by Zack Leigh
Because we all need cute werewolf/kitsune girlfriends.
| “Just a regular hot chocolate, no whipped crème or nothin’,” the gruff voice rumbled out. The creature towered well over a foot and a half of most of the creatures standing about the café, his shadow casting forward against the countertop, sprawled as if a new texture overtop the cashier. And what a small cashier she was, half the size of a human, standing atop a set of miniature stairs to even reach the top of the machine and the counter; a kitsune, in fact, with auburn flickering fox ears and a tail of equal hue swaying back and forth in what was either content or discomfort.
And one could assume that the one ordering spoke in such a deep mutter because she was, in fact, a werewolf. But this werewolf, with a name unsuited to her intimidating demeanor—being a werewolf, once more, not the most gentle-known creature—had a voice that was just as soft and lacking an edge of fearful bloodlust. The fox-creature cleared her throat, squinting through the sudden dissipation of light into an atrament alcove to see the cash register as she spoke.
“Your—Your name?...” She stammered out, her stutter betraying what was now obvious anxious movement. The creature before her rose a great claw to lace nervously into her mane, her great maw lowered, head ducked and hellish eyes turned down. “Ah…Justine,” she rumbled out; the kitsune leaned forward with a slight shiver, her head cocking off to the side, ear perking towards the beast in indication that she hadn’t been able to hear the soft voice.
“Justine!” The wolfwoman repeated, her voice coming by accident to a much more brash level, thundering throughout the coffee shop. Hearing how loudly she had spoken, tone in a warbled crack of two extremes, the wolf flinched backwards, glancing away in shame. Claws turned into nervous fists, clutching at chestnut fur to contain the embarrassment. “I didn’t mean—“ she started, not daring to peek if any of the other customers had turned to stare at the source of noise.
The bantam woman raised equally bantam clawed-hands up in assurance, a crimson flush rising upon her cheeks—surely just as embarrassed as Justine, for such a ruckus to be made. “No, no, it’s fine! C-calm down…Uhm..It’ll be three-fifty-six, please. I mean, for the hot chocolate!” The fox gave a bouncing laugh that died off in unsure manner; Justine gave no reply, not willing to put herself in a horrid spotlight again. Carefully procuring a five-dollar bill from a torn looking bag, she ever so carefully reached down to offer it, placed in the midst of her palm so that the bill wouldn’t be torn from her wicked nails.
The cashier didn’t have the same worry, skilled at handling fragile objects with her minuscule claws; within a few moments, she had the change sorted and offered it out to Justine’s outstretched palm. With gentle movements, as if afraid to harm the moonlight monster despite her bearing an overpowered build, she dipped the array of coins and bills with precise fragility. “…And there you go!” She exclaimed, nervous poise disappearing in the moment, looking almost delighted.
“…Tip…” Justine replied, a few other words seeming to conjoin with this one, though not quite making it past her lips into coherent words. Following this singe-word statement, she lifted her paw to the tip jar, carefully dipping it to the side to allow the change to slide in; her aim was a bit more than off, the opening nothing more than a quarter-sized. Justine, once more feeling the stunning effects of feeling quite stupid, only stood rigid as change clattered sharply over the countertop.
“I—I got it, don’t worry. Uh, I’ll call you when your drink is ready, don’t worry!” The kitsune assured her, mouth pulling up into a timid smile. Justine’s maw parted, meaning to give an apology and a thanks, but nothing more than a few grumbles slipped past. With that, she took extra care to not whip any around her with her thick tail and twist of her massive body, trudging over to find a place to sit. Most chairs were either average-sized, or for the smaller creatures, such as kitsunes, pixies, dwarves and the variety thereof. Very few were made to suit to a werewolf who had never seen her human form, and never would; the easiest choice was the lounging chair, what looked to be a comfortable place to settle down with a book, laptop, a drink or meal.
Ever so carefully, awkwardly tucking her tail off to the side to avoid discomfort, Justine lowered herself into the rose-fabric seat. It offered a protesting groan to her weight—she was quite tall, thus grown into the height, even compared to the males of her kind. Heaving out a great big sigh, the werewolf sunk her head into her palms, ears laying back flat. Even an outing as simple as getting hot chocolate was a social disaster.
Some few minutes later, the waitress appeared, announcing herself with a small cough; Justine nodded once to assure her that she had heard, her ears able to catch the clicks as the unseen server placed the drink down and sauntered off. After another minute of calming the regret brewing hotly in her stomach, the wolf finally peered up to the hot beverage. Reaching out, two claws positioned with much care and practice, she lifted the drink up. The whole thing could easily be consumed in a single gulp, no matter the size, but the entire point of even coming here was to stop being such a…Well, scaredy-cat!
Having been about to just so, and even possibly just consuming the cup itself, she caught herself the last moment, noticing scrawled writing on the cup; she had first just assumed it to be her name, but the font overlapped in several words, and…Numbers? Blinking in confusion, the werewolf brought the cup closer to her face, nearly ink-black eyes squinting to read over them.
…Immediately pulling back in surprise, face heating up. ‘I think you’re cute…919-xxx-xxx –Ami (the cashier! (: )’ written in purple ink over the cup’s grip. Casting a shocked glance to the counter, she could just barely spot the short woman from her steps, who didn’t look over; but her face remained pink, mouth upturned in the most bare smile, as if she could tell Justine was looking.