The Heart of My Ribeye

Meat Cute 
It was definitely the most upscale butcher he had seen in a long while, especially out here in Colorado. He was impressed. The cat moseyed inside with his hand in his pockets. His fingers idly played with the paper grocery list in his jean pocket. Call him old fashioned, but he liked the feel of crossing items off the list while he shopped. Lists helped him accomplish most things, without them, he'd turn into a couch potato.

Archer wandered over to the counter, gazing into the glass at the beautiful cuts of meat. As he went along, he identified each cut in his head. Filet, tenderloin, chuck, porterhouse.... And at last. His prized cut.


His cat purred at the site of the thick cut ribeye with perfect marbling and a cozy coat of fat on the one side. His hand reached up and wiped the bit of drool from the corner of his mouth. How should he prepare it? Sear it in butter and herbs? Or a spicy chimichurri to top it with? Endless possibilities.

She thought about turning back when the fish like stench filtered through her nose, thought about turning straight on around and coming back when either she wasn't absolutely starving or when there was another Were. She had all but come to accept the fact that the Wolverine in her mind was not a fan of any other animal, and that when close to another, would pick up all its caterwauling and growls.

She absolutely hated it, but she needed to pick up meat for the cook out her and the gang were having, and Dan was adamant that the meat needed to marinate for a whole 24 hours, and so she was sorta stuck. Sighing, Mina pushed her way in, begging inwardly for the Wolverine to just shut the fuck up and let her get on with her business!

The cat was eyeballing the food, and Mina offered a single glance, before returning her gaze to the meats, cursing herself for not having made a list of everything that she needed. It was so fucking hard to think with all the wailing.

The hair on the back of his neck stood up instantly as someone, or something, else entered the shop. His eyes immediately removed themselves from his prize to the creature who dared to enter his space. Upon landing his eyes on the stranger and letting them tracing lines across her face, he broke it off. His cat was grumbling deep. Archer stepped closer to the case, but his cat had other ideas.

Suddenly he was walking up towards the girl with curious feline eyes, but as he got about 3/4's of the way towards her, he stopped. His eyes went wide. Why did he just try to approach her? This whole cat thing was still fucking freaky. He shuffled backwards, hoping the girl hadn't noticed his weird advance. His cat on the other hand, wanted to get closer. What sort of creature was it? Something he wasn't familiar with at all. Hell, he wasn't sure how many different weres there were. He was always being surprised.

"Uh, sorry," he said gruffly, his cat pushing him forward. Archer protested, wanting to give the girl space. Why couldn't errands be simple? Buy meat and leave. But no.

She was hyper aware of the other Were in the shop, ears straining to catch his every move as her eyes continued to scan the selection. He moved closer, pulled away and then moved closer again, her body rigid with stress as the Wolverine rumbled deep in her mind. The stranger gave apologies, but the pounding of blood in her ears made it a bit hard for her to hear it, eyes flashing purple as she glared towards the man.

"If you don't take a few good steps back, I can't promise what I'll do." She snapped, feeling a bit bad since he was clearly just as distressed, but more concerned with her own well being for the moment.

It was a very good thing that the Wolverine wasn't as high in its piss poor mood as it usually was.

"Okay, okay. Just chill out," he held up his hands defensively and took several steps backwards. "I'm sorta new at this," he said, lowering his voice. Archer moved his eye contact away from the girl in hopes it would make things cool down.

The girl's sudden outburst sent him on edge too. It was... unexpected to say the least and he wasn't sure how to even act. Human? Animal? It was getting all too confusing. He swallowed the lump in his throat and sloshed back to his place at the counter. Back to his ribeye. That's all he came here for and his dumb cat has to go and start trouble.

There was some sort of victory that the Wolverine felt in the cats retreat, a snort escaping its nose as if it had just won some great battle, and the victim lay right at her paws. Mina ignored the idiots ceremony though, taking a few deep breaths as she moved to calm her own nerves, eyes returning to their normal color.

After a few good moments of deep breathing, Mina straightened up a bit more, looking towards the new Were. "I can't entirely blame you then." She huffed, the most the man would get of an apology from her. "It's not wise to get so close to others like that in similar conditions." She didn't want to go around screaming that he was a Were after all.

"How long?"

He slid his hands into his pockets. He was surprised that she was willing to continue talking to him. The feline cocked a brow at her warnings. He didn't want to approach her. His cat made him. It was unfair, really.

