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Gigi headed out to her car to rearrange her duffel and equipment bag for the coming hunt. Walker had offered to drive and Gigi was grateful to ride with her to Jersey, giving her a chance to rest up a bit more and take the pressure of her injured leg and bruised back.
She stood over her open trunk a bit clueless what to take."Jersey Devil....hmmmm, what'll kill that sonofab*tch, if it even is one?"
In the end she decided for the standards and quickly shoved her Sig Sauer with plenty of varied ammo, her two short swords, her shotgun with a good amount of salt rounds and her bow and arrows with the full compliment of different Arrow Heads into the equipment bag. Then she perused the books in her trunk and picked out a volume about stories and legends of the Northern States. Who knew, maybe it contained something useful.
After a last check over her luggage, she grabbed her warm North Face Winter jacket, she had recently splurged on and then she lugged her load over to Walker's car and waited for the other two to emerge from the Road House.

Walker walked up next to Gigi. "I've got plenty of room," she said. "You sure that's all you want to bring?" Gigi smirked and handed her the bag which was much heavier than Walker had anticipated. "Okay, I stand corrected. I'll just hope there isn't anything dismembered in there."

Probably a little too happy at the prospect of a hunt, Kate bounced through the doors of the Roadhouse and sauntered across the gravel parking lot toward her car, which she’d parked next to Gigi’s. “Hey, Guys, bring your DEET if you got any. The ticks in the Barrens are worse than vampires.” She chuckled as she tossed her bag into her open trunk. “And, I got room if you want me to haul anything for ya.”

"No, Walker, nothing dead or oozing in my bag, no worries... I tend to go heavy on the books, but I am drawing a blank on that one. CRAP, hold on..." she walked back to her car and grabbed the laptop bag from the front seat and the jar of ointment for her injuries. "OKAY, ready now!" Then she looked over at Kate. "GIRL, are you sure you're good to drive after hitting the Hunter's Helper in there?"

Kate nodded her head. “Yeah, I’m golden. I’ll shag as* and be in Columbia by nightfall -- probably get to Jersey around the same time you Guys will.” Then, noticing the unresolved concern in Gigi’s eyes, she added. “I’ll make coffee my first stop if it makes you feel any better, okay?”

"Yup, it sure would!" Gigi said scowling at her friend. "Oh, and I have a WAY better thing than DEET to keep of the bloodsuckers! I'll get the stuff for it, when we are in Jersey and mix it up!" She noticed the other two's skeptical looks. "Hey it works on the bird-sized mosquitoes in Louisiana....it'll sure as hell work in Jersey. PLUS ain't it too cold for that type of creepy crawly?"

"I wish." Kate replied. "You need sustained temps below freezing for days to weeks to kill 'em. I'll double check the reports, but I don't think Jersey has had temps that low for long enough. Plus, the brush and ground cover help shelter them. Nasty pieces of work." Kate shrugged her shoulders. "But I say bring your magic bug juice along. If it works better than DEET, I definitely wanna try it! I guess either way we'll know pretty fast how well it works." Turning to Walker, she asked. "Walker, you good to go?"

(OOC That's probably it for me tonight Guys :) Talk tomorrow? GLAD to be getting on the road with you two! K)
"UGH, not sounding inviting, K! Let's hope that's not all we get to see." She hugged Kate quickly and clapped her hardily on the shoulder. "Save drive, buddy! Se ya in a couple a days?" She walked to the other side of Walker's car and called over to her. "Hey, Walker, d'you know where we meet back up?"

(OCC - Good Night from me, too!)

"If the two of you know half as much about our Jersey Devil as you do about mosquitoes, we're set," laughed Walker. "I just hope they don't have deer flies down there. Little bastards bite so hard you feel them when they're biting you! Be careful out there Kate and call if you need anything! We'll meet up at the Dolphin Diner. I know you mentioned Vincentown, but that's kind of upscale. Here, check it out," Walker held up her phone:

dolphin diner, nj
"So ugly it's kinda cool...but it's in the right area." Kate laughed and closed the trunk of her car. "Okay G, can I call you 'G'?,I think we're going to have a bit of a drive to get to know each other." Walker settled into the driver's seat and Gigi took shotgun. "Thanks for keeping me company though."

