Yellow Pages 
The best thing to do when something really shorty happens to someone you know is let things settle down before bombarding them with texts. It had been a comfortable amount of time after the broadcasted incident, and the not knowing was just adding to the stress of the last week.


Hey, are you guys doing okay? I saw the news and all that and I dunno if that was you or not but I’m just checking in.

@Asha Rao

timed on Monday morning 5/14/18 before Cass comes by on the evening

Did you know that... Cliff was the first friend to reach out?

So many people knew the jaguars, and had her number. Other than Avery stopping by to dress her wounds and lay down rules, Cliff was the first person to go "hey, that's a fucking jaguar on the screen, that's Abraham too, I have a jaguar's number, let me see if she's okay."

And on top of that he was fucking nice about it.

Asha tried not to sound pathetic in her text, but she sort of still did.

it was me.
were all banned from Larkspur now.

You're talking to a pariah, Cliff, how does it feel.


man that sucks. You mean “all” as in you and Abraham? And um what is it again that owns Larkspur

He knew of a group there that felt doggy, but wasn’t perfectly sure what they were.

Oh. She forgot who she'd told about there being other jaguars in town.

coyotes have larkspur
there's five of us now




Holy shit.

oh, shit, didn’t know that

you guys trying to um. Group up? What’s a jag group called


Boy, Cliff. That was the question of the hour, wasn't it.

She took a minute before she settled on how she wanted to say it. Her cat wanted what her cat wanted. The human half was less convinced it would ever happen.

I did want to before all this
don't think anyone would want to follow me now

That was a low key way of saying that it would probably never happen.

Cliff frowned at the self deprecation.

what happened to make you shift?


if you don’t mind me asking


That would be a lot of words to type.

Asha pondered it. She was going to sound pathetic. But.

Incoming call from Asha


Calling was admittedly his preference. Thumbs were big and iPhones were tiny.



He sounded so cheery. Or just. Not unwilling to hear from her. She curled on the bed a little as she answered.


She sounded like she was defeated but making an attempt, however small that attempt was.

It was. Just. This new guy, he, like. He'd gotten attacked by something, we were sort of friends. He came to me and I helped him out before his first shift.

A breath of air. This was much more talking in one go than she'd managed in recent days.

And then, just. Last week we find out he's still living with his human friend, so we basically have to argue with him to make him realize how dangerous that is, for her. We even get him a place. Except on Thursday, he calls me to tell me he's turned her because he thinks he's helping her be happy or... some dumb shit.

Surely Cliff like... understood? How fucked up that was?

I was trying to build something for all of us. I could try to handle one new one, but now it's two, and he went and decided two weeks into his new life that he has all the control in the world, and – he made this call without consulting us on it or anything and it just– I realized I couldn't trust him at all and I—

Beneath a weight of misery, there was still latent anger over it. How quickly she had fucking lost everything.

Cliff listened, giving the occasional “uh huh” and “what the fuck” here and there. New guy sounded like a heaping pile of shit. Running around just changing people because he thought it would “help”. News flash, buddy. Being a Were was actually shit.

Good thing had come from it, but for the most part... having every part of your body bend and break and snap to take the form of some oversized animal wasn’t sunshine and daisies.

Well, that guy’s a fucking piece of shit. But you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. If anything it’s that guy’s fault. He should have thought twice about ruining someone’s life... or at least about just casually mentioning it to you like that.


Seemed like every group of Weres were having their fair share of drama.

I’m glad you guys are okay, though. Maybe just lay low for a bit and it’ll pass over. Next week some vampire will fuck up and everyone will forget about it.

He shrugged even if she couldn’t see him. Maybe she could hear it in his tone.

If you want I can distract you from your worries with a trade of my own. Or really, mine and Maxine’s.

Asha should know, right?

Holy shit.

Asha had hoped for understanding. What she got was one hundred percent validation, and she hadn't expected that at all, and just. Cliff came in with a storm of support, and it seriously.

Seriously fucking helped.

Yeah, I... I will. Thanks, dude, I just... thank you.

She was laying low for sure. She was definitely... lying down a lot. So. But her voice sounded very grateful anyway, and maybe like she was getting a little sappy and teary eyed, so thank God he said something else. But it wasn't a great thing.

Wait, what? What happened?


Asha sounded emotional and Cliff tried not to feel immediately uncomfortable about it.

