Cheyenne Point Fucking Unbelievable Chaos, Kaida
#51
She sensed it with a little time to spare, but not much. Others closing in. Other vampires. Drawing near. In the fucking sky. She wasn't very high but still. What the fuck?

There was another vampire who had shown the capacity to fly this night. And fired fucking gunshots at her. That what approached wasn't on that power level and at least in part was deeply familiar didn't quite register in her frazzled and paranoid mind.

So the very second speech hit her ears she was spinning, eyes flaring red as she sought to grab the nearest assailant and fling them with all force toward the ground.

Those plans changed with the immediate recognition of that fucking crane. Her maker's goddamn fetish, plastering its likeness everywhere she could reach. But this was fine. This was good. This was convenient as hell really. She needed to speak with Yuna. Very badly. So she didn't throw, merely held.

"Do not sneak up on me, Tsumura-san." As if she hadn't demonstrated a pattern of rejecting all attempts at open contact. Gesturing with one hand to a nearby rooftop she elevated the large bird so she'd have ample airspace to regain control, then released her hold and sped to the designated spot to land.

Who was this owl? Didn't matter. It wasn't unlike mother to gather her own feeble flock.


hit

#52
It was a frustratingly helpless feeling to be plucked out of the air. She flapped uselessly but did not dare drop the form that would save her life if Kaida decided to attempt to drop her from a great height. In those few fleeting moments, she was at the mercy of her daughter. She supposed that was always the case around her. The girl was too powerful for her own recklessness.

But, she was held aloft, not flung around like a child's plaything. The chastising with met with a sharp tut, and she glanced to the rooftop in question. She did her best to quell her relief that the girl did not immediately flee or turn to violence. She wanted to interface. Alone this time. Or, relatively. Sigfrid was a ghost in the situation, for all she was not meant to be hidden.

Once she felt air beneath her wings once more, she fluttered toward the rooftop. Landing on human feet, she turned to keep Kaida in her eye line. Jaw clenched, body tensed for action. She frowned. "You are too unaware of your surroundings, little dragon." She countered. If someone had wanted to kill her, they easily could have. Though, perhaps that was what she was after tonight.
#53
If it weren't for the child's thoughts, Sigfrid would have been ignorant of the whole situation happening in front of her. The flapping of Yuna's wings hardly offering any sort of insight as to what sort of power was currently being played. She'd known the girl could fly, clearly, but it was not like this was some visible force that Sigfrid could pick up through the naked eye especially when the other was equipt with wings.

Still, just as Sigfrid would have loved to rip the child's head straight from her shoulders, those thoughts were enough evidence that some sort of discussion could be had here. Attacking now would only cause her trouble with Yuna in the future, so as the two made their way towards the roof, Sigfrid would follow. No shifting to human form for her, as she settled atop a vent, tucking her wings in as she prepared to play the silent bystander.

Let the two talk, and if things went south, then she would take it upon herself to intervene.
#54
Little dragon. She'd not heard the simple translation of her given name in some time. Probably New York, but the haze of rage left those memories clouded. Possibly not since Tokyo. More than four decades if that was true, twice her meager living span.

It had an impact she didn't care for, some dumb fucking spasm of affection. Not just for the nostalgia factor, though that was part of it; a vague reminder of better days. Also the recognizable power of the namesake, hinting at Yuna's assurances from not nearly so long ago of seeing her as an equal and intending to treat her accordingly.

She could have done without the "little," but it was part of the memories, a meaningful chunk of all that remained of Asao. And in light of what she sought at the moment, forgivable.

Still, this was an unexpected encounter, Kaida having expected to have to trawl through half a city before possibly stumbling upon her maker. Eager as she was to get to her own designs, a w(e)ary glance was cast to the remaining bird before she excused, "It's been a distracting night."

More pointedly, turning a briefly ruby gaze on the other short woman, "Why are you here?" Hands folded in front of her again, something not entirely unlike her opening posture before Catrina. See how long it lasted this time.
#55
She watched her daughter's face. Half expecting a sneer or coil of a brow to indicate that her words had pulled the pin on the volatile grenade around which both had tentatively agreed to sidestep. But there was an iron force of will that Kaida was using to anchor herself to reason. A distracting night. Yuna nearly laughed at that. Distracting was a miserable understatement. Explosive, destructive, incomprehensibly idiotic... those were words she would use instead, but yes, lets go with 'distracting.'

The question drew a soft breath through her nose as she answered, "Because you are, Kaida." Tone almost, almost edging into exhaustion. Because, truly, she was exhausted by this chase. This game, or whatever it was. Weary of anger, of fear, of resentment, and worry.

"Beauregard called me the moment you appeared to fly in and out of his borders." She continued, keeping the edge of her words tempered, her face rigid, as if it were made of marble. "To call him, the man I warned would kill you if you gave him the reason, a... mm. Petty fucking bitch." A brow rose a hair. Even if she agreed with the sentiment... "Or, was it an old dusty cunt.?" It had been both.
#56
What an unhelpful, strikingly Yuna opening reply. Managing to condescend and provide no information at all. Fucking classic. What came after didn't exactly drive her into comfort and ease. Apparently the pusty bunt had just everyone's number and was a great fan of controlling the narrative. That both dominas ate that shit out of his fucking palm was pretty goddamn galling.

No immediate response was forthcoming, dark gaze holding steadily on the woman who seemed to be torpedoing this parley from the start. God this was just fucking like her, the scolding and jumping to conclusions and only deigning to ask for clarification in the most belittling, rub-your-fucking-nose-in-it kind of way.

The ledge was right there. She could show Yuna exactly what that prick's opening play had been, what provoked all her entirely fucking accurate christenings.

But.

This was good. This was reminding her exactly what she'd be signing up for if she followed through with her burgeoning plan. Pretty fucking insufferable. But maybe worth it. It was nothing she couldn't deal with. Because she was a goddamn dragon.

Finally she did speak, hands remaining where they clasped and gaze drilling right into her creator's pupils. Fucking try it. "Would you like to know what happened, or do you prefer the half-overheard version you've let Beauregard ram up your ass?"
#57
Yuna did not miss the eye contact, nor did she shy from it. There was the compulsion to lace her next words with magic. It was truly the only solution to any of this. Violence would only result in death, or damage beyond any kind of repair. And speaking, negotiating and addressing the chasm that'd opened between them... it was possible, but what if it failed? What if her words did not impact in the right ways? What if Kaida refused her advice and request to veer from this path she was forging ahead of herself? Her choices would grow incredibly slim, then.

There might not be another chance at it. The was not trust displayed, it was a challenge, but Yuna knew that it was not likely to be abiding. Ultimately, a suggestion would have to be worded subtly, carefully. And, it would have to succeed. The tension between them was too electric for her to feel confident in the risk. She had to wait.

