A small, narrow beach of sand and sun-warmed rock stretches out along the eastern shore of Lake Arthur, marking a break in the dark forests that border the clear water. The lake's smooth surface spreads outward from the waterline like a sheet of black glass, reflecting the pale light of the moon. Trees line the edge of the water, their dim silhouettes marking the edge of the woods to the north and south.
Just to the east, the stony ground slopes gently upward to a large meadow; north and south of the beach, thick forest shrouds the lakeshore in a veil of leaves and wood. The water of the lake spreads out westward, the wooded far shore visible in the blurred distance. The island rises from the lake almost due west of here, a rocky oasis resting on the glassy surface.
Compact is the word for him: wiry, not quite 5'6" in his bare feet, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mien and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in old black jeans with a rip in one knee and the cuffs half walked off, and his lack of shirt displays reasonably defined musculature and a small collection of tattoos. On his left arm, just below the shoulder, is a parachuting rat holding a crowbar and wearing a pair of glittery-gold star-shaped glasses; on the right side of his abdomen, about where the waistline of pants sort of act as the ground, are a pair of rats with a mortar aimed up toward the left. Both tattoos are all in black (aside from the glasses) and resemble spray-painted stencils. His back is covered by a phoenix rising from flames, smoke, and ash, in suitably fiery colours and a completely different style. A reasonably close-up look reveals a number of scars worked into the design of that one. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a pair of dogtags on a length of ball-chain around his neck; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
A big wolf-looking dog -- or could it be a small actual wolf? It seems to have that kind of cheerful doggy enthusiasm, but the colouring is right and it does seem a bit wild, as if some of that energy is coiled deeply within it, ready to strike. Its eyes sparkle with life, and it sometimes seems to smile, displaying rows of sharp, even, shiny white teeth.
Shaggy brown hair and darker brown eyes frames this man's face. Justin has a slightly tanned complexion with a hint of Puerto Rican from his mother's side, Caucasian from his father's. He has a fairly lanky build, but underneath his clothes is a body fitted with new muscle. He wears loose fitted 'destroyed' blue jeans, simple tank tops, and worn down sneakers that are about five months in need of replacement. During the cold, a thick green military jacket from his Grandpa. After a mishap with a monster, he was aged roughly five years forward and now looks like a young man in his early 20's. Now at 6'2, he has finally hit the rest of his growth spurt.
At first glance, there isn't a great deal about this woman that clambors for attention. Though possessing attractive features - a subtly angular face with high cheek bones, steel blue eyes conservatively accented with dark eyeliner, and darker complexion (possibly denoting some Sicilian heritage) all complimented by black, short-cropped hair that's parted off to one side - they're not particularly striking. True, her six feet of height may earn some stray glances, but she isn't going out of her way to draw much more than a cursory appraisal.
Nothing exemplifies this more than her preferred wardrobe. Clearly something of a tomboy (though 'butch' might be a more age-appropriate description, if somewhat frowned upon if stated out loud), she wears an untucked, button down, olive drab flannel, the sleeves rolled up to her biceps. Under that is a sleeveless white shirt that, though clean, has clearly seen better days, the material just form-fitting enough to give the impression of a decently athletic physique. Continuing the motif is a faded pair of jeans, the cuffs of which are tucked into a pair of black workboots that ride up to the lower slopes of her calves.
But while the clothing - offset by a single platinum hoop in her right ear, and a dash of subtle lipstick - is largely worn and weathered, the occasional smudge of oil that failed to come out in the morning wash a nod to what's most likely a blue collar profession, she clearly puts enough time into grooming and overall cleanliness to make a decent impression, even if it's not a lasting one.
Standing at four feet at the shoulder, this wolf is, at first glance, predominantly black and white. Theres greater emphasis on the former, beginning with a dark band of fur racing up along the bridge of her long, sturdy muzzle, and fanning out over her head, ears, and the outer edge of her cheek ruffs. The white, meanwhile, covers the remainder of her muzzle, bleeds out over her cheeks - save a thin band of dark fur accenting her cheekbones - provides a frame for her light amber eyes, and terminates just a couple inches down her throat. It picks up again at her chest, a bright locket of fur appearing where her dark mane gradiates to a dusky silver that spreads partly down her the insides of her forelegs, covers her ribcage, and gradually overtakes her hips.
Even in low lighting, this gradiant throughout her coat is clear to see, the bulk of her fur a light silver at the roots, and darker at the tips. She has patterning, as well, reminiscent of that of a timber or tundra wolf, the only places on her body that are truly black proving to be her mane, the dark saddle that runs between her shoulders to the base of her hips, and the tip of her tail. There is some subtle darkening at her extremeties as well, beginning at the midpoint of her legs and tail.
Though large for her species, shes a slender, sinewy animal. But be that the result of her diet, or simply her metabolism, its hard to say.
There is a single platinum hoop earring in her right ear.
It's just getting to the point where people start debating whether it's late afternoon or early evening, and Washington's northerliness means it's still warm -- in fact, near the peak of the day's warmth, and it's been a fairly toasty one by recent local standards. Felix has perhaps acclimated to those standards, because there's a towel laid out on the beach, next to a small cooler, a guitar in an open case, and most if not all of a set of clothing. The Galliard himself is out in the lake, or at least =someone's= legs are currently sticking out of it in a way that can only be either a handstand or the result of an extremely ineffective body-dump.
