Gambel Oak

Red Rock 
Outfit sans glasses.
Full Moon, around sunset.
About a mile out from Gold Valley Mine, here's some references!

Cliff had only been through this area twice. First time, some guy on a ranch had had him drive all the way out to the middle of nowhereville Red Rock to deliver a mantlepiece. On the way out, he’d gotten lost, turned around, and ended up going over this completely abandoned bridge along a dusty ass road. The second was a fully moon, where he’d made the trek out and scoured the area for the same place. It was, again, abandoned. Upon further research, he found that it was a road that used to be used specifically to get to and from some old abandoned mine shaft. Now that it was closed, there was zero use for the road.

So, paired with the fucking amazing landscape, it was a great place to shift. No prying eyes, plenty of terrain. Rocks and trees and hills and dens crawling with critters, even a shallow river with a few fish. It was like shifter paradise, if not a little out of the way. So, this was where he chose to lead his little ragtag gang for their first shift. Well, Riley’s first. Natasha’s second. He was thankful Indra had come along, since handling two new bears alone sounded like a fucking headache.

Cliff pulled his truck off to the side of the road, just before the bridge. Riley sat in his passenger side, and Cliff glanced back toward the car behind them where Indra and Natasha were pulling over. He took in a deep breath and looked toward Riley. ”You good?” He questioned, wanting to be sure she was going to get through this as painlessly as possible. They were prepared… he hoped. A change of clothes, blankets he was going to bring down into the canyon and lay out in hopes they could find their way back at the end of the night. First aid kits, food, water; that would all be stored in his truck until morning. All the essentials. He wished there was some way to bring a shower right to them, so they didn’t have to drive all the way back home all dirty. But, well, you couldn’t have it all.

@Natasha Kelly @Indra Mehta @Riley Toscani

Outfit sans hat
GMing okay'd by Sierra

Honestly, the trip with Natasha had been very enjoyable, and Indra was glad for it. He'd gotten to know his fellow werebear better and they'd had lots of fun making lots of jokes. It was good, considering the night was going to be difficult. Indra couldn't imagine the mess Cliff would've had on his hands with two new bears. Hell, he was worried about it himself, even with the both of them there, it was likely going to be difficult.

Indra pulled up behind Cliff's truck and came to a stop. "Looks like we're here," he said with a grin to Natasha. He shut off the truck and hopped out, rubbing his hands together in the cold, October air. "Great place, Cliff," he said enthusiastically, looking around at the wonderful wilderness surrounding them. He'd never been here before, but he decided on the way over that he might pop back in here and there for little runabouts with his bear. He looked over at Riley next and gave her a grin. "You excited?" After the painful transition, being a bear was fun. No doubt Riley and Natasha would have lots of fun tonight, but they'd also be more animal than human- which is where Cliff and Indra had to come in. Even still, part of Indra was excited. He'd not been in a group of bears before while shifted.


Indra had been a more than adequate distraction from what was to come, laughing and joking with her the whole car ride, that it had made her forget for a moment why they were currently driving together, and why they were heading out into the middle of nowhere. Bears. It was a full moon tonight, and the shift was inevitable, and while Natasha knew she would remember none of it, she still feared it very much.

As Indra exited the vehicle, Natasha stayed for a moment, gathering herself before forcing a smile and exiting the vehicle. She didn't want the others to know how freaked out she was at the moment, preferring them to focus on Riley, who was literally about to have her life go in a full 360.

"Theres so much room!" She gushed, arms stretching wide as she gave a little twirl.

Outfit! Minus.... the brown hair??? :P

He already told her it was going to be painful and that she wouldn’t remember anything the next day. That didn’t make her any less terrified. She had been quiet the whole ride, offering him a small smile here and there. Her body was wound so tightly, her fever reaching its peak just as Cliff was putting the truck in park. She looked to the left, her wide eyes roaming over to the side mirror and watching Indra exit his vehicle.

