Lauderhill Bawitdaba

soot, mahsk, also has a beard

Abraham was feeling... better. And kind of hungry. While throwing up a gallon of appetizers and alcohol was no one's picnic (he wasn't a lion), there was definitely a sense of relief after.

Went gentle now, though. A tomato fritter thing. Some water. And now, with a headache and a fading sense of insobriety, it was Abraham's job to nut the fuck up and talk to Cliff. He wandered with a plate of about nine more fritters which maybe he could share as a peace offering or eat entirely by himself ahead of time. So many options!

Asha had given him the best pep talk she could, and if he went and hid now, she'd eventually find out he'd not actually committed and then he would lose the right to get her to commit to anything ever again for the rest of his life.

So now, sipping water and with his mask pulled up to his forehead because he was masqueraded out, Abraham sought for the familiar color of the Lady Cliff Bear's dress. Probably the easiest way to find everyone involved.

Dress and mask

Natasha had been beyond frazzled as she left the jaguar couple back in their seats. She understood they were drunk, understood that people said crazy things when they were drunk, but that didn't mean that you were any less surprised when on the receiving end of this drunk talk. Face tinted pink, Natasha would make her way towards where she had last seen Cliff, but not before stopping at the buffet and stuffing a couple of rogue cooking into her mouth.

Another stop at the bar for a drink that she downed as she sped walked her way across the dance floor. It was kind of hard to find Cliff at first, his short body easily swallowed by the crowd, but with the help of Mary, she would eventually find him.

Him and Maxine. Heueheuehue

"Hey guys, heads up, we got a friendship to rekindle." :3
Maxine made bear paws for Nat as soon as she arrived. Sit on her lap, please! Or... unless.

She glanced to Cliff a little quizzically, mask lifted into her hair. ”Want us to go?” Maxine had no friendships to rekindle.

Wait, did she?
Hello, he'd gotten more drunk again. Kind of! Not as drunk as he probably would have gotten without Maxine around, but he paced himself. Still, the edges of his vision swum, and Natasha seemed to appear kind of out of nowhere. Blinking puzzledly, he shook his head. A friendship? "What?" He questioned, looking between both of them stupidly. "You make someone mad?" He asked Natasha. Like, did she need his help rekindling something? Wait, one of the twins? He looked for them immediately.
Excuse you Cliff, did you not know who you were talking to? Natasha never made anyone made, except those very few occasions that she did, but those never mattered because half of those people didn't exist anymore!

So it was fine.

Regardless, she would gracefully make her way towards Maxine, snuggling in close because honestly, who didn't love Maxine cuddles. "Not me." She clarified, a roll to her eyes. "You Cliff, have a friendship that needs fixing."
Lee? Riley? Levka? That girl from earlier?

She snaked a hand around the other bear’s hip, holding her in a warm seated cuddle as her heart thumped against her.
What :(

"Whoooo?" He questioned, incapable of thinking literally of anyone who's friendship he'd lost recently. Why were Maxine and Natasha hugging. Did Maxine know about this? Was this some kind of plan? What!

Brows low, he tried to push through the fog of his memory. But, as he did, a familiar face came into clarity. Not in his brain, but in real life. Abraham's face, unmasked, pushing into the little bubble the alcohol had created around his awareness. He was coming toward them, or more specifically Natasha, but they were all together, so. "Oh!" He said. Abraham. Right.
Oh, no. The whole fucking gang was here, apparently. He realized this right about the same time he was spotted, and Abraham was oops all regrets. Because like. It was already going to be pretty awkward apologizing to Cliff by himself. Or just with Lady Clift Bear there. But that was Maxine, too, and...

Well. He definitely couldn't turn back now. With a steeling sip of his... well, water, he approached with a slightly tentative smile.

"Uh, hi everyone," he said with a small wave. "Hope I'm not interrupting?"

Asha's line, earlier, by accident.
Whoooo, indeed, because Natasha hadn't actually grabbed a name.

Oops, but it was FINE because look Cliff seemed to know who she was talking about, and as her head swiveled to follow her gaze, it turned out it was the man. Everything was falling into place, and she would offer a wiggle of her fingers in greeting to the rather... Unsure looking man.

