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Different, But Still The Same

Chapter Text

What did Eva tell her not to do?

Go into the woods.

What did she do?

Go into the woods.

In all fairness, Teala did have a good enough excuse. Then again her excuse was ""aesthetic"" photography, followed by getting spooked and just legging it. Then again, if trying to escape something that could kill her was also a good excuse for getting herself lost in a place that was likely full of things that could kill her, and on a full moon? She might as well just run around screaming and get it over with.

By the time she'd ducked behind a large enough tree to catch her breath, there didn't seem to be anyone- or anything- following her anymore. She let out a sigh of relief, smoothed out her dress, and turned the corner. Even if she expected to see some kind of monstrous beast looming in the darkness, she wasn't expecting to see a literal wolf less than twenty metres away, sniffing at the leaves. To her horror, it looked up, spotting her just as she attempted to tuck herself behind the tree again. All she could do was pray that it forgot about her.

Teala knew what happened to girls in red coats when they came across a wolf. There were three outcomes; The wolf eats her grandma, she kills it, or it eats her, and since she’s without a relative or a shotgun, her chances of survival seemed pretty slim. Her eyes scanned the surrounding trees as she attempted to spot any low hanging branches to climb, desperately searching for some kind of escape route if she needed one.

Then something poked her leg.

Teala looked down to see the wolf staring up at her, before going back to sniffing at her feet. With her breathe seemingly lodged in her throat, she shuffled to the side. What did people usually do when confronted with a wolf? Her gut told her not to kick it, at least, but how would she get away?

From any class she’d managed not to day-dream in, she remembered something about backing up slowly, to show it you’re not hostile. Trying the second part of that, she hunched down slightly, holding out the back of her hand, disregarding the fact the creature could probably take it off in a single bite. The wolf tilted it’s head up, poking its muzzle at her hand, the sudden coldness of its nose causing her to flinch. To her surprise the wolf moved back as well, pressing its ears to its head as if to apologise.

Why would it do that?

“Okay… Good boy, okay, uh, back up?”

It moved back.

“Stay…”

It sat down.

“Great, who’s a good boy?”

Leaves fluttered up into the air as it wagged its tail, its tongue lolling out of its mouth. For a creature that could more than likely tear her to shreds in seconds, it seemed passive as a house-trained puppy. She cautiously turned around, before saying fuck it to safety and sprinting in the opposite direction.

She didn’t get far before she snagged her foot on a rough patch of earth, accidentally throwing herself straight into the summer-sun baked ground, leaves billowing up around her. Thankfully she hadn't impaled herself on her camera, but she still curled herself up into the undergrowth, so utterly done with her current situation. If it weren't for the fact she did value her life, she would've gladly curled up here and just slept off her last 2 hours in existence.

Then she felt another nudge to her elbow.

So in conclusion, scratch that, her last thirty minutes.

She'd gotten off easy the first time, she couldn't be as lucky in round two.

It poked her elbow again. She tilted her head slowly to face it, eyes meeting the soft brown one peering back down at her. Surprisingly, looking up at it, she noticed a dark brown bandana tied around its neck, almost blending into its thick fur.

Maybe it was a "House-trained puppy"... Huh.

She rolled onto her side, still as low to the ground as possible, but a little more confident that the canine wasn't going to tear off her limbs one by one, before cautiously pushing herself up. It scooted back a little, sitting down. Peacefully enough.

"You got an address buddy?"

Hedging her bets, she reached out for the bandana, but it quickly recoiled, raising a paw to block her path.

"Well, Nevermind then..."

Brushing the majority of the dirt off her legs, she brought herself to her feet. Looking around in the darkness, she realised she might have run a little deeper into the woods than she intended.

" Shit ."

" Arf! "

The wolf started doing circles around her, before stopping in front of her, before hopping in front of her, tongue giddily lolling out of its mouth. Was it trying to tell her something? Worth a try.
"Do you know the way out, buddy?"

