Easy Peeler

Avondale Woods 
#1
@Adina


 Calvin had, seemingly, found a midol for his lunar PMS. All day his mood was as placid and still as a glassy lake, but as the afternoon wore on he was wishing for the ripples.

 His cat, lazy and withdrawn, hardly roused within him, even next to its favorite companion. Was this what it felt like to get stronger? The opening and closing of his mouth must have looked like a loose hatch in a storm for the amount of times he started to ask Adina if this was normal or not. By the time they were picking their way into the Avondale Woods he had his arm around her shoulders, their leather jackets creaking as they walked.

 Finally, he caved. "It normal ta feel this fuckin.....sedated? I feel like mah beast is off takin' a marathon cat nap somewhere."
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#2
 "Mm?" The only hint that he'd asked a question was the inflection of his voice, the slight raise that made her snap back to reality. "Yes? I mean, I don't know exactly how you feel but it's normal to be more in control the stronger you get. It's normal to find comfort in your brothers in fur, or whatever." All of it easy to explain away as she shrugged out from under the gentle weight of his arm.

 She took in the sights, surveyed their surroundings for a familiar face to make sure they were good and alone. Besides, it didn't hurt to really, critically, look over what might one day soon become home. "You first or me?"
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#3
 Somewhat placated, Calvin tried to reconcile the puffing confidence he'd carried with him recently versus the slinky submission happening now. But Adina knew better than he did how these things felt, so he took her at her word.

 Watching her step away, he remained where he was, slowly starting to strip off his clothes. "I'll go, ladies first, after all."

 His shift was as seamless as it had ever been, painful in all the ways that were expected. With a tubby stretch, his belly rubbed against the ground before he sat on his haunches, chirping expectantly at her.
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#4
 Normally she wouldn't make a point of watching the shift of another, but this was different - this would be the first time she saw him go through the motions with his new measure of control in full sway. Quiet, she looked him over as he worked his way through the motions, eyes gold as she looked down at the cat on the forest floor in front of her.

 She'd hung her jacket over a low hanging tree branch, slipped off her shoes and socks and let her toes crunch in the leaves underfoot. The rest was well-practiced and easy, the removal and neat folding of clothes so that she could get dressed quick and easy when they were said and done.

 It was like running through a process, a routine tried and tested and proven. First her spine, then her face, a pain that shot upwards and then trickled down like rain. She looked down after a beat, focused on breathing through it and tilted her head at where the mangled mess of nearly-paws should have been. Paws for certain, but not as she had expected - a heart twisting plummet of uneasy at the sight of white fur.

The fox looked over to the cat across from her, chittering as she recoiled and struggled to find words in the shock of the moment.



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#5
 The cat puffed up, spine arched as it skittered backwards, kicking up the leaf litter. He hissed at her, affronted. This fluffy white creature -- a fox as he continued to stare wide-eyed and scornful -- felt like Adina. But it couldn't be her. Something very wrong was at work. A low growl churned deep in his belly, tail lashing side to side as he challenged the creature, hoping to scare the fox away so the cat might return.
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#6
 She pushed out with her front paws to brace herself, tail unfurling from around her body like a whip. A chittering symphony of a challenge as she looked over the small cat and assessed his undecipherable threat. Curious at first and somewhat panicked, there was a shift of gears as animal brain insisted on a degree of self-defense in the face of how unwelcomed she seemed to be. Her own attempts to communicate her duress, amounting to little more than a handful of high pitched chittering whines.
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#7
 The fox hardened and they both readied for what seemed like an inevitable confrontation, but the white creature's eyes were dark with shock and fear. With claws still unsheathed, he stalked towards her. It was a slow mosey, his head and neck craning forward while the rest of him followed like some overly cautious slinky.

 He sniffed her, and beneath the fox stink was the familiar scent of his friend. Tentatively, his tail and his stiffness giving away his nerves, he rubbed his head up under her chin.
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#8
 It seemed like he had intentions to fight her, something that made a lingering element of human in her mind bristle, familiar with his strength these days and leery considering their past histories. She planted herself but did not lunge when he came near, resisted the temptation to bow her head and protect her neck when he closed in. The contact was ... nice, if a little untrustworthy due to the nature of their circumstances.

 Cautiously she ducked her head a bit to nudge against him, turned to graze flanks and bowed her head to slip into the undergrowth. The nagging desire to roam and run too strong to tramp down even in the face of the circumstances surrounding them.
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#9
 It wasn’t only respect but wariness that had him trailing behind her. Using his sudden one-sided advantage of his claws, he climbed the nearest tree and jumped from branch to branch, satisfied with the distance and the angular upper hand.

 Adina the fox. Gazing at the cool glowing moon broken through the branches, he wondered what new wave of weird they were battling against now.

 From his perch he could see the wooded expanse of Avondale -- their potential home. He wondered what the others would think, and if any of them were cursed with such a surprise. The thought of the others made him uneasy, and he crawled back down to join her, bumping his head more assuredly against her white flank this time. So long as they weren’t muddling through alone, Calvin could abide the surprises.

 Catching the scent of squirrel, he chirped a quiet challenge, ultimately curious to see if this random change was an improvement from her usual feline form.
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