Cliff’s voice brought her back and she looked over at him, staring blankly as she processed what was said. "I’m really nervous," she admitted with a small laugh, reaching up to brush her blond hair away from her face. "And scared," she said quietly, picking at some fuz on her sweat pants. And then she jumped, having forgot about Indra coming up to the side of their vehicle. She reached up, placing a shaking hand over her heart, before slowly opening the door. "Hey, Indra. Um... sure?" Shge didn’t want to seem like a complete chicken.

She hoped out of the truck, folding her arms protectively over her chest to ward away the chill of the night air on her feverish skin. Turning toward the ever energetic Natasha. At least they were all excited. She was about to shake herself out of her darn clothes if she wasn’t careful. "Where you scared, Nat? You’re first time?"

Well, that wasn't a surprise. "That's normal." He said with a fond little huff. "It'll go over quick-" But there was Indra coming up, and Cliff stopped mid sentence. He was thankful for Indra and Natasha's upbeat presence. Doing this one on one would have been... Doable, but miserable. Cliff cracked a smile as he opened the door and jumped out. He glanced toward Natasha as she twirled, a soft huff of laughter at her childish display. It took the edge off this whole thing, and Cliff found himself actually excited. Despite Riley's nerves, which he did feel bad for.

"Let's get the blankets." He suggested to Indra with a wave of his hand toward Indra, and moved to the bed of his truck to fish them out and hand a few to the man. When his arms were loaded up, he glanced toward the girls. "Kay, lets walk and talk. I want to hike down a ways before we shift." He said to the group as a whole, then... just started on down. There wasn't really a path, so they'd have to be careful.

Blankets were a good idea- especially considering it was quite cold out. It was one of the things Indra disliked about being a were- in the winter you were usually freezing until the shift was complete. He'd never thought of just wrapping up in a blanket beforehand though. Or having blankets available for after the shift. "Right, yeah," he said, following Cliff to retrieve some of the blankets.

The other man mentioned walking and talking, and Indra liked that idea too. He looked back at Natasha as Riley asked her what it was like to shift for the first time. Indra remembered some of his first time, and he was sure Cliff did too. Shifting for the first time wasn't something you tended to forget about. But, Natasha's had been a lot more recent than either his or Cliff's.

Had she been nervous the time? Hell, Natasha hadn't even known it was coming, she had been in her apartment back in California when it had happened. She had been drinking, actually packing up for her move to Colorado when the pain had hit. A terrible pain that Natasha assumed had caused her to blackout, and when she woke her apartment had been trashed. She had brushed it off as her going into a drunken rampage.

Needless to say she did not get the deposit back.

"Um, I really didn't know what was happening the first time, so no nervousness there." She gave an apologetic smile, glancing over towards Cliff and Indra as they spoke.

Why the heck did they need blankets? The question was clear on her face as she watched Indra grab the wanted items, moving to walk with Cliff, bumping his arm with her elbow. "So what are the blankets for?" She hummed, keeping her voice low, because she didn't want to sound like a complete idiot if it was for something totally obvious.

Righty. She could do quick. But that didn’t mean she was any less nervous. The sweat in her palms was evidence enough if that. She still felt like an outsider and after today maybe she would finally understand what everyone was talking about.

Riley’s frown deepened, forcing herself to take a deep breathe at Nat’s response. Great. She fell behind as the other woman walked up to Cliff, biting her li thoughtfully. At least she was in her element. She loved the sound of birds chirping in the trees, the sound more intense now that literally all of her senses were improving. She stayed silent, watchful, too nervous to speak but hoping she didn’t show it.

The walk down took a bit of time, considering it wasn't exactly paved. By the time they were in the belly of the ravine, the sun was sinking below the horizon. They wouldn't have much time. So, with the mounting mix of excitement and anticipation from the bear, Cliff hurried everyone along to a spot he'd found last time he was here. A little nook in the wall of the canyon that created a tiny cavern. It was there that he laid down the blankets, but kept one for Riley.

When all was said and done, he looked to the blonde girl with a reassuring glance. "Okay, we, uh. We're gonna step away from everyone." He said, loud enough for the others to hear. "Indra, you good with staying with Natasha?" There wasn't much of an option, but he felt bad not asking. He would lead Riley away then, down a ways further toward the water's edge, where there were a good number of rocks.