Teala, you’re talking to a dog-

" Arf Arf! "

And said dog is talking back. Maybe you are dead? Is this wolf a guardian angel or something? Honestly, I’m not really the biggest “dog” person, they are cute but- FOCUS TEALA.

She nodded, pulling her hood over her head and her coat around her shoulders as the wind - oddly chilly for an early summer night - whipped at the ends of her hair, which she quickly tucked behind her ears.

"Okay cutie, let's go."

The wolf seemed to hesitate, fumbling, before moving forward at an almost lightning pace, and after five minutes of part-sprint, part-walk, part-catching her breath as a reminder she really needed to take Eva up on those morning-sprint-before-brunch offers (because the morning jogs were clearly not working at this point) she could see the street lamps glistening through the branches like fairy lights.

She took in a deep breath, letting out a misty sigh of relief. 

Home.

Thank god.

She turned to thank her furry companion, only to find a flurry of leaves in its wake as it sprinted into the distance, apparently hurtling as fast its paws could carry it.

Well... She just hopes it gets back home safe.

Where ever its home is… Maybe it lives deeper into the forest, with other wolves, or maybe it runs on its own- why does she mind? She’s probably never going to see it again anyway. Last time she goes that deep into those woods again. If it never happens again, it’ll be too soon.

Chapter Text

“For the last time, Colleen, I am not letting you enter me in a dog show!”

“Oh come on Roi, why do you have to be such a spoilsport! The prize money is really good! Besides, you’re the most well-trained poochie I know.”

“If you call me poochie one more time I SWEAR I WILL-”

“... Heh, what was that?” 

She beamed down at the brown-furred wolf, who, trying not to trip on the dressing gown that’d fallen down around his paws as he’d transformed, frowned up at her. Well, as much as a wolf could frown.

“Arf!”

“Look what I’ve done? Oh please, it’s not my fault you’re adorable.”

Colleen quickly hopped over, giggling as he attempted to scramble away, before just tripping on his jeans and falling over. She squatted down, booping his nose.

“Awhh, come on, do the thing!”

He let out a disgruntled, sigh, tipping his muzzle to the floor, before looking up again. She excitedly pressed on his nose again, and, as if she’d pressed a button, he stuck his tongue out in a grumpy blep.

Colleen giggled for just a little longer, before ruffling his ears and saying “Alright, you better get going now- you said the pack meeting had been rescheduled for this morning, right?”

“Arf!”

And with that, Roi scampers out of the door, claws clattering on the concrete before he slinks into the undergrowth, diving through bushes in the town to avoid the townsfolk, hurrying through the hustle and bustle of early morning everyday life in Amphitrite’s Hollow. 

But his route is tried and trusted, and he enters the forest without any trouble, pace quickening as he hurries into the depths of the trees, grateful for the early summer sunshine. If he’s being honest, as much as he loves Colleen, it's here, in the woods, where he feels most at ease. After all, the woods have a reputation for being full of Differents like him, or at the very least, semi-friendly creatures.

Roi's tail wags as he trots along, seeing the briar thickets that mark the camp entrance. Scattered Ashes is on guard, and they notice him as he approaches.

"Good morning, Omega R!" They call amicably, smiling in a wolfy way.

"Good morning, Scattered Ashes! How is the prey running?" Roi replies

"Not sure yet, Rain Dance isn't sending out patrols until after the meeting." They let out a wistful sigh."I hope I get picked to go on one, I smelt a rabbit warren on my way down this morning!"

"Oh, that sounds great. Hey, won't this be the new pups' first tastes of the summer rabbits?" Roi points out. 

"Oh yeah! I hadn't thought about that." Scattered Ashes smiles, fangs glinting in the early morning sunshine. Roi tilts his muzzle skyward for a minute, to bask in the mid-morning sun, and then trots past Scattered Ashes into the camp.

