Bring Out The Dancing Lobsters || Ariana & Blanche
PARTIES: @letsbenditlikebennett and @harlowhaunted
SUMMARY: Ariana and Blanche have a complete day of rest... Almost.
Ariana had been looking forward to this day since they first mentioned going to the beach together. They’d mostly talked online and she had dropped some mac and cheese off that one time, but she was looking forward to actually hanging out. Blanche seemed really cool and it seemed they shared similar senses of humor. Though she was going to need to let Blanche know to not recommend more werewolf hunters to her. She lucked out that Kaden wasn’t going to actively hunt her, but she didn’t want to further test her luck. She stopped her quiet humming along to the radio and asked Blanche, “So what town are we heading to that hopefully has a less cursed beach than White Crest?”
Blanche, after everything that had happened to her, was in much need of a damn break. Ariana was sweet - probably not the word most people used for her, but that was only because people (like her brother) tended to get on her last nerve. Blanche could respect that. People did that to her as well. She was looking forward to their beach day. Towels and a few snacks packed in the back of her jeep, her pink hair piled on top of her head as she took the turn to head to Derry. “Derry beaches are pretty good. Less cursed than some of the shit I’ve seen on White Crest.” Blanche glanced at her, smiling slightly. “And I’m sure we both need a freaking break by now.”
Ariana had vaguely heard of the Derry area, but hadn’t actually ventured out there primarily due to her lack of car. She couldn’t help but laugh at the “less cursed” part. “You know, I’d prefer entirely curse free, but weirdly less cursed will actually do the trick after these past couple of weeks.” Compromise, right? She watched out the window ahead trying to learn the area as Blanche drove. Ari gave her a quick glance and added, “A break would be perfect. I’ve had enough werewolf/hunter drama as of late to last a lifetime and I’m barely 18. Speaking of,” her tone took a more serious tone, “I’m a werewolf, if you hadn’t pieced that together. So probably not a good idea to recommend a werewolf hunter for hedgehound help.” As she leaned back into the seat, she quickly added, “Don’t worry. He’s not like trying to kill me. I think him and my sister are like friends now which is a little weird, but YOLO.”
Blanche snorted. “I’ve come to the opinion that everywhere is at least a little cursed.” She was only half kidding. After getting briefly possessed and the ugly confrontation with Adrien, she was starting to gauge things a little different. The most cursed? Winston and their eye hand situation. Least cursed? Derry’s beaches. There was that one funny guy that sold strange t-shirts, but whenever Blanche went out there to read and relax - which didn’t happen as often as she would like - she just ignored him. She listened to Ariana, brows knit together as she mentioned werewolf/hunter drama. She immediately thought of Winn. “What do you -” She had started to interrupt when Ariana dropped the bomb, and Blanche practically slammed on the brakes, the car jerking to a stop, her arm automatically flying in front of Ariana to stop her from getting thrust forward. “You’re a werewolf?! Kaden - oh no!” Blanche looked at her, eyes wide. “I’m so sorry, holy shit! I never would have - He’s not - oh, he’s not.” Kaden hated werewolves though. “He’s -” Someone beeped behind her and passed her on the road, “Oh, shit -” Blanche winced and started driving again. “Sorry. Sorry. Oh my god! Oh my - oh, hey!” Blanche said. Winn had said he knew a kid. “I think I know a friend of yours.”
Ariana grabbed on to the side of the door as Blanche stepped on the break and laughed at her arm flying up in front of her to keep her from being thrown forward. Freaking out Blanche hadn’t been the reason she told her, but she had to admit it was kind of cute. She realized her laugh probably wasn’t the appropriate response and drew her lips back into a straight line. “Sorry, that was a pretty big revelation to be chill about, huh?” She paused and added, “It really is okay though. I don’t eat people and Kaden and I seem friendly enough. I think the fact my sister is a hunter kind of helps with that. So really, it’s not like a big deal or anything.” She watched as she saw the shoreline of the beach out of the window. It really was beautiful. She’d always been more of a mountains and forest kind of girl, but the beach was a perfect summertime activity. Plus, her new bikini apparently matched her freshly dyed purple hair. Or it didn’t. She couldn’t see the color purple well so she could be clashing and never know it. Her face perked up and she turned to Blanche as she mentioned knowing one of her friends. “Oh, who is it? Another werewolf? Because if so then probably.” She laughed a bit, she may have not listened to Ulfric and still approached every wolf she smelled, but hey, it worked out well for her so far.