"So, usually the best thing to do is just strip down so you don't have to worry about clothes. You can go around there, and use the blanket, if you want. Then I'll come around and talk you through it... you got this." It felt weird asking her to get naked, then offering her to coach her through. But... you know, just letting her wing it felt worse. He was sure it wouldn't matter either way, but. Eh.

Soon enough, they were in a little cavern. Indra was a lot warmer now that they'd essentially been hiking, but as he stood in the nature-made shelter, he considered maybe making a fire to help keep everyone warm. A quick glance out towards the sky stopped him from making the suggestion, though. There wouldn't be too much longer to go before the sun set and the moon was out.

Cliff and Riley started to leave, and Indra gave them both a thumbs up, both for good luck and for letting them know he was cool staying with Natasha. He grabbed the left over blankets and handed one to Natasha. "So, basically, you'll want to get undressed and cover up with the blanket. Shifting will rip up your clothes. So, I'll stand by at the mouth of the cave to be sure no one's coming while I undress, and I'll keep my back towards you so you can have some privacy. Does that work?"

Watching Cliff and Riley leave, Natasha shot Riley a reassuring smile despite her own insecurities about the whole shifting thing. She barely remembered it, but one thing that did stand out in the fuzziness was the immense pain, which was not something that she was looking forward to in the slightest. Grasping the blanket from Indra, Natasha nodded, not exactly the modest time when it came to her body, and therefore perfectly fine with being butt naked in front of others, guy or not.

Plus, she had a blanket, so that was cool! Waiting for Indra to turn and begin undressing, Natasha did the same, throwing everything to the side as she wrapped the blanket around herself, before giggling at the sight before her. "Surprised I haven't shifted yet with a full moon being so prominent before me." She giggled, straight staring at the ass before her.

She was practically shaking. She didn't know if it was from nerves or if the changed was near. Either way, it made focusing extremely difficult. Beads of sweat clung to her forehead as she nodded following Cliff as he lead her away from Indra and Natasha. She was used to rough terrain from living in the woods all those years, but she found it hard to see them, her vision blurring. She found herself reaching for Cliff several times, only to have him away (if she even touched him at all) for fear that she would bring him down with her if she fell.

She could only half hear what he was saying, the roar in he ears too loud as the sun lowered itself below the horizon and out came the moon. The sweat got worse. "O-okay," she whispered, grabbing the blanket that he offered and gripped it close to her chest. She didn't want to undress, the clothes already clinking to her like a second skin. But the fabric was irritating and she unfolded the blanket and slowly, painfully stripped. It felt like she ran a marathon with absolutely no training. She knelt, folding her damp clothes, still holding on to one corner of the blanket. The night air was cool against her feverish skin and it helped. A little.

Just as she was standing again, it happened. A sharp, audible and very painful snap. She screamed as it forced her to double over. She knew it would be painful, but she hadn't expected this. Then again, it was no different than the pain she felt when Cliff originally gripped her around her mid-section. She still had scars around her back and abdomen that shone brightly against her already pale skin. She ground her teeth, one hand bracing against the rocky ground while the other glued to the blanket, not because she was scared of prancing around naked in front of a guy (well, maybe a little at first) but because she seemed unable to let go of it. Another snap sounded, her bones breaking and reforming and she gritted her teeth against it, unwilling to let out another scream.

And so it went: Snap. Grunt. Breath. Snap. Grimace. Breath. She didn't know how long it took, but she prayed that it would be over soon. Prayed until her thoughts were no longer hers.

Cliff resigned himself to standing with his back to the rock, arms crossed as he waited. He heard the rustling of clothing and the shaky breathing of Riley from behind. He guessed... he could probably start undressing. So off went the shoes and socks, and his shirt. He was just working on his pants when he heard it. The sickening, familiar, crack of bone. Cliff twisted around, tensed as he peered at the rock. A pained cry. "Fuck." He breathed. She was shifting before he could get there and really brief her for what was about to happen. Cliff stepped to the side and peered around the rock. It was a grizzly sight, seeing a body twist and snap. Something he wouldn't ever get used to.

