Taming The Beast


Emeline_icon.gif Hannah_icon.gif Junayd_icon.gif

Summary: Hannah comes by to observe Junayd's shift and offer advice, as promised. She manages to humble him enough that he actually accepts the help.

Date It Happened: February 9th, 2002

Taming the Beast

Lin Sister Herbal

The basement of Lin Sister Herbal is a bit dark and smells very heavily of herbs, spices, and teas — much more strongly than the upstairs, as the air is more closed down here. Boxes labeled in marker are crammed onto shelves that line the walls. Some contain stock, others contain decorations, and it's hard to say what the rest might hold. Pushed far back into a corner is a large reinforced cage that has been bolted to the floor and wall. The door is padlocked, deadbolted, and reinforced many times over with several heavy chains, also padlocked. As dusk starts to fall, Junayd has already locked himself in. In one corner is a pile of fresh meat; the man himself is pacing to and fro, dressed in a loose robe.

And, much like her British upbringing, Emeline has brought down a little tray with a teapot on it and tea cups. Tea always soothes the soul. Even shapeshifters. Even people like punky Emeline. "Alright, pansy-boy. I've got some soothing tea for your poor soul and some biscuits, too." Probably not to be eaten. Who knows how long she's had them. "I see you've got the meat right there. I'll just be here to check your lock and then the locks on the doors upstairs and be up to have a lovely night of wondering if you're going to break through your bars and kill me. Comfy?"

The bell on the door is faintly heard. "Hello?" comes a voice from the shop itself. "Is anyone here? I'm looking for Junayd…"

Being more irritable than usual makes joking around a little difficult for Junayd. Everything that comes out of his mouth has an extra bite to it not normally present in his everyday conversation. "Oh who knows, maybe tonight, I just might," he grumbles in a somewhat distracted fashion. His nostrils flare, then he grimaces a little, pausing mid-step. "Yaa Allah, how old are those biscuits?" And then there's the bell and he freezes at the voice. Pacing renews with more vigor and he devolves into snarling under his breath in Arabic.

"You try it and I will haunt you for the rest of your life and just make sure that you never get boffed. Ever. Again." Emeline slides the tea set over toward the cage, but doesn't slip it through. "If you break those, I'll be upset. The biscuits were in the cupboard. I'm sure they're fine." She shrugs, not actually caring much about expiration dates of packaged goods. The sound of the bell upstairs makes her curse under her breath, too. "I thought I locked that. Stay here. Don't…gnaw on anything." Up the basement steps she goes and puts on her best customer service friendly smile. "Hi there, can I help you?" she asks Hannah, trying to sound happy to see her.

"Uh. Yes. Junayd told me to meet him here tonight." Hannah looks a little surprised, like she's not quite sure what she should be saying to Emeline. "He wanted me to um," how to put this? "Sit with him."

"Fine for committing ritual suicide, maybe," is the last snide little remark about the biscuits. Junayd would, in fact, like to gnaw something. The bars, the meat, the teacups, an arm. The closer it gets to full night, the more restless he becomes. He can hear the conversation going on upstairs, and offers his own input in a shout: "She can come down. She's the virgin sacrifice I ordered." Har har. As if she were a virgin.

"Then stop talking about it and get to it," Emeline huffs under her breath at Junayd. Two can be huffy. Eyeing Hannah, she's not exactly sure what to say, or what is safe to say until Junayd shouts out. There's a drawn out sigh and the store keep shakes her head. "Why didn't I just leave him as a cat? Honestly, at least he was quiet then." Without much else to do, she steps out of the way so the other woman can head down the steps. "I…don't know what you're going to do..but…I also don't know how it's going to help."

Hannah shakes her head. "Nothing, tonight." she admits. "I'm just here to observe how he handles his change, and how it overtakes him. We can…work on developing control from there. Just point me to a corner and I can be quiet."

Junayd is still pacing, though now he's gone from to-and-fro to around and around. He doesn't stop even when the women are back in the basement, though he does glance up. "Hello, Hannah," he utters with a steely smirk. "Have a biscuit." Then a glance to Emeline as he moves to the bars at the back of the cage and starts to jerk and shake them with all his might. "Have you checked this? Are you sure it's secure?" Restlessness has given way to nervousness, though it's hard to tell beneath the irritability. He moves from one pair of bars to the next and continues rattling each and every one of them, trying to find a weak spot.
Won't be long now.

