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A quick guide to mistaking your girlfriend for a human ( as written by ¾ of K/DA)

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Akali is without a doubt, our favorite hoomie.

Most of their fans, most of the world really, had no connection to the spirit or celestial powers that be. Colloquially, non-humans and humans with magic powers called them hoomies. When Ahri called her that in interviews, it was both an inside joke and a way to welcome their BLADES into their world.

The joke was great really, Akali considered it a sort of bonding experience that they were all non-humans but kept that game running.

Okay, sure, it was a bit jarring at times but the rest of the band was bent on playing it straight so she went along with it. Inside jokes were jokes that made you feel special!

K/DA was an unparalleled success, Ahri and Evelynn were major league pros at that game and it was easy to feel real beloved with them at the helm. It was gruelling work, thankless a lot of the time but Ahri was a honed taskmaster that had such a polished synergy with their resident diva, it would make Akali kinda jealous if they weren’t all maybe-sorta-totally all dating each other.

Everything they did was more or less an experience, a mouthpiece to their individual talents and goals that came together in a way far greater than the sum of its parts could ever achieve. Thanks to prior experiences in the business, every ounce of freedom and passion was hard damn won and thought through with tooth and nail (and lashers and shoulder canons). They had swapped out fast turnaround for vision, quality over quantity and their own lives over fleeting fame.

It was a nonstop, can’t stop work vortex but they made it work so awesome despite growing pains and stress, that it was hard picturing a time when Akali didn’t want to be walking this path with her three other girls.

The clear bonus (besides worldwide fame, creative freedom and romantic attachments) was her not having to mute herself, break her soul into pieces that were soft enough to not hurt normal people. It wasn’t their fault they were squishy, truly, but getting home and being able to be around people as special and, most of all, resistant as her was one massive perk.

Even Kai’sa, arguably the most human of them all, was tougher than titanium rebar and could get all the shoves, nips, boisterousness and general supernatural existence that they could throw at her and return it tenfold. Outside of the Kinkou order, Akali had struggled to truly let loose, always holding something back, afraid of hurting the other fragile people in her life.

Not being able to accidentally harm any of them was a need she had not exactly realized she had but when it was fulfilled, it was like a whole new world had opened up to her.

“Kali, I really can’t sign off on this stunt…” Ahri, dutiful leader, doting girlfriend, was staring at the whiteboard for their upcoming promo POP/STARS shoot and frowning, tail swishing from side to side. “I know you are a capable performer, don’t get me wrong, but you if land wrong from that height and speed, it might really harm you.”

A tangle of poofy tails and the most concerned eyes were on her before she could so much as argue that neither height nor speed were anything to write home about for her constitution, but Akali knew how to pick her fights and Ahri never did things like this out of ego or a powertrip.

Whatever it was that was upsetting her, they’d figure it out further down the line.

“If you say so, boss, don’t wanna worry you over a stunt, but you gotta admit it would look so cool!” She plucked the pen from Ahri’s hand, pecked her lips as she went by and looked at the scene again. “Meet me halfway here, foxy.”

And they reworked the jump after getting in touch with the stunt team and their long suffering insurance manager.

Akali was proud of having earned some sweet management XP, her thoughts circling back to branching out into a new project and laying the foundations for it.

 


 

The ensuing prepwork for their upcoming clip, a behemoth that involved merging every one of their creative impulses with the feasibility of physics and time constraints was an all hands on deck sort of endeavour.

“Kai, I love you to death really but this is a beat the meat run.” Akali groaned, flopping down on the polished wood of the studio floor, Kai’sa’s undisputed sacrosanct domain.

“Darling, I desperately wish we were beating the meat.” Replied Evelynn in English, not truly a complaint on how hard they were working but the opportunity for it was too good to pass. The guffaw she got from Akali and Kai’sa’s more understated snort was worth it.

Ahri was on the phone, and her English skills were passable at best so she only half got the joke and her ears swivelled in a clear question. Eve looked at her straight in the eyes, reclined back on the sofa she was lounging on, spread her legs and made a series of gestures and sounds that would have been worth a cool hundred thousand Won in a shoddy idol publication.

Ahri scrambled to end the call, the pricey, top-of-the line phone slipping from her hands in her haste and only a well placed energy orb saved it from a traumatic death on the floor.

She marched over to the couch towards a smirking Evelynn, landing on her with the full might of her nine tails and getting an indignant squawk in return.

As the argument turned heated in a way no one was sure wasn't going to derail into making out aggressively, Kai'sa sat down on one of her recliners in a valiant effort to get her lower back to stop throbbing. "If it helps I'm beat too, but you guys are really taking to the new choreo."

"It's ambitious, I'll give you that." Akali lifted her head and she squinted in her direction, sweat pooling down her neck. "You're ambitiously hoping I'll get this one right."

To be a group, and furthermore, to be group dating, there was a skill that was needed above all else: when you had someone committed to putting in the work, you had to work on making it as easy as possible for them in return.

Case in point, Akali was an accomplished martial artist and a sharp witted visionary but dancing did not come naturally to her. Her ambition and determination had her working double time but Kai'sa also put a lot of care into making sure she had the correct structure for her rapid fire brain to feel good about learning.

"You're doing super good though! I'm not worried about it if we keep up the pace." Kai’sa said, stretching her arms and legs like a content cat. A twinge in her lumbar area made her hiss, the intensity of it unexpected and the symbiote rippled under her skin, unsure of what was wrong.

She heard Akali spring back to her feet with an acrobatic jump and she was looming over her with a smirk in no time.

"Turn around and lie down on your stomach while I fetch the massage oil." A shoulder cannon twirled in the air and beeped, making Akali wink at Kai'sa's brilliant blush. "Your space boner seems interested, I'll be sure to put my A-game on."

Warm hands pressed into Kai’sa’s broad back, Akali's years of experience tending to grueling post training stiffness being put to excellent use.

The symbiote skittered at the talented fingertips exploring Kais’sa’s muscles as it made a sound often described as purring, finally deciding to settle around her muscle cells and bulking them up to soak as much of the relaxing metabolic compounds as possible.

"Woah,” Akali laughed, leaning down to press a kiss on warm skin, “instant buff in a packet! Just add some tender love and care."

Kai'sa groaned, when the symbiote got like this, it was like having a very needy and insistent cat trying to get papped, but instead of bonking a furry head on her shin, the damn alien got her straining out of her stretchy workout clothes. "Don't enable it." Sassy beeps. "I heard that!"

The knots Akali found were proving to be much more resistant than she had expected, reaching deeper into Kaisa’s back than what she could manipulate. Damn, she was going to lecture Kai'sa on spending her evenings reading like a pretzel on their couch because her muscles were a mess.

