psychowolf: ClayandWolf (ClayandWolf)
[personal profile] psychowolf
Going for a run away from Stonehaven and so close to civilization is uncomfortable but it's been eight days since his last change. He can't put it off any longer. Clay took the 15 minute drive to Los Padres outside of Santa Barbara. Clay finds a secluded spot behind some bushes and does one final check for any humans that might find him while he is changing. After a few moments he is confident he is alone.

Taking off his clothes he finds a place out of sight for them, bends down on fours and begins the change. The transition smooth and painful, but a pain he has known for most of his life, as natural to him as back pain is to others.

After long minutes in place of the lean, six foot, blonde haired professor is a large blonde wolf. With no-one else around he starts to run off the beaten path, listening to the new sounds and smelling the new smells. Even from here he can smell the ocean. He picks up the scent of a squirrel and begins to follow it.

The chase for the squirrel is a cautious one, always being careful of humans. The last thing he needs is to be spotted.

Date: 2014-06-17 11:47 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Lost in thought)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Squirrels are tricky. The second you get the scent, they're up a tree and gone. Tobias says they're a challenge but they're not a guaranteed meal, and that makes him stress, even if he won't admit it.

Especially during drought season.

Rachel won't put up with anyone's ego at the expense of their own life, and especially not his. It's hot, dry, hard weather for any predator and she won't stand for it.

There's a teenage girl leaving an open, beautiful meadow holding what is now an empty McDonald's bag.

Date: 2014-06-21 02:24 am (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Paying attention)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Rachel spends quite a bit of time in the woods these days. She doesn't know it as well as Tobias does, of course, and she's human with all the senses to go with it: none of which are very strong.

But this many battles in, she also has a sense of when something is wrong.

She stops walking with a final crunch on the leaves of the forest floor, eyes slightly narrowed. It takes a few moments to realize the problem.

There's no birdsong.

Date: 2014-06-21 02:48 am (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Seen a little too much)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Rachel startles at the sudden sounds, crushing leaves, heavy paws, branches tearing as a body races through them. There's a flash of blonde fur disappearing into the brush and Rachel jumps back.

It takes a second - two - three before it occurs to her to wonder, what has blonde fur in the forest?

Well, now she's curious. And Tobias is busy hunting, no need to try and find him, bother him.

There is a need to shed her clothes, climb the nearest low branch, and focus on the shape and feathers of a bald eagle.

Date: 2014-06-21 03:11 am (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Gasp)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
The human girl hasn't followed him at all.

The bald eagle with human intellect has.

...the bald eagle with human intellect and the emotional maturity of a teenage girl also has.

<Oh my God,> Rachel gasps to herself, banking sharply to the left. A blonde wolf that turns into a human man, a totally naked human man.

She's going to report most of this back to the team, but maybe not that last part.

Date: 2014-06-21 03:23 am (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Paying attention)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Okay. Okay, focus, time to focus. Rachel turns again, wings tipped down and tail feathers adjusted to send her on another spiral. A bald eagle is an obvious bird, not the best for subtlety. But then no one ever accused Rachel of being subtle.

She'll tell the team. She will totally tell the team, honest, swear. She'll just do it after she sees where this guy's going.

The super attractive college-age-looking guy with the bad fashion sense and the great hair.

(Cassie is going to be so jealous)

Date: 2014-06-21 12:28 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Unimpressed)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
The car is a shock. Whatever this guy is - and he's not an Andalite, that's obvious enough from how he went from a wolf shape to a human with no transition - he's something she's never seen before, something none of them have ever seen before.

If he's a human with the ability to morph and he's not fighting this war, then he's sure going to explain himself.

To Rachel herself, if necessary.

The parking permit catches her attention right after the car. Car like that, an engine roar, the way he tears out - if she were capable of rolling her eyes, she'd be doing it. But he's headed to, or will be heading to, the university. That's easy enough to follow.

It's reconnaissance, that's all. She'll tell Jake about it later.

