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 Fever in the Rain, [Garrett/Alice]
Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 17 2013, 5:01 PM
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There are disadvantages to being optimistic and and easygoing, and Alice was running right smack into one of them today. In all fairness, Oryn had warned her that he was doing a double-shift at Madam Rose's today, first following Ben and Jack around to learn the ins and outs, then working the bar to observe the way it all fit together when the house was operating. He'd told her he'd probably have his phone off for parts of it, which made perfectly good sense. But it meant that when she woke up today, four days after Valentine's Day, with a high fever and a ravenous appetite but no other symptoms of illness she hadn't been able to do more than text him and hope he turned his phone on to check at some point today.

Worse, she didn't actually know how to get in touch with Collin. She hadn't thought to ask for his phone number, like an idiot, and he probably assumed that Oryn had given it to her. Alice knew he worked at the shifter hospital, but not where that was. She knew most of the pard was staying a hotel, but not which hotel. She knew that Oryn's friend Sam was a photographer, but not which studio she was at. Basically, she'd been so busy being accepting and mellow about everything that she'd screwed herself, hard.

In the end, she only knew three places where she could maybe find some help with this. Many Moons, which was not fucking happening. Winchesters, which was all the way across town from her house and Alice suspected that between the fever and the crazy, jumpy restlessness she was feeling driving wasn't a super idea. And 439, which was only about three miles from her place. A long walk, but totally doable and maybe the exertion would help her burn off this jittery energy that she honestly couldn't tell whether was a side effect of the fever or just straight up fear.

She walked the three miles fast, head down and the drizzly rain failing to cool the heat of her shoulders and bare arms. She hadn't thought to put on clothes appropriate to the weather, but she wasn't shivering as she walked. She got to 439 sooner than she almost wanted to and stood inside the door, her hair weighed down with water, her hands gripping her bare arms and her cheeks pink with fever and fear.

Looking around the dining room, searching desperately for anyone she recognized, there was only one face that struck her as being in any way familiar. She didn't know who he was, only that she remembered Oryn pointing him out to her the other night. He'd pointed out a lot of people, and while she'd been paying attention and all there had been a lot of faces and a goodly number of those bright pink drinks and most of her attention had been on the cute geekboy and she just...didn't remember.

But with no other options occurring to her, Alice headed over to the table where the tall, bearded man was sitting alone with a newspaper. (People still read newspapers? Another time it would have kinda cracked her up.) Stopping a few feet back from the table and not even remotely noticing the man from the end of the bar who slid to his feet as well, Alice clutched her own elbows, noted distantly that she was finally starting to shiver despite that she still felt fever-hot, and asked the Rat King, "Excuse me, sir? Do you now where I can find any leopards, please?"


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 11:18 AM
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Garrett wasn't, in all actuality, alone. Jamie was nestled in his bucket on the floor under the table, fast asleep. His periods of wakefulness were finally starting to really stretch a bit, and he was already a smiling, happy baby during said times, but when he napped, he napped hard, and this time of day the four was fairly quiet. Though, to be honest, Garrett wanted Jamie getting used to as much noise as possible. The Compound was not really a quiet place and his son needed to not be unsettled by commotion.

He sat reading his paper, the lifting of a single finger as he turned the page telling Harry to sit back down. She wasn't a danger to him. Maybe to Jamie, who she couldn't see and hadn't notice, but Garrett could handle that.

He leaned back in his chair, making the print on his graphic tee more visible and looked the girl up and down. It wasn't remotely sexual in nature, but to a mundane eye could be mistaken as such. He noted the shivering, the red flush to face and skin, and gave an unsubtle sniff of the air. She smelled of leopard, but not like she was one. More like she'd been canoodling with one.

"Any?" he asked, his voice somewhat quiet, but solid, and with a bit of drawl in it. "What do you need a leopard for?" He had a very good idea, though.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 12:31 PM
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The shivering was getting worse the longer she held still. Alice rubbed her hands up and down her upper arms to try to banish the slight chill that lingered from the rain, hoping that would stop it before it got even stronger.