Gigi got into Walker's Challenger and said "Awesome diner, love those quirky places! Often have the BEST food!" She stretched out her legs in the roomy front of the car and sighed contentedly. “Hey, call me whatever you like – G, Grit, Gigi – whatever. G-Nome, G-man – I’ve heard it all, believe me! Most of my actual friends call me Grit, but Gigi is my real first name. Guess, in hunters circles Gigi sounds a bit wussy” she chuckled “but my Mom was obsessed with this old musical with Leslie Caron and naming me Gigi was her way to rebel against my Grandfather, who pretty much picked names for all other grandkids. What’d friends call you?”

"Well, I've only had a handful of good friends in my life. Most have just called me 'Walker', but feel free to call me whatever you like, Grit."

Hopping into the driver's seat of her Mustang, Kate smiled to herself at the thought of Gigi and Walker driving together all the way to New Jersey. "They'll either love each other by the time they get there, or kill each other along the way." She chuckled to nobody. Turning her mind back to the case, Kate started the engine and fishtailed out of the parking lot, spraying gravel as a 'goodbye' wave to the Roadhouse.

Walker was temporarily distracted by Kate's screeching tires, "What a show-off," she said affectionately. She made a mental note to make sure to beat Kate to at least ONE destination during the course of this hunt.

Kate knew a place near the interstate where she could get the coffee she promised Gigi -- it was along the way to Columbia and still allowed her plenty of time to get home, grab her notes and files on the JD, and be back on the road to Jersey by nightfall. She'd have to drive through the night to make up the time (which she'd done many times), but she was pretty sure she could get to the Dolphin diner at about the same time Walker and Gigi got there. She rolled back the convertible's top, letting the cool air refresh her. Then she turned on the radio -- loud -- and settled in for the drive.

"Ready?" Walker asked Grit. Grit nodded. "Alright then, hang on," Walker smiled as she accelerated sharply out of the parking lot. "Co-pilot picks the music," she offered. "And we'll have to be sure to call Kate once in awhile; just to check in on the way. You and Kate seem pretty close," Walker observed. "We were only thrown together for one hunt - a vengeful spirit - but I don't think I've ever trusted anyone else so quickly. She had my back the entire time and was definitely always one step ahead of the cops."

“Yeah, I know, what you mean!” Grit agreed “Kate is one dam*ed sharp cookie! I met her, let me think, 4 years back now. Someone recommended her to me to help clean out a real nasty Vamp Nest in New Orleans back then and I was sure as hell glad to have her along – wasn’t pretty, but we made it out. She totally saved my bacon on that one. I was still a bit new at the hunting thing and never had such a large nest before, you know?! We really hit it off during that hunt and I would put my life in her hands any day! After that we hunted together a few times and she was sweet enough to take me to her family's home for Thanksgiving last year. Great people - the Harpers! Well and then I took her home with ME to New Orleans after our last hunt in Miami. We needed a little R&R, so I tried to show her a good time in my town, ya know! ” She rifled through Walker’s music collection and picked a AC/DC album. Then Gigi looked around the interior of Walker’s car appreciatively.“NICE RIDE, by the way! "

"Couldn't afford this new, but was lucky enough to find a used one. I try to keep her in perfect shape. I can't stand it when there's something broken on my car. You know, we spend so much time in these things, it's nice to keep it nice," Walker explained. "I know it's not super-agile, but I fell in love with how it looked. Not great on gas mileage either, but, well, you know....as long as the trunk's big enough for everything we need, and it has a great stereo, that's pretty much all I wanted."