“I don’t think you eat people,” Blanche said quickly. At least Ariana seemed to be taking this in good humor, she had even laughed at her. Laughing was good, right? “I’m chill, I just - Christ. If he hadn’t decided to be chill with you…” She shook her head, stopping herself from running a hand down her face since she had to be focused on driving. Luckily the parking lot was just a turn away. Now she really couldn’t wait to unwind out by the beach. They two of them didn’t have to worry about any of that werewolf hunter drama. Blanche wondered if this had anything to do with the bounty that Ariana had mentioned. Shit. That wasn’t good. Blanche shifted in her seat as she turned into the parking lot, glancing over at Ariana as she pulled into the space. “Yeah, another werewolf. Tall, dopey, jacked?” Blanche asked, a small smile on her face as she described Winn. “Likes hockey.” There, that was a better identifier. She put the car in park and unbuckled her seatbelt. “Well, in better news - we don’t have to worry about any of that shit today,” Blanche said, glancing at her with a grin. She smoothed down her cover up. “We can, you know, relax. Like normal young people doing normal young people things. Thank god.”
Thankfully it hadn’t been assumed she ate people, but Ariana had still felt the need to throw that in there all things considered. She liked Blanche and would really rather not scare her off with wolf-y things. As they parked, she shrugged lightly, “Really, don’t worry about it. I actually kind of like him… which may be totally stupid of me, but we have some stuff in common.” Ariana’s brow furrowed as she described her werewolf friend. Tall, dopey, and jacked described most of them outside of Ulf, Layla, and Salva. Ulf wasn’t dopey and neither was Salva. Salva was just an asshole. At the mention of hockey, her face lit up, “Oh, you mean Winn! I love Winn even if he insists on calling me kid. At least he doesn’t call me tiny.” As they pulled into the parking lot, Ariana found herself excited to just have a normal, relaxing day on the beach with a friend. No hunters, no weird monsters, no potentially life-threatening situations. Just sun, swim, chatting, and snacks. “Yes, no more supernatural drama talk for the day. Just fun and relaxation.” She slung her beach bag over her shoulder as she hopped out of the Jeep. It really was the perfect day. The sun was shining bright and the water looked super inviting. “Now the real question, do you prefer tanning, swimming, or both?”
“Kaden’s…” Blanche trailed off. It was complicated. It would always be complicated. Her moral’s didn’t align with his and they probably would never completely agree on everything. She wasn’t sure how they could. And after this whole mess with his mother… It was irrational, but she still felt angry about what had happened. Maybe it was easier to blame it on Kaden because he was the one that was alive. Lauren was just a ghost that had lost her way, even if she was a giant bitch of a hunter when she was alive. She thought of how hard he was trying with Regan, too. “He’s trying. And I think deep down, somewhere, he means well.” Blanche said, shaking her head. She brightened slightly at the mention of Winn’s name. “Yes! Winn! And I wouldn’t take too much offense to that. Yet. He’ll probably cut it out when you graduate.” Blanche laughed slightly, closing her car door and going to grab their stuff out the trunk. She could definitely get behind no supernatural shop talk for the rest of the day. Blanche considered. “Well, I’m going to burn either way, so I’m down for whatever! Can you swim? I remember you said your tattoo couldn’t get wet.”
