Starling Pond Rise and Shine


Caleb was still struggling in the lying department, which meant he was still pretty fucked up on a day to day basis. Nothing terribly new, but it was even worse than what was typical and it had him passing out places he really shouldn't. Today it had him laid flat, face down, in the reedy grass beside a pond. Snores shaking his body as a bottle of empty liqueur sat just a foot or so away.

He didn't know how he got there exactly, but he did know that something was slamming up against his foot and ruining a pretty decent dream. Shambling up into a sitting position, it would take him a few moments to turn his head and find some sort of long beaked bird pecking at him. Another .5 seconds to have him sprawling backwards in surprise as it opened its wings in surprise.

Unfortunately the sprawling had him going straight into the pond, dirty clothes becoming damp as he yelled out in surprise. Loud enough to both scare the bird off and alert anyone nearby of his presence.


When her alarm had gone off this morning, Valerie was split between going to the gym or taking a walk somewhere new. She chose the latter. The weather was nice and there were plenty of little parks around here, including in Starling Hills according to a quick Google search. So she threw on her gear and headed out into the pale early morning.

Airpods were comfortably settled in her ears, distracting her from the miscalculated distance, loudly playing some guilty pleasure country music into her ears, before switching to something that sounded more techno-hip-hoppy. When she made it to the park, finally, she decided to just do a few walking laps around it, admiring the view of the little pond and the ducks.

She made a wide berth around the geese who arched their necks and stretched their wings at her, hissing as they weebled towards her. Nah, fuck those things. There was even one flexing at something in the water...

Oh, shit, a person! She pulled her headphones out, shoving them into her pocket and ran towards the edge.

"Are you ok?"
The goose and Caleb would stare one another down for what felt like hours before someone new came trotting up towards them. It seemed that the bird wasn't quite confident in it's ability to hold off two humans from whatever territory it was protecting and with a viscous honk would flap off towards the middle of the lake.

Caleb on the other hand would remain with his ass in the water, hands on either side of him as his head lopped up towards the woman. She had a pretty face, and as his eyes rolled down her body, he was pretty impressed with the outfit. Sportswear was always pretty hot.

"Had better days" He hummed, eyes pulling back towards her face. "Nothing that can' be fixed though."

Cue a very large, cheeky, grin.
Valerie stared nervously at the goose as it faced off with the both of them and then cowered away. She watched it until it seemed a suitable distance away. Fuckers could swim fast, though. She offered her hand out to the damp stranger, just having missed his wandering gaze.

"Step one: get your ass out of the water." A brow only cocked at him, her tolerance for charming men at an all time low. She shifted her weight, trying as hard as she could not to get water in her sneakers. There wasn't a large margin for error. For her sneakers or for him.
Get his ass out of the water, a feat easier said than done, but Caleb would manage thanks to the offered hand. Putting a great deal of his weight into the hand, he'd pull himself up, feet stumbling a bit, but somehow managing to keep him from flopping right back into the water... Water that was currently running down his leg in a very uncomfortable fashion.

He'd definitely be needing to wash his clothes after this.

"Alrigh'" He huffed, wiggling his toes once he was in a less compromised state. "What's step two then?"
Valerie leaned back somewhat into her heels as he took advantage of her offer, nearly taking her into the water, too. The initial shock of the endeavor was over, knowing that he hadn't been some drowned or drowning body in the pond.

She took a few deliberate steps away from the water's edge now that he was out and eyed her sneakers. Her toes wiggled in her socks, still dry, thank god.

"Step two is you going home and me continuing my walk." She blinked at him and gave a friendly, if not somewhat sarcastic smile. "Seems like you need to sleep off your sleep off." Her eyes shifted past him and to the bottle floating in the water. She gestured at it for good measure. The park seemed clean, so she doubted it just happened to float by his waterlogged body.
Caleb wasn't a huge fan of step number two, and he would show this by pushing out his bottom lip in a small pout.

"But that makes our meeting too brief." He complained, gaze drifting towards the bottle. "Plus, I ain' even tired no more." He would shuffle towards the woman, greasy smile returning. "Lets walk together?"
God, what had she gotten herself into?

Valerie pursed her lips and sighed. "Fine." Because there was that tiny voice in the back of her head that worried too hard.

"How did you end up in the lake?" She asked him, not making eye contact as she walked back up to the path.
He hadn't had the slightest doubt that she would agree to his company. He was a good looking guy after all, and blondes always knew how to have a good time. It was no wonder she was already falling for his charm, since the breed were also known to be pretty dim.

Telling her he had just passed out from a drunken haze was out of the question, and his mind reeled for some believable lie to spew.

”Just drank a bit too much and passed out there.”

Fuck, he'd already forgotten about the lying thing.
The moment her feet hit the pavement, she worked up into a fast walk. Let's see if he could keep up.

"Really selling yourself," She commented, with a brief look in his direction. "I'm surprised no one called the cops." The condition they kept this park in, a body in the water certainly shouldn't have gone unnoticed. That was bystander syndrome, she supposed.
Caleb would manage to clomp steadily at her side, feet swaying his body every now and then but somehow managing to keep him from just face planting into the concrete.

"I figure my good looks do most of the selling." He gargled up a laugh, hands moving to shove themselves into his pocket. "As fer the cops, I figure that people just assumed I was homeless." Which he was, but this lady didn't need to know that.

Woman didn't let homeless men into their pants. :(
Yeah, walk it off, bud. She could feel him weeble towards her occasionally and would take a small step out of his way. He was keeping up fairly well, unfortunately.

Bold. He wasn't unattractive physically, no. Alcoholism wasn't a good look though. "I don't blame them. Normal people pass out in their apartments, usually."
Caleb would snort at that, a grin slowly creeping its way up his face as he gave his head a soft shake.

A terrible thing to do when you were still pretty drunk, and sent him weaving away from the woman for a quick spell.

"But that's boooooring." He chimed once he had maneuvered back towards her. "Where's your sense of adventure? Don't tell me yer a prude."
Again, she leaned away from him as he swayed. If he fell over again, she was on the fence if she would actually help him out.

Was he trying to offend her? If she started jogging now, would he try to keep up? Because it was tempting.

"I'm not a prude. You clearly can't hold your liquor." Valerie snipped back at him.
Oh testy testy.

Leave it to a woman to twist playful words into some sort of insult against herself. He couldn't help but wonder if there was any woman in the world that could handle a joke, probably not which was why they got comedians like Amy Schumer.

"I hold it much better than you think," He retorted lightly, the smile remaining on his lips. "I just drink an excessive amount."
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