Be it an announcement that he's been noticed, or simply someone toying with him, there's definite ripples in the water close to the shoreline as something darts by with a rare kind of enthusiasm, droplets of water spraying every which way and splashing up against that pair of decidedly unprotected legs. But, just as soon as it begins, it ends.
Felix flips back up to the more usual head-above-feet position in a swift move that would be nearly elegant if it didn't culminate in him giving his head a shake to get the water out of his eyes while they open and he looks around for the source of the unexpected movement. And droplets. There's a readiness to the stance that could be unsettling, say, just outside a club, or in a random alley. Just over waist-deep in a lake... not quite so much. He looks as though he may be a bit sunburnt, as well.
It's made abundantly clear in a matter of seconds, really.
Initially paying him no mind, a dusky wolf is only just finishing shaking off the water accumulated on her fur before trotting over to the collection of items laid out on the beach. Her head bows to catch the scent of the perimeter as she slows her pace, the motion and moisture causing the thick ruff of fur between her shoulders to bristle like an impromptu mohawk.
Only once she's satisfied does she raise her head, tail at half-mast and wagging idly, eyes fixed on Felix. Without a single sound, or 'word,' as it were, she enters a play-bow.
The wolf gets an even more narrow-eyed look for a moment two as it examines the items, and then a connection appears to get made. Felix grins, and at the play-bow he ducks down under the water. Ripples suggest quick movement in the general direction of the new arrival, but the water itself camouflages at first anything else that might be happening beneath it.
The very second there's any view of the shore, the towel is gone, the items in disarray. Monica, her jaws firmly clasped around the towel, is apparently making off with it, the tail ends flapping around like some idiot's idea of a flag as she runs full-tilt down the length of the shoreline.
It's another wolf that leaps out of the water, a smaller one, landing right near where she had been and getting one good shake off -- despite the fact that it's HIS stuff she was right by -- before there's time to assess the new situation, and then he's after her, fast as he can go, kicking up sand and pebbles in his wake. He's quick, quicker than one might guess given the length of his stride, and manages to make up distance until, with a leap onto a larger rock and another off of it as though it were some sort of springboard, he lands close enough to catch the other end of the towel in his own jaws, stop short, and yank.
To her credit, the lanky animal doesn't start at the acrobatics, preferring to run for however long she can until she's caught. After that, the enthusiasm thrown into the brief tug of war is enough to give more than a *mild* indication that this was the intention, the token, wordless growls and the visible baring of her teeth paired with that incessant wagging. The towel is easily snatched away without much effort, likely out of at least a vague sense of 'good sportsmanship,' given the lolling tongue and friendly disposition.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew's own behaviour seems playful enough as well, with similarly token growls and -- after that first yank, at least, which may have had a different, if still frolicsome hope behind it -- tugs that probably aren't quite as powerful as he's actually capable of. His tail suggests he's having fun with it as well, and when he 'wins' the towel, he flicks his head upward and around so that the fabric comes back down across his back, like a strange and too-large cape.
There's a vague, rumbling sound of amusement in response, and no sooner is it made than Hide's shoulder to shoulder with him, producing a light growl to announce her intention before her muzzle bumps against his, mouth opening with a clear intent to jaw spar.
There are signs of human(ish) habitation on the rocky beach: a cooler, a guitar, some clothes. There is not, currently, a towel -- that's currently serving as a strangely-angled ersatz cape for a small wolf some ways down the shoreline. Chugs seems inclined to continue with the playing, and opens his own mouth, the towel sliding off as he hops to try to wrestle his forelegs around Hide's neck.
Whether intended or not, the grab at her neck forces her downwards more readily than it really should, but it doesn't seem to temper her jovial mood any. Hide wriggles from what could easily turn into a pin and surges upwards, jaws clacking down close to Chugs' own before she breaks off, ears pricked, tail still up and wagging. ~Follow~, she says, briefly closing her mouth to glance in the direction she intends, and taking off again, her shoulder briefly brushing his before ratcheting up to full speed.
<OOC> Hide says "Oh, should note, the word isn't a command."
<OOC> Hide says "Since that's, you know, kind of important. c_c;"
<OOC> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "It is! :D"
<OOC> Hide says "Just assume it was in a 'going into a playbow but didn't' whine."
<OOC> Hide says "So, closer to 'chase.'"
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew doesn't seem to put effort into preventing the wriggling escape, and briefly tilts his head at the request, a hint of curiosity there. Someone who's dealt with him enough in other forms would likely find it somewhat familiar, despite the differences. It's fleeting, however, and the towel is abandoned where it's fallen as he chases after the Fury. He's not sprinting quite as fast as it's already been demonstrated he can go; this time there's less 'catch' in his 'chase'. So far.
There's only a good thirty yards before there's a few distinct smells in the air. First is Hide's own-- or, at least, the human's own, from the inoffensive deoderant to the far more natural underpinnings, the bookbag she tends to carry resting against a rock. Then there's plain grilled meat, coupled with the dwindling smoke of a small bonfire over which it was cooked. Lastly - and, perhaps, most importantly - there's beer.
In a bowl.
Rather than stop and reacquaint herself with the items, she gives a soft whuff, and drops to scent roll in the sand nearby, legs flailing every which way with every arch and shimmy.
