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 Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]

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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:49 pm

It had been a while since Russell and Falcon had gone their separate ways. Out of curiosity, Russell had looked up to the spire that had started his little misadventure with the shape shifter and was only a little disappointed to see the nest full of precious jewelry gone. The necklace he'd gotten had been enough to pay off his debts and get a new shirt, and after all the dust had settled he'd put the event out of his mind entirely. People came and went in Kaionar, and that went for one night stands as well.

Currently he was in the middle of scaling a wall and hauling himself up onto a roof, checking to make sure that he was the only one before picking a path that would lead him out of the poorer districts and into the higher class ones. It was simply easier to avoid unnecessary questions when you were picking a path over the rooftops, and it was hardly an uncommon sight. Thieves of every caliber used the roofs to avoid the city guards (for what little they were worth), and his passing would hardly be a note worthy event. When he got closer to the richer districts where the guards were worth more than spit he quickly landed in an alleyway, rolling to his feet smoothly and joined the dwindling crowds that were heading in for the night, the sun setting over the city. There was a lull between when the "respectful" citizens left the streets and those belonging to the seedy underbelly came out to play, and Russell was content to use the transition period to infiltrate the gilded gates of the upper class society, taking it as an opportunity to move about unquestioned. There was a man with his name on a death warrant, and he held the knife dedicated to killing that man.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:24 pm

Falcon was not normally a night time bird. He did all his thieving in broad daylight, but sometimes he couldn't help himself and stayed up to watch the nightlife. It was strange not having to sleep in the night and be active in the day, another thing he adored about humans. They willingly defied circadian rhythms. He was perched on a roof in the form of a small barn owl. Compared to all the decorations on the buildings, he was fairly an unobtrusive observer, which allowed him to spot a familiar face? Perhaps. There was something about the man that was familiar. Falcon decided it was his gait, and perhaps his body. He jumped down and flew on a silent breeze to land behind the man, shapeshifting mid-land so his feet would make no sound.

"Hello lover." He grinned when the man spun around. "I thought it was you."

He looked to be on some kind of unsavory business, not that any business in Kaionar was really savory. "Oooh are we doing bad things tonight?"
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:24 am

He saw the flash of flesh and feathers out of the corner of his eye. Not at all liking being caught unawares he prepared to attack whoever had come upon him, his hands going to his knives and stopped just short of unsheathing them when he saw a familiar face grinning at him. Not just a familiar face, but a familiar body, and one that was unclothed. Again. "Come with me." Along with the guise that he had adopted, he had also changed his voice so that it was higher pitched than normal, more like a younger man. With a sudden urgency he grabbed the shapeshifter by the arm and dragged him into the nearest alleyway, trying to avoid the stares that were now directed their way. Once they were out of the flow of traffic and reasonably hidden from prying eyes, Russell stripped off his shirt and let the illusion of his new identity slip away. Throwing the shirt over the shapeshifter's naked form, he crossed his arms over the leather and mesh body armor that he had been wearing underneath, an exasperated look on his face.

"That was risky, lad." He said, his voice back to normal now that he had abandoned his guise before it could be compromised any more then it might have already. A casual grin replaced the stern look quickly however. "And yes, I am up to bad things tonight. Or I was. How'd you spot me?" It was a matter of personal and professional pride that he could switch his features well enough to keep from being recognized from familiars.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:01 am

"Your backside. And the way you walk." Falcon prided himself on the fact that he'd recognized Russell, as he did happen to be an accomplished shapeshfter. "You can even change your voice, interesting." The shirt was uncomfortably coarse, but it smelled like Russell, and it was a smell Falcon decided he enjoyed. He reached out to touch the body armor Russell wore. "Seems you were up to naughty-bad things." He grinned, enjoying the way Russell's eyes strayed down to his legs, and back up, probably expectant that Falcon shift female so he didn't have to worry about bits. Falcon spent a lot of time soaring the skies, but he was no more identifiable than the other birds that lived in Kaionar. There were messenger pigeons (which was one of Falcon's favorite foods), songbirds (another favorite), hunting birds, free hawks. It helped that people weren't too good at picking out the differences between birds. Falcon cocked his head. "Who's your mark?" Falcon wasn't innocent of the ways of Kaionar. A man running around in armor on the rooftops was going to go and kill someone.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:20 am

