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Huddled up uncomfortably in the darkest corner of a small, windowless metal room, surrounded and obscured (cramped, even) by barrels and crates, Mia gave a heavy sigh through her pout.

"Blimey, was I not thinkin' at all... Prob'ly on our way t' Timbuktu by now." The runaway ragamuffin's remark was wry, but she sure did feel like that. Nearly fifteen minutes had already passed, down here.

From out of a nearby, half-opened crate of dry, grainy foods scampered a small, snowy white squirrel, its cheeks packed full of who knows what. It made a beeline for Mia, scrambling up onto her sweater and resting upon her shoulder to eat its newfound meal properly.

Mia cast her friend a weary smile. "'Least you won't starve." It wasn't long, though, until she resumed her bored, frustrated state, leaning her head against the wall.

She really botched trying to nick something off of that fish vendor. And made the mistake of trying to escape through the harbor. And slipping onto this boat to who-knows-where in her panic. Didn't even get her tuna in the end...

Not only that, but all of her supplies were still back in her hideaway in the city. Wherever Mia was headed, she wouldn't be having an easy time of it. She had to get back. Maybe just laying low until the boat's route wound up back in town was her best bet... sitting here in this dingy cramped room. With nothing to do or look at. For hours and hours. Her right brow began to twitch a little.

With an impatient, whining grumble, her brows furrowed in newfound determination. She burst up onto her feet, startling poor Cadet who whisked himself down into Mia's sweater via her collar.

"Argh, I'm gonna go barmy down 'ere! Gotta at least see where we are."

And she was off, slipping with ease through barrels and hopping over crates. Upon reaching the heavy door out of the room, she swallowed, bracing herself. She tugged her cap farther down upon her head, obscuring her ears... just in case. This could easily go south, but... she couldn't just sit and do nothing about her situation. With trepidation, she clutched the iron handle and nudged the door open as quietly and inconspicuously as she could.


Thankfully, even as a human, Mia was remarkably stealthy - and light on her feet, to boot. There were a couple of pretty close calls that scared her half to death, but to her relief - and astonishment - she'd managed to reach the door to the upper deck. After making one last cautionary glance behind her, seeing that the coast was clear, she ever so gently slipped the door open, peering out from the darkness.

There were people. Quite a few of them. All mingling and milling about. Had she wound up in some... fancy party? No. Not too many folks here looked that well off. Middle-class at best, mostly.

Peeking her head out just a bit further, she noticed the black smoke trailing off above the boat, and began to take note of their surroundings outside of the boat. Then, her eyes bulged. There were trees. And grass. The occasional livestock pasture or cluster of cottages. She was in the countryside?!

This was bad. It wasn't quite Timbuktu, but still much too far out for Mia's liking. She could only hope this thing would turn around, well, sometime today.

Mia suddenly twitched. Footsteps. From downstairs. Getting louder, fast. Mia's breath began to race as her eyes darted about in a panic. If she went back down, she'd be caught for sure. But... could she really just show up on deck? Pass as a passenger?

The footsteps grew nearer. In mere seconds, she would be seen. She had no choice.

In the blink of an eye, she scampered out on deck, making a beeline for the most isolated, least-occupied area. Everything just blurred past her until she'd reached relative safety, her back and arms against a wall. Panting wildly, she slowly began to deflate, slowly turning to look back. No one was after her. Then, to her right. The handful of patrons on this corner of the boat were all caught up in their own conversations, watching the scenery, having a smoke - not even noticing the crazed, filthy urchin careening on over from out of nowhere.

Mia simply stood there looking like the most awkward thing you'd ever see. That was that... she was stuck up here, now. Better off than the food cellar in some ways... but would it be safer? Would someone recognize her as the fish thief from the docks, minutes earlier? Mia was beginning to regret her impulses. Certainly wasn't the first time.

... She had to just blend in. Somehow. Mia lowered her cap over her eyes and her head into her collar, then stuffed her hands into her pockets. Cadet, thankfully, stayed in hiding under her sweater. Awkwardly, she shuffled on over towards the larger cluster of passengers, keeping close to the edge of the group. The golden-brown eyes beneath her cap's brim continued to dart about warily.
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Sun's pale feet toyed at the water's edge. She dipped a toe in and pulled it back out, surprised by how cold the water was in late September. She stared out at the horizon and saw a ferry boat way in the distance. She squinted at it to get more detail, but the sun accosted her gold eyes.