It's all very dignified, really.
<OOC> Hide says "Notably, the beer-bowl looks like an afterthought."
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew sniffs at the air as the new smells come into range, but doesn't immediately investigate it closely when they arrive; instead, he continues without slowing down until he pounces on the rolling Hide to tussle with her for a few moments. His tail and other attributes still say play, and the few nips she gets before he aims to hop away again are light and non-aggressive.
There's a light growl at the 'attack,' an ~oh, you think so, huh?~ vibe to the sound even as her frenetic movements fail to oust him entirely, though, by the look of that tail, Hide's in no way troubled by being underfoot. Something about being the only female, maybe, or a sense of comfort-- or just the same raw enthusiasm that lead her to tear-ass over the water, alerting him to her in the first place. Unsurprisingly, it's that same vigor (which may or may not have to do with the beer) that leads her to nip back, aiming to catch a small portion of his guardhairs as she rolls back up onto her feet, though she misses by a heartbeat. All the same, her tongue lolling, panting heavy, she may as well be the opposite of what she was at the club, when last they met. ~Been too long,~ she says in a throaty whine, apparently having a hard time deciding whether or not to bow again, the efforts resulting in a trotting circuit around her belongings. ~Missed.~
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew appears to absolutely think so, giving the lupine equivalent of a laugh as he sidles away from the attempted nip. Good to remember. Now he does investigate her things, sniffing at the fire and the meat, which gets some appreciative interest, and then the beer in its bowl, which gets more, as well as a movement of his head as if to sample.
Hide seems not to notice for a time, her ears pricked forwards, mouth closed as she looks out over the water, tail still waving idly behind her like an offbeat metronome. It's only at the light snuffling she hears that she turns her head, giving a low whuff. ~Help yourself,~ she seems to say. ~Gift from home. Special. Works.~
It's good timing, letting the movement be fluid enough that one might wonder whether it would've been the same even without permission. Perhaps not, however, as there's a definite sense of curiosity beyond the initial interest. Chugs leans right in, taking a drink of the brew without a hint of the tentative testing a reasonable person might expect. And then a bit more, since it's pretty good, though he's not so rude as to get near emptying the Fury's bowl. It's not until afterward, when he's licking any stray drops from his muzzle, that he addresses those details. Nice. Thank you. Special?
Plunking down a good few feet from the bowl, apparently undisturbed by the notion of her property being shared - though, given the effects, it's not hard to see why - her forelegs outstretched and draped over one another, Hide doesn't stay relaxed for long before rolling over onto her side, a more subdued version of her previous scentrolling soon underway. The question gets her attention again, her body at just the right angle to allow her to return to her feet in one seamless motion, a quick shake sending bits of sand every which way. ~Infused,~ she says, tongue lolling, approaching the bowl. ~Theurge's mix. Potent. Feels indebted for a favor, sends yearly.~ That canine grin broadens at the last bit, making it clear that she's rather pleased with herself for that one. ~Don't get chances to share,~ she amends, dipping her head down to lap up some of the remains.
That grin is rather echoed by the Galliard, who stretches and gets comfortable, watching her move toward the bowl. ~Good favour,~ he says, switching to Mother's Tongue, perhaps for the expanded vocabulary, ~Remind me to do one for that Theurge if we ever meet.~ He looks quite happy with life just at the moment, even more so than before. ~Meanwhile, happy to give you sharin' chances. Infused with what?~ He tilts his head near the bowl again, just sniffing this time, not close enough to get in the way of her drinking. ~Had some awakened moonshine, once. Really gotta learn that rite.~
Raising her head so as to keep from downing the rest of the bowl's contents, Hide cleans her muzzle with a sweep of her tongue, and leans on her side for a time, though god only know how long that'll last. ~She wouldn't say,~ she replies, following suit with the shift in language, ~and I didn't ask. Figured if I knew, she'd just tell me to make my own and quit sending it.~ There's that grin again, as unsubtle as ever. ~But if *you* feel like making it,~ she amends, tail thumping once or twice against the sand, small grains flicking every which way, ~maybe I'll get the instructions from her. Let her cash out that way.~
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew goes for a bit of what's left, looking almost thoughtful for a moment. Almost. He flops down entirely, then, stretching out by that fire, though the evening hasn't cooled that much yet. ~I'd give it a try,~ he says, ~That shit's nice.~ Another canine grin, as unsubtle as his human one, ~...and if it ain't already awakened I'd try doin' that to it once I learn how too. 'cause that can only lead to awesome.~ A small shift of his position to consider the meat, though only with eyes and nose, and not up too close, currently. ~What kinda favour was it?~
The meat is lightly cooked, largely for added flavor. The fact that it's primarily raw (and of high quality for ground beef patties) is hardly beyond notice, the mix of red juices and savory fats pooling beneath the small pile of three. By wolf standards, it's enough for a 'treat,' but some of the disturbed soil past the sand, and a hint of actual blood on the air, as well as Hide's distinct markers, indicates to a nearby cache of some kind.
Apparently, she planned well in advance to coordinate this particular evening.
