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Murder [M]

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Qrow Branwen, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~
    ~May 23rd~

    The defenders of Misty Hollow never failed to find a second wind when the black sky began lightening into a calming blue, signifying the impending release from battle. The waves of spirits and beasts ebbed out of existence with the arrival of the sun, leaving the abandoned streets of Misty Hollow as barren as a ghost town-- save for the recovering defenders whose relief was practically tangible in the air. As the light of the day replaced the darkness of the night, the renewed peace and comradery within the townsfolk replaced the danger of the previously invading phantoms.

    Qrow lingered upon the spire of a rooftop as the others mingled below, gathering the wounded and assessing the damage from the night prior. He watched them for a moment to see that his assistance wasn't needed, then gazed over the rooftops to the north east where a distant building lie alone on the outskirts of the city. He had looked at that building regularly throughout the past week, feeling drawn to it as if there was a signal of some kind calling to him from deep within. He'd refrained from visiting the building for days-- knowing that the last time he'd flown out for a scouting trip, he'd been duped by an illusion into creating one hell of a mess at camp.

    The sun did not banish all harmful things in Misty Hollow, and he was wary of making another mistake or walking into a trap. The ethereal force that drew him toward the building was hardly explicable, but he did not feel as if someone needed his help. It was more comparable to the knowledge of a responsibility that he should not ignore, like the duty to appear in court or to turn in a final paper. The due date for whatever he needed to do was today, and he couldn't let it pass by without taking action.

    Even though the pull had reached the peak of its strength, he still resisted it long enough to return to the school that morning and search for Toby. He smiled when he saw her inside, but it was a distracted and distant smile that was accentuated with a thick layer of physical exhaustion. Qrow probably would have made a greeting joke about the fact that he wasn't dead yet, but he was not in the mood for humor. He needed to leave and though he was dead tired, he could not yet rest.

    "Hey. I uh... I need to go attend to something." Part of him felt bad about greeting her only to announce he wasn't staying with her. She was probably going to bed now, as he would have gladly liked to do too-- and probably even in the same bed. At the moment, the huntsman wanted nothing more than to simply lay with her and fall asleep with the fae in his hold while their breathing matched into a steady and calmed rhythm. Perhaps after this adventure was over.

    "I wish I could tell you more, but I don't even know what..." Qrow attempted to explain, even now turning to look at the door in an urgent and barely controllable impatience. She deserved some kind of explanation, even if he didn't ahve much to give. "There's this building on the outskirts of town that I can't stop thinking about, and I need to go check it out. I don't know what I'll find there, but I will return as soon as I can."


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  2. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen

    Toby hadn't quite been ready for what was happening in Misty Hollow. The vague texts that Qrow had sent her in the last few weeks had been more than enough to make her concerned but what she had seen the night before had been... beyond what she assumed. There had been reports in Pandora Town, people gossiped about everything under the sun, but the stories had been so wild that they seemed crazy even for Pandora. Now she had seen it with her own eyes and frankly, she thought everyone here was crazy as fuck for wanting to stay.

    There could have been ways to evacuate everyone. They could have gone during the day, using strategic locations or cover to get everyone out. Away from here even if it meant abandoning their homes. Abandoning a home wasn't the same as losing your life and it was obvious to Toby that everyone in Misty Hollow was taking that chance every night they were here. Unless they were someone like Qrow or Toby. She would have been able to get out no problem, being able to sense magic and make herself invisible. But most of these people were of the squishy human variety.

    So she had buckled down with the rest of the group in the school. Unable to sleep, she had started with patrols around the building to make sure the wards and everything were in place. Standing at the front she was able to see a good amount of what was going on outside, directly in front of the school. Fae night vision had to be good for something, right? All it did was make her tense though, the muscles along her shoulders tight and the guilt she knew so well starting to build in the pit of her stomach.

    At one point she was told to trade out with someone else for the patrols. She wound up with those very kids that Qrow had spent time talking to, doing a similar thing in making sure that they were alright and telling stories to keep them distracted. Her stories were different from Qrow's by a long shot but she stuck to old fairytales and the like to keep them happy. Easy enough to ruffle some hair, play patty cake with a few of the younger ones, and generally fall into the role that Toby had once had with her own daughter. The sort of thing she had once had with her adopted nieces and nephews.

    The entire time she was worried about Qrow. He had been hurt when he had gone out even if she had stitched him up well. He looked exhausted. She knew that he was strained in many ways and if the man would have let her take his place, Toby would have in a heartbeat. No matter the outcome. But that was what happened when you had feelings for someone. Stronger feelings than you expected. And maybe the fact that he was here trying to protect people he didn't even know had a part of that. Toby had to admit that her feelings were stronger than regular affection or friendship or even basic lust. She was already half in love with Qrow and that became more apparent to her the more she worried over him. Fucker.

    Which meant that she was with the general group of people at the front doors, trying to see who had survived the night. After hiding in a bathroom stall when dawn hit to reapply her illusion at least. She was certainly not going to walk around looking like fae around here. Not with everything else odd going on. And she kept to herself in the small crowd, hands in her pockets as she tried not to lean forward in anticipation. Her neck craned all the same as she tried to spot Qrow but of course the asshole was one of the last ones to walk through the doors.

    He smelled like magic and it wasn't his own. He also smelled like blood, of various sorts mingled around him. Perhaps this was the smell that could be considered death but Toby didn't say anything. She just smiled a touch, glad he was in one piece and not worse for wear compared to the day before. "Hi." There was something on his mind obviously. He was distracted and showing up to... tell her where he was going? There was a slight tilt of her head, perhaps her eyes narrowed a touch too, but the small smile hadn't left her lips. Communication. It seemed that their conversation the day before had landed somewhere good because Qrow was at least trying. Despite whatever had been going on the night before.

    "Go do your hero thing." She lifted a hand at that point and flicked his cheek with her fingers again, deciding that she liked doing that. It was something only the two of them would understand and it was more understated so no one else would. I care about you. Be careful. "I might be out for a bit myself today but I'll keep my phone on me. Text me if you need me." She'd be back before dark and she hoped he would too. He needed some sleep and Toby was convinced that she'd wrangle him into a bed if she had to. The more sleep he got, the better his survival rate would be. If she couldn't stop him from fighting altogether because of his hero complex, then she'd do her best to keep him alive and keep him moving forward.

     
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  3. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    He smirked both at her encouragement and the message delivered in her gesture. "Can do. Stay in touch." He agreed then reciprocated in a light challenge, as if it was a contest to see who would text the other first. After he turned to leave, Qrow halted in his step, then turned around to approach her again as if he'd forgotten something. "Oh, and..." With a craning sweep of his head, he moved forward as if to whisper something to her, but all she received was a covert kiss across her illusion-covered ear. The hidden display of affection was over quickly, having gone unnoticed by anyone around them. He pointed at her with a teasing smirk as he walked away, further playing with the public excuse that he had whispered something to her, not kissed her. "Don't forget."

    It was harmless fun. Everyone around them was too tired and busy with their own conversations or tasks to really watch their encounter, and even if someone had questioned the exchange or seen the warmth in their eyes, he didn't care. Let them be jealous. It was true, Qrow had a girl friend hanging around the school, and he wasn't ashamed of that.

    Ironically, practically at the exact moment he completed his turn away from Toby, Qrow spotted Crowley eyeing them from across the room, and his smile almost fell in a heated embarrassment. But Qrow forced his smirk only to brighten, and he gave the demon an additional smug wink before strolling out of the building.

    The flight to the outskirts of town wasn't incredibly long or difficult, though the healing wounds on his shoulder and back made the flight less than comfortable in addition to his strained exhaustion. The building was an old steel mill, stretching across infertile land and hiding a vast hall of machinery within its rusted metal and charred brick walls. As Qrow ventured through the factory, he was able to identify a slew of machinery made for melting, shaping, and and mass-producing metalwork. It seemed that the building, although aged, had been in active production before the fall of the barrier-- and there was evidence of a few accidents and fires laden in the structure of the large room. Everything was left semi-operational, the melting pots warm and ablaze while conveyor belts moved along with no cargo to carry, having awaited a master's hand to finish their work.

    Qrow jumped in surprise as a bullet suddenly flew past his shoulder and penetrated through the old iron wall of a steam pipe in front of him, releasing a hissing stream of hot air into upwards as the pipe leaked from its wound. The huntsman drew his sword and whirled around to see his twin on the grate walkway across the short end of the room, dressed in Toby's black V-neck T-shirt and lacking his usual jacket or sword. The copy sighed a bitter "Fuck." and briefly lowered the arm that held the pistol to calmly call over his aim. "Consider that a warning."

    Qrow never though his semblance (rather, his twin's semblance) would flare up in the nick of time to save his life. Keeping his sword lifted and at the ready to block another bullet, he called back in heated accusation. "So you are here to kill me."

    "Two birds, one stone-- if you get in my way." His twin answered back, their identical voices echoing and mingling in the spacious air between them. "But you're not the primary bird." His pistol remained raised, but he knew he'd be an idiot to waste another bullet while his other self was ready to block it.

    "Who is?"

    "I think you know who." The doppelganger answered, but he was surprised to see that Qrow remained guarded and confused. "No?" He shrugged and then holstered his gun. "You'll figure it out, you're a smart guy."

    Qrow glared up at him, not convinced that the danger was gone. At his twin's next words, he glanced down to the angel blade holstered to the side of his belt. "I see you have a new toy. Mind if I borrowed it for a day? I'd like to complete my collection." Alarm, confusion, and maybe even a bit of defensive anger flared from within him. He moved his free hand to the hilt of the angel blade protectively. His copy was here to kill Crowley. Qrow glared back up at his twin to scoff threateningly, "You're insane. He will kill you the moment he sees you!"

    "I came prepared, genius." The other copy leaned on the railing of the walkway, lifting one arm to simultaneously show off a new metal bracelet and flip his counterpart off. Form their current distance, Qrow couldn't make out the exact markings on the bracelet's engravings, but he figured they were the same as the ones on his ring. Of course they were. Crowley's doppelganger (who was a damned sweetheart, lucky fucker) spewed all kinds of anti-demon information around Pandora. Of course his twin would collect it all and arm himself with it. What else had he brought in 'preparation?'

    With a hot exhalation, Qrow brandished his sword in a showy fashion and yelled in a angered challenge, "You want this blade? Come and take it."

