"No matter who I share a bed with I wake up wrapped in something." Akali mutters as she drops her head on the kitchen work top, much to Kai'sa's consternation.
"Breakfast." The dancer slides a plate piled with a bacon sandwich and scrambled eggs up to Akali's face and watches with amusement as she sluggishly lifts her head before accepting the proffered fork and digging in.
"Now what were you wrapped in?" Kai'sa asks as she covers over the excess eggs and sandwiches and sits down with her own plate and enjoys the fruits of her labour.
"Everything." Akali grumbles, shoveling scrambled eggs into her mouth. "Sleep with Eve wake up wrapped in lashers like a plush Egyptian mummy, spend the night with Ahri and wake up consumed by tails."
"What about me?" Kai'sa asks with a smile as she bites into her sandwich.
"You just wrap me in blankets and leave me there while you run off to make breakfast. Not complaining ‘cause your breakfast is great but still."
"We just love you and want to protect you." Kai'sa works hard to keep her expression neutral as Akali stops inhaling her breakfast to raise an eyebrow at her.
"By trapping me in bed." The younger woman states with a disbelieving tone, Kai'sa hides a giggle in a bite of her sandwich and nods.
"Exactly. Now who was your impromptu captor this morning?"
"Both of them!" Akali throws her hands up, sending tiny splatters of scrambled egg all over the kitchen. At Kai’sa’s narrowed eyebrows she blushes sheepishly and goes meekly back to eating her breakfast.
Kai’sa waits until she’s finished eating to drop the glare and clear both their plates away.
“Now what’s the sleep problem darling?” Akali hums and drops her head back on the cool marble.
“It’s just a little much, I’ve not been able to go on my runs for a week.”
“Really?” Kai’sa walks around the table and cards her fingers through Akali’s streaked hair with a gentle smile.
“Really.” Akali dead-pans. Kai’sa busies herself with re-doing the streak-filled pony-tail while she thinks of a response.
“Have you tried asking them about it?”
Akali gives a hum in response as Kai’sa’s fingers comb her hair out into a far more comfortable pony-tail than it was in for sleep.
“Ahri told me she couldn’t help it. Eve just sort of… smirked at me.”
“Mmm,” Kai’sa hums in amusement, “she does that.”
Akali’s head falls back towards the cool marble surface of the kitchen counter with a groan and a dull thud.
Kai’sa is about to continue giving Akali breakfast and a scalp massage when two lashers come through the doorway and tangle around both of their waists, followed by a sleepy Evelynn.
“Good morning.” The she-devil purrs, sidling up behind them and dropping her chin on the crown of Kai’sa’s head.
“Morning Eve.” Akali grunts, still face down on the counter.
“Are you tired sweetie?” Evelynn turns her attention to Akali with a grin. “I thought you slept rather well.” Akali heaves a deep sigh into the counter and Kai’sa stifles her giggle behind her hand. One of Evelynn’s lashers slides delicately under her chin and lifts Akali up into a sitting position on her stool.
“Don’t tell me what we did in the shower tired you out.” Evelynn purrs, her lasher coiling around Akali like a protective snake.
“She’s just grumpy that she didn’t get to go for a run.” Kai’sa smiles and reaches out to stroke Akali’s back sympathetically.
“Well can’t you go now?” Evelynn asks, not unkindly. Akali shakes her head.
“I’ve already had breakfast.”
“I see.” Evelynn hums.
Before the conversation can really progress Ahri shuffles into the room wrapped in one of Evelynn’s dressing gowns and some fluffy slippers, turning powerful doe eyes on Kai’sa immediately.
“Please tell me there’s some left of that amazing food I can smell.”
“Of course.” Kai’sa gracefully extracts herself from Evelynn’s embrace and presses a kiss to Ahri’s cheek as she sits at the breakfast bar; leaving their apparently touch-starved succubus to sit next to Akali and wrap the young martial artist in lashers while resting her head on her shoulder.
Kai’sa plates up the remaining sandwiches and scrambled eggs, sliding them in front of Evelynn and Ahri with a pleased smile.
“So why are you so tired?” She asks as Ahri steals a bit of Evelynn’s bacon to slip into the middle of her own sandwich.
“Eve is mean.” The Gumiho pouts, at almost the same time as Evelynn says
“Foxy is an impatient little Gumiho.”
“I see.” Kai’sa mutters wryly, giving Ahri a scritch behind an ear and enjoying the purr it earns her while she sneaks a glance at Akali.
Despite all she complained about it earlier, Akali seems to enjoy Evelynn’s lashers wrapping around her torso like a possessive set of shibari ropes, her head leaning on Evelynn’s shoulder, eyes half lidded as she snuggles closer to her girlfriend. Kai’sa gives a quiet ‘aww’ and Ahri glances up from devouring her bacon to see Akali dozing on Evelynn’s shoulder.
“That is adorable.” She coos, finishing her breakfast and reaching across to flick Akali’s nose.
“Wake up sleepy, we have to get ready to go to practice.”
“I’m not asleep.” Akali grunts. “I’m resting my eyes.”
“Good good.” Ahri chirps, giving a brief kiss to all three of her girls as she rises and leaves the room. “Don’t let her be late getting ready Eve.”