"Gonna do a little something, that cool?"

A garbled affirmative came from a half dozing Kai'sa, her long body slack on the studio chaise longue. It made Akali grin broadly, Yeah, still got it!

She focused for a second, letting energy flow through her, settling into her hands until they were the balmy temperature of massage stones. Akali rubbed them together to spread the massage oil evenly and brought her palms gently upon the strong traps in between Kai’sa’s scapulas.

And as soon as there was skin on skin contact, Kai'sa's back armored with thick, shimmering plates, and before Akali could ask any questions, a concussive blast donkey-kicked her into the far wall mirror with a cacophony of broken glass.

"Kali?! Oh my god, oh fuck."

A bit stunned, Akali tried getting up to brush off the shards that had fallen on her but Kai'sa's hands pressed her down and grabbed her face, purple eyes clouded by fear and anxiety.

Evelynn and Ahri skidded into a halt near them, the ruined mirror crunching underneath training shoes with a grating noise that made Akali head pound more than the blast.

Ahri was already on call with the emergency services, Eve feeling the whiplash of emotions pouring from Kai’sa and trying to intervene before she could dive into the deep end of a full blown panic attack.

“I’m okay, I’m okay.” Akali waved it away, the surprise of it hitting her harder than the concussive force. “Let me get up, Bokkie, before Ahri calls half the ambulances in Busan to this location.” But Kai'sa wasn't letting her up, shaking her head while wiping away some stray tears and touching Akali’s face with shaky hands.

"Don't move, please." There was a torrent of panic in the purple eyes that Akali loved so dearly, the reddening sclera and the activated symbiote giving her an otherworldly look. "We have to wait until someone can check your neck, you might be really hurt, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."

Akali frowned, puzzled at that statement, but she knew the moment wasn't appropriate for her to buck at being coddled. Even their ever stoic Evelynn appeared as worried as Akali had ever seen her, golden pupils flitting over her face and body, trying to make sure there was no lethal damage hiding in plain sight.

"I'm so sorry, I don't know what happened! It never did this before! I just...I was almost asleep and then you touched me and all of a sudden there was a massive danger signal and the symbiote reacted too fast."

Dark scales crawled all over Kai'sa, the dissonant alien noises that accompanied her emotional state the only thing that could be heard over her ragged breathing.

A long tail touched her along Kai’sa’s spine, soft satin lashers wrapping themselves around her midsection and the noise calmed down to a quiet scraping but her trembling hands had graduated to full body tension.

"Look... I'll be fine, nothing hurts!" And of course, as Akali said that, three sets of eyes drilled into her with varying degrees of worry, patently calling her too full of bravado for her own good. She was going to get nowhere like this. "An ambulance is almost here, right Ahri?"

Ahri nodded, her tail soothing Kai'sa as best as she was able.

"I'll go in for a check-up, no problem, but i feel fine and…"

Apparently the doctors overseeing her case had been on an ‘err on the side of caution’ day. The preclinical staff had looked at a distraught superstar group full of weird powers, a caved in mirror, and shards embedded in her back and Akali had been given the full on cervical collar, CT scan, and overnight stay protocol.

After patching up the shards of glass that had embedded in her back, wounds that had likely completely healed already, Akali had been relegated to poking around her steamed eggs and the chocolate pudding Evelynn had snuck in.

Said demon had gone off to nibble on some low hanging misery while Ahri was busy talking to the press about this stunt. This left Kai'sa, who had almost been admitted to the psychiatric services, but their fearless leader had stepped in and smoothly defused the situation.

One Kai’sa’s SOS anxiety meds and many assurances ‘of no harm no foul’ later, she had stalled like a ship with no sails and was currently resting on the designated caretaker bed next to Akali.

Reaching out over her bowl, Akali threaded her hand through her silky purple hair and sighed.

What a mess, an odd mess at that - their Bokkie lived her life with the undercurrent of desperation at the chance of harming loved ones with her symbiote, she'd never react like that willingly.

In a way, growing up with the Kinkou had allowed her some flexibility in terms of resilient playmates, but Kai'sa had gone from young child, to being trapped in the Void, to trying to reintegrate back in a world not made for her.

For them.

"I'm made of real stern stuff, Kai Kai. No need to worry."

With nothing else to do, Akali resorted to typing away at her phone, lyrics blazing out like a forest fire straight into her trusty cloud file. Evelynn soon joined her, grouching about not liking the flavour of misery at the hospital, but she still settled snug against her to steal both cuddles and her steamed eggs.

Ahri was the last to join them, vaguely eyeing what sliver of space was not occupied by a 1.85 m long choreo lead that had been knocked out by strong meds.

A weird night for K/DA, but at least her fans had fun with Ahri's selfie of them all at the hospital in various stages of unconsciousness (though Kai'sa wasn't going to shake her sleeping beauty moniker any time soon).

 


 

Master Kennen was like, hands down, the wisest person she knew. Even when it was really looking like Akali was never going to be chosen to be the Fist of Shadow, he still made an effort to impart knowledge that would aid her throughout the years.

People are like rivers, little dragon, they carve their own paths that we are unable to guess, but no matter what, they always arrive downstream. One must only wait and look when they do.

So she did, or well,she tried to the best of her abilities, but she was starting to wonder if there was something else that was flying over her head.

First Ahri had shut down a super basic stunt, then Kai'sa had nursed her back to health like they had performed pioneering brain surgery on her.

And now…

"Eve, babe…" They had the house to themselves for the afternoon as Ahri and Kai'sa were on an outing or other, which left Akali to be (very willingly) pulled into a demon's wily clutches. "Is something wrong?" Very tame wily clutches.

No biggie, Akali could work with that. There wasno need to have pelvis shattering, subspace shoving, soul unravelling sex  all the time.

"Why would it be?" A very declawed hand felt out the stretchy fabric of Akali's top, fingers digging into the strong core underneath. Evelynn pinned Akali with a stare that would have reduced any mortal to cinders and lowered her head to graze pointed teeth along the tense muscles underneath.

“It’s just.” It’s just Akali clothes were intact, an event absolutely unprecedented and she had yet to spot any lashers feeling her up. Maybe she was just being weird for no reason, just because Eve's usual style was the same pedal to the metal as her driving style, it didn’t mean stuff couldn’t be different. “Where’s uh,” (the ever consuming desire to eat her whole like the unwary fool in a cautionary folk tale)“your lashers?”

To the untrained eye, Eve was all sultry smirks as she popped the top button from Akali's pants but even through the spike of electricity from the warm breath on her naked skin, Akali could still feel there was something off.

It was subtle, a sort of coiled tension that reminded her of what Kai’sa had been doing with her lately, the hesitating, blink and you'll miss it worry.