Perhaps it was both a curse and a blessing, if such a conundrum could exist. Sun sat atop her favourite sunning rock where the river bubbled in front of her. The young woman considered this possibility. She had a whole world of responsibility atop her shoulders, though none of her friends knew (not that she had many). She was the last; the only. Sun pulled her sunhat over her eyes and let out a sigh. She fidgeted with her long lace sleeves that had well beyond seen better days. The lace was yellowed with age and frayed from over-washing. Perhaps her family had once been proud with houses filled with riches... Those days were gone. However, Sun never had seen those riches. She was born two generations after all of their belongings had been sold or auctioned off. Alas, now they were in reclusion. Her family spent their days inside the house with their paint-chipped shutters drawn. Fearful and paranoid people they were - her mother and father. Sun still had the adolescent desire to escape her family, but she had the understanding that they were protecting her for her own safety. If word had gotten out, Sun could only imagine.

Sun heard her mother's shrill voice calling from behind the shutter. The girl's sunhat was now pulled down over her ears in a futile attempt to mute her mother's cries. Nothing could silence that woman's wails. Sun put her head into her knees and wished the world to just stay quiet for a moment's time. The soft crunching of her mother's feet on the dry grass was irritatingly loud. Yara, her mother, was at Sun's back. Yara had her think hands on large hips with a scrunched up face. Yara had spent most of her life wearing that expression on her face. Her once beautiful and regal appearance was now riddled with wrinkles and sun spots from outside labor in the garden.

"Sun, what do you think you are doing out here?" Yara's face became more strewn up. Sun opened her mouth to respond, but her mother beat her to it. "You know you aren't allowed out without permission!" Her mother never let her get a word in. Sometimes Sun wondered why she even tried to answer the questions posed.
"Mum, I have all of my precautionary measures on." Sun kept a calm and composed aura about herself. The young woman motioned to her large sunhat and her unfashionably, uncomfortably, figure-hiding dress. This still did not seem to appease the miserable old woman.
"You know what I mean, child. Come, come. Inside with you. You will scrub all the flooring tonight. No supper for you. Punishment." Yara often spoke in broken sentences when she was frazzled. This was something that Sun found amusing and often times would see how many sentences she could break out of her mother. You could say there was not much to do for entertainment in the country when you're hiding from the world ...
As her mother dragged her by the elbow in towards the house, Sun threw back one cautionary glance back at the ferry. She had the silly sense of urge to wave at the throngs of people aboard it. She could better make sense of who graced the deck of the beautiful boat. With her single wave, she was pulled into the house. With the resounding sound of the door being locked behind her, she took off her sunhat.
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... Well, so far, so good. Much to Mia's surprise. Standing around as casually as possible, she'd only managed to attract a few cursory glances - but, regardless, the shabby-looking, soot-stained girl dressed like a boy did seem a tad out of place. Folks probably wondered how she could have possibly afforded to board the ferry, Mia sarcastically thought to herself...

Her guard wasn't let down quite yet, but... oddly, it was far more relaxing up here than the quiet solitude of the cargo hold. The chugging and puffing of the smokestack, the splashes of the paddles, the nondescript chatter of the passengers had all begun to blend together, becoming almost white noise to Mia. The boat itself, too, was a beauty, she had to admit - not that she was enough at ease to let herself geek out over it. Sneaking just a glimpse of the engine room earlier was tempting, though... She'd never been on anything like this before.

The scenery, however... this was something Mia got a chance to see even more rarely.

Her heart felt genuinely soothed staring out at the pastures and open woodland. Autumn was just around the corner, and aside from a few odd red and yellow leaves, the landscape remained a verdant green that was downright stunning after the smoky grays and rusty browns of the city she was in mere minutes ago. Each tree they'd passed offered a unique birdsong to add to the soundscape. Watching it all roll by... Mia felt the strangest urge to just leap out there and run through it.

Maybe there, at least, she wouldn't have so many problems...

Slowly, she felt her ears stretch beneath her cap, and her vision grew duller yet sharper. She yelped in a panic, tugging her hat even farther down with both hands and clutching her eyes tightly. She breathed heavily, trying with all her might to control herself. Please don't, please don't...

With enough concentration, it passed. Mia's breath calmed, petering off into an exhausted sigh. She slipped off one of her grubby workman's gloves to rub a hand over her face. What had gotten hold of her, just then..?

Her eyes darted about to make sure nobody had noticed her little freakout, there... but as her eyes wandered, something off across the river briefly caught her attention.

It was a girl, about her age - maybe a bit older. She had a modest, country feel about her, but her clothes were pretty and delicate, and... her face stood out to Mia. It had an elegant look you wouldn't quite expect to see so far out. She had a playful smile across her red lips as she gave a quick wave to the boat - before being whisked into a cottage by an older woman. Her mother, maybe?

