Just About Done

Ravenswood 
#1
The cottage was nice. The river was calming and lovely. And best of all, it was all out of the way of everything. The moving truck had rumbled away down the dirt road hours ago, and she felt now was as good a time as any to get back to work. The nature around her new home was magnificent. A river (she did, in fact, see the humor in this), dense forest, and a thickly grown yard in between it all. River basked in the stillness, enjoying the sounds of the wildlife around her.

How far away from civilization can I get without losing high speed internet?

The realtor had laughed but still delivered. She could work peacefully and upload her work immediately. So long as her bike stayed in good shape, she could tour around the entire city looking for good locations. There were some mountains to the west that she was particularly interested in.

Camera in hand, River found herself abandoning the stacked boxes in her new home in favor of the trees. On top of her regular clients and stock photo income, River also sold prints of her personal work, printed and shipped right out of wherever she lived at the time. She was glad to be rid of the renter's life. No more neighbors. No more late night noises. Just peace, quiet, and nature. The way she'd grown up. God, River had missed this. The sun was shining through the trees in that ethereal way she adored so much. Removing her lens cap, River got busy doing what she did best.
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#2
Yujin was so lost. He had been trying to find his way back home when he had come across the river and given into the horrible temptation. With only a moments hesitation he had gleefully dived in, chomping a fish on his way down. From there it had been a bundle of joy, the water sliding through his coat, and fish filling his stomach. The only problem? He went up river, away from Lavender Heights. Now he was more lost then before. Reluctantly he crawled out of the water on the river bank. There was a rock only a little bit away with the sun shining on it. Figuring it would give him a better spot to think he bounded over and clambered up on top.
It wasn't long before the warmth of the sun drying his fur had him drifting off into sleep, completely unaware of the human tramping through the woods toward him.
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#3
River was not a purist. Her camera was a higher-end digital Nikon with all the fixings, though she didn't have her bag at the moment. Normally she had lens attachments on hand, but she got antsy to get outside once she had set up all her pets. She would finish unpacking everything as she needed it, she supposed. Impatience was one of her vices. She had accumulated a nice collection of sun-ray shots for potential greeting cards, artsy angled tree and logs for prints, and she had even been lucky enough to find a fairy ring. She wasn't quite sure what to do with those photos, but fantasy book covers came to mind.

Little did she know how lucky she was about to be.

River spotted it through the dense foliage, wondering if it was just a rock. As she got closer, she began to worry that she had just found a dead thing. As she got even closer, she saw it breathe.

She suppressed a squeal.

OTTER. ADORABLE SLEEPING OTTER.

Breathe.

River was amazed she hadn't woken it. Now, she knew that otters weren't just cute little chittering mammals. They were actually rather dangerous. It wasn't uncommon for them to attack people that did not stay on the side of caution. God damn it, if only she had her extra zoom lens. Was she really going to risk being mauled by one of the internet's favorite cuties to snap a photo?

Yes.

Grinning as she bit her lip, River snuck as quietly as she could, hoping to get in range of at least her camera's native zoom abilities.

Just look at him! She thought, not actually knowing if it was male or female. The sun's shining off him so perfect, oh god please don't wake up!

This was viral material. This was NatGeo material. Her heart was pounding.
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#4
Yujin stretched and rolled onto his back to let the sun warm up his belly. He was far to content and sleepy to think about his troubles now. An hour of sleep and he would change back. The low sound of a footstep barely registered, and he didn't even give it a thought as he fell back asleep. What was there to worry about in such a secluded place. With the sounds of the river all around him, and the taste of fish on his tongue.
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#5
She almost ran, tensing up when it moved. It only stretched out into a cuter position, and River almost lost composure.

This was definitely going into the next photography contest.

River aimed her camera a few times, watching the viewscreen, searching for the most flattering angle for this little guy. She zoomed in until it was properly in-frame.

After a few moments of thinking, River decided she probably should not act like time was on her side, and settled on a from-the-ground angle. A wide shot, as if she were very small looking up at it, with the sun gleaming off its fur. It looked magnificent. This was the one, definitely.

Cli-lick!

