House Hunting

Summary:
July 15 2014: Inara and Fenris discuss new places to live, meeting her parents and events around town.

The House on Prospect

Enough room for a Hyena girl to play in. With a yard! Right next to the Zoo even. It's perfect.


Characters

NPCs

  • Devon the Realtor

Mood Music:
[* None]


"It's a very nice place." Jeremiah assures the realtor. "And I don't think we need to worry about price. If you could speak to the owner while Inara and I look about and make sure it's all suitable?" It's taken a bit to convince the realtor to leave the two of them alone so that they can have a frank talk about whether or not this place is suited for all the special needs the three of them will have.

*

It's hardly surprising that Inara isn't comfortable around the realtor. The Potts woman seemed quite nice and she doesn't doubt that this man is the best in the business, but she just can't get comfortable around him. Cora is with Jasmine tonight, learning how to fold napkins. Jasmine has learned that the best way to deal with Cora’s almost manic behavior is to give her something to latch on to. Now, the only trouble is keeping the girl stocked in napkins for the rest of the night.

*

Jeremiah… I'm not sure about this. When we were talking about renting a place together, that was one thing. But I don't know if I can afford to *buy* a place. It seems a little … more of a … commitment, and then I could be comfortable with."

Jeremiah shrugs. "Rentals, apparently, do not tend to have the features we need. And do not worry about affording the place. I shall ensure that the paperwork is done in your name, but you need not concern yourself with the finances." Fenris has never discussed really how much money he has… but he has a lot. Not because, as Inara has seen, he's materialistic but because he recognizes it's use and has had a long time to gather it.

*

Jeremiah's casual behavior with money is not helping matters any. Dinner the night before and now just talking about buying a place and putting it in her name? She shakes her head, swallowing. "Jeremiah… putting it in my name… it would seem like you were… paying for… favors." Even though the house has three bedrooms, Inara ponders what her parents will think about her living under the same roof as a man she isn't married to. A man that seems to have taken on the role of father to the hyena girl.

*

"Would you prefer it be in mine?" There are some human social constructs that do elude him, no matter how well integrated he becomes. "I was thinking only that it might be easier in the event that I had… family troubles." He doesn't like thinking about that, but it would be doubly unfortunate if Inara and Cora then also did not have a place to live.

*

Inara sighs as Jeremiah makes a very good point. She's met his father and worries that one day he might actually decide that proving that she is only human and not worth Fenris' regard might become a reality. "You are right. I suppose if I tell my maamaan that you are a tenant of mine? So, not equals but in a professional arrangement? She might be alright with that." She sighs and looks around the house again. "It is close to my work… "

"Yes, and thus… daycare for Inara as well. It is no further from my own work than anywhere in the city is really. And the yard seems large enough to allow Cora some room to play."

*

He sweeps his gaze around the house. His own needs are rather limited, which makes sense for a man who can live quite comfortably as an animal. "Inara, does this arrangement make you uncomfortable?"

Inara looks up at Fenris and smiles. She knows full well that it's the animal in him that makes her comfortable. If not for his true nature, she would be as uncomfortable around him as any person. "No. Well, yes, but not because of you. The idea of having you so close, of having meals with you every day… It makes me smile. I just wonder how I am going to explain this to my parents. Maamaan especially. She's still very traditional and women don't live with men they are not married to."

*

"Your situation is very… unique, though. Surely your maamaan will understand at some level. And I do mean you no harm in any way." He smiles. "I look forward to your company as well, Inara. Very much so. However you wish to approach your parents is fine with me."

He pauses. "Perhaps this one for Cora's bedroom?"

*

Inara relaxes, Fenris having found just the right words to placate her. She comes in close and slips her arms about him, resting her head on his chest. "It looks out towards the zoo. We'll likely have to tell her to stop barking to Hyowta every night." She chuckles then. "Cora will love it. And the kitchen is lovely too."

*

The god-wolf responds in kind, hugging her as they talk. "It is. Shall we tell Miss Potts' most excellent… friend… that we approve of the place?" There's the matter of moving their things in, though to be honest this place is bigger than both of their places combined. Much bigger. And he can teleport, so that'll make some things easier. He's already had to consider how to properly ward the place. Knife scratching in the walls simply will not do.

*

Inara looks up at Fenris, giving him a sidewise look as she gives him a wry smile. "You seem to always know just what to say to make me give you what you want. Is that a god thing? You're not using your magic to make me give you what you want, are you?" She hugs him one more time and nods. "Yes, let's tell Ms. Potts friend that we will take the place. Cora will love it, I don't doubt. I'll have to have a long talk with the animals here not to come too often or to make messes in the neighbor’s yards."

*

"My magic doesn't quite work like that." Fenris smiles teasingly. "Though you are an unusual case, Inara. Perhaps…" He's kidding, of course, and gives the realtor, who had just slipped back into the room the nod. The man looks indescribably happy and immediately rushes off.

"I think I may be able to help with that as well in the event they don't believe you're serious.

*

Inara hugs Fenris tighter. A house. A real, honest to goodness house. With a yard. If she finished her schooling and was an actual vet, she would be able to afford something like this, but she's still on the waiting list to get into the New York Veterinary College. Just to take one final test. "Sometimes I think that coming to New York before I finished my degree was foolish. But then… my life would have been different. I might not have met Cora or you. So, in the end, I think I made the right choice." She walks about the house some more. "My parents will love it. Once we have it decorated." So much to do!

*

"Make a list." He says with a wink. "I do better with lists." That's a joke, clearly. He does that every once in a while. "When do you want to tell Cora?" He whispers quietly, knowing the Hyena girl will want to stake out her territory as soon as possible.

*

Looking up at Fenris, Inara's eyes meet his. They stand there for a long moment before interrupted by the realtor with paperwork for them to sign. "We could tell her in the morning. You know, having her playing in the backyard might be enough of a deterrent for the local animals."