He’s greeted by the familiar sight - his fellow omegas, O and S, talking by the prey pile, Quiet Dawn and Briar Nest sitting side by side, watching Owl, Tiger and Lion tussle playfully in a patch of sunshine. Eagle Claws and Bear’s Heart sit side by side in front of the Meeting Stones, heads bent in amicable conversation. Rain Dance is curled up on her Stone, neither awake nor asleep, dozing in the early summer sunshine.

He scrunches his nose happily, tail wagging as he heads over to sit with S and O.

“Hiya, R!” S pipes up, beaming, fangs gleaming. “Has the past moon been kind to you? I don’t think we’ve talked in, like, forever!”

O rolls their eyes, dark like charcoal smudges, and smiles fondly at their sister. “Its only been since the last meeting, doll.”

“Oh! Yeah!”

Roi chuckles. “Yeah, its been good, what about you two?”

“Good, thank you.” O says, their long tongue flicking out to clean off their muzzle after their meal.

“Yeah, we’ve been great!” S pipes up, stretching out her front legs.

Roi goes to say some more, but is cut off by the sharp signal bark of Rain Dance.

Silence! Let all wolves listen well, for our Alphas will speak!" Rain Dance says, from where she’s stood on her rock, now fully awake. She dips her head respectfully to Eagle’s Claws and Bear’s Heart, who nods back as she takes a seat.

“Wolves of Artemis and Amphitrite,” Eagle’s Claws begins, voice loud and clear in the early morning quiet. “Another month has passed, the moon has completed it’s lunar cycle once more. This is the time for us to pay respects to the wolves who have gone before, and pray for the wolves who will come after. We have had a prosperous month, welcoming the arrival of a first litter of pups to Briar Nest and Quiet Dawn, with thanks to Gorse Thicket. We howl tonight for the wellbeing of all three of the pups and their mothers.”

Briar Nest beams happily as Quiet Dawn puffs out her chest with pride, the three pups - Owl, Lion and Tiger - blinking owlishly at Briar Nest’s paws, innocently pretending it hadn’t taken their mothers a lot of time and effort to wrangle them into sitting still enough to be washed (twice, they’d immediately gone to play at being hunters and rolled in the dust after the first wash).

Eagle’s Claws smiles down at them gently, and they squeak happily, Briar Nest lightly hushing  them.

"The gods have also blessed us with fine hunting this past month, and plenty of rain- even if lasts night's storm made us cancel the full moon meeting." Eagle's Claws adds, tail swishing as she overlooks her pack with pride.

"Yes, the cancellation was inconvenient, but it allowed us to travel safer and rejoice in daylight together," Bear's Heart says contentedly from beside his mate, voice a pleasant rumble in his throat. His thick

"Here's to another summer month of prosperity!" Eagle's Claws finishes, tilting her head skywards as she starts a howl, the rest of the group quickly joining in, even the pups adding their high pitched ""howling"" which is closer to a squeal, to the mix.

Roi howls along with the rest, soul content as he loses himself in the symphony of the pack, happy to be amongst Differents of his own kind. He loves Colleen, truly, she's the best friend he could have asked for, and he feels guilty for it but in the forest, in the camp, is where he feels most at home.

As the camp falls into quiet once more, bathed in sunlight, Eagle's Claws speaks once more.

"Let us now recite the Law of the Forest, and then the meeting shall be dismissed." She instructs, and the pack speaks as one once more.

"This is the Law of the Forest, as old and as true as the sky. The wolf who keeps it may prosper, the wolf who breaks it must die. Like the ivy that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back- for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack!" They chant as one, the many voices, each of which Roi knows like the patterns of fur on his pelt, blend seamlessly into a chorus of well-rehearsed reciting of their beloved law.

As the recitation ends, Eagle's Claws nods approvingly. "Meeting dismissed." She calls, hopping down off of the rock.

Roi glances at the position of the sun in the sky, and decides he should probably be getting home. 

"'Til next time," he nods respectfully to his fellow omegas.

"See you later, alligator!" and "Til next time, R." come back his way.

He steps out of the camp into the dappled forest sunshine, and grins, beginning to pad in the direction of home, tail wagging.

