I wouldn't say I love it

24 Hour McDonalds 
#1
The drive from Lavender Heights to Ravenswood wasn't a very long one, but there was plenty of time to get to know Summer a little bit better before they were at the McDonald's. Indra had just finished the story of how he'd been camping in the woods of California when he and his friends had been attacked by some bears. It had not been a good point in his life, yet no one would be the wiser to it as Indra told it with plenty of jokes.

As they crossed the line between Lavender Heights and Ravenswood, Indra looked over briefly at Summer. "So, how about you? How'd you get to become a hyena?"

@"Summer Andrade"
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#2
Indra was really good company--and Summer laughed plenty at his story. Turning stories were interesting like that--they were actually horrible, but once you got past the trauma they were just, well, a story point.

She didn't mind the returned question at all and she drummed her fingers happily on the door she leaned against. "Well, you might think I'm crazy, sayin' this. But I used to be able to like... talk to animals. Not understand 'em or nothing, but I could tell 'em what to do. It was pretty neat."

Pausing to look at him, she expected some fashion of reaction to that, so her story stalled.
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#3
Indra had definitely heard stories about people with special abilities- abilities not related to having an animal take up residence in your body. He glanced over for a brief second at her, showing that he was indeed interested in her story and didn't find her ability odd at all. "That is pretty neat, and I definitely don't think you're crazy. There's a lot of odd things out there in the world."

He gave her a smile, to encourage her to continue, though he had a good guess of where her story was heading. Still, Indra loved hearing stories from other people, and he wasn't about to ruin the ending of hers by guessing what had happened.
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#4
"True!" she agreed, more pleased with him by the minute. "It was a fun trick, I guess. Made going out into the woods and stuff not at all scary. See a moose? Tell it to vamoose--you know, stuff like that. Had some great encounters over the years."

Sometimes she really did miss it.

"But yeah, anyway, was camping actually out in the Redwoods when this weird-ass hyena came out of nowhere. Almost didn't realize it was a hyena cause it didn't look so much like the ones in Lion King. Looked like some wolverine had gotten fucked by a wolf or somethin'." The way she described her own species was very flattering, wasn't it? "Bright blue eyes and huge as hell. I was feeling confident, though, told it to stay put and play nice--and instead of course it decided to give me the old all-teeth-chomp."

Nearly took off her shoulder, but hey, that wasn't good storytelling for a cute guy you were kinda trying to impress.
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#5
Indra tried not to laugh at the description of the hyena who'd sired Summer. Still, it was funny, and he couldn't help the little smile that tugged at the corner of his mouth. "So did the person stick around after they chomped you or did they just skedaddle?" He pulled up to the McDonald's parking lot and found a close spot, and though he turned the truck off, he didn't open the door just yet, interested instead in hearing Summer's answer.

"I didn't know the person who bit me and my friends. Guy just came into our camp, probably made 3 or 4 bears, and then was gone."
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#6
"Man, I could tell you if that yeener was a girl or a guy, so you are free to infer from that what you will." She laughed, then sighed. It was almost too sad to admit she hadn't seen another hyena in her entire life until she'd met Pete. Who... hmm, she should probably text that lady again sometime soon. What a wild one.

Content to sit until he made the move to leave the truck, she eyed her companion, pondering, "So did ya stick with your friends or...?"
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#7
There was the sting of regret that flooded through his veins at the woman's question. But this wasn't sad hour time with a pretty hyena and a dumb bear. "We all sorta had different ideas on how to deal with the attack. Mine was become a drifter for a few years before getting tired and moving back home." He gave her a smile then and opened the truck door, happy to end it there on that. New friends didn't need to get that deep yet.

"So, what's your favorite McDonald's trash?" he asked as they headed towards the restaurant. "I sometimes find myself having Big Mac attacks."
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#8
He was not the first loner that she'd met. Strictly speaking, she'd been a longer for a long time--and still was, minus the fact that Pete existed. But at the same time, she didn't understand it. She craved the idea of a group. Watching the wolverines, with their home, and their companionship, and even the leadership... she'd had long enough flying solo to know that she'd give up basically anything to have others like her to rely on.

But, well... maybe he'd learned the hard way, and maybe that was why he'd come back here. It was why she had come here, after all, even if the Cackle had disappeared about the same time she had arrived. Ironically terrible.

It didn't see much like he was looking to talk about it, and she wasn't about to get all deep-diving in a McDonald's parking lot, so... letting it go. She'd question Indra's motives some other time, if it came to that.

She tucked her thumbs into her own back pockets and followed him with a flowering smile. "Honestly, I'm right there with ya. It's the special sauce that does it, I think. Though I hear they're putting bacon on them right now if you want?!"