The shutter fired, the photo saved. And she lingered greedily, figuring if he slept through that, maybe she could tinker with some other angles.
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#6
The sound of click woke him from his slumber. He sat up with a jolt and looked around. Then he saw her, a woman, with a camera not that far from where he lay. A snarl burst from his throat before he could stop himself. The otter wanted to attack, defend itself from this intruder. But no way was he going to get near a camera. Torn between attack and fleeing he froze on the stone, teeth barred.
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#7
It was so sudden; River tried to stand and distance herself from the animal too quickly. Her knees were not happy with the several minutes of crouching and failed her miserably, sending her on her ass in the mud of the bank. "Sssssssshit-" It came out with a breathy laugh, and she struggled to not drop her expensive equipment into the water. At least that was a success.

She had scared the shit out of this poor thing, and it stood there now, staring her down with a...goodness, even its war face was cute.

Slinging her camera around her neck and choosing to stay as low as possible, despite the creeping wetness into the seat of her jeans, River kind of smiled at the otter and scooted back just a tad more.

"Oohhohoh it's okay, I'm sorry little dude, I just -" As if it could understand her. That was a childhood fantasy that persisted into adulthood, talking to animals. "-wanted to get a good shot!" She pointed to her camera, still excited for the treasure of a photo she had just acquired.

Now, the predicament. If she tried to stand and scared it more, she might wind up getting rabies shots tonight. If she stayed there, maybe it would relax and go about its otter-y business. She felt so bad, though. And she talked when she was nervous. "I am so sorry I scared you, oh you poor thing..."

River found some footing under her heel, hoping to slowly get up and give it some space.
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#8
Oh god the woman was talking to him. What was he suppose to do? She said something about a picture? No way was he going to stick around to find out more or have another picture taken. Ignoring the angry otter inside of him Yujin jumped off the rock a few inches away from the woman. He gave her a curious look before darting towards the water. With one leap over her foot he dove into the river, coming up a few seconds later only a foot away from the bank.
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#9
She had no idea at all that she was actually talking to a person.

River stayed as still as she could when the otter flung itself into the water, watching in awe and excitement. This was the kind of thing that made her buy a high-end zoom attachment, really. This was turning out okay for her, it seemed, but in an alternate universe, there was a River Stone with a furious otter on her face, for sure. She was lucky.

It had nearly climbed over her!

And then, there it was again, peeking at her out of the water. Awwww! River didn't want to tempt things at this point, and besides, every single wildlife photographer had a shot of an otter poking its head out of the waves anyway. She walked backward until she felt grass under her feet, and sat down with her cheek on her fist, admiring it with a smile. Her gut was telling her to leave, but her heart was begging for her to see if it would get into some playful otter shenanigans.
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#10
He would have swam away if the adrenaline and fear had been waylaid by the reality of the fact that he had no clue where he was. The woman had backed away, far enough that the otter wasn't crying for an attack.
Slowly he swam back to the bank and clambered up onto the mud. He raised his head up to sniff the air. Water, trees, and motorcycle gas filled his nose, but nothing to tell him where he was. Desperation forced him to crawl forwards, towards the woman. He got as close as he dared, a few feet away. Loosing control and attacking her was not something he wanted to do, so he stayed far enough away that the otter didn't immediately want to tear into her.
But how would she react if he talked? Well she at most would know he was a were, but not who he was, and if it came to the worse he could run back to the river. With that in mind he opened his small mouth and tried to form the words. "Where are we?"
It came out growly and gruff, but at least understandable.
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#11
The otter relaxed. And it also returned, climbing out of the water, to River's delight. She had to fight her urge to take even more photos because she was not going to push her luck scaring this creature again. River decided to just enjoy the moment instead of trying to capture it, and the animal ventured closer and closer to her, confirming a decision to not move a single muscle.

And then, the ground fell out from under her.

River didn't quite comprehend at first. It was yet another moment in which one hears something someone said, but it doesn't register immediately, and the moment you would ask, "What?", you already know what they said.

Where are we?

An otter just talked to you, River. What. The. Fuck. It asked a question.

"Wait-what-" She babbled dumbly, sitting up a little straighter and staring at the otter with brief confusion.

As her brain caught up to her shock, River pieced it all together. This was not an otter. This. Was. NOT. AN. OTTER.

