Perspective Shifts

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Poppy, Dec 30, 2013.

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  1. Hi. There will be an RP.

    This shall be an RP between me and FlingGekko oh goodness I can't edit that word you know what I mean*.

  2. ((Here is what got done via email so far. I will eventually sort out text colours on all of these, but not from my iPad and not tonight...))

    As they headed back towards the house, Matt couldn't help but contemplate how different being a werewolf felt. Sure, he wasn't exactly sure how one would go about actually becoming the wolf half, and he felt a little embarrassed about that, but it was really strange how comfortable he felt with Joe and Addie around now. Wolves were social animals, he supposed, and vampires just weren't. What held the clans together was a common enemy which liked to hunt in packs... That and tradition. Vampires loved their tradition.

    Of course, a much bigger part of him was wondering about the surprise Joe had mentioned back at the clinic. She seemed pretty excited. In fact, she'd seemed a little excited constantly since he came round in the theatre, and it wasn't just her heart rate. There was a little something about her smell, too, but he couldn't figure out what was special about it.

    Rita had discharged him with a phone number, after making him promise to call it if anything went wrong. She seemed strangely anxious about letting him leave, but all of his vitals had been normal and she hadn't been able to stop him.

    Something was niggling in the back of his head, and he turned to Joe. "So, is this a good surprise or a... well, a you surprise?" He realised that sounded pretty insulting so he added quickly, "Most of the stuff you do that actually surprises me is a bit... unconventional." That was a pretty huge understatement. He caught Addie's eye and pulled a worried face, but jokingly. Truth be told, he was pretty excited about whatever this surprise might be.
    It was only now, looking around him, that he realised he'd been walking along so wrapped up in thought that he hadn't noticed their heading. They weren't on the way back to Faolan's house, that was for sure. "Uhm," he said uncertainly, "this really does not look like the way home..."


    Addie grinned to himself at Matt's question.
    "That's an interesting way of categorising a surprise," he said, chuckling.
    Joe's response was to give him a sly sideways look, a type one might see on a fox talking to a gingerbread man...
    "I'll let you decide for yourself." She finally said and winked at him.

    The uncertainty in Matt's voice triggered Joe's playfulness and she said very calmly,
    "That's because it isn't." and wouldn't say anything more.
    Addie decided to give some input though, "Don't worry, mate. The first inauguration is always a bit daunting." He said matter-of-factly and he bumped Matt's shoulder with his.

    The road itself had now become very forlorn and it was getting difficult to even see it. Well, for anyone except a werewolf who 'saw' things differently. They had headed into a thicker part of a forest now and she sky was almost completely obscured by the branches and leaves. A little further off a small waterfall could be heard...

    .. And voices, quite a few of them.. Coming from inside a large old-style house. It was mostly covered with vines and trees and looked to have been built into the side of a rocky hill, with the waterfall beside it. It was a double-story building and he bottom windows were all lit and smoke rose from the chimney.

    As they headed to the front there were no cars, except for the broken-down one under the canopy beside the house. Hanging above the large, thick oakwood door was a sign...

    "Welcome to the "Beer 'n Bones", finest eatin' you'll ever find this side of the country!" Addie proclaimed with his charming grin.


    Matt laughed at Addie's reaction to his Surprise Classification System. "Well, you wait until she surprises you, and see if you don't need a whole new category." Truth be told a lot of Joe's typical behaviour had been filed under his old system before his brain realised it didn't make sense to be surprised by everything; the conditions for entry to the new system were a lot more stringent.

    Her response to the question didn't do much to settle his slight apprehension, but he reminded himself that most of the really bad surprises of the past had come from the voice. Maybe all of them. There were a couple of things he still wasn't quite sure about. Still, they probably weren't taking him to his death, but he really hoped there wasn't going to be some weird werewolf rite of passage at the end of this road, because it was going to be embarrassing explaining that he still hadn't figured out how one went wolf.

    Then they came across the house. First of all he heard the sound of it, and was really starting to be concerned about the possibility of werewolf initiation ceremonies, but when the building itself came into view he relaxed a bit. It looked pretty friendly.

    He grinned at Addie's introduction to the place. Something from inside smelled really good, and what was even better was the realisation that for once it probably wasn't a person's vital fluids. Then he turned the smile to Joe. "This smells great!" he said enthusiastically. "And so far you're still human-shaped and you're not sitting on me... Definitely the good kind of surprise." He stood looking at the place for a few seconds, interested by how it smelled and how people sounded to him now. Then he gestured forward and said brightly, "Shall we, then?"


    The mental image of a wolf-shaped Joe sitting on Matt made Addie burst out in laughter, "She's done that to you before?" he asked between breaths. "Gotta see that for myself sometime."

    At Matt's gesture he nodded as he stepped forward to open the door, "Lets. I'm starving." and held it open to Matt, "Newbies first."
    Joe stood next to Matt and with a silent smile tilted her head towards the door for him.

    What waited inside was the distinct smell of meat, cooked in all stages, including barely singed. To decorate and promote those wonderful smells were spices to tease one's taste buds and the accompanying side dishes, all playing together to call out the hunger in anyone. Even a stuffed person or wolf would get hungry from the smell.
    As any good pub would have, there was all manner of beer too which included the home-made brew that was always on special.
    The age of the place seemed to have sponged up the aromas of years and years of dishes, drinks and merrymaking and gave it a very homey feeling. In the further corner was a bigger than normal sized fireplace, with some rugs and blankets strewn out before it. In one of the baskets (yes, it was definitely a big dog basket) lay three little pups fast asleep, and any werewolf would know that they weren't dog puppies.

    Interestingly, not everyone in the pub/inn were werewolves, but there were some humans too. They seemed to come in all ages and were very at home, although there were one or two who were obviously new to the place.
    On another wall, to the left of the fireplace was the way into the kitchen and the now-open doors looked to be well reinforced in case of robbery. Just ahead was the barkeep with stairs running up to the rooms above running behind it.

    A very burly man was attending the bar and he greeted Addie with a wave.
    "Ahh, is this the new pup?" he grinned, "Bring him over and let's give him a proper welcome!" he said with a raised voice to get over the humdrum of the voices.


