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 Fever in the Rain, [Garrett/Alice]
John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 6:03 PM
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Softening hard truths was not really Garrett's thing. "You're running a fever that would kill a human," he told her, though he did manage to keep his voice as gentle as he was able, more so as he added, "You're a shifter, now, sweetheart."

Comfortable with casual touch, more than a lot of rats were, he ran calming circles over her back. "I'm sorry this happened to you, and being sad about it's a normal reaction. But there's a lot of good that comes from our condition, too. Try to hold on to that while you mourn your humanity." It wasn't a question of if she would. She would. Everyone did, even those who wanted infected, who embraced their lycanthropy.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 7:00 PM
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"Well...crap." Alice rested her head on Garrett's shoulder and closed her eyes, too busy questioning everything else in her life to question whether she was entitled to play cuddles with the Rat King. "This is going to make things really complicated, you know." She didn't even sound that complain-y. Maybe sort of chiding, like it was all Garrett's fault but she considered him more to be pitied than censured.

She kept her eyes closed. "My parents are going to flip their shit. They weren't exactly thrilled about me being a grad student instead of trolling the country club for a good husband. But a shifter? How gauche." She tried to laugh, but it came out on a sigh.

"On the other hand? Superpowers. Maybe it's a good trade after all." It was just her nature, Alice couldn't stay gloomy if she tried.


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 7:31 PM
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'Yeah, we're awful crass," Garrett said proudly. "Take your Raj with you when you tell them. He's so pretty it confounds people. They'll take the news much better confounded."

That said, "There's no reason it has to complicate anything. Unless you're in medicine or a school teacher. If you're not either of those things, your life doesn't have to change all that much."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 7:54 PM
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She pulled back enough to be able to see his face, smiling at him with serious eyes. "That's sweet of you to say, but it's not really true, is it? I've been doing a lot of reading this week, books on lycanthropy but also news sites and internet forums where people talk about life as a shifter. And there's this huge need for your group, and the community your group creates. Learning the animal's instincts, getting control of them, figuring out how to eat and fight and run and have sex without it eroding your control. And there was that horrible thing last month with the wolf pack, I found some godawful stories about it online and when I made Oryn tell me about it he said people didn't just get killed, they also got tortured and raped and really awful stuff." Her eyes cut toward the bar area where Janos had been earlier, but then came back to Garrett.

"So it's not the end of everything, I'm not trying to be dramatic. But it's not going to be just the same plus the addition of a cuddly kitty, is it?" She didn't notice that she'd wrapped her hand around his wrist for comfort. "My life doesn't have to suck now or anything, but if I'm going to be good at this, if I'm going to be a shifter and do it right, my focus is going to have to change a lot." It wasn't that she didn't want to be wrong. She was just fairly certain that she wasn't.


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 8:00 PM
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"You choose how far you sink yourself into the life," he said. "The wolves tortured and killed people outside of the community, too. Bad things happen, shifter or human. People hurt people, shifter or human. Humans have their fair share of serial killers, psychopaths. The danger level's higher if you let yourself be really involved, but you don't have to be. It's a choice. There are those with lycanthropy who never see that side of it, because they opt out."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 8:22 PM
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She thought about that, first chewing on her lip and then reaching out for one of the baskets of cheese curds now that her shrimp was gone. "Okay, fair enough. But let's face it? Opting out is lame. Not gonna be that guy. Girl."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 8:36 PM
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"Atta girl," he said, sounding proud of her.

Jamie started stirring, making very unhappy noises as he stretched in that way that babies had that was stretching the upper half but the lower half frogged up and got more compact. He'd never say it out loud but he found it to be about the cutest thing ever.

"Go back to eating, please, so you don't try to attack my kid. I like my kid."

That said, he ducked down to pick Jamie, dressed in jeans and a long sleeved onesie that read 'King in Training' (he had no idea where Janos had found it), and settled him into his arms while he finished waking up. His son never woke up from a nap in a good mood.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 8:47 PM
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She took a good swallow of Coke and started eating cheese with happy focus, watching Garrett pick up his son and making a little full-mouth cooing noise at the cuteness.

