Following the events of this thread!

Only once he was in the supposed safety of his car parked outside the marina did Casey break down.

Incoming call from Bidoof


It was just before Ava had to stream, to which right now she was just tapping away at a game of her own since she'd just woken up and her head couldn't focus on anything. She just kept thinking about..

Casey! It was weird he was calling her without texting first though.

She'd answer her phone and nestle it in the nook of her shoulder, so she could still game.

Hey man! You good?



To call it silence from Casey's end would have been grossly inaccurate; what sounded across the line could only be described as someone crying their eyes out while at the height of a panic attack. It looked that way from the outside too, even though Casey was oblivious of passersby outright staring in his direction.

He didn't take such things as being scared shitless particularly well.

It didn't take long for Ava to realise that Casey certainly wasn't good. As she heard him crying, her face dropped into one of fear. The fox could tell too, and her eyes shifted yellow as they both panicked. Avafox didn't see anything to instinctively run away from though, so it would let Ava stay in her body to work this one out.

With that, Ava would hit pause on her game and practically throw the controller down, grabbing her phone at her ear and standing up straight.

Casey? Casey are you alright? Please talk to me man, tell me you're okay!


One moment, Ava's voice of soothing, cheerful even. The next, it was not.

With a stuttering inhale, Casey lifted his forehead from the steering wheel and nodded—some good that did during a phone call.

I'm... yeah, no, I'm fine... I'm okay.

Casey's assurances were every bit as much for himself as it was for her.

Casey's assurances really didn't help, but at least he was talking. Ava took a deep, shaky breath, and began pacing around her apartment, accepting the fox's urges to want to move. Her hand would dig into her hair too, bunching it up in worry.

You don't- need to tell me or anything. Just tell me you're safe at least. Please..

Casey was practically all she had right now. She didn't know what she'd do if anything happened to him.

Ava didn't need or want to know the details, only that Casey was okay.

He continued nodding.

I'm okay... I'm in my car and around people and they're looking at me-

He abruptly cut himself off once he realized he was rambling, watching said people watch him through his windshield. Worry was evident on their faces, and only when Casey gave them a halfhearted wave did they move on, albeit reluctantly.

Okay. He was okay. Ava's hand that was bunching up her hair came to rub her face, especially her eyes, as she mentally tried working on calming the fox down too.

Just shh, try calming down man. You're not in danger right? Do you need me to come to you?

She didn't care how late to her job she'd be.

At Ava's behest, Casey spent his next few breaths trying to calm down.

Inhale, exhale.

I'm safe. I'm okay.

More breathing, more telling himself that everything was fine, that the danger had passed.

There was a wolf at the lake.


He was safe, that helped Ava calm down a bit.

What he said next didn't.

At the instant Ava heard the word 'wolf', both her and the fox jumped in shock. Ava panicked, for fear that Casey was now injured, whereas the fox panicked because wolves were instinctively scary. She didn't even think wolves came down this far!


Are you hurt?! Did the wolf touch you?


The spike of panic in Ava's words quickly filled Casey with regret.

No, no, I'm fine. It just...

He rubbed his face, wiping away tears as humiliation settled over him.

It chased me around and knocked me over.


It knocked him over, but the question was.. how. Ava was still concerned, because if that wolf was a were.. Casey didn't deserve that pain.

So it didn't touch you yeah? You don't feel weird or whatever?


Casey nodded, as redundant of a gesture as it was.

Bumps and bruises.

And the fact that he had been scared to death, but he was pretty sure that wasn't the point of Ava's inquiries.

Okay. There was nothing to worry about there then. Casey wasn't going to go wolf on Ava any time soon. That seemed to calm the fox down a bit more too, and Ava's eyes returned to green.

Alright.. Good. I'll help you calm down now alright? Now I know you're safe. Just don't worry, you're okay. I'm here for you dude.


Okay, okay.

Ava's efforts were heartfelt, and they eventually paid off. With a handful of napkins from the glove box, Casey did his best to clean himself up; he couldn't stand a snotty nose.

It... was really scary.

They were the words of a child, but they were nothing if not earnest.