    Matt chuckled at Addie's response to his tales of Joe sitting on him. "Oh yeah," he replied, "multiple times." Well, at least twice, and one of them had definitely been her. Probably. Although she hadn't had her memory at the time. "She sure is heavy, too." He hoped she wouldn't take that comment badly, but somehow he doubted Joe to be one of those girls who'd fuss about her weight.

    The atmosphere inside the pub surprised him: somehow he hadn't expected anything so... normal, though truth be told he'd never actually been in a real pub before. His parents hadn't liked them and hadn't thought it a good idea to take their young son into one, and since his change... alcohol just hadn't seemed like a good idea for someone whose uninhibited impulses could easily end in murder. That, and he hadn't exactly had the kind of friends who'd hang out at the pub.

    The smells of the place were indeed wonderful, and the realisation that it was ok to eat the things he was smelling now was a welcome one. Truth be told, though, the friendly atmosphere set him a little on edge. He'd never made friends easily, and this place seemed like everyone would want to be your friend before they even knew you. Still, he reasoned, Joe was hardly the most forthcoming person when it came to trust and openness with strangers, and she wanted him to enjoy this. He smiled at her, trying to hide his nerves. Maybe this would all be ok. He was pretty sure he wasn't going to get physically harmed, at least. And he was very hungry.

    The barman's welcome made him tense right up again, just as he'd managed to relax. He didn't enjoy being called a pup. Also, with a voice that loud, it felt like everyone was staring at him, and his new blood rushed up his neck to his face so readily that he thought he might catch fire. What was this? He'd thought he blushed badly as a vampire, but this was almost painful. He gulped, looking at his shoes and searching for something to say. In the end, after a worried glance at Joe, he went for "Hi..." Then he hesitated before adding, in a tiny voice, "um... I'm Matt." He risked shooting a look at the barman, wondering if he was going to get laughed out of this place. Werewolves were supposed to be confident beings, by and large. He just wished he could be a little less ready for the ground to swallow him whole.


    The bartender's voice did indeed lift a few heads and turned their attention to "the new pup". Most turned back to their own business, be it food, company, drinks or looking darkly mysterious in a shadowed corner. They all had their own comments, some being kept to themselves and others saying something about him looking scrawny or small.

    A group somewhere in the middle sniggered under their breath and as Joe heard them, she looked at them with a silent glare. They were a group of four, one being a female and the males looked to be the trouble-maker kind with size to boot.

    Joe sensed Matt's uneasiness and when he finally responded to the bartender... in a rather small voice... She realised how strange this must all have been. The redness just confirmed it and she hid a smile - she'd never seen him blush so deeply! Then again, he now had the proper live mechanics, or was it biologics? to do it. She could definitely smell it.

    The big wolf noticed it too, and with a hearty laugh he went over to Matt, and Joe, and with a hand on each one's shoulder with himself between them, he squeezed their shoulders as he guided them to a corner with the soft cover seats that ran in a half moon around the centered table.
    "Welcome, little Matt! I am Old Moe, or just 'Moe', if ye prefer. Allow me t'give you our customary first meal and get ye feeling right at home at my humble abode. On the house, and I ain't taking no fer an answer, ye hear?" He said with a now not so booming-over-the-croud voice. The tone at the end suggested that he was serious about not declining his offer, though.
    Joe, in fact, looked over to Matt and demonstrated with a few nods for Matt to accept.

    Addie had followed behind, being somewhat of a local already and once they were seated, sat next to Matt and Joe would sit on Matt's other side.
    "So, how would you like yer steaks, pup? And what can I get you other two?" He asked, whipping out a notebook and pen.


    Matt shuffled through the pub trying not to attract any further attention, and especially not to aggravate the group that had laughed at him. Joe would probably jump into a bar-room brawl very readily, but he really didn't want to start one, especially while he was still trying to figure out his own legs. The bartender seemed very friendly, so he focussed on that. "Good to meet you, Moe," he said warmly. "I'm sure a meal here would be fantastic, thank you."

    He hoped to be able to just sit down, duck his head and calm down, but no sooner had he sat down than he was being asked to choose a meal. Steak?! Oh right, he ate steak now. It was hard to stop interpreting the word as pointy-stick-incoming-death and think food. He swallowed, wondering why this couldn't be as simple as the vampire diet. 'How would you like your blood?' didn't make much sense as a question, since everyone liked it best the same way: fresh out of someone's throat.

    In the end, he settled for responding with, "Um... Very rare?" It seemed the best option, and he figured Joe would probably go more or less the same way, which meant he could blend in with the crowd. He remembered this was a good surprise, not a Joe-flattening-him-as-a-wolf surprise, and felt better. At least there were very definitely worse fates than embarrassment and confusion. He inhaled deeply and glanced at her, and that steadied his nerves. He managed to smile easily then, and added a "Please" to his order.

    "So, do you guys come here a lot?" He addressed the question to Addie and Joe, which was a bit tough because they had sat either side of him. He was curious about the werewolf pub; vampires had almost no reason for something like this for food (blood on tap, anyone?) and had only a few drinking establishments, all of them pretty hardcore bars. He'd never been in one. They were the sort of place Mel would enter on business and leave having broken the bones of every person inside. Several had burned down after such visits.


    Matt's good manners certainly won him good points with the big guy, and it was prominent through his even wider grin. As a werewolf it would have been frightening.

    "Very rare," Old Moe wrote on the paper, nodding, "Grand choice." He said and looked to the other two for their choices. Joe decided on a "Game Hunter's Leg" (not human meat as one might think, but more like the leg of the game that was hunted, she explained to Matt, just so he didn't have to worry). For Addie, it was a "Roulette Stew" which consisted of a pot of mixed meats, spices and red wine. He also added a house beer pint and Joe said she would be fine with water.
    Moe then headed to the kitchen, taking a few drink orders from the tables he passed on the way.

    "Well, I've been here more times than I can count.." Addie answered, "Joe... what, about two or three times?" he looked at Joe over his folded hands as he was leaning forward on his elbows.
    "Two." she said and leaned on one elbow, looking at Matt. "So what's your first impression?" Joe asked with a soft smile.

    A few eyes had been glancing their way, mostly from the rowdy group that she had glared at. For some reason it made her feel uncomfortable, and the rate was bordering on 'very'. Either she was paranoid, or she was sure that they were looking at her... That didn't happen before and as she started to wonder why, the answer happily hit her on the back of her mind with a "duh."

