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"What. No. You -- "

Dave's protests came too late. A pair of gloved hands stretched up and swiftly deposited the feline headdress, reeking of blood, sweat and strange troll hair grease, onto his head. One side caught his glasses just so and canted them; he quickly fixed them before the girl could spot his eyes. He did not, however, bother to remove the hat. Coolkids could not afford to risk their reputation by losing composure over a grody antique.

"It's purrfect!" Nepeta trilled. She hadn't stepped back yet. She just clapped her hands together, so close to his chest he felt the motion. He didn't step back either. He just crossed his arms; they brushed briefly against hers, and he pretended he didn't notice.

"Perfect. Right. I'm the spitting image of Troll Daniel Boone."

She just giggled. He wasn't sure if Troll Daniel Boone was a real thing or if she was just laughing because she thought he wanted her to. Or, heaven forbid, she was laughing at him.

"You should feel pawsitively honored! I've only shared that with my meowrail before." She grinned, and jegus, she really did have a cat-face with her little cleft lip.

"Oh, even better, I'm sharing sweat with the douchebag obsessed with hunky horse-man tits. On a scale of 'one' to 'bucket', how filthy is this in troll culture?"

Olive rose through her cheeks, but she just laughed again, a bit dryer than before. "He does have some funny interests! But so do you. I saw all those weird toys in your respiteblock!"

"Whoa, whoa. Those are my Bro's, not mine. But uh, they're not weird, they're awesome, and that's all there is to say on the matter."

"Mmm-hm." Her tail twitched -- how the fuck does a costume animate? -- and she just looked up at him with big, coy, cat eyes, gray with the vaguest shade of green and perfectly knowing behind her dim exterior.

"You should hook up with Harley sometime and you three can all fan-girl out over your weirdass animal fetishes." The hat was starting to itch and he stubbornly refused to touch it. That hat didn't exist, that hat was dead to him. He ignored it like an older sibling pointedly ignores a dorky junior until they learn how to stop being uncool. Er, not that he had any experience with that. That metaphor was so irrelevant to his life, you don't even know.

She stood up on tippy-toes and reached up and -- she must have read his mind, because she scratched him behind the ear right where the damn hat was irritating his scalp the most. He just huffed and rolled his shoulders.

"Can't keep your paws off of Strider's snowy locks, huh."

His usual company had trained him to expect Lalondian snark in return, either exaggerating his claims or shutting them down like an angry teenager slamming the door in their parents' faces.

Instead, she just slid both hands up under the hat and scritched his head like she was checking his hair for tensile strength, and in the same motion her whole teeny body was up against his. He couldn't tell how much of this was done in cunning and how much in total obliviousness.

"Nope!" she laughed. He had started to unfold his arms and made the vague beginnings of a collision course with her waist, when suddenly she stepped back again, his sunglasses in hand.

"Hey, not cool --" He reached out but the glasses had already snapped to her face. She crossed her arms and squared her feet, and tried to make an impassive face, but overdid it so that it passed into a stern pout.

"I'm Dave and I like to make fat beats and break swords in half and purrtend I'm too cool to roleplay."

"Okay, first off, that's 'phat', I can tell you're saying it with an 'f'. Second, I don't like to break swords, they just fall apart at my touch, they can't keep it together like they're a particularly hysterical dame with a strong case of the vapors and I'm an uncouth gentleman making them unfit for marriage, and third -- "

"I love to make metafurs, I make metafurs like I'm a big metafur chef, baking up huge boxes of metafurs so I can eat them for every meal for every day!"

"Good gog will you stop saying metafurs. Hey look I'm Nepeta, I'm an obliviously-animu catgirl with a double-mouthed hentai-bait lusus, and I have no respect for anyone's heads or headgear."

She just laughed again, pleased at his playing along. And to be fair, he couldn't really put any genuine malice into his voice.

"Dave! I like the way you talk. You're funny and you like to make jokes! Not like my meowrail at all."

"Yeah well. You're slightly less completely annoying than he is, too. Maybe I'll make you an honorary coolkid someday. Or in your case, a coolcat." He groaned on the inside at what he had just said. Not the social implications, but the pun.

"Maybe someday I'll..." She paused, eyeing him levelly (as levelly as she can, a foot shorter than him, counting horns). "Ahh, I don't know." She toyed with the bottom hem of her shirt, then suddenly resumed her impersonations. "Dave is so impurressed by aC's pouncing and hunting skills he lets her curl up on his lap and purr all day long!"

"Filthiest thing you've said," he said in one breath, and then before he could stop himself, reached out and scritched her on the head. She smiled brightly and let out a genuine purr.

"Didn't know trolls had esophageal purr-boxes or whatever you call them."

"Come on," she said, suddenly turning and looping her arm around with his. "I wanna go see a human movie."

"Wearing this?" he raised his free hand toward his head. He couldn't see her eyes still but saw her lips form a frown, and he dropped his hand and stuck it in his pocket. "Yeah, sure," he demeowed. I mean demurred.