Kai’sa watches, very amused, as five or so minutes later Evelynn merely stands up and walks off with a weakly protesting Akali still held in her lashers and simply carted away without her feet touching the ground.
The ride to the studio is the same as any other, Ahri on her phone to management in the front seat, Evelynn bored and tapping her nails on the steering wheel as she navigates through traffic with ease, Kai’sa curled up on the back seat with her nose buried in a book and Akali next to her alternating between jotting things down in her sacrosanct lyrics notebook and trying to see how many times she can spin a pen on her finger while their car travels at what most people would consider to be ‘dangerously close to the speed limit’ and which Evelynn referred to as ‘walking pace’.
Once in their dance studio and done with warmup Akali just zones out, following the honeyed tones of Kai’sa’s voice and learning very slowly how not to trip over her own feet with every new stage added to the choreography like a baby giraffe learning to walk on increasingly fast treadmill settings.
They’re halfway through having learnt the full set when Kai’sa calls a break for lunch, and while she and Ahri go off to find food for the four of them Akali hunkers down in a corner seat and pulls out her notebook. She’s halfway through a chorus she wants to have ready to present to the rest of the band by next week when a lasher coils around her waist posessively.
“Why do your lashers love me so much Eve?” Akali asks as she’s pulled gently to her feet and into Evelynn’s arms.
“It’s not just that my lashers love you.” Evelynn coos gently as she pulls Akali into her embrace. “It’s that I love you and my lashers just respond to how I feel. She presses a kiss to Akali’s lips and hums happily when it’s gladly reciprocated.
“Does it genuinely bother you?” The daemonette asks, lashers coiling around Akali’s form posessively as the woman in question relaxes into her arms. Akali takes a moment to consider as she buries her head in the crook of Evelynn’s neck.
“Not all the time, but maybe if you could not wrap me up so much when I sleep?”
Akali can feel Evelynn’s pout against the crown of her head even as her fingers come up to comb gently through Akali’s hair.
“I like wrapping you up while you sleep though darling, it feels good to keep you by my side.”
Akali rolls her eyes and presses a fond kiss to Evelynn’s collarbone.
“Is that why you and Ahri seem to restrain me constantly? You miss me when I go running?” Evelynn lets out a rather undignified snort of laughter.
“Maybe I don’t want to wind up sharing a bed with just the Gumiho.” Akali giggles into her shoulder.
“Yeah, of course Eve.” Her fingers play with the ends of Evelynn’s platinum strands. “If I promise to climb back into bed with you after my run would that help?”
“It might.” Evelynn kisses her again. “Don’t think that will convince Ahri though, mangy fox has less control than I do.”
Akali laughs brightly and Evelynn savours the sound.
“Why are you two such rivals?” Evelynn shrugs.
“I’ve known her for the best part of three thousand years.” She says without thinking, as if that explains everything. Which, when Akali thinks about it, it probably does. Her face falls and she pulls Evelynn fractionally closer.
“What’s wrong?” She asks gently, fingers sliding under Akali’s chin and gently tipping her head back to look her in the eyes. Akali sighs.
“Just…” She trails off and tries to bury her face in Evelynn’s neck again, suddenly every moment with her feels indescribably more precious.
“Darling?” Evelynn’s voice is full of care, a side of her even Akali and Kai’sa rarely get to see.
“Just remembered that you’ll outlive me by a long time.” Akali mumbles into her neck and Evelynn sighs.
“We’ll deal with that when we come to it darling. I promise it’s okay to put it off for now.”
“Okay.” Akali’s voice sounds a touch shaky but she takes a deep centering breath and regains some steel in her voice. “Okay, we’ll deal with it when we have to.”
“That’s my girl.” Evelynn whispers, capturing her lips in a deep kiss that’s beginning to turn more heated when the sliding door opens with a woosh.
“Do you have to do that?” Ahri drawls as they break apart, watching Kai’sa follow her in through the doors, arms laden with take-out.
“Yes.” Evelynn snaps, though without any heat to the word. Ahri’s tail and ears flicker in amusement as Kai’sa sets the boxes down on the bench and Akali attempts to disentangle herself from the lashers still winding around her waist and torso in order to get to her lunch.
While the two youngest in the group finish their lunch in short order and get up to try and help Akali learn the choreography more solidly, Evelynn and Ahri take longer to finish, and once she notices that Kai’sa and Akali are thoroughly absorbed in their task, Evelynn sidles closer to her oldest friend.
“Something wrong?” Ahri asks her, perceptive as ever, and Evelynn wonders how she forgets that she’s not the only one who can taste emotions.
“I don’t know.” She mutters, fingers toying with her chopsticks as her tteokbokki slowly cools in it’s styrofoam box.
That response alone is enough to concern Ahri, Evelynn is never unsure of anything, it’s one of the cornerstones of her personality, sheer bloody-minded self-assurance.
“Did something happen with Akali?” Ahri asks gently, quietly lacing her fingers into Evelynn’s free hand as she shoots a surreptitious glance as the girl in question, finding her still thoroughly absorbed in what Kai’sa is teaching her.
“She realised she’s human.” Evelynn says hollowly, and Ahri immediately understands. She tightens her grip on Evelynn’s hand.