    His twin simply smirked before tilting his head up in acceptance. "Your funeral." A sharp swing of his arm brought his hand to a lever on the panel behind him, and in an instant, the factory came to life with the churning, hissing, grating, and blaring of more machinery. The escaping steam from the pipe behind Qrow increased with an unyielding surge, and the iron soon bust open further from the pressure, causing Qrow to leap away. With the new noises and movement in the bustling factory, he'd grown distracted enough to lose track of his doppelganger, who was now nowhere to be found. In bird form, perhaps? There were plenty of places for him to hide in the iron jungle of pipework over head.

    Qrow kept his sword raised and his eyes peeled as he withdrew his scroll to message Cro-- He hesitated. Toby. She could remain safely invisible and track his twin's magical bird form. Qrow didn't want to bring Crowley into a situation that was designed as a trap. The entire factory could potentially be warded against him. "I found him. The old steel mill to the north. Hurry, but stay out of sight. Come alone." He murmured as he searched the rafters, using a voice-to-text feature before sending the message.

    As he pocketed his scroll, he caught a glimpse of movement from his peripherals, and barely lifted his sword in time to parry a heavy blow from behind. The echoing clang of metal upon metal hardly made a dent in the cacophonous noise of the factory, and Qrow continued to barely parry against his copy, who wielded a pair of crudely-made sickles. He was viscous and fast, possessing far more speed and energy than his original counterpart-- along with half the fear. He hadn't fought an army of evil beings the night prior, and he had nothing to lose.

    Twice, then a third time, he arched his blades around the shield-like blocking of Qrow's sword and struck his bare sides, taking a large chunk out of what little remained in the huntsman's aura with each powerful blow.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  4. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen

    He turned to leave and Toby was doing the same when Qrow suddenly jerked back around to tell her something. The changeling didn't think anything of it because he really did seem to want to tell her something quietly. There had been a number of things it could have been but for all she knew he was about to reveal a secret weakness that would help her with Joe if she needed. Like kryptonite to Superman or something. So she tilted her head slightly for him, perfectly ready for a whispered secret, when Qrow's lips hit her ear instead. The part that was covered by an illusion to look like her hair instead of the rounded bit of a human's ear. The exact same part of her ears that he had so carefully felt up in her office, which was the only way to describe it because no one had exactly touched her ears in that manner before. Like they were something interesting instead of just... ears.

    So Toby may have shot him a touch of a look as he turned away again. Something a little unguarded and pleased, not too unlike how she had reacted when he had flirted with her on her couch. "I won't." Whatever secret message he was pretending to convey, Toby decided she'd take her own statement from it. Qrow cared. He wanted her to be careful. But better still, Qrow didn't seem as bitter or weighted as he had the day before. He seemed lighter and calmer, which was a good thing. Being wound up all the time would cloud his judgement. If a little harmless flirting could get him to relax, then Toby was all for it.

    The changeling missed the exchange between Qrow and Crowley, and instead headed out the doors herself. The sun was difficult to deal with, her eyes squinted in the light even though it was slightly cloudy. It could have been worse. Toby always reminded herself that it could have been worse. Instead she picked up Joe's trail from the day before, trying to figure out where the asshole had gone. Keeping herself invisible was smart even though it was day time and she was putting a strain on herself. Not enough sleep. Only a few hours here or there was not enough to reset her abilities. Toby was already straining herself but that was what she got. When was the last time she had solid sleep? A day or so before tracking Joe to Misty Hollow.

    Toby stuck to the trail though, following the magic as it circled around, which meant she wasn't far off at all when she got a sudden text message from Qrow. To her, it hadn't been a challenge about who would text who first or anything of that nature. She also knew exactly who Qrow was speaking about even without saying names. The come alone part was a little weird but it wasn't like they had had a conversation about hidden messages or code. Toby was never good at that shit either.

    Still the brunette picked up the pace and made it to the steel mill. She eased herself through the door and heard sounds of fighting echoing around. Qrow and Joe had found each other alright. They were fighting and Toby felt herself tense because she already knew the same odds Qrow had been thinking about. Qrow was exhausted, Joe was not. Qrow had been battling for weeks without proper rest, Joe had not. Qrow was at a disadvantage here so even if he had said come alone, Toby was not going to keep it that way.

    She sent a text to Crowley. Letting him know where they were, that Joe was here, and that a fight had already broke out. If Crowley was busy then Crowley was busy, but Toby was going to hope that the demon wasn't. And that he'd like to finish what he had started before. Toby wasn't sure she'd be able to help much without some sort of miracle but she did have the element of surprise on her side. After all, Joe knew nothing about her. Nothing real at least.

    So when Toby ventured further into the mill, with her illusion of invisibility around her, she kept an eye out for two men who would look almost identical. When she found them it was all too easy to tell them apart. Different shirts, Qrow still had blood on his, different weapons, and the lines on Qrow's face were easy to read while Joe wasn't pretending to be anything other than his normal jackass self. There wasn't much room for her to edge into the fight though, even though she could see Qrow's aura taking hits.

    Her heart thudded in her chest and Toby felt her lungs squeeze. If Qrow didn't get help there was a chance that his double would make this fight fatal. Which meant Toby wasn't going to stand by. Instead she muttered to herself as the duo broke apart, using the last bit of her magic to draw a line of fire between Qrow and Joe. Joe wouldn't know what it was so Toby pushed herself to make the flames seemingly flick towards Joe. They were taller and higher than what she had thrown at Roy but they still seemed just as deadly. Qrow would know in an instant what was going on and he'd know she was there, but he wouldn't know that Toby was basically tapped. If she dropped any of her illusions now she wouldn't be able to put them back up for the rest of the day. Fuck, she should have slept more.

    Instead of worrying about it for the moment, Toby started to circle around the two. Moving towards Joe's side even as she undid the latch to the gun on her hip. Toby hadn't used it yet but this seemed like the right time to use it. If Qrow's life was in the balance, Toby would do something crazy if she had to. Even if it included putting herself in harm's away to unload the gun in Joe's face. She could survive, Joe just didn't know that either. Fuck, why did this shit have to happen?!

     
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  5. Qrow Branwen

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    [​IMG]

    ~I am tainted~

    It was unfortunate that the bullet had missed. Things would have been much easier if he'd been able to take out his copy without a fight. He would have retrieved his jacket and Harbinger, taken that angel blade as a souvenir. He may have even been able to complete his mission that night, while the defenders were all distracted by the slew of monsters who rose with the moon. Crowley would have been distracted-- but more importantly, trusting.

    But Qrow was used to disappointment, particularly in himself. He knew how to adapt, and like he'd told his twin-- he came prepared. That plan could still work, he simply had less time and he wouldn't have an evening hoard of monsters to rely on for a distraction. If he could finish this quickly-- before Crowley arrived (whom his twin had undoubtedly contacted)-- then he could still win the end game. In fact, it might be better that Crowley was on his way here, to the mill that was heavily warded against demons with invisible paint and hidden carvings.

    He'd just have to act-- really damn well. He'd have to be unafraid, and he couldn't miss his chance once it came. The bullets in his pistol would do the trick, but in addition, he wanted that angel blade. Just for good measure. Or perhaps he simply wanted the satisfaction of feeling the demon's vertebrae separate underneath the piercing silver knife. This time he wouldn't walk away from an injury like that. He wouldn't continue to torture the huntsman afterwards.

    Of course, Qrow had to kill himself first.

    He didn't allow his counterpart a moment of recovery between slashes, intent on keeping the assault mercilessly uninterrupted. If his copy had the smallest chance to counterattack or disengage, he would take it, so Qrow didn't give him one. His twin was clearly tired, and his left arm was functioning particularly slower than normal. That blood on his jacket wasn't somebody else's. He was healing from an injury, and his aura was weak. This would be over quickly.

    A spinning leap into the air set Qrow up for a powerful downward slash of both sickles, and as predicted, his twin raised his broadsword with both hands to block their curved blades. Their weapons quickly met in the air with an echoing clang. Straightening his arms and keeping his weight supported by the marriage of their steel, Qrow tucked his legs underneath him and used what was left of his downward momentum to send both heels directly into his opponent's abdomen.

    He caught himself on the ground as the other Qrow was knocked back from the kick, a layer of red color shimmering over his tumbling form. Without a moment to lose, the tainted huntsman moved to dash forward and finish the job-- before he thought twice about the fact that he was literally killing himself-- but the would-be victor was halted by a sudden wall of hellish flames between him and his target.

    Crowley. Fear overcame him in an instant, and he didn't hesitate to leap away from the flickering flames while exchanging one sickle for his pistol, whirling around to aim the gun at something-- anything. Even though he did not see the demon here, he was not calmed, and that was clear in the rapid pacing of his breath and the wild searching of his crimson eyes.

    Those eyes did find something to focus upon. Harbinger had fallen to the ground, on his side of the flames. He caught his breath and whirled his aim over to his twin as he marched towards the weapon, confident that his bullet would fly through the wall of fire between them-- even if it was Satan's fire.

    But it wasn't Satan's fire.

    Qrow didn't pull the trigger. Not yet. He came to possessively stand beside the abandoned sword, glaring at both the tall flames and at his twin on the other side of them. Crowley couldn't have summoned that fire. Crowley couldn't be here. The place was warded. And if the wards hadn't worked, then Crowley would have stopped that fight in a much more violent and telekinetic way. Perhaps his twin hadn't contact the demon at all.

    The brief moment of logic calmed his panic, and Qrow scanned his surroundings again as the gears in his head turned, though he kept his pistol firmly aimed at his twin. "...Who's here?" He called aggressively, asking both the unseen intruder and his fallen counterpart.


    ~Happiness, and peace of mind~
    ~Were never meant for me~




    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    With his last shreds of energy and protection effectively knocked out of him, Qrow struggled to sit up after his lanky body slid to a halt upon the concrete floor. It wouldn't be the first time that a huntsman would have been rendered unconscious at the sudden and violent loss of their aura, but Qrow fought hard to remain awake. He had to.

    The sight of the illusory flames came as the greatest relief and comfort he could have expected in that moment, but his faint smile was quickly banished by the sight of his twin on the other side of them, waving a gun around the room and very visibly afraid. Crowley had instilled that fear in him.