Summer literally just remembered this, and it lit her up as she realized what she was about to partake in.
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#9
"Damn, really?" he asked, looking up at the windows in front of them. Sure enough, there was an advertisement for Bacon Big Macs, Bacon Quarter Pounders, and even Bacon cheesy fries. He could already feel his mouth start to water at the thought, and though he'd initially been planning on loading up on some McDoubles, since they were only a dollar, but the call of bacon was going to be hard to pass up. Even his bear seemed to salivate at the thought.

"I might just get all three," he halfway mumbled to himself and then looked at Summer with a grin. "Growing bear body and everything," he said quietly. He also wasn't sure if he should pay for Summer's food too. He didn't mind. He had more strings at home, and he could play around Ravenswood a bit and hit up Cordova tomorrow for the rent money he actually needed. But if Summer was more interested in paying for her own food, he wouldn't stop her. "Since I invited you, do you want me to get your food?" he finally just asked.
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#10
"Really!"

And it was a good, exciting moment to share with someone who could appreciate food as much as she did.

Then he offered something she hadn't been sure if she was meant to expect or anything, but... "I just want a bacon Big Mac, so I will let you," she said with a grin, flattered by the offer alone. "Buuut. When we leave, I insist you let me buy you a McFlurry."

It was sort of her personal tradition. It didn't matter how full you were, there was always room for ice cream on the drive home or the walk to the bus station or whatever it was you were planning on doing once you left the golden arche's doorways.

All this didn't stop her, however, from hopping forward to be the one to grab the door and hold it open so he could go in first.
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#11
Indra gave an understanding nod coupled with his grin. Buying a bacon Big Mac was no problemo. Heck, he'd probably even get her an order of the bacon cheese fries too, since he imagined that it'd be difficult for anyone to not at least sample them. And if she truly didn't want them, he knew he could pack them in. "That sounds fair," he responded to her insistence on paying for ice cream. "It's a deal." Indra was about to head forward to pull the door open for Summer, but paused as she suddenly raced forward to get the door for him. Cute.

He smiled at her and gave a small bow as he walked in and up to the counter. At least he could order her food for her. "You wanna pick out a table? I'll order the food." Seemed like a fair trade. Plus, he could sneak in the extra order of fries without her knowing. Even if she wanted to order with him, he still went up to the cashier with a kind smile and placed the order for 2 Bacon Big Mac meals with cheesy bacon fries and a Bacon Quarter Pounder. His bear was already happily marooing inside him, pacing in excitement as he waited for beef and bacon.
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#12
This was a good deal and a good impromptu outing, and she filed in behind him with a characteristic smile and a bound to her step that made it seem like she was probably ready to go for a good run--but really she was walking into a place most often associated with less-than-healthy decisions. Well, jokes on you, suckers, she didn't worry about that shit!

And she was more than happy to go sit her butt down at a table. She nodded brightly to him and she went off, sitting at a booth near a window, puling out her phone. She had enough time on her hands to post that video she'd made--though she'd kindly trim off the end. Tag the location, #streetmusic, #nightlife, etc.

Sitting here just made her surprisingly hungry when an hour ago she would have told you she was plenty full.
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#13
With the order now placed and the money exchange taken care of, all Indra had to do was wait. Luckily, the McDonalds didn't seem to be too awfully busy, so they were able to live up to their name as a fast food restaurant. He filled up his cup with a Coke and then made his way over to Summer, taking care to not drop anything that had been put on the tray.

"Got you a meal," he said with a grin, holding out the empty cup towards her. "I know how girls like to steal fries, so I figured I'd just get you your own and if you truly didn't want them, then I'd just have more fries." A playful smirk and he sat down at the table, expecting Summer to go fill up her own cup with whatever highly sugared drink she pleased. Indra, meanwhile, would dole out the food, even going so far as to be a gentleman and let Summer's food stay on the tray so she didn't have to concern herself with the tabletop.
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#14
A meal! Really, too kind. She went so far as to roll her eyes, but with a smile that matched her, "I think that's sexist," that had absolutely no actual negative tone to it whatsoever. Any attempt at pretending would be ruined by her laugh, though, as she accepted his offering, and with a swift scoot out of the bench she was off to go and get her drink of choice--which today was orange fanta.

She came back to a nicely set up table and she shook her head at him. "For a bear in plaid, ya sure are awful gentlemanly."

Made her wonder, just a little, if he thought this was going somewhere. Maybe it was? If he kept this up... well, actually, she was reasonably certain he was getting her number unless he suddenly did a 180 into jerk-town.

Summer slid back into her spot, reaching foremost for the big mac box that was hers because she had to try this bacon business out for herself before she adulterated it with the concept of loaded mcdonald's fries.
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#15
Indra could tell she was joking, but he gave her a nod anyway. "You're right. Plenty of dudes steal fries too. I stand corrected." He gave her a wink and a chuckle to match before getting to setting the food out while she went to grab a drink. When she returned, he gave a shrug. "Are you suggesting that a bear in plaid wouldn't be gentlemanly?"

