Rebecca stared at me a moment longer before she took a glimpse at my leg. The wound was closed, with light scars in its place. She sighed before gently running a finger down her arm, hitting several of the tattoo spots. Her own light scars that never faded. Gently, she began wiping away the blood, using the fabric of her shirt. When I protested, she waved me off. I held my tongue, watching her work diligently until it was gone, ignoring the quick bit of spit that she used to hurry up the process.
"How long does it take to do one of those tattoos?" I wondered, pointing to the ones on her arms. She paused, frowning for a second.
"Well, mine are the puzzle pieces of a clan symbol from long ago. Usually the tattoos are only big enough to cover the scar, so not very long," Rebecca eventually answered, offering me a hand as she got to her feet. I accepted it, affectionately squeezing. She smiled before giving me a one armed hug, showing that our fight was resolved. Though I still felt horrible, I couldn't be happier that she still tolerated me. I briefly sent a wave of relief to Kai to let him know I was okay before turning my full attention back to the werewolf who was still frowning at me.
"Why do you ask?" She added, crossing her arms.
I grinned. "I have to be back by tonight, but if we have enough time, I thought that maybe I could get the scar tattooed."
Rebecca frowned some more, wrinkles appearing between her brows. "Why? It may fade in time."
Taking her hand again, I motioned to the tattoos travelling up her skin. "We're equals. I want to adopt your traditions, because I belong to Darkbloods as well," I explained, admiring the ink decorating her arm. She sighed, squeezing my hand, and began to drag me from the room.
"Fine. But I get to pick the tattoo. And also," she continued, stopping just before the door. Rebecca glanced over her shoulder at me, eyes cautious.
"My past isn't something I love or that I'm proud of," she said coldly, "so please don't mention it to anyone else."
I nodded, already well ahead of her. "I'd never bring that pain up again."
The werewolf considered the truth behind my words, searching my expression for a hint of disloyalty.
She found none.
Rebecca finally displayed a true smile, her dark mood gone quicker than I expected, and pulled me along. While I was confused on where Sven had gone, I was happy enough to take Rebecca to Kai so that he could push through the crowds of Darkbloods for us. She mounted in front of me, giving him telepathic directions as I watched people go by, each one with their own power. It reminded me of the Darkbloods' Blood Festival that Kai had mentioned, especially when children began chasing each other with gnarly teeth, flaming hair and vines for arms. To some it may have looked insane, but to me, it felt a bit like home. The insanity reminded me of what it was like to grow up in a family of six, which was worse since there were four boys. My brothers had always been a handful, though Terrance and Warren were the worst for each other. As I remembered distant childhood memories, I swore I could smell the scent of fresh dirt used to farm back home, even if there were no gardens around us.
I smiled as Rebecca told Kai to stop, the dragon obeying her because I had asked him nicely to. He mentioned that dragons and other animalistic Darkbloods usually fought for dominance, but he was kind enough to comply to the werewolf. I patted his side, catching a hint of amusement from him as he backed himself in next to the hut where Rebecca was headed, patiently setting down.
I'll be waiting, he told me as I rushed to catch up with the werewolf. I flashed him a thumbs-up before disappearing inside the hut, following my newfound friend. Inside were three tables, all set up with tools for creating ink masterpieces. A boy around our age was seated at one, talking to Rebecca, when I entered.
"Hello," he greeted me, getting to his feet. "I'm Zen. It's nice to meet you."
"My pleasure," I replied, reaching for his hand. His grip was firm, almost intimidating. Rebecca watched us with a small, amused smile on her face before she began bouncing around in excitement.
"I already told Zen what you're getting on your leg. Also, he's a Darkblood with astral magic. He can make all these starry copies of himself that fight like there's no tomorrow," she rambled, clearly a little too excited about whatever was being put on my leg. I raised an eyebrow, glancing at the boy. He shrugged, smirking as he glanced over at Rebecca. I followed his eyes until I saw an exact replica of him, but instead the colours of a night sky, appear behind Rebecca. The copy grabbed her, causing her to jump in fear, whirling around. Only it had disappeared by then. She glared at Zen, who was trying to stifle his laughter.
"Should we start?" I giggled, patting Rebecca's shoulder as I sat down at the table. Zen nodded, sitting next to me. He fiddled with the equipment as Rebecca sat on my other side, both of us watching him in mild interest. When he was finished, he asked me to show him exactly where the scar was. I paused, glancing around for something to rest my leg on when Rebecca rolled her eyes, walking around the table. I squeaked as she grabbed my leg, putting it in Zen's lap. Expecting him to react negatively, I tried to take my leg back, by he gently stopped me.
"This is probably the best position actually," he reassured me, "don't worry about it. But this may hurt."
I nodded, watching as he began to tattoo something on my leg until Rebecca turned my face toward her.
"It's a surprise," she scolded me, "no looking!"
I rolled my eyes, looking around the shop as tiny stabs of pain travelled up my leg. However, the process seemed short, as it wasn't long until Zen gently tapped my shoulder, his hand holding a cloth over my leg.
"Ready to see it?" He asked both of us. I glanced at Rebecca for permission, her nod showing the excitement that I could feel radiating off of her.
My eyes widened as he removed the cloth, not even believing the work he'd created.
They were wings, folded in the way that they did when they were resting at my sides. Outlined in the darkest black I'd seen, filled in with a slightly lighter shade. He'd drawn them on an angle so that the curves pointed toward the center of my stomach, but that wasn't all he did. The tattoo covered more than needed, because he'd drawn them so that it truly looked like the ink was slowly dripping down my leg, with the wings' tips extending until they became drops. I couldn't believe my eyes, and began to run my hands over the image. The redness was already fading as superhuman healing kicked it, leaving a flawless image.
"Becca said it's meant to respresent you, of course. The black angel wings are your main Darkblood feature, and the drops aren't just ink, but meant to be interpreted as the blood you have as well. Give her the credit," Zen explained, cleaning off his tools as I examined my leg. Part of me had been sad about the loss of a pair of pants, but now I felt the urge to only wear pants with holes in them so that my tattoo could be displayed. I threw myself at Zen, enclosing him in a short hug before pouncing on Rebecca, squeezing her tight.
"Thank you, Rebecca," I whispered.
"Jeez, call me Becca," she scolded playfully, grinning. "After all, I may just be your date to a ball."