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You Can't Take
The Razorback

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Nova Roma

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Character Quote: You should hear me roar
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Aug 15 2018, 01:00 PM
Bongani had been having a nice dream. A weird dream that even dreamBongani didn’t think made sense but still a good dream, mostly because it had taken many wonderful aspects and passions from the shifter’s life and just jumbled them up in a blender to throw at him all at once. There had been exotic animals, a few talking dogs (including Jeez which had brought some sadness in), a barking Clint, the really cool T-rex skeleton from the Natural History Museum, and flying thrown into the mix because who didn’t like the thought of flying? The young mutant had been rather deeply asleep and involved in the dream when something suddenly brought him out of it.

With a groan, Bongani rolled over-- or at least attempted to but with Rafiki draped across his middle and one arm somehow trapped underneath Lucky’s neck, he only managed to move a few inches before falling back. Still half out of it, he blinked up at the dark ceiling. Just as his eyes turned and caught sight of the alarm clock glowing from the dresser across the room, he heard and smelled what had shaken him from his dream.

The latter made his stomach knot in anxiety.

“Up, up,” he told the two canines whose heads were also up now and focused on the half open bedroom door. The furballs climbed to their feet (one with considerably more energy and less grace than the other) and landed with equal thumps on the floor as Bongani kicked at the covers to untangle his feet. Rafiki and Lucky were already padding out of the door by the time he was able to finally roll over, get to his feet, and head that way himself. Bare footed and clad in a pair green plaid boxers (with a white moose and the words “moose caboose” stamped across the butt), Bongani pulled open the door and moved out into the living area. One hand rubbed at his eyes to get the sleep and grit out of them as he called out “Clint?”

Hawkeye
Aug 4 2018, 01:32 PM
If you didn’t know how it had looked before, it was easy to swear that nothing bad had ever happened to the school. There it stood, slightly different in design but just as big and proud, strong yet welcoming as it had been before. The expansive front yard with its freshly plants shrubs and flowers was pristine, the newly built walls unmarked. All the destruction and pain had been removed, covered up, erased. Bongani even saw the edge of a nice basketball court off to one side standing empty.

Empty.
Just like the rest of the place.

The students hadn’t moved back in yet, according to those from the school that Bongani knew. There were a few last minute preparations that needed completing before they moved the kids back and as a result the mansion stood quiet and empty. Hopefully only nearly empty, or the trip out here would be for nothing.

Swallowing down the lump in his throat that was equal parts grief, hope, and uncertainty, the shifter walked up the newly paved drive toward the front door. Would Merry be somewhere inside? Would he finally find her, see her, talk to her? Worry that he wouldn’t but also worry that he would filled him as he knocked on the door. God, what was he going to say to her if he found her? Bongani wanted to help, wanted to share the pain she was going through, but what could a person say or do to help share that much pain?

Since he’d been buzzed in the front gate, it didn’t take long for somebody to open the door and let him inside. Bongani explained why he’d come, how he’d hoped to find Merry there because she hadn’t been responding to his calls or texts and it was Wednesday and they were supposed to have breakfast (details the person didn’t need but he was nervous and worried and it all spilled out). The moment he saw the pity, sadness, and awkward discomfort flash through their eyes, Bongani knew something was wrong but he didn’t expect the answer he received.

Merry was gone?
Not just not there. Not just out. Gone? She’d quit the X-men, moved out, left it all behind?

Bongani’s mind raced in a confused and shocked circle as the person patted him on the shoulder and walked away, leaving it up to him if he wanted to leave right then or stay awhile. Merry was gone? How could she be gone? This was...this had been here life. She’d loved the school and the work she helped with. Her family, what was left of it (oh god), was here so how could she leave? But all it took was one look around for Bongani to get it. It wasn’t the same school but it was close enough to imagine the little speedster they lost running through it. Was there anywhere there that wouldn’t remind Merry of the child none of them would hear laughing again? Bongani blinked rapidly as he felt his eyes water and he had to suck in a deep breath to open up lungs that were almost painfully constricted. God, if it was affecting him this much, no wonder Merry had left.

