What Are You? What Am I?

Title: Title Goes Here
Time Period: July 30, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Hands hands.

Birds sing, the sun shines, clear water rushes clean through a rocky stream. Flint's spent the most of the morning sleeping late in the absence of responsibility granted him by this unannounced sojourn into the forest. Since the sun's risen too bright through the leaves to ignore, he's plunged into the stream to rinse gore from sticky fur and death from between his teeth, snapping gracelessly after stray trout instead.

The retarded crash and slap of water thrown up against the current can be clearly heard for a ways into the woods. Disturbing the peace.

Eventually he tires enough for his interest to wane. Clean and comfortable, he turns himself back on an easy delay. Taking his time. It hurts less that way, when he can temper it. Muscle and fur recede. Tendon draws bone in tight. He is a man.

A naked man in a stream who's recently had his ass brutally kicked. The roll of his jacket stands out bright against the shoreline. The lump beneath them is probably a pair of pants.

Across the bank's opposite side, a squirrel has paused to look. After an uneasy moment spent looking back, he fishes a stone off the bottom to throw at it.

Just in case.

In all fairness, the stream is a bright beacon and meeting place for forest dwelling things. Clear water in the summer is an attractive prospect, as Deckard himself knows. Soon, he will know he is not alone, but not sooner than Cruikshank, who heard the kerfuffle in the water and sent his own prying eyes ahead of him to go look, with only a little bit of convincing. The magpie had gotten herself out of the vicinity before any rocks could be thrown or even before she could be noticed, but the crunching steps of a grown man approaching, even cautiously, are less subtle.

He is not naked! Actually. His feet are bare. but his legs are clad in loose, thin hide that has had little treatment. A sort of tunic tied off to shut hangs off bony shoulders, and dry bones click off the chord around his neck.

A bag of burlap and leather hangs off his shoulder, and it smells like like old death, after the bugs have picked it clean.

As often seems to be the case, it's the smell of company on the approach rather than the sound of it that turns Deckard around to look. And see.

It takes some searching to place Cruikshank as someone he recognizes once he has. They weren't together for long. And he didn't get a good look.

For his part, Flint doesn't look much better than he did the day he washed up on the beach. He's bruised all across the side of his face and around his throat amidst the bristle of his neckbeard. Fresh powder burns sting red at his side and around one arm.

A lean cranes his look around enough for him to feel satisfied there's nobody else, not nearly paranoid enough for his own good. He's made up his mind to relax. He is a creature of the forest and no one will find him there for as long as he doesn't think about it!

No one besides Fletcher.

"Hey," he greets, still a little breathless from — fishing. Or whatever totally normal activities he was just up to. "I don't remember your name."


Helpful. He is a helper. At providing names and unlocking locks with sea water and doing a sort of half-hearted cover-up that didn't work too well on account of people being apathetic, nosy, or Leonard. He also hesitates before he approaches, leaving clothing alone and coming to crouch at the street side, dipping his hands into the water, giving them a much needed cleaning while he happens to be here.

"I don't think we traded names," he states. Playing it slightly cautious, although being a sort of naturally anxious creature, it's probably still detectable in the core of his voice and manner.

Weird name.

Deckard rankles his nose accordingly, incredulous until it's clear that no alternative is forthcoming. Vaguely trapped between being naked in the water and being naked out of the water long enough to put his clothes on, he opts for the former without being sure that's the normal thing to do. Seems like it would be.

"Flint," he exchanges after a pause that all but spells out the intense amount of thought he's put into this conversation so far. Later maybe he'll play it back in his head and feel secure in how normal he must come across while naked in the woods.


Fletcher's backpack stinks and he looks at it without asking why, even as the impulse jackhammers off the back of his brain every other second he spends staring. One eye squinted nearly shut, the other cut glassy and clear in his skull.'

"Nice to meet you properly, then," Cruikshank says, only glancing up before following the look towards his bag. "Oh. It's pieces of an eagle. I'm not sure what it'll be any good for, yet." But presumably, it will be good for something, despite the fact it doesn't smell like anything you want to eat, but it's possible he didn't eat the flesh off the bones he's wearing outside either.

He dries off his hands by flicking them. "You can come out of the water, if you like. If you're pretending. I don't imagine you intended to stay in long after you were done." Then, slightly more jovial; "I shan't look."

No need to tell him twice. After a glance over his shoulder and an od, Flint fords for the shoreline and up onto the rocks, clear of water moving a little too cold and too quick for lingering to be all that ideal. His clothes are there, soon to be at the end of a trail of wet footprints soaking into the stone.

He pulls the pants on first, uneasy enough to make certain Cruik's keeping his word more than once. The jacket follows at a glad bag rustle, the kind of bright, dirty blue that'd blend in well at a landfill and nowhere else. ZZZZzzzzip up his Adam's apple. Then most of the back down again.

"Like magic?" he wants to know offhand.

"Exactly like," Cruikshank clarifies, rocking back to sit down at the patch of land he's claimed in his crouch, toes nudging at the damper ground beside the flowing water, hands taking his weight against dirt and grass. Presuming this to mean that Flint is dressed, he tosses a look back up and over at him. "The same stuff that helped you. And how I saw what happened."

