Meredith frowned deeply. Not because finding a dress for her was rather hard, but because of the call she had just received. It had been one of the people she disliked the most right now. But one she also had some kind of twisted loyalty towards her. Indeed, even if she were a demon, her mother was her mother. She had effortlessly twisted the knife with her honeyed words, telling her to keep a certain "knight" not wandering around, as he was a bit of a crass individual lately. And to stop avoiding people. It was best to lie and manipulate, avoidance was a sign of weakness.
Meredith scoffed at the notion of having to talk to Wolf so soon. There was turmoil in her heart which she had not gotten to solve that, and It was a cage of worms that was best left unopened. But like putting up with her siblings, it had to be done. So she, for once waited. She waited until school was over, and squatted on top of one of the many lamposts of the streets, like a buxom bird of prey. She knew that after her mother's goading, Wolf would come her way.
Wolf was preoccupied. He was nervous. He'd stepped a solid mile out of his comfort zone and done something incredibly risky, if not outright stupid. All he could do was tell himself over and over again that he'd done we he had to, what no one else had been willing to do. The issue was that he wasn't convinced he was able to follow through if it came down it...
So preoccupied was he that he almost missed Meredith. Ironic what with her being the catalyst for all this. Sitting atop the lamppost as she was like the worlds most voluptuous gargoyle, she should have been easy to see for anyone who was actually paying attention. He actually had to take a few steps back so he could look up without having to snap his neck backwards.
". . . something tells me this isn't a coincidence," he said, just loud enough for her to hear.
Meredith stood still, for a second, not moving an ounce from the delicate balance she had set her striking figure in beyond a slight tilt of the head, like a huge, curvaceous owl.
She let a smile. But this was not her usual smile. It was more akin to that kind of compromising smile one could commit to do while restraining oneself.
"Are you a fucking retard?"
Wolf frowned deeply. Not exactly the warm greeting he'd kind of hoped for deep down.
"Nice to see you too... Meredith..." Wolf sighed. "I take it you spoke to your mother then?" He couldn't imagine why else she would accost him like this.
"Oh yes, we had a merry time together clawing each other's eyes out in a kind of perverted masochist rave." The demon-bird-schoolgirl attested. "Zack told me. He said you were really cool. He forgot to realize the stupidity of it all." Meredith added, as she finally jumped down to ground level. She stared at him, boring a hole through his skull with the sheer intensity of the gaze alone. "You don't have to live with being the offspring of that woman for who knows how long. And she can hold grudges and twist things like few others."
"I'm only sorry I didn't realize it sooner," he said. "I should have. My mother never trusted her, but I ignored it because I thought our fathers had it under control. I always imagined if she did anything it would be something big and dramatic..." He'd been two parts naive and one part just caught up in all his own issues. "But if in the end even if all she did was just nudge you in the wrong direction, then that tells me she's everything my mother always thought she was. Thing is, she didn't even deny it, and more and more I'm realizing that to say she just nudged you would be an understatement."
He looked down at the ground.
"I can't just do nothing anymore..."
Meredith sighed, as her stance relaxed. "Well, that was a nice effort i guess. But Wolfie, you really are out of your depth here. Don't fight an opponent if you don't even know yourself." Meredith added. "It took me a while to realize you know, still does. I am not as cuddly as i hoped i would be. " She walked towards the Vigilante. "Part of growing up is dealing with loss and stupid decisions. I tried to sacrifice two barely related people for my whims. I nearly died. You broke off with me by sending me home with that woman."
Wolf shrunk back at that. She'd brought it up, the moment of regret that had started this.
"I-I didn't-" But he had. He couldn't have known, but shouldn't he have? How much of this was because of his neglect? Thing was, the moment didn't exist in isolation. He'd been driven to that point. It wasn't hard to get there -- Meredith had brought it up herself. The way she'd said it irked him. No, the way she said it freed him suddenly. The guilt evaporated, becoming fuel instead.
His jaw clenched.
"Yeah... yeah I told you to go home. Personally, I'd call it mercy after what you did." His pupils had shrunk to pinpoints. He could still feel vestiges of the anger that had boiled up in him that day. "So if you wanna pity yourself and twist it so somehow you're the victim, go ahead, but I'm not buying it." But perhaps it was all short-lived. He hadn't thought himself "breaking things off" with her at the moment, he hadn't thought much of anything. He'd just wanted her to leave because he couldn't deal with her in the moment. So then... now that he was thinking about it... what did he really want? What if this ended up being the moment he regretted instead?
He'd told her that despite his better judgement he still wanted to trust her... but he did have that better judgement. He couldn't.