"Holy wow," she managed between bites. "That is the cutest baby in the history of cute. I think you and your wife should preserve DNA samples for the sake of humanity. Let them clone up a few of your kids every five years or so, improve the genetic pool." She popped another cheese curd and chewed thoughtfully, then gave Garrett a bright smile. "Did that sound as creepy out loud as I think it did?" She kept eating because she really didn't want to know if she'd actually want to eat the baby if she stopped. Thus far Alice was managing to keep things fairly calm, but if she tried to eat a baby she would lose her shit. For reals.


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 8:57 PM
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"Little bit," Garrett said, voice lower, far more soothing than it had been even with her, because he didn't want Jamie to start caterwauling. "But thanks for the underlying compliment. We're pretty fond of him, so we're biased, but I think he's a handsome guy."

He didn't even care that he sounded like a pussy for saying it.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 2:54 AM
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"I wholeheartedly concur. And as I'm sitting here watching him, it's kind of disturbing me how many of the phrases people use to talk about cuteness are devouring-related. Saying you could eat him up, calling him sweet as sugar, and so on."

She was still eating happily but also watching Garrett with his son, because there's something almost unbearably wonderful about watching tough, manly men cuddle on babies. This did not at all stop her from chatting. "On a related note, this cheese thing is delicious. I take it that given the fact that the Hissing Cockroaches of the Sea were also delicious, this massive appetite thing will not be going away in the near future? Do I just need to invest in fifty-pound bags of quinoa and flats of canned tuna and accept that I'll do nothing but down protein for the rest of my life?"


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 10:28 AM
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Jesse swung by, setting a bottle down by the King, who then picked it up and gave it to Sir Fussypants. As long as the bottle was full of breast milk and not formula, Jamie didn't seem to mind, snob that he already was.

"It gets better after a time, and that varies from person to person," Garrett told her while Jamie sucked away. "For the first while, though, yes, you'll crave meat. As fresh as possible. If you have any pets, you may want to board them for a while." His face said he wasn't kidding.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 4:48 PM
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Her smile widened a little bit. "They keep bottles around for your kid? You really are a King." She couldn't help but watch that for a minute, the tough guy/baby cuteness thing hitting her all over, but then got back to the main point.

"No pets. But a human roommate. You think that's going to be okay? I'd really rather not devour her, she's my best friend and her name's on the lease."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 7:28 PM
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"I brought them with me," Garrett said, the amusement plain in his voice, "But they need refrigerated. They keep 'em in the kitchen and heat 'em up when he wakes." He spoke like he'd brought the baby in more than once already, which he had.

As to the room mate. "That's up to your Raj," he said, "Lotta groups take their new infections in for a little while, while they learn control."


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Miri Hughes
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 7:37 PM
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Looking absurdly crestfallen, "Way to ruin the image. I was picturing a heavily-armed man with tattooed biceps carrying around a cooler, a special mini-fridge just for his bottles."

She tilted her head and considered the baby. When she found herself reflecting that he really was almost alarmingly tiny and soft-looking, she started back in on the fried cheese. "The pard's in a hotel right now. Egh, I guess I'll figure it out. Or Collin will make decisions and I'll accept them with as much grace as I can manage despite my inner feminist. Whichever."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 22 2013, 7:57 PM
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"We'll make decisions together," Collin said as he approached the table, dressed in jeans and a grey long sleeved tee, hair pulled back. He nodded to Garrett and, at the return nod, sat himself down. "I want what'll work out best for you, I promise."

He leaned in, dragging his cheek along hers, letting his beast out and, unsurprisingly, getting a small response this time. All the confirmation he needed, he let his cat wrap around hers, weak though it was, in comfort. "Thanks for calling me," he said to Garrett.

"Don't mention it," Garrett said, flipping Jamie over onto his tummy so he could rub circles on his back. he'd learned to stretch him across his legs so that when he inevitably threw up half of what he'd just eaten, it went directly onto the floor.


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