[P] [M] Slipping
#1
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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
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It had been months since Tora had visited Biff's Bar. There wasn't any particular reason that he hadn't been stopping, simply a lack of time and always being too far out to warrant a detour whenever he thought about it. He had managed to find a mostly steady supply of cheap booze through trading his constantly refilling stockpile of wooden trinkets and charcoal drawings so there wasn't exactly a need for him to go bar crawling. Besides, he had been preoccupied. Everyday it seemed like he was sinking deeper and deeper into the black pit of rage that festered inside him, stewing quietly as he contemplated the nature of right and wrong. For brief period in his life he had thought that maybe, just maybe, he would be able to settle down and give up his swords.


Now it seemed like he would never be able to rest. The violence that had plagued his ruined home had followed him here, robbers attacking him the past winter, one of his closest friends raped, his adopted daughter slashed and carved, it seemed like it would never end! He was nearing his breaking point, about to crack. Drinking wasn't helping, neither was smoking. All he could do was roam restlessly, which was how he ended back up at Biff's. Maybe Inara would be there so he could apologize properly to her for his downright boorish behavior when they had first met. As he guided Jolie to the stables he locked eyes with a trio loitering about. The small dog he didn't recognize, nor did he know the lanky wolf. But the man in the middle was a familiar face. It was the wolf that had cut his friend's arm months ago, the one that he had struggled to keep himself from beating into a coma. Tora's hand tightened around the handle of his katana, imagining himself cutting down the bastard then and there. How satisfying it would be!

Instead of that he opted for a terse grunt, grabbing his bags and tying off Jolie before heading into the bar.

Wordcount:300+
#2
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Word Count → 000
OOC → Backdated for late September if that is okay :3

After a good talk with Percival for weeks after her break down she decided it was time to get out of the pack for awhile. She needed some dyes for Athras suit and dancing was her best way of getting the things she needed for trade and sometimes just the items she needed. She had already started on the leather and got that done, and most of the pattern done but now there was the dying to be had before she put all the pieces together.


Traveling had been slow for her, and she got to Biff's the night before and had slept most of the day. Usually a light sleeper but being at Biff's and with Marlys nearby usually brought her an odd comfort, so when she woke to the sight of three strangers looking at her over the stall, that she had fallen to sleep in with her horse, startled her. Their chuckles caused her to feel a bit of shame but her brows lowered and she yelled out, "How about you three git before I kick your ass's!?" Her growl roared from her chest as she stood. Her eyes finally focusing on them and she felt a chill run down her spine at the sight of the male that stood in the middle.


"Oh..you recognize me, sweetie?" He purred as he opened the stall. He didn't even get a step in before Marlys kicked the door shut almost getting his hand. "How about you get your mare under control before I slit that neck of her's!?"

Inara stood defiantly and took a bold step forward, "You touch my Mar, and you will find your own throat ripped clean out!" Her eyes narrowed and she cooly began to move her hand to the pack hanging to her left. She hoped to get her knives before he made another attempt to come at her.


"C'mon, sweet thing...we jus' wanna get a close taste of those hips we ben hearin' so much 'bout.." said the dog as he licked his lips. "tell yer mare to cool down...we won't harm ya."
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*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#3
He hadn't paid much attention to the motley little group, just focusing on getting inside before his willpower shattered completely. Whatever they were doing wasn't his problem, he needed to just let it go. But how could he? He knew exactly what kind of person the male was and his friends were just as guilty if not more for condoning his behavior. Tora's hands shook, aching to wrap around their throats and wring the life out of them like water from a washcloth. "Keep walking. Just walk out of here and get a drink." He could nurse a mug for hours if need be, however long it took for him to be sure they were gone before he came back.

At least his father wasn't around. Or if he was he was choosing to stay hidden in the veil between this world and the next, silently observing as he was want to do. Had Akio been around the bloodshed would have already started, the terrible phantom exhorting to son to slaughter them like sick horses being put down. Without his caustic voice and harsh words in his ear Tora was able to steady himself with a deep breath, forcing his feet to move towards the exit. But a familiar voice made his heart stop, Tora spinning on his heels to face the source of the growl.