“I hadn’t forgotten.” She murmurs, curling up to Evelynn’s side. “I know the way I wrap her up in my tails every morning we spend together annoys her but I can’t help it, I need to keep her close.”
“I’ve always been proud of the fact that I’m a monster.” Evelynn says, reaching into her pocket and producing a cigarette to worry between her lips, even if she’s not allowed to light it. “But she makes me… Not scared but foreboding, they both do.”
They both watch as Akali finally gets the steps correct, with an exuberant fist-pump and launching herself at Kai’sa for a celebratory hug.
“Cherish the time we have.” Ahri murmurs, and Evelynn gives her a fond scratch behind the ears.
“Maybe we’ll think of something Foxy.”
“Yeah.” Ahri doesn’t sound a hundred percent convinced but chooses to believe it anyway for the sake of her poor heart. “Yeah, maybe we will.”
The rest of their choreography session goes by without incident, and after the drive home Ahri and Evelynn immediately drag the others into bed by unspoken agreement. It’s afterwards when they lay there, all in various states of sleep, that Ahri has an idea.
“Evie.” She whispers into the dark, not audible to anyone in the bed without a supernatural sense of their surroundings.
Across from her on the opposite pillow a pair of luminous orange eyes crack open.
“Mmm?” Evelynn hums.
“I had an idea.” Ahri says. “About that issue we were talking about earlier.” Evelynn’s eyes sharpen briefly as she tries to focus.
“What?” She asks, all ears.
“We feed on each other all the time.” Ahri mutters quietly. “What if we fed into them?” Evelynn considers and tightens her grip on Akali while a lasher subconsciously coils around Ahri and Kai’sa. Then the succubus hums a vague affirmative and closes her eyes again.
“As proud of you as I am for coming up with this idea my little fox,” a lasher reaches up and very carefully scritches Ahri behind her ears, “ask me in the morning.”
When Akali awakes the next morning it’s pitch black and she’s incredibly comfortable. She opens her eyes slowly, taking in the smooth skin of Evelynn’s neck as she tries to turn to the side and finds that to her surprise she can. Evelynn’s arms are the only thing holding her loosely in bed and Ahri’s tails appear to have chosen Kai’sa as their victim tonight. She glances at the numbers projected on the ceiling by the alarm clock on Ahri’s nightstand, showing a nice 4:40 in the morning in a bright, rich blue; then very carefully she picks Evelynn’s fingers apart, watching her face for a tell tale glimmer of those glowing eyes, but after a few minutes of painstaking care she’s free as she ever so carefully climbs out of bed and presses a gentle kiss to her sleeping love’s lips before she’s off to her own room to grab her running gear.
Twenty minutes later finds Akali shutting the front door to the K/DA mansion as quietly as she can and setting off on a nice relaxing run with her earbuds piping some easy rock & roll into her ears. It’s not her usual style, but on a morning run when she prefers to just zone out and let her exercise just happen, the soothing tones of classic heavy hitting distorted guitars and some insanely talented vocalists soothes her soul like nothing else.
The cold morning air bites into her face and burns the ragged edges of her windpipe on every breath; and she finds herself grateful that she remembered to throw on a hoodie before she left. It’s Kai’sa’s she thinks, she’d found it draped over the back of the settee, probably thrown there a day or two prior after returning from her solo hours at the dance studio. Akali shrugs and focuses on her pace, keeping her steps even and making sure she doesn’t trip over something since the sun is still a few minutes from rising. She completes one lap of the upscale gated community that houses their group mansion and checks to see there are no lights on, then continues with a satisfied nod when the windows remain dark.
She does three more and is wondering if she should stop early and give her recently underworked legs a break considering they have a session later today when she sees the kitchen lights flick on as she passes the gates to the house again. Frowning, Akali makes a quick detour back up to the house and pokes her head in the front door.
“Morning Akali.” As surprised as Akali is to find that anyone is awake at this hour, Kai’sa was hands down her guess for the culprit.
“Hey.” Akali greets, heading over to the cupboard and pulling a glass down before crossing to the sink and pouring herself some water that she instantly drains. “Wanna run with me?”
“If you don’t mind.” Kai’sa says, zipping up a hoodie that looks like Ahri’s from what Akali can see.
“You know, I saw you as I was getting up.” Akali starts, stretching her arms over her head as they leave the house. “How did you manage to get out of being Ahri’s cuddling victim today?”
“I sort of… transferred her over to Eve.”
Akali can’t help but laugh as they pick up pace. They chatter as they run, Akali slowing her pace deliberately so as not to leave Kai’sa behind by miles. The topic drifts, from how they both slept to what’s for breakfast (“please say pancakes Kai’sa~”), to how Akali’s new lyrics are coming along, to the interview they’ll need to send a couple of members to the day after tomorrow and a myriad of other issues in life until eventually they come back around to the house and see that more lights are on than they left.
As they enter the door a lasher wraps itself around Akali’s waist and she finds herself unceremoniously pulled into Evelynn’s embrace.
“Hey Eve…” Akali squeaks, squirming as glowing orange eyes bore into her.
“The only reason I didn’t trap you in bed was because you promised to come back to me.” Evelynn purrs, reminding Akali of a territorial big cat.
