Dinner Plans

June 30 2014: Fenris and Inara discuss the wild child over dinner.

Fenris' Aparatment

A small two bedroom apartment in M-Town. One bedroom has been converted into a study.



  • Cora the Hyena Girl - NPC

Mood Music:
[* None]

Sometimes, being a mutant that does not hide the fact is a good thing. Like going to work and telling your boss that you have a little girl who turns into a hyena as your foster daughter and can you use the hyena pen as free babysitting. After agreeing to some free overtime, Inara gets to have Cora taken care of during the day where she can still keep an eye on her. So, Inara comes home, carrying an exhausted and sleeping Cora in her arms.


Jeremiah is… doing laundry. Specifically he's trying to get the stain out of a shirt. A bloodstain. Which just won't come out. He sighs and sets it down.

"May as well get another." He mumurs. Blood is not a good thing to leave laying around so he'll probably burn this one. But then he sees Ms. Bahrami coming home and hurries out to greet her as is his habit the past week or so.

"Inara." He says with a smile, offering to take the little one from her after her long walk.


Smiling upon seeing the familiar face, Inara hands over the girl and stretching her arms. Cora grumbles at the transfer initially but the familiar smell settles her back down.

"Jeremiah," returns the Persian woman. "How are you this evening?"


The exiled deity smiles. "Well enough, thank you." He's moving a tad more stiffly than usual but smiling, quite happy to see them both.
"You look exhausted, Inara." He says with some concern. "Come on, let's go to my apartment, you don't have to make anything for dinner tonight."


Inara blushes softly. In her head she hears her mother's voice saying how a good woman never enters the home of a single man without a chaperone. Inara reminds herself that while that may be true in Iran, Inara was born here in America. Besides, Cora would likely bite Jeremiah if she told the girl to, so that seems like chaperone enough.

"It was a hard day. Summer time means so many parents dropping off their kids at the zoo with enough money to feed themselves, using it as inexpensive babysitting."


Fenris nods. "Yes. I've always been curious about how people can be so fixated and yet so neglectful of their children. Come inside. Do excuse the clutter near the window, I was doing laundry."

He quickly seats her inside and sets Cora on the couch with a pillow (his, which smells like him) and a warm blanket. Then he goes to the kitchen and begins to cut a pair of melons in half and seed them. Quickly his dinner plan starts to take shape. Cold chicken salad (using chickens already cooked earlier) with nuts and dates, served in melon bowls.


Inara looks around the apartment. It's bigger then hers. She notices the shirt in the window and walks over to it. She looks over at the shirt and chuckles, taking the bloody shirt down and heads into the bathroom.

"Your mother never taught you how to wash blood out, did she?" She looks through what she has to work with, going through the medicine cabinet.

Cora, for her part, rolls over in her sleep, holding the blanket close to her.


Fenris sighs from the kitchen. "I have to burn it, I think. I can't have anyone getting a hold of it." Dinner is ready in a shockingly short amount of time and he comes out with the melon bowls in bowls and sets them on the coffee table next to her, pausing only to get them both a glass of water.

"Food's ready, when you are," He chuckles. "Do you need any help in there?"


You say, "Do you have any meat tenderizer? Or lemons? Or vinegar? Or ammonia would work, but I do hate that smell." She comes out of the bathroom and now starts looking in the kitchen. "You won't have to burn it. You just need to know how to deal with it." She looks over at the dinner and puts the shirt down in the sink for now.

"We'll wake Cora later. Let her sleep. She was playing with the pack all day. They loved her. Hyowta especially. I don't think Cora appreciated the bath, but there is no arguing with a hyena with a maternal instinct.""


That draws a laugh. "No, no indeed though thankfully I have never had it aimed at me. So it went well, then? I'm glad to hear that. How is everything at the Zoo… human cubs running lose aside?" He offers her one bowl of melon and chicken salad as he takes the other up.

"There's no arguing with Inara's maternal instinct either, I think, by the way."


Sitting down next to Jeremiah, Inara picks up the melon bowl and takes a polite bite. Her brows rise with pleasant surprise. "This is quite lovely. Very refreshing." She takes another bite and nods.

"Everything is well there. Everyone is healthy and happy, for the most part. One of our tigers has a toothache, so I'll be bringing him in tomorrow. That's what I usually get used as, saving money on tranquilizers to seperate the animals and letting the vets know when the animals have concerns. Luckily, we don't have any hypocondriac giraffes."

The persian woman starts to blush at the observation of her own maternal instincts. "I just treat her like I would treat any animal."


