[P] by the skin of your teeth
[ coriander, uriah. at the rest stop ]
[Image: uFDUhx.png]
The pace was slow and steady. Tallulah made sure that it was not too much for Coriander all at once. When they reached the Commune of the Salmon, she angled Rusty and let the new Luperci follow her to the Rest Stop. Throwing open the doors carefully, she would go in first. "Uriah!" she called out to one twin "Besekel?" she added, glancing around to find the vicinity almost empty. There seemed to be no customers or traders, which was just fine. She didn't want to overload her new companion. Turning back, she beckoned Coriander inside. "come on in." She said this as warmly as possible, knowing the Stop wasn't her abode and if the twins saw fit to chase them away... Well.

The dog hybrid really doubted they would anyway. She gestured for Coriander to sit on a chair near the counter. Tallulah placed the rabbit furs on the counter and sat as well. If the new Luperci didn't sit near or next to her, that was also fine. They were still getting used to each other anyway. Before they left, she had covered and put out the burning embers. She made sure they weren't followed either - just in case. Tallulah made sure to do everything taught in order to survive. "They're good folk," she says now to the other woman, twisting on the seat to view her "I doubt they'll turn ya 'way." She frowned inwardly at the thought of Del Cenere doing such a thing. Maybe not, but it was a strong possibility.

Still, they both had to wait now for any of the band's members to reveal themselves. Tallulah drummed her fingers on the counter, somewhat impatient with the situation as a whole. She wanted Coriander to be safe, so she could go back to the Ashen. They might gossip and wonder where Tallulah was.
(309) | tagging coriander and uriah
All the tension and wariness that had been worked out of her system during the short trek felt renewed and tight within her body as Ria stood outside of the Rest Stop structure, clutching the blanket draped over her shoulders even more tightly with both hands. She stared upward at it with a slight gape to her mouth, and there was a healthy dose of uncertainty within her rust and lavender eyes as they roved from its foundation to its rooftop and everywhere in between. What the hell is this? The dark-furred Luperci couldn't bring herself to say it, but the question must have been evident when she hesitated and didn't respond straight away to the invitation to head inside made by Tallulah. How was it the other woman could stand so calmly within the entryway for this strange...whatever it was, with so many foreign smells simultaneously assaulting her senses?

But this was it. This was the location that was supposed to help her, the loner band that would provision her with food and things others of their kind--Luperci, was it?--used to get by. That's what she was now: a changer, a shape shifter, though she still had no idea how to go about reverting to the four-legged form she was most familiar with. Coriander swallowed and took a steely breath, shoving aside the anxious nerves threatening to make her hackles raise over a mere building. She was stronger than that, braver than that, and she wouldn't let this situation get under her skin so deeply that it proved otherwise.

Setting her jaw, she followed Tallulah to the door, sniffing the entire way, and stepped inside with a wide-eyed expression. Whatever she had expected, this wasn't it. Most of the structure was filled with wooden creations of varying sizes and shapes, whose purposes were clear in some instances and vague in others. As she walked, still in the hunched posture initially adopted when walking for the first time, Ria almost managed a full circle in her scan of the wide room. There was simply so much to see, so much newness to wrap her head around, that she wondered how it was her guide showed none of the awkward wonder that she felt. Would Coriander one day become so desensitized to it as well?

Despite an overwhelming curiosity, the trepidation from before still remained, and while at one point her scan of the room put her a few paces behind Tallulah, Ria was quick to make it up and tailed the other woman to the bar. With her gaze still panning, she missed the gesture to sit, too busy scanning the bar and behind it to notice, but as the pale Luperci's words drew her attention back in her direction she realized Tallulah had sat down. Her ears flickered once uncertainly before she took her cue from the woman's seated posture and tried to mimic the same in the seat beside hers, sliding awkwardly onto the seat and reaching unconsciously to scratch at her bite wound again with a little more care. "Is this a den?" she asked at length, unable to stop staring about the space when each new glance revealed something previously missed.

Uriah had been outside, the last of the morning's customers who had come for a taste of Manitou's fresh hot cooking had gone, and by now what remained of the stew in the pot had been simmering away at a low temperature to keep it warm for a few hours. With the lull in activity, Uriah took this time to take inventory and check on the upkeep of all the animals that lived around the Rest Stop. He checked first on the horses. They'd been brushed and red and their stalls were mucked out, likely the work of Mithra and Fenton. The firewood and meat stores in the shed out back were well enough, but they were swiftly running out of vegetables this far into the cold season. Perhaps this spring the band would benefit from sowing another field for vegetables. They'd saved the seeds from the pumpkin Uriah had "found" in the fall, so perhaps they could grow some of the brightly colored gourds in a new field in the summer.

After checking over everything, Uriah decided he may as well take the time to put the animals out to pasture now that they'd been fed. He didn't check on the rabbits or the chickens, seeing as his baser instincts still told the wolf to chase and bite them every time he saw them, and the other members of the band seemed to frown upon that sort of behavior, but the male was sure that Mithra took care of those as well. Instead, Uriah took Erebus from the small stables around the side of the rest stop and brought the horse out to turn him out in the fenced in field across from the rest stop. Returning, the silver mix did the same with Jora and Brocade, and then for good measure, the wolf haltered the two horned sheep that Bête Noire had raised up and sent them into the pasture too, though there was nothing to graze on the ground out there, it would likely do the animals well to get some time to stretch their legs and not sit in a cramped little stable stall all day.