Leveling her gaze, she let the girl sling her shit like a petulant chimp. When she was finished, she answered, "That is why I tracked you down. I did not trust all of what he told me." There had to be more to the story, naturally. At least, Yuna wanted very much to believe there was. There would be guilt later for the assumptions made based on scarce fact, if it turned out that Kaida had not been the one to provoke at all. She wished she had had more doubt when the phone had hung up. Her apartment bathroom and the soles of her feet had suffered the consequences.
#58
Hm, it appeared all the affection that Yuna felt for this brat was entirely one-sided, which was not nearly as surprising as it should have been. It had been clear from the start that this 'daughter' only cared for herself, and had an ego that hardly equated to the amount of power that she held. A couple hundred years or so under her belt and she continued to act and dress like the teenager she was not.

Continued to push boundaries, even when she knew that she was outnumbered. It was truly a miracle that the girl had survived this long, no doubt, through the help of her blinded 'mother'.

A shift of her body as the brats thoughts turned to violence, prepared to intervene if necessary but unneeded as the thoughts turned to something new. Apparently, Yuna hadn't been the only one wanting to talk tonight.
#59
Yeah, that's fucking right. Despite being angry as fuck right now—even beyond this just being the default setting when face to face with this bitch—Kaida's lips peeled into a sharp grin at Yuna's words. Yuna's completely mundane words.

You don't fucking dare. Because she'd know. Yeah she'd fucking know! This wasn't some pull the wool bullshit, some careful dance as each tried to feel out an unknown quantity. Both held equal power as far as the magic was concerned. Both could drive words into the other's brain, and both would absolutely fucking know it was happening how ever fucking ninjutsu they tried to be about it. God, she could drop in her own, like she'd done at that shitty masquerade.

But that wasn't why she was here. This was... Fuck, this was the opportunity that you were blindly grasping for, Kaida. Don't fucking blow it being petty. Ugh.

"Uh huh," dripped sardonically from those painted lips, the on edge vampire unable to follow her own advice fully. But she'd try all the same. "I went there to find out why some video of nothing has the prick wanting me dead. I wasn't about to meet him where he could drop me with a thought." Basic fucking survival precaution she'd learned from you, Yuna.

"So yes, I lured him to the border. Insecure piece of shit took the high ground immediately. And when I moved to join him on the rooftop so we could say fucking anything to each other, he..."

Fuck, what even? It was all such a blur. But bird, then plummet. Then she'd started screaming at him. So... that must have been when he called? She didn't fucking know, but he couldn't have done so the minute she crossed the border if the phone also picked up her insults. Wouldn't have even known it was her until he arrived, right? Fuck, whatever. It didn't matter.

"The petty fucking bitch, who can turn into a little sparrow—"Kaida didn't really know birds, but it seemed important to be specific that it was a weak, shitty little thing given the owl and sometimes-crane standing before her"—by the way, somehow turned off my ability before I could reach the top. Tried to drop me back to the sidewalk."

Kaida adjusted her stance, separating her hands to keep her great strength from crushing her own knuckles as she clenched a fist. Still eyed her mother alone, not giving a shit for the bird she'd brought. Still held eye contact. "So tell me again, Yuna, who's given whom reason for murder?"
#60
She could have done without the display, but she had come to expect it of Kaida. It was all for the purpose of defacing any credibility or respect Yuna was deserving of, especially in the presence of someone who clearly was allied with her. Be it posturing for a friend, or spitting on her feet before an ally, Kadia did nothing but make a fool of herself in her attempts. Yuna resolved not to supply her with the satisfaction of hitting her marks. Better that she learned that her teenage antics were useless.

Yuna listened intently to the story her daughter told, trusting that Sigfrid would fill in the holes that Kaida inevitably left in the weave of it. Any dropped stitches would be caught by her telepathic companion.

She had gone to confront Beauregard. A rogue with a single powerless companion there to knock on the doorstep and demand answers from a Dominus about why he found it in his power to make threats against her life. Why had she not just taken the advice and avoided the area entirely? What did she possibly think would come of the encounter? Even if they spoke, as she seemed to have intended, what could have been the result? An apology from Beauregard? Unlikely.

He had taken the high ground. She would have, too. If a rogue had come to pester the border, specifically with the intention of drawing her attention, why would she walk directly into the situation? Perhaps cowardly, but it was better than strolling into some sort of ambush. He had surveyed from the rooftop, which Kaida had naturally attempted to fly to.

So. A rogue at the border, clearly intending to interact, suddenly flying into the air. The Dominus; in a sparrow's form; had responded by... turning the power off. Was that his ability, then? Neutering those around him? It was too befitting of a man whose only balls were two flying rodents bundled on his shoulders. It had more or less been an attempt to harm her in some way, if not for the sake of preserving himself. It ignited some ire within Yuna to know, but truly the flame was already there to be stoked.

Kaida seemed to have lost whatever resolve she'd had when approaching this foolhardy plan when that happened. This also must have been when Beauregard called her, no doubt intent to embarrass her. It had worked to do more than that. Embarrass and terrify. The fear that there would be nothing to find of her daughter but ash after the phone had cut out had driven her to a frenzy she would not forgive. He'd surely be delighted to know what he'd done.

Kaida concluded with a question that sunk the final piece into play. The reason for her attempting this meeting with Catrina. Kaida wanted to kill Beauregard. The notion nearly made her laugh. For threatening her life, and dropping her out of the air when she'd stupidly confronted him, she wished to murder a Dominus. It was... idiotic. Did she think that she could convince a Clutch to actively target the leader of another? As if the entirety of Eventide Clutch would not exact its revenge?

Jaw tight, Yuna questioned the logic, "Is that what you intend to do? Kill him now that he has slighted you?" A slight that could have been avoided if she had just listened.
#61
Sigfrid hardly found any enjoyment within the "child's" mind, a constant source of needless validation for the stupid actions that the vampire continued to do time and time again. If she was this old, and still thought herself strong enough to fight not one but two vampires of equal strength, then Sigfrid could hardly see her making it in the world for much longer, especially when there were two other Clutches surrounding the city. Soon to be three.

Eventually one of them would snuff her out, even if "mother dearest" wished for her "daughter's" life to be long and full. There were just some things in the world that weren't possible when the opposing party refused to change, and based on the "child's" attitude changing was impossible for her.

She could only imagine what it was like to live life so ignorantly, so absurdly cocky that you would actually think yourself on standing ground with not one, but two vampires of equal power. How stupid you had to be, to continue to think that if Yuna did decide to suggest this insufferable brat, that she'd have absolutely any chance of retaliating. It was enough to have Sigfrid tucking her wings in tighter, a shifting of feet as she focused on the story that starting to unfold.

No glaring differences between the words and thoughts had Sigfrid believing that she was telling the truth, or at least the truth that she knew. There were gaps here that only Beauregard could fill after all, but at least the "child" wasn't attempting to lie right to their faces. "It seems to be the truth." She'd kindly inform Yuna, via her mind, not looking to interrupt the current flow of conversation, or reveal her power just yet.

