It's Beginning to Feel Like Christmas


Stores had been buzzing with Christmas music even before Halloween, but Alice was a firm believer that you didn't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. She had planned on getting started the weekend following the feast, but thanks to Asher being a total holiday bum, she had absolutely nothing to decorate anything with. This meant that she had only one choice and that was to hit up the local Hobby Lobby, and stock up as much she could with her meager paycheck.

Gathering a small plastic tree, some ornaments, and strings of light, Alice figured she was just about done when she saw the best thing on the whole planet. Sitting on the highest shelf, the most obnoxious Christmas decoration glowed in all of its glory. Alice knew instantly she had to have it for the simple fact that Asher would absolutely hate everything about it.

Only there was one problem, there was absolutely no way that she was going to be able to reach that box, no matter how much she jumped. Glowering at the prize that sat out of reach, Alice would turn as the shadow of a person came in her peripherals, words already leaving her mouth before she could confirm they worked there.

"Can you get that down for me?" A finger jutting upwards to the wanted item.

His birthday was on Friday, but that wasn't actually why Jamaal was here. He was looking for decorations for home since they'd just moved and a couple of their older ornaments had gotten smashed. His mom told him not to worry about it, but he had a little money to spare and wanted to surprise her, so. He won this round, ma.

His fox stirred to the presence of another, and Jamaal found himself rounding towards her aisle almost on autopilot. Some cute girl was there. What was she?

Before he could like, say hello or anything, she was demanding he get her something. Oh. "Uh, sure," he answered, blinking and setting his choice of ornaments down. He wasn't crazy taller than her, but a few inches could make all the difference.

He managed to get his fingers around the edge and started working it off the shelf.

Alice would turn fully to take in the man as the sound of ornaments being set down was heard, her eyes widening as she realized that this was not actually an employee that she was ordering around. Mouth tightening in some regret, Alice debated between apologizing or not since in the end he was doing what she asked, his fingers just barely managing to scrape at the edges of the box.

"Sorry I thought you were an employee." She started, moving towards her tip toes to help pull at the box as it slowly made its way into reaching distance. "Thanks for helping though." She could smell the animal scent lingering on him, something new that she hadn't quite smelt before.

Images of small claws and teeth showed, but nothing that would immediately give this man away.

"Nah, don't worry, I get that all the time," he grinned, glad she wasn't like, rude or anything. He guided it down until it was an appropriate level for her, knowing she could probably handle it at this point but happy to just be helpful.

"You, uh... what kinda...?"


Once it was fully within her grasp. Alice would guide it over towards her full basket, letting it fall onto the tree box with a soft thud. One great thing that had come from being a Were was the strength that she had received from it, knowing full well that she would have struggled with a box that size almost a year prior.

She'd turn back to the man with a brushing of her hands. "A raccoon." She answered, hands now moving to cross along her chest. "And you?" She'd take the Hyenas advice and try to learn more of the Were species that stuck around Cordova.

Oh. Duh. Raccoon, like on the box. He gave a little laugh as he got the joke.

"Uh... fox, for me."

He held his hand out. "Jamaal."

It would be a lie to say that she wasn't a bit jealous at this news. She loved foxes, and they were a million times better than the trash demon that was stuck in her head.

"Alice." She greeted in return, shaking the offered hand. "How long have you been blessed with your beast?" The sarcasm would be dripping from her words.

"Heh, over a year," he nodded as he shook her hand. Blessed! More like cursed. That was the point of her tone, though.

He picked up his ornament box again and then held onto it.

"You... have others like you around?"

Ah, so they were about the same experience wise then.

"Yeah, just one other though." She confirmed with a nod. "I live with the guy who changed me, but I haven't met any others besides us two." Kinda sucked, especially when you knew there was a whole group of Weres out there.

"What about you?" She inquired, jerking a head in his direction. "You got one of those groups or whatever?"

Oh, uh. Kinda awkward, oops. Jamaal nodded, unsure what... kinds relationship that was. Like, did she like living with that other dude? Was he nice?

"Oh uh, nah. There's one other guy, but. We're still just kinda figuring out if we get along."

The fox made its noises to that sentiment and Jamaal ignored it.

Companionship seemed pretty important when it came to being a Were, especially when you were newer to the whole thing. It was a lot to take in, and it certainly took a load off when you knew someone else was going through the same shit.

"It's good you aren't completely alone though." Alice offered, although she wasn't too concerned if this guy actually had anyone else, just as long as he didn't cause any sort of problem for her later. "Hopefully you two can figure it out soon."

"Yeah, hopefully." That felt like a good parting note.

"Anyway... Probably gotta get home. It was nice meeting you though?"

He didn't really think about getting her number even though that would have been a good call if you wanted to hang out with someone again. Oops.

Alice would lift a hand in a wave, moving back towards her basket.

"Yeah, drive safe." She'd call already moving to turn her basket so that it faced towards the next Christmas aisle she intended to go down. "Thanks again for the help."

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