It was hard to tell if this was just an apprehension thing or not, but Natasha would pull herself from Maxine's lap regardless, hand resting against her arm as she turned to face the beautiful woman. "Maxine, I think everyone has gotten to dance with you but me?" It was kinda unfair actually so they needed to fix that now please.

A glance towards both Cliff and the jaguar to make sure this was the right thing to do. She'd promised to stay after all!
She watched Cliff frown behind his mask with genuine confusion. Even more confusion when she followed his “oh” to a figure dressed in all black, when the black bear craned her head around.

Voice and general presence made it click.

”Abraham,” Maxine warmed, blinking up at him.

She was still no less confused. But she was surrounded by three Weres she would’ve taken a bullet for, so that eased enough of the apprehension, arms slackening cozily around Nat.

Anyway, sorry. Warm familiarity and things happening to her emotions were cut short. Dance? She blinked with the same look of stupid Cliff had had possessed earlier. ”Right- We.” Haven’t danced together! True.

Maxine rose, brushing her leg against the side of Cliff’s thigh in no hurry. ”I’ll be back for my things later...” She told nobody? But she left her belongings where they were.
Abraham! With a plate of food and hoping he didn't interrupt. Memories were choppy as they flooded back in, but it clicked together slowly as Natasha swept Maxine away from him. He didn't have time to be sad about that. He straightened up, glanced to Maxine as she brushed against him and promised to be back for her things.

But she was leaving him with Abraham. Which! Was fine. Because he was glad to see Abraham, for all they'd butted heads a few months ago. The alcohol helped him forget how mad he'd been, but really, it was impossible to truly recall all the frustration when his freshes memory of the jaguar was him wedging himself between him and Levka.

Still! He could tell this was sort of coerced, maybe. Definitely orchestrated in part by Natasha. But Abraham was here, so he smiled a little numbly and motioned for him to get as comfortable as he could be. "How's, ah, how'sit going?" He questioned, maybe thankfully less awkward about this than he would have been sober. It just helped!
It was a hello and then a goodbye. Lady Clift (what was your name, he was so sorry) was sweeping Maxine away, and Abraham was sober enough now to understand what was happening.

"Have fun," he said, subdued but sincere as he gave them a little wave. Maxine had been gone a while, right? He hadn't hallucinated that? But she was definitely back now. Maybe he could properly say hi to her later, or maybe he could skitter out of this party with his tail between his legs when this apology thing was done.

"It's going," he said, but not miserably. "Big fancy parties are kinda weird. You want a... whatever the fuck?"

Said with kind of a laugh as he vaguely offered the plate of tomato fritters to Cliff. Peace offering?!
It was going. Cliff nodded, laughing softly in return at the offer, and he leaned forward casually in his seat to sort of lean his elbows against his knees. Y'know, casual but engaged. He grabbed for one off the plate, "Sure, thanks." He said, before downing the Whatever. "It's, ah, pret-ty fancy." Cliff continued, stressing the "ty" and gesturing around the glimmering room, "Good food, though. N'drinks." Conversation! He'd keep it going because obviously, this was what Abraham had come over here for. But he'd let him get to the reason why.
Maybe Abraham could take a seat. Sit down, buddy. He'd let Cliff take one before he moved to grab a spot to sit, sighing a little for the relief of being off his feet again. Don't tell anyone, but barfing your body out and then existing through a hangover was tiring.

"Yeah, can't say no to free all that," he said. Yep. Just two guys having small talk. Maybe Abraham could do this indefinitely, but it was probably better to do this like he would ripping a bandaid off his hairy arm. (Except he often did that very slowly and with agonized complaint.) "I was talking to, um. I didn't learn her name. But. Just talking about bear stuff and I realized that I uhhh."

Uhhhhhhh. Spit it out, asshole. He took a tiny water sip.

"Owe you an apology. For. A while ago." Did they really need to be friends again? Did Abraham need friends? Who knew! Except he needed to fucking commit to this. "Was a real asshole because I was jealous and going through some stupid personal shit. Shouldn't have taken any of it out on you. So. I'm sorry."

Had he rehearsed it in his head while lingering in the bathroom stall in defeat? Maybe.
Free all of that was the best kind of all of that. He may have said as much, but Abraham saved them from the agony of cyclical small talk by bringing up... um! Natasha, but he hadn't learned her name. Maybe that's why Natasha had been so fucking vague.