Date: 2014-06-21 01:28 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Annoyed: I do not like this)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
It's after sunrise and he's off to school - Rachel's glad it's summer for her, no need to rush off to her own middle school. She'll have to get back home in time to convince her mother she was just 'out for a run,' but there's time for that. Gymnastics camp starts in a couple of weeks, that's all the excuse she needs for getting out of the house to exercise for long periods of time.

Bald eagles can't fly nearly as fast as he's driving his car. Rachel focuses on building altitude, flapping hard until she can get to the nearest stretch of asphalt. Even this early, the summer sun has heated the road enough to create a thermal and as the hot air billows up beneath her wings, Rachel breathes a silent sigh of relief.

So much easier than flapping.

Following his car leads her straight to UCSB. Bald eagles aren't much for subtlety but, luckily, most people look around, not up. She waits until he's walked into the building and swoops down to land on a parking lot light, the pole twenty feet in the air and her talons curling around the metal edging surrounding the bulb.

From here, her 'student' theory is ruined as she peers through a window and watches him unlock an office. She can't see the name on the door from here, but she can see where the office is. She can check on that later.

And now he's... going to be boring. Sitting in his messy office, working steadily.

Granted, after going for a long morning flight with a boy she-- may or may not have something that could be defined as a 'relationship' with - Rachel was planning on going home and getting breakfast made for her sisters so her mom could go to work. But there's still something mildly offensive about a human morphing wolf, morphing out, and then going to do something perfectly innocuous instead of making it clear who he is and how he got his abilities.

Date: 2014-06-21 02:09 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Paying attention)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Ew ew ew ew ew ew gross. There are few things Rachel wants to see less than dramatic flirtation and blatant rejection. The student doesn't look any younger than he does, but he's obviously a professor. She can't hear them from her current location but body language speaks just fine. And loudly.

She's running out of time, but she also doesn't want to lose track of him. He might be a permanent professor, he might not, and Jake's already going to be ticked at her for going after him in the first place. Rachel's only way out of this is to bring back something useful.

So he doesn't like scantily clad flirtatious students. That's fine.

...but Rachel left her clothes in the woods. That's less fine.

Luckily, her morphing outfit doubles as a workout outfit. Okay, yes, she's barefoot as she swoops into a parking garage and around a corner for cover, demorphing into a black leotard and very bare feet, but if she's careful, he might not notice.

And hey, when is Rachel ever not careful, honestly?

(shut up)

Clay is left alone for a good quarter of an hour. Then there's the scent of young female human and, a moment later, a knock on his door.

Date: 2014-06-21 05:58 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Smile: Gentle)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Wow, okay, someone's got good reflexes. Rachel freezes, startles, stares for a moment with wide eyes.

Then she smiles, sparkling and bright, eyebrows lifted high in surprise over innocent blue eyes. "Whoops, you're not Coach Grady! I must be totally lost, sorry!"

And studying his face, peeking past him into the office for anything signifying.

Dr. Danvers, the door says. She'll tell the team when they get back and harass Marco into looking into it.

Date: 2014-06-21 06:22 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Paying attention)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
"Really? Wow, I'm really lost."

She makes a show of looking over both of her shoulders. "Do you know Coach Grady? He dropped me off at the front while he parked so I could find a bathroom and I was supposed to meet him here with the other girls."

Scanning his office again doesn't tell her very much, other than handsome-young-professor guy is a wreck with keeping his office clean. The wall might be full of heavy books - but the floor is, too. A couple of them are open to vibrant pictures of-

-of creatures half animal, half human.

Rachel got the ability to morph from a dying blue centaur-like alien prince. She's never really felt the need to explore fantasy or mythology to find answers about her abilities.

Date: 2014-06-21 07:18 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Smile: Suppressed giggles)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Ooookay, so he's not continuing the conversation about Coach Grady. That's good because, so far as Rachel knows, there's no such person.

She also has no idea where the physical education building is. Today is looking up so far as her secret spying tactics are concerned.

