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(Cross-posting from my DA for it to count as AP) Something I finished last night of Neo and Jade, as well as a little problem they run into that may affect them for quite a while. Stryx in this story are depicted as anthro.
Neo lashed her tail impatiently, a scowl painting her face. She'd been waiting here, in this spot by the beach for about an hour, but was promised that it would only be ten minutes. What was going on? Was Jade lost or something?
Jade had asked Neo to come with her to the small street in their city that hosted a series of stands that sold various local goods and products. Jade liked coming here because she could select what she liked from what was offered in terms of food, since she doesn't much like most that is sold at big grocery stores and such. So, she buys from this small street market, even though it is a bit more costly, it gives her peace of mind that the money is going to independent people and workers. At least, that's what Neo was told. Neo never really accompanies her, since Neo will usually just eat whatever is offered or already in her apartment, not much caring where it came from. She had been asked to come along this time though, as Jade had started acting very clingy as of late. Not that Neo minded, she actually quite liked having Jade around her at all times. It totally wasn't because of her long-running crush on Jade, no. After about an hour of meandering from stand to stand, Neo had eventually gotten bored of pointless walking, asking if there was anywhere to sit and wait while Jade did her shopping. She had been directed to the end of the street, where there was a beachfront and a beautiful view of the sunset. This is where Neo now sat, still waiting for Jade to return. Even this was getting agonizingly boring. Neo stood up, took a look around and down the street, realizing that it was a lot less crowded than earlier. Stalls were packing up, some had already closed, leaving Neo to wonder where Jade could be.
She took a few steps down the street, scanning up and down in search of her friend's figure. The further she walked, the more worried she became. What was going on? Was Jade alright, wherever she was? Did something happen? Maybe she forgot to retrieve Neo once she was done. Neo pulled her phone from her pocket and opened up her contacts, scrolling until she found Jade's, and pressed call. After a split second of silence, it began dialing, and then went straight to voicemail. Maybe Jade's phone had died? Which was strange, since it was fully charged when the two left their apartment. Neo became increasingly worried. She had to find Jade, it was starting to get dark.
Heading further down the street, there was a side alley, leading to a dead end. At that dead end, Neo could see what looked like a dark-colored figure. She began heading down the alleyway, and as she did, the figure became clearer. It seemed that the one large figure was actually two, but both were very close together. The taller of the two seemed to be standing over the smaller, trying to grab something. The smaller, although taller than Neo, looked as of they were trying to push the taller away. Seeing this happen, Neo instinctively reached down to her belt and placed her hand on the hilt of her hunting knife, still approaching the two. "Hey!" She called out to them, causing them to freeze in their tracks.
"Neo!" The smaller called back, in an incredibly familiar voice. It was Jade's. Neo began running, full speed towards them, whipping her blade out and pointing it towards the taller being. She slammed into the taller, placing the blade at their throat. "What do you think you're doing?" Neo growled, receiving an equally angry growl back: "Get your damn hands off of me." Neo felt a familiar hand on her shoulder. "Neo… come on. Please, let's just go home." Jade was trying to get her to back off, causing Neo to press the blade lightly onto the being's neck in warning. "Did you hear me?" They growled again, before Neo was thrown off and to the ground, knife tossed aside. Before she could prop herself up, a foot was planted firmly on her chest, forcing her down. "You think you're so damn intimidating, don't you? Someone that stands a fighting chance? Get real." Neo tried to make out a face in the darkness of the alleyway. "You prance around this city with that stupid smirk always on your fucking face. You really think we fear you?" The being bent over a bit more, just enough for Neo to meet two piercing blue eyes with her own. She flinched as they growled at her, baring their teeth.
Jade had come closer, pushing the figure away from her pinned friend. Neo felt the weight on her chest lift as the being stumbled back in surprise. Now that Neo's eyes had adjusted to the darkness of the alleyway, she could finally make out the features of the taller figure.
They appeared to be female, although Neo wasn't quite sure due to how muscular she was. White feathers clashed with black ones, two noticeable white dots above her eyes. Her tail feathers were long, much longer than Jade's or Neo's, they almost appeared like a cloak that reached the ground. Her secondary tail lashed in annoyance as Neo scrambled to pick herself up, grabbing her hunting knife and swiftly placing it back in its sheath.
Orca grunted, pushing past Neo and Jade to leave the alleyway. She Whipped Neo's legs with her tail on the way by, just one last jab at her before turning out of the alleyway and disappearing from sight.
"You ok?" Neo barely registered Jade's voice, or the comforting hand placed on her shoulder. Tears threatened to fall as she ducked her head and walked towards the entrance of the alleyway. Orca's words echoed in her mind. "You think you're so damn intimidating, don't you?"
Once back at their apartment complex, Jade followed Neo to her place to stay with her, making sure she would be alright.