"I hear ya! Trunk big enough to fit a monster or a trunk full of books AND a boat load of weapons - what ever necessary, right? Why'd you think I drive my old El Camino...nothing BUT space in the trunk! Definitely crappier gas mileage than yours, though! But I love the "Purple Monster" and it's pretty comfy to sleep in, too." She grinned at Walker. Yeah, our cars are our buddies, that's for sure! I wish I had more clue about the mechanics and how to fix stuff myself...never really interested me." Gigi smirked sheepishly. "How about a home base somewhere? Where d'you go in between cases?"

"Home is up North....in Montana. But I have a girlfriend in New Mexico....at least I do at the moment, I think. At least I did when I left there last week. It's kind of an on-again, off-again thing. That's where I was after the last hunt. Helping her with some research and she was helping me with some relaxation." Walker replied. "If we're 'off-again' then I usually head up to my late father's cabin in Montana. It's not much. Pretty rustic. But it's peaceful. How about your? What do you like to do when you're not hunting? I use my down time to try to pretend I'm normal....reading....cooking....catching up on Justified, stuff like that."

"Oh, well let's see - I keep an apartment and a part time job in New Orleans and have a kinda home and part time job in Portland, Oregon that is!! I know....kinda schizo, but I love BOTH cities and ya know how it is....we have to pretty much steal the semi-normal moments when we can! It's friggin' hard...living on the road all the time. At least I can say that I have a handful of good friends between the two cities and that means a lot, ya know?! And WHEN I am any length of time in either city, I just love hanging out and soaking in and catch up with what I can - movies, TV, books, live music, food...I love food, but I mostly suck at cooking ... " She looked out the window and her brain caught up to the other important part of the info, Walker had volunteered so readily.
"Wow, Montana and New Mexico, huh?! Tough!" Gigi nodded thoughtfully. "Well, she must be worth it, if you take that distance in consideration and still make it work at least part of the time?! Does she know?! About your "other life"???"

"She knows a little. I've helped her with research for books on folklore and I had to help rid her place of an angry spirit, but she doesn't know about everything we hunt. I don't want to completely freak her out. How about you? Anyone waiting to hear from you after a hunt? Asking about how you got those scars?"

Gigi winced at that - 'Is he - waiting to hear from me after ?' - she damn*d well hoped so.
"Oooh, man, LOADED question!" she paused for a moment and looked out the window, then continued in a quiet voice. "Uhm, yeah, there is someone....but it is totally new to both of us...! Don't know where it's gonna go...ya know? We've known each other for a while and really care for each other, but....there are....complications?!" It sounded almost like a question, like Gigi wasn't sure how to phrase it - hell, she didn't even know what she was exactly thinking or expecting of the thing with Wes. And she wasn't sure how much to say to Walker about it, after all, they barely knew each other. But then, Gigi thought, they both knew Kate and seemed to mean a lot to her, so that pretty much meant, they were on the same wave length, so she decided to confide in Walker. She took a deep breath. "It's WESLEY, Kate's brother!" She looked sideways at Walker for a reaction, but plunged on "So at first, we were just friends. Met a few times, talked a lot, really got on well, but....he is Kate's BROTHER! It totally freaked me out to even contemplate to let this go anywhere! But there was definitely a connection there." She paused again, fiddled with her necklace for a moment. "Anyhow, on the last hunt I just came from and got banged up in, he came in to help and.....it.....became....more!" Gigi flushed slightly, yeah much more, she thought wistfully. "And now, here we are, back on the road in separate directions and who knows when we'll be in the same town, hell, the same state again...! Kate's family doesn't hunt together, but I love hunting with Kate and want to keep doing it - so the chances to see him much are pretty slim!" She sighed, realizing that she was doing a damn*d fine job talking herself out of expecting anything further to happen with Wes and was surprised, how much that bothered her. "SO....where does that leave us?! Like I said - complicated!" She finished, her voice a little thick.