Also something that his own bear took as a cue to go. Before he could really manage more than shoving his jeans to his ankles, his spine twisted violently. He gasped as he fell forward, palms driving into the rock as he lowered himself to his knees, then dropped to his side with a heavy thud. The next few minutes consisted of bending and snapping and pained cries that deepened in pitch as his body swelled and got a lot hairier. Eventually, and before Riley was finished, a seven foot beast rose from atop tattered denim and cotton.

The bear grunted through flaring nostrils, his head bobbing as he stepped around the rocks to peer down at the transforming beast. As her body convulsed in the final stages of shift, he stepped closer to his fellow kodiak. She was smaller and lighter, but very clearly of the same species. There was a kinship there that was magnified by the forms they took, and the bear found himself rumbling fondly as he stuck his nose into the ruff of her neck. Snoof.

Normally, it didn't take Indra long at all to undress. Why would it? He always wore minimal clothes anyway. But this time, he first stared off at the sunset for a moment, appreciating it, before finally getting with the program and undressing. His cheeks (on his face) burned red after he pulled his pants and boxers down and heard Natasha's comment. He gave a laugh all the same and shook his ass just a bit. "What's the hold up then?" he asked, chuckling still as he grabbed the blanket and wrapped it around him like a cloak.

The air felt nice on the little bit of exposed skin of his face and legs. The hike had been... a hike, and despite being a bear, Indra was not the most in shape. He walked further inside the cave and laid down on the floor. "I like to lay down before the shift happens," he started, craning his neck to look at Natasha. "It still hurts, but at least you won't fall over and hit your head while you shift."

He looked back out the mouth of the cave, seeing that it was now dark. The sun had finished setting, and he could feel the moon rising. "It's gonna start any second now, Natasha. You ready? You should come over here and lay down too."

Smiling, Natasha clutched her own blanket tighter, the nerves going into overdrive as Indra made to sit down, slowly making her way towards him, as if the slower she walked, the slower the shift would happen. She couldn't stop it though, she knew this, despite it only being her second time, and if she walked too slow, she'd being doing exactly what Indra was trying to prevent... Hit her head.

Sighing, Natasha sat onto the cool floor, shaking despite the heat of her skin, as she looked out towards the night sky, glancing towards the full moon for just a moment. A fleeting thought crossing her mind that, hey, maybe nothing would happen, to only be cut very short as a loud snap filled the air, pain seeming to envelope her whole body as folded in on herself with a audible gasp.

She might of screamed, she wasn't sure, for there was more cracking, spine snapping and body bending into a shape and size that was completely unnatural. The pain only seemed to grow as the shift continued, Natasha sure she was going to just up and die, when suddenly, she wasn't thinking anymore.

Only black, as a bear now stood in her place, bright blue eyes wandering around the cave curiously as she stood onto her hind legs, snuffling at the air around her.

It was better not knowing what was going to happen. The less she knew, the less she had to anticipate. Anticipation was what got her nerves in trouble. It felt like it took forever, but before Riley knew it, she had no voice, no thought process, only a blank slate in the realm of peaceful oblivion. Even the pain was gone.

And there stood the bear. A bear that had the shake of a Kodiak but her fur was lighter, close to cream around her shoulders and eyes of pale pink. Fitting, considering it was one of her favorite colors. The bear roared, the sound echoing for miles around her, the vibration of her vocal cords relaxing as a beast was finally born.

She looked over to see another bear approaching, regarding him Cooley as he approached, greeting her and touching her neck. A low growl sounded. Who was this... this male? She turned toward him regarding his larger form as if he were nothing more than an ant to be eaten. If Riley were present she’d have been mortified, but she wasn’t.

She attempted to blow in his face before turning away, waddling over the rocks. Her pink gaze looking at the flow of water just before her paws and listening to the sounds of nature around her.


