"Crackle-Snap." A roaring fire had been going for quite a while in Darren's house. He had set Clodagh down on a large comfy armchair and gotten the fire going. He was currently wrapping a bandage around most of her tail, so he decided to try and start a conversation.
"So, you said a Sharkgirl did this to you?" Darren said, while rubbing the wound with some antiseptic he had lying around.
Clodagh winced as she answered. "Y-yeah." There were small tears in the corner of her eyes, most likely from the stinging pain of the antiseptic. "It's sort of like your world in a way, sharks go after seals, Sharkgirls go after Selkies."
"I'm sorry about the stinging, but I don't want you to get infected or anything." Darren then wiped a bit of water over the wound and began wrapping it up with bandage he had. He made sure to buy a lot of it before moving out here, as he knew how accident prone he was.
"Does this mean I won't be able to swim for a while?" Clodagh asked worriedly. Darren nodded solemnly. "But I need to get back to the Causeway." She began tearing up again. Darren shook his head, this girl was extremely emotional.
"What's at the Giant's Causeway that's so important?" Darren was thinking, was it maybe a hunting ground or something for Selkies, or was there an important meeting or something.
"It's where my home is." Clodagh said, tearing up again. Darren chuckled slightly, causing Clodagh to get angry rather than sad. "What are you laughing at, it's not funny, I'm so far away from where I live."
Darren stopped chuckling and said "I'm sorry, it's just, if you have nowhere to live, why don't you can live here." Darren wore a big smile as he said it, obviously not realising the possible repercussions of this action. Clodagh's jaw dropped at the statement.
"How can I live with you, this is just a human house?" It was then Clodagh actually began to look around and realised how large the room she was currently in, did humans always have rooms this big.
Darren laughed nervously. "Well actually, technically it's a bed and breakfast." Clodagh looked at him incredulously. "It used to be my grandparents, they ran it quite well actually," Darren started smiling. "But after they passed away they left it to me in their will." Darren shook his head at that. "I still don't understand their logic."
"S-So that means you have people coming here all the time?" Clodagh asked, worried about a sudden surge of humans. Darren shooks his head.
"No, my grandparents ran it as a bed and breakfast. I, don't know how to do that, so I just sort of live here." Darren looked slightly ashamed at this. "I feel bad though, this place was their pride and joy, well aside from their children." Darren subconsciously rubbed a nearby sofa, then shook his head. "Anyway, I think that should do you for now."
Darren stepped away and looked at Clodagh's tail. It was covered from the fin to about half way up in bandages. Clodagh lifted up her tail to look at his work. "I take it you don't know how to apply bandages to a tail." She said jokingly. After seeing the downtrodden look on Darren's face she quickly changed her mind. "But it's a really good effort, I can feel myself getting better already." This gave Darren a small smile.
A sudden 'ping' interrupted the scene. "Oh the kettle's boiled." Darren said, walking into another room. "Would you like some tea?" He called to Clodagh.
Clodagh was hesitant, she didn't exactly know what tea was, it sounded like a drink but she wanted to make sure. "Um, what is it exactly?" She put her hands together to cover her mouth and the fact she was blushing. Instead of a reply Darren came out of the room to stare at her oddly.
"You're Irish right?" He asked. Clodagh nodded slowly. "And you don't know what tea is?" Clodagh blushed and pulled the hood of Darren's hoody over her head. "Yep, I'm definitely making you some tea." With that he walked back into the room, determined to make the best cup of tea he ever had made.
A short while later, he came back with two steaming mugs of light beige liquid. "I don't know if you like sugar or not so I only put in one spoon." Darren said placing the mug on the small coffee table beside the armchair Clodagh was currently sitting in. Clodagh sniffed the drink, and then picked it up with both hands, which made Darren chuckle, as he himself had picked it up with the handle on the mug.
Clodagh took a sip from the drink, and her eyes lit up. "This tastes amazing!" She then took a big gulp, before Darren could stop her. "Gah, it burnt my throat." Darren shook his head, but didn't blame her, as he made that mistake the first time he drank tea.
"It's more of a sipping drink." He said, drinking a small amount of liquid. Clodagh nodded and took another sip of it, letting the liquid slowly travel down her throat and into her stomach. She let out a long sigh of gratitude.
"It's much nicer than anything I've ever drank before, which is mostly sea water." Darren looked at her oddly. "Yes we can drink seawater, what do you think seals drink?" Darren opened his mouth, but decided against it, nodding his head in a fair enough fashion. "Um, are you really ok with me staying here?"
Darren nodded. "Of course, it would be rude to let a wounded girl out on her own." He smiled again, causing Clodagh to blush. "Oh, that reminds me, I should probably register you or something." He took a sip of his tea once more, and noticed the confused look on Clodagh's face. "Oh, well, because of that new act, that lets you guys intermingle with us, any Extra-species person needs to be registered in order to live with their host family, it's usually for ones that live with people here to learn their culture."
"But, I already know your culture, I live in Ireland remember." Clodagh said confused. "I don't need to be registered if I already live here do I?" Darren opened his mouth, but then stopped to think about what she had said.
"I'm not sure actually." Darren put a hand under his chin. "I haven't really looked into it much, seeing as I never thought I'd meet one of you." He stuck out his tongue at this bit. Clodagh pouted and returned the gesture. "I'll have to research it or something." He went to take another sip of his tea, but then realised it was empty. "Hmm, would you like some more?"
Clodagh looked down at her own mug, and realised that she had drank all of her tea as well. She blushed a little and said "Yes please." Darren smiled and took the mug off her. Clodagh rested her hands on her lap and gazed into the fire. She then looked down at the clothing that Darren gave her. It was a dark purple, and the strings were a lighter shade of it. "It's not as soft as my fur," she began, rubbing her hands along the sleeves "but it's pretty comfy."
Clodagh soon found her eyelids getting heavy, with the combined warmth of the fire and hoody she was falling asleep quickly. Within a few moments, she had drifted off into a deep sleep. Darren returned after putting more water in the kettle to ask if she'd like sugar in her tea again. When he saw that she had fallen asleep he let a small smile go across his face. He then checked his watch to see the time. It was just before midnight. Normally he stayed up quite late into the night writing code for his job, but tonight he had a different reason.
"If I'm going to let her live in my house I'll have to do some research." His eyes fell on the computer across the room. It was the computer he would do work on, such as fixing bugs or designing websites. Tonight however, it would be his way of learning what he needed to learn about the new 'Inter-Species Act'. Darren sighed, realising how late he would probably end up staying up till. "Good thing I put the kettle on." He said, as he sat down in his chair and turned on his computer. "This is going to be a long night." He said as he typed in the words 'Cultural Exchange Between Species Act'.