Even when the disregard that was being thrown her way had her wanting to recreate the bloodlust scene that she'd witnessed back during their first meeting.
#62
Oh, Yuna did love to use that tone. "Don't mind me, I'm just asking a simple question, making sure I understand. Except just kidding, I'm insulting your basic comprehension of reality." Kaida wasn't about to play that fucking game and ignored the subtext outright.

No, she only smiled, thin but wide and toothy. "It is."

And then the reason she hadn't followed through with the impulsive threat to cast the helplessly flapping crane down to the asphalt. "And if you want me to tolerate your presence, forgive your meddling, and accept your incessant mothering..." She clasped her hands once more, the pulse of nearly uncontrollable rage fading back below the surface.

"If you want me back, then you're going to help."

And damn, if that wouldn't have been a good place to push for utter dominance with the lingering eye contact. She hadn't thought of it until the moment the last word slipped her lips though.
#63
The truth, Sigfrid informed her. There was some comfort in not being outright lied to, though it did little to dampen the fire that was boring into the caverns of her chest, heating everything to a red blaze. She did not look away from her daughter, the eyes that stared back into hers, their teeth proverbially locked. The smile was answer enough, and Yuna dreaded what was coming next. Kaida's was the face of someone who had the upper hand and knew it. Yuna braced herself for it, her jaw twitching with the effort of keeping her face placid, porcelain.

The words threatened to shatter it. An ultimatum. If she wanted her toleration. Her forgiveness for meddling. Her incessant mothering. Each word was a slash with claws Yuna had sharpened herself. The girl before her was built in the image of herself and Asao, a precision cut sculpture of their idealism. She was built for things like this. For being a coal through snow, a snake through grass. Exacting, precise, deadly in her manipulation. Something had gone wrong when Asao had been taken from them. Both had been the forge for her, but he had been the whetstone that kept her sharp. Yuna had done a poor job of keeping her in line. Now she was jagged and messy, cutting her way bluntly through things.

She had forgotten entirely where she had come from. What ashes she'd been built through. Who had raised her from them.

After years of running, snubbing Yuna the chance to redeem what she'd broken, Kaida was now making a bargain. Holding her heartbreak ransom. Because she wanted something. A fruitless, stupid something. Something that would only result in the culmination of both their lives being reduced to nothingness in an instant. For what? A petty grudge? What would she gain from it, if they were successful. An entire Clutch of loyal members seeking to redeem the life of their Dominus. A war. She had allies, but they were few and weaker than the two bats that Beauregard wore. She would not endanger them for the sake of her daughter's hair-brained vengeance.

She would not endanger herself for it, either. Unlike Kaida, Yuna valued her life. Valued eternity.

If she wanted Kaida back, then she was going to help. But that was the key. She would not get her back. Even if both survived. She was not getting her Kaida back.

Her hand clenched tightly as she exhaled steadily, the impulse to drive a palm across the smug face before her was nearly impossible to quell. Never once had she struck her daughter, but now she found nothing more would please her. But it would only result in more violence. They would tear one another apart. Or, she would be joined in miserable matrimony to the pavement. So instead, she spoke sharply, quietly, with every intention of binding her words with magic,

"Do nothing but listen to me, Kaida." She said with conviction, stepping forward as she did so. Prepared for it to fail. Prepared to take flight. Prepared to do what she had to to stop something she had let go on for far too long.


Success.

#64
It was a very good thing that Sigfrid was currently in the form of an owl, otherwise, a smile would be found clear as the day upon her features, although it was hardly out of any sort of mirth. No this was rage that filled Sigfrid, unfiltered and ever-growing for the brat that was currently standing here in front of her. A brat that had respect for neither Yuna nor any of the leaders that she'd come across, no respect for the power or positions that they held.

There was a difference between confidence and stupidity, and it was very clear which side of the spectrum this child chose to stand upon.

Oh, if it wouldn't have risked her place in this growing Clutch, Sigfrid might have rid them all of the problem right then and there, but as it stood, she was bound by Yuna's pointless mercy. Left to stand there and listen to the constant prattle of this girl's mind, although not any longer. No, the moment that the demand had left the child's lips, Sigfrid's power switched away from the girl mind and focusing instead on the woman that would one day call herself leader... That is if Sigfrid liked what she was hearing.

Immediately upon entering, Sigfrid would be slapped with thoughts of rage, contentment filling her to find that the whining thoughts of a "mother" were no longer here. She was quite plainly seeing her "daughter" for what she was, and this was good, this put her back on a path where they could make some progress. A path where they could rid themselves of their chains, and fly a bit higher, prove that they were not a Clutch to be messed with, a Clutch that could so easily be manipulated by a child.

Or perhaps, Sigfrid simply held too much hope for Yuna, for while rage did fill her thoughts, no action was being taken. A suggestion put into place to allow more talking, as if any of her words had held any effect on the brat before. As if someone with absolutely no cognitive thinking could ever wrap their head around what needed to be done. What needed to be changed.

Eyes narrowing in her displeasure, Sigfrid would watch the same scene play out a second time. Only now the "daughter" could not move.
#65
It was gratifying. Kaida was too used to misplaced rage, feelings she recognized there was virtually nothing she could do about. In Yuna's case the only thing holding her back was her bullshit archaic sense of decorum, this thing that had been oppressing her throughout her short and awful life—like Kaida's—but that she'd never found the courage to shed. There were a lot of things that applied to with her mother, a lot of things that sparked derision and loathing in Kaida. But watching Yuna stand there, hurt and helpless and trapped by her own fucking pride was a golden moment to be cherished.

It didn't last.

Dark eyes widened as the words struck, as the magic shot through her brain. It was always fascinating, how any given mind took and interpreted the imprecision of language. She'd often wondered if she couldn't train hers to somehow reliably take any implanted impulse in the most lenient way. It was a secret she'd not yet unlocked, if indeed it ever could be, and her vicious consciousness left room for very little in the face of these words.

Standing still was not new. It was her habit, when things were too much. When she needed a moment. If she wasn't yet lashing out, then rather than shake with building fury she would often grow very still, the corpse of her body refusing to show the slightest twitch while her mind whirred through how she could inflict the most harm.

It was different when given no choice. Violently so. Violatingly so. The enforced stillness, the loss of control over her own body... It harkened back ninety years. More. To a time when her body was not her own, when she never had say over what was done with it.

Perhaps this wasn't so different from what she regularly inflicted, claiming dominion and whipping physical forms through the air at her sadistic whim. She didn't fucking care. She didn't fucking care!

Kaida raged that she should suffer this, and at the hands of one who had once, long ago, freed her from it. Fire thrashed inside her head, hatred and shock and that fury that had so frequently seen her abandon her own carefully laid plans. I hate you. I'm going to kill you.

