|maxine_bastet (maxine_bastet) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-07-03 22:28:00
|Entry tags:||apollo, bastet, uke mochi|
What Can I Say Except You're Welcome?
Who: Max, Alice and Lucas
What: Max seeks out a friend's advice about her new teeth, and gets two for the price of one.
Where: Rosemary & Thyme
When: Backdated to June 13 2017
Max had managed to explain away her new...look...to everyone who really mattered. Her employers loved it, her clients thought it was cool and made her look even more like a protector (and more than a few had commented that it was downright hot for her to have fangs), and she laughed it off to everyone that she’d got it done on a whim visit to her dentist (who she has yet to actually go and see).
Still, her talk with BB had revealed one nugget of information that she could cling to - she wasn’t the only one having weird...transformations. And now that it’s been long enough that she knew this was most likely a forever-type thing and that it was not going away, she was even more in need of answers. Or if not answers, at least some understanding.
She pushed her way into the little shop with thoughts of a red velvet cupcake on her mind, spotting Alice puttering around behind the counter and giving her a closed-mouth smile that she was now starting to get used to. There was no one else in the shop though, so she relaxed a little, knowing that she wouldn’t scare the pants of anyone the moment she spoke.
“Hey Max!” Alice said with a bright smile as she juggled a tray filled with decorated cupcakes. “Just give me a second to sit this down…” Slipping it onto the counter, she stepped away and brushed her hands with success before turning to her friend. “How are you? I haven’t seen you in a bit.”
In all actuality, Alice hadn’t seen a lot of people outside of her normal little clique. Rafael came and went from her apartment, BB was always on the other end of her phone when needed, Gus was a comfort and they still managed their weekly dinners, Isobel had forgotten everything... it was a lot and when Alice had free time, she tended to hang back at her apartment and stare blankly at Netflix. But for work, she smiled. At work, she was the happy baker and worked her hardest to make the best damn desserts she could. And the excuse of a friend dropping in was something Alice was happy to accept. “Do you want a cupcake or anything?”
Max’s eyes were caught immediately by the tray full of cupcakes, but she hesitated just a little before coming up close to the counter. Again she looked nervously around as if another staff member might pop out to interrupt them. Finally, she spoke, her fangs revealed the second she opened her mouth. “I guess BB didn’t tell you,” she said, though she was somewhat grateful that her friend hadn’t blabbed about it to everyone. Still, it wasn’t exactly a secret anymore. “I just kind of...woke up with fangs one day. And she said...you were having weird things happening too…?” she left the question open ended, wanting Alice to explain it herself, if she could.
Alice’s eyes widened and she became still, staring at Max’s teeth for what she felt was too long and pulling her gaze up to look at Max’s eyes. “Oh my god, Max,” she whispered and glanced to the entrance of her bakery. No one was around, the sidewalk empty, and Alice moved swiftly around the counter and to the door, locking it and flipping the “open” sign to “Sorry! But we’re closed :-).”
Turning back to Max she held up her hands. “Okay, so I’ve had weird things happen to me too but… I’m sorry but nothing like that. How about we get some coffee and cupcakes, on the house, I feel like we’ll need them. Pick whatever one you want.” She began moving back toward the counter and paused, biting at her lip and looking at Max. “If you can eat cupcakes? With your teeth…”
Max smiled happily, “I can...though I kinda had to relearn how to eat,” she added sheepishly. Her front teeth had shrunk considerably, so chewing was a little more effective using her now strangely fused back teeth, which were more like shears than molars. She’d managed to adapt her eating habits more or less, with a bit of trial and error in private before even daring to eat in public. Even drinking from a regular cup was a challenge, and she had to instead take small sips, or drink from a straw.
She happily snatched up one of the new cupcakes Alice had brought out and poured herself a coffee laced with cream and sugar, settling at a nearby table so they could chat. “So...BB told me something about...seeds?” she asked, her hands working to tear the cupcake into bitesized pieces that would be easier for her to chew.