    He held himself still as the gun locked onto him, knowing that he hadn't the speed to dodge the bullet anymore-- nor the weapon to block it. Regardless, he was somewhat grateful that the pistol wasn't at risk of aiming at Toby anymore, wherever she was. Qrow prayed she remained invisible. His twin's sharp voice startled him, and the huntsman growled back with a weakened anger in his bluff. "Who do you think? Crowley."

    His twin simply sneered back, "You think I'm a moron? Come on. You're not usually that bad of a liar." and Qrow pressed a glare at him through the wall of fire between them. The offended expression crumbled as his doppelganger then began to drawl, "Ohhh... it's that girl, isn't it?"

    Now it was this Qrow's turn to be afraid. His fist balled against the ground beneath him, "Toby, right?" The doppelganger carelessly asked him, like the ungrateful prick barely even remembered her name. The name of the woman who saved his life and fucking kissed him. Who almost slept with him. "You never did like boring women, did you, Qrow?" That was the closest thing that the bastard would say that resembled a compliment about her newly discovered abilities."Toby, you in here? Ready to cash in that rain check of ours?"

    Qrow glanced around the room as well, internally willing the fae to remain invisible despite this asshole's mockery.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  6. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen & @Crowley

    The fight stopped as her illusion burst onto the scene. But not in the way that Toby would have hoped. Not with Qrow on his feet and having a moment to recover. Instead he had dropped his weapon after a double kick from Joe and had slid on the ground. It was easy to see that Qrow was having a lot of trouble at this point. He was exhausted and that aura or whatever the hell was, shimmered to show it was done. Just like it had while Toby had been cleaning his wound. Her heart twisted violently but she kept herself calm even as Joe figured out who the fuck would be here. Qrow had people in his life, more people than Toby did, but apparently Joe could take a guess well enough.

    Additionally he was falling back on that same line. Enough that Toby felt like rolling her eyes heavily because men were so goddamn predictable with that shit. Always thought with what was in their pants instead of anything else, even with insults. If Qrow had been in better shape she would have reacted to be a distraction but silence suited this better. She just felt like punching Joe in the face a few times with one of her knives.

    Instead her mind was going over the details of their conversation. The words traded between Qrow and Joe had a story to tell all on their own. Qrow bluffing with the fact that Crowley was here and Joe's confident reaction that such a thing would be stupid. Considering the fact that Toby had called Crowley in, there had to be a reason why Joe thought it was stupid. Why would he not be afraid of the demon? Everything clicked a second later, remembering all the anti-demon wards and talk that had been going around.

    Joe must have figured something out about that. So instead of reacting to the scene, Toby started scanning the area around them. Her vision was crystal clear in the dark, able to spot things as if they were in broad daylight. The invisible paint couldn't stand out but the carvings? All Toby had to do was shift slightly to see one at an angle. She moved over to it quietly and pulled out her iron knife.

    There was the noise of metal on metal for a second, a long drag of her knife against the metal wall of the mill as she dug through the symbol carved there. The noise stood out in the near silence but Toby made sure to move as soon as it was destroyed, looking for the next one. How many would she have to damage so Crowley could bust in? Toby didn't know. But this was the best use of her current invisible state, no matter how much she wanted to put herself between the two men with the gun pointed at her instead of Qrow.

     
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  7. Crowley

    Crowley Supernatural
    Simon Lewis stresses me out

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    Crowley had been watching Qrow and Toby, and not in a creepy voyeuristic way.

    Well, partially in a creepy voyeuristic way, but they were very pretty people and he was bored.

    The point was, the demon had been suspicious as soon as Toby rolled into town, and so he had been making a point to linger within earshot of the pair whenever possible. Given his enhanced senses, Crowley didn't have to be particularly in their face to still listen in on the majority of their discussions, and my, what a fount of information they proved to be. He was really going to have to talk to them about how easy it was to eavesdrop on the two of them.

    Maybe he'd wait for that conversation though. He had an amusing idea for it.

    In any case, Crowley was now aware that the doppelganger was in Misty Hollow, and that knowledge sent a thrill of excitement up and down his spine. It set the demon to pacing whenever he had time to himself, moving steadily from one side of the school to the other, frequently listening for any indication that things were going to kick off.

    He watched Qrow leave without comment, and a frown formed on his expression as Crowley moved closer to Toby, making a point to remain outside her peripherals until they were out the door and she promptly disappeared from view. He could still catch the fae's scent, and he was sure Juliet could have continued to track her, but that seemed like too much effort, so Crowley merely turned and returned to the school with a slight shrug.

    Working on the wards was a good distraction and it helped ease some of the frenetic energy building up in him. That energy was still there, but Crowley was focused on what he was doing, and that made it easy to block out the rest of the world until his phone vibrated in his pocket and knocked him out of the rune-induced trance.

    He scanned the message with an unreadable expression, reading it one, twice, then three times before tucking the phone away again and casually setting down the paint. Looking around him, Crowley whistled sharply, then waited for Juliet's immense form to cut through the small crowd of defenders and civilians. "Come on." He said roughly, waving for her to follow him out of the building and into the sunlight. Focusing on the address Toby had sent, Crowley and Juliet disappeared soundlessly.

    The outside of the mill looked simple enough at face value, but Crowley could already sense the godforsaken wards that were going to make his life a frigging chore. Stepping closer, the demon raised a hand and set it on the metal door, feeling his way through the building at large. Most of the wards had been done hastily and were either slightly or horrendously wrong, but there was still one that was posing a problem.

    "You know what to do. It's on the Southern wall." He muttered to Juliet, grabbing the door handle and pulling it open just wide enough to allow the hound to slip indoors, where she set off at a silent sprint, racing to the opposite side of the building. Her burning red eyes traced the wall as she ran, which appeared blank, but her nose saw better than her eyes ever had and so she ran blind.

    It was only by luck that Juliet caught her scent in time to slide to a halt next to Toby, who she greeted with unparalleled enthusiasm, tail wagging madly as she licked at what she assumed was the fae's face. Then, turning back to the wall, she pushed herself onto her back feet and sank her claws into the sheet metal wall, rending through one of the invisible paint sigils.

    Landing roughly, Juliet took a second to snuggle Toby again before her posture and expression abruptly took a sinister turn. Her lips curled into a snarl and her body lowered closer to the ground before she kicked off the floor and lunged into view, erupting into a deep, wall-shuddering howl. Running towards Qrow, her tail wiggled frantically even as she continued to snarl at the doppelganger.

    The door chose that moment to explode inward, and Crowley casually stepped into the mill, looking around as he sidled closer to the action. His eyes lingered on Qrow for a moment, but Juliet seemed to have him covered - literally, at that - so the demon's gaze flicked next to Toby, who was still hidden from view.

    Finally, he stared at Joe and he beamed, hands still in his pockets as he tilted his head. "Fancy meeting you here." He purred mockingly. "How's the knee? I'm surprised you're standing." Crowley glanced down at the offending joint. "So, what's the plan? I'm sure by now you have a very clever idea worked up to kill me or something equally banal." He looked at Qrow and Toby again and his expression became even more amused.

    "But considering you couldn't even manage to off your half-dead, exhausted clone and his sorta-invisible girlfriend, I'm starting to sincerely doubt if you have the ability to kill me. Is this a cry for help? Could you, in fact, just want to die?" Crowley made an exaggerated frown of despair. "It must be hard, being the local reject. You're actually..." He looked down at Qrow, then at Joe, and laughed meanly. "You're even the ugly twin. That's just bad luck, mate."

    Shrugging his shoulders, Crowley looked around at the rest of the mill. "FYI, birdbrain, you warded most of the building against beetles. Which, while I respect your apparently intense fear of John Lennon, seems a bit excessive. It's okay, darling: He's already dead."

    @Qrow Branwen @Toby Daye



     
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  8. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
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    [​IMG]

    ~I am tainted~

    At the shrill sound of metal grating against metal, Qrow whirled around towards the direction of the source and quickly understood what was happening. His wards. "Toby!" He yelled with an infuriated vocal blast that would made even a soldier wet himself. In a flash, he holstered his second sickle, snatched up Harbinger, and aimed the shotgun barrels in the direction of the sound, though the area was mostly blocked by large machinery and other obstacles. There was no time to appreciate the feeling of his weapon in his hand after so long of living without it. That bitch was tearing down his defenses.

    His fallen twin yelled a feeble deterring threat at him, but Qrow paid no mind, keeping his pistol aimed at him. Another scraping sound echoed a little ways off, and Harbinger's barrels became locked onto the area. Large buckshot pellets sprayed into the empty air and rendered anything in their wide path useless, but no woman appeared, and no blood was shed. Instead, a dreadfully familiar beast rounded the corner and charged into the clearing.

    Fuck.

    Qrow maneuvered his newly regained sword into a defensive diagonal position and brought the pistol's aim to the dog, but he didn't fire. He needed to save every bullet he could for her master.

    Speak of the devil...

    His pistol whipped straight to the demon as he made a rather terrifying and loud entrance. There were more than just two wards. What the hell had happened to them? Did Toby already take care of them? Was she even here? Was the dog the one who summoned the fire? Qrow had difficulty thinking straight with his heart bursting in terror at every pulse of his panicked blood. The tainted huntsman's plan was officially fucked.

    Qrow kept his broadsword poised defensively across the length of his tall body, resting his aim on his crossed wrist in a similar manner to what the other Qrow had shown Toby on their pistol date, unbeknownst to him. Reigning in control of his fearful breath, he mentally held on to his last means of defense, his engraved metal bracelet, and did his best to ignore the demon's mockery and painfully casual voice.

    He was going to kill him. He had to. He was going to kill all four of them, if luck was on his side today. But at the very least, Crowley. He
    had to kill Crowley-- not only to save his own ligaments, but to ensure he didn't hurt anyone else. To ensure he didn't eventually hurt Yang.

    "That's just bad luck, mate."

    "Shut up!" He barked, triggered by the demon's audacity. He knew nothing of bad luck.

    But Crowley didn't shut up. He went on to mock Qrow's defenses with references he didn't understand, but the weak chuckle of his twin only made the sting even worse, like he was out of the loop on his own inside joke. "Shut up!!" Qrow roared, pulling the trigger with a vengeance and firing straight at the demon. This time, he did not miss his target.