Kaida stood impassively, hands clasped demurely before her, expression stuck in a wicked smile half fading into surprise. Eyes blazing red, but accomplishing nothing.
#66
There was no gratification in it. Only cold, hard reassurance that she would not be flung into the air the moment she said her piece. But to watch her daughter's face harden into stone, to see the light in her eyes a blaze, like two hot coals sinking into snow. She was disgusted that it had come to this. Whatever misstep she had taken, whatever faith she had forsaken, how had it come down to forcing her daughter into compliance? She was not unaware of the violation, of the resonance with which the act echoed trauma that both had endured in their lives.

Still, she was angry. Disgraced. If it had to come to this, then it was Kaida who had driven her hand. Kaida who had run, who had snubbed her, who had threatened her. It had taken this long for her to actively seek a conversation, and what was it for? A deathwish. Nothing productive, nothing redeeming. A stupid, senseless stroke of ego. She had half a mind to burn the girl to dust there, be done with her entirely. Whatever daughter she had risen, she seemed to have flown the coop.

But, she stood where she was, not unaware of Sigfrid's presence. Without the woman, she might had devolved into emotional wailing, possibly tears. It both would have accomplished nothing, and stripped her of what was left of her dignity tonight. She would maintain that.

Jaw tight, she inhaled, then spoke, "You may do as you wish when I give you permission." She intended to instill, but the magic fell flatly. She would try again later. If that indeed failed, they would find a place to tuck Kaida's frozen figure, safe from the sun to wait out the limitations of the suggestion. For now, she frowned tightly, and continued, "From the moment I fed you my blood," She reminded the girl, whos crumpled body she could see still, laying on the floor of her establishment. "Everything I have done was in your interest. To make you stronger. Us stronger." She gestured between them, her words acidic.

"When we lost Asao..." She bit her tongue, sure she could taste venom on her tongue, "We lost too much." She decided instead, her head tilting sharply down. Her nostrils flared, and she righted herself. "My attempt to rebuild was flawed. And you left. I did not want to force you back to me." She had taken too long to search for her. It was the only conclusion she could have drawn from the bad blood. She had made the mistake of letting her daughter use the wings she'd gifted her, and realized too late that without the breath of her little dragon, she had nothing for kindling. No reason to continue to survive.

Yuna was a proud, ambitious woman. Power was something she demanded out of undead life, given she had been denied it so many times in her human life. But she was not selfish. Not inherently. What was the point of power if not to share it with those she deemed most valuable to her? Those she cared most about. Losing Asao had been nearly cauterizing. She might have stepped into the sun if she had not had Kaida to continue to give her purpose.

"But, I will not be bargained with." She established. "I will not be stupid. I will not be played." Let it be known. She was no complying, spineless widow that would do anything to be loved again.

"You are strong, Kaida." She ground out, jaw tight. What an awful waste. "You have purpose. It is not to be turned to ash by a man." Her true death could not reflect her first.

"If you wish to best him, then grow stronger. I will help you do that. Triumph does not have to come from blood." There were other ways to go about it. She did not have to waste her potential before she fully realized it. "I will not touch Beauregard. Not while my clutch is in its infancy. Not while we both do not know our full strength." That said, she lifted a slender finger, as if Kaida had the ability to interrupt at all.

"Return to me, return to the girl I know can conquer. We will grow stronger together. And then, if you still find it worth your time to harm him, we will cripple him. We will kill his Praetor. She is the one who he answers to." She was interested to know how easily the Clutch would crumble without her. What a was leader without a backbone?


Failure

#67
When Yuna gave permission. Kaida could do as she wished, when Yuna gave permission. Canny enough to recognize the words for what they were, it was nevertheless an alternate meaning that sank into her brain even as the magic feebly fizzled around her.

Control. As with everything else in the world, it was only ever about control. Yuna loved her, so long as she could subdue her. The same subjugation Kaida'd experienced every one of her living days, this mother figure had sought to prolong. Superficially different, but no less oppressive. Trading sexual slavery for the bondage of gratitude. Less overtly repugnant, gilded chains masquerading as freedom.

It colored her every word as a lie, right up until she uttered Asao's name. It was a reminder that... In some withered corner of Kaida's mind, she held those memories—those few brief years, less than a decade—as sacred. She had been... happy. Born of ignorance, maybe, but happy all the same. Satisfied. Hopeful. Maybe back then Yuna was all the things she claimed to be. More likely Asao was equally odious, and he just died too quickly for Kaida to ever realize, carving her image of him in immutable stone.

Regardless, whatever worthiness and truth Yuna may have once carried had fallen to ash with her husband. Every moment since revealed only a feeble inability to adapt, running back to her old methods of exerting control at every opportunity. Drenching herself in the filth they'd both been raised in, and splashing it all over Kaida as well. Weakness she only barely confessed now. Flawed. Did not want to force.

Ha, no. She wanted to cajole. She wanted her willing lackey, her shield and weapon. Her greatest creation and most crushing failure. While Kaida wanted ever to rise above. Literally, eventually.

And now came the chastisement. The disappointed mother who knew best, paired with naked flattery that meant nothing. Kaida was strong, stronger than she'd ever been because she'd at last cast off the chains of you, Yuna.

Every promise rang hollow in her furious mind. She'd seen more, done more, become more in her time away from her creator's influence than she ever had in her shadow. Equals. Ha! This meeting was a mistake. Three domini had been sought in one night, and every one of them proved unworthy of consideration. Unworthy of words. She was through with words. Kaida hated how easily her attempts were slapped aside. She hated the insensible death sentence with no meaningful cause, the scheming matron of Devin's seeking to dominate the girl as they all always did. She hated the empty husk of maternity before her, showing and speaking of everything she might have become had she not broken away.

Kaida hated. Purer and simpler than any of the convoluted conspiracies she never managed to see through, Kaida only hated.

Yuna was perhaps three words away from finishing when the loud click sounded from her daughter's rigid mouth. Teeth split open, lips unwillingly parting further to accommodate the lengthening cuspids. Her face lengthened by degrees as well, cheeks growing slightly more gaunt as the back of her jaw dropped, no longer firmly affixed to her skull by anything but taut, presently useless musculature. The truly unfortunate part was her hands. Clasped frozen together, they were latched too tightly to readily separate. So the knife edges of killing claws grew directly through one palm, points sliding out the back of that hand just below her knuckles.

It was agony, slow and steady, but it didn't matter. She couldn't react. Warped smile and burning gaze remained locked on the familiar face she waited to mindlessly rip apart. Dark ooze began to slowly drip from her fingertips onto the rooftop.
#68
Sigfrid's attention would pull back towards the frozen girl as Yuna began her speech, hopeful that this would be the final attempt made to sedate the "child" and chain her back down to a reasonable attitude. Hopeful, but very much doubtful, for this girl had proven time and time again that she could not be taught, and all the lessons that she'd been taught tonight and all the nights before, had flown right above her head. In through one ear and out the other.

