A Chicharron By Any Other Name

Title: A Chicharron By Any Other Name
Date: September 28, 2748
Characters Appearing:


"Let's face it," a low, gruff voice can be heard alongside the plodding hooves and the quiet squeak of an axle in need of a spot of grease. "We're lost."

"We're not," insists another voice, this one of a woman to her travelling companion. "Once we get through this fog, Pietersite Village is supposed to be through these woods. Maybe. Isn't it, Mr. Greenwell? Ms. Mejia?"

The two travelers look to their hired help. Tariq's most notable feature might be the puff of curled hair surrounding his face like a halo, but it competes with the black and green patterned vest and white long-sleeved shirt he's donned atop his jeans. The man walks beside the woman on her horse, the other side of her being her companion walking his bicycle-cart combo.

"It shouldn't be much farther, but we could probably pick up the pace, to get there before the fog really starts to settle," reassures Tariq quietly. Sure, he's calm on the outside. Those who know him should also know he's pretty calm on the inside too. Except for that little thing called being a Garou. He sends a look past the front of the horse to Bel, who he had warned it was a bit of trip, this gig, but the money would be worth the time. Honest!

Given that Bel was made to use some of her built up vacation time, and given that her boss was not having her back until a significant portion of it was depleted, she's had to find other ways of entertaining herself. Which is why she's here, hanging out with Tariq, perhaps making sure he isn't walking himself into an elaborate mugging. Her hands are in her pockets and she lifts an eyebrow over at him, shaking her head indulgently. "That's right. Just through the fog," she says, also sounding calm and reassuring. Although, unlike Tariq, she's much more likely to be a ball of stress on the inside. She hides it well, though!

It's nice in Jasper Forest during the day. It really is! … so what is that chill that runs through the four of them? Hair stands on end on the back of necks, goosebumps raise along flesh… someone's watching.

Or is it … something?

A flash of blue behind them. The crunch of a twig.

And then a bounding fawn-colored wolf emerges from the fog, tongue lolling. She sniffs along the ground for a few feet and then pauses when she sees the horse. She looks back over her shoulder and rowls at Jason. I found wolf and horse and Bel!

Another wolf comes trotting out of the underbrush, its fur a more reddish-brown, and its gait long and loping. Its ears perk when it sees the group, and it makes those growling/howling noises that are so familiar as Mother's Tongue. Bel! We meet again! But this time, the ADVANTAGE IS MINE! Bridge-Over-Troubled-Water tries to let out a cackling laugh, but it sounds more like a wolf having a coughing fit and trying to vomit at the same time. He trots over to the cart, stretching his paws up to plant them on the side, sniffing at the passengers. Who are these assholes?

The man walking his bicycle doesn't look convinced by their escorts' mutual statements, but he doesn't say much more to protest their group's progress. The woman is the more indulgent of the pair and nods resolutely. She's about to make a comment when her horse's ears flip back and the animal stops, mouth open and pulling at the bit nervously. The woman tries to calm the horse but she's busy handling the creature, too busy to notice the pair of wolves.

Tariq, though, takes a look around - especially the rear of the party - and his concern takes on a protective stance before he finally sees the fawn-colored wolf. His hand slides up, a palm up and out sign of both stop or peaceful greeting, one way or another. "Friend, we are merely travellers on the way to Pie—"

The emergence of Trouble, though, really sets off the horse and the animal half-rears with a fearful neigh overtaking the red wolf's attempt at a cackling cough. "Whoa! Whoooa!" The man holding on to his bike drops it to a side in favor of trying to grab for the horse's halter.

Chaos may be behind her, but when Bel sees Tallulah appear through the fog, the Kin croches down to greet her with head ruffles. "Hello, little friend," she says with a gentle smile. Nevermind that no wolf in the history of wolves could be described as 'little'. Of course, she knows by now that where the little one goes, Trouble follows, so she looks up without much surprise at his appearance. "Come on, now, you two are going to give the poor horse a heart attack," she says, straighten up onto her feet. "These people need help getting to where they're going. Tariq's helping."

The wolf pants happily, tail wagging at the head scratches. She snuffles at the ground and then pads over to Tariq, sniffing at him. Hello, new Tariq! This one doesn't have a name! And then she goes to sniff at the horse. Don't be scared, horse! I won't eat you.

When the horse rears and bucks, Trouble's ears splay back and he hops back a step. In an instant, a young man in a brown leather coat and jeans is standing up, holding up his hands to the horse. "Woah woah, sorry, buddy! Just saying hi! Hello, miss! Sir! Fancy running into more folks on the road! The name's Jason Bard!" He holds onto his lapels, flashing them a dazzling smile before glancing over to Tariq and sizing him up, before giving him a nod. Sup.

The little group is a perfect little yin-yang of calm and chaos! The man misses his catch of the horse's halter, much to the dismay of the woman who gamely sticks on as the horse fully rears despite Talullah's attempts to make friends. The horse paws at the air, blustering through its nostrils at the wolf. Poor Tallulah. Self-preservation is still strong in the prey animals around here.

"Please!" pleads Tariq with both hands up now. "Give the horse a little space, just to calm it down?" Thankfully, the change on Jason's part decreases that threat of WOLF OMG by half.