"My-?" Russell was puzzled briefly that anyone would be able to identify him based solely on his rear end, but stranger things had happened to him enough that he could accept the explanation. He considered outright lying to the shapeshifter about his mark, but in the end decided that it might be of little consequence. If Falcon could spot him in the dark based on the proportions of his shoulders, then there would be little point in trying to conceal his direction or plan of action. Besides, he had his shirt, and he wasn't going anywhere without that. "Lord Hamin has earned the wrath of the Smith Guild." He touched one of the daggers at his hip, emblazoned with seal of the Guild, the one meant to end the life of the unfortunate Lord Hamin. A minor noble that belonged to the Merchant's Guild. "The smiths want a message sent, and a certain little Finch has a singing letter for him." He smiled at his own reference to the group of assassins that he worked for, the sigil of their group stitched into the hood of his shirt that Falcon was now wearing. "So yes, naughty-bad things."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:49 am

Falcon hemmed and hawed, circling Russell. He sidled up to the man, rubbed his head against his shoulder and bumped his chin gently. In his hands was the knife. He looked down at it. "Cheap made, it's an insult... I love subtle gestures like this. You're not worth the effort it would take to make a decent knife. You're less than a common cur. We'd kill you with a horse and cart if you'd leave your nest, you filthy rat." He grinned and slid the blade back into its sheathe. "I want to come with. I'm better at sneaking than you anyway." He grinned, teasing. "Love songbirds, such delicate bones." He flicked the hood and leaned close to press their lips together. "I'll make it worth your while, Finch."
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:31 am

The shapeshifter played the game. All of them, as far as Russell could tell, and he watched the smaller man circle him with a raised eyebrow of curiosity. "Ah, careful lad. You'll hurt my feelings if you treat me with kid gloves." He tried his best to look pouty and put-out, but couldn't help the grin that refused to hide behind a somber mask at the thought of enjoying a little more of the man's company once the dirty business of killing was done with. There was nothing like a good tumble after slitting someone's throat, and he returned the brief kiss in silent consent to the unspoken suggestion of the fun to be had later. "I don't suppose you can become a finch, could you?" he asked flippantly and glanced out at the street. "I could only imagine the rumors if someone saw a song bird coming from the dead-man's chamber." he was musing to himself mostly, collecting his concentration and let his magic loose again, disguising his face once more and the body armor he wore suddenly looked like a nondescript cotton shirt. "If you're going to tag along, then let's get moving. I'll miss the change of guard if we dally." His voice was higher pitched again, the disguise completely back in place now and he was on the move. There wasn't time to consider if the shapeshifter would turn out to be his downfall or not. It's not like he could help the matter at this point anyway.

Rejoining the crowd on the street he trusted the shape shifter to either follow him along the ground or become a something else and follow him that way. Either way, he really did need to get to the Lord's compound if he was going to complete this job. And if he wanted to eat for the next week, then he was completing this job. Tempting shapeshifter or otherwise. Reaching the front gates of the Lord's compound was easy. Getting over the walls was a different task altogether, though not one that he had come unprepared to do. It just made it easier with a second pair of eyes. "Top floor, third window from the east facing balcony. That's where the Lord's safe room is." He said in a breathy voice, searching the grounds for the guards that would be passing by any second now. He'd studied their patterns very closely, memorizing them so that there would be no surprises.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:05 am

Falcon draped the shirt over Russell's head, flying up to the window on silent wings. He'd shifted into a barn owl, small enough to be unobtrusive, quiet enough not to be heard, and the degree of vision was preferred. He hopped around on the windowsill and peered into the room. Unlike Russell, he didn't need to do any climbing, didn't need to do any sneaking. He watched Russell streak across the grounds and waited for him to make his way into the safe room. He would very well turn into a finch and fly out the window for all to see. It would be a great spectacle. Of course he'd shift into a Falcon once out of sight. It wouldn't do to be hunted by another falcon. Downright embarrassing really.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:32 am