It's hard for Emeline not to just eye Hannah. What in the world is she talking about? Observing? Normally when June transforms, Emeline is just as far away as possible. Or, upstairs reading a book and sipping tea. It's not something she really wants to see - her friend turned into a monster. Or, well, more of a monster than he already is. "Alrighty." Focusing on June for the moment, she adds, "They're secure, June. They've been secure. Stop being such a ninny. Have some tea and calm down."

Hannah is like an anthropologist, the way she seems content to watch and observe. "Oh, I wasn't sure if that display or irritability was the onset of his change, or just you know, his nature." says Hannah with a grin. Then oh, "Can I impose on you for some tea, Emeline? I'll bring you a pie next time I come by. I really should have brought one tonight, how rude of me."

"The chains? Did you check the chains?" Because if she didn't, then he is. He gives them several hard yanks, rattling them against the door and bars, then he jerks on the door to check the many locks, too. It's noisy, but if there are going to be people in the room with him during all this, he wants to be extra sure. Not that he doesn't do this sort of thing every single time anyway. As usual, all is sturdy and does not budge.

So of course, he makes a second round, starting with the bars again. "I don't want any damned t— " he starts to snap out, but then he's cut off by the telltale rough jerking sensation in his gut. Junayd doubles over and drops to his knees with a groan, then proceeds to hastily remove the loose robe. Already the skin is starting to ripple around his back and cheeks.

"No no, that's just the charm of June-bug," Emeline tells Hannah dryly. With a deft yank - but careful not to spill the teapot or the cups, she holds it out for the blonde woman. "He's not trusting me, so no tea for him. It's Jasmine." Which is supposed to be soothing and fragrant, something she thought may be good for Junayd before his turn, but he's just not taking to it. "I'll take you up on that pie, though." As for the chains, she just ignores the yanking and pulling, since she had done that earlier. After all, if he gets loose, she's the one that's going to suffer for it. When he disrobes, she purposefully keeps her head turned the opposite way. The last thing she needs tonight is to see a naked Israeli. She's already seen it once before.

Hannah accepts the tea daintily, sipping and observing Junayd with a completely unbothered expression. She's used to nudity, given what she is. "The change isn't dissimilar to that of a werewolf." she remarks. "How do you know him? You don't smell like lovers."

The robe is shoved through the bars, within easy reach for when he'll need it again in the morning, and then Junayd hunkers down to deal with the change just as he always does: by fighting like hell. Always a losing battle, to be sure, but a noble one. The first to change are the eyes, which go from dark brown to bright golden. The rippling along his back and cheeks becomes more pronounced, and in addition to the groans and cries from the man himself, there's the grind of bone and the pop of muscle and sinew. His skin darkens slightly and starts to sprout fur. Muscle mass increases and deforms to accommodate the new shape. It's a slow and painful process, ultimately ending in a huge black feline sprawled out on the floor of the cage panting, momentarily in a haze.

While Emeline isn't really a stranger to nudity on different levels, it's different when it's Junayd. Because, well, it's Junayd. "We're old friends," is her enigmatic answer to Hannah when she responds. "I'm not about to sleep with him." That would just be weird. "And I wouldn't know much about werewolves. Or even what Junayd is, other than what I've observed." As her friend shifts and changes, she remains looking mostly out of the corner of her eyes, just to make sure he's okay, but it's not something she wants to really see.

"Well it's likely to be a long and interesting night, so if you have questions, feel free." Hannah says. She sets her tea down and rises, approaching the cage - she's not stupid, she keeps out of claw snatching range, but she looks the panther right in the eyes.

If Junayd had a tongue that could speak, he'd be refuting that claim of Emmy being not about to sleep with him. Unfortunately, he doesn't even pick up on it. Bit busy clearing the clouds from his now beastly head. Hannah's movement catches his eye and he stares right back at her, eyes glazed at first, but slowly gaining clarity — "clarity" being "bloodthirsty rage", in this case. In one swift movement, he's up and leaping straight for her. Naturally the bars stop him, though they shake just an acceptable amount under the strain. One massive forepaw swings out between the bars and and strains large claws in a vain attempt to snag Hannah and drag her in. All the while, the creature snarls and rages. Good thing the walls are so thick.