Ariana knew most of her kind had trouble accepting hunters and it’s not like she could blame them for it. Had she not grown up with Celeste, she wasn’t sure she’d find it easy to believe that Kaden could be a good guy and trust that he wouldn’t kill her, but people always had a choice. No matter what you were born or what happened to you, there was always a choice when it came to what you did with it. Most people wanted to do good and she believed as much could be true for Kaden. “I think you’re probably right,” she agreed, hoping that her trust wasn’t misplaced and didn’t come back to bite her in the ass later. She half smiled thinking of Winn and responded, “Somehow I don’t think he will, but I actually kind of like it. He’s a good guy.” She opted not to say much more, wanting to keep with the theme of ditching supernatural crap for the day… well, besides her literal self because that was impossible. At the mention of the tattoo, she lit up and exclaimed, “It’s all healed up now, actually. Just gotta put a shit ton of sunscreen on it to avoid sun damage.”She shifted her towel a little bit so the black motif of a wolf and moon on her upper leg, “Subtle, I know, but it came out dope. We can totally swim though because outside of the rec center pool, I don’t trust swimming anywhere in town… and I wouldn’t be shocked if even that was sketchy.” She laughed as laid her towel out on the sand with her bag at the corner to hold it down. “But no more cursed town talk. What’s been going on with you? How’d the rest of your semester go?”
She hoped she was right. Maybe there was just some part of her that was desperately reaching for something good. Was it too naive of her to want something like that? Blanche thought she was rather jaded after everything that had happened to her, and she just wanted to hold onto one thing - one thing that wouldn’t end up biting her in the ass or disappointing her. Kaden had to be good. Maybe it wasn’t fair, though, to put that much pressure on someone. She knew that from experience. “He is a good guy,” Blanche said, referring to Winn. “Saved me from getting hit by a bus in October. Totally wasn’t paying attention,” Blanche laughed slightly at the memory. “Is it? Oh! It looks so good. God, I desperately want a tattoo. Me and my friend Rio were going to figure out what we want and get them together since we’re both lightweight weenies and bad with pain,” Blanche said, a grin on her face. She dropped her stuff in the sand, kneeling down to spread her own towel out as she considered. Lots of cursed bullshit had been going on with her. She struggled a moment, trying to find something normal to talk about. “Uh - the end of the semester was fine. Get to brag to no one about my 4.0,” Blanche said grinning at her. “But that’s boring, what about you? You asked someone to prom and stuff right? That’s much more exciting!”
The part about Blanche nearly being hit by a bus had left Ariana staring somewhat incredulously at her. Out of all the things in White Crest to take you out, a bus would be one hell of a way to go. Thankfully, Winn had stopped that from happening. “Jeez,” she said, “I’m glad he stopped you from actually getting hit by a bus.” She smiled proudly at her tattoo. While she had already loved the design because it represented something she was proud of, she found she grew even more fond of it because Ulf had done it and it was something he connected with, too. It was kind of nice how the closer they became the more special the tattoo seemed to be. She definitely wanted to get more tattoos, though she had no idea what her next one would be. Would it be totally cheesy to get a Post Malone tattoo? Maybe, but she was sure it’d be up Luce’s alley if Ulf wasn’t game. “It didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, given I guess I have a pretty high pain tolerance.” Pros of breaking your bones at least once a month to transform into a wolf, not that it really hurt anymore. “I think I’ve talked to Rio before. I can’t wait to see what you guys get. Ulfric and Luce at Ink Inc. are both awesome.” Somehow she wasn’t surprised to hear that Blanche had maintained a perfect GPA. She did like math after all. “Hell yeah, way to go on the Straight A’s. Can’t say I relate, but I did get all A’s and B’s for the last quarter so graduation here I come. But yeah, I asked this girl Jessie who’s on the soccer team to prom with me. Did like a cute little sign and dance thing outside our practice area. It’ll be a fun night. I don’t really see it like going anywhere bu-” She cut herself off. Something smelled off, but it dawned on her that maybe a fishy smell wasn’t totally out of place at the beach. She shook her head and gestured toward the water, “Sorry, thought I smelled something. White Crest may have me a little paranoid now.”
