Maktaba waited for his new companion the night after they first met, but he did not manage to meet her. She did not show up the next day, either, and he wondered if she had changed her mind about asking him whatever it was she had wanted to know. He was curious, and he was going to hate it if he could never figure it out. It was going to easily drive him crazy, wondering about it and being unable to figure it out. He would have to go about asking around, and gathering information about her, and generally seeming creepy when all he wanted to know was what she had meant.
If she would just show up, it would save him a lot of trouble, and save her a lot of worry over him turning out to be a creeper. That was the last thing he wanted to be. He was a nice guy, he was just terribly curious all the time, and little mysteries like this became large challenges, and his interest in them became so over whelming sometimes, he was not sure how to handle it sometimes. And it had been that way his whole life, which, really, was no consolation.
Scatha, for her part, had simply got caught up in the usual affairs of the pride, her day to day routine that she was trying to escape, and missed her appointment with him the first night. She was not doing it on purpose, and that might not have made the current situation better for it being true. Really, she had just been caught up living her normal day to day that she had just forgotten the slight bump in the pattern. By the time she remembered it, she doubted he would still be waiting for her, some days later, and she felt terrible about that.
But it made her determined to find him, and apologize for her behavior. How rude it was of her to make an appointment and then not show up to it! She could only hope that he had not managed to make it, either, and thus no one would have any hard feelings toward anyone else. That would be fair, certainly. Her luck was not so good, of course. Not only had he gone the first night, he had gone back each following one just in case of a situation like this, where she did remember to come. it worked out for him, in that sense, because he would be able to talk to her now and learn what had happened.
For Scatha, though, it was going to be very awkward.
"Ah, there you are," Maktaba said with an easy, relaxed smile as he saw her approaching. She had seen him from a short distance off and her ears had dropped back, her head and tail lowering in a defeated, bashful way. Not submissive, exactly, but certainly guilty. Maktaba knew why, but pretended like he did not, watching her with his head slightly tilted and his demeanor open and welcoming. He could immediately see that her not showing up had been a mistake, or not in her plan, since she would not look so wholly embarrassed even if she were faking it. No, he felt she was being sincere, and for that he could have patience and understanding.
"I am very sorry, I managed to completely miss our meeting... I didn't think you'd still be waiting around here after so long! What a terrible inconvenience for you... that wasn't what I meant to do, I promise."
Maktaba smiled at her explanation, shaking his head dismissively and even lifting a paw to wave off her guilt.
"If it makes you feel better, I was not waiting around here the whole time, just around now, when we were slated to meet. I came by to check to see if you would visit, thinking maybe I missed you the first night. But now I can understand what must have happened. You got busy, and I will not begrudge you that. Honestly, I do not mind. You're here now, after all."
She looked up at him and wondered how he had managed to make himself so patient. Even after raising cubs, or maybe because of it, Scatha found her temper could be short and sudden in its whims. She was not as grounded as he seemed to be, and she found herself a little jealous of that. He definitely seemed to have it all figured out, and that only reignited her need to speak with him about it all.
"You are really too nice. I have to ask you, how you managed to get so... so calm, and reasonable. I mean. That was part of what I wanted to speak to you about before. It's like you know something more, about this place or about just... life in general, than I know. And I'm not sure how to figure out what that thing is, but I thought maybe if I talked to you a little bit about it, and what you do, then maybe... I don't know. Maybe a little of it would rub off on me." She smiled at him feebly, it all rushing out in one big chunk of babble. He did not look put off, though he was surprised and slowly digesting everything she had asked him.
"Well," he said, tilting his head. "I am not so sure I know anything that you don't know. And I am not sure I have much to teach you in that regard. You are, after all, a different creature to me. Your personality is different, your interests are different. For me, I am a creature of study, and that is a quiet habit. Well, most of the time. In any case, I am calm because it does not suit me to be excitable when I would like for my presence to go larger unnoticed. I am a Watcher, not a fighter or, sometimes for better or worse, even a Participator. I sit to the sidelines. It is not all that thrilling, sometimes, and it has its own flaws."
She listened intently, not convinced yet. He smiled at her.
"But, if you would like to follow me, I can show you some of what I mean, and maybe you can put a better hold on what it is you are really looking for from me. My place here in this pride, as a Slayer, leads me to guidance and education: I would very much like to tell you everything I know, if it might help you somehow. There is a nice place for thought, not too far from here."
He nodded and she moved to follow where he motioned, padding slowly and falling into step slightly behind him, to the side. She watched him thoughtfully and imagined her family, their place in the pride, and what they all wanted out of life. All she knew was she wanted to be there for them, be the best she could for them.
Maybe this would help her bring out whatever was left inside. Whatever she needed to feel complete, and useful.
(Word Count: 1,192 in Word)