    She closed her eyes and then rubbed her temple with some irritation.
    This was going to get some used to.. But having Matt there with her made her feel a little better, and hopefully there wasn't going to be some idiot dumb enough to start a fight in Old Moe's pub.


    Matt had a little panic when he heard Joe's order, but calmed down again when he heard her explanation. Right. Of course she wouldn't eat a person. Definitely. He was still very wound up from his embarrassment and it would take him some time to calm down.

    The natural conversation was helping to calm his nerves, and he smiled back at Joe. "First impressions... uh, I guess embarrassing?" He chuckled, but hurried to add, "It seems a lovely place though, and the food smells great!" He decided not to mention the rather hostile-seeminggroup across the room.

    "Are there many places like this?" He was still thinking about the laughable idea of a vampire pub. Would humans sit so happily amongst his old kind? More likely they'd be kept downstairs, like a sort of sick living wine cellar. Places like that probably did exist... he shuddered.

    Just then the door swung open again, and a little man in a shabby brown coat shuffled in. He was human and clutching a tiny package to his chest, but something faint about his smell might have said vampire. It was mostly overpowered by the smell coming off him, which would have been hard to identify, but most people would have said he smelled smelly. Matt didn't notice him, being still across the big room full of mixed smells, but he clocked Matt and Joe immediately and started heading across the room towards them.


    Joe had a funny expression at Matt's answer, but could see where he got it from. Being confronted with a wall of friendly and big voice to draw attention was... Strange.
    "Well at least you made it without turning tail." She said, a little amused.

    She wasn't sure, and looked over to Addie, who's eyebrows furrowed as he looked up at nothing in particular. "I know of one other in Glasgow, and another at the River Thames... but there are probably more." he concluded.

    Just then a woman came around and handed Addie his pint, and a beaker of water with two glasses for Joe and Matt. Addie looked quite happy and took a swig. From his satisfied look, the beer must have been heavenly... The woman grinned and gave him a wink as she turned and dropped off the other drinks.

    It didn't take long for the shabby man's smell to travel to the werewolf noses in the room and many of them looked around for the culprit. The rowdy sniggerers caught on that it was the newcomer, and the three males, being the troublemakers that they were glanced at each other. As the man passed them, one of them stuck out his foot to trip the man and another laughed as he mockingly pretended to apologise for his friend's actions. This seemed to amuse the female and her laughter rang in the air. Some of the onlookers laughed or chuckled at the group's joke.

    The third member noticed that the man had something with him and aimed to take it, "oh, what's this then? Mind if I have a look?" he grinned.


    Matt poured out two glasses of water and took a sip of his own, contemplating Addie's reply. Honestly vampires were doing themselves a disservice with this anti-wolf thing they had going on. They had to spend time together, build up bigger numbers and share feeding ground mostly because if they didn't the werewolves would wipe them out... and besides, trying to exterminate a species that could replicate by one bite on a member of your own food source was never smart. And the wolves were quite happily going to the pub together... Vampires, he concluded, must generally be pretty dumb not to strive for peace.

    His train of thought was interrupted by the sound of the little man falling behind him. He didn't recognise the guy, but he didn't like the look of the people who'd tripped him. Matt stood, made his way over and put out a hand to help the man up. He was human, as well... ok, so he smelled bad, but it was pretty bad form of these guys to knock him down.

    Just as he was dusting the guy off and trying to be gentle about it, lest he knock the poor man over again, he heard the woman laugh. He looked up from what he was doing with a dirty look, forgetting to worry about causing trouble. He didn't like to judge people by appearances, but couldn't help noticing that she looked really quite dumb.

    Then one of the males tried to get the package the man was holding. It was all Matt could do not to punch the guy in the face, and he struggled to rein himself in. Male werewolf hormones were potent things, sure enough. He definitely felt like he wanted a fight... instead he just gave the guy a level look that said no way was he taking that package.

    The little guy tapped Matt nervously on the elbow as the tension in the room grew. "Erm... it's for you," he squeaked, and pressed it into Matt's hand. Matt glanced down, and sure enough it has his name on it. Mel. He could almost swear she'd sent it here on purpose, to cause trouble. He looked around to thank the messenger, and was astonished to find that the little man had already gone. His smell lingered, outlining his shape in the air.

    Great. So he was in a pickle by himself. Well, the human wouldn't have been much use anyway...


    Joe also decided to quench her thirst and only then realised how thirsty she actually was. Her body heat felt like it had risen too and she remembered that it was one of the many wonderful side-effects of being properly female. Joy.

    Addie and Joe also noticed the newcomer falling and from the looks of things he had been tripped. The guy who had pretended to apologise had noticed her and lifted his head as if he was proud of it, and glad that Joe had seen his act. She gave him a blank, unimpressed stare back. He didn't seem to understand this...

    When Matt stood up she didn't stop him, but kept her eyes on him. She saw him help the guy up and looking at the annoying female. Joe couldn't see Matt's expression, but apparently the girl didn't like it. As luck would have it, she responded by getting up and with an attitude she addressed Matt, "What's your deal, huh? You giving me a Look?" then she shoved him.
    Her boyfriend also got up and with a sense of bravado, "Don't sweat it, babe. I got this." and stepped in front of her and positioned his hands on his hips in an aggressive stance, "You got a problem with my girl, shrimp?"
    His girlfriend seemed pleased with this and gave Matt a spiteful smile as she crossed her arms.

    As Joe watched this, she had the urge to get up and wipe that stupid look off her face... but Addie gently held her arm down and quietly shook his head.
    "Let him handle this." he said equally quietly. To explain it, he glanced towards the bar where Old Moe was standing and busy with cleaning a glass, seemingly unaware of what was happening.

    With a deep, irritated sigh Joe relaxed a bit and glared in the direction of the troublemakers. Her stare looked like it could melt metal.


    Matt decided the best thing he could do in this confrontational situation would be to stay calm and hope it blew over without a fight. He risked a glance at Joe and to his relief saw that she hadn't moved out of her seat. Something about her posture told him that Addie had had a hand in that. She was glaring though, and that wasn't going to go down well if this bunch spotted it, so he quickly looked away from her.

