Not So Nick of Time

Yellow Pages 
Things had been... madness. Between sleuth drama after such a lull of calm and Alejandra's schooling, and work, Esperanza had not gotten around to getting a hold of either Abraham or Asha in a timely manner. The guilt struck almost as soon as the realization did, to the point that she couldn't even text. She had to call her.

Incoming Call


It was a few hours after Cliff's call that her phone rang again. Asha felt more awake than she'd been for a while, having showered and... stolen another shirt from Abraham's selection to wear for the day.

She was cross-legged on the bed, and also eating some turkey slices on the bed, sorry. At least she had a plate so they wouldn't drip on the sheets or anything.

The call came in the middle of her watching stupid cat videos on YouTube, but the caller... was someone she couldn't ignore. Had Cliff dropped a line for Espy to call her?


Cautious tone. What if she... just yelled at her. Or something.

Asha would hear a sigh of relief as she answered the call.

Asha! Thank goodness. I saw the news. Is everything okay?


Maybe Espy had just seen the news; it was understandable. Maybe it wasn't that Cliff had slipped her a line to reach out.

Actually, it was comforting to think that Espy called her because she wanted to and not because she had someone else tell her to.

Asha felt like. The creeping of a headache suddenly. But it wasn't really a headache, it was just relief mixed up with wanting a hug from her Bearmom? Her actual were mom.

I'm... a little better now, yeah. Though I got- got us all banned from Larkspur.


She didn't work at Iron's now. Just Shift. By the grace of Kai, another coyote.

Ah, Were politics. Esperanza could not even pretend to not understand, but still her heart literally ached for poor Asha. She could only imagine the terror, the embarrassment, the pain.

Oh, mija. I'm so sorry. What about Crestview? You are allowed to stay?

She hoped so. She prayed Asha would not be exiled from the entire lycan community of Mountainside.

The sweetness in her voice made Asha's eyes itch and warm a little, and she rubbed the corner of one with the heel of her palm like a stubborn child.

No, Avery was forgiving. As long as I don't shift here. Or... bring too many of us here.

A pause as the thought made her wonder.

Am I banned from the Glenn too?

She'd shifted there occasionally, but so much of it was wilderness.

Actually, one time a human saw her change. Sort of. She wondered if that would come out too.

Oh, wonderful.

Well. Considering the circumstances, anyway.

Not that I am aware of. There has been a lot of craziness happening in our neck of the woods, so I do not know if Levka is even aware of what happened.

Hopefully he would be merciful. Esperanza didn't know if she could say so one way or the other.

Is Abe - sorry, is Abraham okay?


Craziness. The thing with the diner, and Cliff and Maxine leaving? Asha was mindful to tread carefully should the subject come up in further detail.

He's... handling it as best he can. Put up with me at my worst, at least.

A pause.

We sort of... decided to get together like. A week or two before all this. And we're thinking of moving to a new place now.

Nervous saying that.


It was soft, offered in the pause between her statements. She smiled to herself, picking up on the meaning of "getting together." It was bittersweet, only because of the mess they were in.

Congratulations. I was wondering when you would make it official. -chuckle- Let me know if you two need help moving. I would be happy to assist.



She felt the barest urge to protest — it had been a legitimate crisis before this actual very legitimate crisis — but managed a small huff to her tease instead.

Thank you. I will.

Cliff and Maxine would probably be happy to help too. Umm.

I heard from Cliff earlier too... is everything okay between you guys?

Careful, careful.

Ah. Well... he and Maxine left the Sleuth.

A soft, regretful sigh could be heard from the bear's end.

I haven't reached out to them yet. I should do that.

She didn't want to be overbearing or smothering but ugh she missed them and wished everything was butterflies and rainbows. Being a grown woman was sometimes terrible.

How was he?


Well, she didn't seem to hate them and that was sincerely very comforting. Asha listened, and when it was her turn to speak, she did.

He seemed... good. But I know you guys were friends, so I think they'd definitely be happy to hear from you.

She tried not to put any sort of telling emphasis on any of those words. It wasn't her place to get involved in bear politics when she was stuck in her own mire.

Espy sighed again, this one more of relief. That made her feel better.

Okay. Thank you. Can I bring the two of you some supper tomorrow?


That was such a sweet offer.

I would love that. So much.

She would probably have to clean the place, too. Might... be a good catalyst to get her doing things again. Her ribs seemed almost entirely healed again at this point.

Awesome! Okay. How about seven o'clock? Any special requests?


Bearmom. Did you know she'd barely eaten, like, anything good lately as a human. Just deli meat and bits of junk food.

Seven is perfect. And... all your food is amazing. Surprise me — oh, just... no cheese. For, uhm, Abraham.

She kind of sounded a little excited. Which was really "a lot excited but like still getting used to feeling excitement" excited.

Awww. Esperanza beamed against the phone. Asha was so sweet.

Okay, my love. I will see you tomorrow!


She. Was really. Excited. For all the Bearmom hugs.

See you, Bearmom.

... What would Bearmom say about her hair.

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