You were lost. Scared. Stuck somewhere in New York City with only blurry memories. You had no recollection of anything before last year, though. Odd. You had been living in Brazil for a year, scraping by selling yarn and knitted garments. Then something happened. You didn't know what. But you woke up as a Brazilian Rainbow Boa in a cage. You were being sold into the illegal pet trade. You forced your new body to hold its shape for weeks. Finally you arrived in NYC and were sold to a man who, thankfully, didn't know how to properly lock your cage. You escaped out into the streets, but the energy required to do a transformation was too high a price to pay just then. You hadn't been fed in four weeks. So you sucked it up and climbed a tree to figure out where to go from there. Hopefully you would survive.
There was a crow pecking at you. Dammit. You turned to it, rose up, and hissed in its face. It flew off with a loud squawk of indignation.
It was late afternoon. You had to find somewhere to sleep or you would most likely die. And you were hungry. How long had it been since you last ate...? Ah, damn. You smelled a meaty aroma coming from a shop directly across the street. The sign said "Shawarma"? What the hell is shawarma? You had unconsciously slithered lower in the tree to get a closer look. You were wrapped around the trunk now, in clear view of the people on the street. Fuck. No one had noticed you yet, however. Seems you jinxed it with that thought, because just then, a woman let out a shrill scream.
Seconds later, eight people burst out from the little shop that smelled so nice oh god you were so hungry- onto the street and sprinted over to the poor woman. She was shrieking and pointing an accusing finger at you. You felt bad for frightening her, but you couldn't change now or these people would probably kill you.
So you slithered a little up the tree, lazily flicking your tongue out every few seconds. A snake out minding her own business. Just a five-foot-long snake endemic to a different continent hanging out, not doing anyone any real harm. Yeah. Like that would be a valid excuse.
"It's okay, ma'am," a tall man with blue, blue eyes and blond hair consoled. "We'll make sure it gets to its owner and you won't have to worry."
Meanwhile, another tall, blue-eyed blondie —albeit this one with much longer hair— approached you confidently.
"Ooh I love snakes! They're so cute!" He sounded excited. Good for him. He reached out and touched your iridescent scales. You didn't think the big guy would harm you, so you let him. Why the hell not. Maybe he'd give you a place to sleep. Or something to eat. So you moved your head toward his hand slowly so as not to make him think you would bite. You flicked your tongue at him a few times before slithering cautiously onto his arm. This was probably a truly horrible idea, but you were desperate. Or maybe just crazy. Who knows. Who cares. Either way, you wrapped around his arm, not too tight, but tight enough to stay on, and rested your head and part of your body on his beefy shoulder.
"Thor, what the hell are you doing?" the man with the goatee asked exasperatedly.
"I wanted to play with the snake!"
"Well, just hold on to it until I get someone to deal with it."
Your body instinctively tightened at the thought of being 'dealt with'. The one holding you —Thon, was it? Thor? Thor— noticed.
"I don't think it likes the idea."
You immediately released his arm from your crushing grip and hissed the snake version of "sorry" into his ear.
"Stop it! That tickles-" he laughed, tilting his head to trap you against his shoulder. He was so warm. Oh yeah. Reptiles are cold-blooded. "Can we take it back to the tower? Pleeease??"
"Fine. But you take care of it and make sure it doesn't get loose in the tower," Goatee Man warned.
Back at the tower, your 'captors', I suppose, fed you some hamburger meat. You swallowed it hungrily. Then 'Thor' or whatever his name was took you up to his room and put you in his bathroom. Before he left, he made you a nest of warm towels and plugged the sink and filled it with water for you. What a thoughtful guy. You appreciated all his effort to make you comfortable. He turned out the lights and closed the door after he had made preparations for you and ensured that you were comfortable. And so, curled up in your little towel-nest, you fell asleep.
Several hours later, you awoke to a shout of alarm. You felt- different. When you looked at yourself, you knew why. You were back to your original form. Clothed, thankfully. It appeared that you had been occupying that body for too long. You supposed you had forced your body until it just gave up. But that wasn't what was important at that exact moment because there was a huge man with a massive hammer pointed right at your face. Not exactly how you wanted to wake up.
You cowered under his glare.
"JARVIS, tell my companions that we have an intruder. You... you stay here."
Well, it wasn't like you had anywhere else to go. Once he left, you shifted unconsciously. It hurt. You knew you would be stuck for a while. For how long exactly, well. You'd have to figure that out. Fucking... fuck. At least you were in a form you liked.
The door opened and you darted under the bed in a streak of gray fur.
"The fuck was that?"
"I don't know."
"Looked like a cat to me."
"Since when do we have a cat?"
Under the bed, you hissed. You were doing calculations and energy conversions in your head. Where did you learn how to do that? How did you know the necessary equations? What the fuck? No matter how you knew what you did, you figured that with the energy required for so much changing after weeks of malnourishment, you would be stuck like this for at least a month. A month. Stuck. As a cat. With these people. And nowhere else to go.
Well, this should be fun.