He had seen the bird land on the window long before he'd had the change to scale the wall himself and in a part of him that was surprisingly close to the surface he was intensely jealous. He wanted a pair of wings too. That would just make life so much easier. It was dark inside the room which was all well and good, but he didn't have spectacular night vision. When he stepped down onto the floor something made a squealing noise that he quickly redirected to the other side of the room. In the middle the Lord Hamin sat up and looked in exactly the opposite direction of Russell toward the noise. Without waiting to see if the noise would attract anyone else's attention, a knife was already in his hands and he cleared the short distance from the window to the bed, the blade slipping between the back of the Lord's ribs and puncturing a lung. He gurgled silently, a whisper of noise escaping his throat as he arched backward away from the pain. But he was already dead.

With a flick of his wrist the dagger with the Smith's crest appeared in Russell's hand and he slammed it into the Lord's wide open mouth up to the hilt, the impact throwing Hamin back on the bed where he was left to drown in his own blood. The hilt and the crest clearly showed above the dying man's lips, and Russell only stuck around long enough to make sure that he didn't manage to pull the weapon back out. A statement needed to be made. "Slander." He said casually over his shoulder to where Falcon was, gesturing to the knife. The ones who found the body would know exactly why the assassination had happened.

There was some commotion on the other side of the door and Russell decided that it was very much past time to go. "I'll see you on the outside." He said quietly with a grin and quickly ran to the window opposite the one that he'd come in and simply vaulted out of it without a check in his stride, his form blurring indistinctly as he went and rolled on a low roof just outside the window. The illusion only lasted him until he was on the ground, and then he simply had to escape the compound the old fashioned way; by hiding. Once out he cut a twisting path through the back streets of Kaionar to get to a safe house a few blocks away, somewhere that the guards wouldn't come looking if they actually had the gall to try and track him down. He spared a look up at the sky to see if the shapeshifter had followed him, assuming that the little blurred figure trick wouldn't serve to outwit him for very long, if at all, before opening the door to the safe house.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:25 pm

Falcon stayed long enough so that those who came through the door could see a Finch sitting on the windowsill. He flew out the window once they'd gotten a good look and shapeshifted when he was a good distance away. He'd watched Russell run off and had been annoyed at how he'd been unable to track him accurately. He launched into the air, circling until he spotted a figure looking up at the sky. He would have grinned, but cried out instead. He followed Russ to the hideout and landed on the roof, shapeshifting so he could climb down into it. "You said you wanted them to see a finch flying out the window, so I finched out the window." He grinned and stretched. "Such a tiny, delicate body. I was so insecure..." He sat in Russell's lap, despite being male and very naked. "You did a number on him, slander eh?"
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:17 am

"The favor's very much appreciated." Russell replied with a grin to himself, unbuckling his wrist guard and kicking the door closed behind Falcon once he'd passed over the threshold. He safehouse wasn't anything spectacular, certainly no lovely abode for high-class broads and their secret trysts. But it was safe, and that's all that usually mattered. "Awe, poor thing. Is being a Finch not to your liking? Perhaps you're in need of some comfort?" He was taking off his gear around the sudden obstacle that Falcon posed and nipped his shoulder in a bout of playfulness. Once settled he drew the shapeshifter more squarely into his lap and put his chin on the shallow curve of Falcon's shoulder. "Eh, maybe it was slander. Maybe he slept with the wrong man's wife. Or the wrong woman's husband." He chuckled and planted a quick kiss on Falcon's upper arm. "They paid me to put the dagger in his mouth for slander, so that's what happened. What actually went down behind the scenes, well… That's hardly the concern at this point, now is it? Unless you've an insatiable curiosity and an ear for gossip. Which, being a bird, I'd be surprised if you didn't hear your fair share of dirt."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:41 pm