And a good thing those bars are thick, too. And ready to handle the strains of a large cat-like creature shoving against them. Though she may not exactly be used to this sort of thing, the clanging only makes Emeline take a good step backward to make sure she's out of reach of paws and snarling. "Mmm…no questions as of yet. If making him control what he does makes him less cranky, however, I'll be eternally grateful."

Hannah doesn't move, and doesn't blink either, when the claw slashes out in front of her. "It's possible. A lot of his problem ties in with his self-loathing. I thin it might genuinely be his biggest challenge." She looks up at Em. "I'll be fine down here. Plenty of tea and such. I want to be here when he wakes up."

A few more lunges proves that the bars are too sturdy to break. The futile slashing proves Hannah is too far out of reach. A little biting proves he can't chew through the bars. Soon, Junayd eases back, ears pinned, lips still peeled back from his fangs and jaws parted in a feline snarl. He starts attacking the chains on the door next, slamming first against the door several times, then biting and tearing at the chains with his claws. All holds well. He's not getting out of there tonight.

Hannah continues to watch him levelly - eventually he'll calm down. Oh, she knows that the moment she edges near, he'll strike - so she simply won't. But he's got an audience, and he knows it. "You turn into a genuine panther." she says. "If I turned into an actual wolf, it might be…better." She lets out a sigh. Not that he can understand her.

"That and the fact that he's yet to boff someone who's not a street cat in awhile," Emeline frowns and gives Junayd a worried look. No matter how much she may fight with the Israeli, she still cares about him. Shifting the tea tray, she starts to head toward the door. "I'll be right upstairs. I have a feeling you'll scream if you need me." With one more look at Hannah and at June, she makes her way up the stairs.

No, he can't understand her. Hannah is talking, but all Junayd hears is, "PREY. PREY. PREY." When Emeline leaves, his gaze snaps to her as she climbs the stairs, but there's no true recognition. His attention is soon on Hannah again. She's closest, and she smells different. Bad-different. Like something that should be killed immediately. But he can't reach her, so he instead settles for turning and tearing into the pile of meat left in the corner of his cage. All the while, his eyes remain locked on Hannah, cold, murderous, and calculating — but definitely not human.

And so the night is spent, with Hannah seeming not to sleep at all, just watching the animal as it paces and growls and feeds, and attempts to take swipes at her. Mindless, or so it would seem. She occaisionally closes her eyes, or gets up and stretches, but for the most part she just watches the animal.

Which turns back into a man in the light of morning in much the same manner as he changed before. Then there is just a bare Junayd on the floor of the cage, surrounded by a few bones from what was once a pile of meat. It takes a little longer for him to come to his senses this time, but once he does, he slowly pushes himself up with one hand and casts a glance at his surroundings. Cage. Still locked. There's a quiet sigh of relief, and then he lays back down again. Five more minutes.

"It's an interesting process, watching you change." Hannah observes. She does not sound tired. She's seated lotus style in front of his cage, at the same precise distance she'd settled in once he'd shifted.

Junayd doesn't move, doesn't open his eyes again. He is definitely tired, and he sounds groggy if not hungover when he speaks: "Funny, 'interesting' isn't the word I'd use." 'Painful', 'stupid', 'horrific'. Those are good descriptors. "It wouldn't be so interesting if there wasn't a cage."
"No, it'd be as interesting, just more of a challenge." she says. "Do you consider animals to be bad?"

Hmnf. Junayd opens his eyes finally, but only to push himself onto his hands and knees. He crawls over to the side of the cage where he'd left his robe and draws it back in through the bars. "Depends on your definition of 'bad'," he mutters as he throws on the robe. "Evil? No. Animals don't have the awareness to be good or evil."

"What you turn into is an animal." Hannah says. "You're not a lycanthrope in the purest sense - we become a combination of man and beast, which is perhaps why what we are seems so horrible. But you become the animal, not a beast that is mixed with man. What you do in that form are the actions of an animal, who is neither good nor bad. Ascribing a judgement on it plays yourself falsely."

Junayd grimaces, turning around to sit cross-legged with his back against the bars and his eyes on something across the room. He didn't bother fastening the robe, but it folds conveniently to keep him modest. "The difference being that I am not an animal. I vaguely remember things sometimes. It may be like a bad dream to me, but it's still memory. It's still me. Just because I can't control it doesn't make me an animal. I'm still a monster." He says it without flinching or self-pity, just disgust.