Chapter Text

Teala pushes open the door to the florist shop - Bloomin' Beautiful (so aptly named by the original owner, an old lady who'd thought it was hilarious). She is greeted by the familiar sights - Eva - already bright-eyed and perky, eyes sharp with intellect, and as always the earliest bird of the group - standing behind the counter in one of the green employee aprons. 

Teala grabs her own apron off of the hook, tying the strings in a neat bow behind her back, blinking the last of the sleep from her eyes.

"Hey, Eva, good morning," she greets as she gently waters the display plants, starting her daily rounds.

"Good morning, Teala! How was your weekend?" Eva replies brightly, eyes flicking between the register and the calculations she is scrawling on a piece of scrap paper. It still marvels Teala how much of a morning person her friend is, always ready to go go go the moment they open shop.

"Good, thank you, though I have such a weird damn story- I'll tell you both when Lauren gets here, wouldn't want her to miss out," Teala grins, and Eva smirks back at her. "You?" 

"Eh, pack managing, same old same old." Eva shrugs, stuffing the piece of paper into the pocket of her apron.

“How’re the new pups?” It almost feels odd, talking so freely about Eva’s Differences and subsequent lifestyle differences (no pun intended), but it's become the new almost-norm for them.

“Growing up way too fast! Oli can barely believe we’ll have to give them mentors in a moon and a half, and Quiet Dawn and Briar Nest are such wonderful mothers.” Eva smiles brightly, as she begins to order their current order forms of floral arrangements, after turning the sign on the door to “Open!”. 

“That's good,” Teala says, almost overwhelmed. She’s being the best ally to Differents she can but there’s a whole other world that she’s not a part of, and won’t be, really, ever. So it can be really difficult and overwhelming sometimes, but she’s trying.

It’s at that moment, that a figure gently pushes over the door, the little bell tinkling. They’re of average height, chubby and rosy-cheeked. They have brown eyes, and brown hair that falls in slight waves down to their shoulders. They have a mustard yellow jumper on, hands turned into sweater paws, and they almost jingle as they move, pin badges on their jumper and a bunch on the thigh of their blue jeans. They have a set of pronoun pins on their chest that read “Please Use She/Her!” and “Please Use They/Them!”. With a smile, they approach the counter, and directs a question at Eva.

“Excuse me, Mx, but how do I order a bouquet?” They ask politely, fiddling with their hands as they speak.

“Oh! You just fill in one of these forms-” Eva gestures to the neat pile on the counter, “- and then return it to us. Then you pay, and then we’ll tell you when to collect your order!”

“Ah, danke !” They fish a pen out of the kangaroo pouch of their sweater, and scribbles across the form, filling it in with messy handwriting that’s masquerading as neat.

“Here, is this alright?” They slide it back across, and Eva gives it a once-over. As they pull their hand away, the sweater rides up, revealing the tiny cat paw mark on their inner wrist that marks them as a cat hybrid Different.

“Yup! To confirm- a bouquet of 11 roses, a mix of peach, cream, yellow and pink?”

“That would be correct. And- can you put this note in the bunch please?” They pull a folded piece of paper from their pocket, and hand it to Eva, as Teala comes behind the counter, putting away her watering can. She manages to get a glimpse of the note, and it reads:

Dear Birdy,

Thank you ever so much for helping with DBSTS!! And yes, I could've said this in person, but flowers are cooler! And they smell nice! So!! This is for you, because I couldn't have done it without your help, encouragement, and endless enthusiasm!

vielen danke and much love,

Tea! 🐾❤️🐾

Eva grins softly, and replies to the customer. "Of course! Your note will be safe with us, and you can come back to pick it up tomorrow afternoon!"

"Thank you!" Tea says as they pay, fumbling with their purple Scouting Association wallet, before handing over the money with a big smile. They collect their receipt, and stroll out of the shop, humming a show tune.

Almost as soon as they've left, Teala turns to Eva and speaks.