As for the question, it's met with as coy a look as Hide's lupine features allow her to make, the response, ~The personal kind,~ as obtuse as ever. Could be there's an innuendo in there, or maybe there's not. Then, a bit more helpfully, she adds, ~I don't think she'd appreciate it if I said anything specific, even if she is thousands of miles away.~ After all, you never know when you might get a visitor. ~There's more in the pack, by the way,~ she said, inclining her head towards the backpack. ~And plenty in my motel room. She's always good about quantity, so don't worry about 'depleting it.'~
~I wouldn't tell anyone,~ Chugs assures, giving Hide unsurprisingly good puppy eyes for a moment, though again he doesn't push much harder, at least just now. A glance toward the indicated pack, and he goes back to looking broadly pleased with the world, though he doesn't yet work on doing some more depletion. ~Clearly I gotta figure out what favours I oughta do for who.~
Hide's there to do the heavy lifting on 'depletion,' instead, raising to her feet to approach the bowl, and lap up the remainder of what's there. Now, granted, this opens the question of how she's going to open the rest of her stash, but she seems unconcerned with this. Given all the other preparations, it's unlikely that she neglected to think of that particular scenario.
Either that, or she doesn't consider shifting to crinos to get the job done to be all that gauche.
~And whose secrets to keep,~ she adds, licking her chops, her tongue lolling once that's finished. ~Sometimes, that's the only favor that needs doing,~ she adds, giving an indicative tilt of her head towards the bowl.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew would probably be quite happy to keep helping with that process, if it didn't involve getting up from where he's quite comfy just this moment, thank you. As it is, there's a soft chuff of a laugh to the reply. ~Ain't too bad at that,~ he muses, and half-sits up to chew at his lower leg. ~I mean hey, I never told no one about-- well.~ Another of those oddly human grins.
Snorting lightly in her own show of amusement and giving a light toss of her head, Hide moves towards her bag, the small handle at the top grasped between her jaws. Shifting it to one side, she reveals a small hole, no more than three inches deep - so, more like a divot, maybe - inside of which is an open bottle, half-buried so that it remains upright.
~You joke,~ she says, ~but you'd be surprised how many regrettable conversations have started that way.~ Then, carefully, she grasps the neck of the bottle between her teeth, the base of it buried loosely enough that the extraction is a relatively simple process of taking a few steps backwards, and setting it down on a smoother patch of sand, just a few inches from the bowl.
~And how many people are dying to confess to someone who they feel is trustworthy.~
Pack> Justin says "Hey. What's up?"
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Was swimmin' down at the lake, ran into Mona. We're hangin' out. 'sup with you?"
Pack> Justin says "Swimming at the lake? You seem to run into Mona a lot these days."
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew watches the revealing and handling of the bottle with clear interest. ~What, with 'I never told no one about'?~ he asks, ~...s'pose whether it'd be regrettabled depends which side of that conversation you're on.~ The last comment seems at first as though it might not get a reply, the Galliard glancing across the lake to the island, first, but then he says, ~Noticed that, here an' there...~
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Yeah, swimmin' at the lake, what's weird about that? It was hot an' I was bored."
Craning her neck to take hold of the bottleneck from the side, Hide gingerly - with what has presumably come from more than a few years of practice - and some might say comically tilts her head enough to start pouring the bottle's contents out into the bowl, her gaze occasionally flitting around for any sign of activity. Really, anyone catches sight of this, and it'll be on Youtube for years to come.
It's only once the bottle's depleted that she lets it drop to its side, and roll unceremoniously back into the little divet she'd fished it out of. ~You never want to be the one confessing,~ she says. ~Best way to manage that is to never have anything to confess, which-- isn't as hard as it sounds.~ She pauses, snorts, then says, ~Well, all right. Maybe it is. But it pays more dividends than most people think.~ She lolls her tongue again. ~Now, come on. Have a drink. If I wanted to talk shop and get all mopey, I'd be on two legs, not four.~
Pack> Justin says "I am going to head over and say Hi to you guys too."
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "A'right. Follow the smell of cookin' meat."
Pack> Justin immediately perks up.
The process gets careful and only partially amused scrutiny from Chugs; quite possibly he's taking notes in case this method of bottle wrangling might be useful in future. ~Can't no one betray your secrets if you ain't got none,~ Felix says brightly, which is probably an agreement. A faint tilt of his head, and apropos of nothing obvious, ~J's gonna drop by.~ He doesn't need to be invited twice to get up and return to the bowl, though just before he drinks he does give her another grin and ask, ~Is gettin' mopey a necessary part of that? Might be I'm doin' it wrong.~ And then his muzzle dips below the bowl's edge as he laps up a nice serving of its contents.
Hide gives a light chuff. ~How you seem to know that without even seeing the guy is beyond me,~ she confesses, ears pricked, head raised to take in the surroundings-- and keep track of her caches. ~And it's only a necessary part if it's *my* job,~ she adds, curling her body and raising her back foot to scratch indulgently at her mane, tufts of loose black-tipped fur sent hither and tither and yon.