She laughed. “Yeah, me too! I didn’t even see it coming.” Blanche had been too busy trying to sink into her music and ignore her Granny’s constant nagging. She was pretty sure that her and Ulfric had discussed getting a giant moose tattoo as a joke, though she was still tempted to actually tell Stan at Mooseventure to see him. Stan would enjoy a real life Moose Tattoo and she was sure that Ulfric or Luce would love to take part in tattooing it. “Oh, I know Luce. Luce Vural, right?” Blanche asked. “Nell, her little sister, is a really good friend of mine. And I love Bea, the older one, too.” They had let her crash at the Vural house the past few nights. Something about staying in the Haunted Mansion, even with her room warded off like that, didn’t make her feel safe. It was terrible because she knew all of the ghosts didn’t want to hurt anyone, they had never wanted to hurt anyone, but feeling them around her sent an instant jolt of panic through her body. She was only briefly possessed, and it shouldn’t have mattered as much as it did, but it did and she hated that it scared her so bad. Blanche shook off the feeling and grinned at Ariana. “Hey, congrats on your grades, those are perfect. I’m glad my notes helped at least a little! And even if it doesn’t go anywhere, that’s okay too. I had a date for prom when I was a senior in high school and that -” well, to be fair, that totally combust into flames. Blanche fought back a wince. “Didn’t go anywhere. But we had fun!” Blanche encouraged. She frowned though as she approached the water. “Smell something? Oh, yeah Winn does that too…” Smell what? Something bad. Blanche headed into the water, feeling the cool Maine shore on her toes and she giggled a little. “I swear Maine water is always freez - oh.” Blanche heard it. The clicking. She remembered skidding out on to the frozen beach with Winston to look at the cursed chest or when she threw herself down a small cliffed slope to go mace a giant fucking lobster. Please no. Not here. They were in Derry. This wasn’t fair! Blanche turned, and there it was. “Shit. Karkinoid. Come on.” Where was her bag? Fuck. On the other side of the karkinoid. She looked up at the deep blue sky. Traitor.
There was a faint clicking sound as they approached the water that made Ariana’s body tense up. Sure, there were plenty of totally normal ocean creatures, but something about it just smelled and sounded off. Maybe they hadn’t gone far enough away from town. What Blanche was saying about her own prom date barely registers as her head whipped back to find the source of the clicking. Holy fuck. “You have got to be fucking kidding me,” she muttered, looking up at the giant lobster with her eyes as wide as saucers. She felt her body tense up, ready to shift at any moment should she be attacked. Instinct had a funny way of kicking in, but she was pretty sure even as a werewolf, taking down a giant lobster still seemed like a feat. It’s shell seemed pretty thick, too, could she even bite through that? What happened to this being a relaxing, fun day? “A karkinoid,” she said slowly, “Any weaknesses that you know of it?” The stupid shellfish seemed to have its eye on them now. She kept her focus on it, making sure it didn’t decide to do anything funny, but as it started crawling toward Blanche, she felt herself shifting into her wolf form. As she fell onto all fours with her gray and white fur standing on end to make her appear larger, she let out a loud growl to distract the monster. She ran around towards its tail to stay out of the way of it’s very large claws, low growls continuing to emerge and she darted around in the sand trying to keep its attention while simultaneously avoiding its monster claws.
Come on. Blanche couldn’t believe it. She had to be cursed or something. Just absolutely freaking cursed. Or she had kicked a puppy in her past life. Something like that. Just absolutely the worst. Blanche get out an audible groan as Ariana confirmed that she wasn’t just hallucinating and having a mental breakdown. She would have preferred that to this. Well, probably at least. “Watch out for the giant pinchers, they can cut through bone.” Blanche remembered them severing Remmy’s arm off. Gross. Blanche didn’t have time to say anything else when Ariana turned into a wolf. A whole wolf. A whole goddamn mother-freaking wolf. Blanche gaped, freezing for have a second. What the hell - Werewolf. Right. Werewolves! Holy crap, she hadn’t ever seen Winn shift before. “Uh - shit.” Blanche tore out of the water and across the sand to snatch her bag up. This was absolutely it. She was getting her gun license and concealed carry permit in the next week and she was going to start carrying. This was absolutely ridiculous. Fuck this shit. She snatched the can of mace out of her bag, knowing the taser would do no good. She ran after Ariana, and whistled to get the Karkinoids attention. “Go for the tail!” She shouted. Crap, did Ariana speak human when she was wolf? She didn’t know that. Half a second later, the damn lobster turned towards her and Blanche sprayed the mace. This was old news, she’d been here before, she wasn’t afraid of some fucking dumb lobster. The lobster let out a high pitched wail, pitching backward as it tried to get away. It wasn’t as big as ones on the White Crest Beach, but those things were still deadly. “Get away! Fuck off!”