She had only met one before now. Be cool, be cool. There was no fear on her face, just excitement. But River always felt like everyone, even if they weren't "human", deserved to be treated like a person. She hadn't watched TV in years, but River was well aware of the social outlook from humans on these subjects. The internet was teeming with stories that just made her angry.

"OH, um! Ravenswood. You're on the east side, kind of away from the city part. Are you...lost?" She asked, a million million questions and thoughts buzzing through her head.
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#12
Okay, so far this was going good. She hadn't freaked completely out and had even answered his question. Although he had no idea what Ravenswood was. He hunched down as the scent of her carried to his nose. "Do you know the way back to Lavender Heights?"
Maybe she would be willing to help him, or at least answer more questions.
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#13
So, this was happening.

River was talking to an otter.

Was that a pun?

Inwardly very amused about that thought, she sat smirking a little wryly as the otter asked another question. She made sure to listen intently because, as surprisingly articulate as he was, it was quite a growl-y voice. Lavender Heights. Why did that sound familiar?

"Well, unfortunately, I just moved here myself buuuuuuuut-" She pulled her phone out, typing away. The map took a second to pop up because of how far she was from town, but when it did, the lightbulb went off. "Oh, yeah! I rode through there on my way here. Looks like...if you crossed the river and swam that way," She pointed south, "It should get you there! You should pass under a bridge right before it, actually."

Not just talking to an otter. Giving directions to an otter, like it was totally normal. River was absolutely giddy on the inside.
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#14
Okay he couldn't stay back anymore. As much as it pained him (which was more of a he didn't want to accidentally eat her) he shuffled forward crawling up over her shoes and onto her lap to get a better look at the phone. He could make out the general city and the general area that Lavender Heights occupied but it didn't do him much good. Frowning he moved his furry face closer to the screen, ignoring the otter that was very unpleased about being so close to a human. He gave it another minute on her lap before he scuttled off and back into the mud, he did not want to press his luck especially this close to the full moon. "Do you have a car?"
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#15
Red alert. River almost lost her cool. Adorable otter right there, in her lap, reading her phone. Calm down. Do not pet him. This is a PERSON. Don't be WEIRD.

She tilted her phone for him so he could study the map as much as he needed to. River was going to suggest helping him get back when he asked a very related question. A question that she, sadly, had a negative answer to.

"I only have my motorcycle," River said, discouraged. "I do have saddle bags, but..." She looked at him, wrinkling her nose. "That might be a bumpy ride."

River thought. She could put a soft towel in her backpack, but she didn't really know how he worked. The one she'd met before couldn't really control when he changed. What if suddenly an entire man was in her backpack, halfway there?! She couldn't risk him falling off and have him just sit on the seat behind her, though.

And she definitely couldn't trick an Uber driver into driving an otter anywhere.
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#16
This was getting to dangerous. If he stayed in otter form any longer there were no guaranties that he wouldn't bite her, and he certainly didn't want to do that especially as she was being so helpful to him. With a heavy sigh and heart he began the pain of changing. His shoulders popped out with a horrible jolt of pain and they began to extend the fur receding over his paws. The tip of his tail began to pull inwards wrenching his spine out of proportion as it tried to lengthen and straighten all at once.
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#17
That was. That was a rough noise. She didn't even have time to ask if he was okay. It didn't take long for her to figure out what was going on. River threw her arms up to give him room and yelped. That didn't look like it felt nice. She just sat there grimacing, not sure at all about what she should do. She became a useless, panicking thing, just helplessly watching with wide eyes, occasionally murmuring something along the lines of "Oh no, what can I do?"
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#18
He gave strangled cries and whimpers of pain as his body grew. The spin realigned, his paw straighten out into fingers, and his back legs twisted and extended. At the same time his head began to change, growing as fur receded and colored to black. The joints on his front legs reconnected forming shoulders.
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#19
This was.

River was not squeamish by most standards, but she found herself closing her eyes as this poor man-otter writhed around in her lap. When he cried out, she opened her eyes again.

She did not know what to do to help. Maybe there was nothing to be done. She wanted to put her hand on him, but maybe that would hurt him more, so she remained mostly motionless, bracing herself against the growing weight. The last thing he needed was to fall and roll into the water.