Uriah was one of the only people milling about the rest stop, both inside and out, and when a voice caught his attention, calling the wolf dog's name, first his ears perked in the direction of the sound before his head followed suit, and the male made sure to properly latch closed the pasture gate before jogging over to the building and heading inside, pushing aside the heady curtain that lined the open doorway. The voice sounded familiar, yet urgent, he wondered if this visit was for business or leisure before he stepped inside and answered, "I'm here, what's up?" Uriah's mismatched eyes saw that Tallulah wasn't alone when he entered, two females sat at the bar and Uriah made his way calm yet hurriedly to the gap in the bar that would admit him to the kitchen area where he then made his way to the back to preemptively put the tea kettle over the fire and then went back to stand across the bar from the two of them, noticing how the dark furred girl beside Tallie looked a bit fidgety and seemed to glance about.

"What can I do for you both?" He asked, his eyes not missing the rabbit pelts that sat on the counter in front of his new friend from the Del Cenere Gang. "Looking for a hot meal, or just miss me too much to bear?" The wolf joked, offering a half chuckle before he placed both hands on the counter and glanced between them, indicating he was ready to get down to business and wouldn't fool around again unless he judged the mood was light enough to do so.
[Image: uFDUhx.png]
"Sort of" Tallulah responded to her companion, wagging her tail "it's a building. Like a den, but fortified. It has doors and windows. Lots of shifters have buildings, especially in pack lands. They're used for lots of things. Sleeping. Eating. Drinking. We got taverns - where ya can get alcohol" she made a motion of drinking "and food prepared. Like that rabbit I did, but better." But before she could explain further, Uriah appeared. He was swift on the uptake, even if he had to bring in a little joke too. She smirked at him, furrowing her brow with an exhaustive expression.

"This is Coriander" she gestured to the darker Luperci "we were close by, so we came here..." she trailed off, frowning deeper. She hoped that was fine "Coriander just shifted. She was bitten by one of us, and I don't rightly know where to bring her for help. I gotta get back to Del Cenere eventually - but I fed her and gave her a blanket. I have the stuff to trade for a proper outfit and meal, even somewhere safe to sleep for a few days." Tallulah pushed the first of these items to Uriah, the rabbit furs before leaning back. If prompted, she'd even open her satchel again for more.

She glanced at the other woman. "She needs someone to tend to her bite too. I ain't a healer, so I didn't even try" she paused, tapping her chin before gesturing to the large white Luperci "this is Uriah, and his twin Besekel is 'round here somewhere I bet. He's a friend, and he knows how to contact me if ya need more help" she added to Coriander "can we borrow a room after too? She wants to shift back, but I ain't gonna let her do it outside in the cold." It was probably traumatic as it was for the woman; she needed to be somewhere safe and warm while attempting again.
(idc) | tagging coriander and uriah
With one ear trained on Tallulah for her answer, Coriander stared about the "building" in cautious wonder, letting her mismatched eyes roam around the space with sweeping glances and lingering stares. There was just so much crammed inside the wooden walls, all of it she assumed with some greater purpose that her simple mind hadn't yet unlocked, and she was mesmerized by it. The quick and dirty run-down she was given describing the place left much to be desired but still allowed for the barest form of understanding. Like a den--but different. For sleeping, eating, and drinking. "Huh." The singular sound rolled from her muzzle absently as she brought her attention closer, to the empty bar stools beside her and beyond the bar itself, toward the kitchen with its soft but appetizing scents.

She leaned forward slightly in her seat, leading with her nose, when a voice from the doorway made her jump and sit back quickly like a guilty child caught in the act of something she shouldn't have been doing. Her head whipped around to stare at the individual striding purposefully inside, and initially she felt her guard hairs rise. Gray wolf. An image flashed through Ria's mind: a snowy burrow, a miscalculated theft, and one angry, bipedal wolf. His image was no longer clear in her mind though his scent rushed back into her senses as if he stood beside her, the smell of his anger its own monstrous thing. She was not likely to forget the encounter entirely, even if the specific details of it were already fuzzy.

The dark Luperci wrinkled her nose and lifted a hand reflexively to the back of her neck, alighting gently on the bite wound still healing there, but in the same instant recognized this was not the same wolf. There were no dark markings on this one as on the one who attacked her, and even from here his scent smelled wrong. Her eyes trained on him as he stepped around the bar to busy himself behind it, noting now that she had a clearer view the subtle differences between himself, her, and Tallulah. Coriander glanced sidelong at the lighter canine beside her and felt just how limited her world had been before Tallulah happened upon her. Who knew it contained this much diversity?

Her ears flickered uncomfortably and Coriander shifted, self-conscious, upon her seat as the conversation quickly became about her. Something between a pout and a frown formed on her soft, dark features, and she drew the blanket more securely around her shoulders yet again with a quiet, "Hmph," treating the object like a security blanket she could hide in. The entire situation felt awkward; she wasn't used to accepting help let alone seeking it out, and even now some part of her resisted. She felt the doorway call to her, the open world beyond tempting her back to the cold and familiar...but the itchiness of her bite beneath the blanket reminded her yet again: she didn't want to die out there.

Absently picking at one edge of the blanket, Ria answered Tallulah's introduction of her with only a small, uncomfortable grunt while she struggled to maintain an aloof, disinterested presence amidst this structure of curiosities. They didn't need to know exactly how badly out of her element she felt here--or how much she needed the help. As if to make that point or simply add her own sense of control to the situation, Ria tipped her head up and eyed Uriah shrewdly. "You don't kick out wolves?" she asked in a guarded tone, recalling Tallulah's warning about her own pack leaders and how they treated wolves on their territory. Of course, the answer seemed obvious--after all, she was still sitting here--but it was all that came to mind first.

OOC: Apologies for the delay! Been pulled in too many directions lol

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