Warm heart, cold blood

Hollow Lowlands 
#1


It had taken some struggle of the weather to get here, but it was finally meant to be warmer. Warm enough that even Daniel's crocodile could not deny the urge any longer. He'd recently come into ownership of the hot springs, but they had been safely cooped up for regular shifts all winter. And it had felt like a very, very long one.

He had planned a trip far out of owned territory, but the swampland was a favored destination for the crocodile, and there was no complaint as much as there was a reptilian sort of excitement that left him nearly paralyzed with interest.

He had told Meike and Naz where he was going, and that they were welcome to join him if they so wished, but it wasn't a forced thing either way. In the meantime, the crocodile basked at the edge of the water, clawed feet grasped into the wet sediment.

Content, here.
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#2
Of course she'd gotten the memo. Of course she was here. Yoo-hoo, croc playtime? The idea of missing out on that? She was pretty sure her croc would devour her from the inside out if she'd ignored her, and Naz was all about maintaining a good relationship with her little lady.

She'd taken a dip in the murky water, mostly floating and letting the slight drift carry her with some lazy tail motion. Incredible senses meant she caught the freshwater croc's scent among other things quickly. There'd be no burst of paddling here however, or sprint onto shore to greet him (decidedly, not a mammal), and instead it'd take approximately ten minutes before Naz was close enough to be encroaching on a crocodile's personal space.

Giant webbed feet pressed against sediment, and she stopped there, watching him.

Adorable.
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#3
The approach of another might have inspired an open-mouthed fearsome hiss. But there was a sense of familiarity, of fondness. She eventually was visible, and his head angled just so to eye her. She was very large; larger than him.

He offered a deeply bassy rumble of contentment, the sound clicking like the engine of a motorcycle. His body turned in a semicircle, seeking to place his head over her rough back.

There was no ulterior motive here, no insidious plot, no trickery to speak of. There was simply the joy of being able to do this after two decades of being alone. It was novel to the older reptile, and the man within could not deny some intense fascination with it all.
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#4
The rumble was an undeniable welcome. Naz would only return a quieter one once he began closing the distance, promising she wouldn't bite. And then what might seem to be an uneventful exchange to an onlooker occurred, but the croc cuddle was vastly meaningful to the reptile.

Gigantic tail still in the water, she was content to stay sprawled like this with him. Her human counterpart was somewhere in there - present enough to be aware of what was happening - but she preferred to take the backseat during shifts.

Less decision making conflict.
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#5
She allowed his approach. It was a measure of trust that calmed him as well, though to say he'd been overexcited to start was a difficult play on the situation. Simply happy.

It was true that crocodiles could lay in that way for hours, and that might have happened here. But there was hunger also, the natural result of being a supernatural creature. So after a significant amount of time by were standards and an insignificant amount of time by crocodile standards, he would start to move off, backing up on a reverse of his semicircle with an interest in entering the water.

It would be wonderful if she would follow, but if her tail did not move out of the way in time, there was a chance he would move it intently with his face and continue on.
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#6
She flicked her tail rather suddenly as he tried to move it, but in the opposite direction to his face. Not that Naz wouldn't follow, only, she'd follow after a minute or two, making a slow turn of a semi-circle as well before following him into the water which was home.
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#7
She was following, he could sense. There was a continued contentment in it, the crocodile not wanting to separate from his supernatural kin.

They moved a serpentine, winding pair through the water, propelled by powerful tails into where the river cut a deeper, wider bed.

A search for something alive to feed off of commenced, and eventually flickers of fins could be seen ahead. Crocodiles were not necessarily group hunters, but even their wild counterparts could work together, and he began to cut to the side of what seemed to be a group of fishy prey.
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#8
Meike got the memo, and did her best to start out in the same general location. But once she was scale and tail, she didn't have much say in anything. The crocodile decided to stick with solitude for a time, though not unaware of the sensation of others in the vicinity. But she'd done a bit of swimming, basking, and general sitting in place unmoving for some time. Eventually, the hunger pangs from the exhausting shift did call her back to the water, and in she had gone without much in the way of slowing her efforts. She'd come upon the school, decided the best tactic was to float in wait for the right opportunity. She was doing just that when a disturbance greater than the fish alerted her to an approach, and the lids that had been sealed over her aquamarine eyes flickered open in a distinctive reptilian way. There, ahead of her, two vaguely familiar forms moving through the water. The crocodile pushed off of the silt and riverbed debris she'd settled on, and glided tentatively in their direction.
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#9
Her friend had split, yet she kept along the same route without much thought, slowly and nonchalantly closing in on the school from behind. Movement to the side indicated another, smaller crocodile, one which also rang a bell in her memory.

Naz would move further to the side of the school, making room for the little crocodile. And, eventually, she submerged herself underwater.

There would be a vicious burst of speed soon - an ambush from below - but for now, the nonchalance persisted.
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#10
Another! He hadn't been sure if she would come, and yet the familiar beast of Meike joining them sparked great reptilian joy. If only they could bask together first, before this. But food would be good too.

Circling the school, he made to guide the fish towards the other two, to encourage them to cut through to group like tongs into a salad.
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