The girl stuck in Mia's mind shortly after that split second, and she really couldn't tell why. Something about her just kind of... sparked her curiosity, Mia supposed. She couldn't help wondering why she was being whisked indoors just as the boat passed, too...

Mia half-wondered if that girl saw her. Included her with the batch she was waving to... Mia suddenly felt even more awkward.

"Oi. You there."

Mia gasped sharply and clumsily whirled around to look behind her. She balked up at the uniformed old sea salt looming over her.


Mia fumbled about nervously, caught off guard. "Y-yes!! Erm, guv- SIR. Y-yessir... Cap'n?" She offered an affable, just slightly nervous smile, as she adjusted her cap. You're diggin' your own grave FAST, Mia.

The man cocked a brow. He didn't look too impressed. "... I'm just in charge o' the passengers, miss. Didn't see ye come aboard, earlier. Gonna need t' check yer ticket."

Mia tensed right up. Tickets. Right. Those were a thing. She stood there for a good few seconds in uncomfortable silence. Her eyes wandered every which way, until just off the handrails up ahead...

A long, thick oak branch craning out across the water. Long enough to, just maybe...

It was her only option, now, it seemed. She'd have to sacrifice her ride back to town for saving her skin. Slowly, her eyes shifted back over to the ferryman. And, abruptly, she lit up, casting him a bright smile and making confident, animated gestures.

"Ah, right, o' course!! My bad, my bad! Sorta 'ad me 'ead in the clouds comin' on board. Hehe. Lemme just... reach in 'ere..." She muttered absent-mindedly to herself as a hand rustled through a pocket in her overalls. "Ah, there it is!"

There was a brief pause.

The man yelled out as Cadet was suddenly hurled straight at his face, hissing and biting at his nose. The ferry's other patrons gasped and panicked at the commotion. Chaos was amuck. But Mia, meanwhile, was already off the boat - clambering up onto that branch and sprinting across it best she could. Having given his friend a headstart, Cadet let the poor ferryman be as he bounded off his nose into the air, limbs stretching out as the thin flaps between them glided him to safety.

The sailor, nose sore and red, was none too happy, and having an angered rodent flung onto his face might have made things personal - personal enough to overreact. He immediately lowered his hand to a pocket of his own, removing a fully loaded pistol - normally spared for the most dangerous of miscreants. But before he could even have second thoughts about firing at a young girl... she was nowhere in sight.


Hidden within the darkness of the treetops, Mia panted as she watched the boat drift off. Cadet soon caught up to her, resuming his seat upon her shoulder. Mia gave a heavy sigh of relief - but it wasn't a happy sigh. She'd just screwed herself over even further. Now she was really lost. She could try her best to follow the river back, but... it'd be a bit of a walk on foot. Mia huffed in frustration as she set to getting herself back down to earth.

Still being gloved, booted, and, well, human, made this a bit trickier than otherwise. But she couldn't take any chances, especially knowing that that cottage was still nearby... Mia's breath held in her throat as she carefully made her way down. She was making some leeway and was nearly there, but her boot picked just the wrong branch to support its weight...

With a resounding crack and snap, and a startled shout from Mia - both of which likely woul have been audible from within the nearby cottage - the girl plummeted a good eight feet or so. Last-minute attempts to land on her feet weren't so successful, given the short falling distance. She landed roughly on her side, tumbling into the dirt and fallen leaves. Groaning, she struggled to right herself, teeth clenched as she rubbed her sorest spots.

Couldn't even land on her feet. Today was really not her day.
Her ears twitched. She moved her right ear in the direction that the loud crack had come from. Was somebody hurt? She looked over at her mother who was busy bustling about the fireplace. Yara had a large pot filled with different garden vegetables, meat from the recently slaughtered cow, and milk. It looked revolting to Sun. Her father was busy lounging in his chair with the newspaper spread across his chest. He himself was busy snoring as loud as a new freight train. Sun then looked at the mop in her hands and the bucket on the scuffed wooden floor.

She bolted. Sun ran to the door while her mother was busy tending to the stew. Sun threw open the lock, burst through the door and ran to the river edge. She needed to know what had made that noise. The closest neighbors were about a half of a mile up the road, but they were elderly and not quite capable of making such a racket. It could not have been the ferry... It never came close enough to their house to cause such a close noise. Perhaps it was that there was never anything much interesting that happened at her house. Perhaps her feline curiosity was finally getting the better of her. Perhaps it was simple rebellion that pushed her out that door. Nonetheless, she was outside.
The sun felt amazing on her skin. She had retired her lacy, frumpy dress for one of her regular outfits. She had on her well-worn corset with a couple skirts that were hooked up at her sides into the corset lacing strings. On her running feet she was clad in her favorite brown leather boots. With her feet pumping, she quickly reached the riverbed. Her legs were painfully pale as they rarely saw sunlight - this was truly a rare occurrence. Her eyes scanned for the possible source of noise. She did not see anything off right, but her ears did pick up on faint groans of some sort. Whatever it was sounded human, and it sounded like it was in pain.