“I was going to.” Akali pouts. “But then I ran into Kai’sa and we figured we could run togeth-mmf!” She cuts off with a muffled protest as a lasher slides across her mouth and Evelynn tuts.
“Are you blaming our poor innocent Bokkie for your lapse in judgement and memory Akali?” She gets a halfhearted glare in response and an insincere shake of the head.
“I’m sure you’re not to blame for my little rogue’s lapse in memory and judgement are you Bokkie?” Evelynn asks as she stalks towards Kai’sa; voice dripping with sweetness.
Kai’sa, mildly terrified completely out of her skin, can only offer a nervous shake of the head.
“Good girl.” Evelynn murmurs, affectionately caressing Kai’sa’s waist with a lasher. The moment she’s been attempting to create is shattered when Ahri blearily shuffles into the room, still in her pajamas, toothbrush still hanging forlornly out of her mouth, and stares at Kai’sa for a moment before she opens her mouth and
“Whu’s fur brekfast buh-kki…” comes tumbling out in a barrage of miss-aligned syllables.
Evelynn heaves a dramatic sigh and gently places Akali down on the floor as her lashers fade into smoke and shadows.
“For a Gumiho you have an atrocious grasp of the minutiae of seduction.” She marches over and closes Ahri’s mouth with a single finger. Ahri sticks her tongue out in response as soon as she’s removed her toothbrush.
“I don’t do mornings Evie. You learned that a hundred years ago.” Evelynn sighs again and flicks her nose. “Go and get dressed and ready for breakfast.”
“What if I don’t want to?” Ahri challenges, squaring her stance as Evelynn towers over her.
The flicker and click of a camera shutter interrupts their staredown as Akali snaps a photograph and immediately posts it to her instagram.
“An average morning in the K/DA house.” Kai’sa reads the caption off her phone as she stirs the pancake mix one-handed, voice filled with snark. “Yup sounds about right. Go and get dressed Ahri or I won’t let you have extra.” The Gumiho turns on her heel with a squeak and rushes off to get ready.
“Two thousand year old Gumiho domesticated by the mere promise of pancakes.” Evelynn mutters as she takes a seat at the breakfast bar and drains her coffee in a single pull. “Where on Earth is her honour…” She tuts dismissively and Kai’sa snorts.
“You want more coffee or not Eve.”
“I didn’t say domestication was inherently bad.” Evelynn covers smoothly, pushing her mug towards Kai’sa for her to fill up.
“That’s what I thought.” Kai’sa grumbles, looking around until her eyes find Akali, laying bonelessly on the settee, legs hanging off the end, scrolling through the comments on her instagram post.
“You go and have a shower too.” Kai’sa warns, pointing a threatening finger at Akali as with her other hand she expertly flips a pancake out of the pan, onto the plate, and then replaces the pan and pours more mixture in one fluid motion. “God knows you take almost as long as Ahri does, and you don’t have the excuse of nine different tails and four sets of ears to wash.” With a sigh, Akali flops sideways off the sofa and after a moment drags herself into a standing position and then out of the door with all the grace, acuity, and alacrity of an ant pushing a brick across a desert.
“You know, I do love a woman with power…” Evelynn purrs in her most seductive voice, lasher winding itself around Kai’sa’s waist before it’s roughly smacked with a wooden spoon.
“I am making breakfast.” Kai’sa growls and Evelynn withdraws her extra limb with a hiss and a grumble.
“Look who’s domesticated now!” Ahri crows, walking through the door dressed and with her still slightly damp hair still glistening with moisture from the shower.
“Both of you.” Kai’sa heads the argument off before it can start. “Both of you are domesticated.” Ahri flops onto her seat with a dissatisfied hum.
“You’re not fun.”
“No, I’m responsible.” Kai’sa mutters, pouring out the last of her pancake mix and swirling it around in the pan. “God alone in heaven knows someone has to be around here.”
She’s just plating up four roughly equal stacks of pancakes when Akail walks through the door into the kitchen looking far more put together than she did moments prior.
“Mm ‘ack” She says, voice muffled around the hair-tie clasped between her teeth.
“Good.” Kai’sa pushes Akali’s plate towards her before dashing off for her own quick shower with a shout to Ahri from beyond the doorway that any stealing of her food would result in grave consequences.
Akali sits down still fiddling with her ponytail, repeatedly gathering and re-gathering the strands of unruly hair until Evelynn smacks her hands away and does it herself.
“Is that better?” She purrs, resting her head on Akali’s shoulder kissing the shell of her ear teasingly.
“Mmmhmm.” Akali hums in response, letting out a yawn before turning to her food and digging right in. Evelynn does the same, turning to her breakfast just in time to smack away Ahri’s hand.
“Why must you always steal my food Gumiho.”
“Because Kai’sa scary when she’s mad.” Akali answers for her, in between shovelling pancakes into her mouth at a frankly alarming rate. Ahri nods and puts on a very fake pout.
Evelynn simply fixes her with a look and a raised eyebrow.
“Never do that again foxy.”
“Buh I’s an adorable lil foxy woxy Evie~” Ahri purrs, nuzzling into Evelynn’s neck as Akali cackles with laughter.
