Whip It

Sk8 City 
Friday, January 11th

 Ingrid was, thanks to some unfortunate slip of the memory, one day too early for the roller derby thing. She stared at the flyer just outside the building, scowling at the boldly written SATURDAY NIGHT at the bottom. It was a little irritating that she had driven all this way on the wrong evening. She had half a mind to turn around and go home - but that would be a waste of a Friday night.

 And so, the woman made her way inside, where it was warm enough that she instantly needed to remove her coat, lest the heat make her even more irritable. In the rink, many young people rolled around at various speeds, mostly what appeared to be teenagers racing each other and nearly mowing over much smaller children who strayed too far from the wall. Her beast was keenly aware of the children in all their youthful fragility.

 She went through the motions of renting a pair of inline roller blades and finding a locker in which to stow her valuables, and shoes. Settling on a bench to strap the blades to her feet, she considered the potential good fortune in her misstep. Maybe trying out for roller derby was not the best idea. Slamming into other people at high speeds seemed like a sure fire way to let the cat out of the bag. Literally.

 Tentatively, having not skated in a few years and generally unfamiliar with the type of movement required, Ingrid hobbled across the carpet to the mouth of the rink. She eyed the waxy floor warily, and slowly, slowly, made her way onto it. The wheels rolled easily, or at least they would have, if she could figure out how to transition from awkward, heavy stomping to a more graceful sort of gliding pattern. That would have to happen before she stopped clinging to the wall, which she was incredibly good at.

Fun fact! When she wasn't rescuing men with cold weather migraines and taking care of were body hair, Nydia actually did like to get out and have fun. One of her favorite hobbies — skating!

Roller skating, ice skating, blading, you name it, she liked it. Nydia was here moving in polite time with the rest of the crowd, doing the occasional spin every so often just to enjoy the fact that she could. There was a lot that was wonderful about being able to glide across the floor like some kind of... bird. A bird on wheels.

Eh, it was a good enough analogy.

She did keep an eye on people entering, trying not to make them feel awkward but also not wanting to collide into them while they were just getting their bearings.

Such was one woman, a really pretty tall viking-looking blonde, looking anything but at home here. Nydia decided to slow, and then... Well, she couldn't help it! Went over to her.

"Hello!" she waved with gentle enthusiasm. "Do you need some help?"

 Ingrid was not expecting to be approached by anyone. Especially not someone offering to help. Her eyes darted up from the shiny floor at her feet to the woman who had rolled up to her. She was a tiny thing, and her hair was beautiful! The lioness, despite feeling a particular pinching in her pride, decided: why not? Military life was surely more humbling than holding a stranger's hand on the roller rink, right?

 "I have... never done this before," she said, her expression some watered down version of embarrassment and displeasure. How the hell had she thought she was going to get anywhere with roller derby? "I'm not sure how to make myself glide instead of walk."

Wonderful that she was not being waved away. Nydia did love to help others, and liked it even more when they accepted her help.

"That's okay! Everyone starts somewhere," she smiled encouragingly, and offered out her hand to grasp. "Come, I'll show you."

She'd wait until the woman at least let go of the railing before continuing, noting immediately that her hand was very, very warm. Were-warm, which meant she was either an extremely hot blooded human or, more likely in these times, a were. Ah, best be careful, Nydia.

She'd smile, but offer little else through force of will. She was teaching a woman to skate! Nothing else mattered!

"Alright," she started. "First thing you'll want to do is, keep your feet shoulder length, and squat a little, like this," she demonstrated using herself. "That way you're better balanced!"

 So kind and encouraging! Ingrid smiled a little at the redheaded lady, even if she was feeling a little patronized. She took her hand all the same, unabashed by the touch, hobbling along until she figured out what better movements to make.

