Out of Bounds

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Boxes, stacks of boxes. There was more stuff that he had brought with hi that he could fit into two rooms and the third he'd rather keep empty. City apartments it seemed were smaller and smaller the bigger the city got.

Garnett Becher had not wanted to move but his friend had convinced him it was necessary. After it had happened the further away from home the better. Maybe he'd fave up enough to move out into the country where he'd be harmless, until then there was always the the third room.

At the moment he sat hunched over a mug of coffee attempting to beat his mind into shape with it after another full moon. His friend, the only one he now had in this city had as always been busy...

He sighed pushing the empty mug away from himself and got to his feet opening the fridge and examined the leftover pizza wondering it if was still good to eat. Deciding against taking the chance he instead pulled out bread and pushed it into the toaster and pulled the pan out of the sink, wiping it out and putting it on the stove. Best thing about full moon: no work, one of the worst: waking up feeling like he hadn't eaten in weeks. Him cooking up more than he could eat in one sitting was becoming normal on days like this, but it wasn't the worst thing in the world.

Somehow, she just couldn't leave him alone. He seemed to think he was the one taking care of her, and she was okay with that. But she knew what was what, and the truth was that Garnett needed someone to look after him. And who else was gonna do it, huh?

No one but Koto Suzuki. That was who.

Part of that maaay have been partly her fault, sorta, but she knew better than to beat herself up about that. What was done was done, and a girl couldn't get herself all overwhelmed. She had stuff to do. People to protect. Meals to cook. Demons to hunt. You know, the usual stuff... Koto gave herself a brisk shake as she realized she was getting sidetracked again, dusting off the front of her dark jeans as she reached the apex of the apartment staircase and sidled up to his door. Let's see, which key was his again? Right, the third on the ring, the one with the oval-ish head. (She really needed to pick out a key topper for it. Maybe something like a wolf-head? Heh.) Most friends didn't give out spare keys, but, well, most friends weren't in need of her professional assistance. And a little domestic aid too, while she was at it.

A quick turn of the lock, and she was letting herself in, bumping the door shut behind her with her hip. "Knock, knock! Guess who. Whoa!"

She'd almost stuck her foot right into a half-open cardboard box with "GARNETT'S CDs!" scrawled across the top (in her own curlicued handwriting, no less). Hopping around it, she frowned, putting her hands to her hips and staring around at the veritable heaps of unpacked packaging. Most of the boxes hadn't budged an inch since she helped him set them down on the carpet, she was sure of it. Koto's foot began to tap.

"Haven't you ever heard of, y'know, moving in?" she asked him, frustration tugging at her lips as she flitted into the kitchen and snatched the pan out of his grasp. "At least tell me you've got veggies in the fridge! Jeez."
Kicked away from his own stove, she had been doing this ever since that night... Like he couldn't do anything for himself anymore. "I've got enough food in the fridge." he said moving to the other side of the room and closing one of the three doors that lead deeper into the apartment. "And give me a chance I've only been here what? A week?"

It was hard to keep stack of time, except the lunar months, there was an app on his phone that warned him when full moon was coming, his boss would remind him, he would close himself away and wait. He hated the wait.

"I was going to make french toast, but I you're going to go all out aren't you?" he recrossed the room and opened the fridge taking out a small collection of vegetables and bumped them into the sink before turning on the tap and started scrubbing them.
She waggled her finger at him as she rifled one-handed through his cabinets until she located a bottle of vegetable oil. "Try a month, silly! This place looks like you got here yesterday. And french toast isn't dinner! Your teeth are all gonna rot out! Some medic guy you are."

She set the pan on to heat, and then Koto was swiping freshly-scrubbed broccoli out of his hands in much the same fashion as she'd confiscated his cookware. Plucking a knife from the block behind the stove, she zeroed in on his cutting board and set right to work expertly dicing at mach speed. "At least you have a fully stocked kitchen. Thank goodness! This way I don't have to go rifling through your stuff and accidentally come across something you don't want me to see. Although maybe that's back there, hmm?"

Koto jerked her thumb toward the door he'd shut with a teasing grin. Obviously, what was back there wasn't meant for her eyes! Which just made her want to snoop. So hopefully he'd give it up and save her the chore and she wouldn't have to apologize when she got caught... which was unavoidable. He'd smell her all over his things; it was why werewolves could be so darn annoying.

Okay, so it was probably just dirty laundry, or maybe porn mags, or y'know... more boxes. But could she be blamed for wanting to check?
He felt like he was being chased out of his own kitchen but stuck to the sink draining the water. "I've had a rough month." he pointed out as he dried his hands in a hand towel hanging over the back of one of the chairs. "And technically this is breakfast for me. Anyway are you just here to cook or are you staying to eat too?"

He knelt and opened the bottom cupboard to take out crockery and another mug then fished two teabags from behind the kettle. He was pointedly ignoring her pointing to the door, and if she did look in there she would be disappointed. There was nothing but an empty room the walls baring the scars of a wild animal trying to get out to find fresh meat.

The tea brewing he retreated to the table and let her have the run of the kitchen, setting out two plates, knives, spoons. Who knew what she was making at this stage.

"How was your full moon?" he asked as he always did about her 'work'.
"I'll stay and eat too, if that's okay. I haven't had dinner yet myself." Biting her lip, she snuck a glance in his direction. No, no, no beating herself up! "I guess it's not likely that you have sesame paste, is it? Hmm. Hm hm. Oh! Have any rice? If you do, we need to start that now."

Okay. Broccoli diced. Time to grab the next veggie. Her fingers hovering a few scant inches above the pan let her know that it was getting close to warm enough, so she'd better hurry up. Good thing she was so handy with sharp, pointy objects.