Approaching as quietly as she could, she crept up to the source of the noise. It had been a while since she had practiced hunting, so perhaps she was a bit loud. Her feet kept managing to find all of the twigs on the ground, which caused little snaps to go off. Sun found what the noise was. Sun gasped as she saw a young girl sprawled out on the ground. There was a large tree branch that must've broken. Sun sobered quickly and ran to the girl seeing if any limbs were at odd angles.​
"Are you alright, Miss?" Sun's worried eyes scanned over the girl. She took in her clothing and appearance. Sun seemed to catch on that the girl may possibly be in some trouble. Sun decided right there and then that she would help at any cost. However, Sun did not remember she had burst through the door without putting her hat back on ... or her dress.
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Mia's head was still ringing quite a bit... unfortunately for her, enough to rattle her hearing ever so slightly. Without warning, a voice spoke from merely a few feet away. With a startled yelp, Mia fell back and scrambled about, searching for the owner of the mystery voice. She froze and gawked upon finding them.

It was her. That pretty girl by the bank. Thank God Mia didn't turn after being snuck up on like that... Of all people. Mia honestly would have preferred some old man or something. Interacting with someone her age - no less being seen in such a state by them - was not something she had to handle too often.

Yet, she was being nice to her... and called her "Miss"? This was... surreal. The concern on the girl's face almost blinded Mia. And only really served to amp up her awkwardness by 50%. Right now Mia really wished nobody had found her.

Mia clammed right up, her lips opening and closing indiscriminately like a fish's, trying to get something or other out of her throat. She reached for her askew cap to adjust it.

"Erm... I-I... Y-yeah! I'm fine! No worries, 'ere. I've 'ad far worse falls than this! Ahahaha- URK. Ow..."

Mia winced to rub a shoulder, eyes squinting, before one opened to timidly stare up at the taller girl from beneath her cap. She cracked an unconvincing smile.

"R-really, s'nothin' I can't 'andle..."

Mia's vision felt a touch disoriented after the tumble, and the girl was just a bit blurry in the sunlight. There were two faint gray... things, poking out from behind her head. A bow..? Mia couldn't tell. She might have just been imagining it anyway.
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Sun brushed her hair back out of her eyes, concern still in her gold irises. Pushing her wavy auburn hair out of the way, she accidentally connected with her ear. She squeaked a cry of terror and froze.

She did not know what to do. This human had seen her ears and was somehow not freaking out. Oh, Gods... Her mother was right to have kept her hidden away from the world. She was not to be trusted! Sun scanned the scenery wildly looking for a place to hide behind. She would not be able to make it back to the house unseen! She needed to hide. Now.

Sun greedily used the fact that the human seemed to be in pain and distress. Her eyes connected with a large tree that she had rapidly decided to use as her camouflage. Quickly bumbling to the tree, she half-stepped on the girl in her need to flee.

"So sorry!" Whether that was to be directed at the fact that Sun's barefoot had met it's mark of the girl, or sorrow for this girl's whole endeavour, it was not quite clear.

Running, running she finally reached the tree. Unfortunately, there was a large patch of mud right in front of the tree trunk and in her haste she failed to see the puddle of gook. Face first she fell; she landed awkwardly on her knee and tumbled to the ground.

It was quite a sight to see, the two girls all in a dither. The one girl, dizzy and unsure of her surroundings. The other, muddy and laying on the ground.
Mia jolted as the girl suddenly cried out in alarm, her own eyes growing wide and confused. "Wh-what? What's wrong??" Panic began to seep into her voice. She patted her fingers over her own facial features, fearing she might have accidentally turned. But, all was in order. The taller girl looked all around fearfully. Mia's dark brows simply lowered in concern.

"ACK!!" This concern dissipated the moment the girl simply trudged on over and past her. Gritting her teeth, she rubbed the side of her torso as she heaved herself up. This had all become too much for poor Cadet, who slipped back out of Mia's jumper and onto the relative safety of a tree trunk, tail-a-twitching as he warily watched the stranger.

Mia was certain that wasn't on purpose, but the sudden additional pain still gave a tinge of irritability to her voice. "What're you-?!"