He's obviously been meaning to ask, or bring it up, but instinct dictates. His familiar isn't named the way she is for no reason. "The ship wreck, and— you." Because shan't look only applies when he says it at all; everything else is fair game.

Sleeves pushed back from his wrists, Deckard circles and sinks down into a sit of his own nearby. Aimless in a restless way, anxiety licking hot at his resolve to gloss over the reason he's out here. Reasons.

He's still wet, trousers clinging flat to the poke of his knees when he bends them into a fold. "I didn't lie," he says. Too distant to be defensive. He's just saying. While they're on the subject.

Nobody asked him if he was a werewolf.

That earns a glance, one of a little bit of scrutiny, because that is the sort of thing liars say— but either Cruikshank believes him or it's unimportant. He moves, then, closing up a little space between them by coming to kneel, hangs tangled between his knees, his interest made more clear both in proximity, posture, expectant peering.

"You didn't remember anything, on the beach," he says. "How is it you're like this? You don't use a skin, I saw that. That's how most do it."

"I have a medical condition," says Deckard. Hedging.


"Where I'm a werewolf."

It sounds stupid to say. Even here and now and to Cruikshank while he pulls a tuft of innocent grass up by its roots. "It wasn't like there was paperwork to fill out," to declare himself, he must mean, for all that the context is lost on most dwellers of the year 135 A.E. He looks as if he could go on but doesn't, closing his shoulder off to Fletcher's encroach with a scuff at his nose instead. Sulking.

"I dunno. What are you, some kind of wizard?"

"Sort of. Born that way, if you will."

At least, Fletcher keeps where he is from there, glancing up for the trees to see if a passing shadow and flutter is anything he need concern himself with, then back at Flint. "I've only ever heard of werewolves," he adds, explaining away why he is putting the burden of education on the other man. Anyone can hear about anything, and it doesn't make it true. "There's… a prostitute. Her ancestors were selkies. Some of them. But even they need skins. How long've you been a werewolf?"

"I don't know." He can't remember.

"A while," Flint guesses, once he's thought around it. Because Cruikshank asked nicely. The hand that had scuffed under his nose continues on to feel over the swelling at his eye, down into the hollow of his cheek. People in Dornie are mean. And violent. And prone to histrionics, he thinks.

It was just an arm.

From where Fletcher's sitting, Deckard isn't keeping a very close eye on his surroundings for all that his situation should demand it. He looks after sounds in brush but only briefly and to satisfy his curiosity. It's a level of irresponsibility that's nearly deliberate, second in incongruity only to the frequency with which he checks to see if current company looks like he might be leaving.

"I don't remember if I said thanks," he says. "I'll save any dead animals I find."

Deckard did say thanks, a brief afterthought that Fletcher only just heard, but it doesn't bear correction. Not if he's going to get dead animals out of it. "How thoughtful. I live in the Rookery, if you find anything interesting." This would be a good cue to stand and leave the werewolf to his— whatever it is werewolves do, out here, chase rabbits or pee on things.

He doesn't escape company immediately. "You've not had a very good time of it so far," Cruikshank adds, drawing attention to plain injuries for the first time.

"I bit a guy," says Flint, plain as the contour of bruising around the bones in his face. He says it quietly, at least. A confession. "I had a thing. He tried to take it away." So, naturally. In defense of his thing.

A look tilted down at the ground at his side serves as after-the-fact acknowledgement that it may have been a disproportionate escalation of violence. Especially given that the Thing didn't exactly belong to him to begin with.

So it goes.

A guy, a thing, at some unspecified time. Flint is not actually a good story teller, Cruikshank thinks, but then again, getting hit in the face in Dornie is not actually so much of an event. And he himself has a bias towards lavish details, whether or not they happen to be true. His smile is small and pointy and tolerant, and he doesn't press for more.

"Then I imagine you'll fit right in," is a little dry on the topic of disproportionate escalations of violence, and with that, Cruikshank snags a hold of grassy terrain and pushes himself up to stand, leather bag swinging against his hip. "They're not very fond of wolves around here, though. For reference."

Flint is not a good story teller when he's telling on himself, it's true. He seems to know it, brows furrowed in half-hearted apology.

One that maybe pointedly doesn't carry over into offering greater detail. He looks away instead, one sleeve scuffed at lingering damp in the scruff under his nose. When he looks up again, Cruikshank is standing and he nearly moves to follow on impulse, weight shifted awkwardly to one side when he realizes a natural incline towards where are we going is actually where is he going. It's slightly pathetic. In a witless kind of way.

He remains seated.

"Yeah," he agrees. Yyyeah. On that note: "…Maybe don't mention to anyone that you saw me."

"I didn't see anything," is— not argumentative, or defensive, just a promise. Cruikshank is not a generous or even particularly nice person, but it suits him not at all to anger a werewolf; there are less dangerous ways to win the approval of Dornie's powers that be, or avoid their attention altogether. He's gone, soon, following the direction of the stream and only followed by the swoop of a magpie who'd been watching from a high perch, flapping furious in his wake.

Soon after, the only evidence he was there at all is the still lingering smell of long-rotted flesh.

Deckard watches him go without saying thanks a third time.

A few minutes pass in relative stillness and peace. Birds chirping. Water babbling. Grass to pull at. This is what not stalking people looks like, when he concentrates on it.

He should probably find a place to stay.