I tried the whole 'take a deep breath' routine and found that it just wasn't working. My fingers were digging into the armrests (The lady in the middle could fight me to the death for the 'shared' armrest if she wanted) and made me glad I'd had to flap my sorry self all over the place; I was far too drained to accidently shift and plunk talons through the upholstery. I wondered how quickly after take-off I could convince a steward to bring me vodka. I really should have thought to go first class. Or just order a gold card in Horse's name.
I did mention I hated flying, right? I'd been trying to figure out how it was I was sitting in a tin can about to be launched into the stratosphere (or whatever sphere) when Bear and Horse were probably driving, the lucky bastards, to the oil fields. Let's face it, Bear was the oldest of the spirit incarnates I knew, so on his part it was probably just not considered chauvinism. It probably wouldn't occur to him that a girl could work in a mucky, icky, male dominated field. Horse, on the other hand, was a chauvinistic bastard and think that a girl couldn't possibly dirty her fingers with a wrench. How he'd known me for a few hundred years and not figure out how BS that was was beyond me.
The lady in the middle seat stood up and moved and someone else plunked down in her chair. I turned to find myself staring at in the strange yellow eye of Goat. I can't say I'd ever met him before, but we recognize our own. The square irises also kinda gave it away. "Uh," I said brilliantly as I pulled out my ear buds. So much for NOFX as comfort music.
"Good afternoon Miss Magpie," he said with an ironic smile and a raised eyebrow. "A certain cat has sent me as intermediary. He offers his apologies for damage to yourself and his home."
My eyes narrowed, and if my hands hadn't already been placed back in their death grip of the chair arms, they'd probably have clenched. I was about to tell him to get the heck off the plane, but apparently he'd boarded just before they closed the doors as the stewardess had launched into the safety speech no one listened to anyway. I was trying to think of something else to say that wouldn't get me in trouble, but failing.
"He offers explanation of trauma of coming home to a rather dead lover and possibly a mental box trap." Goat turned a smile at the steward who had come to tell him off for talking through the safety lecture. The steward apologized to Goat and backed off.
"You have GOT to teach me how to do that," I said in awe.
He smirked, "Just be more stubborn than anything else on the planet and hold that in your eyes when someone comes to pick a verbal." He cocked his head to one side, "Said cat says he will take feed and clean up after your cat as penance. She, apparently, landed on his head claws out and tried to rip off one of his ears with teeth."
Okay, I couldn't help the smirk of that mental image, even if it had a near suicidal move on Miss Fluffikins' part. "How do you know Coug?" I asked, and then realizing our location, "Craig," I corrected myself.
He snorted, apparently ears listening didn't bother him. I just hated being interrupted by people wanting to know what cult or gang you were in that you called all you friends by animal names. "He liked to hunt on the north shore. He doesn't anymore."
I opened my mouth and nothing came out. I closed it and opened it to try again. "What did you do?"
"I pushed him off a cliff." Came the reply. "I'd be sympathetic if he had been hunting for anything other than sport."
Okay, that won me over. Anyone who shoved Cougar off a cliff was okay in my books. "Too bad you didn't off him."
"Too agile." He crossed his arms, "Now, is that a you've forgiven him? I like to finish one task before I start another."
I sighed. "As long as my cat is still alive when I get back, I guess." I mean, I'd thought myself that he'd been jinxed, but still. Why'd he blame me? Who'd cursed him and why? I mean, I was an irritant at worst to the guy, I know there were people out there he actively hated. It would have to have been a pretty specific hex. "You're really going all the way to Toronto for this?"
"Sure, why not? Consider me Cougar's replacement in the quest for clean lands and justice for the underdog." He blinked slowly, which was just creepy with his square irises. "Oh, and I suppose if you need a mundane name, you can call me Gage."
"Maggie," I replied. All my enthusiasm for talking was stopped when the plane's engines went from taxing speed to starting its run down the runway to try and conquer Newton by throwing itself into the sky at hopefully fast enough velocities. I closed my eyes and tried not to swear.
"Don't like flying, huh?" was Gage's oh-so-helpful observation. "How strange for a bird."
"I have no problems flying when it's my wings," I growled back. Why is it everyone thinks I should adore being incased in metal and thrown into the atmosphere at high velocity?" I didn't quite growl and I'm sure the sarcasm was dripping all the way to the carpet.
"Probably because it's less work for you," was his reply to the rhetorical. Apparently he was happily ignoring my sarcasm, so I decided to happily ignore him. Only an hour till we landed in Calgary and I switched planes. Maybe I'd luck out and mister cheerful flier hadn't bought a connecting ticket. Of course, considering what my luck had been like lately I highly doubted it.
I could have strangled him when he started to snore. How the hell could he sleep at a time like this?!