Much like Yuna's words seemed to be doing now.

While Sigfrid was happy to hear that there would be no attack made against Beauregard any time soon, Kaida seemed to take this as a direct insult. Sigfrid assumed that she was the type to believe that if you were not one hundred percent with her then you must be entirely against her. No compromises could be made here, not from what Sigfrid could see.

As far as attacking Eventide in the future... Sigfrid would simply have to see which Clutch held the greater odds, and the better benefits.

The hate that the "child" held for her "mother" was so blatantly obvious through her thoughts that Sigfrid had half the mind to relay them back to Yuna, to let her hear just how differently her "daughter" felt, just how hopeless a case she was. There was something that stalled her though, a small bit of pity perhaps, or simply an unwillingness to do the work that the task required.

Regardless, as Sigfrid realized that this girl had been through a similar situation as them both, she could understand the reasoning as to why she'd turned out the way she had. Both Yuna and Sigfrid had grown stronger through their experiences, moved past the trauma, and turned it into a weapon however this girl had decided to make it her greatest weakness instead.

Continued to let the past haunt her, and sway the decisions that she made today. It was not her fault, not entirely, but that did not mean that Sigrfid would start coddling her as Yuna did. It did not mean that she pitied the girl so much that she'd allow her to continue living if it meant trouble for her in the future.

If it meant that she was going to bloodlust on this fucking roof.

Irritation flaring, Sigfrid would move from her place, shifting back to her usual form as she stalked towards the frozen "child", blue eyes glaring into red. "Stop bloodlusting." A sharp command embedded with magic that thankfully stuck, but left Sigfrid with some regret that she couldn't have suggested more.


Hit

#69
It was a miserable sight to behold. A body; a mind; breaking in place. She watched in stony horror as her daughter's rage devoured her from the inside out, a parasite that mutated her. It was some other thing wearing Kaida's skin. Yuna could only watch as her choices narrowed. She had to force her to stop, but she had only magic enough to try one more time to reverse her paralysis. She would not unleash a bloodlusted creature into their laps.

Sigfrid was in motion before Yuna could concoct a plan. She braced to spring herself forward after the woman if she made any move to touch Kaida. She trusted Sigfrid to help her build the Clutch, she trusted her not to make Reignhart an unsafe place for vampires, but she knew that those ideas were supported by the philosophy of removing potential threats. Kaida had proven to be a shining example of one. Sigfrid had implied that she was willing to hold Yuna true to her word on the matter when Yuna had first mentioned Kaida. An agreement on what would become of continued issues.

Sigfrid could very well deem Kaida worthy of eradicating while she was vulnerable. It would be a brazen, stupid move. It would not be something Yuna could likely forgive, even if Yuna herself was harshly coming to the conclusion that her options were limited. If Kaida was to die, Yuna wanted it to be by her own hands. She would be blinded by vengefulness, driven mad by hatred for anyone else that might do it. If it was herself, at least she could find some internal way of vindication.

She would not have to worry about it, tonight, at least. Sigfrid paused, instead attempting to disarm Kaida with a poignant command. Jaw tight and feeling nearly on the verge of splitting despite her earlier expenditure of energy, Yuna grounded herself as she began to approach in slow steps. Silent for the moment, intensely watching her daughter's husk for signs that the suggestion had worked.
#70
Feed! Enemies in the way! Rrrrrgh! Kill! Kill then flee! Kill then feed! Kill now! Move forward! Claws drive up under chin! Pierce the tongue, grip the jaw! Rip it off!

Kaida's primitive mind, capable of conceiving nothing but fantastically brutal violence, was wholly ignorant of why her honed and lethal body wasn't following any of its simple commands. The subsequent frustration only served to drive her deeper into a frenzy. Until quite suddenly her vision filled with blue and these one track thoughts hit an abrupt dead end.

The devolution into a frothing beast had been organic, predictable, familiar. Even comfortably enjoyable, though it wasn't the sort of thing she'd admit. Slipping into bloodlust was invariably embarrassing, but god, the power once she was there. It was so much easier when so little mattered.

But here she was, ripped back to the layered and nuanced thoughts and motivations, long-festering anger and new frustrations mingling with wary instincts for self-preservation and—most annoyingly—the petulant ghost of familial affection. For a a few glorious seconds she'd been free of all of it, a being of undiluted rage, but this escape was taken from her as with all things.

And goddammit, her hand hurt. Dark blood continued its lazy, viscous drip onto the rooftop, like black jello that had been pulled out of the fridge too soon. It didn't matter. Who the fuck was this blonde bitch? That didn't matter either. What mattered was her helplessness now.

It was the bar with what's-her-name all over again, after the fight. This fucking sense of overwhelming uncertainty, not knowing at all what she was about to do, what she even wanted to do. Impulses yeah, but would they help? They often... didn't. Fuck. Was it better or worse that she was being forced into this position now? Worse, she immediately decided. The self-inflicted paralysis was fucking garbage, but this...

She wanted to kill both these imperious motherfuckers still. Very badly. But she'd been forced to see how rationally idiotic the attempt would be. Goddammit. Uncertain, she tried to look between them, dart her gaze from one to the other.

But of course she couldn't.
#71
The savage thoughts of a bloodlusting vampire were hardly ever anything coherent, Sigfrid would pay it very little mind as she focused instead on watching the brat's predatory anger melt away into harmless bitching. She wanted them both dead, which was understandable to some degree, Sigfrid would probably want the same if their positions were switched, however they were not, and the brat was in a pretty compromised state.

If Yuna wished for the "child" to become ash tonight, there was hardly anything that could be done to stop it.

The idea brought a smirk to her lips, brow raising purposefully at the brat before disappearing back into a face of neutrality as Yuna made her way closer. A few steps back to offer the woman the space she needed to continue this troublesome talk that she just had to have with her "daughter".
#72
There was a tense moment in which Yuna suspected it had not worked. Her mind reeled with solutions, with possibilities and outcomes of letting the bloodlust run its course. The damage to the hand. Those worries dissipated in seconds. The bloodlust melted away from Kaida, the beast retracting its hold on her and slinking back into the shadows where it lurked. Sigfrid stepped away, and Yuna took her place, eyes boring into Kaida's still gaze.

"I want to have a conversation with you, Kaida." She told her levelly. "But I cannot do that when I fear you slinging me into the pavement or shredding me with ugly claws." It was reasonable, was it not? She had muzzled her before she had the chance, to make sure she had the silence and stillness she needed to impress upon Kaida the parameters of the situation. Now, she was ready to speak with her, not at her.

"When I say the word "fly", you are free to do as you wish." And this time, she tasted success in the back of her throat. It relaxed her. They would not have to move her daughter's helpless body.

"Before I do so." She stated with a lifted finger, "I want to remind you that the wrong move would be to harm myself and my companion. You are not stupid, despite your stunt this evening. I will give you a moment to decide."