"I would think the fact that he's Kate's brother would be a good thing," Walker said, looking over at Gigi who appeared slightly flustered. "You couldn't ask for a more loyal friend than Kate and I'm guessing it runs in the family. I've never had the pleasure of meeting Wes; I've only seen photos. Nothin' to complain about in those photos!" Walker smiled. "You know, you asked if my, er, well, her name's Jordan, if she knew about what I did...I've always been reluctant to say too much and, you know, it really feels like I can't be myself with her when I want to be...and if you've found someone who really gets it, and Wes does, then you should hold onto them. As long as it's what you both want; just don't underestimate how important it is to find someone who truly understands you," Walker finished. She thought for a minute,

"Yeah, I know, I should count myself lucky, I guess...at least there is a potential for something real and good there! Of, course, you are right....I CAN be myself with him and don't have to hide anything, including ugly scars!Oh, and I ain't complaining - Wes is one FINE man inside and out! Like you said, runs in the family!" She was quiet for a moment.

"I'm sorry, I know we barely know each other and you don't need to be getting relationship advice from me. I've never been able to keep the same person for more than a few months in a row," Walker admitted. "I'm really glad to hear that sometimes it might work out, you know, for two hunters." Walker got a small smile on her face and looked over towards Gigi.

"Are you KIDDIN' me? Do you know how GREAT it is to get some OUTSIDE perspective on things?!" Grit chuckled, "I get way too wrapped up about it in my own head and before you know it, I convinced myself of something never even talking it out with someone...I don't ever wanna bother anybody with my petty stuff, ya know?! So, THANKS!" She grinned warmly at Walker. "Sorry to hear, though, that you haven't been lucky so far. But you know, before Wes, I NEVER had anything longer than even a week, just didn't wanna risk it - getting close or putting them in danger - I don't know. So a few months...for Hunters...is still impressive."

"Maybe he'd like to get a call from you while we're out?" she suggested. "I know, I know; none of my business! I've just seen this life take over way too often and drive people apart. You have to work at it if you don't want to end up alone. That's all." At that moment, Gigi's phone rang and Walker thought it would be way too ironic if Wes was calling her.

"Don't apologize, you make a VERY good point! It's a two way street and I am responsible for my own lane!", Grit nodded to herself. "Hey, and don't EVER hold back with your honest opinion on my account, ok!? I am a straight shooter, too, can't operate any other way....takes guts and trust and if we are going to hunt together, I want it all out there, clear and free!" Her phone rang and her heart sped up for a moment, until she looked at the display and saw it was Jake. "Hey, Jake," she answered quickly and Walker turned down the music some "What's up?" Gigi listened for a moment. "Okay, no problem, I am heading to New Jersey at the moment. Ellen gave us a case on a possible Jersey Devil." She listened some more "Yeah, I know, it's Kate and Walker and myself - we'll be fine!" Gigi laughed at something the other person said. "Yes, I promise, I am resting as we speak, I'll be good as new when we get there." She rolled her eyes at Walker dramatically, but smiled at the same time. "Okay, okay, yes, I will call as soon as we find something - gotta go!" and she hung up quickly. "FAMILY!" she sighed. "Well, at least what counts as family for me. What about you? Family? Big, small, non-existent?"

"Pretty much nonexistent," Walker said matter-of-factly. "My mom died when I was a teenager. I was raised by my grandmother. She's also gone now. Dad was around sometimes, but not much, and he's gone too. I'm an only child, well, as far as I know...Dad wasn't exactly the monogamous type. But it's okay. I can handle time alone. I actually like it. And when I stop liking it, I give Ellen a call or head down to New Mexico and I have some friends, like Kate, in the life that I know would have my back if I ever needed it. But still, I look at people who have brothers and sisters and I do wonder what it would have been like. I guess I can't miss what I never knew though. You make the best of what you get. Actually, half the time, people's siblings seem to drive them nuts. But there's got to be something to having someone who grew up exactly the same way you did." Walker looked at Gigi, "The phone call...your brother?"