The female seemed 0% interested in him, and even huffed and puffed in his face. The Kodiak gave a low murmur of offense, reminded distinctly of Maxine’s bear. She was always so mean :(. Not really mean, but any attention that wasn’t devoted to allowing him to snoofle and drooble and wrestle was considered mean in the Kodiak’s book. The bear huffed as the female traipsed off, and he had half a mind to follow after her. But the sounds from nearby and the smell of even more bear distracted him, and he lifted a stupidly huge head to peer over to where he knew he’d left some friends.

His heavy feet carried him that way, but he did keep tabs on where the female was wandering. She was giant, too, so it wasn’t like she could get very far. At least not far enough away that he couldn’t see her. The cave smelled more and more of bear the closer he got. At the mouth, he paused and looked in to send a loud MOoOOoOOOO echoing into it. Come out, friends. Maybe one of them wouldn’t ignore him.

Almost as soon as Natasha was on the ground, she started shifting. The moon starting to rise and the sight of seeing Natasha start to shift caused Indra's own bones to start snapping. He gritted his teeth and tried to keep it from fully taking over yet. He needed to make sure Natasha was going to be alright. But he hadn't really ever tried to hold back his bear on a full moon before, and in a matter of seconds, Indra couldn't hold anything back longer and with a yell, the bear finally began to break through.

It was only a moment that Natasha was by herself own bear self before Indra, a fat, rotund Himalayan bear was staring back. He walked closer to Natasha- or Mary as she had called her bear before- and gave a grunt in greeting. He sniffed at her, enjoying her familiar bear scent. A friend! It was only then that a louder noise sounded through the cave. Bear Indra turned to see a giant Kodiak looking at the two of them, marooing for them to come out. Bear Indra was only too happy to do so.

Almost like a puppy, he bounded towards the bigger bear, excited bear noises huffing out of his mouth as he practically jumped on top of the bigger Kodiak. Another friend! :D

The cave was cool, and dark, taking just a moment for Mary's eyes to adjust before moving towards her familiar company, knew, yet not knew, for the scent was not totally unfamiliar as the male made to sniff at her, the ginger bear offering a head bump in return before jerking up at the sound of another at the entrance.

Excitement bubbled in her, the male currently with her taking off already to meet the new friend, Mary letting out a little grunt at being the last one as her own paws thwapted hard along the floor, skidding to a halt as she came face to face with another large male! Rising to her hind legs, Mary allowed her front paws to hang daintily in front of her, letting out a maroo of greeting, and snuffling towards the others ear in interest.

Two friends. Two friends! And was that a third she smelled nearby? Bright blue eyes turned to inspect, bellowing out as her eyes made contact with the others backside.

Come back!

Yes. Finally alone. Not that she really wanted to be, she just wanted her space. Time to explore. Time to hunt, to fish in the stream below. She was so hungry that play was not in the forefront of her mind and as that other grizzly bear huffed and walked away, she took a deep breath, her round ears and nose twitching as she took in the noises and scents around her.

Riley was just about meander off when a call from behind caused her to hault, her fluffy butt swinging around as she looked up at the other bear that had called to her. Pink eyes met blue that bear vastly different from her own... from the male that had originally greeted her. Curiosity caused her to walk forward, though her stomach let out a terrible growl, answering the others' call with a unique one of her own.

If she were human, Riley would have blushed, instead, she grunted, showing her defiance. Such polar opposites, the human and the beast. After a moment of decided what mattered most, Riley strode forward, her pale body shuffling along the bank before heading up toward the opening of a cave, before coming up to the smaller, decidedly less fluffy, brown bear. Cute. She grunted. What? she said, before plopped her massive behind down on the not-so-even-rocks beneath her.

Now THAT was what he was looking for! Two bears came meandering out, and the kodiak was happy to greet them with snuffles and head butts. But the male, one he distantly noted as Indra, came barreling toward him. And was he ever ready! With a loud "haruff!" the bear reeled back onto his hind legs, rising to a solid fifteen feet as he wrapped his forelegs around the neck of the other bear. The impact brought him staggering backward, but it wasn't enough to topple him backward completely. The bear maroooo'd happily, and ducked his head to one side as he shoved his weight that direction, tugging the other bear along in attempt to wrestle him to the ground.