Alice grabbed a cup of tea and curled up in a seat opposite Max, holding the cup in her hands as she looked Max over. She gave a small nod. “I began coughing up seeds. Just… random seeds. There was no consistency with the coughs either. They happened at random. At first, it was pretty bad, like having a cold and then it started to slowly lesson. I haven’t been coughing them up for a little bit though. It all lasted about a week.” She frowned. “I also had wheat grow from my hair when the floors went weird. Sometimes it was a lot, like all my hair was turning into wheat. Other times it was just a strand or two.”
Max’s eyes widened at the description. “She told me about the seeds, but...wow. Wheat in your hair? That’s...a little harder to explain away than weird teeth,” she said in sympathy. She popped a little bite of her cupcake in her mouth, pushing it back to her side teeth to carefully chew it instead of her tongue. Fortunately, her sense of taste hadn’t been affected, and she smiled in pleasure at the bite of sugar.
“Those are so good she purred, popping another bite in her mouth. “So yeah...chewing is a lot different than it used to be...my back teeth aren’t molars anymore, they’re kinda spiky too. I googled different kinds of teeth, and the closest I found to mine was for a cat. I actually got the idea watching Cali eat her food the other day and noticed that it was kind of how I have to eat now.” She clicked on her phone and navigated to a new picture she’d bookmarked, showing cat teeth that were almost the same as the way hers looked now, and passed it over to Alice for a look.
“Did it hurt? When your hair…” she said, gesturing to her own hair as if she could make wheat appear.
Alice accepted the phone and looked at the photo before glancing up. “No, actually. It just sort of happened. Well, let me back up. The first time it happened it was after I had a weird dream. I woke up and there was a strand in my hair. Then it didn’t happen again until the floors changed. That’s when it started to happen a lot and all over my head. And it didn’t hurt at all, like, it felt like it was a part of me. The oddest thing of it all is that it felt very much like it was attached to my head and that an actual strand of wheat was moving in my scalp when the wheat moved.” Max listened with rapt attention, nodding at her description of how the new thing just...felt like a part of her. Because that was exactly how it was for her.
She handed the phone back to Max and wrapped her free hand around her middle as she leaned back in her seat. “The teeth are like my childhood cat’s. Did they hurt when they appeared? How did they appear.”
“I dunno,” Max said honestly, “I just...woke up like this. I think I was having a dream that night though, but I don’t really remember much of it. It was kind of like the other one...I had a dream a while back where I was...I was a cat. I was playing with Cali and she was calling me ‘mistress’ and ‘queen’. But that other time I woke up...normal. This is new, and it’s not going away.” She frowned slightly and popped another chunk of cake in her mouth, using her tongue to mush it up instead of chewing like normal.
Alice frowned and shifted in her seat to cross her legs. She took a sip of her tea and considered the facts that she had. She thought of her own experiences and all that was tied to them. The dreams, the wheat, the sudden presence of the seeds in her throat. There had to be something that tied her experiences to Max, other than the apartment. “Okay so, how long have you had this? The teeth, I mean.”
“About two weeks,” Max said, thinking about it. “I’ve actually sort of gotten used to it, though I still usually hide them when I’m out...though some of my clients really like them,” she added with a smile and a dusting of blush across her cheeks. “I’m too chicken to go to the dentist about them...I mean, what am I gonna say to them? They’ll think I did this to myself or something, right?” But there was no way they could have been done without some sort of intervention. This wasn’t just fangs for a fashion statement, all of her teeth were different. “I gotta tell you, it’s freaking weird eating fruit loops with fangs…”
Alice smiled sympathetically. “Well, I think you’re doing pretty well. So long as you don’t choke on anything.” She bit at her lip for a moment before continuing. “So, when I was coughing up the seeds it didn’t last more than a week. Same with the hair, really. If this is permanent… I could go with you to the dentist if you’d like. But I agree, it’s kind of awkward to do that. I didn’t even go to the doctor with the seeds.”