Her sentence was cut off as, with a stunned expression, she had turned just in time to catch the girl's tumble into a patch of mud. Mia couldn't help cringing at the sight and sound of it, even if she was just half-trampled by that person. Mia simply gawked for a few seconds. Today was starting to feel like one big train of crazy situations. But, regardless, Mia wasted no time in hobbling back onto her two feet to come to her aid. Anyone falling into mud is a sorry sight - and moreso for Mia if it was someone so kind to her.

Her legs were a little sore, but Mia was still able to quickly make it over to the front of the girl, kneeling down and unflinchingly grabbing a mud-soaked hand with her glove, nudging ever so slightly to help urge her back up. Her voice and face displayed genuine, if still a bit panicked, concern. "Oi, you alright?? I-I think I 'ave somethin' to wipe it off in me b- oh. Erm..." Right. Her currently absent backpack. Mia frowned. Not much she could do without it, but she had to do something. "... H-hang on." She set to helping Sun up out of the mud further, first.

Luckily for Sun, Mia's vision was only just starting to clear up - and her ears and tail certainly were camouflaged now, having become the same shade as the muck she was face first in. This was her last chance to escape being found out.
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Sun felt the tears burning in her eyes. How embarrassing this whole situation had been... Never in Sun's life had she wanted to run and hide from another being. Her lack of contact with anyone her age had never given her the opportunity to be embarrassed in such a way, but that was besides the point! There she laid, coated in sticky, warm mud. The tears came now, which left little track marks in the mud.
Her ears! Luckily her tail was still underneath her skirts. Surely the human had seen her ears by now. There would be no escaping this! Shite, shite, shite! Mam is going to kill me for real this time, she thought. Perhaps Sun was not wrong this time. Her mother would be absolutely furious if she found out. Her mother always had a way of finding out things. What was Sun going to do? How could she possibly explain this to the human in a reasonable way? How... The girl hadn't said anything about her looks at all. Perhaps her vision was still distorted?

Sun wasted no time at all. As she was letting Mia help her out of the mud, she immediately set to ripping a chunk out of her holey skirt. Once the strip was freed, she set to to tying it around her head.
"I -- I want to thank you for helping me out of the mud." Sun steered the conversation back to the girl. "How is your vision? Can you see okay again? I want to profusely apologise for stepping on you back there. My fault entirely." Sun hoped that the girl either had not seen her tie the strip around her head, or that she simply just did not care about her sudden head garment. Nonetheless, her ears were hidden.​
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As the girl finally lifted up her mud-coated face, Mia suddenly took pause. Was she... crying? Hoo boy. Mia was not quite prepared for this. She bit her lip as she internally panicked, searching for something to do or say...

... Wait. There were... these things on her head. Was it that bow-thing Mia saw earlier? It looked... slightly less like a bow, now.

Mia's thoughts were swiftly interrupted. She lurched back a little, eyes wide, as the girl started... tearing up her dress? The torn up cloth was wrapped around her head, covering up... whatever those were. Mia was starting to pick up on what was going on. Her brows twisted together in deep thought.

... It was a downright ridiculous thought, but... No. Way too ridiculous. It'd be impossible. Still... Mia's curiosity was stongly piqued. It could be anything, really...

"... Eh?" She had zoned out a little as the girl was apologizing. Flustered, she jolted a little and waved a hand in a politely dismissive gesture.

"Oh! N-nah, no worries, miss! Just an accident. Pretty funny lookin' back, actually." Her ensuing chuckle was genuine. The query about her vision, however, gave Mia pause. Putting two and two together, she had kind of an idea why she asked. "... Er, yeah. I can see alright." She tried her best to be nonchalant about it, but her suspicions visibly rose, regardless.

"... Oh shoot! Right, erm, here. 'Ang on a sec."

Mia removed one of her heavy leather work gloves, and then tucked that hand and arm farther down into her sweater sleeve. She lifted the soft woollen cloth up to the poor girl's face and gently rubbed it over it, doing her best to get off whatever grime she could. The sleeve was becoming heavy and sticky with the sludge, but Mia paid no apparent mind. Better that than this girl's teary face.

"S'not quite a towel, but... gets th' job done, eh?" She giggled affably.

Cadet remained where he was on the tree trunk, cautiously watching the goings on with twitching whiskers. Almost getting crushed by that girl's boot didn't earn her any favors towards the rodent.
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Sun was catapulted back to her days as a youngling. Her mother would do the same gentle sweeping gesture with some sort of rag when Sun would come home dirty as usual. The girl never had been one for feminine things. She preferred to run barefoot in the tall grass, and find new types of bugs. Sun was not the traditional aristocratic type like her bloodline boasted. Sun looked up through teary eyes at this other girl; she smiled and hiccuped a little from a small sob.