Akali's  train of thought came crashing harder than a severe locomotive accident as Eve lowered her mouth and nibbled on the skin near her .All out demon banging or not, Evelynn knew how to press every single button in her vicinity.

A rippling adrenaline fueled Akali's anticipation, loud heartbeat drowning out most everything else. Evelynn had Akali at her complete mercy and she always chose exquisite things to do when Akali was a disheveled mess, back glued to the mattress and expert fingers down her pants.

Familiar tendrils of dark essence seeped into Akali's consciousness, the lines between reality and the immaculate realm of souls blurring with each probing.

Eve was a halo of shades above her heaving chest, blazing golden eyes unravelling her. The feeling of wild abandonment was hot in her veins as her soul was picked apart for the juicy bits by a dangerous predator.

Did Akali get off on danger?

Absolutely, sue her.

She was about to grind out her first orgasm, her body and soul flickering in and out of existence,  when the tendrils receded , a novel hesitancy to them.

"Babe, come on." The whiny tone to her voice was embarassing as fuck, plus the needy lift of her hips did not help matters but a girl had needs and the week had been weird.

On a normal day, Evelynn would give her a sly grin that would tell her Evelynn  was about to set a scene that would fuck Akali's brains out in. , At the moment, all Akali could see and feel was the kid gloves her girlfriends had decided to handle her with, as if she was made of spun glass.

"Evelynn! Fuck me.Like.You.Mean.IT!" Akali's soul blazed, roaring in response to her simmering irritation. The surge of power, usually tucked away and dormant, ignited through the realm of souls like a sun turning nova.

A second of startled surprise was all the warning Akali got before she was sucked in cleanly through the thrall. The thorny lashers of dark essence were back with a rapturous vengeance, pinning her down and she gave them a fight so wild, so filling, her favorite demon wouldn't walk straight for a while.

In the end, it was an exercise in crystalline trust. Akali let herself be dragged down and Evelynn always returned her up top.

 


 

"Someone had a good evening." Kai'sa kissed Akali's mussed hair, setting a bowl of creamy oats in front of her.

And they had indeed. The resulting casualty was Evelynn's mattress shredded to ribbons and they had autopiloted into a pile of exhaustion on Ahri's sinfully luxurious bed on the upper floor. She had vaguely sensed the other two getting in bed later that night, but at the time, her brain had yet to hop back into her cranium.

"Ahri's bedroom smelled like a gym locker during an orgy when we got back." Kai’sa laughed, remembering It had been strong enough for Ahri to comment on it mid-stairs. "And I swear, we weren't subtle about getting in bed and neither of you so much as twitched."

Akali snorted, pressing the palm of her hand on her cheek and letting it support her head. "Yeah, guess we went redline there a couple of times." She pondered for a second, the brilliant mash of souls getting hazy in parts but the gist of it was great. "S'good."

“Girl can't leave the house for a couple hours to teach kiddy dance classes without missing all the fun." It was a good natured tease as much as it was a challenge for a do-over, Kai’sa definitely wanted in on it too.

Putting on a braver face than she felt, an accomplishment after getting her soul sucked out straight through her nips, Akali swivelled her kitchen island stool  and hooked her legs around Kai'sa's strong midsection. "Pretty girl like you, I'll do all the encores." The, after-she-slept-a-full-week was implicit and Kai'sa laughed at that, leaning down to peck her lips.

"Don't take out loans your ass can't cash, rogue."

The rapid staccato of heels sounded coming down the stairs, making them turn towards the archway to the kitchen. "Morning, cuties! Sorry for the rush but we got slotted in earlier and Eve is in one hell of a grabby mood." Ahri said, inhaling half of Akali's oat bowl and adjusting her rumpled shirt back inside her skirt. "If she's not as mobile as she'll be today in like five minutes, kick her!"

"I'm glad my schedule is flexible today," Akali commented as their leader ran off into her office as fast as she had blown in, the ghost of her lips on their cheeks, "cause I'm going to handle those gnarly beats after I crash."

"Lucky you, if I was feeling mean I'd drag you with me today to the studio."Between the classes Kai'sa taught and the mountains of K/DA choreo work she had on her plate, getting dragged off with her wasn't for the weak-hearted.

"Harsh! If I go down on you, do I get a pass?"

A vague patch of shade blinked into existence on the kitchen table, her form as bleary as her eyes.

Kai'sa took pity on Evelynn's discombobulated looks, offering her a sports bar with enough calories to survive the ride to the interview, and a cup of coffee.

"You're gonna need these today, Eve." She fished a pair of sunglasses from her front pocket and offered them to Evelynn, who instantly perched them on her face with a languid smile and a smooch.

The coffee helped Evelynn materialize into the human equivalent of a python that ate a whole deer clean through just as Akali fell back asleep, still sitting perfectly still on their breakfast bar.

An orb of blue spirit magic floated into the room, Kai'sa's symbiote vibrating and coating her body nearest to the dangerous energy with shimmering scales. However, the orb was uninterested in the overprotective void spawn, instead slipping over to Evelynn and bonking  against the side of her head, Evelynn gave the fox magic a side eyed glare, but continued to eat her breakfast. After about six bonks Evelynn groaned and got up.

"If foxy doesn't come back, it means I killed her."

"Noted!" Kai'sa snorted, presenting her with a meal box with enough snacks to avoid murder, at least of anyone important. "Figured you needed these. Love you!"

As far as Evelynn was concerned, the world didn't fucking deserve Kai'sa. If she could, she'd make sure she would never ever go through the pain Eve could feel lurking just underneath her hardened skin. It was with some reluctance that she admitted that for now, she could only kiss her goodbye and plot ways to return Kai'sa's kindness and boundless love.

Maybe a nice day out on the town, VIP full pamper style. Yes, that would do.

"Don't get in trouble, ladies. At least not without me."

 


 

It was around noon that Akali shuffled out of the couch she had been sleeping on, laser focused on getting her energy  back and putting to paper the lyrics that were pinballing around her brain.

Headphones set to blast, bowl full of soup and her tablet in front of her. She was about to get in the zone. The beat drew her in, pricey stylus twirling in her hand as she danced around the living room and jotted her ideas on the tablet. She was a beast, she was the baddest, she was…

Staring at the barrel of a gun, three fucking randos squatting in the living room.

"We don't want to hurt you, human!" The slight tremble from the handgun pointed at her told her as much, "Just come with us and we can settle the score with Evelynn and Ahri."

A cursory scry and some keen sight told her it was one Vastaya with juvenile feathers trying to hold the handgun aloft, a human with some form of magic and a whole ass Minotaur holding two shotguns. They looked like they had raided the local paintball arena for the outfits they were wearing and none of the guns had even a trace of augmentation on them.