“Well that’s mildly fucking terrifying.” Kai’sa mutters from the doorway, watching as her girlfriend nuzzles up to and rubs her face into Evelynn’s neck.
“Kai-Kai!” Ahri cries, turning to the dancer and struggling to maintain the act at the look of sheer bemusement on Kai’sa’s face.
“Why do I date you.” Kai’sa murmurs as she sits at the table and puts her head in her hands.
“Cause I’m really good in bed.” Ahri smirks, then wraps a tail around Kai’sa’s waist; “and I’m super fluffy.”
“I guess you are super fluffy.” Kai’sa says. Snuggling herself into Ahri’s side and tucking in to her pancakes.
Evelynn watches as Ahri’s power flexes in her enhanced senses, siphoning a tiny fraction of her energy into Kai’sa through her tails, the marbled and void-tinged surface that makes up Kai’sa in her second sight eagerly takes in the proffered energy, seeming just a little reinforced by the tiny boost in power. Evelynn smiles. Ahri’s solution might work afterall.
Curious, Evelynn tries the same thing with Akali, a possessive lasher curling around her waist before Evelynn injects just a touch of soul fibre through their ever-present connection. Akali's soul swallows up the proffered energy, but Evelynn senses a strange anomaly in Akali's soul that she's never felt before on a mere feeding as the fibre that makes up her precious rogue in her second sight ripples in adjustment just a touch too violently. Surprised, Evelynn focuses her power, glittering eyes piercing into Akali’s soul far more deeply than she ever has before.
“Darling.” Evelynn purrs, grasping Akali by her chin and turning her to look her in the eyes. “I need you to look at me.”
“Mhm.” Akali mutters dreamily, the overspill of Evelynn’s power turning her inhibitions and higher brain function off completely. Evelynn grimaces but keeps pushing, flaying Akali’s soul open in her vision until she finds what she’s looking for.
“There you are.” The succubus grins and teases at the tiny morsel she’s found, pulling gently until the dormant power spills out and suffuses her soul with that extra layer of power found only in the distinctly non-human. Evelynn comes out of her singular focus in her second sight to find Ahri’s head resting on her shoulder.
“Interesting…” The Gumiho murmurs, watching as Akali’s new power fully settles into her, right down to her bones.
“Hello my darling.” Evelynn drags a claw along Akali’s jaw. “Do you feel any different?”
“My head kind of hurts.” Akali mutters, fingers coming up to massage her temples, Evelynn presses a kiss to her forehead.
“I’m sorry sweetheart, I’m partly to blame for that.”
"What'd you do?" Akali murmurs groggily, tucking her head into Evelynn's shoulder.
"Just a little experiment, you may want to rest for now." Her lashers coil up and around Akali, lifting the rogue into a gentle embrace.
"But we have practice today." Akali protests weakly as Evelynn carries her from the room.
"Don't you worry about that." Evelynn coos to her. "We'll see how you feel later."
"Okay, yeah, later." Akali drifts off almost immediately as Evelynn carries her through to her own bedroom and gently puts her to bed.
"Will she be okay?" A worried sounding Kai'sa asks from behind her and Evelynn shrugs dejectedly.
"I hope so."
The three of them decide to cancel practice that day entirely, and as the hours crawl by and Akali remains fast asleep Kai'sa is slowly filled in on exactly what happened.
"So you fed some power into us to see what would happen and Akali isn't human?" She summarises after some time and Ahri nods.
"She lit up like a Christmas tree in my eyes. Do you know what she is Eve?"
"She is mostly human." Evelynn says with certainty. "But there's demon blood in her line, or dragon. As unlikely as that is."
"Old warrior family." Kai'sa muses as they all digest that information. "It would make sense."
They're all quite deep in thought when Akali shuffles into the room rubbing at her eyes.
"What time is it?"
"Early afternoon." Ahri says with a quick glance at her watch, regarding Akali carefully.
"How do you feel?"
"... Tired?" Akali guesses. "Why do I feel like you guys are about to eat me?"
"Maybe I want to." A lasher yanks her into Evelynn's lap and Akali tumbles there with an undignified squeak.
"So there's nothing wrong with me?" Akali asks, situating herself in Evelynn's lap and cuddling up to her.
"Nothing wrong, no." Ahri tells her, reclining in her chair. "But obviously something did happen."
"Do you know what it was?" Akali asks, unusually timid in the face of the unnerving unknown.
"You'll be just fine." Evelynn's warm, iron-sure voice in her ear soothes the jitters playing about her spine and stomach like bottled lightning.
"Strange question," Kai'sa asks, "are there any old tales in your family history about a gift of power from some other-worldly source?"
"A couple?" Akali sounds tremendously confused and the other three can't blame her. "What does that have to do with why I blacked out at breakfast?"
"You're not human." Evelynn bites the bullet and gets it out there. "Whatever was in you was dormant until this morning."
"Oh. Wow." Akali curls up into herself and Evelynn tightens her grip in comfort.
"I know it's a lot to deal with." She purrs soothingly in Akali's ear. "But I'm here."
"Yeah… a lot to deal with." Akali clears her throat and turns to look at her girlfriend.
"Could you find out what it is?"