Inara

The commotion caused by the gate slamming shut muffled his footsteps and the sound of steel being drawn. Leaving without a fight was no longer in the cards. The only question was of target selection and that answered as soon as the dog opened his mouth. She would not be the third friend he let get brutalized! With an enraged snarl his thrust his katana forward into the dog's back, tilting the blade sideways so that it slid neatly between his last two ribs with the wet squelch of tearing muscle and organs. In the same fluid motion the samurai undid the wakazashi hanging from his side and threw it by the scabbard, sailing over the knot of opponents and into the stall. "Inara, catch!"

Wordcount:350+
#4
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Word Count → 000
OOC → Left it on a cliff hanger Wink ...so we don't know if she killed the wolf yet or not...

Just at the dog finished speaking he let out a wail of pain as he arched back. This caused Inara to jump in surprise making her pack fall. Everyone's eyes went to the dog and in that same instant Inara recognized Tora. He didn't give her much time to comprehend what was going on before he tossed a blade into the air and yelled for her to catch.


Her heart was beating in her ears as things seemed to slow down around her. Quickly, she reached out and caught the scabbard and then gripped the handle pulling the blade free of the sheath. Inara pushed Marlys to signal her to move behind her as the male who tried to get in met her gaze.


No words exchanged, only stares and flashes of teeth. The way Inara held the blade was not usual for the type of weapon, but she didn't know that. The dull of the blade was held against her forearm and she waited for the male before her to make his move. Instead, he let out a cool laugh, as if he had everything under control, which unnerved Inara. She tried to hide the shiver that went up her spine, but she trembled slightly. The male grinned.


The silence between the two was deafening, the sound of the metal hitch seemed louder than she remembered it being. The blood pounding through her also seemed loud as all she could see before her was the threat. The gate creaked open and Marlys rose on her back legs and whinnied unhappily landing with a stomp behind her. Inara's free hand lifted away from her body and she spread her fingers to signal for the mare to calm herself. The gypsy girl couldn't handle anymore tension than what was already palpable.


His deep voice cracked like thunder through the silence, "..you'll make a fine collection to my ladies..just come freely..I don't want to ruin your perfect fur..the clients would hate me so.."


Another shiver racked Inara's body and the voice she kept at bay spoke like venom, ...hold your ground. Don't move until I tell you too...you can do this...I will help you defeat this scumbag...


Inara's eyes broke from her opponent for a second to glance at Tora who came into view as the dog fell to his knees. The second guy, a fluffy smooshed face mutt swung his hammer at Tora while rushing upon him. Just as she was about to warn her friend, the wolf rushed at her. Her heart lept as she took a step back bringing her fist up causing the blade to slash across his face. Inara lost her balance her ears catching the hissing snarl of her opponent before she landed in the hay. Marlys kicked at the stall and whinnied more. "You bitch!" He came upon her again, only to be hit in the chest by Inara's Mare. His wind was knocked from him as he went flying out of the stall.


Inara got to her feet as the voice hissed again. Kill him...kill him now! He is down! Inara scrambled out of the stall. The wolf was coughing and holding his chest trying to prop himself up upon his free arm, Now! Inara held the handle in both hands and went to plunge it down into the wolf's neck.

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*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#5
Hate. All Tora felt in that seemingly eternal second as his blade burrowed deep into the dog's lungs was the cold, black hatred that he had spent half his life fleeing from. He could feel it bubbling to the surface, lips curled and teeth bared as he rotated the sword slowly in order to cause as much damage as he possibly could. He had held back for nearly a year after his outburst the previous winter, tried to convince himself that things could still be different here than they were back home. He had been lying to himself and now he knew it. There was nothing for him anywhere except madness and violence. And he was starting to accept that, appreciate it even. Swordplay and warfare were the things he was best at, his talent was wasted on carving up hunks of wood or sketching pictures of trees.

He would have to find a good use for his true skill set.

But that would have to come later. With a grunt Tora planted his foot on the dying dog's back and pushed, withdrawing his sword and letting him slump to the floor of the stable to wheeze and gurgle his last breaths. He couldn't watch Inara, could trust that she and her horse could handle it. The whistle of air let him know another blow was coming, the experienced ronin raising his sword arm to deflect the hammer blow heading for his skull. With his head still intact Tora chambered his open hand into a fist at his waist. A twist of his hips sent it forward, the power and momentum gained from the movement enough for him to feel the mutt's ribs crack under his knuckles. The bastard doubled over clutching his side, the rough grunt of pain cut off the sound of his kneecap shattering as the samurai bent his leg the wrong way with a heavy axe-kick.