(OOC - I was actually trying to set that up for you to get Kate's call...but that's okay!)

(OOC - OH, I got that!! But I wasn't done talking to you yet! LOL)

Gigi looked at Walker and was amazed again how most Hunters she’d ever met shared the same miserable early life story full of death and loss and things that would send any other, weaker person running to the nut house. She gave a bitter laugh. “That was Jake, I guess, he is kinda my Big Brother now….but I only know him going on 7 years now. I was actually born in Germany. Mom and Dad got killed in some freak attack when I was 8 and we were never able to identify, what did it – or maybe no one ever asked. Left me with these beauties, though, and no normal German animal could account for that.” She pulled her right sleeve up exposing three pronounced claw-like scars across her forearm. “Grew up in Grandma’s house, too, but really my older brother and sister were the ones raising me. Then they got killed by a Wendigo, when we were on a camping trip in the Olympic National Park in 2008. That’s when I met Jake. He helped me hunt down and gank that sonofabi*tch. After that, I stayed in the US and became a Hunter – and voila, 7 years later and I am still alive – so I must be doin’ something right!” She gave Walker a small smile. “Don’t get me wrong, it was great having siblings growing up – sure, they drove me crazy ¾ of the time, but they also are responsible to most of who I am today, and I will never forget that- BUT the bigger the family, the more people you have to lose, you know, and that sucks balls!” She grimaced and sighed deeply. “But, I also think, now, we can build our own family in a way, ya know? Choose who to be with, who to trust, who’s back to have? So, Jake’s a big part of my new family.”

(OOC - If you have nothing to add, we can have the phone ring here again and now it's Kate? And then continue on the bottom?)
Kate got to her house outside Columbia just before dusk. As she pulled up to the small cape cod, she realized suddenly that it had been well over a month since she’d been home. Most recently, she’d worked a case in Washington state, then Miami, then (after a few weeks in NOLA with Gigi) Bermuda. Life on the road – it is what it is, right? She thought to herself. Hopping out of her car, she wasted no time sentimentalizing – had to get the files and get back on the road. Pronto. As she stepped through the door, she tripped over the pile of mail and cursed quietly. Flicking on the lights, she was instantly reminded that she’d been away for far too long. She’d carefully chosen the warm Earth tones and comfortable furnishings to be relaxing and inviting -- and being bathed in the warm glow of soft lamp light was doing exactly that.

10 Page 1 - Supernatural Wiki

(Sort of OOC - That's a gorgeous house, Kate! Can I stay?)
(OOC -- Any Time!!!)

She suddenly wanted to grab a beer, collapse on the sofa, pick up the stereo remote control and cue up some Pink Floyd or Seger. Unfortunately, tonight she didn’t have time to take advantage of that invitation. Marching to her study, she started rifling through her file cabinet for the Jersey Devil files.

Kate thought it was important to have her own place, but didn’t want to be too far away from the family farm in case anything went wrong over there. Her house was less than 30 minutes away – far enough for privacy and solitude when she needed those things, but close enough to high tail it over there on back roads if an emergency required that. She’d also invested in some “special” features, like iron bars reinforcing the walls, devils traps hidden under the floorboards at every door and window, and weapons and booby traps strategically placed and hidden in case of emergency. Her small house was modest by most measures, but perfect for her in just about every way.

She quickly grabbed the files and, clutching them under her arm, she stopped by the pantry to snag two granola bars and stuff them into her pockets. After snagging two bottles of water, she headed for the door. She stopped to take one more look around before turning off the light and (with a little reluctance) closing to door.
As she hopped into her car, started the engine and pulled out of her driveway, she called Gigi.

The phone rang twice before Gigi picked up. Kate could hear music in the background. "Hey, I'm just leaving my place. You two behaving yourselves?" She chuckled.