When he volunteers so much information about his subject, Rachel is ready to ignore the entire speech - until he gets to the details.

"That's cool," she says casually, smiling up at him. Because it's totally not suspicious at all that a morpher is studying morphing myths. "You, like, teach here?"

Date: 2014-06-21 07:32 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Smile: You're making it easy)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
She's here because he can turn into a wolf and no one should be able to do that but four other teenage humans who go to her school.

That's why.

Rachel blinks at him in innocent surprise and then grins. "Wow, your class must be super popular. Sorry to bug you, mister, the campus is totally empty this morning and yours was the first office I saw. I'm gonna go look for the coach."

Okay, now she can go tell Jake and get someone else on spy-detail.

Date: 2014-06-21 07:42 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Paying attention)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Rachel would bite the head off anyone who referred to Jake as her 'alpha,' but she can't deny he's a leader of their group. Not of her, of course. Obviously. But of-- jeez, this name - the Animorphs, yes, he is the leader.

So she'll tell him that she found a yellow wolf in the forest, morphed eagle to follow it, saw it turn into a human, followed him to a school, then walked up to his office to snoop and let him see her face.

...okay, maybe she'll call Cassie and have her call that meeting instead.

For now, she's hurrying down the hall, not back the way she came. On the off-chance he's still watching, she'll look for the gym and try to morph in a locker room.

Date: 2014-06-21 07:56 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Smile: You're making it easy)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Rachel figured that was safe enough, asking around. She did tell him she was lost, couldn't find Coach Make-Believe's office, so it won't hurt. Besides, there's another bonus to getting into the locker room before she morphs: a grown man is unlikely to walk right in without warning.

The campus is sparse but not completely empty. There are other people around besides the older girl Rachel stopped and, just to make sure she's been completely clear, she stops a another woman for the same question.

This choice doesn't go as smoothly. The woman is closer to her own mother's age and is already frowning at Rachel's morphing suit, the bare midriff, and - sadly - her bare feet. "Dear, where are your shoes?"

"Oh, I'm on the gymnastics team," Rachel replies cheerfully, beaming, and turns away, "thank you for the directions!"

She's gone before the woman realizes that wasn't actually an answer to her question.
Edited Date: 2014-06-21 07:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-21 08:20 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Unimpressed)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Rachel's too far ahead to know about the delay, but she'd be grateful for it all the same. Ducking into the locker gives her a sudden start, finding it far more occupied than she'd expected.

"Oh my God, I can't believe practice is so early, it's summer-"

"You have class? So unfair, I'm just getting in a run before work."

"Ew, I cannot work during summer, I'm so burnt out from the school year."

"Not everyone has a trust fund, Jennifer."

"Oh, shut up."

The thirteen year old blonde goes unnoticed through the bulk of the locker room, ducking in to the bank of toilets and taking a stall. There's an open window at the end of the room she can sneak out through if she can get to fly morph fast enough.

Date: 2014-06-21 08:38 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Grown-up: Lost in thought)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
At least one of those women is recognizable as the girl who walked into his office earlier that morning.

At least three more in the back do actually squeak when a man walks in, grabbing towels to cover themselves. One of them is already rushing off toward the office.

Rachel is silently congratulating herself on a job well done, smug little smile as she closes her eyes and focuses on the shape and form of a tiny little insect who travels like a drunk jet packer.

The first change is the segmenting of her legs, adding joints, bending her current joints backwards. It doesn't hurt but there is plenty of noise, cracks that echo in her single stall but not loud enough to sound over the conversation in the locker room.

Date: 2014-06-21 08:55 pm (UTC)
theresnodoor: (Smile: Suppressed giggles)
From: [personal profile] theresnodoor
Ha! Xena: Warrior Princess strikes again!

...okay, Rachel's never seen an episode but she suspects Xena never hid from a possible ally, morphed fly, and snuck out a bathroom window.


Still, there's always time to enjoy the insanity that is the flight of a standard housefly.


psychowolf: Clay_head (Default)

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