There's Still Time For You

Big Bear Diner 
open, preferably to a Sleuth member

Indra liked to believe he knew what he was doing, but the fact of the matter was that he had no clue what he was doing or what this outcome was going to be like. He was a free bear on Sleuth territory, and he likely wasn't going to be interested in joining said group. Still, after meeting and hitting it off with Cliff well and learning that he had not got on well with the Sleuth when he'd been a part of it, Indra wanted to see what the rest of the members who were still in the group were like. After all, it only seemed fair to give them a chance when he hadn't in the past.

He slid into a booth near the back of the diner and ordered himself a few burgers to enjoy while he waited. He could feel the presence of the group, and figured it wouldn't be long for someone to pop in and wonder who he was and why he was there. He sat back in the booth, stretching out his legs underneath the table and lazily started sipping his glass of Coke.

Outfit is nice black button-up with a name tag and jeans, hair in a bun!

 Esperanza did not usually work on Sundays. It was her day of rest, her time with God and with her daughter - but as it was, a handful of employees had called out for the day, and as a manager and co-owner, she had a sense of duty to come in and make sure everything went smoothly. So, here she was, alternating quickly between the kitchen and the dining area, both cooking and serving food and keeping customers as happy as possible.

 It was time for one of the little human waitresses to go on break and rest her feet. As such, Esperanza would happily take over her tables, doing her best to seem like she was not in a great hurry, although she was. Her young daughter sat up at the very end of the dining counter, against the wall with a plethora of coloring books and an old ipod for music to keep her busy while her mother worked.

 The scent of bear was a permanent piece of this place, but as she stepped towards the shaggy-haired young man, it dawned upon her that... he was a bear, as well, and not a familiar one. Her own beast rumbled with a territorial sort of dissatisfaction, but Espy was quick to shove it down. She put on a bright customer service smile as she approached him, a knowing sort of gleam in her eye, though she could not rightly have the Bear Talk out here in public.

 "Good afternoon, sir! Has your order been taken?"

Sure enough, the familiar scent of a bear drew ever closer. Indra lifted chocolate eyes up at the waitress approaching. His bear seemed to grunt in uncertainty.

The bear waitress was pretty, though Indra had yet to meet anyone he actually deemed ugly. Normally, he'd start off a conversation with some sort of pickup line, but he got the feeling that such a thing might not fly on a group's territory, so he chose to be respectful. Boring, if he said so himself. He smiled brightly back at the waitress, giving her a small wink to at least let her know he knew she, too, was a bear.

"Oh, yeah, it was taken earlier. Had some burgers. Just waiting on them to finish on the grill, I suspect." Indra knew well enough that most weres didn't care to let everyone know what they were, so he briefly looked around the diner, trying to find a more low key area he could maybe call the waitress over to. Deciding most people wouldn't think anything of some guy flirting with his waitress, he leaned forward and gave her a smirk. "So, got any, back booths that are out of sight?"

Another wink, hopefully to let her know that his pickup line wasn't necessarily a pickup line (Obviously it was because he was generally always interested in picking people up, but this was more about business and less about pleasure).

 Esperanza maintained a professional smile as the young man winked at her, glad to hear his order had been taken. She watched him look around, keen on his body language as he leaned towards her and asked about back booths. Part of her was certain he was being coy, but a curious grunt from the creature in her head made her think twice.

 Hands on her hips, she informed him smoothly, "I do not. But there is an office on the other side of the kitchen. I can have your burgers taken back there if you'd like to speak with the manager." She flashed him another smile, still professional, somewhat amused with herself. She was, in fact, the manager - if he was more interested in speaking with Levka, he might be waiting for a while.

The smell of bear was all around the diner, so he was sure the Sleuth owned it, or at least used it exclusively. But that didn't mean that the manager was a bear. Indra eyed the waitress, trying to get some type of reading off of her. She was polite and professional, but she was also working in a restaurant, so that was to be expected.

"That might be good," he said quietly, feeling a little nervous about it. It was a weird sensation since he was hardly ever nervous. "So long as the manager is like you."

 Esperanza listened to his concern, and then let out a little laugh. She was not a great comedian, but at least she had amused herself for a short moment. "I am the manager." A gesture of her hand for him to come along. "Bring your soda, okay?" She turned away then, trusting that he would follow, stopping by another waiter (the only one on the floor with herself slipping away and the other waitress on break) to let him know that she needed him to cover the floor and she would be back soon.

