards and she watches him. "You broke the rules once. You owe me two answers," while her tone is even, Natchios is unimpressed. And then, as an afterthought, she adds, "And I owe you one."

-

Above him she can almost feel the seething roiling bestial aspect of his psyche beneath her as those dark red eyes hold hers. She may have the dominant position for the moment but it is a situation that could be countered at almost any moment. He lifts his head slightly, his eyes narrowing with a gleam of defiance. But then his lip curls, an edged expression like a newly drawn blade. He gives a single slow nod. "Then by all means,"

Slowly he shifts his hips, causing her to establish her balance, making sure there is perhaps no weakness nor opening in her stance and position above him. A foot slides over the mats as he plants it as if getting ready to gather leverage. He's so very warm beneath her, warmer than a normal human being by a fair margin. But then any consideration might be distracted by his quiet words, "Ask your questions and I will answer."

-

Narrowed green eyes follow him watchfully as she assesses him underneath her. Her jawline is strong as she considers him, the warmth noted, but not really contemplated. Perhaps later she'll ask why. For now she poses her question again, "How did you know I was a woman?" Her sparring partner hadn't the foggiest, Elektra knew that much. Novices changed when they knew they were fighting a woman. Natchios has the benefit of consistently being underestimated.

Her position remains the same, strong and aware while those green watchful eyes continue their assessment. Her lips purse, and then draw upwards. Evidently, she's already had at least one question answered, observing, "Your skills weren't over exaggerated, Mister Aaron."

-

As she asks that first question she can sense that smile becomes a more amused thing, fighting with his features as if he were attempting to deny its existence. But his eyes continue to hold hers, though they narrow. And she'll feel a faint tinge of… embarassment chased on its way by that purity of primal intensity, something she can only sense upon the tail end of those feelings yet she can see it in his eyes.

He lifts his chin even as she peers down at him, holding him at her 'mercy'. And then slowly he sits up, voice low enough as he murmurs to her. The words are quiet enough that they might urge her instinctively to lean forward to hear him more clearly and that is the moment when he /dares/ to bring his lips closer as he says quietly, "I could smell you." And as those words register she'll feel the featherlight brush of his lips just there, light against the corner of her mouth as he kisses a faint gleaming beadlet of her exertion right there. Terribly presumptuous, daring, and with someone such as her… perhaps suicidal.

-

The motion of Alexander sitting up has Elektra granting him a little bit of space, but then he’s speaking to her, lowly, which does, indeed prompt her to lean forward. The words elicit the woman’s edges, sharp and cruel, but it’s the kiss, in all of its presumption that has Elektra’s knee raising to squarely meet Alexander’s crotch. She twists off him and promptly stands to her feet as she takes a few steps away. “You get a question now, as per our agreement,” this is business to Natchios, and her tone indicates as much.

Her arms fold lightly over her chest she watches him with rapt interest, and her lips press into a thin neutral line. Nothing about Elektra suggests she was remotely impressed by any of Alexander’s dealings. Nothing.

-

Wincing sharply as the strike lands clean and true he rolls once to the side and slams a fist into the mats heavily. A low growling groan is torn from him but then augmented by a strained and agonized chuckle. He might even offer a ragged prayer to some other deity from a different pantheon. But then he shakes his head as he finishes the roll to his hands and knees. He scrunches up one eye as he looks over to the side at her.

Another rough shake of his head is given then he chuckles again softly as he murmurs, "I…" He takes a moment to catch his breath and then looks aside with that wry half-smile tinged with agony. "I think you just answered it." That having been said he slides a knee along the mats to plant a foot and start to push himself back to his feet.

She might get the subtle feeling that he's mentally kicking himself for such presumption. But then there's a small glimmer of a whisper that might let her know he figures… it was worth it.

-

Alexander earns a smirk in response to his words. Elektra is not to be trifled with, not on a mat anyways. His emotions have her eyebrows drawing together though and her cheeks flushing a faint pink as she pivots on her foot. She hmmms quietly in agreement, her actions may have answered a question.

"Alexander Aaron," she finally says with a small smile, "if you want to kiss a young woman," there's a blandness in her tone, "you should ask her." It's plain and simple, "instead of putting her, or yourself, in a compromising position." She pauses. "Believe it or not, women know what they do and don't want."

Her throat clears. Time for her second question, "Where did you learn to fight like that?" She pauses again. "Not many" she smiles slyly "manage to best me."

-

Rolling his shoulder slowly, Alexander's smile is a wry thing gifted with a hint of amusement that might be curious for one so recently humbled. But it is rare for someone to be able to keep up with him… let alone call him on his nonsense. Yet those glowing crimson eyes meet her green gaze and he answers her, "My father," He says evenly as he rests his hands on his hips.

"Several others he deemed worthy to teach me. Musashi-sensei, Ahmed Al Qadim, The shade of Achilles." As he says this she can perhaps feel the sincerity behind the words, if he is lying then he is not aware of such.