"Aw, they were so sweet!" She coos, smiling at her friend. Eva nods in agreement, and carefully files the order form with the rest of them.

They chat for a bit, and Teala makes herself busy doing chores around the shop whilst Eva preps some bouquets. Soon enough, the door swings open to let a very sleepy looking Lauren in.

“I hate mornings,” she groans as she walks through the shop to hug her coworkers, smelling of suncream, blood, and florist shop flowers.

“It is midday , Lauren,” Eva laughs fondly.

“Yes, and I am a creature of the night, you literal bitch,” Lauren quips back, yawning, her fangs glinting in the lights.

“Touche, bloodsucker, touche.”

Teala dithers in her dusting, attempting to think of a way to enter the conversation, yet coming up short. She thinks back to when they were kids, and how she’d accidentally found out about Lauren’s vampirism.

Teala’s parents had been having one of those parties, one where the adults go talk and the kids all play together. Little Teala had been looking for Lauren, so they could start playing hide and seek, and had opened a door to find Lauren, sat on the floor.

This would’ve been fine and normal, apart from the fact that she had her fangs buried in the neck of a rat, drinking happily. When she saw Teala, she had taken the rat out of her mouth, and dropped it into her own lap, before picking a fresh rat corpse off of the floor, and holding it out to Teala.

“Hi! I’m Lauren, you look thirsty, you can have one!” She’d said, beaming, fresh blood smeared around her lips.

Teala had burst into tears and ran for her mother, and that's how a friendship spanning longer than a decade had begun between the two girls.

But in the present, Teala was still struggling to think of a conversation topic, so she gave up, having to be content with simply trimming some flowers in silence as Eva and Lauren talked with ease. 

I'll figure this out eventually, she reassured herself with a sigh.

Chapter Text

Roi pads through the woods, sunlight dappling the forest floor as he strolls, wagging his tail happily. He’s heading home after another good pack meeting, feeling contented and joyful. All of a sudden, he notices a shape in a bush as it glints in the afternoon sun, and goes to examine it, sniffing at the bramble thicket warily.

Using his paws, he rolls the shape out of the bush with some effort, and notices its a camera - and a good one too. Someone must’ve left it here by accident, he realises, and paws at the strap, trying to roll it over to see if there’s a name on it anywhere.

The words “Property of Teala Dunn” are printed onto the leather strap, and Roi blinks.

Teala. He knows her, hell, he saw her just last night when she was lost in the woods- she probably dropped it then?

Pacing the clearing, he starts to think about how he can return it. If he remembers correctly, she works with Lauren at the florist’s- Bloomin’ Beautiful, wasn’t it? Maybe he can take it there, and either Lauren or Teala herself will be there for him to give it too!

With some difficulty, he manages to wriggle the strap over his wolf head, letting the camera thump against the brown fluff on his chest. Roi starts walking, a careful trot, picking his way through the forest, until he comes across one of his hollow logs- old, dead trees, normally ones struck down by one of the summer lightning storms that so often hit the little town, perfect for hiding stashes of human clothes, so he doesn’t always have to bother Colleen when he needs to transform back to human anywhere but their house.

Roi carefully ducks his head out of the camera, grumbling when he snags the end of his muzzle on the strap accidentally. He nudges it up against the side of the log, to keep it safe, and then pads a few pawsteps backwards.

He shuts his eyes and, with a deep breath, focuses on transforming back to his human self. The tingle and stretch, and then adjustment to new limbs, is just as odd as it was when he was a kid, and he rolls his shoulders, stretching out his muscles.

Of course, the downside of transformation is since wolves don't wear clothes, he always transforms back into a very naked human. In fact, the only thing that carries over between forms is his little brown neck bandana- looks perfectly normal as a human, and helps him carry his phone as a wolf. Hurriedly, Roi reaches into the log, and pulls out his clothes, throwing them on with seemingly practised speed.

As soon as he is dressed, he picks up the camera, carefully slinging it over his neck. Then, with his supernaturally sharper nails, he makes a long vertical scratch on the log- ignorable to everyone else, but a reminder to himself that this one is empty.

