The cold bath was actually a wonderful idea, thinks the Elf and smiles to himself as he dries off. He broke quite a sweat during the just-concluded sparring session with his pack sister and isn't it wonderful to be clean again! And then there's the "other sweat" he broke when she tried to ... the Elf shudders, tries to forget it and doesn't quite succeed. A part of him still can't believe he interrupted the course of nature by calling for help. The better part of him was damned glad of it. And for the cold water.

The Elf dresses and, per Shamaness' request (order), goes to find Keeper to see what it is that he "needs a paw or two with." He doesn't need to call out, ask anyone, search or even use the pack's telepathy -- one sniff of the air in the cave tells him where everyone is.

"Ah, Pup! There you are at last," smiles Keeper as the Elf enters the room. "Your bath was good? And took care of your ... needs?" He grins knowingly.

The Elf bites his tongue and bows his head. "Keeper."

The Elf likes Keeper. But then, so does everyone, even those not in the pack. (Especially the females). Keeper is a bit smaller than average in height and build, with a round face that almost always has a smile on it. His easy-going nature, quick wit and effortless humor make him quite the hit at any social gathering. (Especially with the lady-wolves) ... except when Leader is gone and Keeper is in charge -- then it's no-nonsense, strictly by-the-Litany and Gaea help you if you don't toe the line.

But Leader is around today, so the Elf is happy to see that Keeper is his usual, jovial self.

"And what may I do for you, Keeper?" enquires the Elf.

"Heh-heh! Not just for me, Pup," he grins. "For everybody!"

"Hmph," snorts the Elf. "Let me think," he says with mock thoughtfulness. "I suppose it's my turn to--"

"--go shopping and run errands for the pack?! YES, Pup! You're RIGHT! You win the dinette set and the trip to Volcano Island, woo hoo!" laughs Keeper and he breaks into a little song and dance. Well, "dance" is a dubious term, because it doesn't resemble any of the dances of the Garou. Keeper sort of moves his hips from side-to-side, rotates them, thrusts his pelvis back and forth and mixes it all together. Keeper calls it the "bump-and-grind". Elf believes that perhaps in some far away place in some far away time, this thing might actually be popular. But in the Hear and Now, it makes him feel awkward.

And as Keeper "bumps" and "grinds", he sings a little ditty, no doubt something he just pulled out of the air...

Shop! Shop! 'Til ya' drop!

Bump-grind-grind-bump.

Shop! Shop! NEVER stop!

Grind-bump-bump-grind.

Keeper is the absolute, hands-down hit at the revels -- all the females want to be near him while the males wish they could move like him -- or kill him out of jealousy. Some actually tried, but naturally gave some other reason for it. No matter -- Keeper hadn't lost a challenge yet, which of course made him even more desirable and created more jealousy ... etc.

Keeper catches the Elf's eye, looks in mock confusion at his own hips, which are still bumping and grinding, places his hands on them firmly and makes a show of fighting them to a standstill. When they're still, he releases his hands, at which point his hips immediately do another bump, so he again slaps his hands onto them, this time wincing with the effort of making them stop, while grinning "apologetically" at the Elf. He removes his hands carefully and intently watches his pelvic area for any sign of a relapse. When there is none, Keeper nods with satisfaction.

"Sorry about that, Pup," he smirks. And the Elf would even believe him, if he didn't know better.

"Indeed," replies the Elf, trying to appear serious, but unable to suppress a chuckle. The Elf kind of wishes he could move like that, too.

"Well," says Keeper, back in something-resembling-business-mode, "Let's go over the list, then, shall we? Now ... in addition to the normal provisions, etc., Leader is expecting an important letter from over the sea, so you need to stop by the post office. Shamaness needs this necklace repaired -- he hands the Elf a small leather pouch -- so that's a trip to Moon's. Your older sister needs a weapon pickup -- Taylor will know, and -- this just in! -- your younger sister was here a minute ago -- she needs a new thong."

The Elf just stares. Keeper holds his gaze, easy smile in place.

"She needs a WHAT?!"

Keeper blinks. "A thong. It's a lady's undergarment that covers her--"

"I know what it is!" cries the Elf. His head suddenly hurts and he rubs his temples.

Keeper chuckles. "Well, she said it got damaged -- somehow -- during your little sparring match." A knowing smile. "Must have been quite the match."

The Elf groans, hands still on his head.

"And since it was a matching set, she said she'll also need a new brassiere."

"Heh!" snorts the Elf and throws up his hands. "Have TWO!" He sighs. "Do I have to?"

"Now, Pup," replies Keeper gently, still with a smile. "You know the rules. We all take turns with these little city runs. And we all get what the other needs, no exceptions."

The Elf sighs, intentionally drawing it out to calm himself and nods. He knows it very well.

Keeper's smile is still there. "OK, Pup -- out with it. What's really troubling you?"

The Elf sighs. After a moment, he speaks.

"It's like this, Keeper," he says. "It's always a privilege to do take whatever test Leader or you or Shamaness put before me. Heh -- on the last two, I almost died! But that was alright, because I was doing what I'm supposed to do, what I know how to do. But this! I have absolutely no idea how to go about this! Tell me to storm the city walls alone with both hind legs tied and I'll do it. Ask me to have lunch with a dozen lava worms without becoming lunch and I'll get right down to Underworld. Tell me to personally check the weather in the heart of Malfeas and I'll be on my way. But this?! Where in all the Land do I find a -- a -- a godsdamned thong and matching brassiere, for the love of Luna?!"

A moment later, the Elf realizes he just raised his voice to his superior and swore. He quickly bows. "My apologies, Keeper. I beg your pardon."

Keeper chuckles and waves his hand dismissively. "No worries, Pup. And about your problem -- don't you worry! Because I've not yet told what you must do for me and therein lies your solution, my lucky Pup!"

Keeper grins and hands the Elf a small scroll that bears Keeper's seal. "Take this to the witch who lives off the main road in the direction of the docks. You know the one?"

The Elf nods.

Keeper continues, "She'll help you with your sister's ... exotic apparel needs." He smirks.

The Elf gives Keeper a doubtful look as he takes the scroll. Keeper just winks at him.

Sighing, the Elf makes his way to the cave exit and hits the road toward the City.

Original post to Darkwind’s Garou Board as "Wolf Tales (9) on Monday, 29 SEP 2003

Revised 10.10.2021

 

A Difficult Mission