At least it would be easier for him to ride on the back of her bike, she thought. Bright sides!
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#20
It took another two minutes for all the bones to realign and the fur to fully recede. Another three minutes later and Yujin was back in human form gasping from the remaining tingles of pain. Exhaustion hit hard, two changes so close together would do that. He could only close his eyes and let the sleep take him, there was no use fighting it he was not going to be able to stay awake.
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#21
Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no.

River stuffed her phone back into her pocket hastily, tapping the boy as if he were molten hot. He was quite warm, actually; probably from the stress of the change. She shook him gently, but she wasn't sure if he was going to wake up. She caught a glimpse of his face. River was not the best at guessing age, but he looked young. Not a child, but definitely...she might be in some deep shit if a cop wandered in. She didn't know he was 19; he looked a lot younger than he was, to her at least.

So. Just hanging out by the river, naked teenager on her lap. No big deal. River was glad she had no neighbors.

She made sure he was breathing. That was good. Jake had been like that, when she found him. Passed out. He slept for a whole day, and then ate half of the menu at the local diner. Oh boy. She needed to get him inside, and she needed to get some food. This poor kid. Were his parents looking for him, she wondered? River turned her camera around on her neck so it was hanging behind her, resting not-very-comfortably between her shoulder blades. She was a pitiful weakling, so this wasn't going to be easy. At least he was skinny.

She struggled to prop him against her, trying to flip him so she could hook her arm under his knees. With a lot of under-breath cursing and heavy breathing, River actually managed to get him into a carrying position, staring dead ahead. She knew if she looked down, she'd see more of him than they both would probably want.

Now, the hard part: standing up.
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#22
Yujin was completely out, he was not going to be waking up anytime soon, which meant was basically dead weight in River's arms.
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#23
Looking not unlike a competitive weight lifter struggling with a deadlift, River strained and huffed as she braced her feet on the ground. She gripped his shoulder with her other hand, heaving herself upwards with a grunt. She staggered a few times. Her hands grew clammy against his bare skin, and she was worried that her grip might slip. The uneven ground was not going to be her friend here.

One step at a time. Don't look at his junk.

She hoisted him in her arms hard, readjusting her grip and taking a wobbly step towards her cottage. Then another, then another.

Ssssssssshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Four steps. Didn't seem too bad under literally any other circumstance. Did she lock the door when she left? River decided not to make this too hard for herself. The elevated deck was a perfect spot to hopefully gently place him so she could hurry inside and grab a blanket. She sort of set him down on her knee, hoping to slide him into her porch. But her sweaty palms failed her. He slipped right out of her arms, and River desperately clawed after him in an attempt to catch him.

Her hands found his hips, but just for a moment. He slumped face-first into the wood, his entire ass basically in her hands.

YOU MADE IT SO MUCH WORSE! YOU HURT HIS FACE.

She was stunned for a moment. LET GO OF HIS ASS YOU CREEP-

Right. That's enough of this. River let go, leaving the kid in a pile as she darted to her door. Turns out, she didn't lock it. She disappeared inside for a moment, tearing into the boxes that had been set in the master bedroom until she found her fleece throw. Back outside she went, flinging it over the boy, then she stopped to catch her breath.

The blanket made it so much easier to get him on her couch. She stood, watching over the man-burrito she had made out of him, debating a very risky idea. Should she call an ambulance? God forbid this kid get poked and prodded by a bunch of scientists because of her. No, she thought. River walked to her kitchen and began rooting through the box she'd packed all her dry goods in. He was going to be hungry. Maybe sick, too. She had some stock in the fridge, and as luck would have it, some chicken breast too. Soup sounded nice.
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#24
Yujin awoke six hours later. He came out of the dead sleep with a grumbled and a shift of the blanket. Confusion mudded his brain, the blanket was ruff nothing like the ones he was use to. "Uhhh?"
With only a half awake mind he attempted to sit up, the blanket constricted against his chest and he flailed wildly. "Ahhh! Get off!"
Only by some miracle was he able to stay on the couch although the blanket remained firmly wrapped around him. He kicked at it and pushed but to now avail. Where was this? What was going on?
A loud grumble rumbled over his stomach and the smells of food filled his nose. There was food, somewhere. He rolled onto his side and glared down at the, Flannel?
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#25
River had waited a while before starting her concoction, taking some time to unpack the living room a bit so the boy didn't wake up to a looming tower of cardboard. The kitchen was separated from the living room by a low wall topped with a granite counter. Intended to be used as a bar, River had just pushed the couch up against it instead of buying stools. She was letting the soup simmer at this point so the carrots would soften, and it was just about ready when she heard him finally wake up and freak out.