"Oh, well, perfect then," Indra said with a light chuckle. He got up from the table quickly as she waved for him to follow her, and would've forgotten about his drink if she hadn't said anything. He turned back and swiped it off the table and followed after her, swallowing his nerves as he went. Indra didn't like to be negative, but he still didn't think this meeting was going to end on a happy note. He didn't think he'd get in any trouble, at least. But he was sure he was definitely going to be permanently banned from North Glenn.

 It was perfect! Esperanza grinned a little to herself, considering texting Levka. If he was in the area, he would be able to feel the presence of the rogue - if he was not, well, he would probably appreciate a head's up. She lead the young man back to her office, unlocking it with one of several keys dangling at her hip, and pushed the door open. It was not very big, but definitely spacious for two or three people to inhabit at one time. "I am Esperanza, by the way," she introduced herself to the man, extending her hand for him to shake, and also so that her beast could get a better look at his. "What do I call you?"

His throat felt as though it was going dry, so luckily, he still had the Coke there to quench it. He continued to follow the woman, and entered the small office as the door was unlocked. He smiled at the woman and took her hand to shake. "It's nice to meet you, Esperanza. I'm Indra." He sighed. Might as well get down to business.

"I've always been interested in kinda hanging by myself and I don't mind keeping away from North Glenn. Recently though, I ran into someone who said he used to be part of this group, and I don't know, I guess I wanted to see what his status was. Like if this guy is alright, you know?"

 Indra! Esperanza smiled and nodded in acknowledgement, locking his name into her memory. She settled into her chair, listening to him speak, her expression light. He seemed to have no intention of joining the sleuth, which left her a little perplexed for a moment, until he continued on. A slow blink as she realized pretty quickly who Indra was likely talking about.

 "Oh, are you talking about Cliff?" The question was left with almost no space to respond before she carried on. "He is wonderful! You are wary of him?"

Indra couldn't help but smile when she immediately knew who he was talking about, and the fact that she still seemed to hold him in high regards was promising. Perhaps she seemed a little surprised at his cautiousness around the fellow manbear, but it was still important to him that he get everything checked out. If Cliff had some target on him, he didn't want to get in trouble by association.

"Yeah, Cliff," he answered with a smile. "I didn't get any bad vibes from him at all. In fact, we exchanged numbers so we could hang out more. But when he mentioned that he'd left North Glenn- well- you can never be too careful, right? I just wanted to make sure there was no bad blood."

 So he was talking about Cliff. Esperanza's heart warmed some for the mention of the man - she had not spoken to him in some time. She smiled softly at the young man. "Well. I would not say bad blood, per se, but... Cliff and our King do not get along well, I do not think," she said, doing well to keep any remorse from her words as she spoke. "But. I believe you would not be in any danger by associating with him. He is a good boy."

Indra was glad that he'd met Esperanza instead of the leader. He didn't know what he might've heard about Cliff then, but it was obvious that the woman still held him in high regard. He wished he could text Cliff and tell him that the woman had called him a good boy, but Indra had made up his mind before stepping foot in North Glenn that he would not ever tell Cliff that he talked to his old group to make sure things were fine.

He trusted Cliff. But he didn't always trust everyone else, and it was everyone else that he was wary of. "Well, that's good news. I really appreciate you taking the time to actually talk to me about Cliff. I'm happy to hear that you still hold him in high regard. I think he's a really good guy, too."

 Esperanza was happy to hear that Indra was finding good company in Cliff. She hoped the feeling was mutual. "My pleasure, Indra. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Perhaps his burgers wouldn't have to be brought back to the office after all.

Maybe he'd been a bit too pessimistic about the meeting. Maybe also he judged the Sleuth too hard. It seemed as though everything was perfectly fine. He smiled at the woman warmly. "No, that's really all I wanted to know."

He didn't get the feeling he was pushing his luck; it seemed as though Esperanza was just perfectly level-headed. "Would it be alright if I finished my meal at the diner?"

 Esperanza would nod her head affirmatively at the man as he assured her he had gotten what he was here for. At his question, she would gesture gently towards the door. "Certainly! Be my guest." She might even be the one to serve it to him, as she needed to head back to waiting tables herself. It was nice that this meeting had not been of great importance or great stress - and perhaps it was for the best for both of them that he had not been as flirtatious as he'd seemed to initially be.

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