Anger came out in her growl as she stared the thing down, daring it to lunge for her to keep its attention off Blanche. Maybe it wasn’t her smartest plan yet, but she had always been more fight than flight. Ariana could vaguely pick up on what Blanche was shouting about pinchers and going for the tail, but focused on disorienting it for the moment. The smell of the karkinoid was more apparent now as she ran it around in circles on all fours. She let out a loud howl as it faced Blanche before she realized she’d used something on it. The now blinded lobster thing was trying to seek her out again, but she pounced on its tail, attempting to rip through the shell on its tails. A small yelp escaped her mouth as she realized just how hard the shell was. Instead, she raised a paw and tried to slice through the tail with her claws. She’d managed a few small gashes before the thing went scurrying off in the other direction. She fell back down on all fours, fur still standing on end and her eyes glued to the thing as it ran off. It appeared to look back and she let out a louder growl this time which appeared to speed up its runaway. She stood there a few moments, panting and keeping a close eye and ear to make sure this thing wasn’t ready for round two. A few more pants came out as she fought to bring her human form fully back into play. The threat was gone though not entirely eliminated and as the wolf calmed, Ariana found herself re-emerging into her human form, now nude on the beach. A blush reached her cheeks, while she wasn’t entirely uncomfortable with nudity being a wolf, it dawned on her that this probably wasn’t that kind of beach. “I think it’s gone,” she mumbled as she bolted toward her own bag to at least get a t-shirt and shorts back on, “I think my swimsuit is toast though.”
Holy shit, that was a loud howl. Blanche made a note to ask Winn more werewolf questions later, because she was goddamn determined that they were going to have a decent day, even if it meant she was going to have to kill some stupid ass lobster thing. Another stupid ass lobster thing. Hell of a day to not have that acid mace. She was going to have to tell Cece that she wanted way more than she originally said - going to owe that witch a lot of favors. Blanche ran a hand down her face, watching the karkinoid scurry off while keeping an eye on Ariana. Well, holy shit. That was… Once it was clear that the lobster wasn’t planning on playing round two, she didn’t quite know what to do with Ariana…. Who shifted back to the human and was totally naked. “Ah.” Blanche averted her eyes and went to go grab her beach towel to put around her. “Shame about the suit, it was a pretty shade of purple. Matched your hair.” Blanche said, holding the towel out to her. “I think I have a spare in the car though. If, uh, you still feel up to swimming.” At least the fucking thing was gone.
The towel that Blanche brought over to her was more than welcome. Ariana was a little bummed about her brand new swimsuit though. Shifting into a wolf, albeit not entirely intentionally, beat being lobster food. Maybe it was the entire state of Maine that was a damn mess. “Thanks,” she grumbled as she tightly wrapped the towel around herself. It wasn’t Blanche’s fault, but she was a little pissed off that their beach day had been interrupted by a freaking giant lobster when they made the effort to at least get out of White Crest for the day. At the mention of Blanche having another swimsuit in the car, she let out a sigh of relief. Their day wasn’t totally ruined and she knew what these things smelled like now so she could trust her nose. “I know! I had just gotten it, too, but I’d rather say RIP in pieces to the swimsuit than to one of us so,” she shrugged, being careful to make sure the towel stayed in place, “But another swimsuit would be great. No need to let a little… well, not at all fucking little, karkinoid ruin our day.”
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