    ~Happiness, and peace of mind~
    ~Were never meant for me~




    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    What a nightmare it would be if Toby were to be shot with his own gun. It wasn't just a gun. It was a double barrel shotgun with shells as large as one's finger and a scattering buckshot that could obliterate concrete even at a distance of thirty yards. It was Harbinger, the weapon that he'd crafted at Beacon with the intent of changing his life and doing some good in the world, for once. It was build to combat darkness. Not to murder people like Toby.

    So Qrow did cry out to try to stop his twin, and his heart did shatter as the spray of his stolen weapon blanketed the area where Toby was hiding. But she didn't appear, and every pellet embedded in only lifeless steel and iron. The hell hound's battle howl and thundering approach came as a great relief to the huntsman, and he accepted her companionship with a large exhale of gratitude and a greeting hand across her fur. "Hey there, girl."

    Adjusting himself to kneel in a combat-ready position beside her large shoulder, he carefully unsheathed his angel blade-- the only weapon he had left on his person. He may be able to still contribute to this fight-- if need be. He could still fly, and he could catch his twin by surprise if the bastard was distracted enough. And distracted he would be. Qrow glanced over as Crowley quite literally blew the doors off their hinges (Again. He really liked abusing doorways didn't he?) and strolled into the room as if he was interrupting a ninety year old's birthday party instead of an intense fight to the death.

    The huntsman felt uneasy at the demon's comment about his twin's knee. He also didn't appreciate being called half-dead and exhausted, though that wasn't entirely inaccurate. All in all, the exchange wasn't a pleasant thing to hear, even if he was somewhat complimented as the 'non-ugly' twin. His tension was eased at the joke, and he couldn't help but cough out a single small chuckle that might have been paired with another-- if what Crowley said was true. Those runes had to be accurate, or they'd indeed be written in nonsense.

    The sound of the gunshot startled him back into reality, and he held his breath as he watched Crowley's reaction to the wound, confident that-- hoping that-- he was alright. It was soon very clear that he was not. Juliet vanished from his side to lunge at the doppelganger, and Qrow glanced to them before running over to the demon. "Crowley!?"

    Twice more the gun shot, and Qrow halted halfway to his friend to whirl back and see Juliet snarling at a black bird flapping high into the air. Would those bullets, whatever they were, seriously injure her too? This was exactly why he hadn't initially texted Crowley. "Toby!! Help them!" Qrow called before getting a running start to his own flight and then viciously pursuing the other crow throughout the heated air. That fucker was dead meat.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
    #8 Qrow Branwen, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  9. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Female
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    Private Investigator
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    Changeling
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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen

    Joe screamed out her name and Toby didn't pause in what she was doing. Sure, it was loud and obviously he was angry, but it wasn't enough to scare her or stop her. He had nothing on banshees or sirens or gods. Of which the changeling had dealt with in her life. Make her ears bleed with a scream and maybe she'd take you a little more seriously. But she didn't know that Joe had grabbed Qrow's weapon. Didn't know that he was pointing it towards the spot she had just been in moments before.

    What she wasn't ready for was Juliet. The hellhound came barreling around the corner and suddenly licked Toby on the face like this was a doggie date in a park. For a split second Toby grinned, if only because the hellhound had been a little aloof the last time they had run into each other. And also because this meant Crowley was here. Thank fucking Oberon. Juliet suddenly lifted herself and struck the wall, taking out something Toby hadn't seen. She had dark vision, not invisible paint vision.

    Seconds later the door was bursting inwards and the demon made his entrance. Juliet ran off to cover Qrow and Toby felt relieved. At least someone who could actually do something directly against Joe would be helping him. She had never quite felt so useless. Well, no there had been a few more times where her hands had been more tied, but this was right now so it felt a little fresh. All the same, the brunette shifted as Crowley spoke to Joe, even when the demon's gaze flicked herself. Adjusting where she was and trying to make sure she'd be ready in case she could actually help somehow. She did agree with the half dead and exhausted comment. Qrow obviously should not have been fighting in the first place. Not here. Not out there. He needed at least a week of rest. The idiot just couldn't see it for himself.

    Then everything sort of happened too quickly to follow. Joe shooting Crowley and Juliet, then going bird to fly off. Qrow being a dumbass by chasing after Joe. Telling her to help like she was some sort of medic. "Mother fucking idiot." He wasn't in any shape to fight Joe. Hadn't he seen that? Of course not. She growled out the words but was moving to Crowley in the next instant. Her illusion dropped completely, which meant that Crowley would have no trouble seeing her real features, but she stopped in front of the demon. It almost looked like he couldn't... move?

    "Hang on." The bullets couldn't be normal bullets. Something else obviously was going on. She pulled back the demon's jacket to get a quick look before shrugging him a bit of an apology. He was a demon. The shots hadn't killed him so what she was about to do probably wouldn't either. Toby stuck her fingers into the wound, ignoring the feeling of warm blood and other things to find the first bullet and pull it out. After that she followed suit with each other wound, her hand becoming bloody up to her forearm in the process. Demon first, then hellhound, no matter how Toby might have like Juliet just a touch more than Crowley.

     
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  10. Crowley

    Crowley Supernatural
    Simon Lewis stresses me out

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    Misty Hollow
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    Neutral Evil
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    Even Crowley could admit that when he eventually got himself killed, it was probably going to be through his own blind arrogance. Through stunts like this, where he knew damn well that cocky little roach was going to shoot him and he decided not to move just for the sake of making a show. It was his arrogance that convinced Crowley that there was nothing in that cheap little gun that could hurt him - arrogance and too much time spent in Pandora as an apex predator of sorts. He had lost what little caution he had, and it came back to bite him as soon as the bullet punched into his meatsuit and had an immediate, alarming effect.

    It felt, offhand, like any energy he might have had (which was usually an indefinite and nigh-infinite supply) had abruptly been drained. He was a bathtub, and whatever that bullet was had knocked out his plug. Landing roughly, Crowley blinked a couple of times, trying to comprehend how heavy all his bloody limbs felt. The last time he'd experienced anything like this had been when he'd had the Winchesters Sex Dungeon Special - those shackles had limited his power as well, but not as thoroughly as this.

    Pulling a thin knife out of his pocket, Crowley knew, blearily, that the bullet had to come out. He looked up when two more shots cracked through the mill, but Juliet didn't seem phased besides a sharp yip of pain. To his practiced eye, the demon could tell that she noticeably slowed down, but she was still able to chase that damn bird around, baying fiercely.

    "Fucking idiot! Don't chase him!" Crowley yelled angrily, turning the knife towards himself only to freeze when Toby popped up next to him. Glaring suspiciously, he inched away from her initially, but after a moment of hesitation he simply scowled, glaring up at the aerial battle with vehement disdain. The less attention he paid her, the less likely Crowley was to accidentally stab her. "Just sit down you FUCKING TURKEY!" He screamed, yowling angrily when Toby rudely shoved her frigging fingers into his bullet holes. "And you didn't even get me dinner first!" He laughed hoarsely, feeling a tentative surge of power come back to him once the stupid thing clattered onto the ground.

    But Crowley could still feel something residual, so without hesitation he flipped the knife in his hand again and sank it into the wound, roughly carving out an extra chunk of flesh with noticeable grains of something embedded in it. Ignoring Toby besides a cursory glance, he pushed himself onto his feet, shaking off the last of the effect. "Don't try touching Juliet, love. Not if you value your hands." He suddenly warned, looking down at her. "Absolute baby for pain, I swear. Don't know where I found her."

    Turning his attention back to the birds, Crowley sighed explosively. "How the fuck am I supposed to kill it if I can't tell which one's which?! Oi! Charming!" He waved angrily. "You're benched, you twit!" He bellowed, feeling a subdued touch of anger starting to heat up now that the worst of the exhaustion was fading. He had initially only intended to kill the doppelganger.

    Now he wasn't feeling nearly so charitable.


    @Qrow Branwen @Toby Daye



     
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  11. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
    1,501
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    Professor at Schola Praeditos
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    38
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
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    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    Qrow may have been a fucking idiot for chasing after a non-exhausted copy of himself who possessed four various weapons, but he also knew that if he hadn't done so, that copy would have settled on the first perching spot available to finish the job and shoot them all. His twin was about to do that, but careened off to continue his flight as Qrow followed hot on his tail, returning the earlier courtesy and never allowing his doppelganger a single opportunity to land or transform.

    The two 'turkeys' spiraled and danced through the air, dodging and weaving through piping and steel beams, plummeting like black bullets when their wings were tucked against their bodies, than changing course by fanning out a parachute-like display of feathers. The sounds of their buffeting wings and harsh caws accented the ambiance of the lively factory below. If anyone had been able to understand the aves, as perhaps the baying hell hound might have, they would have heard a slew of vulgarity and threats flying through the air as well.

    Qrow kept pace with the other bird even through his own exhaustion, having found a new burst of adrenaline and fury-fueled energy at seeing his apex predator of a friend be shot and injured-- along with his dog. He felt personally offended by and responsible for it. His copy had done that. Not just anybody.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~





    [​IMG]

    ~I am tainted~

    The tainted huntsman didn't tolerate the game of chase for long, knowing that his opportunity to seal the deal was very quickly running out as Toby appeared and helped the demon. He needed to strike now. His objectives changed as he no longer sought to lose the bird behind him nor find a good place to transform, aim, and fire. Instead, he bee-lined it for the pair down below, planning to simply split the both of them in half with his regained scythe. He had to. He had to, now, before Crowley recovered.

    Qrow had every reason to succeed in that objective. He was already ahead of the other bird, he turned sharply and unexpectedly enough, and he had a clear path to dive towards them. But still, somehow, his trajectory was disturbed by the pushing force of talons raking across his back-- though they didn't draw blood as his aura absorbed their damage. The bird wobbled in the air as he banked to the left, redirecting his pathway and pounding a few strong wing beats to send him upwards as Juliet's jaws snapped below him. A glance backwards allowed him to see his opportunity had passed, and Crowley was standing. He would have transformed mid-flight and performed a sharp sweep of his weapon to take out his pursuer, but then he would be revealing himself to the renewed threat below. Fuck.

    It was time to bail.

    Feeling panic rise in his chest again, Qrow dove behind a line of piping, mingling and dancing through the air again to scramble his placement in the chase and keep Crowley unaware of which bird he was. He managed to duck behind a line of machinery and shoot down a long hallway leading off to the west. The dim lighting illuminated a few divergent pathways throughout the steel-framed hallway. The crow searched frantically for an exit as he flew, continuing to beat his wings hard and propel himself forward.