Sun composed herself, finally, after a minute. Sun's eyes went from the girls face to her now mud soaked sleeve. Sun let out a wail as she reached for the girls sleeve.
"Oh! Your sleeve is absolutely ruined because of me!" There she went again, she wanted to cry. What on earth was wrong with her today? Sun had never been a cry baby, and had no intention of starting today. Sun had an idea, but was not quite sure how to execute it. "I hope it is not ruined... I have another dress that you can have! If that would help make up for my clumsiness." Sun looked up at the girl. "My house is just over the hill there. I feel just awful..."
The Were seemed to be safe. Her secret was safe, her identity was safe, her everything was safe. Sun had not picked up on Mia's inquisitive gazes at her antics with the skirt ripping (she had been too busy panicking). "Oh, pardon my manners! In fact, pardon my everything. I never even asked your name. My name is Sun." Sun thrust out her hand in a friendly gesture and smiled large.
Mia returned Sun's grateful smile with a sweet one of her own. She was glad the girl was starting to feel better, at least - and had a somewhat cleaner face.

Yet again, the girl shouted out, however - eliciting yet another surprised jump from Mia. She was that worried over this old thing getting dirty...? Wasn't exactly pristine to begin with.

... Wait. 'Dress'?

Mia began to stammer. "A-ah, er, n-no, it's all good! This thing's been through a whole lot worse, eheh. I can scrub it off somehow." She flopped it around to her side, a bit of mud splattering off of it.

The girl seemed insistent on helping her out, though... Mia bit her lip. She'd never even worn a dress before. But... the girl really was torn up over this. Mia had to admit defeat in the face of her teary eyes.

The girl introduced herself. Mia seemed taken aback by the hand gesture. She felt out of her element enough in how friendly this stranger was to begin with. With some hesitance, she returned her gesture with her own mud-free, gloveless hand.

Mia grew a broad grin of her own, shining her teeth. She gave Sun's hand a firm shake and tipped her lopsided newsboy cap with her other hand. "Mia. Pleased t' meet'cha~"

Sun... pretty name.
Sun returned the hearty hand shake, and mirrored the friendly smile. Mia seemed trustworthy, Sun had no issue at all letting her come into her home. Yara, however... Sun shuttered at the thought. She had already extended the invitation to her house. There was no way she could renege her invite now! However, not that she particularly wanted to, either.

"Pleased to meet you Mia," Sun's accent was more pronounced upon saying Mia's name. It came out more like Mee-aah. "I think my dress shall fit you. Due to our bit of a height difference it may drag a little, but I can hem it for you. I no longer fit in it anyway, and I would love to see someone be able to wear it. It is a lovely little number." Sun giggled despite herself. "It is too small for me in, er, uh... Well, never you mind why. It just no longer fits in a certain area." The Were turned her head, luckily the leftover mud hid her flaming cheeks.
Sun realized she had been babbling. "Er, if you still wish to follow me, my house is simply just over the hill, as stated. However, do take care about my mother. She is a bit... terrifying." Sun looked away again from the girl so she could grimace in fear. She was not sure how she would talk herself out of this situation...
Mia looked a bit befuddled as Sun carried on. She couldn't even get a word in... but she didn't mind. It felt pretty good enough that someone was talking to her that much. Sun's accent was really cute, anyway. So fancy for a country girl. The way she said Mia's name got a soft, charmed giggle out of her.

Yet, all the talk of trying on Sun's dress still got her a little flustered. They always looked kind of... complicated to her. And she couldn't help thinking she'd look horrendous in it. Boys' clothing had always been her safe zone. But... all girls were supposed to know how to wear them, right? So said the world around her, anyway. This only got her even more nervous, worrying what Sun might think of her.

For all her worrying, though, Sun's little aside about the dress went right over Mia's head. She only cocked her head slightly, her face like a bewildered kitten's.

Her anxiety rose as they prepared to head for Sun's house - and even moreso at the mention of her mother. Her face paled. Terrifying, huh...? Mia could only imagine what wrath might be bestowed upon her if she lost control and turned in her household...

This pickle just kept getting worse and worse for Mia. As nice as Sun was, she'd prefer to get everything over with quickly. Wash her jumper and find a way back to town, ASAP. Every second here was a risk for her.

But, for now, she was at her hostess's mercy.

Mia cracked a nervous grin. "Ahaha... I'll be sure t' keep out of 'er way, then... o-or sight. If... necessary."
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Sun cracked up laughing. She was not even sure why... She supposed the mere mention of trying to stay out of sight was what she found to be so hysterical. Her mother had a strange way of always knowing something was up. Sun affectionately called it her mother's Always Knowing sense. "I am sorry, I am not laughing at your expense I promise." Sun gave a sorrowful look towards Mia. "I suppose you may think I'm crazy with the way I have been acting. You could say that I do not get out much so I am not the best with interaction."