"And they sent you lot to come collect?" Akali was almost insulted that they (whoever ‘they’ were going to be) had dispatched some shaky kids to kidnap her. "Me?"

"Miss, it's not personal." Minotaur paintball kid interjected, magic baby still quietly trying to look mean but coming up as scary as Ahri when she entered the fox sillyzone "It's just...you're the only squishy hoomie and the bosses wanted a clean trip, so if you please."

They waved a shotgun towards the door, motioning for her to go and Akali's exhaustion just got that much worse.

Now she'd have to go, figure out their headquarters, slap some losers around, get these kids out the low life, come back, and then  work on her amazing rap lines.

Wait, Hoomie? Motherfucker!

Akali was hauled into the back of a van and they didn't even check her for weapons. Why did she keep hollering she was a goddess with a blade and then not get even one little old pat? Of course, this had to happen on   a day she had only one kunai on herself, the rest  laid down in her dojo to be cleaned and sharpened.

“Okay, so fill me in here, cause I’m obviously in no way, shape or form capable of fighting you.”  really, her biggest challenge was not falling asleep during the ride, pop music blasting from the beaten up stereo and the smooth expressway lulling her like a siren. "Where are we going and also, who the hell are you?"

"You get to meet the bosses in a bit, at our safehouse." Said the magic baby, fiddling with the knobs on the radio. "We're the-"

"Dude! She's marked by Ahri, cut it out." Feather vastaya hissed, looking fretfully in her direction. Akali wasn't sure if they were checking for bruises that would net them Ahri's dangerous fury or for whatever vastaya thingie they had just mentioned. "Don’t tell her shit. If this goes wrong…"

“It won’t! Scary vastaya lady is gonna come fetch her wife or something and won’t dare mess with us cause we’re just that awesome.” Magic baby said, reaching over to mess the vastaya’s head feathers. "Or are you worried about our guest of honor? What is she going to do, rap us to death?"

"I'll have you know I have many freestyle battles under my belt." Akali tossed back at them while keeping track of the direction they were headed, processing her next steps as the van rattled down the highway and the kids were blissfully unaware of what she was.

Whatever lowlife was waiting for them was sure not to be whoever wanted to settle scores with two of the most powerful players in the game. So, either this was a nascent, novel threat, or some bozo grabbing desperate kids and playing crime syndicates had been roped into poking at K/DA’s defenses. Either way, it was clobbering time.

“Hand her to the boss, get paid, prove our worth.” The minotaur grumbled, shoulder checking their vastaya companion with some affection. “Come on, Min-jun, we got this!”

“Brayson, lay off and drive.”

Akali tested the shitty rope tying her wrists together, careful not to use any meaningful sort of strength or it was likely to break. Terrible knotwork too, she would have to teach these kids a thing or two about securing prisoners.

“You know, this gig is paying you peanuts and I know other gigs would be paying you even less than peanuts.” She had met up with enough kids like them to know it was this, homelessness or worse. “But I have a ton of friends who real could use the help of hardworking folk like you. Get solid resources, a generous stipend for education, fair living wage, and best of all,” Akali eyed them through the rearview mirror and her heart broke all over the place at the fragile spark of hope in their eyes, “you won't get tangled in a ridiculous pissy dispute that will get you three very territorial ladies on your asses.”

The atmosphere was tense and silent after that, solidifying Akali's resolve that these would-be kidnappers needed a shove in the right direction way more than they needed a well placed kunai in the middle of the forehead.

She had a feeling she was not getting any lyrics done today.

Smooth expressway soon turned to gravel and shortly after, the gravel changed  into a slippery mud backroad.

They had arrived at a comically basic abandoned factory.

It wasn't particularly big, just a former textile plant that had probably been out of production for  a decade. The garden was unkempt, as expected, and some of the windows were broken in, but there were enough tire threads and mud paths around her field of vision to tell her it was seeing some recent use.

Magic human minion laid a hand on her shoulder, probably to steer her towards the rusted gate, and it took every ounce of her willpower to not tense her back in preparation to shatter them like a frozen strawberry.

As soon as they walked in, half a dozen other idiots of various sapient stripes showed up and her headache compounded with her growing irritation. A large woman with a low grade set of augmented revolvers gave her a cursory once over and tossed a briefcase in the kids’ direction, giving them a clear sign to scram

They left her in an Industrial space with low natural light, surrounded by  ten opponents with shintzy ordnance that couldn’t burst through wet tissue paper much less proper warding, and so many empty hidey holes that she could have stashed the whole of the remaining Kinkou  and still had enough space to throw a party without being seen.The only saving grace for these losers was that she still had some questions on the why's of this operation.

A random mook broke the menacing, if highly inefficient formation and went out of their way to open a small service door to the right.

Akali was still standing in place when a cyborg wedged his bulk through the door. Judging by the vague pomp and circumstance of his stature and gait,  it was likely he was one of the bosses the kids had talked about. He clanked in without so much as having her tied to a chair or anything else that would further reduce her threat level. Rank amateurs, all of them.

Akali  had to hand it to him though, his  arm mounted spike gun was much less of a joke than all the other crap she had seen so far, and his solid stance meant that he was likely to know how to use it. Best she avoid getting too cocky or she'd end up with some new holes that her ladies would never stop motherhenning her about.

"Miss Akali, the South Province syndicate is delighted you were so cooperative." One of the names she needed. "I am Papa Bucket, one of the three leaders of our blooming operation." Two of the names she needed. "My other colleagues are negotiating your value with our esteemed client, the lovely Cassiopeia Du Couteau." And that was a wrap!

"It's Master Jhomen Tethi, actually." The t-shirt she had on revealed enough of her dragon tattoo that  all guns in the vicinity trained on her when the ink started glowing under the yellowing industrial lights. "Do you take critique? Cause that name is not doing you any favours."

Before the inevitable dramatic sputtering could start, Akali attuned herself with her soul.

Her perception heightened to an atomic standstill and for the barest moment the world was at her leisure.

All of the lamps, emergency lights and ambient electrical noises ceased to function and with it came the heavy, damp gloom that sat around them like a physical presence. Any semblance of order the syndicate was trying to portray imploded under the pressure of that ancestral brand of panic that bubbled out in oppressive darkness.

The sound of confused shouting and scrambling boots amused her to no end but it was time to have some real fun.

A deep, inhuman chuckle sounded over the commotion, reverberating on every single nook and cranny of the factory shop floor. It was everywhere and nowhere at once, bouncing off the steel beams and high walkways and someone had the presence of mind to call for silence.

Nothing was scarier than the monster you could not see but could definitely hear. Akali's form was large and serpentine, the air it displaced as she moved was compounded by the scratching of claws in strategic places for a bout of psychological warfare that would shake even the most trained warrior.