    Talons met the feathers of his back again, and he was shoved down towards the concrete ground. He transformed to execute a proper landing with a tuck-and-roll somersault, but his twin was still with him, and the two men crashed to the pavement in a tumbling heap of tangled of limbs. A cloud of dust and crisp dead leaves rose behind them in a trail. Harbinger was knocked from his hand before he could use it to try and stabilize himself on the impromptu landing strip. The two crude sickles were freed from his belt, and they battered across the floor with an echoing clatter and grinding slide, though they quickly came to a stop against the edge of the wall. Unfortunately, Qrow bore the brunt of the violent landing-- which his aura-less twin ensured-- and by the time they slid to a halt in a conglomerate of wrestling grips, his broken barrier shimmered red across his body.

    His intentions were to free himself and keep running, no longer interested in staying and fighting. Time was precious, and it wouldn't be long before Crowley caught back up to them, that teleporting fucker. "Let me go!" He roared in desperation and anger, struggling to angle his gun towards the other's abdomen. The bullet only grazed the man's side and continued to puncture through the opposite wall with a reverberating tang of sheet metal, allowing one ray of sunlight to illuminate the brown dust floating in the air of the hallway. That was the exterior wall. He just had to get through that wall, and he'd be free. Safe.

    They wrestled with the life-and-death ferocity of feral beasts who had no values for decency, fairness, or personal space-- as young siblings might wrestle; with the mindset that they could be more viscous towards each other because they were related, and somehow that made it acceptable to abandon all humanity within them.

    The original Qrow freed one arm to take a hefty swing at his tainted doppelganger, cracking his knuckles against the man's face while gripping the hilt of the angel bade in his fist and tilting the point forward upon passing to graze his twin's cheek and draw blood. The one-handed punch-slice combo effectively rendered the copy stunned and dizzied, also causing him to drop the gun. Catching his breath and trying to correct his blurred vision, the doppelganger looked back to his other self and glowered in a painted hatred. "Why are you doing this?!" He snarled, like his opponent was the bad guy of the situation-- which in his mind, was accurate. "Why are you loyal to him?!"

    The other Qrow looked somewhat stunned too, as if he'd realized he was the bully sibling who'd hit his brother much too hard. "He's my friend!" He barked back defensively, though his fist remained wound in the black T shirt that once belonged to Toby, and his other arm kept the angel blade behind him and poised to strike again if need be.

    "You're 'friends' with a demon?? How? Why?" Qrow hissed, moving to break away from him and touch his own bleeding and badly bruised cheek with a tone that was laden with an accusatory, 'I don't know who you are anymore.'

    The original Qrow reluctantly let him go and stood up, keeping the angel blade ready, just in case this temporary truce ended. "He fixed my semblance." He explained with a firm growl, but that wasn't all he had to say about justifying his choice of a friend. "He is a good man. He makes mistakes, but so do we."

    "Yeah, and you're making a big one." The doppelganger stood up too, using the wall to support himself. They both looked each other up and down, noticing all the scrapes, wounds, blood, bruises, and other ailments as if calculating their odds of earning a victory if they were to go at each other's throats again. "
    You don't know him like I do. He is evil." The doppelganger warned lowly before hissing. His black shirt clung to his mediocre muscles with wet dark blood-- the only sign of his wounds besides the heavy iron scent of blood coming from him. Maybe all the metalwork around them contributed to the rank pungency. Qrow's once-white jacket was now a dusty ruby-brown in the cleanest of places, and he was visibly drained of all energy-- save for what he needed to stand.

    "You're evil! You killed people!" He yelled with an angered but weary swish of the angel blade in the open air beside him. The doppelganger was quick to roar back a reminder, "We've killed people. I'm you!" before his rage weakened into a fearful breath that hitched in his throat and almost resembled a sob. "I'm
    you, goddammit!" The original Qrow had nothing to say to that, and the doppelganger glanced down the hall before starting to move down his own end. "Now let me go." He hissed quietly in a near plead as he limped away, blood bathing one half of his lower face underneath his equally red eye. Crowley would be here any second, and he had to leave.

    He made it only a few steps before he was grabbed again and wrestled to the ground, struggling the whole way down. "No!!" He trashed against his twin, elbowing him, digging his nails into the skin of his forearms, writhing and kicking and pushing with all his might to free himself. But his arms were roughly peeled back as he was quickly captured in a full nelson hold, unable to free himself or transform under such effective restraint.


    ~Happiness, and peace of mind~
    ~Were never meant for me~



    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  12. Crowley

    Crowley Supernatural
    Simon Lewis stresses me out

    Posts:
    1,781
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    Male
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    Location:
    Misty Hollow
    Race:
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    As a former (if one could ever be former) torturer of some talent, it was true that there were always victims who stood out. Those who, for whatever reason, eclipsed time and were always on the very edge of his memory like a familiar scent. There were plenty of reasons to remember a certain face. Sometimes there was something about the screams that just hit all the right notes. Sometimes there was a funny little twitch in their countenance, or twist in their body when it broke. Sometimes it was all about circumstance.

    All in all, there was nothing special about Qrow or his doppelganger. They were unusual human beings with some odd little powers, but they were still human. It was circumstance that had made both of them stand out in Crowley's life. Qrow as something good, and his twin as something...

    Oh, something fun.

    Glancing back at Toby, Crowley thought about saying something, but he decided against it. "Wait here while I torture your boyfriend's evil clone into oblivion" was probably the wrong thing to say, and he didn't really know what else to inject into their feeble conversation. "Thanks for sticking your finger in my hole" would be really funny, but inappropriate.

    He scoffed to himself and grabbed Juliet as the hellhound staggered back to them. Touching her gingerly, Crowley located the two bullet wounds, ignoring her roaring snarls when he pressed his hand against them and drew out the shards of bullet. He didn't have time to dig out the rest of that dust, but she looked a bit better just to have the bullets removed, and Juliet immediately tucked her tail and hurried to Toby's side, curling around the fae tightly.

    Moving forward at a languid pace, Crowley didn't teleport. Instead, he walked across the mill, following the sound of the two idiots brawling like a couple of teenage boys. He hesitated in the shadows, letting them sort their differences, then he reached down and grabbed his Qrow by the back of the collar. With perhaps ruthless strength, the demon tossed him off the doppelganger. "Go away, Qrow. We're going to have a talk, Joe and I. You don't need to listen in." He purred, gazing down at the twin with blatantly malevolent intent.

    "Do you remember what I told you, darling? Simple instructions, weren't they? Stay out of sight, keep your nose to the ground. Behave." He flicked his wrist, and this time he started with the little prick's hands, crushing the bones effortlessly and grinding them into dust within the flesh. He didn't use his power to hold Qrow still - no, he encouraged the boy to try and crawl away. He reveled in it.

    The demon produced his own angel blade from his sleeve and twirled it lazily as he sauntered closer, smiling softly. "I knew you were an arrogant, stupid blighter, but you know... I didn't buy it at first." He made the first incision against Qrow's thigh as he came closer. "I said to myself, 'Self, there's just no way one boy is THAT stupid'," He swiped the blade again, cutting a jagged gash along the ribs, mirroring what he had already done once before. "but I was wrong, and, I mean... embarrassing, you know? I just hate being wrong." He brought the sword down, impaling it in the tissue of Qrow's shoulder and leaning over the huntsman, holding him down with one foot against his chest, deliberately pressing with excess force.

    "I gave you a chance to live and you spat in my face. You should know I don't do second chances, darling." He purred. "You don't get to die now. That was a gift I was offering - limited time deal. Now we get to have some fun, you and I, and there's no pretty girl to rescue you at the end of the day." He pulled the blade free and dangled it over Qrow's vulnerable eye, grinning widely.

    "Are you having fun yet?" He let the blade drop.


    @Qrow Branwen @Toby Daye



     
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  13. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
    1,501
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    Male
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    Professor at Schola Praeditos
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    38
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]

    ~I am tainted~

    Every atom of his being screamed for him to run, to escape, or else he'd die-- but Qrow couldn't do a thing to obey his instincts in that moment. When he was suddenly released, he caught his breath and lurched forward on his hands and knees, wasting no time to stumble forward before looking back-- only to fall back to the ground in terror.

    The wound hidden underneath the man's dark clothing was still raw and soaking with blood, yet he towered there as if he hadn't received a scratch. Qrow tore his eyes away to glance at his twin, afraid that he would walk away without helping him. He should help him. They were each other. The same person. Everything that Crowley would do to him, he would also do to his other self-- eventually. It was common sense. Perhaps it was true that his counterpart had simply jumped ship. 'If you can't beat them, join them?' So much for being an 'honorable' huntsman that he claimed himself to be. Lying bastard.

    His betrayed glare snapped back to Crowley as he was scolded like a child, but he didn't sit there like a vulnerable duck for long. He lunged to reach for his pistol, feeling the hope-inducing weapon settle in his grip for just a moment before that feeling was abruptly lost in an agonizing obliteration of his bones. His distal, intermediate, and proximal phalanges were the first things to snap and crumble to dust. Collapsing on one elbow to lie rigid across the floor, he unintentionally obeyed the demon and screamed with his nose to the concrete ground as his metacarpals and carpals were the next things to disintegrate, sending pain surging through his entire arms and upper body like bolts of electricity.

    It would have been merciful if what was left of his hands felt 'numb.' Instead, they burned with a temperature hot enough to melt iron. Through blurred vision, he gazed miserably at his engraved bracelet, which had done nothing to protect him from Crowley's powers. More beetles? Unable to defend himself and grab the gun which was in tantalizing reach, he did his best to shuffle himself away on his elbows, finding it difficult to breathe through his shock, pain, and fear.

    His legs worked hard to propel himself backwards, but soon they too were halted with a tremor of agony as he was cut, eliciting a gasp from his dry throat. The blade then bounced over his ribs as it traveled through flesh and tore Toby's shirt, causing him to find his voice again and cry out once more. Now lying on his back, he choked through a violent scream as his shoulder was impaled deeply, the enchanted steel grazing past more bones on the way in.

    Qrow allowed his head to rest against the floor, giving up as his rib cage and lungs bowed underneath the man's exaggerated weight. This was reminiscent of -- but worse than-- those missions for Ozpin that had gone wrong. Crowley didn't seek any kind of top secret information about maidens, relics, or silver-eyed warriors. He simply did this torture shit for fun, and there was nothing Qrow could do to weasel his way out of it. There were no teammates on their way to save him. No purpose to fight for or idealistic hopes to hold onto. At least it would be over soon. It all would finally be over. Dare he hope that he might even get to see a few people that he'd dearly missed.

