Belle Vista 

 Unlike what Isolde assumed was most people, she didn't mind moving so much. Organizing, packing, and that in reverse, was no big bother to her. This particular occasion made it almost enjoyable, even - knowing that lugging all this shit to and fro was going to end with Charlie having a new root to put down in her home, where all their belongings would be under the same roof, where they'd fall into the same bed every night. She was happy he would be there so regularly, and that he would be in Belle Vista in general more often. It was safer, and Isolde was a woman who prized safety these days.

 With Charlie's Tempo having found a final resting place - thank god, sorry Charlie - this situation called for a Uhaul. It would have, anyway, really, but especially now. It was an orange and white monster, parked as close to his door as they could manage it, but it certainly spelled a certain brand of convenience.

 Currently, she was grateful to have a garage space that she didn't actually use for her car. Splitting any of this stuff into storage was just a little too much for her to think about just yet. But really... they didn't need two couches. Or two beds. You know.

 "Hey - do you have a preference of what goes in the house and what doesn't?" She'd ask him from around the big thing they were carrying into the big metal box. "You like your bed more than mine or anything?"

One this was very certain: Charlie was going to hit his steps goal today.

Moving was exhausting in a very physical sense, but also in an emotional one. Giving up Larkspur was strangely trying for him. Not like, cry about it, but... there were a lot of memories tied to that apartment, some of them better than others. His first really awful shift that he didn't remember but had definitely had the results of engraved on his heart. The few weeks where he'd hidden Isolde there after she'd tried to disappear forever. Endless amounts of correcting papers after work--a thing he'd never thought he'd miss at the time, but definitely missed these days. Things like that, not least of which were nights spent with this sharp lady he'd thrown in all his bets on.

But for all he was leaving behind, it was more appealing to be here, with her, knowing that never again (so long a they were together) would he need to worry about where to meet up with her in the evening or if they were going solo or what the plan was. Sure, things would need to change to make this happen, but it was a price he could afford to pay, and today he was doing it with a smile.

Hah, they had to choose a bed, how weird was that.

"I mean, not especially? What do you think?" She was, after all, the one whose space was being invaded. He'd probably feel better the less he disrupted her vibe.

He was careful not to trip either of them up as they got up to the top of the short ramp into the truck.

 Isolde laughed, sighed, rolled her eyes for her response. "I asked you first, okay - but if you must know, it would be a lot less work to just use my bed, and like, couch, for now." She did particularly prefer his dining table over her own, though. It had seen better days, and could probably be set out to the curb for someone else to adopt. Or, you know, set on fire.

 It would seem, at least, that they were pretty close to done with the first leg of this venture. "Think we should break for lunch after this?"

"Your couch and your bed it is," he agreed, finding nothing against that and thinking... yeah, the less they had to haul around the better. Best leave her stuff where it was as much as possible and once he was settled in they could change their minds. It was just absurdly mundane, these decisions, that sewed the reality of this together stitch by stitch. They were consolidating their belongings. He hadn't ever done it on this scale, and even on a smaller scale he hadn't done it in years and years.

He pat the mattress he was standing next to a couple of times to make sure it was tucked securely in place, but the uhaul was looking pretty set.

"I think that might be smart. You want to do something quick or make an actual break of it?"

Charlie felt ready to go either way--eager to get his done but also aware they'd been working hard on this. Just the two of them--it was almost an odd date.

 She smiled for Charlie's agreeable nature. So be it. She put her hands on her hips, watching him pat the mattress, grateful for the cool weather. Also grateful that it wasn't raining, or any other hellish icy version of it. "Eh. I say we make it quick. Let's get this over with. Then those fancy burgers for dinner." Just thinking about them made her extra hungry for whatever they might slap together for lunch.

 She'd snare his face in her hands for a kiss, having one of those moments of feeling... new to this reality, just for a few seconds. Like wow, this is really real, how did this happen! "Sandwiches or something?" That seemed the easiest route thus far, especially in a home that was largely empty by now.

Fancy celebration burgers were not about to be forgotten. Isolde was right, as he often was--time to push through.

So! He let her kiss him--kissed her back even!--and lingered near her with a smile that was a floaty show of happiness. He was going to have to be back here tomorrow to get the handful of final items and clean the whole thing up before final inspection, which meant... "I think I've got peanut butter and some jelly orrrr there might still be ham in the fridge."

Sorry, the fridge had to be the last thing cleared out because Timeshare refused to exist in a space where the promise of food at a moment's notice had been taken away.

 Isolde chuckled quietly, taking his hand to hold as they retreated from the guts of the moving truck. "Mm. Jelly and ham. A match made in heaven." Gross, honestly, but not something her beast wouldn't compel her to eat in a tight spot.