Then with a wave of his hand he finally offers her a wry laugh and states, "My dear woman, I have been told an innumerable amount of times by lovely young women that it is the height of the most uncouth things to do is to ask a lady in the moment of passion if she wishes to be kissed." There's a pause as he smirks, "But then again everyone is different."

-

Each of the names is met with a crisp nod, business viewed as more important than the other chatter. "Who's your father?" it's an obvious question, but Elektra poses it just the same. She pads back towards the armour, evidently poised to pick it up. She shoots him a smile at being called a 'dear woman,' evidently something about that seems humorous to her, but the humour remains her own delight. Instead, she slides back towards him and tilts her head to watch him, "That's with women who can't go toe-to-toe. Damsels in distress long to be rescued from danger."

Her eyebrows arch pointedly, "I'm not a damsel." No, Elektra Natchios is the danger.

-

Despite her lashing out only moments ago he does not shy away when she draws closer. He stands there almost defiant with those glowing red eyes and that faint hint of fangs that give some glimpse to the animal-like wildness that hovers just beneath the surface of the young man. Enough time has passed between them when they measured and tested each other in that sparring match that the sun has set behind the gymnasium, leaving only the glow of halogen to limn their silhouettes.

The way he stands there, the faint sheen of persiration upon his brow, the supple curve of his neck, the way his gi hangs open at the lapels giving a subtle glimpse at his pale marble-like flesh so tautly well-muscled and defined like one of the statues of the ancients. It all comes together to make him seem ever so faintly other worldly.

Then he answers her with that seraphic smile, "I did not think you were." He lifts his chin, the hollow of his throat shifting faintly as he takes a steadying breath. "You seem a woman who appreciates one who would risk all for what he wishes."

For a time those words hang there… and only then does he answer her question. "My father is John Aaron, otherwise known as Ares of Olympus."

-

Wordlessly Elektra's lips part, and then she nods. Gods. "Greek god of War," she says evenly, her voice smooth and low as she closes the distance again. If she's left leery from their earlier tussle, there's no way to tell. In fact, her poker face is much more advanced than most.

"Do I?" she asks when he discusses what kind of woman she seems like. "And what do you wish, Alexander Aaron, son of Ares." Her eyes attempt to catch his.

Even if she achieves that eye contact, she breaks it moments later. Business always comes first. "I work with," not for, "some people who have taken an interest in what they believe you can offer them. If your interests are cast in our direction, that is." Her lips press into a thin line again. "Tell me, does all of this," her eyes scan the gym, "hold allure for you? Or do you aim for more?"

-

There is no hesitation in him, no fear as he watches her. She is a woman that deserves to cause trepidation in those around her, for death so often comes on her heels and is delivered with no warning. But his domain is the very aspect of fear, and with that comes such a command of oneself that he is able to stand before her when she draws near and his gaze is unwavering.

"I wish many things, dear woman." The words are drawn from him, a certain formality given to them as if they were executing the precise steps needed for an ancient ritual. He murmurs quietly, "Your name not the least of them, for when I waken in the morning and remember this day it will be all the easier to murmur it as my first thoughts drift to you." A curious thing to say.

But then. Business. He lifts a hand and tells her queitly, "I partake of many efforts. My goals are my own. But I do seek for new experiences and to push boundaries. If there are those of yours who wish my time then I would know of it. I can promise naught, however for I am bound by prior oaths that could interfere. Then again… they may not."

-
Elektra hmmms. It's a low, warm sound that emits from the back of her throat as she raises her chin to meet his gaze. 'Dear woman' once more strikes amusement, but this time only in her eyes while she watches him again. The formality of his words merits another nod. But she doesn't answer his wishes.

Rather, she gets back to the task at hand.

"My colleagues," not friends, not leaders, but colleagues, "take the world as it is and aim to transform it underneath their influence." There's a pause, "Or are you one of the absolutists?" Her lips curve up slightly, a telling gesture when she talks of absolutes, "It's a complicated world and some aim to view it as less than it is. We live in the grey."

-

For a time he simply looks at her, and in his gaze she can see the flickers of flame that speaks to ages past. His head tilts to the side slowly, quizzically as he seems to just watch her, gauging and measuring her all anew. Hands still on his hips and his breathing carefully controlled. A moment passes then he tells her quietly, "I am the God of Fear. I am a being in some ways beyond morality. I play at roles, I enjoy operating in the world within certain patterns of existence but I am not, by any means, an absolutist."

A hand gestures to the side as if brushing past her words and his own. Alex explains his own philosophy to her, casual in his words.

A smirk touches his lips, "Your compatriots wish my aid, ask it of me and I am just as likely as to grant it if it amuses or intrigues me." Then he steps towards her, footsteps nearly silent as he moves past her towards the pile of armor, "Just as you so intrigue me, my dear lady."

-

"My compatriots are the sort who long to control the darker places the world over," Elektra eases with another small smile. "I was sent to assess you, and clearly, your skills surpass my original expectations." There's a pause. "It takes a lot to surprise me." She pivots in an effort to catch Alexander's gaze again.