    "You don't get to die now."

    Even with the compression of his chest, Qrow squeezed out a pained breath as if he'd been stabbed a second time. After everything he'd suffered, every sin he'd committed, all the futile good that he'd done, he didn't get to die?

    Perhaps it made sense. There was nowhere for him to go. Hell was here.

    "Now we get to have some fun, you and I, and there's no pretty girl to rescue you at the end of the day."

    "...Toby." He was talking about Toby. Qrow had almost forgotten about her, but now he struggled to lift and crane his head to desperately search for her. She'd helped him before, she would help him again. "--Toby!?" He was just like her Qrow. He was the same person, dammit, and he needed her.

    "Wait," He wheezed to Crowley, pressing his head back against the floor as if he could escape into it as the blade's point became a large star-shaped obstacle in his vision.


    ~Happiness, and peace of mind~
    ~Were never meant for me~





    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    Qrow didn't know what he was doing anymore. He was too tired to think, too tired to move, and he was operating on autopilot. It just so happened that his default setting was to not allow someone who shot his friend and mocked his girlfriend to simply walk away-- even if that someone was a splitting image of himself.

    Clasping his fingers together with his hands behind his doppelganger's head, Qrow grit his teeth as he tightened his hold, intending to put his counterpart in a blood choke until he passed out and then... he didn't know. He didn't know what to do after that point. He wasn't going to kill him. How could he? Asshole or not, murderer or not, it was him, and he couldn't seem to dissociate himself from the other man-- especially after having a moment to talk with him.

    His copy thought he was doing the right thing. It just wasn't the conventional 'save-the-world' type of right thing. He had simply been trying to eliminate a threat, even if it was just to save his own skin. Demons were traditionally evil beings and it made sense that he didn't give Crowley a second chance, especially after what he'd suffered at their first meeting. The strong live, and the weak die. It was basic survival.

    Qrow understood him now. Qrow might have done the same things if he'd experienced what his twin had.

    His grip had lessened, and by the time he was yanked away from his doppelganger, he had half a mind to simply let him go anyway. Qrow gasped as he was thrown with an unexpectedly strong force, and he roughly brushed against the wall before dropping like a sorry sack of bricks to the floor. His already battered wrists, knees and hips ached at the hard landing and he struggled to sit up on his sore limbs.

    Wincing to glance back at the scene, Qrow swallowed a trail of blood that began to pool in his mouth as an uneasiness grew in his stomach. The uncomfortable feeling crept alongside a metaphorical cliff-- and then plummeted over the edge like a waterfall of dread at the sound of his clone's screaming. He felt the need to turn away and stop watching, but he couldn't. He sat there in complete stillness, watching everything as if it was a nightmarish out-of-body experience.

    That demon was not the same demon who'd arranged a fair trade on that mountainside and sealed it with an awkward (and completely unromantic) kiss. He was not the same demon who enjoyed a good bottle of firewhiskey, who adored his hell hound, who sang horribly at karaoke. He was not the same demon who had lured that dragon away from the school, who gave him an unimpressive sandwich and a pair of fucking pajamas before forcing the huntsman to take a goddamned nap. And he was definitely not the same demon who politely knocked on Qrow's front door to embrace him and apologize-- though Qrow had already known that fact.

    No, this demon was something more like a monster, and Qrow looked at him with nearly the same expression his twin did.

    "Crowley..." Qrow rasped from behind the encounter, his voice nearly gone. The huntsman breathed around the queasiness in his core and made a great effort to stand up. He couldn't just sit there and watch this. That man, that Qrow Branwen, needed help. He didn't deserve this. Qrow wanted good things for him. Only a complete masochist wouldn't want good things for them self.

    If Toby was with them in that hall, Qrow didn't see her. He only saw what was unfolding in front of him, and it was horrible. His stunned eyes found his angel blade that had fallen to the floor when he was ripped away from his doppelganger, and he almost stepped towards it, but he stopped himself. Abandoning whatever idea he was about to have, he stumbled forward, unarmed, to reach for Crowley. "Crowley!" It was him. He was the demon who had done all those good, innocent things. He just needed to be reigned back in.

    The demon's angel blade dropped into the clone's eye and the consequential bloodcurdling scream echoed throughout the metal building, sending a chill through Qrow's frame. He lightly fell against the demon, gripping his arm in what was supposed to be a weak attempt to pull him away and avert his focus. "Stop! That's me, dammit, stop!" Qrow snarled as he tugged, having lost control of his senses to the beginnings of a psychological shock.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  14. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    1,417
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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen

    The bullet was out and Crowley went to cut himself a chunk of his own flesh to go along with it. The demon could move after that and it seemed like he was more or less back to being able to do something about the situation they were in. To saving Qrow from his own self, in a couple of different ways. She minded the demon's warning about Juliet and watched as the demon removed the bullets from the hellhound. There were sounds of a fight outside and Toby knew that the two men were likely somehow going at it. Despite Qrow's weakened state. But what was she supposed to do? It wasn't like Toby could fight Joe. She could try and maybe get in the way, but her confidence in the matter had been shot to hell and back a few times already.

    Instead Juliet curled around her and Crowley started walking towards the sound of the fight. She felt tense, hoping the demon would just fucking teleport so this would be over already. Her hands ran across Julie's fur for a second to try and comfort the hellhound before she pushed slightly away and followed Crowley, moving at a slightly faster pace so she could get outside in time to see the demon pull Qrow off of Joe. The changeling knew where this was going. She understood Crowley. Understood Joe. And while she understood Qrow on certain levels, he was oddly the most unknown to her. Because that wasn't him and he hadn't gotten that through his skull yet.

    Or rather, he remembered all the things he had ever gone through and what a difference a little help might have been. He remembered all the pain and all the loneliness Qrow had lived through only to see a reflection of that in his clone. At least, that's what Toby assumed. Because Qrow was a good guy and he had a good heart. He tried to help people in a similar manner even if he wouldn't admit to it ever. So that was what made this hurt for Toby. Not because Joe was being tortured but because Qrow was going through the same mentally as he watched this.

    Joe screamed out her name and then was screaming as well. Qrow moved up to tug on Crowley to plead with the demon. Toby let out a breath and forced herself to step outside into the sunshine despite the fact that it hurt. She moved over to where all three were, hands in her pockets until she pulled them out to grab Qrow. To pull him away from the other two. Gently breaking his grip on the demon and pulling the exhausted huntsman several steps back.

    "He's not you." Toby didn't even glance at Joe more than once, her storm colored eyes staring down at the clone for a few seconds. Screaming her name like that had just sort of cemented everything for the changeling. Who else had done that? Devin. He only called for her help when he needed her. Only cared when it suited him. Joe might not have been full out Devin but he was a few steps short of it. Another decade or two of bitterness and he'd probably fall down the same sort of path. Her voice was gentle to Qrow though, exactly the kind of tone she had used with him before when they were alone. Trying to reason with him. Joe had screamed out for her but he was doing it in vain. He had already punched that ticket back when he had manipulated her.

    But he wasn't the only one she had words for. Her hands held onto Qrow but her head turned back, looking at Crowley square on. He was terrifying. The damage he could do to someone like Qrow with all those abilities? That was someone you gave healthy respect to. But he was also someone who helped them. Who had basically saved Qrow's life again in this process. And Toby had been the one to ask him to come. There was a balancing act here. One that she had lived all her life with all those powerful beings around her. All the immortal, ageless creatures who could do almost anything they wanted with a snap of their fingers if they decided it was worth whatever trouble that followed.

    "Crowley, I'm going to give you some very similar advice to what I gave Qrow before." Her voice was even keeled, ignoring the torture despite the fact that it was viscous. This was advice the demon could take or leave, she wouldn't argue with him in any way after she was done. "If you value your friendship with Qrow, you'll either make this quick or take it to some place he can't follow." Which wouldn't be difficult in this situation. Qrow was hardly in a state to chase after them to rescue the man who claimed to be the same person.

    She knew what it was like to be around soulless creatures. Creatures who thrived on things like fear and respect. Creatures that only treated you well if you somehow earned it or you were interesting for awhile. After all, hadn't Toby made her own deal with the sea witch? Three true answers and then the ancient fae could kill her. Eat her, alive if the firstborn was so inclined. For all of that, Toby still called the woman and showed up at her door to play scrabble like it was normal. Even after Toby had killed her brother. So she continued to gently pull Qrow back, her clean hand going up to turn his face gently away from the scene in front of him. "He's not you, hon." Toby just had to hope that Crowley understood what she was saying. The demon was torturing more than one person with his actions.


     
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  15. Crowley

    Crowley Supernatural
    Simon Lewis stresses me out

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    Perhaps to his folly, Crowley hadn't been paying attention to where Qrow was in relation to himself and the doppelganger. He had assumed that the huntsman would have made his way back into the heart of the mill. Back to Toby. That, to Crowley, was the sensible thing to do, seeing as he had told Qrow to go away.

    So, when a frigging hand latched onto his arm, it was only by some small miracle that Crowley didn't immediately turn Qrow into ground meat. Twisting his head away from the pathetic, squirming thing on the ground, he stared at the real deal with a snarl, leaving his arm in Qrow's grip only because he didn't completely trust himself to be able to pull away without hurting him. And he didn't want that, as much as Crowley dearly longed to continue hurting the other Qrow.

    Toby's arrival wasn't a moment too soon, and Crowley did yank his arm away then, still scowling viciously. Moreso, even, when the fae had the gall to impart some kind of advice to him. "We're not friends." He growled automatically, bristling at the accusation. Qrow didn't have any bearing on what Crowley did or did not do, and that, to his knowledge, was all a friend did. They were little more than dead weights designed to stop someone like him from doing what came most naturally.

    In a situation like this, with adrenaline and a desire to cause as much pain as possible flooding through his veins, Crowley could only think clearly enough to find a proclamation of friendship comparable to a declaration of war. Still staring between Toby and Qrow intensely, a certain amount of reason could be seen as it pierced the worst of the violence trawling through his mind, and his brows furrowed slightly.