    The dumb female seemed to have taken offence at his look, and he wondered if he had been out of line. But her friends had been pushing the human around, and she'd found that funny... It wasn't as though she was completely above reproach. He might not want a fight, but he wasn't about to grovel over this.

    "I don't have a problem with 'your girl'," he said steadily, "but I really don't think you guys should be tripping people up. Where's the sense in picking on that guy? You have to show the world you're stronger than him? Big deal - he didn't look like he'd had a hot meal this month, and there's four of you..." He didn't raise the issue of species, since there were humans in earshot and he could be sure if they knew they were surrounded by werewolves. It was pretty clearly implicit anyway.

    He checked in his peripheral vision and found that Old Moe was cleaning glasses like he was oblivious. Matt might not be an expert in pubs but he was pretty sure Moe was sharp enough to know exactly what was happening on the other side of his bar. He also had a feeling violence wouldn't be easily tolerated here. Well, if there was a fight, he wouldn't be the one to start it. "I'm sorry if you feel I'm being unreasonable, but he was a friend of a friend, and I won't have him publicly abused like that. Or anyone else for that matter."
    #2 Poppy, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  3. Addie had to admit, Matt was a brave one... standing up against four werewolves like that and keeping his calm. He glanced at Joe and then back at Matt and understood why Joe liked him. Well, understood a little better.

    Unfortunately Matt's calmness didn't pass on to the one he was talking to. Instead it was matched with defiance.
    "Oh, is that so, huh? What are you going to do about it?" the male asked. From his stature, Addie figured him to be the leader. He also saw the other two change their postures to be ready for a fight.

    The girl then sneered, "Probably going to give you speech or something. He looks like a real geek." and again gave an annoying laugh. The rest of their group joined in. "Can you even fight, newbie?" she asked as she looked him up and down like he was something a cat had dragged in.

    By now Joe was clenching and unclenching her fists and Addie could feel her tense up like she wanted to jump up and bite someone. He was a little surprised that she hadn't already... He glanced at the bar again to see what Moe might think of this, but there was no sign of the guy.

    "Let's find out." The leader said and he pulled back his arm to strike at Matt...

    ((Ye art very welcome to act their part too if ye like ;) ))
  4. Matt stood through the run of abuse as though he'd heard every possible insult before, which to be honest, being a skinny kid growing up, he mostly had. Geek was a new one on him though, and he permitted himself a tiny smile. By your standards, maybe, he thought to himself. He returned the girl's look without hostility. The situation was turning nasty, all right...

    Well, he might be in for a bit of a kicking. Oh well. There was probably always going to be the option of just legging it, something he'd never been ashamed to do in the past... although that would mean leaving both Joe and his pride in here. He wished he could look at her again and try to figure out which she'd rather if this went wrong, that he get beaten black and blue or that he be a coward and get out of there. But he didn't want to risk looking, in case he dragged her into this.

    All of this thinking went on as the leader and the girl took turns taunting him, but as the guy drew back to hit him something else clicked into place inside his head. A vampire who can't defend himself against werewolves doesn't last very long. That, and he'd grown up with Mel.

    He shifted his weight subtly, and then with no visible change of expression kneed the guy extremely hard in the privates.

    "Best way to win a fight is to beat your opponent's brains out," he said cheerfully, and he heard Mel saying the words in his head along with him. He gently helped the guy fold to the floor as he continued, "We are fortunate to be dealing with a species that not only has gonads, but by and large also thinks with them."

    Her voice was still inside his head, warning: Very good, one down... but this isn't over yet. Far from it.
    Yeah. One down... three to go.
    Also, he could almost imagine her reminding him, you're one of them now. So if you're considering any bundles of joy, I'd watch yourself down below.

    ((I hope this is ok?))
    #4 Poppy, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  5. Joe watched, with some fascination, as Matt took down the leader with a good knee-up. She had to admit she enjoyed seeing Matt fight and even hold his own, and it sparked something within her. Something pleasant.

    The girl wasn't too happy about Matt's win and with a snarl she swiped at him multiple times, pretty much blinded by anger and insult for her boyfriend's part. The other two took surrounding spots behind Matt, ready to catch him by surprise...

    That is, until they were caught by surprise. Lifted up, in fact with their feet dangling in the air. A deep, foreboding voice calmly asked them, "Having fun, are we?" His hands were lifted just below his shoulders, but neither werewolves's feet could touch the floor by a few centimetres.
    Realising it was Old Moe, they instantly froze and their eyes widened. Joe thought she even heard a "meep" out of one of them.

    Addie let out a delighted chuckle and lifted his eyebrows at Joe knowingly. She glanced at him and shook her head. Matt was given a calm smile, and one might even say it carried a sense of "well done" to it.

    Moe let the ruffians dangle in their sweaty collars for a bit and then looked at Matt, "Now then, lads. First, I want ye all t' apologise ta little Matt here. Then, he'll tell me what we're going to do with you lot before ye'll be thrown out with the garbage." He informed them casually and then looked expectantly at Matt.

    Some of the other guests who had been watching shouted their own suggestions, ranging from "Spit in their drinks and make them drink it!", "Cut an ear off!" to "Make them pay fer all our food!"

    The last request was turned down by Old Moe's wife, saying with an angry voice "No, Harold, you're paying for your own meal for once!" This was directed to a shabby-looking old man who cursed and turned to his drink with a scrunched mouth as he sulked.
    #5 FlyingGekko, Jan 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  6. Matt was aware of the two guys taking up positions behind him, but he hadn't got as far as figuring out what to do about them yet. The girl swiping at him provided a small distraction, but she was so infuriated that it was easy to fend her off. He tried to concentrate on listening to the guys behind him, but she was drowning them out in her fury.

    The next sound he heard from behind was very small and sounded something like 'meep'... but that wasn't right. He turned around very slowly, and was just in time to catch Moe's smile. It was an encouraging one and Matt returned it. He looked over to Joe and smiled at her too, silently thanking her for not wading into this.