She trusted Sigfrid to convey what that decision might be.


Success

#73
Oooh, she'd fucking remember that look. Owl bodies splatter against brick as well as human, you bitch. She wanted to glare back. She wanted to do a lot more than that. This whole fucking thing had gotten pretty goddamn old pretty goddamn quick.

Attention, if not exactly visual focus, returned to Yuna as she began speaking once more. Blah blah, I want to talk, blah blah, please don't hurt me. What the fuck did she think they had left to say? What possible reaction could she ever garner from this violation beyond immediate ash-scattering reprisal?

God, she was working her way back up to bloodlust. And here was Yuna giving her cause not to lean into that. Kaida knew how this worked; whatever mysterious energy fueled their mindfuckery, Yuna was pretty well out. The smirky blonde corpse still had plenty, but Kaida was fully loaded. What struck her, though, was a pair of deductions.

Yuna wouldn't have wasted all this energy on undoing the vulnerability she'd inflicted if she was really considering ashing her here on this roof. So any panicked mental thrashing for her own survival could be tabled. Secondly... the transparent flattering bullshit could be turned around. Yuna wasn't stupid. Vile, annoying, a condescending cunt, and the biggest goddamn hypocrite walking the planet, but she wasn't unintelligent. There was something here, some... assurance she must have had. How could she fucking know, have any clue at all, that she wouldn't have her skull caved in against the nearest solid object the very second she released her?

Again her eyes tried to shift to the backup Yuna'd brought. Was that it? Had to be. Kaida knew Yuna, knew her feel and her mind. Neither had drastically changed in their time apart, she'd decided. Her little poison games didn't mean shit. So it had to be this other woman. What was she, some power canceler like Beauregard? More reason to hate her. Whatever. She had to have something up her sleeve.

Goddammit, fine. She wasn't going to have survived two bullshit domina encounters just to flare out forever here with her fucking mother. Don't get sacrificed, the dumb fucking thing she'd said to Devin and hoped the girl was listening to. Better take the advice herself. Outnumbered. Fuck.

So no trying to shatter bones or rip off heads. But she was absolutely going to maintain this eye contact with Yuna, keep that weapon cocked, and see what fucking happened.
#74
Oh, she was so scared.

Sigfrid had not lived for over a thousand years to tremble at every threat that was thrown her way, and she'd certainly faced scarier foes than the forever teenager that stood frozen before her. If she really wanted to cause damage to either her or Yuna, then it was probably best that she learn to control her temper, or else she'd always be fairly easy to manipulate.

Interesting to see that she did have somewhat of a brain on her shoulders though, deducting fairly quickly that Sigfrid was the assurance here. Wrong power, but one that Sigfrid would graciously accept if it meant that this whole night could go smoothly. It had become increasingly clear that the brat would not be dying on the roof tonight, so Sigfrid would at least like to leave without creating a whole scene.

Unlikely that they'd ever get a chance like this again if things didn't work out though, wasted opportunity on Yuna's part.

"She's realized her position, I think." She would shoot off towards Yuna, "No intention to use her powers on us as she thinks I have the same power that she encountered with Beauregard, however, she does plan to try suggestion."

More than that, she did wonder if this Devin was going to become an issue for them as well, especially when she appeared to be working with Catrina.
#75
It was a strange thing to hear words that were not your own in your mind. It felt in many ways intrusive. Dirty. But Sigfrid was a boon to her in immeasurable ways. Even if it was against her own daughter, even if Yuna felt the bile of guilt creep up her throat at the idea of sundering Kaida's mind. It was for the best that she knew every facet of this parley, if she had any hope of navigating it successfully.

In the pregnant moments of silence, Yuna remained quiet, eyes boring into Kaida's as the news reached her. There would be no immediate violence, only an attempt to exact immediate revenge upon her. To use the eye contact as an estuary of whatever shit she intended to spill into Yuna's mind. Quickly, in those fleeting seconds, she thought back, "What does she intend to suggest?"

It would determine if she would dam the canal, move her gaze away, and let her daughter feel entirely scorned.
#76
If Sigfrid could determine what that might be, she would have told Yuna, but unfortunately, it appeared that the brat wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do either. A constant shift of thoughts that were hard to keep up with, and didn't seem to settle on one common theme.

Both annoying and good, it showed that the girl wasn't fully intending to fight back, but it also made her very unpredictable and if there was one thing Sigfrid detested most in life, it was unpredictable things.

"She doesn't even seem to know," Sigfrid answered eventually. "It could be any number of things, so probably best not to tempt fate." What if for some reason she landed, and then Sigfrid was left with two frozen vampires.
#77
Impulsive. Everything Kaida did was impulsive. It was heartbreakingly disappointing.

Yuna sighed softly. All of this was so pointless. Her faith in Kaida's intelligence was waning. Her confidence that there was still hope yet for the girl was feeble. Some logic told her to leave her here. She would burn in the sunrise, cease to be a problem, cease to waste all of her limitless opportunities. But she could not bring herself to do it. Not like this. If it came to the point of killing her, it would not be by abandonment.

Though, wouldn't that be so poetic? She would kill her by the same means Kaida was hurting her. Leaving.

"Fly." She said after what was really only a couple of moments. Her eyes shifted to Kaida's lips, expecting screaming or slurs to fly from them.
#78
Taking her fucking time, wasn't she? Granted no further clues about specifically what the other woman was capable of to reassure Yuna, Kaida could only assume her mother was reveling a little longer in the powerlessness she'd inflicted. The thought lit anew the fire of violence in her long stilled heart. What an offensive indignity for someone of their shared history to inflict.

But it was still two on one, and Kaida's impulsiveness had its limits. She made no move to retaliate when the word was uttered and her mental prison released. She made no move at all for several moments, remaining as still as she'd been forced to be.

It was her goddamned body and she'd adjust it when she pleased. Never again, you piece of shit.

How she'd have loved to reciprocate, use exactly the same abhorrent trick on Yuna. Maybe. It was... Fuck, she wasn't sure she would. After everything it triggered in her. A rare twinge of empathy, a pinprick of light in the void of her fury. But it didn't matter because she wasn't even being given the eye contact Yuna'd been so keen on before.

"You're a fucking coward, Tsumura." she spat. It was a hollow barb. Would Kaida have looked if it were only a vulnerability instead of an opportunity? Almost certainly not. Idiotic. Yet she dropped the insult anyway, maybe hoping it would spur a long enough glance of defiance. Hoping, but not believing it'd work.

Enough that she turned her gaze to the blonde instead, again brazenly looking right for the eyes. This one still had ammunition, but was demonstrably Yuna's pet.