"Sure, K, we are getting along just swell!" Grit grinned at Walker and winked "In fact, we may be a little later getting to Jersey than you...we just picked up a gorgeous Redhead for me and a vision of a Blonde for Walker...so, don't wait up!" SILENCE at the other end for a moment. Grit smiled triumphantly at Walker and waggled her eyebrows at her.

"You are so full of s h i t," Walker whispered, but laughed quietly.

After taking a second to let the mental picture sink in, Kate guffawed at the top of her lungs. “What, you didn’t bring one for me? And here I thought we were friends!” Concurrent with Gigi’s snickering, Kate could hear Walker giggling in the background and her heart was instantly lifted. Not only were the two of them doing okay, but they were starting to relax with each other. Kate knew that wasn’t an easy feat for either of them, especially for Walker, so she felt herself relax a little bit more knowing things were already going well.
“And tell Walker I got 20 bucks that says my bullet can beat you guys to Joy-zee – sexy red heads and hot blondes not withstanding.”

"Oh, crap, $20?? That's serious!" Gigi said in a mock serious voice "We better cut the fun short then, Walker!"

Walker could faintly make out what Kate was saying on the other end of the line. "You can tell Kate she can choke on my dust," Walker commented.

Kate could hear Walker saying something in the back ground, but couldn't make it out over the blaring AC/DC tune. Then Gigi gave a big belly laugh "Oh, Kaaaate? Walker says not to choke on her dust and asks what we should order for you at the diner - she hears the Pastrami Sandwiches are good?!"

Kate’s grin was from ear to ear. “Uh-huh – is that so? Well, if you guys get there first, I’ll happily eat a pastrami Reuben. BUT if I get there first, tell Walker that I’ll have her slice of HUMBLE PIE with ice cream waiting for her, will ya?” Kate paused for a second. “All jokes aside, you two be careful, okay? I should be there early tomorrow afternoon.”

"She heard you alright - got you on speaker - and I am being pressed back into my seat as we speak from the rocket strong exhilaration here and she is grumbling very lady-unlike things. Walker, look out, possum....oops...too late!" She was laughing again. "No worries, kiddin', we'll be careful. You do the same, ok?! YOU are the one with no back up here!"

“You got it. See you guys tomorrow.” Kate hung up and, smiling to herself, floored the accelerator. She knew where most of the speed traps were – at least as far as Ohio, and she was familiar with the speed limits. Turning up the music even louder, she fully intended to break every single one of them.

Grit looked at Walker: "Okay, show me what you got - and may the force be with us...I guess?! I am so staying out of this race."

Walker smiled a bit wickedly, "Okay, you asked for it. Hold on," she said as she stomped the accelerator and Gigi let out a whoop.

(OOC - I gotta run some errands - be back later ! YOU guys figure out, who gets there first! As long as I don't have to eat Pastrami...lol . Walker, keep talking for my up top, ok?)
(OOC I'm okay if Walker wins! Let's just make it REALLY close so we can argue about it -- LOL! Hey, Walker, if Gigi falls asleep during the drive and you get lonely, feel free to call me, okay? K)
(OOC - Good idea! Will do! She has to get sleepy sometime unless Walker drives like a bat out of hell too badly for her to fall asleep. :)
(OOC - I added another bit to our "getting to know each other convo" above. Grit took some painkillers at the RH...and had a couple of drinks...she'd be OUT no matter what in a little while - so feel free to put me to sleep and have a phone call!!)

Kate always liked late night driving. There was something inviting about the open road, especially when there was very little traffic. And there was something almost hypnotic about the repetitive dotted line delineating the lanes in the highway. She wasn’t really sleepy – thanks to the two cups of coffee she promised Grit she’d drink – and as she sped along she sang to the music and let her mind drift from one topic to another. As always happened when she let her mind drift, her thoughts turned to HIM, but she quickly pushed those thoughts aside and sang even louder -- as if drowning out the music would dampen her feelings somehow. She remembered her words to Walker earlier that day at the Roadhouse “Life on the road is hard enough, but having to leave behind someone you care about makes it sting even more.” Well, at least I was telling the truth from personal experience. For a second, she almost called him. But she quickly thought better of it. What’s the point, K? She thought about calling Gigi and Walker again to see how they were doing (and maybe help them stay awake, too). But what if one of them is sleeping, idiot? Instead, she floored the accelerator and focused her mind on dissecting the complexities of the music and avoiding speed traps.