"Him big," was the only thought that went through Bear Indra's mind as he playfully charged the Kodiak. It didn't matter that the other bear had a good 4 or 5 feet height advantage- Bear Indra barreled into him all the same, wrapping his own fat, furry front legs around his waist. He huffed happily and gave a short maroo of alarm as both bears tumbled to the side, unaware that this had been Cliff's idea all along.

As the pair came crashing down though, Bear Indra realized that this was still a game. Being smaller, he was a little quicker on his feet, and he tried to get on top of the larger bear to nip at his ears and rough house. He paused when another large bear appeared, and for a moment, he thought the other Kodiak was a polar bear until he sniffed the air and realized it was Riley. Bear Indra marooed happily at her before turning back to Cliff to try to bite at him some more.

The other was coming back, and the bears beside her were playing, and Mary was just buzzing with excitement that was just uncontainable to say the least. As the female sat before her, Mary took it as her opportunity to play as well, full unaware of the height difference between the two as she barreled herself forward, forearms moving to wrap around the other.


It was obvious what she wanted, giving a little shuffle as she resisted the urge to just plow into the female, waiting for the other to engage in the playing as well, because that was the nice thing to do.... HURRY!

She eyed the other bear with her pink eyes, only having a moment to sit before the small, pretty cute, bear wrapped it's small, stubby arms around her. She grunted, before letting the slight push caused her to tilt the other way and fall over, hitting the ground with a little umph.

Dramatic, really, but that was fine. She could play with the cute bear as long as she was able to fish afterward. The other two males played behind her and one greeted her briefly before engaging in play.

They were all a bunch of dogs. Not that she knew what that was. Her massive paws pawed at the cute little bear, wiggling on her back as she did so. Oh. this was nice. This was a nice scratch.

Though oversized in his own right, Indra was still small compared to the Kodiak. It was always a nice change of pace, being the biggest. Even for a Kodiak, he was on the smaller side, but the were size helped make up for the difference. It was easy to shove the smaller bear to the ground, then promptly place a gargantuan paw against the side of his head and shove downward. His weight pressed forward. Squuuuuiiish.

Indra watched as the two female bears started playing and felt genuine bear happiness at his bear friends. This pause in rough housing, though brief, managed to catch Indra off guard as Cliff knocked him back down and started squishing his big, stupid head. Indra grunted and groaned beneath the paw, though he knew he wasn't in any real danger. This was all play.

He kicked his back paws out, managed to get some traction, and shot out from under Cliff's massive paw. He stood off to the side now, looking over the land from the little cliff (the land, not the bear) he was standing on, and suddenly got in the mood for a good run. He turned and looked back at his friends and marooed at them. Hey, there's some exploring to do!

The female tilted, and Mary wiggled, little rump giving a shake as she made to push a paw into the others cheek, a barooroo roo escaping her lungs as the other pawed back at her. She enjoyed the game, despite it being cut short as the first male she had met marooed towards their group, Mary's head flying around to stare for a brief moment before hurriedly back pedaling as she whipped her way towards the male.

Exploring was indeed needed, and there was no way that she was going to miss out!

Turning towards the other male and female who looked similar in their own way, Mary called for them to hurry up, impatient paws scuffing at the dirt beneath them.

It was all taking so long though, and before long she was barreling past Indra, making her way further into the woods.

She let out a rooooraw, her jaws split and her head tilting backward as she lazily pawed at the cute little bear. It ended all too quickly before Mary backed off her, heading toward another male that Riley had yet to meet. She rolled shaking the the ruff of her neck before turning toward the pair, Mary calling out to her and Cliff. She had wanted to go adventure earlier, but no one wanted to go. Nooooo. She huffed showing her disappointment before excitement for adventure propelled her forward, her large paws shaking the ground as she jogged toward them.

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