The Foot Clan wannabes were in for a bad, bad time.

 


 

"Twitter is jam packed with gifs of you falling asleep." Ahri snorted, turning her phone in Evelynn’s direction a couple of times, showing her the feed that was just the offending clip and the billion tweets for it "Our mentions are through the roof."

A razor sharp eyebrow lifted at them trending over their latest interview but Evelynn focused back on the road, one hand on the steering wheel and her whole body sprawled on the sports seat while they hurtled through downtown at breakneck speed. "My fucks giving today is somewhere so far up Aurelion Sol's ass crack, you'd get a whole constellation pulling it out."

"What did she do to you?" Ahri laughed, taking a selfie of both of them for their Insta page while everyone was keen on talking about them. "And how can I get some of that?" The K/DA beachfront house came into view and a part of her brain acknowledged that Evelynn replied with some baiting tease that ordinarily she would have taken but their front gate was open.

Their front gate was open and another Vastaya had been in her home. Ahri was out of the car before Eve could park, nine tails out and pulsing with spirit energy, growling loud enough to silence any wildlife in the vicinity.

Abandoning the pricey supercar on their driveway, Evelynn scrambled to grab the territorial gumiho with her lashers and held her in place. "Foxy, this is modern Korea and we have a human in the house." There was a lingering undercurrent of excitement and fear from whoever could be around, emotional imprints mixing in with the essences of other sapients and pinging her defenses. "Akali might have friends over."

Ears flattened against her skull, her growl receding to a low rumble that reverberated inside her ribcage but at least she had stilled her furious thrashing. "Go."

Evelynn dematerialized, a spot of shade oozing alongside their lush garden and she came across the open patio door. Friends, it had to be some of Akali's less than polite friends that were not closing doors and shedding bits all over their house.

Part of her wanted to call out to her, Akali had mentioned she would be home but a gnawing feeling stopped her. Something wasn't adding up, so she slunk to the kitchen and living room as silently as possible.

The dishes were neatly cleaned and stacked, all of the dish rags folded in complicated enough patterns that only Akali on a laser focus bender could produce so she definitely had been around, prepping for work.

Keys, wallet...a bit further down was a half eaten bowl of soup, her phone and headset.

What truly set her alarms blaring was the tablet, open on her notepad and with a verse half written down. Akali never left lines half up, she had grumped at them a million times that her brain lost track of her ideas and they were as good as gone. She either had a sudden bout of dysentery...

Or something awful had happened.

"Akali? Darling, are you home?" No answer.

Before she dissolved into a mass of panicking snakes, Evelynn shifted her vision and attuned to the soul signatures that she had bonded with. Ahri was bright like a thousand floodlights, anger and worry pulsing through her like cancer and distantly, there was a faint whiff of Kai'sa, her voidling a unique signature midst all of the humans.

No Akali. "Ahri."

The gumiho was inside in an instant, any semblance of her charming leader persona was gone in a whirlwind of feral panic, her tails fanning out like feelers trying to grasp at any hint of what had happened.

“What can you feel, foxy?”

Lhotlan, a human, a minotaur. Fear, excitement, indecision, resolve but no panic, no pain. “Kai’sa?” Only by the kindest definition was that an intelligible word, snapped around a full toothed snarl but she was too busy hoovering up all traces of scent and soul that she could find to gather intel.

Evelynn held up her phone, ringing twice before Kai’sa’s chipper voice came on the line. “Heya, Eve! Saw the interview, I bet you’re glad for the glasses huh?” She sounded a little breathless, probably on break from a rowdier exercise dance class and the happy beeps of her symbiote sounded in the background. “Need me to pick something up from the store? I was about to leave.”

“Bokkie, is Akali with you by any chance?”

“Oh no, she texted me thanking for the soup and said she was about to blaze hardcore so rogue is definitely hunched somewhere back home.”

Evelynn hated being the voice of reason, hated being the cooler head of the band but Ahri was fur and fangs, eyes gleaming a true Vastaya gold and unless she was directed at a target, things were going to go very badly, astoundingly fast. “Kai’sa, come back home. Something happened to Akali. H-”

The line cut off abruptly.

Evelynn didn’t wish to dwell on the niggling doubts she secretly harbored that she knew that this would happen. Akali was lovely beyond reproach and without her K/DA just wouldn’t be the same but being around them, a demon, a vastaya, a void touched whose father was on a one man mission to end the Void, was to invite danger that a non powered human was not prepared to deal with.

Between Ahri and her, they had enough powerful enemies that could skewer Akali and slurp out her hoomie bone marrow in the time it took for Eve to ready her lashers. Their world was too dangerous, too big but their rogue projected such a stalwart presence and confidence that it was easy to forget she wasn’t made of spirit or Void.

Which only meant Evelynn was going to eviscerate with extreme prejudice whoever had pulled this stunt and judging by Ahri’s pinned back ears and fox fire searing into her demonic perception, they both were of mind that this would not stand.

The screech of tires echoed on the street, Kai’sa’s crappy Hyundai rounding the corner into the cul-de-sac of their apartment and grinding into a halt straight into the custom built fender of her beautiful Lambo.

With the shock alarm blaring, which was admittedly an impossibly annoying feature Eve had been remiss in not taking out, Kai’sa exited the smoking pile of mom-van by snapping the door clean off its hinges and, in a move that would have gotten anyone else killed on the spot, she hissed at the noise and ran an armored fist through the custom built hood, yanking out the offending alarm like a ghoul extracting a still beating heart.

If anyone were to ask how much she loved Kai’sa and Akali, she would reply that she was more concerned for her Bokkie’s state of mind over the possible harm of their girlfriend than for her priceless, one of a kind car getting beaten up by an alien dog-cat stuck to a leggy dancer.

As Kai’sa approached, her form bulked and shifted, scales and void structures taking over her body, leaving only shredded clothes in her wake and only her face bare. “What happened?”

“Kidnapping.” Evelynn supplied, highly intense emotional imprints from the other two women crashing into her senses and clouding her judgement. Ahri was too busy checking Kai’sa over for injuries and foreign scents, a treatment she took with her patented kindness and patience, even though the only thing Eve was getting from her was an overruling survival instinct so powerful, it burned as hot as the fox fire. “Scene is intact.”

A nod and Kai’sa looked around, approaching Akali's discarded table and lunch. “No fight, no fluids, not a mess. She went willingly with her captors. Any ideas who did this?” And who would be paying in blood and flesh for taking away their human girlfriend by force and under threat.

“Nothing yet, Bokkie. I can’t track her and Ahri is otherwise indisposed." She clenched her claws, the thoughts of Akali being hurt or dead somewhere swirling around her brain. "Do you happen to have any aces up your sleeve?”