    The idea that he could dictate a forfeit after a fight he hadn't even won was strange to him, and he was about to wave it off when he caught sight of a pair of eyes at the window. Mel's messenger was still outside. "Well," he said uncertainly, "I don't think it's me they should be apologising to. I think really they ought to apologise to the poor man they were laughing at, and maybe buy him a good meal to make it up." Out of the corner of his eye he saw the door of the pub crack open and the eyes appear in the gap. The little man was certainly nothing if not hungry. He beckoned him inside and nodded to Old Moe, before quietly going back to join Joe and Addie.

    Mel's little package was still in his hand. Gingerly, as though it might explode at any moment, he prised it open and tipped the contents out into his palm.

    It was a small black object which at first sight resembled an ordinary pebble, drilled through the top and strung on a thin leather cord, but as he turned it he noticed markings cut into its surface. They were crusted with something that looked faintly red in the light. He shuddered.

    The package also contained a scrap of paper covered in Mel's minute scrawl, which said:

    In case you have forgotten your old life so completely that this does not affect you, the object enclosed is a token of my house and if the Clan Council. It has what we laughingly refer to as blood magic, and any vampire will recognise it on sight. By reputation, it should afford you protection from your old kind. It has cost me a great deal of diplomacy to obtain this, and as such I would ask you not to allow it out of your possession for any reason.

    He frowned at the last line, but there was no space left, not even for a sign off. He was about to shove it into his pocket when he noticed the two further lines of scrawl on the back of the paper:

    Oh, and when you give it to Joe, please remind her that it's a symbol of my reputation and I will not have it used to facilitate violence.

    He smiled. She did know him very well, after all.
  7. Old Moe considered Matt's request and with a satisfied nod he turned around and with a jerk of his head instructed one of his sons (who was working as a waiter) to bring along the leader and the girl. After some further sneering and a warning look from Moe, she followed them to the front.

    Moe had the messenger sit at a table close to the door incase he had to leave quickly, and for starters gave him some water to drink. It didn't take the big wolf long to get an apology out of the troublemakers, and he made sure that it was sincere. Then he reminded them that this building was his territory, and thus his rules applied no questions asked.

    After taking the shabby guy's order he got the money from the leader and for good measure sent them to the kitchen to do all the dishes for the night. They were not happy, but at least Moe knew that they wouldn't be able to take it out on either the little man or on Addie and his friends.

    When he got back to check on things in the pub he found his wife cooing over the man like a concerned mother. That was just like her... and no doubt would she find some clothing to fit him too and have it all nicely folded and in a bag for him to take with. She had a big heart, and that's why he loved her so much.

    As Matt came to take his seat, Addie couldn't help his curiosity, "Gift from a friend?" He asked conversationally, not trying to sound like a nosey person.
    Joe too was interested, but kept her curiosity in and only watched as Matt opened the package. She noticed his reaction to the contents though and and looked at his face. He didn't seem to be offended or too cautious of it, so at least it didn't seem dangerous.

    In the light she finally recognised what it was, but she'd only ever heard of it, at least like this. Her grandfather had something similar to protect his house but it was combined with a werewolf symbol that meant kind of the same thing. It had been done decades ago though and she never found out by whom.

    When Matt smiled she lifted an eyebrow, curiosity now showing. It was just then that their orders were brought by Moe's wife and she placed each dish in their place. Addie's eyes widened with excitement and he rubbed his hands together. "Here ye go, lovelies! Eat up and enjoy.. Oh, and just so ye know little Matt, cutlery is optional but I brought ye some anyway." She said with her small wink of friendliness.

    On her way back she went to check on the puppies and gave them each a kiss on the head, the last one yawned and then licked his mom on her cheek. Feeling satisfied she headed to the kitchen.

    Joe had been watching this with some interest... The three puppies reminded her of her brothers, even though they could never shift into their wolf forms. A warm feeling in her chest reminded her how she missed them sometimes, and these were one of those times. She gave a soft sigh and then returned to Addie and Matt.
    #7 FlyingGekko, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  8. Matt looked up from the little token at Addie's question, and it took him a moment to process it. Mel was really sticking her neck out giving him something like this - even in the vampire community, it would mean a lot more than just a passing gesture. To send him it now, knowing that it would associate her own family name with a member of the rival species... He was going to have to go and thank her in person.

    "Actually, it's for you," he said, addressing the comment to Joe. He kept his hand closed as he held it out to her; you really wouldn't want to go flashing it about in a pub full of werewolves. "Mel sent it."

    Their food arrived and the smell instantly distracted him, but still he eyed his steak somewhat dubiously. He thanked Moe's wife as his plate was set down, and considered the situation. New teeth. Chewing probably wasn't going to be a problem, then. He picked up his cutlery and sliced off a small amount of the meat, watching the blood run out onto the plate. It seemed curiously unappealing. He raised his fork and took a bite... And then very quickly another. The steak was gone in under a minute. It was way better than animal blood had ever been.

    He was so wrapped up with eating that he almost missed Joe's little sigh, but not quite. He gave her a quizzical look and caught the direction of her gaze. Right... puppies. They were cute, but it was weird to think of them as actual children in another form. He wondered what she was thinking about, but didn't ask.

    When she'd turned away from the puppies, he said enthisiastically, "This is great! How come you guys don't eat here every day again?" He gave his plate a somewhat guilty glance, "Might have forgotten to savour mine, though..."
  9. For her? Really?...

    Joe had to wonder if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
    On the one hand, protection from vampires would make things easier for her and Matt's... What, friendship? No, maybe not friendship, but it wasn't like he had said that... Or had he? She couldn't quite remember.. Focus!
    Right, good: made things easier with any vampire aquaintances. Bad?

    ... Bad... If werewolves who didn't know her saw this then they would have questions, like wondering if she wasn't a spy or a traitor to her kind. Was that Mel's real plan? Even if not she'd no doubt find pleasure out of it.

    Still, Joe accepted the gift and secured it in a pocket. "Uhm, thanks... I think." Well if Matt had trust in Mel's gift then she'd give it a chance. She was pretty sure she wouldn't do anything to hurt him, at least badly... Okay, to not have him maimed, at least.

    Addie watched as Matt practically gulped down his steak and when he was done he pulled his mouth in a skew smile and his face was almost comically amused, "So, did you taste it at least?" and gave a heartedly guffaw.

    Joe didn't quite catch Matt's questioning look, being still somewhat distracted by her thoughts... Why was she reminiscing about this now? She'd gotten over that by now, but for some reason a feeling of guilt was making itself felt. Why?