No name exchange. But they'd talked about bear things, making Abraham realize that he owed Cliff an apology. And here was the thing! Cliff was not super into the words "I'm sorry" and more into actual proof of remorse. Usually, that applied to small things, like saying something shitty but vowing and sticking to never saying something like it again.

But this was different. Asha had apologized for Abraham, and it hadn't fixed really anything. Since it wasn't Abraham doing it. Proving that he did feel bad. So he hadn't forgiven him until it was clear he was. And guess what! That was at the fight night. Not here, where he was sharing food and saying the words. Not that they weren't appreciated. Not that it wasn't good he was acknowledging it all. But it made it a lot easier to accept all of it.

He'd been a dick. A huge dick. For reasons Cliff kind of sort of got the gist of. Asha, and all that. But he'd made it clear he where he stood when it came down to literally life or death.

"Hey, man, I get it." Cliff said. It was a tragedy he didn't have the brainpower to put all these sentiments into good words. Still, he waved his hand assuredly, "I mean, it sucked. But I ged'dit. Get- it-." Mouth. He swallowed. "Shitty things cause of personal shit. Y'saw mine. But, ah, you helped. With Levka. Y'were like, first in. So," He shrugged.
Cliff didn't leave any grand dramatic silence, any minutes long pondering. But it definitely felt like a long time passed in the few natural seconds that happened between each exchange in a conversation. He didn't expect Cliff to reject him or anything. Knew he wasn't that kind of guy. But rational spot didn't win in moments like this. Abraham was glad he had a plate of food in his hand so he couldn't wring his fingers together. Instead he put a fritter into his mouth as Cliff spoke, finding the breading a little soggy. Tomatoes seemed too juicy to be fried up in something long.

Abraham was low key kind of thankful that Cliff wasn't entirely sober, as far as he could tell, because maybe it softened all of this. But Abraham was glad that he himself had gotten past the drunk phase so this didn't get clumsier.

In the end, it went as well as this kind of thing could. Abraham nodded, stared at bread crumbs on the plate.

"I was just looking for an excuse to punch that fuck in the face," he huffed, but maybe that was Abraham's way of admitting it was more than that. "But I really, uh. I don't know. Just wanted to clear the air. Seems like... Maxine's back. And if she and Asha do the friendship thing again..."

He waved his water glass a little.

"Didn't want it to be shitty feelings every time I bumped into your life. So." Both of them, so-ers. "Thanks. For being cool about it all. Glad... yeah."
Yeah, he figured that had to be part of it. But anyone opposed to Levka was in his book worth counting on his side. Good thing was that most people were on his side. He wished every single fucking day that Esperanza wasn't on Levka's. Anyway, there were a lot of people there that hated Levka, but only a few that'd gotten into the ring. Abraham wouldn't have gotten between them if he didn't in some way feel like Cliff was worth saving, but that was hard stuff to talk about, so he let it be about Maxine and Asha. That was easier.

Cliff nodded, moved a hand to clap Abraham on the shoulder a few times, "No hard feelings. Seems like thing're a lot better these days, for both of us." As if it hadn't been only a few months ago. Anyway. "Dunno about the girls, though. Asha doesn't... r'member, right?" Or maybe she did now. Or. Had Maxine and Asha re-met? Did he know this information? He couldn't remember. Oh, no, what if his brain was wiped.
The jaguar wasn't super often totally eclipsed by the size of an animal, but that fucking bear sure did the job. In the moment of touch, he felt the cat crinkle its face, backstepping but pissy about it. Goddamn bears. Abraham ignored it, focused on the words.

"Yeah," he said, agreeing that they were both somewhere better, maybe. He didn't know Cliff's life, but the guy was king and just had two chicks clinging to him, so. Probably going alright. "They, uh. Met again. I think went camping or something."

Abraham finished his water and leaned to set the cup at his foot. Wanted a free hand to help fiddle with the plate.

"How's Maxine doing? I know she was... gone for a while."
Okay, right, he just didn't know shit about Maxine apparently! It had to have happened in those stupid months where they'd been distancing themselves as if it would help things be how they used to be. It was good to know, though. Immediately he wanted to go to her and ask her about it, see if she was going to go again, encourage her to. They'd been really good friends before, it only made sense to see if it worked a second time.