Quickly her cheeks colored. “Hell, I didn’t even go to the doctor who lives in our building. Surely he wouldn’t have judged me for it. But I was scared it’d get out and I’d be seen as… I don’t know. So if you don’t want to go to a dentist, I completely understand. If you do, then I can go with you if you need some moral support.”
Max nodded, “well...if there’s a doctor in our building, he’d at least not be weirded out by it,” she reasoned. “I mean...he would have been here for all the other changes and such right? So this should be like...cake for him. Her?” she asked, not sure. It could very well be a female doctor. “But thank you, I think I could use some moral support, to be honest,” she said, relieved to finally have someone who gets it, who had something vaguely similar happen to them.
That thought triggered something else and she leant forward slightly. “BB’s arm really...changed? Like...she said into a tentacle or something?” She’d been busy that whole week soaking up the sun and lying on a bed of sand on the deluxe floor, but it sounded as if she’d missed a lot of...interesting things.
“It’s a he,” Alice replied to Max’s previous question first, a blush of color on her cheeks. “He’s really nice. Maybe we can go talk to him first. I should have told him about the seeds but…” she gave a shrug and fidgeted with the edge of the table. “I don’t know. I kind of like him and I didn’t want him to be totally freaked out. Which, actually, is unfair to him because he has thus far been really great about everything that’s been going on.
“And also, yeah, Britt’s arm did turn into a tentacle. And a crab claw.” She looked fully at Max and smirked. “It was insane and at first the tentacle tried to strangle her but then she sort of got a hold of it. She was able to control it.”
Max noticed the slight sheepishness and blushing on Alice’s cheeks and she couldn’t help the sly grin from creeping across her lips. Suddenly thoughts of her strange teeth were less important now. “And is he someone I should know about?” Max asked, leaning forward in her seat a little and popping another bite-sized piece of cupcake in her mouth. She didn’t realize it, but her teeth made her sly grin look even more predatory.
Alice’s cheeks became nearly as red as her hair. “I mean, he lives in our building, I’m sure you’ll run into him if you don’t go to him about your teeth.” She looked at her hands and smiled to herself before attempting to change the conversation. “So… if your teeth are cat teeth, what about your tongue?”
“Nope, normal tongue,” she said, sticking it out a little and touching it just to be sure. “So is he cute?” she asked, purposefully steering the subject back towards the doctor that made Alice blush so adorably. “‘Cause if he is...I’m in the market for some arm candy...and you can’t go wrong with a doctor,” she added with a smirk. She was toying with her, trying to get a reaction out of her by pretending to be going after someone who Alice was clearly attracted to.
The breath caught in Alice’s throat and for a moment, she looked slightly panicked. It was easy to convey that she obviously had a crush on the man but she found herself unable to lay claim on him. Who was she to tell Max not to go after him when she herself also had a crush on her best friend’s baby brother? Instead, Alice’s blush drained and her cheeks went pale. “He has quite a busy schedule… I’m not sure if he’s looking to be arm candy…” was all Alice could admit.
Max couldn’t help the sly smile that spread across her lips. “You like him,” she said, not a question, but not quite a statement of fact either. “Don’t worry hon, I was only teasing,” she added with a softer smile. “But seriously though, this is messed up...first BB and her arm, and you with the seeds, and now me? Maybe we should, like, call the CDC or something...this has to be some kind of health issue, right?”
“No!” Alice responded quickly and full of alarm and immediately felt embarrassed. Her shoulders slumped and she looked down. “I mean… don’t go to the CDC or whatever. We could end up being test subjects or put into a psych ward or something. For all we know your teeth might turn back.” She looked back at Max and sighed. “Why don’t we bring it up to Lucas first. See what he thinks from a doctor perspective and then maybe we can go from there. I just… don’t want any of us to regret going to anyone about this, you know? At least let’s keep it within the apartment for now.”