And even so, when she smiled at Garrett it was bright and vivid, happy in a way that most people were too cautious to show a complete stranger. "Well, technically I'm trying to find Collin Moss, but my understanding is that any leopard ought to know how to find him. I know he works at the hospital, but have no idea how to find said hospital."

She rubbed harder at her arms, trying to banish those shakes and also trying not to lunge forward and steal the burger off the table next to Garrett's. "I'm supposed to call if I start feeling all...infected, but I don't have a way to reach him."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 2:17 PM
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Suspicion confirmed, he pushed Jamie's bucket just a little further under the table with his foot, then stood and went to her.

"Congratulations and condolences," he said, then pulled her into a secure hug which had exactly zero to do with either thing. She needed shifter baking, and while she was apparently going to be a leopard and he was a rat, it didn't matter because she'd not shifted. She just needed the heat.

"TJ," he said, loud enough for the younger man, who helped managed the place, to look up questioningly. "Get Moss on the horn for me."

"Yessir," TJ said easily enough, picking up one of the cordless phones that were located in various inconspicuous places throughout the pub. All leadership was under coded speed dial.

"You need to come sit down by me, sweetheart," Garrett said as gently as he was able, which was much better than Gentle Voice had been before they'd had Jamie, "We'll get you feeling better."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 3:31 PM
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Luckily, Alice was the kind of person who sometimes hugged complete strangers anyway, so she didn't freak out when this big, tough-looking man stood up and started with the cuddle. Plus, once he had his arms around her, it felt really, really good. Like the kind of good that hugging Oryn felt, despite the slight awkwardness. Also luckily, she'd had the experience of physical contact with Collin too, so she accepted the tingle-warmth feeling of touch with a lycanthrope without freaking about about how good it was and deciding that it made her a whore for having those kinds of feelings when she was supposed to be dating somebody else. Which Alice was totally capable of doing under some circumstances.

She leaned her forehead against Garrett's shoulder and felt the heat of him sort of surround her, feeling so good despite/because of her own hot-and-cold shivers, and some of the miserable tension that had been making her back ache eased away. "Um, thanks?" She laughed, always laughing, the world never stopped being funny and ridiculous and she was the most ridiculous of all.

Following Garrett's lead, she sat down beside him, still snuggled into his side in a way that ought not to have felt as lovely as it did and which would have been stupidly uncomfortable if she'd known who he was. She let out another breath, relaxed a little more as the shivers started to ease, and tilted her head back to smile at him. "So, my name's Alice. Hi. Nice to meet you."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 7:13 PM
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"Garrett," he said as he reached his outer arm out to take the phone that TJ was bringing over.

"Got one of yours," he said, obviously not talking to her now. "At the pub. Fever shakes and flush and looks about ready to eat the table we're sitting at, says her name's Alice." A beat. "We'll be here."

He hit end and tossed the phone on the table, using one of his feet to rock the bucket beneath it in case the noise startled Jamie. Thank God he could multitask.

"It's not my habit to cuddle with total strangers," he then felt a need to explain, "But the heat'll do you good. You're starting to transition to running hotter, only a lot of your system hasn't gotten the memo. It's why you feel like you're burning up and can't stop shivering. It's a pain in the ass, but it'll pass after the moon. TJ," he waved him over again, "She needs to eat. Get her something."

TJ nodded and went to the kitchen.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 7:29 PM
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"Oh." And then the name finally clicked with the face and with the funny hard bulge she felt against her side where she was edged up to him and, "Oh," again. "You're the Rat, um, Boss." Like Cake Boss? "With the private army and superhot wife and fairy Botox and you're carrying a gun right now so I'm going to stop describing you before it gets any worse. Sorry."

Another laugh, a bit nervous, but she didn't pull away. She did, though, say, "Thank you. I wasn't sure where else to go. I knew staying home alone and pretending that DayQuil would fix it was a bad idea, but my boyfriend, if that's the right word, is mixing drinks in a whorehouse until late tonight and not taking calls. And there had to be a way to find the other leopards, but I couldn't think of it. Plus? Somehow I feel like an idiot for no real reason. Well, no reason before I started talking and talking and talking with no ability to stop myself."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 7:37 PM
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Garrett, whose arm was already around her shoulder, simply lifted his hand and curled it around her mouth. "You're welcome."