    "Heh, yeah you probably should have... Or just have another one." Addie suggested as he ate his meal. A very lovely and juicy stew served in a bigger than normal bowl. He used a soup spoon and made sure to not miss one drop of the sauce, though it needed some salt, which he promptly added.
    "Well, I'm here at least three or four times a week if I can help it." He said, and added between a bite, "Best thing is, they're open until very late.. or, early morning really." He noticed Joe's silence, "Hello? You in there?"

    "Hmm? Oh, yeah. Sorry." She said, averting his eyes. "Just... Daydreaming."
    Joe then started on her meal, which would be too much for even a grown man. Then again it was a leg of Red Deer. For easier eating she left her teeth shift to be more wolf-like and cut a piece off to eat easier with her hands.
    Compared to how other guests ate, she seemed to do it with grace and Addie for one always found this funny about werewolves different eating habits.
    #9 FlyingGekko, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  10. Matt frowned at Joe's response to the gift, but perhaps to a werewolf it just seemed dangerous. True, she'd have to hide it very carefully from her own kind, but the protection it afforded from vampires had to be worth it. He also wondered if her trust in him was so little that she thought he'd blithely hand her something that could get her hurt.

    "Just don't wave it around in the wrong places... it will help to keep you safe." And by extension that would keep him out of trouble, as he was pretty sure Mel knew. "I trust Mel," he said quietly. He hoped that would be enough for her. He himself was pretty certain Mel wouldn't go to all this trouble to get Joe harmed, not when she'd take so much more pleasure in doing that herself, if she wanted it done. This gift was very valuable - potentially dangerous, but potentially life-saving as well.

    He laughed when Addie did, and his hand went to his stomach. He didn't feel especially hungry... in fact he felt pretty strange at this point, and things were gurgling that he wasn't sure were even supposed to gurgle. "I think I'll leave it for today, but it was good," he said. It dawned on him that his intestinal machinery probably wasn't at all prepared for suddenly having a huge hunk of meat thrown at it, after six years of fluids. He grimaced. This might not be altogether fun.

    He tried to distract himself by focussing on Joe, who had apparently been daydreaming about... what? Puppies? That was a very strange notion, but he wondered when she'd last seen werewolves as young as those. It had probably been a while. Who knew what memories they might bring back to the surface?

    She'd snapped out of it quickly though, and he watched in fascination as she set about eating her meal. He knew better than to question whether she could finish it, but it interested him the way her teeth seemed different as she ate, almost like she'd allowed them to change form on their own. There was going to be a lot to learn if he could shift body parts between forms independently - just changing his whole body from one thing to another seemed a crazy prospect at the moment, let alone focussing on one part.

    Something else was niggling at him and he glanced around the pub. There were people tearing their food apart with their teeth all over the place, but the way she was managing it was a lot more... civilised? He almost felt like a heathen to have resorted to cutlery next to her. A funny sensation curled in his gut and for a moment he thought it was the food, but...

    ... great. This was going to be one of those things. The things he liked about her, which he had to pretend not to like because it's weird to sit staring at your best friend and daydreaming about how awesome they are, and now the way she ate was one of them. Mealtimes would be ruined. Not that she was just his best friend... but then, what was she?
    She was going to notice him staring, that's what. He flushed slightly and ducked his head, hoping to hide it.
    Yeah... because she won't be able to tell by the smell...
  11. Addie heard the little telltale sounds of Matt's digestive system being kickstarted again and leaned over a bit as if sharing a secret with him, "A word of advice: the first time you have to answer the call of nature, don't freak out." he whispered and turned back to his meal and taking a mouthful.

    Joe seemed to be back with them and Addie didn't make too much of it. She had been looking in the direction of the fireplace, and remembering that the puppies were there he shrugged it off. Females liked puppies, right? It was a maternal thing, or something. Okay, as far as he knew she wouldn't be able to have pups but that shouldn't stop her from liking them, right? Right. Back to meal. Goooooood meal.... Hmm Mm mmh!

    Unfortunately for Matt, Joe had noticed his staring. Then his ducking. Then his blushing.
    The mischievous side of her thought it very funny and a smile creeped out as she looked at him. Her look was playful now and she pointed leisurely at her meal, "Want some?" she asked, thinking that he was still hungry and was feeling guilty about it.
    #11 FlyingGekko, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  12. Matt tried to keep a straight face as Addie delivered his advice, but it was hard not to grimace at the thought of his messy digestive system being reactivated. How was he supposed to not freak out? Nothing of this nature had happened for years! It was bad enough trying to handle toilets as a kid when everyone was going through it, and you barely knew anything about your body anyway... being almost an adult, he was betting it was going to be a lot worse this time round.

    He didn't shrug off Joe's interest in the puppies as easily as Addie had, either. He'd got used to the idea that she was never going to do anything sentimental or the least bit feminine, and it didn't bother him. It would be weird for her to go misty-eyed over a basket of puppies at this point. He decided the best he could do would be to keep an eye on her and make sure she didn't do anything else weird, that he might have to start concerning himself about.

    "Want some?"
    The question took him slightly by surprise and he blushed deeper, but he couldn't just ignore her. "No thanks," he mumbled. He turned his head, but didn't meet her eyes. "I'm sort of full... my stomach's not used to solids." He hoped she wouldn't ask anything else, because explaining that he just liked the way she tucked into an animal's leg with her teeth was going to be an awkward one, even by his usual standards. It probably didn't make most people's lists of things they liked about their... whatever-she-was. "You carry on," he said, with a gesture to match. And I'll try not to stare at you any more, because apparently it comes off like I'm hungry...
  13. Matt's answer reminded Joe how true it was... and how awkward that they were talking about this fact. Her face coloured, just a bit. "Right. Forgot about that..." she said and decided to return to eating her food.

    Addie was looking at this over his beer, and also using the mug to hide his smile. His eyes were smiling too though. He did however have sympathy for the guy, seeing as he had to also go through stuff like that. It wasn't too much fun and having much better hearing than humans made it all the more awkward...

    Now that Joe thought about it, not that she wanted to but it was happening anyway, things were probably going to be pretty awkward at first with... that. She was used to it, it was natural. Knowing he wasn't though made it awkward though because she knew that it would be awkward for him... Why was she thinking about this anyway? Stupid brain. Was this because of the hormones again?