~I really wanna claim mystic psychic powers,~ Chugs admits, between licks of his muzzle to clean it and avoid wasting any beer that's gotten on his fur, ~...but truth is, OhNo! makes it so the pack's got a kinda telepathy thing goin' on, we can think at each other. It's fuckin' awesome in a fight.~ He glances at the bowl, then has another, slightly shorter drink from it, negating the cleaning he just did. Alas. ~'s too bad about the mopey, 'cause it's an interestin' kinda conversation. People're fascinatin'.~
The second time he begins to speak, Hide bows her head to start lapping up some for herself, a task she undertakes with the usual enthusiasm, her tail swaying idly behind her. Only when she surfaces for air does she say, ~That'd drive me nuts,~ taking a moment or two to clean off her own muzzle. ~Just thinking about giving other people that kind of access gives me the creeps.~ As if to exemplify this, a ripple of movement begins at her hackles and spreads down her back, ending with a stray flick of her tail.
She bows her head again to take down a couple more laps, the two of them already depleting the refreshed bowl to half with little effort. Again, this doesn't appear to concern her in the least.
When satisfied, she again lowers herself to the cool sand, forelegs draped over one another in front of her, mouth open in a contented yawn, a faint, wordless sound issuing from her throat at its apex. ~I'll give you that, though,~ she says. ~The fascinating part.~
~Ain't as weird as I thought it'd be,~ Chugs says, ~...helps that generally speakin' it's more like hangin' out in the same room talkin' than some kinda mind-readin' shit.~ The different modes of Mother's Tongue compared to English mean the specifics of how he speaks obviously can't be the same, yet somehow he manages to give a very similar overall effect in both. ~Yeah, though. Definitely fascinatin', the ways folks work.~
Hide loosens the canine equivalent of a sigh at the closing statement, the sound punctuated by a faint, disapproving whine. ~You're going to try and make me talk shop anyway, aren't you?~ she says, laying out on her side stretching out her legs, paws pushing through the sand as her muzzle raises, the sensation clearly appreciated.
~Tell you what,~ she says, raising her head, forelegs drawn up to rest her weight on the elbow of one of them. ~Let's not put this stuff to waste. After that, if you're still dying for some insightful conversation, I'll see about regaling you with some of this 'fascinating' material.~
That gets another laugh-like noise, and the Galliard bumps against her in a friendly manner as he moves back toward the bowl. ~Ain't my fault it's an interestin' topic,~ he says, and apparently finds this 'deal' agreeable, since he promptly gets back to working on his side of the bargain. Not that 'drink more of this' seems likely to have been a hard sell under many circumstances, frankly, and he's clearly quite happy to do his part to prevent potential waste.
Grunting at the nudge in a feigned show of wearied annoyance, Hide seems nonetheless content to bask in the fading sun, panting away as she takes another cursory look at their surroundings. Only once or twice does her head raise to sample the air for signs of any interlopers, her ears quirked backwards as she does so, signaling the underlying caution of the move.
~In the Chinese sense of the word, at least,~ she replies, a looseness in the words giving some fair indication that the tincture is doing its job. There's a kind of dreamy, giddy quality to it that lends to restlessness, and it's clear she's feeling plenty of it as she raises back to her feet, and pads around the site she's chosen for the evening's antics. Circling in on the bag, she shoves her muzzle into the small opening, and seems to start chewing on something.
A moment later, she drags out what *looks* - and smells - like a cured beaver tail, the object tossed into the air and leapt after with little care as to how ridiculous the activity happens to be.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew rolls around a bit, then hops up and circles the fire-site, glancing casually around at their surroundings, and breathing them in. The results of the latter continue to be distinctly meat-influenced. He doesn't seem particularly cautious, just a bit restless and wanting to move, which the tossing of the tail makes a particularly good excuse for. He watches for a moment, then makes a run and jump timed to try to snag the thing out of the air while it's up.
It takes some time for Justin to finally get out to the lake, but here he comes! He is dressed in a pair of rainbow colored board shorts and a sleeveless tank top. His hair is a tangled mess of long brown curls upon his head. Over his shoulder is a backpack and in his hands is a box of root beer. "Hey guys!"
Apparently so immersed in the childish game is Hide - quickly taking the root of the cured tail and engaging in another short bout of tug-of-war - that Justin goes unnoticed until he states his presence. Releasing the tail and whipping around, hackles raised, she bares her teeth for all of a heartbeat before scent, and sight, confirm that this is a *familiar* presence. Moreover, Chugs *had* said he'd be making a showing.
Only then does her posture relax, and though it seems like it should take a moment to sufficiently calm herself, she manages quite well. ~Guess I should crack open another one, huh?~ she says to Chugs.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew happily goes with this second round of tug-of-war, giving it another toss and catch when Hide releases it, then setting it down with a paw lightly atop it. Defeated! ~I dunno, he only drinks girly drinks,~ he teases, looking over to his arriving packmate. ~Evenin', J.~
"I do not drink girly drinks. I have root beer with me." Justin says as he holds up the box. "This is the most masculine of drinks." He flops down and pulls out a bottle. "Why are you two having a picnic in lupus? You on some kinda weird date?"
Hide snorts, giving a quick shake of her head. ~That'd be like going out with my kid brother,~ she remarks, padding around the beach restlessly, looking like she may well spring into a dead run at any second. Then, in the more gutteral language of wolves, she adds, ~Wrong,~ that light tremor that made its way down her back before resurfacing, though this one turns into a full body shake, sending remnant grains of sand still clinging to her fur every which way, from the very beginning, to the casual flick of her tail at the end.
