The Cove Pool Noodle

Outfit but blue.

Kenny had heard about this place through the Were grapevine, and since he was a snake that thrived in warmer climates, of course, he was going to check the indoor swimming area out. Swimming was hardly what he planned to do though, sleep tugging at his lids even as he shifted into the snake, after just a few minutes of resting on one of the several rocks that lined the pool, swimming quickly shot to the top of his list.

Past all five of his sleep slots as newfound energy filled him.

Heat did wondrous things for him, and suddenly Kenny felt as if he could take the whole world on, silently slipping into the water and began floating and wiggling his way across the surface. A shame that he was so light, for as he made his way about a fit into the pool a sudden wave crashed into him, sending the blue noodle churning and tumbling into a whole new direction where he promptly knocked into another solid being.

Too bad he was too disoriented to see what.
Nicole was told of this place by a few people now, and she signed up and all. But she was warned against being allowed to shift here, which was... she understood it. Because she was like almost a year into it and she still didn't know what happened during her shifts.

So. Anyway. She was just heading in to at least enjoy some warmth and water that wasn't her ugly rusted bathtub. And she didn't quite see the blue pool noodle in the water immediately, at least not until she jumped into the water over the edge. Then she saw it, tumbling around disorientedly.

Was that... a...

"Hello??" she asked dumbly, reaching out to grab it.
So so dizzy, it was hard to tell which way was up and which way was down, but before he could really good a good idea of which might be which he was being grabbed. If snakes could blink, Kenny might have been doing just that as he stared stupidly up at the human... Or not human.

She was like him, but different at the same time, different than the other girl, but more similar to himself... He couldn't place it but it was there all the same.

"Heeeyooooo." He called back.
If she wasn't used to the idea that stronger weres could talk while shifted by now, she might have been surprised and thrown him(?) away. Luckily, she'd had Tamzin to tell her all about those sorts of things.

She was still kinda startled. Her irises were unsettlingly white as she regarded him(?), but despite his(?) greater strength the turtle was not inherently fearful. She laughed a little at the snake's greeting.

"Sorry I did that. Are you okay?" she asked.
She laughed, had this been intentional then?

Kenny was used to people hating on snakes just because of their bad propaganda, but he wasn't used to other Weres hating him for it too.

Then again, he wasn't really used to other Weres, so maybe he just didn't know... But now she was apologizing, so maybe he was just thinking too much. He'd never been real good at that, so best to stop.

"S'okay." He nodded, grateful that snakes had at least that much to offer in the way of conversation. "Just startled."
Startled, ha. She could understand.

She set him(?) back down at the water's surface, hands beneath until he(?) engaged whatever muscles needed to keep himself(?) afloat. "You're really pretty," she said, and if it sounded like she was jealous, well, she was. What else was new. "What's your name?"
The only muscle needed were lungs, and Kenny's would inflate as he was set atop the water. In most scenarios, this would scream poisonous, but Kenny was all bark and no bite, unfortunately.

She thought him pretty, which was understandable, Kenny had thought the snake that'd bit him was pretty too. He still did, but not as much as he had before he had gained the ability to turn into it any time the mood arose.

Was this woman's animal pretty too?

"thank yooou." He called, wondering for a moment if snakes could blush.

They could not.

"Kenny, you are?"
Kenny! Sounded like a boy name. So. Pretty sure it was a boy snake. He was too pretty, and it remained unfair, but whatever. "Nicole. I'm uh... turtle, I guess."

Terrible looking dinosaur demon turtle. With white demon eyes, apparently.
Oh, that explained the familiarity then.

Turtles were reptiles, Kenny remembered this from biology.

The question now, was what kind of turtle was she? He was pretty sure there were a lot of turtle species out there, but he could really only thing of the ones with little red ears that you found in pet stores. Didn’t remember the name though...

He could always asked. He’d do that.

”What kind?”
Puff. Nicole lowered until her mouth was just under the water surface, and blew some bubbles to be a child. And then came back up enough to talk, and.