He was stuck in the blanket. River had wrapped him too well.

"Oh wait, hold on, you're safe!" She rushed over. "You might be on the edge, here-" She slipped her hand under his feet, feeling around until she got the corner of it. River tugged it loose, but didn't uncover him.

"B-but hold on, you're not really...decent." She grabbed some clothes she had unpacked that would probably fit him. River preferred men's pajama pants over women's because they were more comfortable. Most of her shirts were also unisex, so she just grabbed an old cotton band shirt she'd had for ages and wouldn't miss. It was quite faded, but if inspected enough one would be able to see that it was an Iron Maiden shirt. River didn't even religiously listen to them, funny enough. She liked their album art a lot, though.

"I've got soup on! Old family recipe. B-but I can get you anything you might be craving! Oh - I should let you change first." She awkwardly left for the other room.
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#26
A woman came out of nowhere startling Yujin. She attempted to calm him, grabbing the blanket to untangle it only to get flustered and say something about clothes. In the meantime he continued to push at the blanket until she placed some clothes into his lap and hurried fled from the room. He paused and eyed the clothes, they looked something like worn out pajamas not something he would ever wear...but he didn't have much of a choice it was wear them or be naked..which now that he thought about it was probably the reason the woman had left so quickly.
With some luck he was finally able to disentangle himself, probably from her help earlier. He quickly dawned the clothes, wrinkling his nose at them. Thankfully she had bought the small size and the pants hung low on his hips, but thankfully stayed with a tightening of the string. The shirt, well it was one of those unisex things that was to big for him and looked sloppy no matter how you styled it. There appeared to be some sort of artwork, a band of some sort.
When he was finally dressed he had the sense to call out. "I'm dressed, you can come back. I promise not to eat you."
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#27
She felt bad that he seemed to think she was afraid of him. Not to underestimate the otter, they were at least definitely not man-eaters. River came out as he gave the signal that he was decent, and goodness this kid was adorable.

The clothes did not fit him. She managed to wear a friendly, not amused smile, even though if they were friends she would definitely be laughing.

"Are you...okay? That looked...painful." She looked him over a little before hurriedly walking to the stove to stop the pot from boiling over. Did he even remember? She wasn't very educated on how any of this worked. River spooned out a carrot, blew on it, and ate it. It was nice and soft, but not mushy. She turned off the burner.
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#28
Now that he had time to observe her from a more eye level perspective he noticed how 'hipster' like she seemed. He wasn't sure that was the right word, more worldly? She was only a few inches shorter then him and wearing clothes similar enough to the ones he had been given to determine he did not like her fashion sense. But well it worked better for her then it did for him, after all it didn't look ridicules on her, more like a down to earth artist look.
The smell of the soup was strong and his stomach gave another sharp pang. He moved into the kitchen area eyes on the pot and couldn't resist licking his lips. "That smells amazing. As for the change, well its not great."
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#29
She couldn't get a read on him. River got a vibe that maybe he didn't like her, but, that's what she always thought about people. It wasn't a very reliable assumption as far as her worry-riddled brain was concerned.

She smiled when he complimented the cooking, and got a big soup bowl with a handle out of her cupboard.

"I hope it tastes just as good! I went a bit heavy on the chicken this time. I figured maybe, the protein would help you recover?" It would suck if he was a vegetarian. She hadn't thought about that.