    Taking it somewhere else would be annoying. He had a warded basement, but he'd have to get past Annie, who was doubtless going to ask weird questions. Any number of isolated buildings around Pandora would do well enough, but they weren't really designed to contain prisoners, and Crowley was no longer going to trust that the fool wouldn't escape.

    So, even if her reasoning was stupid, Toby raised a valid point. He didn't have the right set-up at the moment to make this last. The only viable option was to make it quick, but as nasty as he possibly could.

    "Would you please make him go somewhere else?" Crowley snapped viciously, glaring at Qrow, who was still behaving like a twelve year old girl. "I'm not in the mood to play therapist right now, or explain very obvious things to a professional moron." Turning back to the doppelganger, Crowley's expression suddenly shifted into a broad, unpleasant smile. A moment later, he was evacuating his current meatsuit in an intense, howling cloud of crimson smoke, flying directly from one body and into the next, forcing his way into the huntsman's body and mind.

    The overload of information was to be expected, and Crowley rifled through memories and emotions with callous disregard, allowing his own essence to violently bleed onto Qrow's as he picked out the worst of the worst memories from the substantial pile of bad memories and put them on blast in the huntsman's mind, creating his own personal Hell in a matter of seconds. Then, turning inward with vicious glee, the demon picked through his own centuries of torture and began to pick out some of his Greatest Hits. To Crowley, the memories had lost their sting - they were nothing to him anymore, besides fleeting reminders that he had not always been at the head of the pack. That he'd spent most of his existence painfully caught under the boot heels of much more powerful beings.

    By now, Crowley could unabashedly admit that the level of masochism he'd developed to deal with it was shocking in and of itself, but the point was that an average human like his little friend here had no means to defend himself against even the best of a demon's memories. Let alone the grisly, bloody Pick Your Own Adventure Crowley was mercilessly strapping the doppelganger into.

    He simultaneously flooded him with excruciating memories of being devoured by hellhounds, of being flayed alive over a pit of fire, of having his bones removed one at a time and ground into dust. Overlaying those delicious sensations, Crowley giddily tossed in the pain of having limbs removed and eyes pressed into oblivion. Of being violated in ways no human being could fathom.

    The human psyche wasn't like a rubber band. There was no point where it just snapped and Crowley knew his job was done, but within a matter of minutes, the demon sensed that, if the huntsman ever did regain his senses, he would be little more than a psychotic, twitching mess. For now, he suspected that the doppelganger would spend the foreseeable future drooling onto his own chest, lost in the impossible labyrinth of agony Crowley had constructed in his mind.

    With less violence than it had entered, the demon left Qrow's body and drifted back into his usual meatsuit, filling up the familiar vessel with relief. Taking in a deep breath, Crowley flexed his limbs before pushing himself onto his feet. After a moment, he bent at the waist and scooped up Qrow's angel blade, leaving the twin behind as he delved back into the heart of the mill to find the other two and Juliet.

    Ignoring the hellhound's excited yip, Crowley extended the blade towards Qrow, hilt first, wondering absurdly if this was perhaps the stupidest thing he'd ever done in his life. "He's really not you, you know. Got a mind like a bag of cats, that one, and not a shred of it's what I'd call good." He explained with a grand shrug. "Even the memories that I know must have been good were corrupted in there. Unless you're telling me you weren't happy to spend time with those wrinkly potatoes you call nieces." His gaze flicked over to Toby tentatively, and Crowley pursed his lips.

    "Well, I'm not saying sorry, so..." He flapped an arm at them angrily.


    @Qrow Branwen @Toby Daye



     
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  16. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
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    Human
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    38
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    Neutral Good
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    link

    [​IMG]

    ~I am tainted~

    Somehow, Qrow's throbbing wrist had managed to move up and cover the wound that was once his left eye-- as if staunching the blood and juices flowing from it would help anything. Momentarily released, he inched away despite the instinct to curl up and protect whatever the fuck was left of himself. There were voices, which he vaguely differentiated and recognized with dread, hope, and familiarity. Something told him that if his twin and his girlfriend couldn't stop the demon, nothing could, and as he blinked through the tears of his one good eye to see them leave, he knew he was done for. He feebly tried to call them back, to beg for them to help him, but his shaky focus was pulled from them as a sudden crimson storm erupted from the demon, radiating waves of transparent raw power through the metal halls.

    His scream did nothing but allow the dark spirit a wide-open pathway into his lungs, then through his veins and into his heart. The rough texture of the billowing smoke swept against his flesh, traveling straight to his brain through his eye sockets. Possessing those keys of vital organs, the demon had gained complete entry to the huntsman's very soul. The source of his scarlet aura fizzled and crackled in an electric panic as it became drowned out by an endless sea of the demon's darker mahogany-red soul.

    With a complete loss of his senses, mentality, and autonomy, it was impossible to consciously identify that the invading demon had gained access to not only every function and control of himself-- but also to every memory. Even the ones Qrow himself had long forgotten. Every second of his life was replayed to the visitor in utmost detail; physical sensations, emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Everything that made him who he was was all laid out for examination-- and the memories that the demon cherry picked to be forced back into the forefront of the huntsman's mind were not insignificant ones.

    They were all the events that yanked him down beneath the surface of 'being okay' to various depths of pain, regret, shame, loss, fear, confusion, anger, and guilt. Drowning through the tragedies and accidents of his life all over again, Qrow could do nothing to surface himself. He gained crucial and dear people, then lost them. His hopes and dreams soared, then plummeted to crash and burn. He failed vital missions, opened the doors to destruction, made fatal mistakes, and unintentionally hurt and killed good people again and again. It was broadcast through a thousand nerves on a thousand screens, reminding him of every reason that he deserved or wished to die.

    When it seemed he finally did die, he was no better off. He experienced thousands of years of true hell in those brief moments of being helpless against Crowley's torment. The mental anguish and physical sensations of suffering lasted for an eternity, and he had nothing left of himself by the time it was 'over.'

    When he was abandoned to his vast array of internal wounds, he only felt a faint vacancy in the already cleaned-out corpse he was left with, lost in a barely glimmering existence that wasn't even comprehensible. All that was left of him were the memories branded into his mind, still hot and simmering, forever fresh and raw. Qrow lied on his back with tension and defeat taking turns stumbling through his confused body. He remained bathed in his own blood and scarcely breathing as his body fought to decipher his source code of how to function properly. It had all been scrambled in a blender, and the shreds that were left of his soul sputtered in a search of some kind of release or home. He very well might never figure out if he was alive or dead, nor which goal to even strive for.


    ~Happiness, and peace of mind~
    ~Were never meant for me~





    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    Qrow's contact broke from Crowley and he stumbled back against Toby, accepting her as a structure to keep him on his feet. They didn't understand. They weren't him, how could they? Qrow held onto her arms for support and stabilized himself on his own feet, hoping that the demon's decision would be to make it quick, and not to take it elsewhere to prolong it out of Qrow's sight.

    "We're not friends."

    Qrow tore his gaze from his bleeding one-eyed twin to lock onto Crowley's snarling face, conflicted between feeling hurt or bitterly agreeing with him. The huntsman was pulled further away and forced to look at Toby. He wanted her gentle tone and concerned expression to be a comfort, but it wasn't. "He's not you, hon." Qrow winced at her with a shake of his head, offended and hurt by her claim. "You don't know him." He hissed in betrayal. You don't know me. Not like I know him, and know me.

    He looked back at the broken and bleeding huntsman, robbed of his weapons, his freedom, his jacket, and now, nearly his life. He wasn't evil. Everything his doppelganger had done, he'd done for a reason and Qrow understood those reasons now. It was very difficult to remember that Crowley had his reasons for what he was doing too.

    "Would you please make him go somewhere else? I'm not in the mood to play therapist right now, or explain very obvious things to a professional moron."

    Qrow could do little to resist Toby's hold, and he didn't try to-- foolishly willing to believe that Crowley would do the right thing and end this quickly. But when the red smoke erupted from his meatsuit, Qrow mirrored his twin's scream. "No!!!" Watching himself strain and buckle under the violation of being possessed was the final straw. Qrow struggled against Toby and screamed at the two bodies on the ground, watching his own twitch and whimper before losing the ability to even do that-- finally lying still, but far from peaceful.

    Back in the main room of the factory, he finally freed himself to fall to his hands and knees, panting and shaking. "Don't touch me!" He snapped, breathless. Qrow turned away from her and gripped his hair to keep his tumult of emotions under some kind of control, knowing she didn't deserve to be the recipient of his anger. "Please, just... leave me alone." Crowley may not have listened to the same request, but he had some faith that Toby would. She was merciful. He knelt there for a while, pressing his wrists to his temples and nearly tearing his hair out of his scalp with his balled fists as if the pressure and pain could overwrite what he'd just seen and heard.

    Soon growing too tired to hold that tension in his limbs, he dropped his hands to the floor and stared at his engraved ring through wet vision. Then finally, he turned to sit back against the wall, giving up control of his every muscle-- save the ones he needed to breathe. He debated whether or not he had the mental will to even operate those any longer.

    He couldn't imagine what it felt like. He didn't want to. The union of body and soul was so strong in Remnant, and with the way auras worked, there was hardly a separation between the two. He would have remained angry and hurt if the demon had simply left it at physical torture, but to possess him... in that moment, Qrow was convinced that the damage done to their 'friendship' was irreversible. To overpower and take control of one's spirit like that... Qrow would have been just as upset if Crowley had done that to a stranger in front of him. But it hadn't been a stranger.

    Qrow's breathing calmed and stabilized as his tears stopped coming, staring endlessly at the rusted gears of a machine in front of him-- in the same configuration as the ones within Harbinger's hilt. Concentrating on the way the machine was built and engineered helped distract him from the numbness in his mind-- but the sound of Juliet's yip broke his trance and he glanced at the flash of silver presented to him. He stared at the blade, and the misleadingly clean hand that held it. Once having been honored to accept the rare weapon, Qrow now only saw it as the very blade that had plunged into his shoulder, dropped into his eye.

    "He's really not you, you know."

    Qrow struggled to separate his feelings of fear and anger from the meaningful honesty of those words-- even if their tone was classically nonchalant.

    "Got a mind like a bag of cats, that one, and not a shred of it's what I'd call good."

    He willed his breath to pass through his tightened throat more easily, cautiously feeling offended at the judgmental comment. But that wasn't him. Wasn't it? Crowley would know-- having explored his very soul at an intrusively intimate level. Qrow hesitated to look up at him, willing to believe his discovery, but also not wholly faithful in Crowley's definition of good anymore.