As he walks through the forest, he pulls his phone out of his bandana. He fires off a quick text to Colleen, to let her know that he will be out a little longer since he had to return a lost camera. Soon enough, she replies with a thumbs-up emoji, and he stows his phone securely in his pocket.

At this point, it's the afternoon, and the sun is shining in the town of Amphitrite's Hollow. He breathes deeply as he ambles through the streets, smiling contentedly as the scent of saltwater and flowers hits his nose. The sound of waves crashing against the rocks and lapping at the shore echoes up from the beach.

This town may have its issues, but it will always be home to Roi, and that's what matters to him. He walks along, hands in pockets, humming a merry tune as he makes his way to the flower shop.

Soon enough, he reaches it, pushing open the door as he takes the camera from his necks. The welcome bell chimes happily.

And there she is, Teala Dunn, hair tied loosely into a flyaway ponytail, green apron draped across her, somehow yet more beautiful than the last time he saw her. Not that he likes her, or anything. He's over his high school crush, right? Right.

She looks up when she sees him, and smiles, although no recognition flashes in her dark eyes.  "Hello, Mx, welcome to Bloomin' Beautiful, his may I help you?"

"Uh- I believe this camera is yours? I found it and thought best to return it." He holds it out to her.

She blinks at it, and then takes it, breaking into a wide grin. "Oh my god! Thank you so much! How did you find it?"

After a second, she narrows her eyes at him, as if thinking, as he explains that he was walking in the woods when he nearly tripped over the damn thing.

"Hey, wait, I know you, don't I? Roi Fabito, right? You went to my high school?"

Roi smiles brightly, glad to be recognised. "Yup, that's me!'

"Woah, it's awesome to see you again! Been a while, hasn't it?" she laughs, tucking some flyaway hair behind one ear.

"Oh, thank you! It's great to see you too!" He beams at her, unable to stand still as he bounces on the balls of his feet.

"Hey, we haven't talked in so long, how are you?" She asks, as she carefully stows the camera somewhere Roi can not see, presumably in the counter.

"I'm good, thanks, you?" 

"Great, thank you!" Teala smiles, turning her attention away for a split second to organise some papers on the counter.

At that point, the door to the backroom swings open, and out steps Lauren, balancing a tray of seedlings in tiny pots on her hip, hands protected with gardening gloves. She sets them down on the windowsill, letting the door swing shut behind her with a quiet *clunk*.

She looks up from her work and, spotting Roi, grins. "Hey, bud! How goes it?" Lauren says, pulling her gloves off to scratch an itch on her nose.

"Hey, Lauren! And well, thank you!" He smiles, and then glances at his watch. "Oh, crap, I gotta get on, but Teala- would you like to catch up over a coffee tomorrow? You know that lil' coffee shop, Fresh Off The Bean?" Roi beams hopefully.

Teala thinks for a minute, before nodding. "Sure! I get off at two tomorrow, how about then?"

"That sounds great! I'll leave you be, then." He says, and with a final goodbye to Lauren, leaves the shop, heading for home.

Chapter Text

Roi strolls through the streets of his hometown, humming a merry tune. Stuffing his hands into his blue hoodie, he is almost too warm in the (not quite) summer sun, but for now he is perfectly content with it. His red and white sneakers tap out the beat as he rounds the corner of his street, footsteps in time with each pulse of his heartbeat. Roi practically dances up to his and Colleen's front door

As he fumbles with his keys until the locks click open with a satisfactory click noise. He pushes through the door, he is greeted with the smell of Colleen's cooking, and her cheery voice calling out an overdramatic "Hello!" that he echoes back When Roi registers it, he hurries to rid himself of his trainers and shut the door behind him. He scurries into the kitchen, to find his housemate fussing over a pot on the stove. It smells gorgeous, the mixed aromas of meat, vegetables and herbs flooding his nose - his heightened senses (one of the many benefits of being a werewolf that carries over into human form) only making it even better.