River scooped a generous portion into the bowl and set it near him, sliding a spoon into it once the liquid settled. Feeling a bit hungry as well, she went about getting herself a bowl.
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#30
All other thoughts vanished as soon as the soup was placed before him, including thoughts about manners. He took no time in digging in, completely ignoring the spoon and just raising the bowl to his lip. "This tastes amazing."
He lowered the now empty bowl and looked over at the pot. "Is there more?"
Never had soup tasted so good, not that he was a very good judge seeing as he had no knowledge of cooking. Usually he ordered out, or back in California had a in house cook that made meals. He was also absolutely starving from the change and the bowl had only softened the tip of the hunger. Licking his lips he turned his eyes back onto the woman.
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#31
Oh, whoa, he was - that was definitely the right move, going heavy on the protein. River wasn't even sure if she saw him chew.

It was the best compliment to her cooking she'd ever gotten. The girl couldn't help but smile. "Thank you, I'm glad it hit the spot. The trick is to roast the chicken first instead of cooking it right in the broth."

When River cooked, she made enough for the week, so the kid was in luck.

"Oh yeah, tons! Help yourself!" She stepped away from the stove, grabbing a spoon for herself as she went.
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#32
It took four more bowls before Yujin slowed down and remember to start using the spoon. Another two bowls later and he finally set the bowl down looking extremely satisfied. That was the best meal he had in a few months, especially in this new city although it was still only his second day here. "Are you a cook or something?"
He looked her over again reassessing his previous thoughts. Even if her style was a little odd clearly she had her life put together if she could cook this good. Although she didn't look that old, maybe high school had been kinder to her.
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#33
In the time it took him to finish almost all of it, River had finally polished off her own bowl, watching him with amused fascination. She'd never seen someone so small pack away so much food in her life. 
"Not professionally," She answered with a flattered laugh. "My mom taught me all of her mom's recipes, though. Old fashioned home cooking tends to taste the best, for sure." She really did enjoy cooking and baking, but never pursued it as a career. Her photography took off before any other options had a chance to form in her mind. "I'm a photographer for money, but cooking is a hobby of mine." It was kind of funny. Usually, that statement could be used in the opposite.
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#34
"Maybe that explains it. I've never cooked anything in my life, my dad had a chief that did all the meals when I lived with him." He really did need to hire someone, or learn himself although he wasn't keen on it. Still it might be awkward trying to explain why he needed so much food, and he certainly couldn't have a cook live with him, not anymore with the whole otter business. Guess it would be take out for a while. He glanced down at the bowl and sighed, it was probably going to be a long time before he had another meal like that. "Well, thanks for the food. It was really good..Um should I pay for what I ate?"
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#35
Ah, so he was on his own. Perhaps older than she'd thought originally, though River would take the butt-holding incident to her grave. Seemed his dad was fairly wealthy to have a live-in chef. That would have been amazing, she thought, though she was sad that he didn't get to experience cooking with his parents. Perhaps it was a cultural difference, or more likely, just a class difference. She hadn't been poor growing up, but they definitely couldn't afford a chef either.

"Oh, of course not!" She waved her hand at him. "The ingredients for this are so cheap, it's no trouble. I can give you the recipe, if you want?"

A while ago, River had typed all of them up so she could print and laminate them because the index cards the original recipes were on had started to wear and fade.
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#36
Recipes may be a good idea, after all it would be good for him to cook, however, he didn't have the slightest idea on how to do so. He could probably take a class, but that sound like more trouble then it was worth. Still the food had been very good. Finally he replied, "That would be really great actually, could I get copies?"
Worse cause he could find someone else to cook the meals for him, hell maybe he could even pay her to do so. On that note, it would probably be best if he actually knew her name. Not that there had been any good time to ask before. "I'm Yujin by the way, Yujin King."
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#37
"Totally!" She replied cheerfully, setting her bowl down. She began to make her way towards the artsy room of the cottage, but stopped as he introduced himself. "It's nice to meet you, Yujin." River smiled.