But where had she gone? They hadn’t been able to tell him that and she wasn’t responding to his attempts to reach out so...what did he do now? Bongani reached up and ran both hands over his short hair as he turned in a circle, confused and lost.

What could he do now, on this Wednesday when the lovely little family that had let him in was broken and nowhere to be found?

Alpha
Jul 6 2018, 05:36 PM
Bongani had always wanted this. Now, he needed it.

It was very different, this New York University, from the one he’d gone to back home. There was little about its facade that separated it from the rest of the city. Big, bright, shiny, powerful. It could be another nice hotel like the Baccarat or a wealthy office building if you took down the purple NYU banners hanging about the front. Kabarak University, in contrast, had been squatter, had more greenery on its campus, and had, in general, felt more personable. Easier to see himself in. Still, Bongani felt some of the grief lift off his shoulders as he walked toward NYU’s fancy entranceway.

It was the students, he thought, that made it feel like a school.

They rushed in and out. Alone, in pairs, in small groups. Some chatted, some had their eyes glued on their phones or tablets, and almost all sported some sort of backpack or bag to carry books, papers, tablets. They had that “places to go, things to study, papers to write” vibe he remembered and it called to him, pulled him into something that didn’t involve mutant powers, savage lands, alien invasions, or lost loved ones.

It pulled him into normal, even if he didn’t belong to it yet.

Bongani held one of the front doors open for a girl carrying a stack of books in one hand and a coffee in the other and returned her grateful smile with a small one of his own before slipping inside. The Kenyan’s dark eyes took it in, all of it, and imagined himself seeing this every day. It was where he was applying and where Warren was going to help him get into. Yes, that felt a little like cheating but he couldn’t go anywhere else and it wasn’t as though he didn’t have spectacular grades back home to prove he was a good student who deserved to go there so...maybe it would be okay? No, it would be great. He wanted this, needed this.

Eager to explore, Bongani picked a direction at random until he spotted a plaque on one wall with some instructions on which way to turn to find which place. Reaching up, he ran a finger over the letters, drawing it down until he stopped on Library. Yes. Libraries were always a good place to start. He liked libraries and surely the library at NYU would be good. With another small smile- when had he last actually smiled?- Bongani turned and headed toward the library atrium.

Where he found that NYU’s library wasn’t good, it was mind boggling.

An atrium that was five, maybe six stories high opened around him. It glittered in gold and glass and bustled with activity despite the time of the year and the fact that probably a good portion of the students were gone for the summer. Wonder covered the grief still weighing him down and he beamed as he tilted his head back and turned in a circle. When he noticed a few students staring at him with grins he couldn’t quite tell were more understanding or just amused, the shifter colored, ducked his head, and hurried over to the nearest section. Although it wasn’t what he was looking for, Bongani enjoyed himself for a while simply wandering between the rows of books and passing by students studying. Eventually, he found a table sort of tucked in the back with a student clearly engrossed in whatever he was doing on his computer. Books surrounded the brunet and, curious, Bongani stopped and tilted his head to the side to read the titles running along the spine.

Wow….

Clothes- jeans and a maroon V-neck

Spider-man
Jul 1 2018, 09:05 PM
After everything that had happened over the past few months, it was nice- hell, necessary- to just have some fun, to let the animals in them run free and do nothing but play, and for the past...oh Bongani didn’t really know how long anymore, he and Merry had been doing just that.

This time, it was thanks to him, rather than the more extroverted Merry who was typically first to text, that they got together. With the Brood business- and that horrible diner incident- mostly behind them, he’d wanted to see and spend time with his friend where they’d be doing something other than fighting for their lives or helping to pull each other away from emotional breakdowns. So he’d suggested a rhomp. No, not the sexual kind, as she’d teasingly asked him about (why did English words so often have numerous meanings?), but the kind that involved running, jumping, climbing, chasing, and everything else two animals could get up to in the city’s largest park.

It was a blast.