 She would do the honor of slapping something edible together for them, unless Charlie insisted on doing it himself, in which case she'd rifle through drawers and cabinets as a means of double-checking. "How you feeling?" She checked in with him either way. He didn't seem distraught beyond that normal pains of moving, but still.

He'd let her put them together because frankly she was better at it than he was. Okay, not really, sandwiches were easy, but she made them with love. That's legit, right?

So he'd throw a few odds and ends that hadn't made it into any particular box into one that was there and waiting, which he'd inevitably pick up tomorrow with the last dregs from around the house. It was important to keep a 'final box' on hand just in case.

Question was fair. "Feeling weird, but it's alright. Just lived here so long it's really strange to see it... empty again."

 Weird, but alright. She nodded her head. "Yeah, I get that." Sentimental attachments and stuff. She trusted that Charlie wouldn't be doing this if he really didn't want to, though, for all he was a very compliant man. She moved to hand him his plate, two sandwiches, and leaned against the counter as she took a bite of one of her own and looked around. It did look weird naked in here. "This place has a lot of memories in it."

Grateful to her, and for her, he'd join her at the counter. Eat on their feet and then get back to it soon. It was incredible how fast these things moved once you decided to go through with them.

"Yup. Had my first shift in here. And to think the next tenants will never even know."

Other memories, too, but it was easier and slightly more comedic to start with thinking about the time he'd torn apart his own fridge and woken up in the morning with absolute confusion. He toed his foot into hers, smiling.

 She hummed for his recollection. Poor thing. Good thing Yana had found him when she did. She could remember her first accidental indoor shift - or, well, really, she couldn't. But she sure remembered the aftermath.

 His shoe bumping hers had her fixing him with a smile, knocking him back, gently of course. "Yeah. A little surreal." Though, in all honesty, Isolde had never spent much time wondering about the types of people who had lived in places before her. It was what it was - but if she gave it time, it was hard not to wonder. Children, pets, mental disorders. Rental places almost never had stories for the next tenants to read. Well - not the decent places, anyway.

 She leaned closer to him, shoulder to shoulder, and crossed one foot over the opposite ankle, making quick work of eating. After a while, she laughed a little, and thought out loud, "If another Were moves in here after you, and soon enough, they could cross you on the street and talk about this place with you."

"You left the whole place stinking of cheetah, what the heck, dude?" he questioned his theoretical self with a smile and another bite of sandwich. "I wonder how long it takes for that to fade..." Hmmm...

"Either way, we've had some nice times here, you and I. I'm glad you were always willing to come back here with me."

Meant in both the very deep and the very light senses.

 Isolde laughed at his imaginary conversation. She wondered, likewise. It wasn't the sort of thing she had ever bothered to research, it was just either something was traceable by scent or it wasn't. They did have some good memories in this place, though. He garnered a fond, gentle smile, and she set her sandwich down to lean in and plant a kiss on his cheek.

 "I'm more grateful for you than you'll ever know, Charles." Her grin widened some for the odd but not unfamiliar use of anything besides "Charlie" in his direction. "This place, too." It had been an ingredient in saving her life, in one way or the other. A little sentimentality seemed well-deserved here.

It had been their home together, in a way, the place where they'd started a lot. He reached for her to gather her up in his arms for a moment to hold her, put his forehead to hers--a gesture that Timeshare would mimic with a rumble of a purr. Charlie would miss this place, he really would. If there were a way to move it into Belle Vista, he would have given it a go. But it was a Larkspur location and... it was time to move on. To better circumstances.

"The things we sacrifice so that we can come home to each other every night."

It wasn't so bad a trade off. It really wasn't.

 Wholesome. Isolde curled her arms around Charlie’s waist, smirking as he leaned his forehead against hers. Timeshare would receive face licks. Change was tricky, and difficult, but not always bad. There would be new memories in their shared space. She was looking forward to it.

 "Here. Eat your sandwich. Look candid." She released him and stepped back, pulling her phone out of her pocket. She’d shuffle back a little bit and turn the camera onto him, doing her best to give the kitchen backdrop a hearty feature in the photograph. She was no professional, but hopefully the picture would capture something meaningful. There were other pictures somewhere between their camera rolls, but she wanted one of moving day.

 She slipped the phone away again, and would return to him, pecking him on the cheek before taking another bite of her food.

Isolde! The moment you told someone to look candid, it became very hard to look candid! Charlie did his best though, stifling a little laugh and trying to not to look like he was well aware of a camera. Pretty fluffed about it--in a good way--he made the note to grab a few pictures of her later without her necessarily knowing. Moving day. One for the record books.

He leaned into her and continued to eat, thoughtful but grateful.

"I guess next weekend is when I go car shopping."