~Soft drinks don't count either way,~ Chugs declares, ~Just real ones.~ Justin's question gets a snort and a dubious shift of the ears from him, though Hide gets the sidelong look. ~Younger, sure, but not 'kid',~ he protests mildly, before adding with a hint of amusement, ~I'd've gone with aunt.~ He gives the bowl a quick check for any of the beer they might have missed, then walks over and flops across Justin's legs. ~Pretty sure we ain't exactly each other's type anyhow.~ To say nothing about the legal issues. Literally.
Reaching down to ruffle up his packmate's ears, Justin tugs him up into a bit of a hug. "Good, then I won't get jealous." He jokes with a wink down to his best friend. "I got super bored. Watcher is running about with his pups and Trace is off doing Trace things so I had nothing else to do. How is things going, Mona?"
Hide's voice raises in a low sound, not quite a whine or even a bark. Then, seeming to reconcile the shift in the situation, she sits, eyes out towards the lake. ~Things are decompressing,~ she says, letting the tightness in her shoulders bleed out a little. ~And you?~
~You still ain't my type neither,~ Chugs retorts to Justin, though he protests either ruffle nor hug, and instead nose-nudges his jaw in further greeting. ~Let's try this root beer.~ He opens his jaws and tilts his head to a position where some could be poured into his mouth without making drowning likely.
Popping a cap off the bottle, Justin tilts it and pours it into his packmate's muzzle. "It's IBC Root Beer, so you know it's bomb." He flashes a grin to him, then nods to Mona. "Besides bored? I am fine. Thinking of our next big prank. Wanna help come up with an idea?"
There's a somewhat frustrated noise that comes in response to that, the lanky wolf back up on her feet and pacing in no time, circling back towards the impromptu camp and looking out into the treeline, tail at half-mast, ears pricked and attentive.
~Want to run,~ she says bluntly, what little forced relaxation she'd put herself through apparently doing little except to be there for show. ~*Do* something,~ she amends, pausing to sniff at the air again, before ducking her head back down to get a good sense of the ground underfoot, likely in the hopes of finding some indication of a small animal of some sort.
Though-- arguably, a large one would do in a pinch.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew drinks what he's given, looking considering and then reasonably approving. ~Not bad. Hers is still better though,~ he says, and gets back up, stretching. Let's run then. Or swim. Hunt something. Maybe a rabbit. There's always a rabbit somewhere. He glances one way down the shoreline, then the other, then back to his companions.
Justin lets out a snort. "It is not a competition, Felix. It's just root beer, /but/, since hers is soooo much better, I will keep these to myself then." He grunts out in annoyance as he takes a sip off the bottle. "How come you are so antsy?" He asks Monica. "Moon is not too big. Something on your mind?"
Opening her mouth to loll her tongue, Hide's tail gives a couple agreeable wags at the suggestion, her weight shifting from one front paw to the next. There's an anxious energy to her that's better suited for a yearling than-- well, her, but given the nature of the drinks they'd imbibed, it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise.
Either way, there's no question that her answer is 'yes.' Probably to all of it.
~Missed this,~ is her answer to Justin, a repetition of the light whine uttered upon reaching the site with Felix in the first place, even as her eyes stay locked on the forest, laser-focused on any sign of movement. ~Back home, ran alone,~ she continues, remaining with the restrictive lupine tongue for a time. ~No kin, just animals.~
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew rolls his eyes; odd on a wolf, but there isn't really a suitable equivalent. Don't get touchy. I said it was good. He shifts position, giving a stretch. And you should try the other. That expressed, he gives a playful hop toward the Ahroun, and then away. Come run!
"Hmf! You hurt my feelings and insulted my root beer and you want me to run with you?" Justin says with a grin on his face, then chugs the rest of his drink, then shifts down to Lupus with a loud wolfish belch. He gives a stretch of his body, then leaps forward on to the Fury, barking and giving her a nip to the ear in his tackling play.
Though she's not quite fast enough to avoid the tackle, Hide is nonetheless quick to retaliate, the larger male's attempts to pin her resulting in a vicious snarl and a sharp clack of her teeth around his muzzle, her teeth bared in a plain show of aggression that has little regard for rank, or physical prowess, everything about her screaming a loud, definitive 'NO.'
Once freed, she doesn't wait for anyone to take point. Instead, she's off like a shot, barrelling through the forest at a pace that *might* not be wise, but-- provided she doesn't trip on anything silver, she'll probably be fine.
'Wise' is not among the adjectives that have commonly been applied to the Galliard in his life thus far, and once the running begins, he goes haring off toward and through the treeline just as impetuously as the Fury. There isn't even anything to hunt yet, but just the running seems to be a cause for joy, the ground underfoot and the breeze through his fur.
After tumbling with the Fury and pinning her down for a moment, Mouse Trap lets her go and gives chase with a wheezing laugh. He proves to be quite speedy on his paws as he barrels forward through the foliage. He leaps and bounds through the grass, snapping his jaws over his Galliard's way as well, seemingly in no direction at the moment. He gives a firm sniff of the air, trying to catch something on the breeze, then chuffs. This way! He zips left and starts down a path.
It takes a moment or two for Hide to catch the signal to change direction, the inclination to remain on the path she started on warring with the desire to run with others for the first time in what seems like-- well, decades. In the end, the latter wins out, the lanky wolf weaving between the trees and flanking behind the Ahroun, keeping a wide berth for strategic purposes, her own eyes still on the lookout for anything that looks like it might be worth chasing.