Well, an actual bear in plaid might just be angry, but Indra was raised with manners and he enjoyed people liking him, and that meant being courteous and kind to everyone he met. Indra reached for the fries first, simply because the idea of potato-y, cheesy, bacony goodness sounded the most appealing in that moment. He chewed slowly, as though he was some sort of fast food connoisseur attempting to detect hints of peanut oil and salt, but really he was just happily savoring the taste.

"Oh yeah, this is good," he said, grabbing his Coke to cleanse his palate as he grabbed the Quarter Pounder and started to unwrap it.
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#16
"I am suggesting that," she said without regret or cruelty but not in the least bit afraid to own up to it. Forgive her for the stereotypes, but unless they had a monocle, bears didn't strike her as the sort pull out your chair or make sure you had napkins.

Anything she might have said further in that moment, especially in agreement to him and his assessment of the bacon fries, was lost to her putting food in her mouth. Not the most flattering look, but a properly hungry woman never got bent out of shape about what she looked like with food going into her mouth, yeah? Either way, she was at least polite enough to not speak with her mouth that level of full.

So instead of words, he would get a muffled noise of agreement and a couple of vigorous nods. Special sauce plus bacon? Why hadn't they been doing this forever?
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#17
As she took a decent size bite of her burger, Indra smiled. He was glad she wasn't self-conscious of eating- though he imagined most weres weren't at this point. He understood where it all came from and wouldn't hold it against any man or woman who was like that, but he was still glad that she could show that she enjoyed the cheap, trashy food of McDonalds.

He took a bite of his own burger and shook his head. This was simply too good to be McDonalds. His bear marooed happily and pushed him to eat more, which he did without much hesitation. There was a lull in the conversation between the two, but Indra was okay with that. They were both enjoying their meals. They didn't have to talk.

But once he got about half way through his burger, he paused and looked back up at Summer. "You should come hang out with me and my other friends. You'd fit in well. They're all bears, but eh- weres are weres, right?"
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#18
Food was meant to be enjoyed in relative silence in her opinion, so this was fine by Summer. Tonight was an indulgent night, between her earlier meal and now this one, but she'd inevitably wake up hungry in the morning anyway. The fact that Indra wasn't going to be trying to ploy her with questions right now was another point in his favor--though she did take the chance to eye him up a little more. Tried to imagine that svelte face as a bear and struggled for it--but she imagined she looked nothing like a hyena, either.

The offer that arrived as she was busy picking her way through her fries was a bit of a surprise--for a couple of reasons. "And here I was thinking you didn't hang out with your kind. These your biting buddies?"

It wasn't a refusal of his offer, of course, but she was more curious than eager to see it with her own eyes at the moment.
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#19
"I didn't used to," he answered simply. "But that was because I didn't really know there were other bears. I mean, I knew about the bears in North Glenn, but I don't know- I thought I heard someone say once that they were mean. But when I went to check them out, they were pretty nice. Anyway, these friends aren't them and they're not the friends I was with when I was bear-ed. These are just random bears in Mountainside. The one guy who's brought us all together, Cliff, he's trying to get us our own spot. We're all pretty laid back, so it'd be cool."

He gave her a nod to enhance the coolness factor as he finished off the Quarter Pounder and grabbed the box for the bacon Big Mac. "You know any other hyenas? If they're cool, I'm sure they could hang out too."
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#20
Bears in North Glenn? That was news to her. She supposed it made sense, though, now that she was thinking about that. Knowing what Indra was and thinking back on the times she'd been to North Glenn--which weren't many--the feelings were similar. Well, huh, neat. But why Indra and his buddies weren't associated with that group was beyond her. Frankly, she would have killed for a Cackle right now, mean or not. She hadn't forgotten what Pete had said about the Crestview group before it had disbanded, but that didn't stop Summer from wishing it still existed.

Again, though, she kept her opinion of that to herself. As insane as she felt it was to shirk a group so close at hand, it wasn't really her business. And she was being invited to hang out with his buddies so...

"Hey, gimme your number before we leave and I will absolutely take you up on that. I only know one other hyena--I think she's cool, anyway. There used to be a Cackle in Crestview--that's actually why I moved here and everything. I've wanted one forever. But they poofed nearly about the time I showed up. Feel a little cursed, ya know?" She chuckled despite the fact that it was a genuine bummer, and filled the void in her heart with another hearty bite of hamburger.
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#21
"Yeah, definitely!" Indra said happily to the pretty girl asking for his number before they left. "You wanna switch phones for a second so we can put in our numbers?" That always seemed the easiest way to go about everything to him. He took another large bite of his burger as he listened to Summer talk about moving to Mountainside to be near a cackle, and how they were gone by the time she arrived. He suddenly felt like an ass talking about a group of bears that was already established and how he wasn't interested in them.