Sun looked at the hill that was blocking her home. "Well," She huffed a sigh of resignation and put her hands on her hips determinedly. "Off we go, eh? Not but a minute or two walk from here." She began walking without her new comrade. Again, she did not have the best manners at times - though she meant all perfectly well. Cannot practice manners if you have no one to practice with! She began marching up the hill and set her feet one foot in front of the other.
Sun felt a chill crawl up her spine at a sudden and intrusive thought. Perhaps she was truly crazy. maybe all of these years with only her parents to interact with had finally broken her mind. What was that saying, though? People who are actually insane are not aware of their affliction? She did not think she was crazy. She was sure that Mia did, though.
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Mia was startled by Sun's abrupt laughter - but soon joined in with a timid giggle of her own. Making somebody laugh did feel pretty when it wasn't at her expense. She smiled and shook her head, beginning to follow her, hands in her pockets.

"Nah, trust me, me neither, heh... I'm a real headcase 'round other folks."

Her grin grew bashful. Mia supposed that could have been a word of caution, for Sun, in case she had to take drastic measures to keep from turning...

... The way Sun was acting, though... Mia was feeling surer and surer of why she was. But the 'what' remained a mystery. She chided herself for the bizarre, tingling sense of hope in her chest. It could have been literally anything else underneath that impromptu headwrap... but pointed ears were out of the question.

Mia made a mental note to sneak a peek when she got the chance, though... ugh, she really was being a headcase.
Sun and Mia arrived at the front door of her dilapidated old family house. Sun was suddenly very aware of just how shabby her living quarters were. Her face went red as a result of her thoughts, not that Mia saw though. At least she hoped she had not seen. Sun placed her hand on the front door knob and leaned all of her weight into it. The door opened with a loud groan. "Er, the door likes to get stuck." Sun explained with a lopsided grin.

So far so clear; no mother. She led Mia quietly through the narrow hallway from the front door to a side hallway which led to the loft that housed her bedroom. A few creaky, sneaky steps later, there it was: her mother's shrill screaming. Sun's face visibly paled and her fight-or-flight response kicked in overdrive. Flight was the one that won in the end as she hauled Mia up the ladder. Sun had Mia's arm in one hand and a ladder rung in the other. She took the ladder two rungs at a time and tried to tune out the hollers that were quickly gaining on the two of the girls. She heard something along the line of "Where have you been?! Kill that girl. Worry me to an early grave! God dammit..." The broken sentences were out ... Not good for Sun.
"We need to hurry!" She continued to pull Mia up the ladder, not paying attention as to whether or not the girl was keeping up. They reached the top of the ladder that had a trap door leading to the loft. As Sun pulled Mia through the hole and closed the door behind them. Sun sat on top of it breathless and gave Mia a shaky smile. "What a rush, eh?"
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As ashamed of her modest home as Sun was, Mia had no qualms. She'd been spending most of her days in far less well-kept quarters. And it had that rustic country charm that was so new to Mia. She'd be a little excited about entering if she wasn't just warned of the ornery old woman within.

Mia gave a soft, somewhat nervous chuckle at the door quip, which gave way to a nervous swallow. With, well, catlike tread, she tip-toed behind Sun, until...

That scream was Mia's undoing. Loud, abrupt noises were her toxin, her trigger - thunder, slamming doors, even the horns of motorcars. Screams were pretty high up there on the list.

In a flash, her fur grew, her whiskers sprouted. This might have been it. But, ever prepared, Mia hastily shoved her cap down over her stretching ears, and tugged her turtleneck collar up as much as she could - neither of which were easy as she was being rushed and hauled up a ladder by the hand.

... Her hand. _Her hand!!_ Shite, she'd left her work gloves outside. Mia panicked internally for a micro-second, before remembering Sun was wearing gloves, herself. Mud-covered gloves, at that. But she still wasn't safe. The old woman's temperamental voice only boosted her anxiety further. Mia took deep breaths, in and out, trying her utmost to calm herself back into human form as she climbed. It was a godsend that Sun hadn't even given her a glance yet. She felt her tail demanding to be let out, but through her efforts it managed to stay put beneath her dungarees.

After yanking Mia up into her little hideaway, Sun might have caught the fleetest glimpse of a bright, frightened yellow eye. Maybe a whisker or two. But, just in the nick of time, Mia'd done it. She'd managed to turn herself back.