No problem... and uh, Maxine and I sorta left the Sleuth. We’re staying in Magic Hollow right now.

He decided to stop there in the case she really didn’t care all that much.

They left the...

Wait what? Why?

She definitely cared. She didn't even think leaving was a thing. Unless you were a tyrant that expelled three quarters of your group. Did Levka expel Cliff and Maxine??

Cliff sighed long and hard.

Loooong story. Basically just everything amounting to one boiling point. Levka’s just a really shit leader. Childish and egotistical and just. He always rubbed me the wrong way, but I stuck it out for the sake of being in a group. He let Maxine and the rest of us down quite a bit. Then uh, some shit happened with trying to figure out ownership of this diner. Things went south, and we pretty much fled the city.

Was that it? It all sounded rediculous when said aloud.

... wow.

That's fucking crazy. Here I thought you all had to like. Automatically like each other once you grouped up.

Ownership of a diner? That sounded pretty hardcore, to lead to like. All that.

How's Maxine taking it?


Well, it was exactly easy to leave. Bears were pretty stressed about it. But in the end its for the best. I can definitely tell you that you don’t automatically like one another. That was my biggest issue when we first joined because it all felt so forced. Like we were trying to pretend like these strangers were our friends. It just didn’t work.

Another long sigh.

She.. seems happier. I know I am. It’s a lot of stress and big headache to move out of a city you can’t return to without explicit permission. But it’ll all work out for the better. Think we’re gonna split the cost of a place to live, once we find something.


Distantly, the Asha that had greedily gleaned up all this shit about groups and leading and all that, distantly she felt that Asha listening in. Learning. Understanding.

Ugh, but it wouldn't go anywhere. Not with her massive failure at keeping it together. And also the fact that everyone was so fucking self absorbed anyway.

Maybe the jaguars were destined to be solitary whether they wanted to be or not.

I'm sorry to hear it was so painful. It was really weird to me that like, you guys all got on with him. Abraham found him creepy when they met.

You know what, this was actually really really helping a lot. Just to have a friend who like. Cared. And wasn't inherently obligated to care, but did anyway.

Where are you guys looking to move?


Asha was nice. Even despite the stress she was under, she was consoling and understanding. A less humble Cliff would have noted that he was extending the same courtesy.

It’s for the best. Glad we got out.

Levka was creepy.

Think we’re looking to stick to Magic Hollow. It’s a nice place and it’s not claimed by anyone. A proverbial Switzerland.


Maybe like.

Maybe it was just. Better to not have a group. Even if the animal in her seemed anything but happy. But it was Asha's ambition for a group that lost her Iron's, so.

Maybe it was her lesson learned.

Oh, that'll be nice. You guys will be closer to us. Could go check out the spa there, it's pretty great.

Look at her! Abraham would say. Probably. But really, look at her taking about going outside maybe. She sunk a little into herself, but it wasn't for bad feelings. Just shy ones. Even though no one was actually here to be shy in front of. Details.

What do you do again? I dunno if I ever knew.


It would be nice to have some friendly neighbors. Not that the wolves and Cheetahs weren’t nice... Anyway.

Didn’t even know about that,

Maybe Maxine would like to go there? Was it weird that that’s what he thought of first?

You and Maxine should go together. You guys can gossip again and take more selfies... And, uh, I’m a woodworker. That’s sorta on hold until I get another workshop set up, though.


C L I F F. Talking about selfies. He'd only seen Maxine's selfies right? Not their, like. Paired one...? Maybe?

Look, she'd been told it was a nude resort, okay. Also, what the heck did he know what they gossiped about?

Oh, that's cool. Let me know when you set it up and I could stop by.

A pause.

Thank you again for, like... reaching out. I've kind of felt like shit so it's just, like. Nice to hear from a friend.

It was so nice she actually maybe would stand in the shower instead of sitting like a sad pile of sadness on the floor.

Maybe even an appetite? For deli meat?

A visit from Asha would be nice!

Hey, really! It's no problem. And uh, thanks for letting me talk your ear off. Probably didn't need more drama. But yeah, feel free to give me a call or shoot me a text whenever you need.


No, it's fine, I'm really happy for you guys. And I will. Tell Maxine I said hi.

Feeling warmed by it all, she... decided to get up and go for that shower.

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