 Feet shoulder length apart? The blonde looked down at her skate-clad feet and made an attempt to adjust accordingly, and then looking up again as the woman offered her own posture as an example. Focusing back on herself for a moment, she lowered herself similarly. As a personal trainer, she understood the importance of form. The hand that wasn't grasping her new teacher's was held out some as a means of keeping herself balanced. "Okay. I think I've got that. Now what."

"Wonderful!" she praised, almost clapping but remembering that would likely not be appreciated. Skaters skated by, and she was certain they would be joining them soon.

"Now, before you can glide, you have to walk, but! You have to point your toes outward. It's a very strange feeling, but try it a few steps. Slowly. I have you, but I fell a few times at first too."

She would move slowly with her, prepared for the latter to happen.

 Ingrid considered the woman at her side curiously. She was so... peppy. Maybe she was a school teacher. Focusing on the instruction given, she looked down at her toes again. Point them out. That sounded unnatural, and felt even more so when she actually did it. Her ankles threatened to roll in, wheels going from centered to toed inward, and she tensed up, squeezing the human's hand perhaps a little too hard for a moment before she felt like she was actually getting the hang of this bizarre movement.

Aaaaaaahahahah ow. That grip was painful and she grit her teeth for it, but thankfully it was over soon.

"Woo!" she exhaled, both getting over the pain and also sort of cheering the woman on. "You're good at this, you're going to be a natural!"

Praise was important!

"Okay, now with your feet like this, slowly go from steps to pushing a little bit so the wheels are carrying you. Just a little at first, let yourself get the hang of it. Ready?"

She'd move with her.

 Ingrid was feeling increasingly more like a child with every word that came out of this lady’s mouth. She did feel a little more confident about this, though.

 She nodded at the instructions, and did as she was told, shuffling her feet one at a time with an agonizing slowness. It didn’t take too long before she realized she was speeding up, and could hardly keep herself from grinning over at the human as she prepared to release her hand. It was this movement of looking away and not being conscious of her movements that would promptly result in the blades rolling out from under her.

She was getting it! She was getting it! She was—

"Ahh!" Nydia screamed but also laughed (how can you not laugh when you knew this was coming eventually), and she tumbled over the other lady's leg and barely caught herself on her hands.

More laughter as she turned around, a little reassuring "Bound to happen, we'll get this!"

Her leg sported a small scratch, not too bad. She moved her leg and began pushing herself up, with the intention of helping her student up once she got there.

 If tailbones could cry, Ingrid felt certain hers would. Her eyes flashed from blue to gold for a hot second as her beast attempted to assess the threat in this sudden fall. Lady fell like prey. No. Bad kitty.

 She kept her eyes down, doing her best to send a message of calm to the big dumb cat as the red headed lady giggled and spoke words that were likely meant to make her feel better. It truly was the thought that counted, and Ingrid smiled a little at her skates for it.

 Slowly and a bit unsteadily, Ingrid would haul her weight upward as she held onto the woman’s hand, this time careful not to grab or pull too hard. Eventually she was back on her feet, angling the skates as they had been before. "You are a great teacher," she remarked with fondness in her tone. "Is that what you do for work? I could see you in such a position."

Eventually they were up, none the worse for wear. Nydia appreciated the... appreciation, and laughed.

"Thank you — but no! I actually work at the spa in Magic Hollow. Stardust, have you heard of it?"

If not, she was ready to educate! Nydia started up again, slowly, trying to make sure to keep pace with her new, possibly animalistic friend. At least she hadn't shifted when they'd fallen!

 Oh. A spa employee - she had been way off. "No, I haven't. Do you like it?" Ingrid returned to carefully sliding her feet across the waxy rink floor, releasing her hand to keep from yanking her down should she fall again. It seemed probable. Slowly, her movements were getting a little smoother, strides a little longer despite faintly trembling legs.

"I do, a lot!" she answered with enthusiasm. "You should come by, we offer pretty much all services. If you ask for me, I'll even give you your first visit free."

She tossed the lady a wink, not missing how she was getting into the whole skating movement.