Max watched Alice’s reaction with wide eyes and then nodded slowly, still unsure. “Okay,” she agreed slowly, more to keep her calm than in actual agreement. “We can talk to your doctor friend, but I still think that whatever is going on is above his paygrade, if you know what I mean. He may not know any more than we do.” She wasn’t one to get easily taken in by weird conspiracy theories, but the stuff that was happening was pretty hard to explain away.
Alice gave a slow nod. “Well, we can at least find out if it’s above his paygrade, you know? Before you decide to go to any outsiders...I just don’t want people to make you into a test subject.” She frowned for a moment before letting out a breath of air. “Do you want to meet with him? I can text him and see if he’s available.”
Max hesitated for a moment, suddenly nervous about getting a doctor involved. But...he was from their building. He’d know about the recent weirdness, so - in theory - he won’t be too shocked by what he saw. So she nodded, encouraging Alice to text the guy. “Okay. If you trust him, I’ll do it.”
Alice smiled and got up from her seat, giving Max’s shoulder a squeeze as she passed her by and went to retrieve her cell from behind the counter. Quickly she typed her message, hoping for a quick reply: Hey! Sorry to bother you, but I was hoping you could provide some doctorly advice for a friend…it has to do with the weird building stuff, I think, and we’re scared to go to anyone outside of the building.
Max watched her somewhat anxiously, nervous about being inspected by a doctor but happy that it was at least someone Alice trusted. After a pause of a few minutes, Alice’s phone buzzed in her hand. ‘Yeah sure, I actually just got home, are you at home?,’ he replied.
Alice quickly replied, Nope, at the bakery. Just come down and knock on the door and I’ll let you in. Thanks :)
A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door.
Alice had drawn the shades to the cupcake shop and left only the bookshelf lights on. It was cozy and dim and they were free from people looking to fulfill their sweet tooths. Upon hearing the knock from the door, Alice moved quickly and quietly to it, opening it a crack and smiling at the man on the other side.
“Welcome to Rosemary and Thyme’s after hours! We don’t serve any booze but we have strange stories,” Alice joked, pulling the door back to allow Lucas entrance.
Lucas grinned at her and slipped inside. “A clandestine meeting in the middle of the day at a closed shop?” he said playfully, “I think I saw this movie.” He looked past her to Max who was sitting nervously at the table, giving him a slight closed-mouth smile. “You must be Max,” he deduced, pulling another chair over to the table and sitting down between the two women. Max nodded but didn’t open her mouth. After a pause, Lucas extended a hand to her in a friendly way. “I’m Lucas,” he introduced himself. Max smiled and nodded and shook his hand, but remained silent. Embarrassingly, despite her tough girl exterior, she was kind of a chicken when it came to doctors.
“Um, so,” Alice began, feeling the need to push the conversation along. “A few weeks ago I had a bit of a cold. Remember how I had wheat growing from my hair? It sort of was like that. I kept coughing but it wasn’t like I was coughing up phlegm or anything. Instead, I was coughing up seeds.” Alice paused, looking at Lucas to gauge his reaction before continuing. “I...I didn’t mention it to you because I was embarrassed by it and a little scared. I didn’t go to a doctor, either, because I didn’t want to report that I had seeds coming up from my lungs.”
Alice let out a long withheld breath, feeling better for being honest and upfront with Lucas. She placed her hands flat on the table, her shoulders sagging. “I thought I was the only person having a weird physical thing happen like that but it turns out I’m not.”
Lucas’ brows rose as Alice laid it all out, but he didn’t interrupt. Instead he let her finish before commenting, glancing briefly at Max as she spoke. “And...I’m assuming you’re experiencing something similar?” he asked, directing his question at the other woman. Max nodded, and then finally decided that she couldn’t sit here mute the entire time.
“I’d say mine is fairly obvious,” she said, her fangs flashing as she spoke. His brows rose even more, if that were possible, unable to stop himself from taking a good look at her mouth.