The brush-off over the door didn't escape her notice, and she pulled a face behind his back, but Koto let it slide. If he wasn't protesting or blushing or complaining, it was probably something more really personal; not that that made her any less curious, but it did mean she'd feel really and truly guilty if she went and pried. Shoot. Oh well, for now she'd just roll with it and answer his question.

"Not bad! A few cold trails, but it happens." She waved a hand (but not the one brandishing a deadly utensil) like she was swatting away a bug. "I ran into some colleagues, helped them get the jump on a particularly nasty Rusalka. Which is this really nasty water demon... It got into the bay. Likes to make dudes drown. Gross, right?"
He moved to the fridge and opened it going into the bottom and pulled out a tupperware contained of rice and fishes a pot out of the cupboard. "Interesting..." he was filling the pot with water and putting it on the stove now. "Sounds like the bedtime stories my grandmother used to tell me."

He reached past her for the salt and threw some into the water as it started heating, not too much but enough. Koto worried to much, Garnett wasn't a bad cook and he sometimes wished for ONCE she'd just let him cook. "Tea should be brewed." he said before leaning against the stove and crossing his arms. "I want to get more involved in what you do."

This wasn't the fist time he had said those words, and he cut off her usual reply with a raised hand. "You could use me, I'm a paramedic.. or I was.. no one knows more about triage or first aid than me."

His stubborn streak was showing. "I'm just saying, at least consider it." he pushed off of the stove and got the milk out the fridge adding come to his tea and taking out the bag.
Her cheek puffed out in the way it always did whenever he said something that she didn't like.

"I totally let you patch me up all the time. Jeez! You don't need to actually come out on the field with me." She wasn't trying to put him down, or anything, but just look what had happened last time he'd decided she needed his help! He'd gotten into far too much trouble on her account already. And she couldn't quite fathom why he was so eager to get out there with all the nasty bitey things.

Koto bumped him out of the way with her hip as she dumped the diced veggies into the pan and swiped a spatula. He was bigger than her, but she knew how to throw her weight. "You're growly when you haven't eaten. We can talk about this when you have some food in you."
She was being pushy and he stepped away from the counter. "Fine, you've chased me out of my own kitchen so we'll talk when we've eaten."

He took his place at the table and lifted one of the mugs to his node wafting the scent under it and sighing. Garnett Didn't like being cooped up in here and at work. He wanted to get out there and help people, its why he had chosen his own job in the first place. "Yeah you do let me patch you up a lot. Because you get hurt a lot. Can you really blame me for wanting to prevent that Koto." He was under no illusion that him being there could prevent her getting hurt entirely but he could at least do something. SO what if his one and only encounter with the world she fought against had left him badly mauled and afflicted with lycanthropy.

He sighed blowing over the steaming surface of the tea. He already knew where this conversation was headed, they'd had it before. "Sometime she could be a stubborn as he was.
"I don't get hurt that much! You're going to ruin my street cred." Her lip puffed out even further as she started on the stir fry, one hand busy tossing the veggies around in the pan and the other firmly on her hip. "I don't have a scrape on me right now! Anyhow, I heal pretty fast, you know."

Then again, maybe she should tell him some more about the creepy critters she faced on the job! Maybe it'd make him a little less keen to be out there where those same night biters could rough him up again. Koto perked up a little at the notion, and within a minute she was launching into one of her famous streams of nonstop chatter.

"So anyway, about that Rusalka..."

She didn't stop long enough to draw breath- let alone for Garnett to get a word in edgewise- until the stir fry and rice were made and she was shoveling a healthy portion onto his plate. Beef, and lots of green veggies- which he'd thankfully had around even if he hadn't been eating them! Koto had checked them three times over to make sure she hadn't missed any wilted or spoiled bits, just in case. What in the world would he do without her, she'd like to know. Just because he was all wolfy now didn't mean he could go without some proper nutrients in his diet!

"...and that's why it's a good thing I'm not ticklish!" she chirped at last, winding up the super-duper long and gory drawn-out version of her encounter with the water beastie. She leaned forward across the table, chin in one hand as she wiggled her chopsticks at him. (He still used forks to eat rice! Koto didn't get how that was at all practical, since the rice just ended up slipping through the prongs and blargh. Fortunately Koto always carried her chopstick case in her purse.) "Sooo, how does it taste?"
He was sure she did it on purpose, the excruciating details of beasts and horrors when he was trying to eat. "You know what? I'm just going to get a spoon." he said standing up and dropping the fork into the sink to open the drawer and find no clean spoons. Sighing he looked at the rack and luckily there was in there and he grabbed it with way too much of a sense of victory than such a minor task should give.

"And it's good." he said sliding back into his seat and offering Koto a genuine smile and then getting to labeling as much food as possible into his mouth and chewing, with only Koto around he didn't have to worry too much about table manners and he was still hungry! What Koto didn't realize was that the more she explained how dangerous it was out there the more he wanted to be there when someone got hurt, he was a healer and a werewolf. He had senses that could help them out and was stronger than he ever had been as a human, it was frustration being stuck here and not being able to do anything and he have her the look.

It was the look he always gave her when he knew what she was up to and was beyond arguing a tired point but wasn't going to let it go. Then he caught a whiff of the stir fry and turned his attention back to it. "Koto..." his voice was soft and exasperated, he knew exactly what she was trying to pull with her detained and possibly embellished story, but he still learned about the creatures out there and how to fight them. "Maybe you're right, maybe I'm not ready to go out there, but one day..." Another grin and the last of his stir fry was scooped into his mouth.