"Pleasure to meet you, Sir Zack," he said, nodding to the wolf-girl. "I do hope you'd join me for tea some time."
"Uh, sure, I guess."
"..Look, I don't want to beat around the bush too much," said Katherine. "You are a psion, aren't you?"
"If you've drawn that conclusion, then I won't dispute it," he replied. That seemed to be as close to a yes as he was willing to say.
"Have you been, uh, reading my mind?"
"You must not have much experience with your powers if you can't tell the difference," he said calmly.
"I've hardly noticed anything out of the ordinary," he said with a small shrug. "Not that you aren't all extraordinary young people in your own right, but I have seen much in my days.
I don't know..his wording was so vague. It could mean that he didn't see any of our thoughts about being from Earth, even though you were literally thinking about it as soon as I started to vaguely reference the idea, she said back. He doesn't strike me as the kind of psion who respects privacy a whole lot—I know, I know, even compared to me though—and he's probably really powerful given his age, which together mean the only way he wouldn't see those thoughts from one or both of us is if the..whatever brought us here actually 'blocks those out' from being read. Under the theory that we were brought here by this world's gods, there's no reason I know why they wouldn't be able to just, do that.
"No no, that's okay..." One of her feet scratched the ground a bit in mild embarrassment.
"I suppose that means you still haven't had lunch yet. Aren't you hungry at all?"
The dragon-girl's stomach chose this moment to growl loudly entirely on its own. "Um...yep," she said quietly, blushing a little bit.
"I guess so..." She took some slow steps to go around the bench toward the witch.
"Right, that's settled. So where would you like to go?" she said cheerfully, putting an arm over Rose's shoulder as they arrived next to each other.
"You know, anyone else I found in my home uninvited wouldn't leave it uninjured."
"You did invite me, though. Didn't you?"
She sighed, taking a nearby seat. "I'd just rather find you at the front door than showing off your skill at picking locks."
"You know very well I prefer the slow and steady way," she said. "Any new wars, since yours?"
"That's a...darker future than I imagined. Government mandated surveillance?"
"Not at all, you pay for those things," he said. "They're a luxury item. I guess they send the data to the company and not the government, but it's all supposed to be anonymized and.."
"And you can probably think of a thousand ways to abuse the existence of something like that," she said.
"Ohh yes, get the right black hats on it and...! Anyway, on top of that, they like to hook up every kind of normal appliance to the Internet they can. 'Smart' this and 'smart' that...can you imagine wanting a toaster with a screen on it that talks to your phone?" He put a hand on his forehead. "And, I sound like their old people complaining like this about it. Gods."
"You know, I'm a little surprised the wolf didn't follow us out," said Katherine. "He was right there, after all."
"Now that we have an actual 'den', he's content to stay there, I think," Zack said. "Unless the whole 'pack' is going out somewhere, or I ask him to come along."
"I'm so sick of seeing characters written into that weird fetish stereotype. Nobody actually acts like that. Nobody."
"I think I can count the number of well-written characters you can reasonably call," (he had a brief verbal hesitation out of disgust) , "'tsundere', on one hand."
"Still though. He's like 'grrr I'm nobody's pet, don't touch me—will you pet me? I'm terrified of the'—what was that mental phrase—'sky noise, hold me!'."
"I dunno..I don't remember ever hearing your laugh before. Rayna said she tried to make some jokes but they didn't connect at all."
"I haven't had much to joke about lately," Zack countered. "Feels like that should change soon, though."
He stopped in his tracks, turned half around toward her. "...To ask where monster reference books would be," he said flatly.
"That'd take forever. At least compared to me already having found the section we're after," she said, starting off in that direction. Skimming sensory information was very convenient for finding a clearly-labelled row of shelves.
"One of them is annoying."
"Nope. Now let's see..." She recovered and forced most of her mind to focus on the task at hand, which to Zack looked like her resuming normal behavior, looking through the books. A small part of it at least looked in on what that mind was thinking about, to get an idea of where he was in the library right now and maybe make plans to return, much later, alone.