“I…wow,” he said, glancing again between the two women, as if judging whether or not he was being led on. Both of them looked quite serious, and Max actually looked nervous, so he had to assume this wasn’t a prank. “Okay, uhhm...do you mind if I…” he raised his hands off the table towards Max, as if to touch her, waiting to see if she was okay with it. She nodded and opened her mouth a little wider, letting him get a good look.
He pulled her lips gently to one side to expose her teeth, a look of surprise crossing his face the longer he examined them. “Well,” he said after letting his hands rest on the table between them. “You have a very healthy set of cat teeth, from what I can tell,” he said to both of them. “I’m not an expert on animal physiology, but I’ve seen enough cats to know what their teeth look like. Are you having any pain or discomfort from them?” he asked her, slipping easily into doctor mode.
Max shook her head, “no, though it is awkward to eat certain things. Drinking is easier through a straw than with a glass,” she added with a shrug. Lucas nodded.
“I imagine it’s hard to chew with teeth made for biting and tearing flesh,” he added. He glanced briefly over at Alice and then back to Max and considered her for a moment. “Do you have any idea how this happened?” he asked, already sure he knew the answer.
“No,” she said predictably. “I just...woke up like this one morning, a few weeks ago now. It’s like the seeds, right?” she said, looking over at Alice who nodded, “it just..happened out of nowhere.”
“Nothing happens out of nowhere, we just don’t always understand it,” he assured her with a smile. “Did you two both eat anything different, or do anything different?” he asked, directing the question at Alice this time.
“Nothing different,” Alice admitted, leaning back from the table. “Everything’s been the same for me. No new bathroom products or foods or laundry detergents. Well… except for maybe the oils used when I went to the spa?” She looked at Max and gave a small shrug. She wasn’t one to be easily allergic to topical items but it was possible she could have developed an allergy with age.
Something in the back of his mind perked up at the mention of the spa, something telling him urgently that this was the right answer, but the logical part of his brain argued it down. He and Percy had both gone to the spa and they hadn’t experienced any ill effects or strange...transformations. But then, Nish had been raving about her visit to the spa, and at the same time was experiencing selective memory loss and mood changes, some of which she wasn’t even aware of. He’d noticed right away at their last appointment, when he asked her if she was still having nightmares and she seemed to have no memory of ever having them.
He slowly shook his head though, not wanting to alarm either woman to his gut feeling. The spa...he should find out more about it. “I don’t think that could do it,” he said, at a loss to explain either woman’s ‘symptoms.’ “I don’t know what to tell you,” he said, directing the comment at Max. “Beyond the obvious...cosmetic issues, you’re not having any difficulties speaking, chewing, anything like that?”
Max shook her head, “no; they seem to fit perfectly in my mouth, which I suppose is one blessing,” she said with a smile that looked slightly disturbing with her new fangs. He smirked.
“Well medically, I can’t find anything wrong with them. But...I’ll keep an ear open for any other strange...changes. Maybe if it happens to others we can narrow down common experiences you’ve all had and come up with a cause,” he suggested. Whenever there was an outbreak of a rare virus or toxin, that was the usual procedure to find the source. It seemed logical to use it for this too.
Alice looked down at her lap, realizing she knew of other strange occurrences. “There is one other thing…” she said quietly. “But this is just something to consider, please don’t bother her with it. But Isobel… she’s forgotten everything. I think it all may be due to everything going on--her ex set her business on fire and there was that suicide across the hall from her--but it all happened within the past few weeks.” She looked at Max and Lucas both. “Please don’t speak to her about it though. She’s stressed enough and she doesn’t really remember all the strange things that have gone on in the apartment.”
His lips pressed together in a thin line. “She went to the spa too,” he said, not so much a question as a statement. He just knew. “I...have a patient who has also been experiencing memory loss, though it was more...selective,” he said carefully, choosing his words so he wouldn’t violate Nish’s privacy. “Isobel’s sounds more like general amnesia, but this other patient’s seems to be far more specific to certain events. She also went to the spa.” All of these strange events were starting to add up; the fact that the spa day was organized by their building - the same building that had locked them inside for a week during massive unexplained and downright disturbing changes - was very suspicious.