With his heart pounding and his feline eyes glittering with joy and intense concentration, Bongani crept slowly through the underbrush. His paws fell silently on the lush, green spring grass and the leaves covering him slid smoothly over his brown striped fur. He could smell her, hear her ahead of him, and two steps later the tabby could see her as well, standing there, ears listening, nose twitching as she tried to find him before he found her. It still amazed him how large she was- he hadn’t even known dogs came that large until he met her- and he took a second to admire Merry’s current form.

But just that second because this time he was going to catch her by surprise. He just needed to get a little closer...

Bongani felt the wind begin to shift and knew that it was now or never, because if he suddenly found himself upwind of her and that nose then it would be over a heartbeat. Without hesitation, he darted out like a quiet, sleek ball of death straight at the massive canine’s exposed back legs. With one paw, he swiped out to tap one before angling his run toward a massive oak towering not far away. As a human, he’d never have made it up- not with the first branch starting over twenty feet up- but the tabby’s needle sharp claws found easy purchase in the rough bark and in a flash he shimmied up to the boughs above. Bongani shifted back into himself- a lean, muscular man clad in a form fitting UM uniform- with a cheerful laugh.

“I think I win this time!” he called down to his friend as he sat and let his feet dangle. With a warm smile, he patted the branch beside him.

Menagerie
Jun 2 2018, 09:19 AM
It had only been a few days yet it felt like weeks. Wait, no, that wasn’t exactly right. The memories he couldn’t get out of his head were so clear he might have sworn they happened minutes ago, but the time since he’d last slept felt weeks back. But it had only been days...at least Bongani was pretty sure it had just been days. The hours were all starting to blur together so he wasn’t 100% sure about that. What day was it now? And what day had it happened? More importantly, what time was it because that would affect how many days it had been.

With a groan, Bongani kicked the sheets tangled around his legs off and rolled over to gaze at the little glowing alarm clock sitting on top of his dinged up dresser. 12:47 A.M. flashed brightly back at him, a pathetic 30 minute different since the last time he’d checked it. So 12:47, that would make it...today? Wait, no, tomorrow. Except if it was tomorrow then it would be today, just a new today and--

God, he couldn’t even think straight anymore.

Frustration and despair made so much worse because of his exhaustion welled up inside Bongani so that he took in a shaky breath as he reached up and rubbed the heels of his palms into his eyes. Like every other time when he closed his eyes, images of blood and gore, of lifeless eyes and mangled throats, burst to life in front of his vision and he quickly pulled his hands away, opened his eyes, and sat up with a gasp. Nausea threatened to rise up in his gorge as the images then led to the tastes and smells from that day that were equally as strong and the shifter quickly reached over to grab the glass of water he’d started keeping on his bedside table. A few quick gulps fought the nausea down but did little to help everything else.

Bongani started to lie back down but what was the point? He couldn’t sleep, he just couldn’t, and trying and failing was almost more distressing than doing stuff while exhausted to his bones. Maybe he should just get up and tidy up the apartment or go for a walk or watch a movie. Bongani groaned again. No, he didn’t have the energy for the first two and the second...well right then the thought of doing that alone made him feel very alone despite the warm, furry body that would hop off the bed and join him in the living room the moment he got up and walked out.

As he turned to sit on the edge of his bed, Bongani looked to the clock again and bit his lip. Would Clint be asleep? Of course he’d be asleep. It was late- or early depending on your view. He was probably snug in bed and already drifting through dream land. It would be selfish of Bongani to wake him. Selfish and childish. He was a grown man, damnit! He didn’t need somebody to hold his hand. He could get through this on his own, he could!

With a determined snort, Bongani jerked the covers back and slipped back under them.
Twenty minutes later he was at Clint’s door, Rafiki at his side. Bongani, a big fan of sleeping nude, had slipped a Natural History Museum T-shirt on over his chest and grabbed the first set of boxers he could find- which happened to be green with black paw prints all over them. The nerdiness of it didn’t even register as he, with eyes gone red and a face gone pale from lack of sleep, reached up and knocked lightly on Clint’s door.

Hawkeye
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