Cliff dropped his hands between his knees, cupping them together as he nodded heavily, "Yeah, she's uh..." His eyes searched for her, finding her easily with Natasha. "She's doing good." He said, smile growing absently. Hey! Staring! He looked back to Abraham, "Real good." Maybe accidentally loaded, maybe accidentally implying... he didn't know! Just things were good! Really really good! "N'Asha? You and her...?" Hadn't seen him with her tonight, but he knew they were more or less back together last time he'd seen them, so.
Ah. Sounded like they were back together. Had they ever really broken up, or had Maxine just... moved away for a while? It was family or something, right? He didn't remember the details, just that it seemed like more than had first been let on. Abraham hoped, for their sake, they'd just be happy forever but also never do the bonding thing because it was kind of life ruining. He wasn't drunk enough to say that here, though.

"Doing, uh. Real good. She's got her... prowl, downtown. And I'm playing rogue these days. Think it's real good for both of us."

With a free hand now, he could run a hand through his gray hair, a reflex at this point.

"How you liking being king?"
Real good, too. That was good to hear. Asha was still going strong with the Prowl, but it was kinda surprising to hear Abraham was going rogue. Wondered what had happened there. Could make some guesses, but he didn't want to assume anything. Just let it be what it was, he guessed. If it was working for both of them, then that was good.

As for him, "It's good. Definitely not what I ever thought I'd be doing." He shrugged. That wasn't a bad thing. He picked up another fritter, but didn't eat it just yet. Wasn't sure if he actually liked them or if he was just tipsy. "Been some change lately. Coyotes are back up and running, so I'm sharing again with another King." Not much different than with Alex, but still.
He was surprised to hear that... Cliff was surprised to be king. Because ultimately, he'd been a bear for a while, right? And then after leaving Levka... it felt inevitable. But that wasn't a bad thing. Just kinda felt like it would always be Cliff's story.

"Wait, coyotes back again, in the same place?" he said. Weird. Abraham didn't actually like coyotes very much, surprise surprise. "How you... feel about sharing?"

If someone ever claimed Hawknell he'd probably move to Florida.
"Different place, a cafe dog park combo." Which was a thing he didn't think he'd ever be saying, especially about a Were owned place, but here they were. He didn't have to point out how strange it was, let Abraham do that on his own. "It's... ah." Actually. He was trying to be kind about it. Just one of those things he had to make the best of. He rubbed his hands together, shrugged as he pulled his wandering gaze away from where it'd inevitably fallen back to Maxine and Natasha. "Last time, it ws'me coming into their territory. This time's different, but... in the end, felt cruel t'kick'em out. Kinda got dumped on their asses last time, so." Whoops, he was talking to someone who had... dumped his group on their ass. Forgot about that until he said it.
A... what. A... cafe dog park? Like. A cafe for dogs? Or. A cafe, dog park combo. Were animals suddenly just universally fine with weres? That was fucking weird. Though. Like. Just. Maybe a dog park would... hide coyotes that were...

Anyway. It was a lot for Abraham stone cold sober. And good news for Cliff was that Abraham didn't know what "dumped on their asses" meant, really. He didn't know any coyotes and didn't like any coyotes.

"Guess it all evened out," he said. "This the... third round for the coyote group, I think?"
Yeah. All worked out. Didn't foresee it being too much different, but they'd just have to see. When it came down to it, he didn't mind kicking them out if they caused problems.

Not that he wanted to. "Think so." He said, smirking crookedly, "Here's hoping I won't have reason to make 'em try a fourth time." He said, partly lifting his glass, but he didn't take a sip. His eyes trailed back to the girls then, finding they'd been joined by a third. Recognizable without her mask, he spotted Asha easily.
Abraham huffed a laugh. Wasn't that the truth. Seemed like they did it to themselves, though. He wondered who the leader was this time, why these people kept trying and falling apart. Or maybe the area was somehow a nationwide hub for coyotes and new ones kept rolling in.

He fell quiet, letting his gaze settle ahead on the now trio of lady weres all collected together. Felt a mixture of various things from Asha, reminded himself to get her water here in a minute.

For now, he could stick to a silence that wasn't quite perfectly comfortable, but was far from what it might have been before.
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