"And who the fuck are you?" she verbally acknowledged the woman for the first time. While there was some genuine curiosity behind the question, she had further words chambered, every intent to interrupt whatever answer came.
#79
And the child was finally released from her frozen spell, a pity but Sigfrid was more than happy to see this whole night come to its conclusion. No progress had been made in Yuna's efforts, and Sigfrid could see that the child's attitude had not been altered either. She had not died tonight, and would most likely see another day, but those days were limited, and regardless if it was Yuna or any of the other Domina's around, the child would meet an end soon enough if she continued on this path.

Another snarky remark that hardly any bite made from the child towards Yuna, Sigfrid would raise a brow as the girl's attention shifted to her. Did not offer the contact that she was searching for, because it doubtful that Sigfrid would be able to stop herself from killing the child if something stuck. Better not to risk her current spot within the upcoming Clutch, though the question did have her raising a brow.

Such a rude child, Sigfrid would respond to the attitude the way she would have if it were any other ill-mannered toddler crossing her path. A look over, and then complete disregard as she turned her attention to Yuna instead. "Shall we get going then?" The child was hardly worth any more of their time.
#80
Goddammit.

She seized on it anyway, recognizing it as perhaps her pettiest move yet and not particularly caring.

Her own gaze similarly sliding back to her maker, she blurted over the dismissive question as she'd intended, "Just kidding, I don't give a fuck."

It wasn't nearly as satisfying as it could have been. Should have been. But Kaida would take any shitty little triumph she could manage. And followed up, still looking to Yuna, "But yes, do send your pet away."

Maybe something could yet be salvaged, if only an opportunity for retribution. But she was so sick of this back foot bullshit.

And her hand hurt.

Goddammit.
#81
None of the words from Kaida's lips were the ones she'd wished to hear. No reconsideration or reconciliation for the things she'd done and said. No agreement to wash her hands of her childish antics. Only more of the same. She wondered if Kaida had somehow suffered brain damage in the time they'd been apart. Had she fallen from the sky during one of her flights? There was no real logical explanation for it.

It was exhausting. Embarrassing.

Stony faced, she watched the exchange in silence, unbothered at being called a coward. Namecalling. Really? At least it was not... dusty old cunt.

Her pet, Kaida called Sigfrid, as if she did not lead that tattooed child around by the scruff. Sigfrid was no pet of hers. She was someone who, unlike Kaida, seemed to retain enough brain cells to value her guidance and alliance. Truly, Yuna would have been right to go immediately with Sigfrid, to leave Kaida to run herself into the ground. But the opportunity to speak to her daughter alone was before her. It was stupid. It was reckless. It was fruitless. But it was something she had not been afforded since finding her again.

Yuna knew it would be the last time.

"Leave us for a moment, please." She bid Sigfrid politely, and silently, "Outside of your ability's range would be preferred."

Though, even she could admit that if she had Sigfrid's abilities, she would not wait outside of her range.
#82
The satisfaction of ruining the child's antics was short-lived, for just as the child turned the insults her way, Yuna did nothing more than support the ridiculous claim of her being a pet. Following up the demand that Yuna send her pet away, by actually asking Sigfrid to leave... Treating her like the pet that Sigfrid knew very well that she was not. It left a sour taste in her mouth, a rage filling her that might have sent her straight into bloodlust had she not been stuck in this lifestyle for so many years now.

Instead, her jaw would clench, hard enough that it was an absolute miracle that her teeth did not just shatter against one another. A moment taken to reclaim her composure, even as the child's boastful thoughts filled her mind.

"I see," came the low reply, gaze locked to Yuna. "So this is how you choose to treat those that agree to join you? Support the claims that they are pets and send them off by the demands of others?" Sigfrid was not impressed, and the look upon her face spoke this in volumes.

"Do let me know when you are done playing these childish games." And with that, Sigfrid would change form and make her exit. Yuna had claimed to have experience leading, but this whole night had proven to Sigfrid that there was still very much that Yuna needed to learn.
#83
Well that.

Went.

Better than she could have hoped! Kaida was only too happy to witness the probably minor implosion. Maybe it was a death blow to Yuna's clutch, but she didn't understand the intricacies enough to say. Regardless, there was something primally satisfying in torpedoing any relationship Yuna made. Some stupid and petty possessiveness that lingered despite how insistently she'd ever deny wanting anything to do with the woman. Especially if they were relationships born of forming clutches.

But even that aside, this has been a persistently shitty night, one thing after another falling to pieces. And her hand still fucking hurt. But this was a moment within it all to be relished. That smug blonde bitch getting all huffy? Yes please, more of that.

Kaida easily slipped back into her casually demure stance, smiling sweetly once more. She watched the owl depart, drawing a long breath through her nose and sighing it out as if they were saying farewell to a dear friend after a pleasant brunch.

"So she seems nice." Dark eyes back on Yuna's, any goal for getting her mother alone set aside in favor of capitalizing on this sadistic, superior glee.
#84
Naturally, Sigfrid's pride got in the way of her seeing much reason in being sent away. It was infuriating, but the anger was directed only to the troublemaker before them. Her antagonizing was tactless and childish, yet it still managed to cause ripples in what Yuna was attempting to create. It was endlessly embarrassing for Sigfrid to chastise her, yet still, she could not bring herself to blame the woman. She was no pet. She did not deserve to be dismissed at the whim of Kaida. Whatever irritation she felt for the Swede was minuscule in comparison for the bitterness she tasted for Kaida.

Again, she felt like striking the ugly smirk off of her face. It was a more idiotic move than ever before. Without Sigfrid here, here placidity churned, anger making the angles of her face sharper, choppier. Her chin tucked, her eyes drew heavier. "She has proven more worth anyone's time than you have." She countered, a petty slash with useless claws. It was pointless to demean.

Yuna inhaled, lips thin and turned into a tight frown, "Kotaeha, Kaida?" She prompted. The answer to the invitation. The last extension of faith that there was still something to salvage.


What's your answer?
(more or less)

#85
The bite back did little to stifle Kaida's joy. She'd cling to what she could given all her own embarrassing failures tonight. It did all but confirm that the owl held some unspoken power that Yuna found of great use. A valuable pet. Noted and set aside; now they were alone for the first time since New York. Some posturing could be done away with.

But not all. Now she wanted to drift back to Japanese, when there was no one around to cut out of the conversation? Nah.

"I'll have your answer first," she countered. Demanded. "If someone stripped away your body autonomy. With an audience no less. Someone who should know better. Would you take their life, or merely a limb?"

She held her position, still eyeing her mother's gaze that would not be returned. It was delivered cool, crisp. Hard. The way she'd heard it in her head. The way she wanted to present it. The way she wanted to present herself.

But they were alone. And the lower lip Yuna'd fixed her gaze to gave telltale trembles.
#86
She was prepared for this objection. It was largely why she kept her eyes away. Of course, Kaida would seek to deal the same blow to her. Would Sigfrid return if that was the case? Or was she truly scorned enough to leave her to incinerate?