He grinned though, and let her go. "It's King. I'm the rat King, yes. The rest of it's accurate enough, though," the corners of his eyes crinkled again as he didn't grin but couldn't totally hide his amusement. "My wife is super hot."

He leaned a little differently in the chair, getting comfortable for the wait for the Raj or her food, whichever came first, stretching the outer leg out into the aisle, the inner one still rocking Jamie's bucket gently. "Coming here wasn't a bad idea, someone here was bound to know what to do. You chose wisely. Your boyfriend's a leopard, too?" It was an easy guess to make. Garrett had lost track of how many cats he knew over the years who got infected during sex. It was like a thing with them.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 8:02 PM
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She laughed into the cup of his palm and actually snuggled closer to him as she relaxed with him. "King, gotcha. And she really is, I saw you two the other night, and I don't swing that way but how could I not notice? And again, going to stop describing, but go you."

"And yeah, I'm dating Oryn Blake. He works at Winchesters and now maybe going to work at that Rose place. Which I'm trying to be calm about and stuff, but I'm sorry, it's weird. Even though I'm sure he's not engaging in constant sexyfuntimes with the cast and crew or anything, if only because I'd be able to tell within microseconds because he would blush himself puce as soon as he walked in my door. But it's still strange."

A deep breath, like maybe she was going to continue in that vein but she stopped and blinked. "Is that your baby? Or--wow, who else's baby would you be hiding under a table? But why are you hiding it under a table?"


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 8:04 PM
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Utterly serious: "Because I don't want you trying to eat him."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 8:32 PM
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"Oh." She thought about that for a second, trying to find the joke. It took her longer than it should have to figure out that there wasn't one. "Hey! I wouldn't eat your baby. I only barely eat red meat. And, okay, it's possible that if that cute guy doesn't come back with food soon I might start gnawing on the sleeve of your leather jacket, but a jacket's not the same as an actual baby. Especially not a cute one. Ugly babies I might be more inclined to flexible morality, but that's just doing a service to the species."


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 8:41 PM
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He snorted, couldn't help it, but shook his head. "You don't get a say in what makes good prey," he told her, "You ever watch Animal Planet? It's always the fawns the cats are going after." It wasn't a pretty truth, but one she needed to hear.

It wasn't TJ who showed up just then with her food, but Jesse. "Heavy on the meat," he told his King, placing the shrimp and chips, burger, order of fries and two orders of cheese curds down on the table.

"Thanks," Garrett said. To Alice, he said, "Eat. Start with the burger or the shrimp."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 20 2013, 9:13 PM
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She had to stop snuggling up against his side because she needed her smart hand to eat with, but she didn't scoot away far. Alice was already far more comfortable with the Rat King than she probably should ahve been and stayed with her leg pressed against his as she snatched the shrimp like she thought she might have to fight him for them and started eating.

"I hate shrimp," she informed Garrett happily between bites. "I looked up a phylum chart once and they're uncomfortably close to Madagascar cockroaches, genetically." Munch, munch, munch.


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John Garrett
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 10:17 AM
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"It's all protein," Garrett shrugged. When you'd been eating warm and wriggling food for thirty years, you lost a lot of the squick factor.

"You're allowed to say no or tell me it's none of my business or it's cat business," he then said, making it clear he knew she didn't know the rules and sort of trying to help, "But how'd you wind up infected? Boyfriend?"


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 21 2013, 11:22 AM
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"I suppose so," she sighed. But then realized how that sounded and shook her head with a little trill of laughter. "I mean, I'm suppose I'm infected, not I suppose it was Oryn."

She looked up at him sort of pleadingly. "I mean, is there any real doubt at this point? It couldn't just be a tapeworm?" She sounded worried and sad in a way that she wouldn't let herself sound with Collin or Oryn. She didn't blame Oryn, truly didn't. But she hadn't wanted this, and it was a lot of big, scary change to be confronting all of a sudden.


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