Not something he was thrilled about, but it was necessary. He may have been moving in with his girlfriend, but he wasn't looking to make her his chauffeur simultaneously.

 Car shopping. "Oh, joy," she said, half sarcastic. She was grateful that Charlie didn’t have the Tempo, for all it was another sentimental thing that had been taken from him. Mostly, she was glad that he would have a reliable vehicle in his near future. "Want me to go with you? Got any particular sort of car in mind?" Not that Charlie couldn’t car shop by himself - she was no certified genius about it, anyway, and sort of detested the sharky way car salesmen often operated. But, she figured, might as well ask.

"Well, I could probably use a ride wherever, even if you don't want to stick around. I... honestly don't know what I want. I guess I should start looking into it. I haven't... well, I've had the Tempo nearly as long as I've had my license." Not exactly as long, because she hadn't been brand new when he'd picked her up, but she'd been very close to it. :(


"If you have even the slightest advice, I am all ears." And he'd polish off sandwich number two, feeling himself gear up to get back to working.

 Isolde nodded as he spoke. A ride was done deal - she had already decided she would stick around with him, too. It would seem it had been years since the man had needed to car shop. Isolde finished the last of her sandwich, dusting her fingers off, shaking her head a little.

 "My only advice is keep it in your budget, good gas mileage, and... that's about it." She smiled at him. "Crash safety ratings are nice, but not so pertinent to us, probably." She pressed herself away from the counter then, wandering back into the living room. "And something with enough dash space to house a little stuffed animal." :3

All of it was very serious. Charlie was debating just how much of a car crash one of them could shrug off when she made a point much lighter, and his attention snapped more fully to what he was saying with a smile.

"Of course. Honesty, that's the most important bit." It had been one of the few things he'd made a solid point of grabbing from the tempo before he'd sent her off with the scrapper. The little stuffed cheetah was important after all. The first solid hint he'd had that Isolde, well... though about him.

And now here was today, with him invading her life.

"I think if I can pick between new and a warranty and used with a cheaper price point, I might be able to start to decide."

 Isolde chuckled for his agreement, pulling together what remained of smaller things in the living room. "Eh, there's something to be said about shit breaking as soon as the warranty expires, but I'm not sure if that's totally true." She flashed him a grin, pulling an oversized garbage back out of the roll on the floor. "Clothes in a bag okay?" It was honestly easier to just leave the stuff on hangers and wrap it in plastic.

Yup, big decision. Maybe tonight once they were settled she'd help him look at options on the internet. Maybe buying a formerly leased vehicle in like-new condition from a dealer would be good? Eh, whatever, don't worry about it right now.

"Plastic bag is fine with me," he assured. "I'll go make sure I've not left anything in the bathroom, I think." No point in leaving more than a single roll of toilet paper at this point.

It was really getting down to bare bones in here. Even on carpet, footsteps almost echoed with empty walls.

 Okay. Plastic given the green light, then, Isolde would do just that, situating everything that was hung to remain on hangers. The folded stuff would, at least, be delegated to a box that would fit it all. No point giving themselves extra laundry work.

 After his clothing and the bathroom, it would seem that the kitchen and what sparse ingredients remained would be the last of it. Isolde hadn't thought to bring a cooler for these things, and if Charlie had one, she didn't recall seeing it. "Guess fridge stuff should be the first stuff out when we get home, huh," she remarked, haphazardly piling much of it in one of the last boxes. When they got home! To their home! It wasn't like she'd never done this before, moving in with a guy, but still. Wow.

 It was still enough that, once she had the box full of food and was toting it out, she'd give him another quick kiss on her way to the truck.

The last dregs other than the cleaning supplies for tomorrow, really. It was weird to get it all out of here.

"I'm pretty sure it's a sin to waste food," he said by way of agreement, also having a similar moment of... home. Her home, yes, but also now his. The more they'd taken out of this particular building, the less it had become his home. Just some walls that he'd seen the insides of for a long time.

The kiss was returned with a grin and a bounce to his step as he joined her with a bag of garbage he intended to take out to the dumpster. But then it would be back, to lock up the front door as if there was anything in there to steal. Then it would just be a matter of fighting over who was driving the monstrosity that was a U-haul.

 Ultimately, Isolde wouldn't be too adamant about driving the giant truck. It wasn't that she was incapable of it, or anything, but she didn't want any possibility for Charlie to feel like she was being... controlling, or something. It was a simple enough gesture that she was most likely overthinking it, but it stuck in her head as important for all it was minuscule.

 But she did sit in the middle seat to be right next to him, a hand on his leg rather than reaching for his fingers. The truck probably operated best with two hands on the wheel. It was enough to keep her beast content, at least, even if all of this inspired some greater to desire to just wrap around him for a solid hour.

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