Yuna watched the lip, the waver in the muscles that kept it taught. The same force that made the backs of Yuna's eyes itch, her throat tight. They were both at threat of being swept up by the tides that had forced them apart. Emotion. It was so impossibly inconvenient, and yet the very Yuna found herself a slave to.

She knew what she had done had been a violation in its truest form. She had not touched a single hair on her head, yet she had stripped away everything that Kaida was made of. Her voice, her body. She'd become an object. Yuna felt vile for it, but she was familiar with toxic substances, she knew they could be manipulated. And so she softened her gaze on the quivering lip, bowing her head shortly.

"I should have chosen other words." She admitted. She could have barred her from using her ability. And ability that, by all definition, did the same as what Yuna had done to her. "I was leveling the field." She added. "Because is that not what you do? When you swing my body around like a child's plaything? I have no control over what you do to me." A puppet on a string. And in the air, where she felt powerful in flight, to be stripped of all autonomy. Was it an equal sin to stripping her of speech? Of composure? No. But whether she liked to admit it or not, she, like Kaida, was at the end of her rope.

"I never do." Added sharply, as if the words were striking her across the face, and not coming from her lips.
#87
It wasn't an apology. But it was maybe closer to one than she'd expected.

Or it started out that way. Of course it became its own accusation in turn. Of course stately, restrained, flawlessly rational Yuna would choose to answer "You started it."

It was not the same. Kaida refused to see it that way. Her power was a weapon, a powerful one. A momentary force of destruction. Not this... Not what Yuna'd done. Yes, she'd used it to humiliate the woman more than once, but that wasn't... It didn't equate...

She could swirl it about Yuna now, ram her sidelong into the building's stairwell exit. Drive her forcefully from the roof, all the way to the waiting pavement. But removed from her fit of murderous frenzy, she still didn't want her maker gone from the world. And if she wanted to hurt her, words served better than blunt force trauma.

But Kaida wasn't sure that's what she wanted. Kaida wasn't sure of nearly enough anymore.

"You declare us equals," she breathed after a moment of stillness. "Yet as ever the only equity you lay at my feet is an even share of blame for all your failings. I used to think you were full of shit." It wasn't as clean as she wanted. Anger bled through her words, flowing much more readily than the black ooze still gathered about her punctured palm.

"Now I wonder if you're just actually that deluded."
#88
Her mind threatened to wonder, to swirl with paranoia. Would Sigfrid forgive her? Would she wash her hands of the Clutch? Would she report to William what a mess this had turned into? Would they go to Beauregard, tell him of her promise to Kaida? Too many variables, too many things to be distracted by. She forced her focus here, at this moment that she knew she would never get the chance to replicate. Every word counted.

An even share of blame. Yuna's tongue clicked sharply against the insides of her molars, and she turned her head sideward, removing her gaze entirely from the girl incapable of making a statement without some petty jab. Kaida thought so little of her. Like she was a piece of gum on the bottom of a platform boot. Yuna deserved more than that. After everything, she still regarded Kaida with more than that.

They both knew what helplessness truly looked like. They both had enacted it upon one another many times over. Neither was better than the other, neither was less guilty for having sunken to the level of those who had stolen so much from them. Was she alone to take the blame for it all? Was she the instigator? The source of their grievances? Was Kaida think herself acquitted from it because she declared herself victimized first? If that was the case, then she exchanged blame for weakness.

"My failures are my own. I am responsible for them all." Tightening her jaw, she picked her gaze up, looking her in the face, but not the eye.

"You are my greatest failure." It sounded harsher than she meant it. She pressed to continue, prepared to feel the ground leave her behind any moment. "I failed to keep you. I accept the blame for not seeing what drove you away." Since then, Yuna had come to realize her mistakes. Her harsh hands had tried to force the will of individuals who had spent their lives being forced. She had garnered loyalty on the pretense of an unpaid debt. That she had not been outright killed was astounding.

A slender finger lifted to punctuate her statement, "I blame you for one thing. For leaving." For walking away, for abandoning her. Kaida had had the strength to stay. The potential. To face her. To force her to see. It was Kaida's choice to leave instead of changing tides.

It was the same, even now. Kaida's back remained firmly to any opportunity to truly grow, to truly flourish. She seemed to take it as a threat, a challenge, as something to either run from or destroy.
#89
You are my greatest failure.

What a thing to hear from one's creator. The being responsible for elevating her, saving her when she was too weak and worthless to save herself. It might have driven her back into rage's depths, seen her fling one or both of their forms from the rooftop.

But Kaida was tired. An impossibility physically. Emotionally? Did chemicals still flow through her necrotic brain? Were dopamine or serotonin transmitters dry-firing? Had they been doing so for the last eighty-seven years? That'd fucking explain some things, but she couldn't know. Hardly cared.

Psychologically then, Kaida was tired. She'd bloodlusted once and come to the brink at least twice more this evening. Everything had been a rollercoaster of crushing disappointment followed by blind fury and/or petty triumph, which inevitably faded into hollow oblivion when the next disappointment came crashing in. Each productive intent had fallen apart so quickly: Devin was probably off getting mindfucked into obedience if not outright murdered, the night's initial goal for settling a hanging concern had only starkly escalated it, and now here she was. Yuna's greatest failure.

That this wasn't news also helped her stomach it. She'd stopped trying to please the woman a long time ago. It couldn't be a surprise that she'd succeeded.

The elaboration only had her rolling eyes Yuna refused to look at. Of course she couldn't see what had driven Kaida away, the why of it. Blind fool. So much that she blamed her for the one decision that had cracked the younger vampire's last shackle.

Kaida reached one hand to pinch at the bridge of her nose, only avoiding placing the other at her hip for desire to save her clothing. It'd avoided bullet holes already; no need to go smearing rotten, clotted blood across it.

"If I hadn't left you, I'd still be mired in the filth you never stopped wallowing in."
#90
It was nearly enough to draw her gaze up into Kaida's. Her eyes did sweep up across her face, her eyebrows rigid as she skipped swiftly over the gaze of her daughter. Correcting herself, she focused on her mouth, her cheeks. What filth did she speak of? Since she'd been wrenched from her miserable human life, Yuna had sought only the finest, cleanest, respectable things.

"Filth." She sneered in rejection, in question. Kaida was reaching for reasons to have abandoned a life wrought with opportunity. "You did not live in filth."
#91
Tired. But god-fucking-damn if that snide tone didn't set her off as easily as it had for the last half century. Yuna refused to look at her—really look at her—but some humiliating suggestion wasn't all that was left at Kaida's disposal. She'd used it a lot tonight. She'd need to feed soon. But such concerns were not for this moment.

A sharp reminder was for this moment.

Eyes flashing crimson, she reached ethereal tendrils to once more grip her mother's form. That they found no purchase was irksome, but the lashing out served its purpose all the same. Lips twisting in irritation, she'd nevertheless let her eyes darken once more with no follow-up attempt.

A verbal reminder then. "Watch your fucking tone."


miss

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