“Void residue, in theory, is something you carry around in very small quantities because of me." Void called to Void, for good or ill "If I...give some more energy to the symbiote, I can probably see it well enough to follow a trail.”

Ahri perked her ears up, now fully non verbal and nuzzled her glowing whisker lines right on Kai’sa’s collar bones while all her tails snagged around Eve like worried ferrets. It wasn't safe, she didn't know how to make it safe but at least now they had a plan.

“Good plan, we’ll steer you clear of our signatures and where we rode in from.” There was an implied understanding that doing so would cost Kai’sa but that was clearly a problem for future them.

They were in one of Evelynn’s convertibles in no time, their house left wide open but after what had happened, there was nothing of import in there to steal. Kai’sa was standing on the passenger seat in full armor, the glare of her otherworldly purple glow ten times brighter than it usually was as the shimmering chitin scales pulsed with a power she rarely gave it.

Ahri perked up as they made a turn out of the expressway and into a secondary road, a former industrial hub pinging an unusual number of non-human or otherwise magically enhanced souls. “There’s something there!”

Driving had absolutely not calmed any of their raging panic but in the time it took them to get out of Busan proper and on the trail of their missing girlfriend, their feral ange had sharpened into a pinpoint focus. Evelynn was less than solid, the tension in the car unravelling her more than she cared to admit but Ahri had since regained some of her composure, being able to make full use of her powers to focus on getting Akali back.

Car abandoned in a service road, they settled into a tactical formation with Kai'sa at the helm. Trying to tune into Void residue in such a small quantity and with such a particular signature was sapping her of whatever adrenaline fueled reserves she had, but she was needed and as long as she was needed, Kai'sa would stand strong.

Ahri frowned, concern pulling at her features as she dug her magical senses deep into the abandoned factory. Even with the flare of fox fire brimming out of her and dulling her senses, several vastaya were easy to spot, the magic using humans and minotaurs as well but there was nothing major going on. Eve had done a perimeter check and had spotted no security beyond a bunch of kids goofing off and a paltry collection of unremarkable, everyday cars.

It wasn't a hoomie stunt, some local gang trying to extort a famous music group in exchange for Akali's safety. This was definitely something to do with Ahri or Evelynn but the dimension of the operation didn't add up.

Plainly put, no one wanting to mess with them would be dialing into amateur hour like this, unless they had a clear death wish.

With a cautious nod owing to the uncertainty of her scry, they moved closer. The three outer sentinels were blissfully unaware of them and making no effort to disengage from their spirited card game.

Evelynn was grateful for the chance to escape her material form, the whirlpool of anxiety and fear not the best look on her. She approached the magicborn human, intent on getting them to talk with some forcefully applied claws while her lashers held the other two. This gave Ahri and Kai'sa the chance to move into position to further restrain and question the minotaur and the vastaya.

They were out of commission without a single sound, lashers, fangs and shoulder canons gleaming with void missiles keeping them pinned in place.

“Answer our questions and you won’t die” Evelynn hissed, not bothering to put on her charming front as her claws dug into their baby face.

Their blazing panic tickled into her consciousness with the strength of a waterfall when the large double doors into the shop floor shattered and from the pitch black darkness within emerged one of the most dazzling views in her long life.

A dazzling view that reared up on its long golden and blue body, a deity in its own right, and spat out a cyborg onto the roof of the vans the kids were using, his heavy cybernetics denting it in with a loud noise.

"You." The voice rattled around them with the reverberation of an orchestra in a perfectly designed auditorium, a four fingered paw lifting and unsheathing large claws. "Stay."

The battered van folded on itself, metal and plastic groaning under the dragon's weight and a clench of a meaty paw like a tiger's hand sealed the hapless cyborg inside of the wreck.

Stunned silence, six people staring up at the 9 meter long dragon monstrosity in varying degrees of awe and confusion.

"Oh, hey guys!" The solid head gazed down, eyebrow plates going up in its best attempt at a friendly smile but the magically enhanced voice rattling around their skulls nullified it. "You're here!"

"...Akali?"

She snorted, thick black clouds materializing with her exhale. "What other dragon do you know?" With Papa Bucket secured for the time being, she curled her long body around the van and sat down, her short yet thickly muscled arms coming up to straighten out her jaw fluff.

"Don't harm the kids, they're good beans." She bent her head, scratching behind her horns and sending out flakes of fluorescent sparkles cascading down. "Gonna put them in touch with Irelia, get them some resources so they don't end up with a bozo like Daddy Dingdong over here ever again."

The minotaur looked about ready to cry, magic human was blubbering all over Evelynn's claws and the vastaya was doing their best to squirm away from a completely gobsmacked Ahri but her girlfriends were still staring up at her. "Yeah, I know...sorry you're seeing it like this for the first time, I get wiggy when I have it out for too long."

Evelynn let the kids go without preamble or commentary, stalking close to the dragon with hunched shoulders and a cautious tension on her golden irises. Akali was about to ask what was wrong but her perception switched out to the chromatic aberration of the soul space and a familiar probe roved all over the brilliance of her attuned soul.

"It's really you." Just as fast as she went in, Eve snapped out of her soul space. After the day before, she was well aware and keenly reminded of every single speck on Akali's soul.

"How is this possible?" It was Ahri's turn to drop her guard, the trespassing vastaya youngling the last thing on her mind at that moment. Part of her wanted to fly off the rails, grab the cyborg trapped inside the van and demand that he tell them what happened to Akali but the dragon in front of her was a being of resplandencent spirit magic, it wasn't something a syndicate of idiots could manage in under 4 hours.

"Wait." Akali lowered her huge head back to the ground, whiskers vibrating and her eye plates clearly scrunched together in irritation. "What?"

"You're…. you're not human." Ahri hesitated, her clawed hand reaching forward on its own volition towards the outpouring of spirit magic but she yanked it back when electricity touched her fingertips.

"...you real didn't fucking know." Akali elected to quit using the booming telepathic voice and made a long noise somewhere between a sad trombone and a constipated whale that had them all staring up at her with varied levels of concern. "I can't believe! I can't believe you've been treating me like I'm made of squish because you thought I was a hoomie!"

"Kali, we-"

"Oh gods!" A thick thundercloud bursting with lightning whirled around her like a typhoon and she was back to her short yet no less expansive human form. "I love you, I do but how can you be so dumb?"

Ahri stared at Evelynn, her eyes warring between shame and worry. Eve, their resident soul expert and essence snacking enthusiast, had the sense to look at least embarrassed about their oversight, but they were sure to never hear the end of it. (And yet, a relief of such magnitude took hold of her, Eve could barely contain it.)