"Oh, geez, I'm sorry," he said gently, putting down his burger to properly empathize with the woman. "I bet there's a few other hyenas around in the area. I'll ask the bears if they know of any others. Who's your friend, just in case they know her. I don't wanna call you getting your hopes up that there's another hyena around and it turns out to be the person you already know."
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#22
Summer finished off some of her food before producing her phone. She opened up the contacts and slid it across to him, shaking her head at his apology. It as fine, even if she thought he was nuts for not taking what was right in front of him.

Anyway! "My friend is named Pete. Or... well, I don't think that's actually her first name, but that's what she goes by." Pete was, actually, probably pretty unforgettable, so she didn't doubt that anyone who had met her would remember her. "Met her when she chucked a can at a car that almost clipped me crossing a street. Hell of an arm."
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#23
Pete was the friend and he committed the name to memory. Indra gave a chuckle at Summer's first interaction with her and already liked the girl from the way she was described. No doubt she was hardly someone who would forgettable. "Right on," he said with a nod. They exchanged phones a moment later and Indra put in his name and number (of course making sure his name was written as 'Indra, the hot guitarist with the ass') and handed her phone back.

"My buddy Cliff owns the Pine Peak Sanctuary in Red Rock. It's mainly for weres to get together, especially on full moons when they need to shift. It's kinda our hangout spot, so you and Pete should definitely come."
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#24
She took her phone back from Indra and glanced at the contact to make sure it was saved... and promptly smirked at what he'd put his name as. Well, that was staying. She'd saved herself as "Summer 2_face_lips " because apparently the flirting was mutual.

Red Rock wasn't somewhere she went often, if at all, but if there was a Sanctuary out there--that sounded neat, but she wondered at the logistics of it--she supposed it was worth checking out. "Yeah, dude, you bet we will." Which meant contacting Pete--which she meant to do anyway. "God knows I need more friends. May as well use it as an excuse to see your bear booty."

Bare/bear, teehee.
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#25
Her own saved name was cute and Indra appreciated the fact that she was open to flirting with him too. This was going to be a good relationship- whatever kind it morphed into anyway. Summer was interested in Pine Peak, and Indra was excited to be able to tell Cliff.

"Awesome. And yeah, my bear booty is nice and round and fluffy." He gave a short laugh as he quickly finished off the rest of his fries. He'd yet to get to the other burger, which was fine, he could eat it later if need be. For now, it looked like maybe Summer was close to being done. "So, do you need a ride back to Lavender Heights or anything?"
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#26
She leaned into the table with her elbows and wiped her hand on one of the rough napkins. "I actually live on up in Crestview, but I can take the bus back, no worries." If he insisted on driving her home, well, she wouldn't put up a fight, but public transit didn't bother her one bit and she doubted Crestview was on his own way back home--wherever that was.
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#27
Indra nodded. Crestview wasn't too far away and he could give her a ride if she really wanted. "I live here in Ravenswood, so it's not a problem." He gave her a grin then as he grabbed the unwrapped burger to put it back in one of the bags. "You still owe me a McFlurry." Don't think he'd forgotten about that. :D
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#28
He was packing up and insisting, and who was she to give him grief for that?

Standing in a fluid motion, she grabbed the tray to go and trash the various bits of cardboard and paper. "That's right, I do. And guess what, you've been such good company I'll even let you pick your own flavor."
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#29
"Well, obviously it's gonna be Oreo." That flavor was classic, and in Indra's mind, the better of the two offered. He quickly stacked his trash on the tray as Summer stood up. He accompanied her to the trash and then to the front of the McDonald's to get the McFlurries.

Desserts in hand, Indra headed back to the truck, making sure to hold the restaurant door open for Summer. "Alright, let's get you home," he said with a grin, as he hurried back to the trucks passenger side. "Alright, you can go ahead and try to open it. I can hold your McFlurry if you want."
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#30
They both got Oreo, because Indra was absolutely correct.

But when they got the passenger door of his truck, she gave him a sly look, then shrugged one shoulder. Made up an excuse, "You're just going to take it for yourself if you do that. I'll let you open the door this time, since you were so nice about it last time."

Or maybe hey, she wasn't so insecure in her independence that she couldn't take a considerate gesture from a cute boy for what it was.
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#31
Indra gave a laugh and shook his head. "I would never steal ice cream from such a pretty person, but I will gladly open the door for you." He gave her a quick wink and, still holding his own McFlurry, yanked the door open for his passenger. He took a few steps back, pulling the door with him. "Your chariot awaits," he laughed.

Soon enough, they were both in the truck and Indra was carefully trying to hold the McFlurry, eat it, and drive while keep talking to Summer as they made their way into her neighborhood. All in all, what had started out as a bit of a bad day due to a broken guitar string and an upset crowd had wound up being pretty awesome.
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