It took a lot out of her, though. Mia was far more winded than Sun, and twice as anxious and frazzled. She was slumped the wall, panting and heaving - all but her bulging, terrified brown eyes still covered up. Weakly and hesitantly, she lifted her cap back up and tugged her sweater's collar down off of her now-human nose and mouth. Even so, she looked like a real mess. The smile she tried to give Sun barely qualified as one. "Y... y-yeah..." Her voice was shivering.

This was enough. She was running for it and heading back to town the first chance she could take. She never should have gotten comfortable.
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Sun's eyes must have tricked her. There was no way that Mia's eyes had just changed colour. Yellow of all things! Sun shook her head and looked at Mia a little closer now. The girl looked extremely frazzled and unsure of her surroundings all of a sudden. Sure Sun's mother was scary, but not that terrifying.
"Are you okay, Mia? You look upset. I hope she did not startle you too bad." Sun cast a worried look at Mia now. The last thing she needed was another person upset.

Sun set herself to busying about her little room. She walked up to her trunk at the foot of her bed and threw it open haphazardly. She began to throw clothing articles all around her room. She cast bits of ribbons through the air, pieces of lace, and a glove or two before she found what she was searching for.​

She fluffed out the dress which caused a little dust to fly from it. It had been a few years since she had worn the dress. Sun looked at Mia cautiously again to see how her state was. Sun was unsure as the whether to comfort the girl or leave her be to calm down by herself. "I have the dress here." It was a pretty little number: pael white, with a cross-stitch applique at the hem of the dress. "Would you like to try it on?"

"Ah, n-no, I-I'm fine...! Just... out o' shape, I guess. Heh." Mia tugged on her collar as if she was airing it out. She wasn't being too convincing.

But as soon as Sun turned her back and began rummaging about, Mia fretted and fidgeted, her eyes locking onto a window nearby. She was starting to freak out a little. She'd been really pushing her luck, here. Her mind set to toiling over how and when to run for it...

... She hated having to do this... she liked Sun. A lot, actually. She was so fun and sweet and... so nice to her. But... that'd all change if she saw what Mia really was. Mia wasn't meant to be mingling with humans for so long like this...

Then, her brows lifted, suddenly, as she noticed a minute, whitish shape and two red eyes perched at the very bottom corner of the windowsill. Her eyes bulged and she gasped lightly. Cadet!! Poor thing! She'd forgotten him in the midst of all of this... And the little squirrel was looking impatient about it. Haphazardly, she waved both hands and gestured them about as if urging him to wait and assuring she'd be out soon. It wasn't that it'd be a serious problem if he came in; she'd just have to explain him to Sun and who knows how she'd even react and they'd both be stuck here longer and...

She yelped a little and whirled around as Sun suddenly spoke again - thankfully it wasn't enough to trigger a transformation. Her startled face softened a bit at what Sun held before her.

So... that was the dress. It honestly wasn't much like Mia had envisioned. A lot simpler. Like something she could just... throw on, like a shirt. Yet... she still felt uncomfortable at the sight of it. This didn't feel right. She wasn't sure why she was feeling so clammed up over just a piece of clothing. She was a girl... probably. She figured. But she'd worn boys' clothing all her life and felt just fine in them. It overwhelmed her to think about...

That wasn't the only reason Mia felt so hesitant, though. She wasn't about to steal someone's clothing when hot-footing it out of here. Her stay would be greatly prolonged if she put that thing on. But...

It was frustratingly hard to say no to Sun. To deny her kindness... kindness she'd never received before, to this degree.

Mia's anxious eyes darted around a little as her voice nervously croaked. "... E-erm... I... I-I guess. Sure." Her dark skin was flushing red, and her attempted smile was even less believable than her last.
Sun's face visibly fell a little at the girl's apparent apprehension. It had not occurred to Sun that she may have come on a little too strong. Again, basic human interaction she had little to no experience with. It was amazing how she had made it as far in life as Sun had without going crazy from constant boredom.

"I-I-I... sorry. I shall put it back in my trunk." Sun was quiet now all of a sudden. She had been too excitable from everything that had happened. She was acting strange (stranger than normal) from trying to distract Mia from her ears being seen. Acting strange because for once she finally had someone her own age to talk to and possibly befriend.

That idea was a farce, however. There was absolutely no way that her mother would allow her to keep a friend with Sun's "affliction."
Sun turned back around with her dress in her hand and walked back to the trunk at the foot of her bed. She opened the lid and gently fingered that slightly faded purple waist ribbon. Laying it gently in the bottom of the trunk, Sun looked at all of the things that she had thrown about. Sighing gently at her own antics, she began to slowly gather the things all over the floor.