She offers a weak smile to the realtor then. "My daughter loves to chase animals," she uses as an explanation.

*

"It may well be. And if not, surely my presence might be." He sighs as the paperwork comes and pulls away from Inara juuuuuust enough to accept it. "Thank you. We'll look it over and have it signed before we leave." With a chuckle he looks back over to Inara. "Shall we go over to the deck and give this legalese a once over, Inara?"

*

An evening spent on the back deck of the house that will soon be theirs… Inara smiles and nods. "I think it's a wonderful idea." Walking out into the summer sun, Inara looks over the back yard. It's idyllic. Well, it is in her opinion. It's not too fancy, but it's enough. It serves the purpose without going over the top. And that's just how Inara likes it.

"I hope you have more knowledge on legal things like this then I do. I don't suppose you studied that after all those years too?"

*

"Inara, after two thousand years there is very little I have not studied." Fenris laughs. "Except for new things, of course." New to someone like Fenris generally means in the last fifty to one hundred years. When one is as long lived as an Asgardian, time has a slightly different scale.

"I think I know enough to spot any serious traps or problems, though we could always run this by a real estate lawyer. I know of a few."

*

Inara smiles and shakes her head. "I trust you. Besides, if he rips us off, you can always just eat him." She made a joke! She actually did too, a twinkling in her dark brown eyes. "I should give that Amara woman a call soon and see if we can't get Cora enrolled for the fall semester."

*

"Yes, we should visit soon. I ran into her the other night in M-Town again. She'd been out with a friend… the Omen Dogs were stalking them."

Fenris frowns a bit, remembering. Magical things have been getting bold of late.

*

Inara frowns, sitting down next to Fenris as he looks over the paperwork. "The Omen Dogs? I don't think I've heard of them. Actual dogs? Or people calling themselves that, a gang of some sort."

Inara can't help but rest a hand on Fenris' own, giving it a squeeze.

*

"Supernatural harbingers of endings. They're something of a group of scavengers, preying on the terror of creatures less able than they. Though they'd picked their prey poorly that night. Neither Amara nor her friend are beings to be trifled with." Fenris squeezes Inara's hand as he pages through the document.

*

Inara takes a moment, taking in what Fenris says about the omen dogs. "Oh… that's… not what I expected. And here I always thought that my talking to animals was the most unusual thing about my life." She leans in to look over the paperwork, not really understanding it but feeling a need to at least be a part of this. "Which room do you want?"

*

Fenris looks up and smiles at her. "I haven't decided yet. Did one in particular appeal to you?"

Fenris flips the page and keeps scanning, underlining a couple of terms for later reference. "There are a great many magical creatures around the world. Few of them are benign but they all obey a relatively simple hierarchy: Do not upset that which is more powerful than you. Something has made them bold of late. They are… misbehaving."

*

"Well, in the animal world, if a pack of animals is acting in a manner that isn't normally in their nature, it means that something has happened to disturb the balance. A predator has died or a poacher has made their feeding grounds too dangerous. I don't know much about magic, but could it be something like that?

Inara ponders the question about bedrooms. "Well, my bed is fairly large. I hate to ask, but would you mind my having the master suite?"

*

Fenris glances back up and smiles at her. "I do not mind that at all, Inara."

The question of magic makes him sigh. "Largely like that. Someone is deliberately stirring up trouble, but I have no clues as to whom yet. Ordinarily my mere presence discourages many things that have been happening of late."

*

"So, is there a bigger predator around then you in another city? Causing the smaller packs in those cities to come here. Say, Gotham or Metropolis?" She looks distant as she thinks about the matter, trying to puzzle out the why, but using animals rather than magic, since it's what she knows.

*

"That is possible. Another possibility is… well, imagine what happens when fire or flood devastates an ecosystem and displaces everything. Or it could be a question of not having culled the… lower level magical users… sufficiently in past years and now they grow numerous and problematic." There are a number of things it could be and Fenris does not honestly know which yet.

*

Inara looks concerned, reaching up to run a hand through his hair. "I don't know what help I can be, but if you ever need my help, you know it's yours for the asking." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Is it… well, does it have something to do with your father?"

*

That question is one the god-wolf has asked himself several times. "I don't think so. My father likes chaos, but he's very goal oriented himself. This is almost too random. Too chaotic. Something has upset the balance of powers in this area and these are the symptoms. Controlling them is good, but the root of the problem must be found and cut out."

Another smile lights Fenris' face as he flips the page. "And thank you for your offer, Inara. I hope I do not have to call upon your aid… but knowing I can is comforting. And touching." He gives her hand another squeeze

*

Inara smiles back at Fenris. "And though I wouldn't want to bring her into it, I'm sure a hyena spirit would be willing to help you out too. At least she'll fill our home with laughter." Oh! Another joke! Inara is on a roll!

*

Fenris laughs. "One can only hope. Though honestly, we may have to tell her to… not do that. It will upset the neighbors I'm sure. Unless I want to try to encourage other… more… tolerant things to move in next door."

The last page comes up and he looks down at the signature block. Two spaces. "Hrm. Well, it looks okay to me. Shall we sign it then?"

*

Inara looks at the pair of spaces on the last page. "You know… I once heard marriage described as going into long term debt with another person. If this is your way of proposing to me, shouldn't you be on one knee?" She is trying to make a joke, but with nothing about animals in it, it's likely to fall a little short. She takes up the pen and leans forward to sign.

*

Fenris gives her hand one more squeeze and takes a long look at the paper with both their signatures on it. "Well… shall we go tell Pepper's friend the good news?" Rising, and tugging her with him, he turns back to the house where the owner and somewhat flamboyantly breathless realtor await.


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