Their rogue, of course, was on a roll and she did have some legit grievances at having to stick out a stupid hospital stay and slog through bland kimchi and steamed eggs because they had panicked over what amounted to no more than a friendly tap. "I want my stunt back and I want to go out for ice cream and I want someone to se-"

Midway through her rant, Akali found herself caught up in a fierce hug from none other than a very naked and unsymbioted Kai'sa, their height difference trapping her between corded arms and soft chest. "We thought you were hurt." Kai’sa whispered, relieved beyond sense to have Akali back safe with them.

Ok, so, fact... Akali might be the baddest but even the strongest blade could not withstand the soft touch of a worried sapphic. She sighed and melted into the embrace, sensing Kai'sa's panic thrumming through her, her skin hard and too hot.

"Yeah, yeah…" She felt the exhausted tremble underneath her cheek, the edge of legitimate despair hanging around Kai'sa and she couldn't hold her grump. "Which one of you has beef with a Cassiopeia Du Couteau? The South Province Foot Clan adjacent is on her payroll but I'll tell you that after I make fun of you some more."

She rested her calloused hands on Kai'sa's face, the perilous dissociation she saw there breaking her heart. "Let's all go home, ok?"

 


 

Akali went over the car wreck in their driveway, waving at half her neighbors with a sunny smile as if their altercation was just an eccentricity of being world famous pop stars and then turned to the three would be captors they had shuffled along with them.

"You kids got anywhere to go?" She leaned back onto the beaten up Hyundai, getting some mixed replies to her query but feeling was that the prospects were uncertain. "Yeah, I figured that was the case." Reaching for her wallet, she grabbed out one of her calling cards and scribbled a name and number on the back. "This is my personal phone number and in the back is my friend Irelia's, who can help you get back on your feet, regardless of where you currently are."

They shuffled a bit, chafing under her attention but eventually they grabbed the card. "Also, here." Akali tossed an electronic car key, getting caught by the juvenile feathered Vastaya. She pointed out to her large station wagon parked nearby. "Sorry about the van, it's the one over there."

There was a motion to start making some noise but she raised her palm, a gesture she was going to heartily ignore she had learned from her mother, and they sushed once again. "Any other day, I would have killed you the second you stepped up to my place. And if you somehow managed to neutralize me, you'd never get past my girls alive." It was an expensive lesson they had learned for free.

"You get it? You either die fodder or live long enough to send fodder, which we can all agree isn't the best." She tapped the calling card. "Whatever debt, favor or job you owed the syndicate is null and void as of this moment. Please, get in touch with Irelia ok? And take the damn car."

Akali was finally headed back home, stepping onto the living room and getting three sets of glowing eyes trained on her in the dim of the early night . "I see we have to debrief, huh."

And what a sorry sight it was, K/DA all looking like a rowdy dog used them as a chew toy but got tired before it was completely destroyed. If she wasn't looking at Evelynn straight on, she'd miss her for the shadows around her, Ahri was on her third arm chair wreck, having clawed half of their furniture while Akali chatted with the kids and Kai'sa was wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket, trying desperately to stay awake and alert but all she managed was her symbiote beeping like a flipped over roomba.

Padding closer to the couch, several tails and the lonely lasher wrapped around her with keening protectiveness. "Like...where do we even start? Security hole the size of Mars? The fact I’ve been dragoning this whole time and you all missed it? Or maybe, this itty bitty thing of the car wreck outside?”

Kai'sa winced at the mention of the car, her shoulder pods shaking in Evelynn's direction but Eve waved her way as best as her semicorporeal form could manage.

"Ok, dragon thing it is." Akali flopped onto the couch, worming her way into the fuzzy blanket with Kai'sa. "Going to take this from the top, just in case you real haven't been paying attention"

Large hands roamed her torso, worry colouring her motions. “I’m…” A tired sigh. “The daughter of the Fist of Shadow from the Kinkou Order, which I know I’ve mentioned before." They nodded, that much they knew.

"I’m not exactly next in line for the honor, never was and after I left, don’t think I ever will but that’s.” Another sigh and Kai’sa’s palms shifted to her tense shoulders, giving them a small squeeze. “Neither here nor there, I guess."

Kai’sa’s hands roamed down her arms with all of the care in the world, settling into a loose hug around her midsection and Akali appreciated the gesture.

"I was born on the night of the Blood Moon, which is a grand honor.” It still hadn’t been enough to make her mother pay attention to her. "and I was offered up as tribute that very same night." A growl from Ahri interrupted her and caused Kai’sa to jump, but Akali continued her tale before she lost her nerve once again. "This is considered an even greater honor and I didn't die a horrible newborn death in the process, thus making me bonded with a sliver of the Storm Dragon."

"The Blood Moon is a fickle patron, an amalgam of demonic energy not many would dare disturb." Evelynn sat on Akali's other side, her eyes worried but her deeper senses were quiet.

"Yup! It's super easy to get an acute case of not being alive trying to perform the ritual but the bond with the dragon spirit is legit, if a little tiresome at parts." She let her hand wander to Eve's thigh, the touch helping her materialize a little more. "But you're correct. If my connection to the Storm Dragon is interrupted for too long, I'm demon chow."

A beat of silence preceded the sound of leather ripping under angry claws, the gumiho's immense power surfacing with her temper and their leather two seater getting gutted open beyond repair. "I refuse to let you be cannibalized into some motherfucking demon, even if I have to blow up the fucking moon."

"Easy there, foxy. No moon blowing necessary." Akali lifted a hand in her direction for Ahri to take and Ahri relented, slumping on top of them with the force of a giant dog.

“I...I don’t really understand, I’m sorry.” Kai’sa said, her voice raspy and tired after a day of overtaxing her energy and soaking up all of the stress and worry in the room.

The truth of it was evident to those who travelled the spirit world but their bokkie was just a hoomie who had gotten on the wrong side of a hell hole and hardly well versed in the comings and goings of spirits.

“They not only did severely risk her life by offering her to the Blood Moon as a newborn but they made Akali into a ticking time bomb. The second anything disturbs the spirit link, it's an open invitation for her essence to be consumed by a demon.” Eve was never one to mince words, especially when walking on eggshells would not help the situation and would only further confuse Kai’sa. “It’s a huge risk.”

The symbiote rippled, the uptick in her heart rate making her eyes glow harder in the low light and Akali bit her lower lip at the sound of dissonant distress it made. “It’s a bit of a shit hand, yes but without petricite lying around or a real wicked ritual-”

“When you die, that’s what's going to happen, Akali! Some infernal is going to come crawling out and feast on your warm corpse!” Blue eyes turned brilliant gold once again, whisker markings burning hot with barely repressed magic.