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew, on the other hand, moves with the signal just about immediately, his trajectory swerving to send him in the same direction as his alpha. Once Hide's joined as well, he more or less flanks the other side, creating a very loose triangle of a formation. A large, unexpected branch comes up in his way, and he leaps barely in time and barely enough, ending up on top of it instead of sailing over; his reaction is swift, however, and he manages to use the continuing momentum to throw himself off it and back into the run in a surprisingly smooth and powerful leap.
As they run through the woods with him in the lead, Mouse-Trap's tongue lolls out the side of his mouth as he continues to sniff-sniff-sniff. As they head into a bit of an open valley, he slides to a stop and gains a large, wolfish grin. It appears that there is a small tent set up with a tiny fire pit roasting hot dogs in a pan. His tail wags back and forth furiously as he looks about left to right, not seeing anyone about, then glances over to his pair of followers. Hot dogs!
There's a snort of amusement from behind Mouse at the excitement regarding the firepit. ~Wouldn't push your luck with fire, if I were you,~ Hide says, keeping a fair distance from the camp, the bulk of her attention on the surroundings. Or, more correctly, on keeping a lookout for the prospective owners of this campsite, her head dropping to get some idea of how long ago they'd been there. ~And you can't exactly chase those,~ she adds, trotting deeper into the forest, her sense of caution making her err on the side of concealment, and her sense of excitement leading her to sniff out something more active than a hotdog.
Then again, if those are Oscar Meyer, getting up and moving around doesn't seem like it's outside the realm of possibility.
You could toss them in the air and then chase them! Chugs gives a wolfish grin of his own, tail just about straight back in a fluid wag, and sniffs as well, assessing the area. He's less cautious than Hide, however, and trots closer to check the tent out better.
Chuckling, Mouse-Trap looks amused. Easy Prey. He rumbles to them as his tail wags a few more times, then creeps closer to the tent. He circles around behind it slowly, gives a few sniffs, then flicks his ears upwards. He is inside. /Sleeping/. With a lull of his tongue, he stares at his packmate, eyes twinkling.
Pack> Justin says "Prank?"
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Whatcha got in mind?"
Pack> Justin says "Steal the hot dogs, leave a shit in the frying pan?"
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew laughs suddenly and loud enough to probably be interpreted as a yes without words having to be involved.
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew does add after a moment, however, "You wanna take a shit in front of her though?" He still sounds amused.
Pack> Justin says "I may even shift to Crinos and drop one in there. You know the size of those? They're huge."
Hide's ears perk up at the announcement, her head turning to look back at the camp. Then, her eyes turn back to the surrounding area, suddenly finding herself in the position of being the lookout.
~Boys,~ she says in a gentle warning, trotting the perimeter cautiously, her footfalls barely heard, darkly patterned coat allowing her to blend seamlessly into the trees. ~Careful, now.~
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Be easier to get it in without burnin' your ass..."
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "A'right, me an' Mona steal the hot dogs, leave you to handle the gift?"
Pack> Justin says ".... Maybe even in Hispo. But at least in Crinos I can squat it out real fast. Whatcha think? You and Ball-Breaker sneak the dogs out and I will dump one out? HA JINX."
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "You owe me a Coke. Yeah, okay."
Pack> Justin says "I only brought root beer!"
Pack> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "That'll do!"
Pack> Justin says "Okay let's do this!"
Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew looks amused at Justin, and gives him a small nod, then looks back to Mona, moving toward her. C'mon. Let's grab the hot dogs. The amusement is still there as he gives that encouragement, with a small tilt of his head toward the pan before he aims his quiet trotting that direction.
Justin continues to remain crouched near the tent as he peeks in through the window to fabric window of the sleeping camper, tail wagging even more furiously.
[Justinplayer goes to bed.]
<OOC> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Well, I do know what Felix intends to do and what Justin is plotting."
<OOC> Hide says "Since I'm not in on it, what is it."
<OOC> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew scuffs a foot and looks OOCly embarrassed. Well, as Felix just said, he and Mona steal the hot dogs. And then Justin intends to leave a shit in the frying pan. (And run away, presumably.)
<OOC> Hide laughs. Jesus christ, you ARE frat boys.
<OOC> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew grins. It is sadly true.
<OOC> Chugs-the-Mystery-Brew says "Although in their (slight) defense, mythological Coyote is often pretty scatalogical!"
<OOC> Monica says "So, I think for the sake of expediency (and IC drunkenness), Mona being a team player for the stunt is fine ;3 after which she will call them both juveniles and they'll all have a good larf over it."
As stunts go, Hide's not exactly accustomed to the type that took place at the campsite. And while one can say 'no harm, no foul,' the net result was in every way about as foul as it could get, the deed sullying a perfectly good cast-iron skillet. To which she remarks, ~So much for that patina.~ No matter what the poor camper does to it, there's no way in hell he'll be getting rid of Mouse's 'gift' to him.
Much is said by the Fury regarding the 'laughably juvenile' conduct, but while it's 'something you'd expect from a desperate frat pledge,' amusement is nonetheless had by all. As is a good run, what local fauna the wolves can find treated to what is, to them, the most terrifying catch-and-release game ever, until appetite overrules any notions of 'fun,' and the game - widely agreed upon as bordering on torture, and thus likely to piss off some otherwise friendly spirits - ends with successful kills, just as god intended.