It's a little bit before the man and woman manage to maneuver the horse off the roadside into the trees, leaving the Garou and Kin for a minute while they calm the animal. As they do, Tariq exchanges greetings with the new faces, stepping up beside Bel to have a look at the pair. His head quirks at an angle at Talullah, then over at Jason. "As Bel mentioned, name's Tariq, Tariq Greenwell. Light-Chaser and crescent moon of the Star Children," he supplies more formally than his normal demeanor would imply, very much like he was taught the stiffness.

When Tariq comes over, Bel nudges him a little with her shoulder. "He's my sparring partner," she explains, as if this might be the more pertinent information about the man. At least, it might give Jason better social context. "The pup's kinda new," she supplies to Tariq, about their wolfy friend over there. "She's learning, though," she notes, with approval. Even if it's just approval for the sake of giving the girl some confidence.

Light-Chaser, the wolf repeats, before bouncing in place and running in a little circle around him. Meet so many man-wolfs! Then she looks over at Jason and Bel, tongue falling out of the side of her mouth and dangling. When do I get a name? Or do wolfs not get names?

Jason rubs the back of his neck sheepishly as the horse is lead off. In contrast to Tariq, he gives the man a casually salute with two fingers as part of his introduction, "Nice to meet you, Light-Chaser. I'm Bridge-Over-Troubled-Water, new moon and troublemaker of the Red Howlers. And Bel's secret lover. Oops, I said it out loud." He's grinning from ear to ear, and throws Bel a wink.

"So sorry about interrupting your job. We were trying to find out where wolfy here met the so-called Forest-Smells," he leaves over to ruffle Tallulah's ears. "Well, how about Belly-Full-Of-Pork-Rinds? You polished off that bag pretty fast."

Then it takes Tariq a moment, but he quickly realizes aloud as he's looking over Jason, putting two and two together. "You're Trouble? The Trouble?" Someone might be famous. Or infamous? One way or another. He clears his throat after the short outburst, regaining composure and breaking out into an amicable smile. "Word gets around, you know, don't trust a raven to keep secrets," Tariq notes with a roundabout gesture of his hand. The 'sparring partner' furrows his brow at Bel's nudge, stooping down to get more eye to eye on Talullah's level. "No name? Nonsense," he says, examining the fawn-colored wolf as he lets her sniff him more fully. "Pork Rinds? Haha… maybe, but then you'd be tempting too many Bone Gnawers to take a lick. Maybe… Bright-Eyes."

Bel can only roll her eyes at Jason's introduction, at least the bit that concerns her, but her eye rolling is legendary, born out of too many older siblings and ridiculous bosses alike. "Don't flatter yourself," she says before her attention turns to the wolf at her question. The two wolves might go back and forth over what to call her, but something Jason says seems to stick to the Kin and she gets a wide smile on her face. "Chicharron! Aww, mi Chicharronita!" She crouches down again to scritch behine the cub's ears as her speech devolves into incomprehensible Spanish that one could really only describe as 'abuelita nonsense', in that it carries a delighted tone but there may not be any actual words in it. She's an old lady at heart, perhaps.

Between Light-Chaser and Bel and Trouble, Bright-Eyes-Chicharronita wags frantically. She's just fuckin' so excited, and she licks Bel's face like crazy. BRIGHT EYES PIG CRUNCHIES! she exclaims, flailing happily. Squirm squirm squirm!

Jason's smile falls into a look of deer-in-headlights in the face of Tariq's smile, but it's followed up almost immediately by a snort, and he gives the man an overly dramatic bow. "Master of Darkness and Stealth, at your service!" he says with a laugh, "Bel, I know you're a big fan, but you may be talking me up a bit too much. Sparring partner, eh? So Tariq, I have you to blame for teaching her that vicious indian burn technique, eh?"

He busts out laughing at the wolf's happy outburst, hooking his thumbs in his pockets. "Bright-Eyes-Pig-Crunchies it is, then! I'll contact the Sept Elders and start the naming ceremony! Speaking of the Sept… I haven't seen you around, Tariq. Are you a new arrival, or just been hiding under a rock?"

Once Bel takes over the scritching and abuelita impressions, Tariq gives her that space to do so. He looks on with a sort of nostalgic tint to his gaze, colored at the edges with amusement. The two men wind up standing beside each other, Jason with his thumbs in his pockets, Tariq with his fingers interlaced behind his neck in a short stretch. "You do what you need to defend yourself," he says with a wink at the ragabash. "Not exactly new," he says after a pause to think, eyes looking up to the forest canopy as he contemplates time. "It's not exactly a rock but I've got a place, classes to teach, a studio. You should drop by some time, even. I guess it's high time for a meet at the sept, though, isn't it? New faces to name, to celebrate." He nods towards Talullah Bright-Eyes-Chicharronita in particular.

It's at this happy moment that a loud clearing of throats sounds behind them, and the man and woman can be found standing there watching all this go down. The horse is on a long rein, still standing amongst the trees, but calmed now and idly grazing. "If you all don't mind," the woman says, stifled mild annoyance in her tone, "we still have a ways to get to the village, do we not? I'd rather not stick around to see if the legends about these woods is true." The man chimes in, "And I'm sorry but we didn't request additional escort." His tone seems to imply there's no additional payments to be had.

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