He sighed and looked at both of them. “I don’t know what to do about this; I don’t even know what this is, but...I think it’s prudent to tell you both to be careful,” he said in a hushed tone, as if they might be overheard in the closed shop. “There’s definitely something going on that I’m not qualified to investigate. But I think we should all keep our eyes open on this.”
“But what do you think Max should do,” Alice asked quietly, the tip of her nail gently tapping at the table. “Do you think it’s safe for her to go to a dentist about this? Should she just keep up with the stories from before that she chose to have this done?”
Lucas bit his lip and looked over at Max, who had an eager expression on her face. “I think...your teeth are healthy, even if they’re strange. I don’t see any reason to go to the dentist right now, unless you want them to have x-rays of them, which might be interesting themselves.” X-Rays would reveal whether they are mere cosmetic alterations or truly feline teeth, however he was inclined to assume it would confirm the latter. “I think if you went to the dentist, you would get more questions than answers,” he said with a sympathetic smile.
Max nodded and let out the breath she’d been holding, looking over at Alice with a grateful smile. “So...I guess if I have any problems with them I should go to a vet?” she joked lightly, though there was still a hint of residual tension in her voice. Lucas grinned at the attempt at humour.
“You could always see me...I’m not a dentist, but I could keep an eye on them for you to make sure you’re brushing properly with that new landscape in there,” he offered. Max nodded and carefully sipped her now nearly cold coffee.
“Thanks,” she said with a smile. Now that her issues were more or less resolved, she glanced over at Alice, for the first time scrutinizing the other woman’s expression and mannerisms around the decidedly hot doctor friend of hers. “Do you think he should examine you too?” she asked pointedly, with the barest hint of a smirk on her lips, “about the seeds and all…”
Alice’s eyes widened and her cheeks quickly colored. “No, no I’m okay now,” Alice quickly replied, her hands slipping to her lap and tucking between her legs. She looked down, feeling the embarrassment showing on her face as she bit at her bottom lip. Taking in a breath, she pulled her gaze up and forced herself to look at Lucas, knowing fully well that her crush was likely out in the open now. “Anyway, thank you for coming down and trying to help. I should probably get the place closed up for the night for real.”
Lucas watched Alice for a moment, as if judging if she was really okay, though seemed oblivious to the sudden embarrassment on her face. “Hey, it’s no problem, I enjoy making house calls,” he said happily. “Though...before you close up, mind if I get a couple of cupcakes to go?” He stood when she did and headed over to the counter to point out the ones he wanted and pull out his wallet. Max stayed behind near the table, grinning slightly now that Lucas wasn’t looking at her and raising an eyebrow at Alice.
Alice, seeing Max’s expression, quickly avoided eye contact and focused on boxing up the cupcakes Lucas had selected. “Alright,” Alice said with a smile, after Lucas had his cupcakes in hand. “Now I’m going to have to shoo you both out of here so I can close up. I’ll see you both around I’m sure.” She smiled at the two, not budging from behind the counter because she was certain she would never do what she had to do if she rejoined them.
Lucas nodded and waved goodbye to both of them, tucking the box of cupcakes under his arm and heading out of the store. Max turned to Alice and smiled. “He seems like a nice guy,” she said lightly, crossing over to the display where Alice stood. “Thanks; I feel better having talked to someone about it.” She smiled and then nodded to her, “I’ll let you finish up then...unless, do you need some help? You can come over after if you want, I bought the blu-ray of Moana if you’re interested.”
Alice smiled. “If you want to sweep and wipe down the tables, and bring all the creamers for the coffee station to that fridge, it’d be a great help.” Alice nodded toward the on fridge. “Because with everything going on, I could do with some Disney right now.”
“Excellent. I’ll make popcorn,” Max said happily as picked up the broom and started to sweep.