"Ugly kind. Snapping turtle."

Looked like a fucking nightmare.
A snapping turtle?

Hm, didn't all turtles snap? Kenny couldn't remember.

Moments like these it was best to lie, but Kenny didn't really like lying.

"I don' know." Came the tired sigh, "shift so I can see?"
Weh. "I can't," she said. "I don't like... remember my shifts. I don't think I'm ever gonna. It's been like a year for me."
Oh, that was sad.

There had been a time when he hadn't remembered his shifts. It had been scary.

"Scary." He reiterated aloud, "it will come though, just takes time." It had been what he'd been told.
EVERYONE SAID THAT. Everyone said it so much that by now she knew to just inhale softly and let it out and not yell about how they had been wrong this whole time so they would clearly continue to be wrong!

"I guess so. Seems like most people take a few months."

Sulky, like she was twenty years younger.
Kenny's head would swivel in thought, head arching up towards the ceiling as he debated.

How long had it taken him again? He couldn't remember, but if everyone seemed to take months then he was probably the same. He almost always batted an average score on everything.

"I hear it matters on animal." He finally answered, head dipping back to face Nicole. "Need to get in touch with yours?"
Crazy how he just floated like that. Her stupid ugly turtle probably didn't float.

"I guess," she shrugged. "I gave it a stupid friend or whatever but I still hate it. I guess I'm supposed to be its friend too but I mostly just want it to go away."

Even now, even now. Especially now.
Was she mad or sad?

It was really hard to tell, maybe a bit of both? Or probably just frustrated?

Kenny had been frustrated in the beginning too, not anymore though, it was easier to just accept things and move on, plus becoming a snake hadn't been such a hindrance to his life. Sure, he got cold way more often, and sleep was a nagging thing in winter, but Kenny had always sort of been this way.

Why try fighting it when it was so much easier to float... Like he was doing now.

"Won't go away." A swivel of his body to emphasize this. "Issue is you see it as something else. Turtle is you though." Kenny was the snake, and snake was Kenny.

The same went for Nicole.
It wasn't something she hadn't heard before. Embrace, accept, become, identify. It was a tiring mantra to be told when all she really wanted to do was run away from all this, even now. The thing that was always gonna suck the most was that she didn't know why she ever started becoming this way at all. Not human. It just... happened.

"Yeah... just...." BLAH, NICOLE. NO ONE CARED, and no one really understood, either. She let out an exhale and decided on another question that wasn't about her.

"How'd it happen to you? Got attacked or whatever?"
Kenny cared. :(

But enough to continue the conversation after it had moved on, nor enough to inquire what she might have said if she continued. If she didn't want to talk about it Kenny wouldn't force it, sometimes people just needed to work through their own problems.

Kenny preferred when they did that too.

"A trip v'isiting family." He answered, "walk in forest and got bit."
Yeah, that seemed to be the thing. Everyone got bit or attacked or something and Nicole just.

Exuded an ugly turtle from her soul or something.

"Did you get to meet them or did you have to figure it out yourself?"
Another shake of his head.

"No." He didn't even know if the snake had been a woman or man, heck, he didn't even know if they were Japanese... Didn't really matter in the end anyway, it wasn't like he lived there.

"Learn from different shifter." What animal had they been again?

Some sort of dog? A cat, maybe?


"Just me now."
Hmm. Nicole nodded. "Do you prefer that? Being like, alone."

She didn't. Or like... sometimes she thought she might, but the reality was she was dead wrong.
If only he had shoulders, then he could shrug.

Being just a spine was hard sometimes.

"I don't mind." He really didn't! "Better on my own. People are hard."
For all she was sure she was not allowed to disagree, Nicole did admire that.

"I agree," she nodded, settling with her back against the edge of the pool and looking at one of the waterfalls.

Maybe Kenny the snake wouldn't mind exchanging numbers or something... she at least still had thumbs. But she wouldn't ask for it herself, because Nicole got into her head about stupid things.

Really stupid things.
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