    No, she didn't think so. It was just a natural route of thought to follow, which she didn't have to, so she was going to stop. She looked at his plate to distract herself and saw just how clean it was of any leftovers.
    "Well I'm glad you enjoyed your first meal as a werewolf..." she said and smiled encouragingly, "It tastes even better when you've hunted it yourself."
    #13 FlyingGekko, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  14. As they approached the house, Matt felt a little apprehensive feeling stirring in his gut. Either that or he was about to have to dash for the toilet again... he'd already had to go once behind a hedge. That had been embarrassing.

    They were about to ask Faolan if he could move into the house. Granted, it was only on a temporary basis, but the old werewolf was no fool. If he didn't already know how Matt felt about Joe, he'd probably spot it within a day of having him in the house full time. Somehow, Matt doubted that would make Faolan very happy with the idea of having him sleeping under the same roof as her.

    Addie had gone his separate way a while back, and Matt had made very sure to thank him for all his help with the change. It had all in all been a successful day, even if there had been multiple scares for his life in the past 24 hours.

    He paused at the end of the path and put out his hand to signal Joe to stop too. He'd been quiet most of the time since Addie left, partially out of embarrassment and partly because he was thinking. It seemed the right time to say something to her before they went any further, though he couldn't figure out exactly what something he wanted to go with.

    In the end he spoke softly and tried to keep it short: "I'm very glad I did this for you... For both of us. It's going to change a lot of things. But I know those changes will be for the better." He smiled to accompany the statement. He wasn't sure he'd got his head round this yet, but he did know the change would enable him to stay with her. Maybe they could even be something more than friends, have a life together. It was nice to be able to hope for that, instead of just dreaming.
  15. Joe had enjoyed the walk home. It was nice and leisurely and it gave her time to think about things. One of them was how to convince her grandfather to let Matt stay with them... Who was now a werewolf male instead of a vampire male. This changed things. Moreso because she knew what changes her body was going through and she had no doubt that this would make Faolan more protective of her.

    Oh, right... She hadn't tol Matt about that yet. Huh.

    Still thinking about this she almost missed his hand stopping her. Joe stopped though and turned her attention to him. A wavering concenr popped up - was he having second thoughts?

    As she listened to him, her look was soft. She looked him in the eyes the whole time and the more she did, the more a warm feeling stirred in her chest and stomach. In the end she smiled a little too and actually looked down at her feet for a moment before nodding.
    "Yeah... No doubt about that." She said as she looked at him again. No doubt at all... "Changes." she added absentmindedly.

    Should I tell him now? she wondered. Why yes, excellent idea, add that to his already crazy day. Having to deal with his new digestive system working would be a picnic!


    Why did she take biology at school?...

    Steering away from that direction entirely she realised that her answer might not be enough somehow. In the clinic she had been more open to him, so why couldn't she be now? He'd gone through so much for her...

    "I hope I'm worth it." Came the shy reply. It was more of a thought and when she realised that it had escaped and hijacked her mouth she felt the warm feeling in her chest galavanting to her face. Argh.
    #15 FlyingGekko, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  16. Matt watched Joe's reaction to his words, and he was beginning to see more and more that not everything she felt came out in her words. Sure, he kept a lot of his feelings in, but that was mostly because of how reserved she could be. Her manner usually seemed to imply that if he dared turn sentimental on her, she'd punch him. But his new nose could sense something she wasn't going to put into words, and the little glance down at her feet just strengthened it. He smiled.

    Things were different about her... a lot different. Was it really just his new senses? Surely, he thought, things like this would have been obvious before the change. It wasn't as though he hadn't been watching, hoping for some little sign... She seemed distracted, almost deliberating. He was reminded of the day before when he'd asked her about her short absence, and she'd said she'd been to see an old lady about 'something'. Was there a connection, or was he just imagining things now?

    Whatever it was, she didn't seem to want to talk about it, and her next words made him forget all about it. For a few seconds they didn't make sense and he just stared at her, wondering if his werewolf ears were broken, or maybe his brain. For one thing, he hadn't thought she'd open herself up that much to him, but for another she seemed to be expressing uncertainty... and blushing, too!

    The back of his brain nudged the part that was thinking all this and politely pointed out, You know, if you just stand there like an idiot she's going to get the impression she's not worth it... But he didn't know what answer to give, or at least, he couldn't think what words to use.

    "I don't," he said. Something seemed wrong with that, and he struggled to work out what it would even mean in response to her statement. "I mean, I know." That didn't seem right either. He cast around in the gathering confusion of nonsense statements for something meaningful and reassuring to say. He focussed on her face, and blushing and uncomfortable though it was, it helped.

    "Of course," he managed, and that felt like a more sensible response. "Ten times over." His face was hot, and he realised he was blushing as well. There was also a strange contracting feeling in his chest. "Joe..." he said, but he couldn't find any more words so he just stopped stupidly, staring at her. What was he even trying to say? It was like his thoughts were being scattered by a warm wind.

    "I never thought species could matter like this, before," he said eventually. He'd known that the species issue would stand in the way of anything happening between them, but he hadn't imagined that there could be new depths of feeling he hadn't even begun to delve into. All these physical sensations, making him feel giddy and dizzy and strange... his body had been animated before, but now he was alive again, and everything had changed.
  17. Joe didn’t know what to make of Matt’s stare, but she knew it was giving her a feeling bordering on ‘uncomfortable’... Why had she said that? Sure, she liked him, they had been friends for a while now and even with every crazy thing that had happened to both of them, he had still stuck with her. Through her temper, her actions that bordered on insanity, her almost killing him and almost getting him killed - more than once. Did it really matter that much?

    “I don’t,”

    Her heart sank... It dropped like a rock into an unknown abyss. Okay, so it did matter. Fancy that. Her body seemed to cool almost instantly from her realisation.

    “I mean, I know.”

    Know? Know what? That he was sure she wasn’t worth it? ... Not that she really blamed him. Who’d want a crazy werewolf for a friend, let alone for anything else but a weapon? She still didn’t react though, at least her face showed nothing.

