Bear With Me

Big Bear Diner 
She'd finally gotten in from a long double shift at the park, and once again gotten home to her empty place. It wasn't like she wasn't accustomed to that, but well, this place had been a fresh start for her and Katherine and now, once again, it was just her. She would have at least liked to have a pet or something, but she'd discovered over the years that that didn't really work, so instead she got home, hung up her hat, and went into the kitchen, which was the cleanest part of the house because all she ever did in here was make coffee.

Her stomach growled and she sighed, abandoning the idea of microwaving a can of Spaghetti-os in favor of a quick shower and change and heading out to get something to eat. She probably spent at least a third of her check at the Big Bear Diner, but there was no way she was cooking anything that tasted this good on her own.

So that was how she ended up at the Big Bear Diner, at a table by herself with a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes and a local newspaper that she was sort of casually looking at while she ate. She was used to eating alone after all the years she'd spent moving around, but she had to admit that she had found that she definitely preferred company. Too bad there wasn't any of that too bad since she and Katherine... well, anyway, she was alone for dinner.


Tiley was shocked to see another bear here. She didn’t smell like Cobalt Ridge or Pine Peak, but just... a bear. Wildlife.. all thing that reminded her of a past life when she was frail and human. Still, Riley served her and gave her some space to eat.

It was slow that day, and Riley found herself reading the newspaper, watching a small television in the back, manning the hostess stand or eating to pass the time. Her bear was all too eager to meet the other, wanting to sniff, play and hunt, but she kept her in check with a hearty meal before heading back out toward the woman to refill her water, notepad and pen in hand.

"Is everything tasting alright for you?" she asked, head tilted and a small smile on her lips. Don't seem too eager, she reminded herself. Riley wanted to ask her a slew of questions but bit her lip instead. Espy probably wouldn’t be too happy if she scared off all the patrons before they could finish their meal.

She'd noted that her server was a bear right away, but she still kind of sucked at the etiquette of all this, even after ten years as a were. Only a handful of those years had been with her Sleuth in Alaska, and she'd shut down pretty quick after they'd moved here and then split up. She was used to being solitary, but what she'd discovered was that she didn't like it.

And maybe it wasn't all bears, but Juli had found that since her change she'd become a lot more curious. So, when the server came back, she tilted her head up with a smile, noticing this time (now that she was less preoccupied by hunger) that the other woman was familiar. Where did she know her from? Here, possibly, but no... she filed it away to think about later.

"Everything's perfect, as usual," she said. She paused then with a glance around, like it was still a secret even though the world knew about them more and more these days. "You're a bear too," she said, and maybe her smile was a little more eager than usual.

Riley’s smile brightened when she mentioned the food was perfect. Riley had to agree considering she ate there often. She only knew how to cook the basics, and was slowly learning how to bake. But Big Bear could never be beat.

She was about to walk off when she saw the woman glance around. Riley hesitated, looking around as well but noticing the place was rather empty at this hour. Give it another twenty minutes and it’s start filling up with patrons just getting off work. She expected the statement having wanted to say it the minute she walked in the door.

Riley nodded. "I am. It’s been less than a year for me though. What about you?" She reached up, brushing some stray blonde hairs from her pony tail behind her ears. Had it almost been a year already? It seemed like everything flew by. Like this life... she was slowly getting used to it. Of course she wouldn’t be perfect right out the bat, but good things where coming from it.

Oh wow, that wasn't long at all. She'd still been a mess that first year, and she remembered it with a combination of embarrassment and sadness. Those days hadn't been kind to her, and she hadn't been kind to herself either.

"Ten years," she said, feeling old at that moment. "But I've only been here about a year and a half." She gestured toward the empty side of her booth. "Can you take a break?"

Ten years! Wow that was a long time. Tiley couldn’t remember if Ayane had her bear or not. Though the last time she saw Ayane, she still seemed to have a weaker power signature. It was hard to tell for certain with so many Weres around. "Wow." Riley was amazed. I mean... that meant she could have some sort of life. She could get it together. "That’s awesome!"

She didn’t think her smile could get any brighter when the woman asked if she could have a break. Of course, Riley looked around and noticed that her other table was finishing up their food. "Sure, let me just check out this other table and I can sit, " she took a few bouncing steps away before stopping and turning back.

"Do you like hot chocolate? Sorry! I just assume everyone does. I was going to grab a cup... if you wanted some." her voice was a little too loud and eager, but who could blame her? She wanted to talk more to this woman m, but she couldn’t ignore her server duties either.

Juli couldn't help but smile, it was kind of nice to see someone with some enthusiasm again. Maybe Dex was right, being too solitary wasn't good for her.

"I love hot chocolate, actually," Juli said. She didn't drink it often since the split, but why not indulge? "I'll take some." She watched the other girl bound away and wondered idly if grace was a side effect of being a were or if was one of those traits that some people just had naturally. She wasn't sure that she herself had any to speak of it, but who knew?

While she waited for the server to have a minute to talk, she finished up her dinner, making sure to save room (as if she were ever full) for hot chocolate.

Score! Just as Riley assumed, everyone loved hot chocolate. She bounced away, not at all graceful as she brought her other table the check, checked them out and went to the back to put in two orders of hot chocolate with whole milk and caramel. Because again... everyone loved it. She even sprinkled a little seat salt on top. She had her favorite white bear mug and grabbed one for ... well, she didn’t actually know her name.

Cool whip was already falling over the side when she set the chocolate goodness in front of the other woman, a big smile still on her face. "Sorry that took a bit. I hope you like caramel and sea salt because I added it. I’m Riley bye the way! It’s not to meet you?" she wiped her hands on her dirty apron before reaching out to offer the woman a handshake. Plopping her butt down on the seat opposite of her and lifting her mug.

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