"The way I see it, there's a short list of people who know your mother's true colors and what you're dealing with. It includes me and a psycopath who slit your throat not long ago. So if you can't bear to look at me anymore and need an excuse, go ahead and read into what I said if you want. Otherwise get over it and, when you do, maybe we can talk."
Between all the conflicting emotions, that was about what he could come up with. He couldn't trust her... so he really couldn't have her running around where he couldn't see her.
Meredith stopped for a second, her stance and face neutral. "I guess I could, yes." The girl put a hand on her hip, her tail swishing slowly, as she began to walk towards Wolf, a smile appearing in her face, but without saying a word any further. "Talking is good, no?" She added, beaming a brilliant smile... not unlike her mother.
This... wasn't what he'd expected. No anger, no shock, or even sadness. He'd expected Meredith to react poorly in some regard to his outburst.
Somehow this was even more worrying. There was a time when this would have been a happy outcome, where'd he'd have naively accepted it. Now he just didn't understand Meredith anymore. Maybe... maybe he never really had.
"If you're actually willing to... yes." If she wasn't going to take this seriously then no amount of talking would make a difference. Would he even be able to tell if she was or not?
"Well, how about a make up kiss?" Meredith said, leaning towards Wolf.
"No." Thankfully, Wolf didn't have to think about this one. Whatever the implications of the request were, Wolf didn't bother considering them. Mostly he just assumed she was pulling some sort of trick thanks to her demonic heritage or was otherwise trying to mess with him. Regardless, if Vera found out... he shuddered to think. "In fact, keep your hands to yourself for now. Maybe we should talk later if you're going to act like this."
Or maybe not at all. He didn't want to consider it, but he had to. What if Meredith was too far gone? He didn't think so. It wasn't that long ago she'd been his best friend. He didn't want to believe she could fall that far so quickly. No, of course not, but then what the hell was she doing?
"Huh, so you're at least a bit wary about it." Meredith said, immediately backing off. "My mother is much better at pulling these stunts." She added, turning her back, before immediately messing her own hair up. "Bweee, how can be you so dense at times and then having a saving grace? I can't teach you anything this way!
"I mean, um. We will talk lat... NO! What is the point of acting cool now, Mer. I mean, I should have given him time to heal and reconsider. He needs a life on his own, and no manipulative women. Then again it's Wolfie and somebody will suck the marrow out of him, and he was nice to me and he went to face mother the goddamn fool!"
". . . you know I can hear you, right?" Wolf pursed his lips. Well, it was refreshing to see at least a hint of the Meredith he remembered.
"I DONT CARE! YOU ARE A POOPYHEAD, WOOFIE!" Meredith snapped back, almost on reflex.
"Ye..NO!" Meredith said, grimacing. "How could I be okay! I have the thirst to drink people now and I see how laughably easy is to mess with emotions! It's a good thing I like chocolate even more! " She paused for a bit and took a deep breath. "Okay. Let me think for a second." Meredith said, squatting in the ground, a brief throwback to her energetic self. "I burnt the bridge for your own safety, but this could work. " She said, standing up. "I suppose, that um, given that we spent a lot of time as kids... I will come to your aid if you need. Even if you hate me. I suppose I can respect your absolutely nasty taste in women."
"I guess, that's the bottom line of it." Meredith said. "But don't go rousing mother anymore, kay?"
"Nothing's burnt, Meredith. I don't hate you." Wolf sighed. "Definitely singed, but not down to ashes, and just treating you like some sort of tool to pull out in an emergency isn't going to help anything."
He crossed his arms.
"And I'll back off of your mother, but if she starts causing problems again I expect you to tell me..." He didn't need a repeat of last time.
"So you don't hate me?" Meredith said, as she turned back to Wolf, smiling and leaning on him.
"You're lucky no one died, so no, I don't." Well he supposed he'd have been fine if Galbrek or the masked throat slicer had died... However, he quickly edged away from her. "And what did I say about touching?" Her hugs were nice, a little too nice sometimes, but she was gonna have to earn that kind of trust back. It didn't help that she'd just mentioned drinking people...
"I'm hungry Wolf. So hungry." Meredith said. "Can you buy me pancakes, pretty please?"
Wolf's eyes went wide? Hungry? For souls- Oh, no, that was fine then.
He let out a sigh of relief. "Sure... we can do that." It was a happier ending than he could have hoped for. He was still on edge. Something could always go wrong.
Especially when Vera found out... He swallowed hard at that thought.
No, no, he could have that panic attack later... For now: pancakes.