He huffed and shrugged his shoulders. Archer wondered if the girl's inner beast was making her so antsy and on edge, or if it was just actually her. The lines were blurring as to what was actually his human and not just his animal. Who even was he anymore? Was he still Archer Lazlo?

"Uh, six months," he mumbled, "You?"

Damn this guy was pretty fucking new. She wasn't sure what she was doing to attract all the newbies in town, but at least Katya had presented herself with a tad bit more control. Plus, the girl had a pack, and from the feel of this guy, it didn't seem like he did, but Mina had been wrong before. Four years." She couldn't help a soft chuckle.

"Pretty damn new then, took me almost a year to be able to feel comfortable separated from the dude who got me. Props on you." She had been a ball of fury in her first year that just the smallest thing ticked her off into morphing into her animal. A chill ran through her spine at the memory.

He shifted uncomfortably. This had all been a self learning adventure. He didn't have anyone around to teach him. Hell, he didn't know who even bit him. Archer shut his eyes tightly and blinked them open. This girl had been dealing with this for four years and she's still like this? Weren't people supposed to get used to it? He sighed. But she laughed and he wasn't sure why.

This wasn't a walk in the park.

"I, uh, still have a lot to learn," he said, "I don't know what I'm doing most of the time." He had come across other weres but only in passing. Rarely did he stop and actually talk. The times he had, he had been chased away clearly having a hard time with these animal etiquettes.

Yeah, that was understandable.

"It takes some time, but just listen to your sire and things will go well." Mina waved the worry away with her hand.

"Uh, sire?" He wasn't understanding what she meant by that. It sounded weird and it made him uncomfortable. At least the girl seemed to chill out a bit. Thank god. His cat sensed it too, wanting to step back towards her to investigate but Archer was stern and held him back. "I don't know what that is," he grumbled.

Dang, it seemed like he was missing out on a lot of things trying to figure out these were stuff by himself.

"Oh uh." She forgot that not everyone used the names for things as she did, leaning forward slightly, Mina put a hand near her mouth as if she were telling a secret. In some ways she was, even if some tiger had ruined it all for everyone. "The person who infected you." She straightened back up when these words were said, giving a small nod.

And again, he was just staring at her in confusion.

"Um, I never met that person," he said solemnly. Should he have? I mean, he didn't think when you got bit, they just hung around to make sure you're okay. There were people who did that?


Did he get ripped off?

"Should I have?"

It all came together in that moment, Mina's eyes widening as her body just sorta froze.

This was one of the most dangerous types of Weres, a clueless one. A Were left all alone in their infection, and left to just figure it all out themselves with no form of guidance or rule. Anger swelled through her at the sheer irresponsibility that the other Were had shown, and the straight heartless action that had been put upon the man standing before her.

Fists clenching at her side, Mina had to force her jaw to unclench, not wishing for the other to think that the anger was being directed towards him. It wasn't, for it was far from his fault that he was so ignorant of the world he had been thrown in. "It would have been ideal, yes." Mina managed to mutter, taking a deep breath as she shook her head.

"It wasn't fair to you." She began after a moment. "This isn't an easy world, especially when you are alone."

He frowned. And he felt awkward. He didn't know this girl and she was already feeling bad for him. But why?

He figured out this shit easy (not) enough on his own. Except for the time he ate his neighbor's cat, and well, other things that don't need to be detailed out. "Um, I guess," he ran a hand along the back of his neck. Archer wasn't sure how to feel about this. Emotions were too real right now. He wanted to leave the shop, away from these feelings. Would he have preferred someone to stick around and show him the ropes? Sure. But would he have tried to ripped their throats out for turning him. Definitely yes.

"Um, I guess I should get going." He needed air. ASAP. The cheetah boy turned on his heel, ready to make a run for the door. He didn't need his ribeye that badly, did he?

The man was getting uncomfortable, Mina could feel that, the air around her practically stinking of anxiety. Brows furrowing, Mina would not try and stop him from leaving, although she would pull a card from her wallet. The card that she typically gave new found bands to call whenever she found some worthy enough for the show.

"Take this then, please." She would hold it out as he made to walk by. "If you get in trouble, or have any questions just call that number. I'll answer." If he took it, she would be grateful. If he did not, she wouldn't force the matter further.

Archer nodded. He would take the card. It would be good for him to have some support in case something did happen. He slid the card into his back jean pocket and gave a slight wave.

"Thanks," he said, furrowing his eyebrows together, "I'll keep that in mind. " And with that, he ditched his meat purchase behind and left the shop in search of fresh air. Not really how he wanted that to do, but it was what it was.


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