"I'm River Stone," She could never say it without laughing, at least not a little bit. "My mom was kind of a hippie, into nature and all that." As she talked, she scooted across the hall through an open door, pressing the space bar on a slightly visible keyboard. Bending over the desk, she clicked through some folders until she found the recipe file, and sent it to her printer. It was about 20 pages, but most of it was just cooking instructions and alterations she had made.
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#38
Yujin settled back into in his chair, watching as she moved into another room. It gave him time to get a better look at the house. There were several moving boxes all around, looking a lot like his place at the moment. So she must have just moved in either new to town or found a better house to live in. She didn't look very old, maybe she had come to Cordova to attend college like him, although she had said something about photography. Did you need a degree to take pictures?
He got to his feet and poked around in some of the boxes. The smell of spices was strong on one box and he pulled it open to reveal bottles. With a hasty glance to make sure she was still in the other room, he lifted one of the bottles and opened the lid to get a better sniff. Cinnamon blasted up his nose and he sneezed violently.
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#39
River peeked back out when she heard him sneeze, and saw him holding a jar of cinnamon. This guy was adorable even when he wasn't an otter, she thought, laughing lightly at him.

"Yeah that stuff's best when mixed with sugar. By itself it's a little intense," The printer whirred in the background, about three quarters done with its job.
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#40
He jumped when he heard her voice and hastily put the bottle back in the box before meekly glancing up at her. She didn't seem upset, was laughing even, which made him narrow his eyes. Was she laughing at him? It didn't sound mocking. She said something about cinnamon and sugar which peeked his interest. He glanced back at the spices. Slowly he reached back in and shifted the bottles.
That's when he smelt it, a spice he didn't know the name of, but to him it meant long black hair and a woman's voice singing a lullaby in a different language. He leaned closer sniffing at the box trying to identify which bottle it came from.
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#41
Ah, finally. River stacked the papers neatly and stapled them together at the corner. After thinking about it for a moment, she also attached her business card. It had her work number on it, a second cell phone she kept on her person at all times.

"All ready! I also put my contact info on here for you, in case you need help throwing any of these together."

She walked back out to him, strangely not upset that he was rummaging through her cooking stuff. Maybe she was letting it slide because he was young, or not quite human, but that wasn't it. It didn't seem like he was familiar with any of it. He wasn't being rude; Yujin was curious and learning. She wondered what kind of sheltered life he must have had until now. There was something innocent and pure about him, though perhaps she was just romanticizing it. Then again, perhaps not.

"Ah, that's saffron! I don't use that one much. It's weirdly expensive, for a plant. I always wanted to learn how to grow it for some side cash," She laughed.
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#42
"Saffron?" He picked up the bottle puzzled by it. He wasn't sure why it brought back memories, he didn't he had ever tasted it before. She was handing him a stack of paper, probably the recipes. He put the spice back down and took the papers from her, shuffling through them to look at what hey contained. Something about numbers, ingredients, and other cooking directions that didn't make much sense to him.
He glanced back up at her and smiled. "Thanks for the recipes."
Surely a chief or a cook would be able to follow the directions. He would figure something out. Giving a happy hum he shuffled the papers to find where he card was. It held two numbers, he supposed one was a cellphone. "I don't have a phone yet, my last one got lost and I'm waiting on it's replacement. But I'll send you a text when I get the new one"
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#43
River nodded as he repeated the name, watching him go through the rest of the various ingredients in the box.

"You're very welcome," She replied kindly, leaning against the counter as he explained that he didn't have a new phone yet.

Gosh, it was a good thing that she had been the one to find him, then. She almost wanted to warn him about being more careful, but even if he had a phone, would the otter have taken it along? Even then, it would surely have died to water damage.

It was bad enough for a human to be lost without a phone these days. River didn't want anything terrible to happen to this kid.

"In that case, I can call you an Uber if you need one? I totally don't mind taking you home, but a motorcycle ride at night in pajamas is probably gonna be cold." She laughed. River also didn't have a spare helmet. Obviously she would give hers to him, of course.

"Whenever you would like to go home, of course. You can stay as long as you need to!"

Ever the people pleaser, River didn't want him to feel unwelcome.
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#44
An uber? What was that? "Is that like some kind of taxi? I don't have any money on me right now, but if I can borrow a phone I can call my driver and he can come pick me up."
He replied with a shrug. Although it was a little late to be waking the man up, especially as it was only a temporary position. She did offer him the chance to stay for a while and something about a motorcycle. His eyes light up at the mention of said vehicle. "You have a motorcycle?"
It was one of the few things his father had absolutely refused to buy him, and one of the things he really wanted. So many of his acquaintances in high school had ridden motorcycles, but along with not buying one his father had also forbid him to get a ride on one. But his father wasn't here, and wouldn't know about it. "Could you give me a ride?"
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#45
Oooo, fancy. A rich boy. River wasn't poor by any means, but she found herself still a little envious. "Yeah, that's pretty much what it is. But I'd rather you go home with someone you know, to be honest." She was relieved to know he at least had a driver in the area.