The attacker was now crippled and helpless on his good knee, his weapon having been knocked from his hands by Tora's iron block. The wolf knew that he should let him go, show mercy and deal with the remaining threat. But he didn't want to. He couldn't and wouldn't let this monster go free. He would heal his wounds and pick up his weapons to strike against the weak and desperate again. The only mercy Tora would show would be making his death a swift one. In one fluid motion his raised his katana and brought it down with a feral war cry, the same one he had used to intimidate members of rival clans back home. The sword sliced threw flesh, fur and gristle with ease before lodging in bone, Tora sawing back and forth until the head was freed from the body and fell to the ground. The mutt stayed upright for a moment, neck stump gushing blood, before toppling over to stain the floor a dark crimson.
Wordcount:500
#6
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Word Count → 467
OOC → words

She could feel and hear her heart pounding in her ears as she descended upon the large man. He was coughing and seeming to have trouble catching his breath after Marlys' kick. When he felt Inara over him, his eyes opened to see her arms in the air and the point of the knife aimed at him. His hands fought to come up as she thrust the knife down at the soft point between neck tendon and collar bone. That sweet soft spot that looked so vulnerable and a path of least resistance.


His hands caught her, but her eyes and body were focused and she leaned into her thrust with a snarl. Nothing around her mattered, she saw nothing but where she desired to sink the blade. He body lifted from him as the claws of her feet dug into the earth. The blade just a hair length away, and her eyes looked up into her opponent. A coldness she knew she had came to the front of her being, and yet she felt so detached from herself when she saw the panic in his eyes. There was no empathy for him. He had insulted and harassed her one too many times.


She continued to watch his eyes when she felt the point of the blade break flesh and sink easily into his throat. He gagged and blood coughed out from his mouth hitting her in the face. The coldness slipped from her eyes as she realized she was about to suffocate someone with their own blood. She sunk back letting go of the handle of the blade. Inara watched in shock as he scrambled to pull the blade from his throat while coughing and gasping for air only to have more blood flood his airways. All the dancer could do was watch in shock.


It felt like time had slowed as the made scrambled finally pulled the blade away, but Inara could see that he was weakening. He looked at her meeting her gaze with fear, angry, and a plea for for his life that she could not give. He fell reaching for her and she leaned away, even kicked herself back away from him further while the blood pulled around his head.


Inara stared frozen. Her breath coming and going rapidly from the adrenaline still coursing through her veins.


..I..I killed someone. She continued to stare at the lifeless body before her. A lump forming in her throat. I did that...it was me.. She couldn't believe what just happened, but she could not deny it. Inara drew her knees to her chest and when she did so, her eyes caught the sight of blood on her. Quickly, she went to her hands and knees vomiting.

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*Please note that the Images are Artist Interpretation of Inara's actual outfits <3 *
#7
Tora watched the head fall to the floor of the stable as if in slow motion, lips curled in a smile of grim satisfaction. He didn't feel bad for the bastard, for any of them. They had tried to gang up on his friend to assault her and hadn't counted on his presence and now they were paying for it. The world was cold and unjust most of the time, letting good people get hurt for seemingly no reason at all. But sometimes fate decided to let wrongdoing be punished swiftly and violently, and if he was the instrument of justice so be it. It felt good doing something right for once, a feeling he could get used to. Tora turned sharply on his heels to face the remaining bandit but was too slow, spinning about just in time to watch Inara pounce on him. Slowly but surely her borrowed blade sunk deeper and deeper into the culprit's body, burrowing far enough in that by the time it was removed he was already dead.

As the corpse choked on it's own blood Tora stepped forward, cleaning his blade on his robe before sheathing it. He ignored the ugly thud of his skull against the floor, stepping over the body as if it weren't even there. "Good job, you handled yourself well!" the ronin grinned, congratulating her as if he were a proud father who watching his child perform for the first time. But his smile faded as the coydog seized up, realizing just what she was feeling. This was the first time she had killed someone. She wasn't like him, hadn't been molded into a killer from childhood. She was normal and normal people didn't just do something like that without suffering for it. "Hey, hey. It's over." he said soothingly, one hand scooping her face from her face as she vomited and the other wrapping around her in a side hug. "You're safe now, I got you Inara."

Wordcount:339


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