    Then his last answer confirmed what a part of her wanted to hear. So much so that the warm feeling rushed back and brought a friend along in the name of ‘excitement’ and her blush came back, and this time it was a bit stronger. Damn these hormones... Although she did feel kinda nice. Kinda a lot. Okay, it felt nice.

    Oh joy, more staring. Let’s have a stare competition, shall we? Not that she stared with any competitive intent, but she did look at him to hear what he wanted to say. More feelings of unknown origin were popping up to see what was going on and she was struggling to keep them down. As a result, she actually became a little nervous. Again: why?

    “I never thought species could matter like this, before”

    What? Now it was her turn to stare stupidly. At least she was blinking, while her mind sorted and searched through her limited knowledge about this... kind of situation. Her heart beat just a little bit faster then, as it started understanding. That was great and all, but would it mind telling her what was going on? Usually it was the other way around! ...

    Okay, so let’s recap: He’s glad for changing into a werewolf. Changes things for the better. He thinks I’m worth it, a lot. Being her kind mattered... Conclusion? Oh wait, add what happened at the theatre...

    That pulled a corner of her mouth into a half smile at the memory of how they had sat beside each other, being silly and happy. It was comforting.

    Again, the thought ninja-sneaked it’s way to her mouth on its way to escape, “I really-“ but she stopped it just in time. She closed her eyes to compose herself. She knew what the rest of that sentence would be, but was she really ready to say it? The feelings waited in suspense for her answer and really wished that nervousness would go take a hike. It delayed things.

    In the end, she decided to do what she did best when a situation of uncertainty presented itself: take it head-on. She took a breath.

    “I really like you, Matt.”
  18. Matt's struggle for the right words kept him from noticing much about Joe's reaction to what he was saying, and as a result he didn't pick up on the effect his confusion had. He knew his response had been muddled, but the negative interpretations didn't really dawn on him. He knew what he meant.

    He was still struggling with the idea that she might not know she was worth whatever he had been through in theatre. He'd gone into it with his eyes open, after all - Addie had warned him it would hurt and he'd still chosen to do it. Would he have done that, if she wasn't worth it?

    The funny feeling in his chest was making it hard to think straight, and for a moment he contemplated the idea that he was actually having a heart attack. The thought amused him - he could go on confusing cardiac arrest with 'butterflies' or whatever right up until the moment he dropped dead.

    Concentrate. He focussed on the moment and noticed that Joe was smiling too, though he couldn't be sure at what. Probably not his bumbling attempt at reassurance. Maybe she just found this conversation trivial and she was laughing at him? Better change the subject before she gets too awkward. He opened his mouth to say something.

    "I really-"
    The words made him jar to a halt and he closed his mouth again, waiting for the sentence to end. Nothing else seemed to be coming, and his brain started auto-completing it for her. I really... think you should go home? ... don't think you're worth it for me? He tried to shut the alternative endings down, or at least make them more positive, but they just kept coming. Her eyes closed and he tried to brace himself for whatever she was steeling herself to say. She seemed very reluctant. It must be bad.

    "I really like you, Matt."
    The words came like a blow to the stomach and for a moment it didn't even sink in that she wasn't brushing him off. He certainly didn't try to control his expression, which looked very much like one of dismay. Then, little by little, it dawned on him that this was a positive statement... And a huge one, by her standards. Some little part of him still stayed skeptical, and was waiting for the 'but...'

    If he was having a heart attack, it was a big one now. And a stomach attack to go with it. Ah, the joys of functioning physiology.

    He'd never really thought she'd express something so... meaningful? Or maybe real, because he had no doubt she wouldn't have said it unless it was very much the case. He knew that this was a big deal for her, but also that making a big deal of it wasn't going to help anyone. He smiled, making sure to meet her eyes as he replied, "Good. I really like you, too."
  19. thisissoweird. This is so weird. This. Is. So. Weird... What is this that is so weird? she thought as she waited for his reply. Seeing his look of dismay confused her and she wondered if maybe she had said too much. Should have stayed with subtle, dammit. Although she really did like him. That was fact. Now that she had finally said it though and made it known to him, she didn't quite know what to do. It wasn't like romance novels or movies or even tv was on her list of likes, and neither her parents or foster parents were good examples... Well, maybe she remembered a little about how her parents loved each other but they have had for years before her. She didn't exactly know how these things started...
    Wait, what things?

    Did she want something to start? Well there was that other 'something' that had started but that was different and not... not completely related... was it?
    She decided not to think about that now. One thing at a time. Then she could stay sane and not do anything irrational.

    "Good. I really like you, too."

    Her eyes held his. Her heart skipped a beat. She felt completely lost. It was a good kind of lost... like the kind where you know anything bad doesn't know where you are and you know you're safe.
    Great, now she reaaaally had no idea what to do. So she just smiled, completely now. Oddly enough time seemed to slow down a bit too... was that normal?

    Was she supposed to say something back? ... Probably?

    "I'm glad to hear that." was all she could come up with at the spur of the moment.
  20. This is so weird. He gently put a lid on that thought. She was probably freaking out enough for both of them and it wouldn't help to have them both doing it. He knew this was a really big step and even though he wanted to take it and run with it, he reined it in. A part of him wanted to say more, because 'I really like you' just didn't cover it, but even though he didn't mind if they were on slightly different pages right now, he didn't think she'd want to hear it.

    He had nothing to go on. Sure, he knew how the first stages of a romantic relationship usually panned out - he'd been to high school - but none of that seemed to apply here. Asking her to maybe go with him to a movie or get dinner sometime would not only be weird, it would also probably be interpreted as a friendly offer. Sure, there were always those little words 'it's a date' to make your intentions clear, but... to her? Really? None of it fit.

    He tried to keep himself calm, even though he was woefully aware that even if he'd had a girlfriend in the past none of what he'd learned would apply here. He didn't even know how he would go about asking her to be his girlfriend, even though some word for this might help. Something official.

    If he was freaking out, she was probably doing at least double. That realisation snapped him out of his pointless train of thought and he wanted to do something to reassure her, maybe hold her hand, but he had a feeling the physical contact would only make things worse. He swallowed. "We'll do this however you want to," he said. "Your speed, your way. It'll be ok. It doesn't have to be weird." He just hoped his words would help. If she freaked out too badly, might she withdraw and call this whole thing off?
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