Falcon chuckled and tangled both his small hands into Russell's hair. "I hear and see things that ought to be private, if that's what you're asking." He tugged the man's hair. "You're stuck in that horribly young body. Change back." He was much more impressed with Russell's seemingly natural accent than this youthful one. Scratching Russell's scalp he leaned close to murmur in the man's ear. "I want to know what happened." Russell didn't know it, but this shapeshifting lover of his was the informant for, confidant of and lover to one of the most famous (or infamous) women in all of Kaionar. Beholden to Lady Deorwynn Xerceis, everything that Falcon heard eventually would get back to her. Granted, she had yet to resurface, but he was biding his time and collecting his information. He was already in good with a lot of those that had slithered their way into power once her family was removed. He wouldn't bat an eyelash at removing them once she'd returned.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:05 am

Ah. He'd almost forgot about the illusion. Like a sigh of relief, the magic sloughed off him, returning to the face that Falcon was more familiar with. It was the closest thing to his real face that he'd shown anyone in a long time, but it was worth the risk. No one in Kaionar knew what he really looked like anyway. Ironically enough, his real face was just another mask among the many he held now. "Hmm, then maybe you've heard this story. Stop me if you've heard it. It all starts with a stonemason's son, slated for a political marriage to the Smith Master's youngest daughter." Russell scooped up the shapeshifter's legs in his arms, and deposited the smaller man on the bed shortly after. He followed, settling himself on his knees between Falcon's legs and pinned one of his shoulders, leaning forward over top of him. "And then there was a worried merchant with a lot of coin that wanted poor deceased Lord Hamin in the ground. Luckily, Lord Hamin suddenly developed the penchant for defiling the daughters of important men." A flick of his power and a grin, and Russell looked enough like the recently deceased Lord that a frightened girl in the dark of night would easily be able to point fingers in all the wrong directions. Letting the illusion go, he bent his head and tasted the ridge of Falcon's collarbone, running his free hand down the contours of his abdomen almost curiously. "Imagine how angry the Smith Guild's master must have been to find that some lowly merchant had ruined his daughter? Well, and the rest is history, as you saw tonight."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:10 pm

Falcon sighed softly, smiling serenely up at Russ. "Well if you aren't--oh--just the cleverest finch." He reached down and grabbed Russell's wrist, turning them over so he was straddling the man. "A wonderful story, intriguing indeed, but you lack a little showmanship in the retelling." He leaned down and booped the man's nose. "Let me show you how one puts on a show."

It was a long night, and Falcon had tucked himself against Russell to ward off the chill of the night's breeze. He had no problem sleeping over or being left in the morning. In Kaionar, such things were expected. Russell would find that Falcon was most definitely an animal in the way he experienced things. His feelings were a lot harder to understand, a lot harder to wound, a lot harder to decipher. Falcon was fond of Russell, yes, but not so that the man could hurt him in any way. No, Russell was not in danger of any crazy, clingy shapeshifter following him around. Merely a curious, teasing, sometimes lover.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:13 am

And it was a show indeed. Russell woke up and had to take a cursory glance over his body to make sure that he wasn't one big bruise. It wasn't the first time that he'd wondered if the shapeshifter was more animal than man, but that didn't mean that he enjoyed the experience any less. Falcon was a curiosity, a puzzle to play with if he had suitable time to play with such things. He hid his face under his forearm from the light of morning that filtered through the hole in the wall that sufficed as a window of sorts and drew in a deep breath, letting it out in a soft drawn-out sigh. He'd be hiding bite marks for at least a week. Or maybe not. The other Finches liked a good raunchy tale every once and again.