Walker looked over at a peacefully sleeping Gigi. It was good that G had taken some painkillers. She needed some rest. Walker yawned and shook her head, trying to wake herself up. She reached for her phone, put the earpiece in her ear, and quietly pushed speed dial number 3; "K". "Hey Kate," Walker said when Kate answered. "It's not a fair race if I ask how far you've gotten, so I won't ask, but G is asleep and I'm trying to stay awake and not think too much. I thought maybe you'd be doing the same thing...." Walker trailed off.

Kate smiled and turned off the music when she saw Walker's caller i.d. She was instantly soothed and relieved to hear Walker's voice. "So, on top of all your other skills, you can read my mind now? And apparently it works from a distance. Not too shabby there, Walker." Looking up at the starry night and bright, full moon, Kate added. "You diggin' this light show tonight?"

"No, not a mind-reader," Walker replied, "just know how quietly driving in the dark lets your mind wander. " Walker thought she should, perhaps, change the subject temporarily, "You are right; the sky is gorgeous. Something about it being this cold that just seems to make it all sharper. If this weren't a race I'd stop for a moment to take a longer look." Walker paused. "You know, Grit's not bad. Thanks for introducing us. I don't think we've stopped talking for ten seconds since we started driving; at least until the painkillers kicked in. She's out like a light at the moment."

Of course, Walker was right. The clear winter sky made everything feel crisp and sharp, especially when the stars were out in force like tonight. Kate realized that she and Walker were both heading East and looking at the same exact piece of sky. It sort of made the distance between them seem smaller. "Yeah, Grit's pretty cool. Truth told, I've never had a sister, but by now she feels like one to me." Kate paused for a second. After her last hunt with Walker, their friendship had started to feel the same way, but Kate knew Walker was more "guarded" so she decided not to say what she was thinking. "And I don't wanna embarrass you, but I'm glad you two are hitting it off. You're both pretty important to me..."

(OOC - Walker is not THAT guarded. :)

Walker wasn't close to many people. She'd only been on one hunt with Kate, but that had proven to her that Kate was incredibly smart and trustworthy. She knew that Kate would not be friends with Grit if she didn't measure up as well. Huh. Maybe she should work harder at having more friends (Walker thought). Still, hearing Kate say she, SHE - loner Walker - was important to her, made her feel grateful. "I'm very glad that our paths crossed too," Walker said into the phone. "I spent a long time not wanting to get too close to anyone else in this line of work, because, you know, it can go sideways in a hurry and sometimes it seems there's more loss than anything else....and I can say that I don't have much experience with having a sister; never had one myself; but there's always room for something new. Thank you."

Kate smiled, “You’re welcome. And you’re also right, Walker. ‘Sideways’ is an understatement. But there’s always the other side, too, like when something DOES work really well.” Kate paused for a second, making sure she really wanted to go there. “Take our dads, for example. They hunted together for years and were really close. Saved each others’ butts more times than either of ‘em could count. Maybe something like that is rare, but it happens. I say when something feels like it’s working, and you stumble across someone unique who ‘gets’ you, life’s too short to risk letting it go.” Stop being a coward and just tell her. Life’s also too short to be a chicken****, K. In honesty, Kate saw a lot of Rufus' best qualities in Walker – like her understated sense of humor, her loyalty and courage, and her ability to read a situation in a heartbeat. Walker was also really smart – smarter than she let on, probably to avoid alienating people. “You know, since our dads hunted together for so long, that sort of makes you my 'sister from another mister' anyway, right?” Kate involuntarily held her breath.

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