Before anyone could snap off their hinges and the situation got out of control, Akali engulfed Ahri in a tight hug, kissing her hair and nuzzling the space between her fuzzy ears. “Only if I’m not careful, love, and you know I’m the baddest. There’s always an exit strategy, I promise.”

Cleanly disarmed and with everyone processing the events and revelations of the day, the fight was bleeding from the group. The tension was palpable in the room, Akali suspected it would hang around for a while yet but for now, they had resorted to snuggling in together in a mess of limbs, pillows and a beaten down comforter.

There was so much to discuss, so much to ponder and so much revenge to plot but none of them were capable of doing much more than vegetable in front of the living room tv in the only couch that had escaped Ahri’s feral wrath.

“You know what we need? Some comfort food.” Akali said, grabbing her phone and opening the delivery app, checking if their favorites were still open. “Dibs on the beef lunch box!”

“Don’t forget the custard tarts like last time.”

“I’ll go get the good soju for this”

 


 

The good soju had turned into that good bottle of wine one of their producers sent, which had turned into them polishing off the top shelf daiginjo Akali had been saving for their upcoming anniversary and after that, their common sense evaded them enough to crack into Kai'sa's informal collection of moonshine style drinks from around the world.

The first (and honestly last) time Akali had been this rip-roaring drunk, an acolyte had gotten her hands on an uncle's prized foreign backyard booze stored in a bottle bearing a handwritten label that translated to something like 'burning water' and enough methyl alcohol to permanently shrink their 15 year old brains. Turns out that maybe, just maybe there was some sense in having health regulations and standards for alcohol production.

Almost a decade later, her ass felt about the same as when her mother had read them three riot acts for the stunt but now, at least, she owned the pool chaise she had awoken buck naked on. Owning the chaise or not, the wood strips had indents her bleary face and the burning noon about to crisp some places where the sun didn't usually shine.

She had a feeling those lyrics weren't going to get done today either.

The backyard around the pool looked more of a mess than most battlefields she had been on, with copious cans of assorted beverages lying around (she didn't remember that), the entire, half eaten contents of their snack pantry (oof, definitely did not remember that) and all of the underwear they were presumably wearing yesterday creatively strapped to the metal pole of the outdoor shower ( gods, why didn't she remember *that*).

Kai'sa had turned on the hot tub at some point, put Evelynn's glasses on and, because she was the size of a giraffe, fell asleep with her knees hanging out of the other side of the tub.

Ahri was starfished on an island of pool floaties, her nine tails and crotch bits all hanging out for everyone to see and, presumably, to make a fortune selling the evidence to the highest bidder. Evelynn was nowhere to be found though, she was possibly wrapped up in the upturned hammock but trying to figure it out taxed Akali's diminished powers of perception well beyond what she could do at that moment.

The doorbell rang, the shrill noise making Akali wince and their fearless leader lurch up with her fluffed up tails in high alert, pool floaties moving precariously away from her. Eyes scrunched in displeasure, Ahri groaned, opting to slump back down in hopes whoever had dared bother them would get the hint and piss off.

It rang again, this time more insistently and was about to ring a third time when a lasher cut through the hammock and straight into the backyard doorbell comm. "Get it." Or someone dies was implicit.

Ahri let herself flop onto the water, emerging near the stairs with the refined grace of a lazy mop and putting on a fluffy robe without drying off, her waterlogged tails dragging on the floor.

"Shit." It was time to get a move on before her back twisted permanently. "I'm making coffee and also ODing on ibuprofen. Who is with me?"

It was half an hour later that Ahri dragged herself back in, complaining about the neighbors who were mad about the car wreck outside, the concert in their backyard during the night and at the trio of kunai embedded on the sidewalk right over their wall.

Eve dragged her to her lap with a lasher, reaching back for a clean mug and handing her some coffee as Akali shuffled about the kitchen, fisting cereal straight to her mouth.

"I'm getting too old for this, guys."

"Shut your baby mouth, rogue."

They fished Kai'sa from the tub, still woozy and extremely tired from the last 48 hours and voted to retire to Ahri's decadent home domain on the upper floor.

The sliver of her dragon soul was dormant but somewhere along the line, there was an itch to surface that Akali had never felt before. It wasn't that she kept her powers stashed away because she was hiding but magic changed things and having her soul attuned at all times made her feel weird, like there was a degree of detachedness from the world around her.

It was...hard to deal with and harder still to come to terms. In 23 years, she had yet to find her balance, a fact that kept repeating itself in many of her bigger choices. Though, if she was being honest with herself, this balance was harder to achieve if Akali couldn't let go of the fear of being consumed by the spirit and all that would remain of her was a husk to the will of the Storm God.

On the other hand, it was liberating to feel her girlfriends with the full might of her soul and spirit. It was like looking at the stars away from the city for the first time, astounding and gorgeous.

She took a deep breath, Kai'sa's thick arm rising with the motion, and she attuned to the spirit. Jolting forward, the world became sharper, everyone around her more real yet fundamentally different, like some of the glamour and smoke they put on wasn't working anymore.

A feeling of relief tugged at her heart but she dutifully ignored it, adjusting to the way her skin rippled with power and her body temperature climbed up. The lines of the tattoo skittered, the vastaya ink calling to it like a lightning rod and she resisted the urge to scratch at the bold lines.

Ahri's tail snaked up her calf, responding to the surge in spirit energy but its owner was not even remotely awake, fuzzy ears twitching against Akali's cheek and her sorta-growl, sorta-snore turning smoother.

She felt the heavy stare of another predator on her and she turned to look into Eve's slit pupils, gold boring into her blue.

Akali grinned, full set of fangs on display as she stoked the embers a little further.

Slits expanded to neat circles, demonic tendrils probed at the furnace of her soul with feline curiosity and none of the hesitant care from before.

"Hmmm so mmwarm." Kai'sa moaned, careening onto a string of mumbles and moving on top of Akali's much smaller body.

The tendrils fondled her a bit before receding in an amused whirl.

Oh well, maybe next time (at least she got her ice cream).

 


 

“Please don’t get bleaching gunk on my muffin.”

“Then please don’t eat while I’m doing your hair, dummy.” Kai’sa tapped the brush on Akali’s forehead, getting a grump in return but she continued to separate and bleach the thick strands.

Seraphine, whose hair was literally magical and thus was not at the mercy of dyes, was busy kneading dough for pizza night. “You know, Akali, don’t take this the wrong way but you have an oddly muted song for a hoomie.”

Akali groaned, exhaling a cloud of thick black smoke amid Kai’sa’s bout of laughter and Sera startled at the sudden change from a mild hum to the powerful blast of a taiko ensemble going full tilt.

"....oh."