    "Even the memories that I know must have been good were corrupted in there. Unless you're telling me you weren't happy to spend time with those wrinkly potatoes you call nieces."

    Qrow dropped his gaze to the angel blade again, still hesitant to take it. Those kids were everything to him. They made life worth living, and the world worth fighting for. If the other Qrow hadn't felt that way, then perhaps that man wasn't so similar to him after all.

    The silence remained, until the demon inconsiderately claimed, "Well, I'm not saying sorry, so..."

    Of course he wasn't. Because he didn't feel sorry. He didn't feel a damned thing.

    The huntsman ignored the offered blade, too emotionally wounded to accept the gift or kind gesture-- and too emotionally and physically tired to even think about taking the weapon and hurting Crowley with it. That wouldn't fix anything. What was done was done, and Crowley still clearly thought of him as... not a 'friend,' as he'd already made clear... but someone simply not fun enough to torture. Somehow, in the demon's book, that was what made all the difference, wasn't it?

    "Did you kill him?" Qrow finally asked with an deadpan and hoarse voice.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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  17. Toby Daye

    Toby Daye October Daye

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    Two lovers friends, headed for a dead end

    [​IMG]
    May 23rd, Year 7 @Qrow Branwen& @Crowley

    Not friends? That seemed like a lie to Toby. Maybe Crowley didn't know how to define it in a similar way but how many times had he saved Qrow's life at this point? That wasn't something you did for a random stranger, no matter who you were, and it didn't seem like the demon asked much of the huntsman in return. He was just attempting to keep up that monster veneer he was so use to wearing. Like the Sea Witch. The Sea Witch had more of a heart though. She would have killed Joe right away without a second glance or at least taken him away for whatever it was she needed to do.

    The matter was complicated but Toby did exactly what the demon wanted. She pulled Qrow back into the mill despite his struggles and his screams. The sound of it broke her heart for what seemed like the thousandth time that day. The millionth time that month. The brunette felt no humor at the demon's words. It was like her soul had been sapped of any sarcasm she normally held onto. There was a part of her that completely understood this situation. Understood the how and the why. She just didn't understand Qrow. But she didn't have to understand him to try and help him.

    Except Qrow didn't want her near. He yelled at her to not touch him so Toby let go. Stuffing her hands in her jacket pockets instead to keep them away, because all she wanted to do was hold him. To comfort him. To take it all away somehow. But that wasn't her skill. Wasn't her strong suit and instead she got to watch the man she loved break down in front of her. And that was the truth of the matter, wasn't it? Toby loved Qrow. At what point it had tipped from attraction and half love into something real, Toby didn't know. Maybe it was the fact that Qrow was breaking down right now. That he had fought so hard to help people and fought so hard against his clone because it felt like the right thing, but he had a heart big enough to understand his clone's pain. Despite the fact they were not the same person. Not even close. Joe would not have mourned Qrow had the roles been reversed. He would have stepped into the man's shoes and taken advantage of the switch instead. Because he was more Devin than Qrow.

    So she didn't say anything. Gritted her teeth and locked her jaw, silent as she watched over him instead. At least until the demon suddenly appeared. Talking as if things were normal and Qrow reacted to that. Bitterness welled up inside of her for a split second and she looked away. All those feelings were useless. She just didn't know how to handle jealousy. Toby felt it so rarely. But she could say that they weren't the same time and time again, but Crowley spoke and suddenly Qrow had a little bit more hope in his face. Despite what the demon had done. Despite what Qrow had felt seconds before.

    She stayed silent but her mind was moving. Putting together the pieces as she slowly stepped back. Crowley hadn't killed Joe the first time around. Crowley had possessed the man but killing him would just be mercy. Crowley didn't have mercy against the clone, wouldn't have finished him off. Which meant Qrow was likely going to have to finish the job. And he would because he was full of those emotions. Because he was so wonderfully human. Again, Qrow didn't need her here. He didn't need her presence, didn't need her words, didn't need her comfort. For whatever reason, the huntsman found that in the demon and was focused entirely on Crowley.

    Even as Qrow asked that question, Toby walked backward. Fading into the shadows and following the path she had taken back in, silently. Soon enough she was standing over the other Qrow. The one with crushed bones and a missing eye. Watching how feebly his chest moved. There was a lance of pain through her at the sight but it was just an echo of the same pain she had felt when she first met Joe. It was because his face was Qrow's. Because when he was silent and still, it was hard to spot the differences. He was in pain, his mind gone, and it was easy to see that he would die from his wounds. It would just take too long. Long enough for Qrow to come to the same grim realization that Toby had.

    The changeling pulled out her knife, using the iron despite the fact her glove wasn't on. Killing had to have a point. It had to cost something. Even though Toby knew what this was going to do to her she didn't change her knife. It crackled against her skin so that her physical pain started to match the emotional pain inside of her even as the woman knelt beside this other Qrow. She couldn't hesitate. Couldn't let too much time past for those wooden wheels to spin in her boyf-- in Qrow's mind. Oberon only knew if he'd ever forgive her for this. Qrow didn't seem to trust her or depend on her like he did Crowley, so maybe there was a big enough difference that he'd pull away all together.

    That was fine. She'd shoulder that. She'd shoulder all of this because that was who Toby was when she loved someone. Toby would cut her own throat before making Qrow do this. Instead she slid her knife into Joe's heart, sharp and clean. The quickest way to go and with the pain he was already in, Toby doubted that this Qrow would even feel it. She had leaned over him to finish it, looking at his face as she pulled out the blade and waited for his breathing to stop. It didn't take long and she was cleaning the blade on an oddly clean spot of her old black t-shirt soon enough. Standing and slipping the blade back in, she mentally said goodbye to Joe in a similar manner that she had once said goodbye to Devin. With regret that things had not been different but with confidence that it couldn't have been any other way.

    For a second she glanced over to the mill, finally unsure what she should do. Go in and... what? Stand there unneeded? Crowley hadn't killed Qrow yet and she was going to trust that the demon wouldn't change his mind now. Instead Toby turned and started to make her way out of this town. She'd follow up with Qrow in a few days if she hadn't heard from him. Track him down and make sure he was okay. It would take her a few days to struggle through the nightmares this would create and it would take him a few days at least to get his head straight. It was time to go home.


     
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  18. Crowley

    Crowley Supernatural
    Simon Lewis stresses me out

    Posts:
    1,781
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Deal-Maker
    Location:
    Misty Hollow
    Race:
    Demon
    Age:
    354
    Alignment:
    Neutral Evil
    Directory:
    link





    Truth be told, Crowley was more interested in Toby than Qrow, especially when she split off and headed for the door. Following her path with his eyes, the demon mused about what she might do with what she found, but then his focus returned to Qrow.

    In situations like this, there was a glaring difference between intellectual knowledge and emotional knowledge. Intellectually - rationally - Crowley could tell that Qrow was disturbed and upset by what had unfolded. The lad was also injured and weary from that, as well. Emotionally speaking, he simply couldn't comprehend why the huntsman was making such a damnable fuss over his doppelganger, who had been a corrupted version of himself. Joe had been such a blasphemy to Qrow's name that everyone besides Qrow had come to view the abhorrent little prick as an entirely separate person. And not a good one.

    The only one who seemed upset at all was the one person Crowley had expected to be happy with what he had done. He had expected Qrow to want him to drag out the twin's suffering. What he saw now was unexpected, and the demon felt a dull throb of frustration and confusion, because this wasn't right.

    "No." Crowley answered shortly, growing visibly annoyed. He tossed the angel blade down, letting it clatter across the floor. "He didn't deserve it. I've been in his head, Qrow. Nobody with a mind like that deserves my mercy - or yours." He shook his head sharply, tucking his hands into his pockets. "He set Yang up to get herself killed, you know. Maybe he didn't mean to do it, but I can tell you he sure as hell didn't give a rat's ass if she did end up dead." Crowley added conversationally with a shrug. Maybe he was embellishing on things a bit, but Qrow didn't need to know that, and it was more right than wrong anyway.

    Sighing softly, the demon turned on his heel. "Juliet." The hound trundled closer, but after a moment's hesitation, she made her decision and continued over to Qrow, gingerly laying herself down at his side. Crowley's brow twitched, but he wasn't surprised. "Fine. Come home when you're ready." He muttered, heading out the door without a backward glance, only pausing once to acknowledge the fresh knife wound in the doppelganger's chest as he passed.

    So that was where she'd gone. Sneaky little bitch. His lips curled into a thin, almost relieved smirk before Crowley pushed his way out into the sunshine of the afternoon.


    @Qrow Branwen @Toby Daye



     
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  19. Qrow Branwen

    Posts:
    1,501
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Professor at Schola Praeditos
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    38
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link

    [​IMG]
    ~I won't be like you~
    ~I'm fighting back the truth~

    Qrow watched the blade clatter harshly to the floor in front of him, feeling the hard sounds reverberate through his equally hard chest. Stubbornly denying his opinion, Qrow refused to look at him, and instead came to the solemn realization that he would have to go finish the job himself. Because that fucker deserved someone's mercy.

    He looked up sharply at the mention of Yang being in danger, and upon searching the nonchalant expression on the man's face, calmed as he saw it was not a viable or ongoing threat. Whatever he'd seen in that man's memories... it wasn't urgent, or even any longer pertinent to the situation. His twin might have been the direct source of the danger, as heart breaking and infuriating as that was to think about.

    That was not like him. That gave him more comfort that the doppelganger was an impostor, but he was weary from being emotionally tugged this way and that throughout the entire month. Qroow stared at the machine across from him again as Juliet padded over to lie beside him. He did not place his hand on her. He did not speak another word to Crowley as the demon left. He did notice that Toby was no longer there, and a trace of guilt passed through his raw heart. He finally did put his hand on Juliet, for she had done nothing wrong today and deserved none of his callousness. He sat with her for a while as he tried to sort out his weakened thoughts, but it was easier just to succumb to a mindless numbness.

    Eventually, he dragged himself to his feet and wandered down the hall to finish the job. But it was already done, and he stood staring at the details of his own corpse until it was burned into his retinas and he became blind to anything else.


    ~Are the pieces of you in the pieces of me?~
    ~I'm just so scared you're who I'll be~


    @Toby Daye
    @Crowley
     
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