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when the wolves are silent - B sides

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Wednesday morning, the day after what she’d already started thinking of as The Conversation in the sheriff’s office, she skimmed through Yelp reviews, looked at some online menus, and tried to imagine how hard it would be to get dinner reservations for the second of December. And as she was doing all this, a somewhat disheartening realization hit her like a train.

“Jesus,” she muttered at her screen, still scrolling. “I don’t think I’ve been on a date in two years.”

To be fair, she’d been a bit... distracted. First by Shae, then by being a big toothy monster three nights a month. Not exactly first-date conversation material, and then how do you bring it up afterward? By the way, don’t swing by if the moon’s full. It’s not good for your health. She still hadn’t figured out how to tell Waverly, when it came right down to it, but she’d figure that out. The moon was a couple weeks away, so... she had time. Not much of it, but still, time. She knew she owed Waverly an explanation, but it was just so hard to bring up out of the blue. Dolls and Wynonna made it their professional business to know, but Waverly? She still wasn’t entirely sure what being a consultant for Black Badge meant. Did she know the whole story? Part of the story?

Did she know only enough to know that non-humans are vicious terrifying monsters who’ll eat your face, and not that they could, sometimes, actually be pretty decent folk?

“Me neither,” Nedley said idly, and she jumped in her chair, grabbing at her desk to steady herself before she spun around or rolled away.

“Sir!” she protested, as an afterthought, and pressed a hand to her chest, trying to slow her racing heart by sheer force of will.

He was standing to the side of her desk, holding his iconic #1 Dad mug and sipping from it. By the smell of it, it was coffee. Which was good, considering it was some 10 in the morning. At her exclamation he raised his eyebrows, surprised.

“Distracted, Haught?”

She flushed and looked down at her computer screen, closing the tabs she was on. “Sorry, sir.”

He hummed thoughtfully and sipped. “So who’s the lucky fella?”

She grimaced and bobbed her head in what she hoped look like shy discomfort. “Um, I’d rather not go into it.”

“Just so long as it’s not Hardy.”

She physically gagged. “No, sir. Um. No, it is definitely not Champ Hardy.”

“Good.” He smirked behind his mug. “Besides, didn’t much figure you for the type to wait for a girl to break up with someone in order to scoop him up.”

She cleared her throat. “No, that really isn’t me, sir. Did you need me for something?”

“Yep. Called your name, but you were pretty focused.”

She winced. “Right. Sorry.”

In his office he gave her a couple files to work on, talking her through some of the details and waiting as she took some notes. They were at it for almost an hour, catching up on the cases she’d just finished, and a few that were still open.

When she was finished and got up to leave, he waved a hand at her.

“Haught.”

“Yes sir?”

“Try the Levilla.”

She furrowed her brow. “Sir?”

“It’s on the near edge of the city. Nice place.” He nodded, thoughtful. “Took my wife there for our 10th anniversary. Good food.”

For a moment she just stared at him, shocked. “Thank you, sir. I’ll– I’ll do that.”