Fenris nods, he's asked her before about the animals and smiles at the reference to pop culture. "Are hypochondriac giraffes actually a thing? I suppose you'd be one of the few who could tell. I'm actually a bit jealous of the way you can interact with the animals at the zoo. Mine are always colored by their perceptions of me." He pauses, thinking for a few moments before smiling and looking back toward her.

"Any animal? Perhaps… you've taken a great many in but Cora is different yes? Because she is more like you than the others."


Inara chuckles, eating while they converse about her work.

"I can't say I have ever met any animal that is that bad. Though the ones in the zoo do tend to be more human-like in their behavior. It's from watching them all day. Certain habits rub off."

She blushes when he tells her that he's jealous of her power, clearly flattered by it. "Each animal seems to see me as one of its own. So tigers treat me like I'm a tiger, wolves treat me like I'm a wolf, cats treat me … well, cats think everything is there to serve them, so they really are an exception."

Inara looks over at the sleeping wildling on the couch, hugging the blanket to her. Most of the blanket is more of a cuddletoy then something to keep her warm, curled up in her arms.

"Yes, Cora is different. And she acts so feral sometimes, but I still love having her around. She loved it at the zoo, especially the feeding time for the visitors."


"It sounds like this may well work then, at least as a living arrangement." Another bite of dinner.

"Which I am glad to hear. I can think of no one better suited to care for her. Tell me, have you given thought to whether you wish to raise her? This must be decided soon, as she is already growing attached to you." Inara no doubt knows this, but it's a point that has to be mentioned and dealt with.

"Other animals, they always sense what I am, so I'm never on their level, never an equal or near equal. They treat you with much more affection than they do me. They fear me, for the most part.


Inara sighs. This is a conversation she knew was coming and was hoping to avoid for a little longer. "I've thought about it. I just don't know what I want to do. I put the idea of me becoming a parent as a pipe dream. One can't have children when one can't feel comfortable around their own species enough to propagate. This might be the only chance I ever get. But my maamaan… she so wants to be a maamaan bozorg. She keeps calling me to tell me about this lawyer she met or that doctor. Good Persian men. I don't know if she will accept a caucasian hyena child as a grandchild."

Putting her food down, Inara turns to look Jeremiah more directly. "You never did tell me what you are. I know you aren't a werewolf, but you can talk to animals and the wolf referred to you as the Alpha of Alphas. I still can't make sense of that. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I wish you would."


Fenris looks at her for a long moment and then rises to his feet. "It may be easier to show you… though I imagine you'll still have questions afterward."

Something begins… happening to his form. He hunches over, his clothing seeming to meld into what quickly becomes a mass of midnight black fur. In the space of moments he's grown from six feet tall to closer to seven long and though he's on all fours now (fours that are increasingly looking more like canine limbs) he still stands close to four feet high at the shoulder. It takes longer to describe than it did to see for in no time at all he's a very, very large wolf and not a man at all. There's still a sense, though, that there's something hidden by the form, as if even this is insufficient to show him as he truly is.

"There." He says in a familiar though rougher voice. "I think this should suffice to show you. What do you think, Inara?"


Taking a step back to give Jeremiah space, Inara watches. She doesn't seem too alarmed, though perhaps that is in part because of Cora's own shifting to her animal form. She does seem surprised though as she talks, not as an animal does to her, but in human speech.

"So… this… " She says, a hand reaching out slowly to touch his fur. "You're not a werewolf though? I don't understand. Are you like Cora then?"


"No, I am not a werewolf. This form is closer to the one I was born with than the one I live in now. I've left it behind largely, but it's what I am."

He laughs and lays down, letting her touch or examine him as she will. "No, I am not like Cora. Cora was born, likely, to human parents. She is attuned genetically to magic and has transformation written over her being. I was born to magic in another realm. The alteration of my shape is an extension of that. And I was known by another name: Fenris.


The vet training in her causes Inara to look Jeremiah all over, in his ears, his jaw, his eyes. When she looks him over, it is not just a casual observer but that of an educated scientist.

"You are Canis Lupus by all I can see. There does seem to be a slight derivation of your jaw that might account for the human speech, in which case you would not actually be Canis Lupus at all but something different."

She's gone into full vet mode now, her hands all over him to feel his bone structure and organs as she palpates him everywhere.

"Born to magic. I see. From another realm? Interesting." Her words sound far off as if she isn't really absorbing them yet. But then something strikes her. "Did you say Fenris? Like the Norse legend? The wolf so large he eats the sun?"


"You've heard of me, then." He half chuckles, half winces. There is a reason he doesn't give out his right name. Partly it's because the true name freely given has power in magical circles and he's smart enough to be wary of that. Partly it's because well… people react badly when they finally do come to believe that he's a world destroying nightmare given flesh and a name to soothe the fears of those wrote his deeds into legend.