"If you're willing to let me look deeply." Evelyn tells her honestly. Akali nods and moves to straddle her. "Assertive aren't we darling." Evelynn chuckles and focuses her power. "Are you ready?" Akali nods and Evelynn places a quick kiss on her lips. "Good girl."
Akali's body fades away in her eyes as Evelynn abandons the way mortals see the world, replaced by a woven glass fragment of soul mottled and almost seamlessly interspersed with thick black tar. In her periphery the succubus sees Ahri's form, fluttering like malleable crystal filled to the brim with glimmering magic, and Kai'sa, preternaturally cold tendrils of raw void-stuff hooked into and wound up tightly in her makeup.
Focusing on Akali, Evelynn tastes the new material; finding it sweet to her senses, richer by far than a mortal soul, but with an aftertaste almost like a shot of pure heroin that solidifies her opinion with its raw potency. Definitely dragon blood. She leaves a touch of her own energy to replace the taster she took and pulls back.
"You have a drake in your past.” She says, licking her lips without conscious thought.
“Cool.” Akali hums, sitting completely still on Evelynn’s lap.
“Is that it? ‘Cool’?” A lasher winds teasingly around her torso and Akali releases her breath all at once and falls forwards into Evelynn’s arms.
“I don’t know! This is a fair bit to process Eve!”
“You’ll be fine.” The daemonette purrs into the crown of her head, a comforting hand nevertheless ghosting up and down Akali’s spine. “At least it’s no longer dormant within your soul.”
“Does this mean anything special for me?” Akali asks, looking first at Evelynn and then craning her head around to look at Ahri. “You two are the experts.”
“It makes you tastier.” Ahri says wryly. “I know how to eat souls, that’s about it.”
“It won’t turn you into a demon if that’s what you’re worried about.” Evelynn says through her half-smile. “There may be minor physical changes, perhaps slightly increased strength?” She looks to Kai’sa for some kind of confirmation.
“My experience was very different from yours, but I gained some benefits.” Kai’sa’s symbiote does a little twirl above her shoulders to illustrate her point. “I don’t bleed as easily, my metabolism is faster, I better filter out toxins.” She shrugs and leans back in her chair with a somewhat uneasy expression. “If there’s magic involved I’m really not your girl.”
“So long story short, no-one knows what’s wrong with me.” Akali mutters, curling up with her head under Evelynn’s chin. “Figures.”
“There’s nothing wrong with you.” Evelynn says, sternly. “Just some new things to figure out.”
Everyone is silent for a moment until Ahri gives a sarcastic “awww” and the moment is broken.
The rest of the day is spent at rest, Kai’sa busies herself with cleaning up the kitchen and getting started on a nice dinner, Ahri sticks on the television, and Akali puts a pair of earbuds in and dives into some song lyrics in an attempt to distract herself from the revelations of the morning.
She ends up writing all day, even doodling and jotting down scribbles during lunch and dinner. The task of tweaking and recombining words and rhythms a welcome trip away from the thorny mental miasma of whatever her condition is. But that can only last until Evelynn pulls her gently away to bed when the clock strikes eleven and they’re all reminded that they need to be up and about for studio time tomorrow. Akali is grateful that she falls asleep almost immediately, cocooned in Evelynn’s warm embrace and not even worrying about her run tomorrow morning.
Evelynn wakes up at four in the AM feeling like she’s being consumed in a firestorm. She unwraps her lashers from Akali’s burning skin in haste, letting out a quiet hiss as the burns covering them heal over instantly, shoving her heavy winter blankets away and for the first time ever regrets how much Akali tries to cling to her in sleep. She climbs carefully and gracefully out of bed, turning to smoke and coasting silently out of the room and down the stairs to the kitchen and front room in her natural form to grab a glass and some water.
“Is that you Evie?” Ahri’s voice floats through the room as she leans against the counter and Evelynn wills her body to coalesce out of the smoke again.
“It’s me.” She says, golden eyes boring into Ahri.
“Always have to double check if the mass of shadows is you or the kitchen counter.” Ahri chuckles, grasping her own glass of water and favouring Evelynn with an affectionate brush of her tails as she walks past. Evelynn runs a claw through the fur distractedly as Ahri’s tails whisper past her waist and the Gumiho sasheys out of the room. Evelynn stays there a while longer, relaxing in the cool air before she heads back to bed.
The first thing she does after getting back to her room is check Akali’s temperature, she’s still warm, but isn’t sweaty or feverish, and she isn’t burning up to a degree that actually burns Evelynn’s skin anymore so the succubus climbs back into bed, cuddles up to her still slumbering rogue, and falls right back to sleep without even pulling the blankets back up.
Akali wakes up an hour later, wondering why Evelynn has kicked the blankets all the way down to the bottom of the bed.
“Eve?” She questions sleepily, rolling over to find Evelynn sound asleep.
“Too warm?” Akali questions her sleeping lover, pressing a gentle kiss to Evelynn’s forehead. The succubus grumbles in her sleep and Akali's heart melts.
"I promise I'll come back to bed this time." She whispers, pulling the covers up and over Evelynn's sleeping form to keep her warm while grabbing her running gear.
Running has always been Akali's thinking exercise, be it lyrics, a chance to clear her head and think of nothing for a few minutes, or, in this case, a chance to really mull over her newfound status as a non-human.