After a moment of simply soaking up the warmth of the body next to him, Russell shifted and pulled his arms out of the loose embrace he'd thrown around the shapeshifter and ran his hands through his hair and over his face, yawning. "You know, if we're going to keep running into each other like this, I should probably know what to call you." And who to ask for if he woke up one morning without any of his belongings. Although the whole issue could be entirely futile, given the transitory nature of Falcon's person, being able to switch forms as he could.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Thu May 02, 2013 10:31 pm

Falcon stretched, languid, and looked to his sometimes lover. "I am Falcon, there is nothing more you need call me." It was the same thing The Lady had asked him, so very smart. She knew better than to name a creature already smart enough to mimic its human neighbors. She had been gracious enough to call him Falcon, completely comfortable with that as a name for the only shapeshifting bird in all of Kaionar. "Are you called Finch?" He crawled over the bed to deposit himself in Russell's lap, melting to fit in the space between his legs. He looked up at the man, knowing that what he saw was an illusion and wondered at the magical tenacity he had to have to keep up such an illusion at almost all hours. Falcon had to confess that at the height of copulation, the only thing that kept him from changing his shape was the specific sensation of being penetrated. Being a falcon was his nature, flying and hunting and nesting, those were things that were instinctive, things that took no higher order thought. Being human, though, was a game of emotions, sensations and ideas. Falcon enjoyed entertaining ideas, and he enjoyed the sensations. He didn't grasp emotions so well, but he could emulate them if need be, something he was called upon to do often when under his Mistress's employ.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:19 pm

He did not bother to conceal his chuckle at the name. Falcon fit so well for the shapeshifter. "Simple, yet accurate." He mumbled to himself, breathing deeply and letting loose an amused sign. "I feel like if I let you call me Finch, you would threaten to eat me." He shifted slightly under Falcon, getting more comfortable and pressed his teeth to Falcon's shoulder in a benign bite. "Call me Russell. All my friends do." The term "friend" being used lightly in the way that only a true Kaionarian would understand. Anyone that didn't kill you as soon as look at you was a friend, or at least a not-enemy. "I've wondered this for a bit now, but which are you more of? Man, or bird?" Not like it made a whole lot of difference to him. Falcon was pleasant company in bed and a challenge, that was good enough. Whether he was mostly bird or mostly man was a matter of semantics at most, aesthetics at least.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:27 pm

Ah, this question as well. She had not asked this of him outright, but she'd figured out the answer after a bit of observation. "I was born a Falcon, I've decided to assume the shape of men. It is a spice of life." Reaching up, Falcon stroked Russell's neck, letting his talon-like nails graze the man's skin. "I am a bird, I was never a man." Only when he pretended to be, and even his disconnect with human thought and emotions was enough to lend weight to that statement. He didn't know how to be a man, but he did know how to mess with them, and in order to be truly frustrating, one had to be in an interactive skin, hence the shapeshifting.
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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:18 pm

Russell's eyes went a little wider at the explanation, his eyebrows very nearly disappearing under the thick fall of his bangs at Falcon's explanation. "A real bird, then?" He sat up a little bit, taking Falcon's hand in his own and examining his longer-than-normal talon nails. "Well, that explains a few things." He admitted with a little chuckle and released his hand to do with what he liked, cupping Falcon's cheek and rubbing his thumb over the oddly colored patch of skin around his eye. "Is being a bird so boring that you had to learn this little trick to entertain yourself? I'd always wondered what it was like to fly." There was a little hint of wistfulness in his voice, the dreams of a man stuck in Kaionar wishing to be anywhere else in the world showing through for just that brief second. He might have been a decent enough assassin here in the city of lies, but it was rare that a man of any little amount of ambition wouldn't want more than a new hiding place every day and a handful of whores to screw around with during the lull.

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PostSubject: Re: Illusory Shapeshifting [Russ n Falcon]   Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:35 am

"Being a real bird does not fulfill me. I am clever and curious and interested in a species that is so lively as yours." He let his hand glide down Russell's shoulder, a self-satisfied smirk on his lips. "But flying is a freedom no man possesses, a freedom he must rent from the scale-beasts that inhabit this land." For emphasis he allowed some of his feathers to grow in around his arms and back. "And magic is something men are good at, but certainly don't understand... even in the simplest sense." With magic a man could fly, but Russell liked men on the ground, where they belonged, or strapped to a dragon's back, like some dumb flightless baby.

"I'm sure you being a real man fulfills one of us."
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