Unfortunately, energy is not boundless, especially for the eldest of the trio. Though still pleasantly ensconced in the effects of the beers shared with Felix, the longevity of the high certainly proving the worth of the gift given, she doesn't possess the stamina the two youths are still more than capable of demonstrating, and isn't too proud to say as much. Announcing her intention to take her leave, and stating that the two of them are under no obligation to accompany her, she returns to the spot where she'd left her belongings, shedding the four-legged form ten feet from the edge of the treeline for the sake of concealment.
From there, she returns to the items strewn over the ground, from the beaver tail to the bottles, and starts to gather them together. The remains of the meat, picked over as it was by some of the animals indigenous to the area, is bagged and tied to the straps of her backpack for later disposal. The emptied bottles are bagged separately.
'Laughably' is clearly accurate, since Felix obviously finds it hilarious. The remark about the patina, in particular, cracks him up; anyone passing by would perhaps have been startled at a wolf being so obviously, humanishly amused. The only protest she gets is to 'desperate frat pledge', and it's in the form of a derisive snort; it may not be entirely obvious whether it's to the whole appellation or just part. He also eats the actual hot dogs quite happily, before the hunting proper begins.
The evening's still warm when they head back to the beach, and he stays in the four-legged form as he leaves the Fury behind and heads back along the shoreline toward his own site. He does duck into the treeline briefly when he reaches where his towel ended up, emerging human and naked to scoop it up and continue his way back to his things. No more sunburn; that Garou healing has all kinds of little conveniences. He puts on his pants before he starts gathering and packing up his drinks and guitar and such, but apparently the rest can wait until after.
It's closer to the end of his endeavors that Mona approaches his campsite, pack in hand, the clinking of spent bottles in one of the bags tied to her backpack announcing her presence once she gets within earshot. Makes it unnecessary to clear her throat, or announce herself in any way, really, allowing her to say simply, "Well-- that was certainly something," though she sounds not at all discontented by this. "Not sure what, exactly, but something."
Felix sits on a rock to pull on his socks and start tying his boots, giving Mona a grin as she approaches. "Fun," he teases, "The somethin' that was is 'fun'. Keep givin' it some practice an' you'll find it easier to identify in the wild." Boot application is quick and deft, followed by a stretch before he leans over to snag his shirts and pull them on as well.
"Granted," Mona replies mildly, a wry smile on her face, "but I think I might leave that particular breed of 'fun' to you and yours once the booze wears off."
"Fft. Then I'll just hafta make you drink more," Felix says, and stands, with another, fuller stretch. He picks up the guitar case and the small cooler, with a quick glance around for anything he might've overlooked; if there is anything, he overlooks it again. "Although just for the record, which breeds of fun're you more down with without it?"
"Depends," Mona says. "Why? Just curious, or is this the part where I have to reiterate the 'kid brother' thing?" There's a wry smile to punctuate the remark, leaving little question as to whether or not she's teasing. "Anyway, only thing that sounds 'fun' *right now* is a couple decent shots, some hamfisted TV dramas, and a warm bed, so-- I suppose I'll be seeing you back at the motel. Or tomorrow, more likely. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for a--" she pauses to consider the word, and, smiling, concludes with, "eventful evening."
Felix snorts, though this one is clearly amused. "Just curious," he says dryly, "Still pretty sure we ain't exactly each other's type." This time he doesn't even reiterate the objection to the 'kid' phrasing; apparently he's not inclined to bother in the current context. "I didn't entirely mean right NOW, though those things do sound pretty decent. Dunno that I'm ready for the warm bed yet, though." A tiny consideration. "Not alone, anyhow." There's just a hint of teasing there, though not it's not even slightly flirtatious.
"Well," Mona says, re-shouldering her backpack, "if you've got a spare twenty, there's plenty of girls at the truck stop who'll give you some action. Just keep in mind that I'm obligated by tribe to kick your ass if I catch you with one of 'em." She smirks. "That said--" She pauses for a moment, considerate. It might be a hesitation, but its nature isn't entirely clear. Then, "It's possible the bad dramas can wait. As I recall-- I said something about a conversation before all this started."
"What if there ain't a twenty involved, you still gotta try an' kick my ass?" Felix asks, with a rather wicked grin, "'cause that could get awkward." He glances briefly in the direction of the Sept compound, then more toward the truck stop, and if he'd been considering options, Mona's added remarks decide it for him. "So you did," he confirms, as if this had just occurred to him, "We could always snag some pie from the diner, have that an' some coffee an' shots an' a chat. I could go for dessert."
There's a slight raise of Mona's eyebrow at the question, as well as a rather amused glint in her eye. Nonetheless, she defers to what he follows up with-- and doesn't seem to catch whether or not it really *had* just occurred to him. Or maybe she did. It's hard to say.
"I'm pretty full from earlier," she says, "but I wouldn't object to something small."
"Ain't nothin' small on their dessert menu," Felix says, "but I reckon I can most likely help you out there." He may well be about as grown as he's likely to get, but he's still a teenage boy, and a Gnawer at that; food wastage probably isn't an issue. Another quick grin, and he starts them off in the proper direction to enact this cunning plan of theirs.