"Son of the Liesmith, bound by the Gleipnir, yes, that Fenris." He nods, confirming, eyes on her carefully.


Inara chuckles. "I give tours at the zoo. I know more animal legends then you could imagine. It's about one of the only things I know about Norse legends, but yes." She runs her hands over the thick black fur, noting a spot on his belly.

"You've been hurt recently. In the woods when I met you?" She purses her lips, uncertain what to say.

The man who lives across the street is a legendary sun-eating wolf? How does one respond to that? She finally sits down and lets out a long, low sigh.

"You have always seemed too gentle to be here to harm us, so… why are you here?"


His eyes trail down to his belly, where the scar left from Loki's dagger still is. "Mmmm, yes. Family dispute." He murmurs.

"I am here because of those legends. In Asgard they were my fate and future." Even as a wolf his features seem mobile enough that when he makes a face, it's a surprisingly human expression.

"I did not wish to be caught in an endless cycle of imprisonment and madness… so I left and came here. Here I do not have to worry about distrustful gods or ancient prophecies… well, not as much, anyway."


Inara listens, still poking and prodding at Fenris. She holds his limbs and bends them slowly, watching the way they move. Yes, she is studying him.

"You're head musculature and bone structure is different enough that I think you might classify as a separate species of Canis. Or maybe a subspecies. Canis Lupus … Sapiens perhaps?" Her hand remains on his belly as she listens.

"So, you were being kept prisoner on Asgard and escaped here? So… Asgard is real then?" She frowns, thinking about this. She doesn't see why it wouldn't be possible. Superman is from another planet after all.


As Inara is deep in thought, Cora starts to wake up. Her eyes flutter open and she sits up on the couch. Upon seeing the dire wolf on the floor, she pulls into a crouch and starts to growl, pulling her lips back in a snarl. She scents the air and then pauses in her threatening posture, tilting her head in curiosity. Crawling down off the couch, she approaches on all fours, sniffing at Fenris. She looks at him in the face. "Miah!" she says with a smile. "Fuzzy!" She then proceeds to curl up against him, shifting to her own animal form.


Fenris had started to rise when she growled. He's not very concerned that she could hurt him but being chewed on isn't pleasant no matter who is doing it. Then there's a hyena at his side, just below his forelegs. "Well… at least she knows my scent." Fenris laughs as he settles back down on the floor of his apartment. His gaze travels over to Inara and lingers there for a while as he watches her in silence.

"What are you thinking?" He asks finally.


Inara has to chuckle as the girl transforms and uses the large dire wolf as a new place to sleep. Much nicer then blankets and pillows, apparently. Inara pets the girl's furry side and lifts her shoulders as she tries to explain.

"Just the thought of other worlds. Not so long ago, we thought we might be alone in this vast universe and now we are very much not alone. It's a lot to consider. So, is it another planet then? Asgard? Or another reality? How does it work?" Of course, she's thinking about the science.


"It is a place in the stars." He says with a glance upward toward his ceiling. "It is possible one day mankind will find a way to bridge that gap on his own. There are many such places, though and not all of them are peopled by beings humanity would get along well with… or at all."

He pauses thinking of the elves, and the jotun, and all the others. "The people of Asgard could not explain it to you though. They are much less concerned with the 'why's' and 'how's' of things than your kind. To them magic and technology are the same and they've made… much, much less progress in the time I've observed you than your own people have."


Inara has so much more she wants to ask, but Cora grumbles at her. "Too much talk. Sleep. Cuddle." Inara smiles at the girl. She can never say no to Cora an so starts to lay down on the floor with the pair of furry creatures.

"When would you like to have dinner, Cora?" she asks, ruffling the girl's fur.

"After cuddles." is the only answer she gets. Inara looks into the dark eyes of the wolf beside her. He doesn't feel any different to her, the shape is different but she doesn't feel that barrier of mind that she does around people.

"Well, this is not how I pictured my night ending."

Cora lightly nips at her arm. "No talking. Cuddling."


The large wolf extends one of his forelegs, and drapes it over Inara.

"Would you be more comfortable if I did this in a more familiar shape?" He asks quietly. He doesn't use this form often at all. It's hard to mistake a seven foot long wolf as anything but highly unusual, so it's not really ideal for use in the city and it's been a long time since he had to make a cross country journey on foot. People often get intimidated by animals this large… but then, people aren't Inara, either.


Inara doesn't close her eyes, unlike Cora between them whose breathing deepens enough to show that she is indeed in slumber mode again. Inara keeps her voice low.

"No, this is fine. Sometimes, when I just need to be near them, I spend the night in the zoo, sleeping among the animals there. I've not done that this summer yet because, well, Cora here, but I'm used to sleeping among animals. It doesn't bother me."