Hannah shakes her head. "I'm not going to argue with you." she anounces. "In fact, if you're not going to be open to challenging your pre-concieved notions, then we're both wasting time. So why don't you just go ahead and shoot me when you're feeling up to it, because I'm sure it'll be quicker than listening to you bemoan your fate instead of trying to deal with it." She rises to her feet.

Junayd shrugs a little. "If you're willing to throw away the lives of your little pack, then fine by me," he remarks casually. "I'll come by later today." Would he do it? No. But it's a bargaining chip, and he'll use it. He rolls his head back against the bars and closes his eyes again. "A change in terminology isn't going to help me control it any more than hugs and rainbows anyway."

Hannah looks over at him. "First of all, I lost the lives of my pack to you in the alley. Second, you are aware that I can smell it when you're lying, aren't you?" A wheat colored brow lifts. "Let me make this simple for you, June-Bug. In order for you to gain control over the animal you turn into, you're going to have to resolve some of the anger over your situation and over the beast itself. Do you think I don't understand the fear that comes with the loss of control? I do, believe me. But as far as terminology, there's something you need to remember: monster is not synonymous with evil."

The name causes his eyes to snap open and his lip to curl slightly. "Don't call me that," he intones in a low, flat voice. But his eyes close again, and his expression returns to a more serene state. "So I'm not evil. Are you saying that not viewing myself as evil is the way to control it?"

"I'm saying that to begin with being able to gain control, you have to stop being disgusted with yourself and make some kind of peace with your beast." Hannah replies, yawning. "Which is easier said than down, but it starts with being willing to do so, you see. And that's the problem. I can bring the panther to water, but I can't make him drink. Right now Junayd, I'm showing you the oasis, but you're not willing to drink because your reflection disgusts you. You think it's touchy feely nonesense, but consider what you've seen as evidence of my control, and then question my methods."

It does sound like touchy feely nonsense, and Junayd has gotten by fine by sneering at such things — but she's got a point. Obviously something she's doing works. And if he's got to swallow his pride and get down with a little touchy feely nonsense despite the fact that some of her words are rather rankling, then that's what he'll have to do. Junayd leans forward to rest his elbows on his splayed knees and glances over at Hannah, no longer with a sneer or a smirk. "All right, then. We'll try it your way. What should I do?"

Hannah's brow stays lifted. She doesn't believe he's really going to commit to trying. "You have two more nights of this, yes?" she inquires. Tomorrow night, I want you to try something. Don't fight it. Don't fight it at all. Just breathe, let it happen. You may even find the transition is less painful if you do."

No snide remark, no comeback, just a nod. "I'll try." He's been fighting it for years; it's almost instinctual now. He starts to rise to his feet, digging for the keys in the robe's pocket. "Are you coming back tomorrow?"

She really shouldn't confess she'd hoped he didn't have the keys and he'd be stuck there until Emeline got down. "It'll depend." she says. "Jack Spratt's been trying to get my attention. I don't think I have the means to handle him alone, but if I'm holed up here, he might get away with -" she sighs, tired. "Not that I could stop him, regardless. Yes, I'll be here. Please tell Emeline, so she's not surprised?"

Junayd smirks. "Oh, I don't know. I think it's more amusing when she doesn't expect you. You should've seen her face." No, he didn't really see her face either, he was too busy pacing. The chains come off and he works on the deadbolt and padlocks. It's not a fast process. "I'd offer to help, but it would be a little morbid to have me hanging around, don't you think?" What with him being the supposed 'executioner' and all.

"You don't respect the territory. Until you do, you're not welcome in it." Hannah says quietly. "As long as I'm alive, that stands. After you shoot me and mine, you can do whatever you like."

"Good, then, we agree on something." The last of the locks comes undone and Junayd pockets the keys again before, as an afterthought, he fastens the robe. He, apparently, isn't very conscious of nudity either, at least when it's his own. He moves to take an open cardboard box from a nearby shelf and proceeds to clean up the leftover bones. "Thanks for the help," he tosses over his shoulder. It doesn't sound sarcastic. In fact, it sounds fairly genuine. Shocker.

"Let's wait and see if I've actually helped you first, shall we?" And with that, Hannah makes her exit.

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