It could be a lot worse, she thinks. The cold air biting at her face and lungs, but not with the same ferocity as it once did, despite the fact she didn't grab a jacket this morning Akali feels warm as summer. She wonders what kind of draconic ancestry she has, what powers if any it might grant her, it’s pretty cool to think about, if a little intimidating. Dragons are isolationist creatures, there’s not many in the wider world these days; they mostly stay in their own mountain reserves. She pushes her legs and lungs while she thinks, gaining speed until she's back at their front door with her pulse hammering under her fingers as she checks her heart rate with a smile.
"New personal record!" She breathes in satisfaction, slipping into the house and leaving her shoes in the entrance before padding back upstairs, changing back into her sleepwear, and climbing back into bed bedside Evelynn.
A single golden eye peeks open at her arrival and then slides closed as a lasher encircles her waist.
"Morning Eve." Akali whispers, giving her a quick kiss.
"Sleep." Evelynn grunts at her in response, making Akali giggle slightly as she's pulled closer by lashers and settles back into Evelynn's comforting embrace.
“I think it’s a bit late to go back to sleep Eve.” Akali says, even as she buries her face in Evelynn’s neck and closes her eyes. The succubus gives a shrug as her lips move against the crown of Akali’s head.
“Don’t care, you’re so nice and warm now.”
“Glad you’re reaping the benefits of my changed soul.” Akali mumbles as she drifts off to sleep.
She’s just drifting through a nice dream about being a badass rogue ninja hunting evil in the name of justice and being showered with ramen as a reward when a rather shrill voice enters her hearing, and Akali’s interesting dream life is replaced with Ahri’s ‘angry’ face.
“...you were meant to be up hours ago!” The Gumiho is yelling. Akali grumbles and buries her face further into Evelynn’s neck, not awake enough to deal with that in the slightest. Another angry tirade comes in response to that move and Evelynn’s distinctive purring voice soothes Akali’s ears a second later.
“Don’t be so shrill Gumiho, it’s very unbecoming.”
“I am… so beyond done with you both.”
Akali rolls over and attempts a winning smile with a little wave, but wrapped in eight layers of lashers and Evelynn’s arms, the most she can manage is a sheepish smile.
“I’m sorry, I’m up.”
“No you’re not.” Eveylnn says behind her, tightening her grip.
Above her, Akali watches Ahri’s fingers pinch the bridge of her nose in a vague attempt to stave off a headache.
“Evie. We have a recording session today, we have to be at the studio in thirty minutes.”
“Then I will be in bed for another twenty nine.” Evelynn grunts matter of factly, Ahri gives a long-suffering sigh.
“Please release Akali to me, at least? She has a job to do today.”
“No.” Evelynn grumbles. “She’s warm.”
“Give me strength.” Ahri mutters before turning on her heel and leaving the room. “I tried. Kai’sa, your turn.”
“Evelynn!” Kai’sa’s voice rings through the house. “Let Akali out of bed or neither of you get my cooking for a week!”
Before she can fully process what’s happening, Akali finds herself unceremoniously dumped on the bedside rug by Evelynn’s lashers as the daemonette levers herself out of bed.
“I’m up!” Evelynn calls, at last being gracious enough to help Akali to her feet. Kai’sa’s head pokes through the door and gives a satisfied nod.
“Good. Now both of you get ready, we have to record today.”
“So Ahri mentioned.” Evelynn sounds marginally more awake, but not any more happy about being out of bed, so Akali gives her a quick kiss.
“You’re a grumpy demon this morning.” Her response is a huff and a reciprocated kiss before Evelynn pulls Akali towards the shower.
Ten minutes later finds them emerging freshly washed, Evelynn wearing a smile a mile wide. The sight of Ahri waiting for them, arms crossed and tail flicking amusedly, only makes her smile wider, while Akali has the sudden desire to melt into the floor and hurries through getting dressed.
“Fun shower Akali?” Ahri asks, all thoughts of rushing to the studio apparently forgotten.
“I hate you both.” Akali grumbles, speeding through dressing herself and dashing from the room as Ahri’s giggles follow in her footsteps.
“So.” Kai’sa says on handing Akali her coffee as she enters the kitchen still in a mad dash. “You had a fun shower?”
“Oh my god.” Akali’s head drops into her hands and she feels a blush burn up her neck and across her face. Kai’sa giggles behind one hand and holds out her other for the mug as Akali drains it in two large gulps.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure Eve takes it as a compliment.”
“I’m sure she does.” Akali sighs, taking a moment to compose herself as the distinctive tap-taps of Ahri and Evelynn’s ever-present heels cross from the hallway to the linoleum flooring of the kitchen and the Gumiho is suddenly all business.
“Come on, car, now.” A hand finds Akali’s back and she finds herself and Kai’sa being shepherded out of the door and into the back seat of one of Evelynn’s faster saloon cars.
“Eve.” Ahri states as the woman in question climbs in and starts the engine. “I would like to be as on time as possible.”
In the back of the car, Akali and Kai’sa simultaneously reach for their seat-belts.