She smiled at his excitement. River got the impression that he had either never seen one in person, or had never ridden on one before.

"Yep! Cheaper and more fun than a car. If you don't think you'd mind the wind, I'd be happy to give you a ride!"
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#46
She was offering him a ride. Turning into an otter was starting to look great, although it still kind of sucked. "Yes, yes! I would love to go for a ride."
He wasn't entirely sure what to do with his enthusiasm. It was energy coursing through his body, but he had no good way of spending it. It had been a long time since he had been this excited, probably back in middle school or even earlier. There hadn't been a lot to make him even happy for the last year. But he was going to go on a motorcycle! And he wasn't going to get in trouble for it since there was no one else at the house.
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#47
"It's settled then! I'm ready whenever you are!" She was smiling.

He was so excited over it, the joy was contagious. River was getting excited too, and she made her way to the foyer where all of her "just got home" stuff typically was thrown. A few pairs of shoes, a crumpled up jacket, and her helmet. Importantly as well was her riding jacket and chaps. Dress for the slide, she had been told initially. She always stayed true to it - well, 99 percent of the time. A quick trip to the store through a 30 zone sometimes made her cheat and just go in what she was wearing.

"I strongly suggest you wear this helmet, just in case." She said, setting it on top of a stack of boxes to the right. "I've never been in an accident, but hitting a bug at 50 miles an hour actually hurts," River offered a small chuckle as she strapped her chaps on over her jeans and tried to stuff a foot into her riding boot. The multitasking did not go well, so she pretended she had just been trying to move them closer to her.
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#48
She offered him the helmet while getting changed into an odd outfit. Most likely as a precaution against damage from a crash. Which brought him back to the fact that she was human, well he thought so at least, she didn't smell like a were from what he knew. "You should wear the helmet. I wont get hurt that easily."
Well he would, but he would heal much faster then she would. He picked up the helmet and handed it over to her. While doing so he also looked around for something he could wear over his feet. He should probably pay her for the clothes when they got back to his place. Or he could take her shopping and maybe she could get something she liked, he was still iffy on her idea of fashion.
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#49
"Oh," River said, a little surprised, but then it clicked. "Ooooh," She was catching on. "I take it you're more durable than the average person, then." She took the helmet back, hooking it under her arm.

It made sense. Even in movies based on old legends, people with supernatural abilities were generally stronger and harder to kill. River didn't want to assume any of the Hollywood lens was all true, just because maybe the real people found it offensive or something. But she was glad to hear that at least was on the head. She would worry a little less about him. 

His search for foot cover posed an immediate problem. Yujin couldn't ride a motorcycle without shoes. Durable or not, a pebble flying at high speed hitting his toe would hurt like a bitch. "Oh, yeah, we gotta get you something shoe-like..." River grabbed her sneakers, and glanced at his feet, trying to eyeball it. Her sneakers were very old, though, and River didn't want him putting his bare feet into them. She wasn't about to admit that she had never put them through a wash cycle.

Setting the helmet down for now, she searched through some boxes until she found some clean socks. Lucky for Yujin, River's socks were about as ordinary as her fashion, so he wouldn't be rolling back into his home with pom poms on his ankles.

"If the shoes don't fit, I do have a pair of gardening boots around here somewhere that are a little big on me, so they'd hopefully do the trick." River explained, searching for them as she talked.
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#50
He took the socks gratefully and pulled them on over his feet. He wasn't exactly tall or big an anyway having got most of his psychical looks from his Korean mother. Not even bothering with the garden boots he reluctantly pulled on the sneakers. They looked like the had never been washed. At least she had given him socks first. They were snug and a little tight but otherwise fit, he wouldn't want to wear them walking for a long time but they would do. He turned his attention back up at her, eyes shining with the prospect of finally getting on a motorcycle. "Anything else? Are we good to go?"
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