The two were sitting on Neo's small couch, watching some TV program Jade had selected. Well, Jade was watching it, Neo was too busy lost in thought to pay much attention. Orca. Orca. Orca. Why is that name so familiar? She couldn't remember ever seeing her around town, but she was somehow stuck somewhere in Neo's lost memories. Maybe someone from her childhood? Someone she'd tried to forget, perhaps? Who knows, all she knew now was that she never wanted to see those icy blue eyes ever again.
Something ugly reared its head inside Neo's thoughts. Something violent and vengeful. It spawned thought of tragedy befalling Orca, awful tragedies caused by Neo's own hand. Strangely, she felt no remorse for these thoughts.
"Did you hear a word I said?"
Neo shook her head, looking over to meet Jade's amused stare. "Hmm?" Neo hummed in questioning. She had in fact not heard what Jade had said to her.
"I said are you enjoying this show?" Jade repeated, a chuckle making its way into her words. Neo nodded in response, even though she had no idea what was even happening on the screen illuminating their faces. "Really? You weren't even looking at the screen for most of the episode." Jade picked up the remote and flipped through the channels on the TV, trying to find something new to watch. Neo decided to ask Jade about Orca, and why she had even taken Jade down that alleyway.
"Do you know Orca? Who is she, I mean."
Jade froze, glancing over at Neo. She pressed the power button on the remote, deciding that there was nothing good to watch, leaving them in almost complete darkness, save for the bit of light coming from the window facing the glowing city. After a few beats of silence, Jade finally spoke.
"Well… she's not very nice, but you already know that. I used to know her a long time ago."
"Why do you know her if she's so awful? I wouldn't expect you to be friends with someone like that."
Jade paused again, luckily it was too dark to see Neo's eyes locked on hers.
"She was my girlfriend once. She started out nice, a very respectful character. But as time went on and I made more friends, she became more protective, aggressive. She hurt them once, that's where I drew the line. I broke up with her when we were alone, she didn't take it very well. I've got the marks to prove it." Jade went quiet towards the end of her sentence. Neo cocked her head. She could see Jade's nervous figure perfectly fine, despite what her glaring red eyes would say about her. She was quite the night owl.
"What do you mean?" Neo asked, perplexed.
Jade sighed, fiddling with the hem of her shirt. "Here, I'll show you." Jade then lifted the front of her shirt to reveal her chest, which had a large series of diagonal scars running from right to left across it. Neo started in awe, wondering how she had been friends with Jade for so long and had never noticed that. Perhaps it was because she'd never been paying enough attention whenever she was shirtless, always getting too flustered to look.
Without thinking, Neo reached out to touch the scar, but stopped halfway, realizing what she was doing. "Sorry." She mumbled. That horrible feeling rose up in her mind again, making her even more violent towards the black and white feathered scum that had hurt Jade so long ago. "When did this happen?" Neo asked, more anger in her voice than intended.
"Some years back, before you rescued me from that fire." Jade responded, not looking Neo in the eye. Her face seemed a bit more red than before.
They both sat in silence a while longer, each trying to think of something to say, but failing. Finally, jade spoke.
"Uh, I suppose I should be heading back to my apartment right about now, it's pretty late." Jade stood up and pulled her shirt back down. Neo pulled out her phone to check the time. The numbers on screen read 1:34.
Jade motioned to leave, prompting Neo to quickly stand up and grab her tail gently so not to pull too hard. "Wait."
Jade turned to her in surprise, mouth open as if to say something. Neo quickly scrambled her brain to come up with some excuse to keep her here. Truth was, she just hated being alone so often, every minute she spent with Jade was like a minute in heaven. She especially felt the need for her presence after the day's events.
"Uhh… could you stay here for tonight? I just don't feel alright leaving you alone." Neo said, which was completely true. She knew that if Orca had sought Jade out today, she'd probably want to finish their business from earlier, and who knew what that entailed. Neo couldn't even entertain the idea of Jade being hurt in any way.
"Sure, yeah." Jade said, plopping herself back onto the couch next to Neo. Neo was suddenly aware of how small her couch was, and how close the two of them were.
"I'll grab you some blankets and stuff, you can take the couch. I know it's not very big, but it's better than the floor." Neo stood up and headed towards her closet, pulling a pillow and a blanket down from the shelf. She strolled back into the room and dropped the blankets on Jade's lap. "Make yourself comfortable."
After Jade had been situated, Neo yawned loudly. She was just now realizing how tired she was. Her chest still hurt from where it had been pressed on by Orca's foot, but she tried not to think about that right now. All she cared about was the fact that she knew Jade was safe with her, at least for tonight.
"Well, I'll be off to bed. If you need anything, you can just wake me up." Neo said, stretching the tiredness from her body. She smiled at Jade, who smiled back and waved her tail at Neo from under the blanket. Neo giggled softly, turning and heading in the direction of her own room for the night.
2063 words-10 AP
Total= 15 AP
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