Twenty minutes later finds them pulled up outside the studio comfortably within time for the start of their recording slot. Akali unlatches her seatbelt with slightly shaky fingers and sees Ahri in the front seat sigh and collect herself after being subject to Evelynn’s maniacal driving style.
“Are you okay?” Kai’sa asks her, seeming perfectly at ease with the hundred and forty something traffic laws that Evelynn has just spent twenty minutes violating repeatedly and violently. Akali turns to her wide-eyed with passing fear Kai’sa laughs brightly.
“Oh it’s not that bad.”
“We tripled the speed limit and skipped every junction imaginable in downtown Seoul.” Akali whispers. Kai’sa simply shrugs.
“I thought she was well within acceptable standards.” In the front seat, Ahri giggles.
“I almost forgot you were from South Africa Bokkie.”
Once in the studio Akali loses herself in the recording schedule of the day. Ahri is very much a task-master when it comes to this sort of thing, and they need to get her minimums done before they’re even allowed to relax. It’s a punishing pace but it gets results, so none of the others argue until they’re at their limits, after five going on six solid hours of recording harmonies and a couple of solos. Evelynn and Kai’sa are finally given leave to rest and go on break, leaving just Akali and Ahri in the room to record some rap tracks. They’re even ahead of schedule, so Ahri gives her leave to freestyle a little bit.
“I love the energy today.” Ahri tells her. Akali shoots a cocky smile at the window into the recording booth and tests a few of the phrases and bars she’s been working on out loud, to a smattering of applause.
“Is that what you’ve been working on?” Ahri asks her and Akali nods.
“Yeah, what do you think?”
“I love it darling.” Evelynn’s cool voice issues from behind the glass as she and Kai’sa walk in holding coffee. “Although I do have to wonder if you can actually spit fire now?”
Akali laughs, leaning on her mic stand.
“I would love to do that as a stage gimmick.”
“You know you might actually be able to.” Ahri inputs. “Maybe we should see if you can.”
“Not in the studio.” Kai’sa’s iron-hard voice halts the line of inquiry immediately.
“Buzzkill.” Evelynn says without edge in her voice.
“Excuse me for not wanting out of control fire in a foam-filled studio.” Kai’sa mutters dryly.
“So how can we test it?” Akali asks, choosing to ignore Kai’sa for the time being.
“Just try breathing some fire?” Ahri suggests, only half joking, as Kai’sa pinches the bridge of her nose with one hand while off-handedly checking their fire insurance on her phone, just in case.
Slightly unsure what Ahri actually wants, Akali simply mimes a dragon behind the microphone. No flame is forthcoming, but the laughter from the other room encourages her to continue with the performance regardless.
“More energy, remember, you’re a rap dragon!” Ahri laughs into her microphone and Akali turns her most puzzled expression on the window separating them.
“The fuck is a rap dragon?”
“I dunno. Just-” Ahri cuts off in a bout of laughter, “just imagine a dragon rapping and try to imitate it.”
Through the window, Akali is treated to the comical sight of Kai’sa exaggeratedly examining the label on Ahri’s coffee.
“You worry me sometimes, Gumiho.” Evelynn mutters.
“Can we just get this recorded and work on Akali’s possible fire risk later?” Kai’sa attempts to steam-roll the subject along while holding Ahri’s coffee out of reach of the Gumiho’s grasping hands until the fox relents.
“Fine, from the top for Baddest?” Ahri asks, reclaiming her coffee finally and taking a celebratory sip.
“From the top.” Akali states decisively, taking a centering breath as Ahri starts her backing track. She counts herself in and launches into an energetic performance. Feeling it perfectly as words flow evenly and rhythmically from her mouth, eyes closing in concentration until she hears a muttered expletive from Kai’sa and opens her eyes to see Evelynn’s gleaming smile cutting through a room full of primordial darkness.
The inky blackness recedes as she loses concentration and Akali can’t help but smile at Evelynn’s almost feral grin on the other side of the glass.
“Guess that’s a no to fire.” She tries to put on a dejected act but it’s hard, a few days ago she has considered the supernatural aspects of the world to be equal but separate, something she could interact with but never truly experience, no matter how many times Ahri or Evelynn reaches inside her with their otherworldly power and scoops her soul hollow. But this is new, hers, and judging by the reactions she can see through the booth Evelynn and Ahri at least are very interested.
Behind the glass Evelynn melts into shadow for a second before she appears in front of Akali, a razor sharp claw holding under her chin.
“That was a very attractive display of power darling.” She growls, posessively claiming Akali’s lips briefly in a searing kiss. Before a sharp rap on the glass kills the mood.
“Not in the studio please!” Kai’sa calls and Evelynn sighs.
“You’re a kill-joy today Kai’sa.” She pecks Akali’s lips again and melts away, reappearing back in the booth with a smug smile and picking up her coffee nonchalantly.
“So, I guess we’re done for today?” Ahri says after a moment of silence.
“I think so.” Evelynn purrs, a victorious smile on her lips.
Evelynn places an arm proudly as Akali exits the studio booth and meets up with the other three, a display of blatant possession and pride that makes her cuddle close to her succubus with a satisfied smile as everything but Eve in the world falls away.
“So any thoughts on your new stage gimmick?” The low purr caresses her ears and Akali shrugs her free shoulder.
“I think I have a few ideas.”