Casey sounded so scared. But also so adorable. That was one of the thoughts that had been swimming around in Ava's head for a while now. Why did she think he was 'adorable'? He was just a friend dammit, she had to stop being weird.

Yeah man.. but like, shit, you faced a wolf! There's always danger on an adventure right? You're an adventurer Casers! Casey Keane, hero of North Glenn! The boy who lived! You know I've never read Harry Potter? Have you?

Distract him with fun stuff. If that didn't work, Ava would employ other means.

Casey certainly didn't feel like a fabled hero, some adventurer who had faced a beast of the woods and lived to tell the tale. And yet, he still felt himself smiling, if only in appreciation of Ava trying to lift his spirits. Then the conversation swiftly turned to Harry Potter, which only reminded Casey of his earlier failures with regards to charming the wolf.

Once, yeah.

He had been meaning to reread the Harry Potter series lately.

Okay, so far so good.

I'm glad you aren't a huge Potterhead honestly coz eeeevery time I mention I haven't my fans will shout at me hah! I just suck at reading y'know?

There would be a little grunt as Ava decided to flop over the back of her sofa, now looking at her paused game upside down.

Like, I used to read a lot as a kid? But then I sorta.. fizzled out. You seem like the kinda guy who reads lots tho. Like on your podcasts.


After the reboot that was having a crying fit alongside a mild panic attack, Casey.exe was now responding.

Reading is like inertia, you get better at it the longer you stick to it. Rowling has also compared the Harry Potter fandom to gang warfare, so there's that.

As for Ava's deduction that Casey was in fact a bookworm, he nodded vigorously.

I always like to read up on whatever I plan on talking about in my podcasts.

He may or may not have converted a spare bedroom into an improvised library.

There he was. Ava gave herself a warm smile, as she knew she'd been successful.

As well as a snort to the Rowling fact. Fandoms tended to have that effect, and boy did Ava know about it.

I mentioned to my mom the other month that I wasn't reading as much, and I think she told one of my brothers, coz I got a package of every single Terry Pratchett book? So I'm sorta going through those as best I can. I really like his writing.


Ava's story made Casey smile.

That's amazing. Terry Pratchett was a great author; what editions are the books?

Either Ava's relations had bought her a bunch of mass-market paperbacks, or someone had mailed her their Pratchett collection. Being the book hoarder that he was, Casey was rather interested to know which of these was the case.

See, when he said 'editions' all Ava could think of were Yugioh card editions. First or Limited? Fuck she was a nerd.


Ava had no idea.

However, she did have an idea.

How about you come over mine some day and have a look? You can see my record collection too!

Cue some pale white sticks flapping in the air.

If only she could see him facepalming.

Then Ava invited him to her house so he could peruse her Terry Pratchett books and record collection.


Give him a second.

Sure! What time is good for you?

Casey made a distinct effort not to overthink it.

Yay! Friendship!

Well you know my schedule! Anytime other than streaming days honestly. Unless you wanna come on stream with me?

He'd be able to hear a chuckle, followed by a few more grunts as Ava stopped being upside down in favour of being a normal person.

Schedules, yeah. Obviously.

Okay, I'll check mine too, clear a spot on the calendar.

Such busy people, streamers were.

At least Casey no longer felt the aftershocks of his life being in peril.

Awesome! I'm excited man!

She was practically jittering in her seat with excitement, completely oblivious to what she was actually doing, as well as the many, many risks doing this could have. Well, she'd think about them after.

For now, this was about Casey.

You feeling a little better?


How many times would Casey nod during their phone call before realizing it? They world may never know.

I am. Thank you.

It still bothered him how close he had come to being properly attacked by a wild animal, assuming that's what it even was. Dwelling on what could have happened, however, did little to soothe his frayed nerves.

Ava would let out a happy sigh, letting her feet rub together idly.

Good man. Feel like you can drive yet Bidoof?


Casey smiled at his nickname. He was the bravest and noblest of Bidoofs.

Yeah, I think so. I'll text you when I get home.

Another nod for the road.

Just like the Bidoof in the Explorers games.

Cool. Drive safe buddy.

She meant it, and a bit of a blush graced her cheeks.


At that, he ended the call and sighed, ready to get home and put today behind him.

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