"Though, I have been thinking that if I keep Cora, that I should find a new place to live. Maybe closer to the Bronx so I don't have to travel as much for work."


Fenris lays his head down on his free leg, curled inward slightly so he can watch both Cora and Inara. "Mmmm. Would you like help looking?" He asks finally.

It's pretty clear that she does in fact need a larger place, especially if she's to be raising a child. Cora, if nothing else, will probably need her own room at some point. He glances around his own apartment, his gaze thoughtful. It's very much suited for a single man living alone, though it is larger than hers and does in fact have more than one room.


Running her hand along one furry flank and then the other, Inara nods her head that rests on her one crooked arm. "I would like that very much. I thought perhaps one of those little houses by the subway. That way Cora would have a small yard to play in. It's not great, but it's really all I could afford. I've thought about what to do with Cora and more and more I think that this is where she is meant to be. Not just for her, but for me."


"I think I agree with you Inara. And please, know that I'll be all the help I can." A thought occurs to him and he cants his head slightly, looking up at her.

"I know this is a delicate topic for some people, but will you be able to afford that and the rest of her care?" Just because she made the decision to look after the girl doesn't mean she need to so unsupported, after all.


"I'm still having to figure out all that I need to do for her. It's not like I can go to my maamaan and ask her. As I said, a non-Persian hyena girl for a granddaughter is going to be a terribly sticky topic. I want to bring it up as gently as possible." She nuzzles the top of the girl's head and kisses the fur. She looks to Fenris and looks away, her cheeks colouring. "You now, she's as fond of you as she is me. Perhaps… maybe if we pooled our resources. As room mates. We could find a nicer home for her?"


Fenris rolls the idea around in his head for a moment. It had occured to him before that this might be a possible solution. However he had been hesitant to offer, concerned she might take it as an offer for something else.

"I'd be quite willing to do that. Do you have an idea of where you'd like to live, Inara?" There's no reason not to start looking soon, if they'll be staying together, and this may be for the best. If nothing else it'll be easier for the two of them to care for and watch Cora than just one of them.


Inara is still blushing. This is not a conversation she thought she would be having. Ever. "Well, somewhere modest. Somewhere easy enough to get to work. For both of us. If we could stay here in M'Town, that would be best. I like it here and no one bats an eye when droves of animals flock after me. But I don't know if they have any place with yards here."


Fenris has to think about that. He's not quite sure off the top of his head either. "Perhaps in the older section of town, I am not certain. But we shall find something." He smiles in that canine way but avoids showing fangs, in case Cora should stir.

"We will begin looking soon then. And perhaps, call your new friend and arrange a trip to the school with Cora to see if it is at all the kind of place she might get along. What do you think?"

The great wolf rolls onto his side, looking up from the floor.


Shifting from the floor to let the girl continue sleeping, Inara goes to stand up, brushing off her uniform. "Yes, I think she's starting to be socialized enough for the school. If it's a good fit for her. We should call her soon. I can't help her with her magical nature at all."

"Perhaps someone there can… and if not, I can. I've had more than enough time to learn what she'll need to know to be safe. Well, safe as she can be. The ability to wield these kinds of secrets immerses one in a world from which, to a certain extent, there is no escape." He sighs, the motion causing the hyena curled up against his flank to move slightly as he huffs.

"That I can do at home, wherever we decide that is." He seems to have quite quickly accepted the notion that they will be sharing one.


"So now I have to figure out how to tell my maamaan about her grandchild and how I will be living in sin. Also with a non-Persian. I think I'll put that conversation off for a while." She sits down on the couch, by the food, and smiles as she looks at the pair. "Well, you do seem to have some knowledge of magic. You could help her more then I."


"Living in sin?" Of the many things that Fenris does not really get about humans, religion is one of them. "Ah, yes." He says, finally understanding. When one is a deity, some concepts are a bit foreign. The Asgardians have morals, but not gods to define 'sin'. "Is she likely to take it badly? And would it help if she met me, perhaps?"


"Well, it means when a man and woman who aren't married live together, though usually there are other things happening. We would just be roommates, but my maamaan would not smile on it anyway. Father is much more Americanized. And actually, my parents have wanted to visit me for quite some time. This might be a good opportunity. Things would be easier to explain in person."

She looks at the wolf and the hyena and chuckles. "This has got to be the most unusual conversation I have ever had."


"Mmmmmmm. Yes, this might be at that." Fenris chuckles apologetically. "Those conversations do tend to crop up a bit around me. I do apologise but I hope you won't be too put off by it. You'll get used to it…"

He pauses and looks about is if hearing something, but then lowers his head to the floor again. No, must be nothing. It's fine… right…

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