- Character Bashing
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Explicit Sex
- Challenge Response
- Ménage or More
T’Challa grimaced as a sound from outside his office spike through his skull like a vibranium spear. Only a lifetime of training kept him from using his hands to muffle his ears like a child. Another sharp sound lanced through his brain and he grit his teeth in pain. Seated across from him, M’Baku watched with knowing eyes and T’Challa swallowed the urged to curse at the man.
“How long has this been happening?” the Jabari Chief asked, his voice low and soft.
Tension slipped from T’Challa’s shoulders as his newest friend and advisor’s voice seemed to ease something in him. “Since I ingested the Heart-shaped herb in Jabariland,” he admitted. “It’s like I am learning to be the Black Panther all over again.”
M’Baku hummed thoughtfully as he leaned back in his chair. “I’m certain it has nothing to do with the herb.” He stopped and tipped his head to the side of a moment before shaking it. “Let me rephrase that: it is not solely due to the Heart-shaped herb.”
“Oh,” T’Challa said, drawing the sound out as he leaned forward to prop his elbow on his desk. “What do you think it is then, Oh Great Gorilla?”
“You have heard of Awọn oluṣọ, have you not?”
There was a challenge in M’Baku’s tone but T’Challa ignored that as he always did; M’Baku lived to be challenging after all. “You speak of what the western world calls Sentinels.”
“Yes. We call them Watchmen or Guardians, defenders of Tribe and Territory. They are the Blessed of Hanuman, a gift.”
The tension that had eased away was back. “We have Balindi born among us every so often, but there are never any Izikhokelo to match them so they eventually leave Wakanda,” T’Challa said quietly, turning away from M’Baku’s gaze.
A dark laugh sounded from the Chief. “That explains quite a lot actually.” T’Challa heard him move but refused to look until a large hand touched his face. “What do you personally know of Watchmen, oh King?”
“Nothing,” T’Challa admitted. “I have met a few Sentinels and Guide while working with the U.N. but I have never really interacted with any. Why are you asking me this, M’Baku?”
The Great Gorilla snorted. “You are not stupid, T’Challa, you know exactly why I asked.” The hand on his face drifted down to grip T’Challa’s shoulder. “Your problems are not due to the Heart-Shaped herb. You are having issues due to coming on line as a Watchman.”
Thoughts whirled through T’Challa’s mind too fast for any single one to stand out. He could feel his heart racing and suddenly everything was too much. Too loud, too bright, too rough, too everything. With a whimper, he curled in on himself only distantly aware of M’Baku cursing as the Jabari Chief wrapped large arms around him and lifted him from his chair. The sensation of M’Baku skin touching his was both a relief and agony, the two twining together so closely that he fell into darkness.
“It’s a Bond,” M’Baku told the Queen Mother as they stared down at the sedated form of the king of Wakanda. “A bond between Watchmen.”
He could hear her heart skip a beat then speed up before she spoke. “That is very rare.”
“Then you know more of Watchmen than T’Challa does.”
Ramonda sighed and nodded. “My mother was an Isikhokelo, though her gifts were fairly weak. I am a Sensitive.”
“Latent Umlindi,” she said with a smile that faded quickly. “T’Challa tested as weakly latent as a child. It was thought he would never Awaken. When he did not Awaken after the death of his father it was decided that the Umlindi would sleep forever.”
“N’Jadaka was a powerful threat to his country, his territory,” M’Baku pointed out. “That type of threat can override everything. T’Chaka was his king and his father, but he was also the previous Black Panther. There was still a strength to him. To the sleeping part of T’Challa, he would have been capable of taking care of himself.”
“And fathers are supposed to protect their sons, not the other way around,” she added softly, making M’Baku flinch in memory of his words on Challenge Day.
He knew then he should not have said them, but he had been able to truly control what came out of his mouth. When they had set out fo Challenge for the throne M’Baku had known that he would have to goad T’Challa to truly fight him, but still, the words he used had not been what they had planned. Until he had been standing face to the face with the then Prince, he had a different speech in mind. Goading the Princess was planned, though he still laughed at the fury in her eyes and was waiting for her revenge. The cruel words, no, those weren’t planned. He considered apologizing to the Queen Mother, but she wasn’t the one he had wronged. No, he was Bonded to the one he needed to make it right with. Hanuman and Bast had strange senses of humour.
She was silent for several minutes and he couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking of. What were plans running through the proud woman’s mind? The woman who once stood before him and begged for him to help her son.
“Your Bond with him, how much will it help?” she asked finally.
“I do not know,” he admitted freely. “Your son is stronger than I am and the power of the Heart-Shaped herb running through his system makes it more difficult. His Gifts are ravaging him in ways I am not equipt to buffer and I do not think any of Awọn itọsọna in Jabariland are prepared to handle him.”
“So we need to find an Isikhokelo who can deal with both of you,” she replied dryly. “That should be easy enough.”
M’Baku swallowed a loud laugh and followed her out of the infirmary. “Do you have any plans on where to start?”
She slanted a strange look at him. “Considering this person will be bonded to you as well, where do you plan on starting?”
As they moved farther away from the necessary quiet of the infirmary M’Baku gave into the laugh welling in his chest. “I have some ideas, but perhaps it might be better to wait until T’Challa is a bit more stable before we make any set plans.”
Rough translations: I might change these at a later date
Awọn oluṣọ: Watchmen/Guardians
Awọn itọsọna: Guides