She decided not to call attention to it.

 She laughed, a warm sound as she considered the meaning of "all services." Come get a haircut, a lip wax, and a pedicure all under one roof! And, she was being offered a free visit. That was kind of her, but Ingrid also recognized it as a way to get her little human claws in her. What the hell, maybe she would go check it out.

 "Okay. I'll look it up." This was said with some distraction, as most of her energy was being lasered down to her feet and the movements they made. "Wait - who do I ask for? What's your name?" She stuck her tongue out a little, biting lightly on it as she took the risk to take a longer stride. Success!

"Oh! Nydia," she answered. "Like Lydia but with an 'N!'"

She didn't miss either that the other woman was experimenting with a longer stride. How wonderful! Nydia kept pace with her, not wanting to throw her off balance or anything.

"What about you, what's your name?" she asked, adding cheekily, "so I remember to treat you!"

 Lydia, but with an N. Ingrid nodded to show that she would lock it into her memory. If she didn't think too hard about the motions she was making on these roller blades, it was actually quite a... natural movement! Glide, glide, glide. She crouched a little extra, pouring her weight to one side to make the curve without hitting the wall or falling again.

 She grinned in a flash of teeth, looking ahead as she spoke. "My name is Ingrid. It's nice to meet you - thanks for teaching me to rollerblade." Teaching her to skate and a free whatever spa treatment. She decided she liked this Nydia woman.

Ingrid! That was a very old fashioned name, but it seemed to suit her in a way that made it fierce. "Ingrid, then! You're very welcome, you're doing great!" she cheered.

"So, do you have other things you like to do? Maybe there is something you could teach me!"

 Yes, she was doing great. Thank you, spa teacher. "Well. Physical fitness, mostly. I am a personal trainer at Fuse Fitness. My life kind of revolves around that." That, and the moon, but whatever. A shrug of her shoulders, as much as she could while focusing on falling into this easy rhythm. "I can give you a free session or two if you like. To return the favor."

Her eyebrows went up at that — made sense. And the offer was a return of her own, but it didn't make it any less sweet. Nydia smiled and nodded. "Yes, I'd love that! I don't know a damn thing about fitness, could definitely work out some flab for the summer."

She laughed at that, appreciating how well Ingrid had taken to skating and appreciating just making a friend!

She'd definitely have to remember to exchange numbers with her after.

"Fuse Fitness is in... Larkspur, right? Is that your haunt?"

 Ingrid sort of giggled at the woman's response, but it was not quite girlish enough to really be considered a giggle. "Perfect!" It really was. She could start Nydia from scratch - teach her the right way to do things. Clay in a potter's hand.

 "Yea, that's where it is. I live in the Hollow though. I'm... surprised I've never spotted your salon." As an afterthought, she added, "I do like to hike around North Glenn sometimes also." Did that satisfy her haunt question? Ingrid was undoubtedly such a creature of habit that her trekking didn't vary too much.

She did like a person who didn't just hang around in one spot all the time. It was something she was trying to improve on. "Oh my, you're all over the place!" she complimented approvingly. Nydia moved carefully around a small child, smiling back at her.

"At least it's convenient for you to get to then, I think! And you'll have to take me hiking some time too, I'm not very experienced in it!"

Thoughtful, though if she was a were, that would be problematic. Perhaps she'd say as much.

 There was a feeling here that Nydia was making a fast friend of herself. Ingrid had already decided that she liked her; she seemed very genuine and kind. With a smile for her words, the lioness made an attempt at speeding up a little bit, but not too much! She wouldn't want to lose the spa lady. "Deal," she agreed warmly. "Don't let me forget to get your number before we part ways."

There was no protest, and so perhaps she was not a were after all! Or perhaps she just had control.

A more softly competitive grin as she began to speed up, and Nydia followed, keeping pace as much as she could without colliding into others.

"Absolutely!" she agreed, and she would remember if Ingrid did not.

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