“What’re you cooking?” Roi asks, leaning on the counter, inhaling the food scents deeply.

“Hello to you too, Roi!” Colleen laughs as she turns to say hi, dropping the spoon into the pot with a gentle plop. “And, to answer your question, soup! For lunch, duh.”

“Smells awesome, Colleen!” Roi enthuses, grinning his wolfish yet dorky smile.

“Much obliged,” she drawls, cracking a grin as she turns to mix it some more. She gently scoops some of the mixture up with a spoon, blowing on it to cool it before gently dabbing the tip of her pinky finger into it. She hisses at the heat, before popping the finger in her mouth, eyebrows furrowing as the thinks.

“Hm- Roi, come taste this,” she says, and Roi eagerly obliges, with a quick “ow fuck that's hot” before he tastes it, shaking out his finger afterwards as an attempt to cool it. “Its missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it? No pun intended, eyy,” she makes finger guns at her friend.

He snorts, and then nods. “Yeah- maybe it could use more pepper?”

Colleen hums in agreement, and grinds in some more black pepper to the soup. “Anyway, how was your day?”

“Good, thank you, the meeting was great! The pack really is thriving, which is great, we can get stronger this summer and maybe this winter will be better. But how was your day?” Roi catches himself before he starts rambling, shoving his hands in his pockets as he sits down on one of their kitchen stools.

“Fuckin’ amazing, Roi,” she grins giddily, nose scrunching into her signature smile. “You remember how yesterday I went to that pro-Differents speech in the square yesterday?”

Roi nods, doing a spin on the kitchen stool. "Didn't you say that there was another today? How was it?'

"There's a new speaker and holy shit she's so PRETTY?? And definitely gay,if judging by the massive lesbian pride badge on her jumper is anything to go by" Colleen smiled, continuing to stir the soup.

"...and her speech?" Roi adds, cocking an eyebrow in amusement.

"Also great! She's a great public speaker, to be honest. She agreed to meet me at Ro's café on Saturday to "discuss the finer points"," Colleen says, making air quotes with her spare hand. 

"That's awesome! Hey, funny you should mention the café, I'm going there tomorrow to meet with someone!" Roi says excitedly, swinging his legs absent-mindedly

Colleen immediately looks up, intrigue sparking her brown eyes. " Oh? Who is this mysterious person, hm? And most importantly, Fabito, is it a date?" She questions, not taking her eyes from his for even a second.

"Wh- no! It's not a date! Just a friendly catch up, you know?" Roi spluttered, an embarrassed blush dusting his cheekbones. 

"Oh, suure it is. Now, who is it? Tell me!! Please?" She says persistently, beaming wildly at her werewolf friend.

"Well- do you remember Teala? Teala Dunn, from high school?"

Colleen gives a little happy gasp. "The Normal girl you had the like, biggest   crush on ever?!"

"...well- I mean- maybe-" Roi says awkwardly, messing with his fingers.

Colleen tips back her head and cackles. "Oh my God! This is brilliant! You, going on a date with Teala Dunn of all people! This will be entertaining! " Her voice is mischievous, with a bit of light teasing present in her tone too.

Roi's flush deepens as he avoids his roommate's gaze. "I-It's not a date, Colleen, I swear-"

She rolls her eyes and laughs teasingly "Sure, sure, I'll believe you. Soups ready anyway!" Colleen rummages through one of their cutlery drawers, pulling out a ladle to serve the soup.

As they eat, she continues to occasionally poke fun at him, and though she clearly doesn’t mean it, what with her light-hearted tone and laughs, it still makes Roi pout grumpily, face flushed in embarrassment. He quips back at her as well, occasionally, and it’s all in good fun, so no-one is surprised when Colleen ends up laughing so hard that she nearly sends her soup bowl flying. The two friends are having fun, really, lazy afternoons are perfect for this sort of thing. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and chilling in the warm kitchen makes Roi feel like everything could be okay forever.

It’s a comforting feeling.