"Consider it a compliment."

Her tongue rolls over her lips and she takes another step towards him. "I'm expanding our network. While I don't seek allegiances for the time being, I do seek… associates." Her smile eases. "I've recently returned to New York after…" her eyes shift towards the armour, "some time away. And, along with my colleagues, I'm reestablishing connections and exploring options."

-
He's only a few inches taller than her, and his build is slim yet pwerfully defined. So when she draws closer they are almost eye to eye. His gaze on hers, only occasionally blinking in that slow way of a reptile perhaps considering its next meal. But behind those eyes she can /feel/ the wildfire roiling intensity that threatens his calm every moment of each day. It's a silent threat of warning to any being that values its life. Yet somehow…somehow it seems to not affect her.

A step is taken, almost in perfect counterpoint to her own and suddenly they are so terribly close to each other. Close enough that breath mingles for a bare moment, that there's a brush of it over her cheek as he exhales, perhaps enough to cause small goosebumps to spring to life. And it's into her eyes that he looks, the tip of his tongue moistening his lips faintly as he turns his head just so and to the side.

"And what options would you wish to explore with me, Fury. What boundaries will you push and see how far we may go?"

-

And goosebumps do spring to life, but even with the pair's proximity, Elektra maintains her stance. "Fury?" she asks with a wry arch of her eyebrow. "And how, perchance, did you decide on Fury?" She doesn't dare step back, determined to maintain her stance and stoic posture. Her eyes don't look away, they stare right into his, determination holding her in place.

"That depends," she raises her eyebrows expectantly, "what are your goals?" Her lips curve upwards. "I've carried out the will of many men over the course of my lifetime." Her head cants to the side. "And I aim to carry out the wills of many more. I'm capable. And perhaps, more importantly, I'm underestimated." Her lips curve into a tight smile. "For now? All I ask is you keep me on your radar. My people aim for good will between you and ourselves. And perhaps, in the future?" she shrugs. "Alliances can turn to friendships with time."

-

The words of her concerns, her wishes for alliances, for her people… they matter little to him. "My goals are my own, and they often change from moment to moment." For what did he say he lives for? Indeed, the moment. The now. Those faintly glowing malevolent eyes hold hers and in turn he gives no further ground in turn. There is something pleasing there, standing so close that he can see that subtle curve of her lips, that they can each almost taste the scent of the other as they both most likely could use a shower. And there's that warmth of two young forms so very close.

"I once met a Fury. She was a wild being who presented one face yet existed as another, she lived for revenge, for conflict, for the test of body and wills." There's a pause then he adds, "You remind me of her." There's a beat then he adds with a faint smile as he murmurs, "Though she did have wings and fangs. Neither of which you have, I believe."

-

"I could tip the scales in your favour for your goal right now then." Elektra's chin lifts. "And what's your goal?" There's a calmness in her demeanour, even after the exertion and unusual negotiations. Often others would accept the help of her and her colleagues much easier, recognizing the assassins' skills and offerings at first meeting. But then, not many were formidable. And she rarely aimed to make friends.

The bit about the fury, however, she can respond to. "No, I don't fly." Elektra lingers in that space, her green eyes watching his fiery ones. "And no fangs that I know of." Her lips press into a tight line though as she considers the rest. "Revenge? Perhaps. Vengeance? More likely."

-

"My goal," There's a small smile there and he closes that distance with no touch of hesitation, despite the violence she unleashed upon him only moments ago. "Is to hopefully survive another kiss." And hopefully that will serve as enough of a warning as he leans closer. There's another brush of breath over warm flesh, then the blazing sensation of lips finding lips. At first it's just a single caress, a small lightness of heat upon heat. And if she does not strike him down in that moment… that is the instant the kiss deepens.

Lips part, toy, tease, searching as he dares all and risks such reprisal by letting the tip of his tongue enter the play, seeking her own and perhaps hoping that she will at the least return the kiss… before crippling him.

-

For a moment, the business is forgotten. Or is this the business? Elektra will debate that later with herself when she explains this to her betters. And for the moment, before thoughts can become salient for the zombie-woman, the kiss is reciprocated. Not deepened. He's not clung to. But he does live to see it.

And then she steps back, finally losing the dare to the man. It was a dare after all, staying still in that space. She takes another step back, the faintest smile tugging on the edges of her lips. "I suspect," she clears her throat, "you'll have other wants int he future." Her eyebrows arch upwards, and she reaches into the pocket of her tunic to extract a card. It's white, blank aside from a number written on the back. No names. Just a phone number. She flicks it towards him, much like a ninja would flick a throwing star. "Be in touch."

She twists on a single foot, seemingly leaving the armour behind (is it even hers?) and she walks towards the door. When she reaches the exit, however, she calls over her shoulder, "Elektra Natchios." Pause. "That's my name." And she steps through the entrance.


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