Working at the cafe was usually uneventful. They had a well established clientele that was respectful save for a few outliers. Those outliers were usually left to Keir to deal with. Since they weren't part of a big corporation, they could kick out customers and deny service at their discretion. Now Keir wasn't actually a manager, but seeing as the manager didn't like confrontation, she left it to him. He was the one that liked playing with humans after all. It was the entire reason he was working at the cafe in the first place.
It was fun to people watch and he would get bored otherwise. Now that the world was modern he couldn't exactly go around and prank humans like back in the day. Customer service was perhaps the closest he'd get. His kids were grown as well, so taking care of them was off the table. An old friend offered him a job at her establishment and Keir, bored out of his mind, jumped at the chance.
Besides the humans there were also the avian regulars that made the job interesting. In particular the murder of ravens that hung out around the building and across the street. Keir developed affection for one in particular. The raven was a smart bugger that definitely recognized him whenever it saw him. Of course, it probably helped that he'd give it and its family snacks now and then. Humans asked him how he was able to tell which one it was his 'friend' and all he could tell them was that he "just knew." In truth, he could see a small scratch on the raven's beak. It was something so imperceptive that unless a human was close to it, they wouldn't notice. Most of the time the bird came to him, but he was able to also find the bird. Keir chalked it up to him being fae.
It was a nice little routine he settled into. Whenever he worked he'd go visit the ravens on his break and watch them from the window when it was slow. If he hadn't picked up the habit of watching them he wouldn't have noticed the fire in time.
The building across the street was burning. The building with the trees that held the ravens' nests. One particular raven that appeared to be attempting to beat the fire out with its wings. Without a second thought Keir grabbed one of the prepared water cups and jumped the counter. His friend, thoroughly confused called after him as he bolted out the door. Thankfully she saw the fire and sprung into action as well.
At the moment restraining his movements to match a human's wasn't on his mind. Keir needed to save the raven. The bird wasn't in the tree anymore. It was panicking on the ground as its feathers smoldered. Without thinking he scooped it up and unceremoniously dumped the water on it as he hurried back across the street to make way for the authorities. [#03362e "Oh you silly thing."] He murmured, gently soothing his fingers on singed feathers. [#03362e "I would have been very put out if you had died."] The raven would feel a gentle warmth as he held him. Since the bird was still wet he was taking advantage of it and channeling his magic through the water to heal the burns and potential other injuries it had sustained.
He stood there watching the fire for sometime as he soothed the panicked bird. Eventually the raven calmed down enough to start croaking softly at him and nibbling his fingers gently. It was very cute. [#03362e "All right mo laochain, time for you to get back to your family, I'm sure they're worried for you."] He told the bird finally. There was a gathering of ravens watching them intently and gossipping amongst themselves. Keir slowly approached and set the raven in his arms down near them so that the others might preen him and investigate his condition if they wished. The fae watched them for a moment before joining his friend in watching the fire proceedings again as whispers of arson started.
Over the next few days there were investigations into the arson, which meant that while they had cops and firefighters as customers, regular customers were scarce. That meant that Keir's assistance wasn't needed until things went back to normal. Naturally that meant that he was going to bring someone around to the cafe for a date. It was a shallow affair that was likely going to end in sleeping together for a time until Keir got bored. Which, judging from how the date was going so far, was going to be much sooner than later.
Even from where she stood at the counter Mae, Keir's friend and manager, could tell how irritated the other fae was with his date. The listless way he was sitting as the human talked about vapid things was more enough to clue her in, but that pained, fake smile spoke volumes. The selkie considered going over to save him, but he was the one that had gotten himself into that mess; it wasn't her problem to solve. Now the tall, lanky stranger that entered the cafe- he was another story. She wasn't Keir pretty with long limbs and exotic looking eyes, but she was alluring in another way. The selkie was short and curvy- soft looking- with large brown eyes and a kind face. Her greyish hair curling gently around her freckled face.
Mae started to greet him but stopped short when he mentioned someone that saved a raven. Of course. He was looking for Keir. [b "You must mean Keir."] A brief annoyance sparked in her eyes before she smiled wide, showing off unnaturally pointed canines. [b "He's right over there."] She pointed over to the far corner table where Keir was currently struggling to converse with his date. If this was another of Keir's play things this was going to be a fun show to watch.
He hadn’t expected in his lifetime that he would witness a fire before it was put out. And he would have beaten whoever told him that he’d be involved in one. He might have killed had someone said he’d fall in love with a human. Villr had good intentions, though, trying to save his and another raven’s nest as futile as it was. He was just a bird, after all, and as smart as they were he couldn’t help that screaming instinct that his home was on fire, as well as the building next to it. It had happened so quickly, Villr actually felt his feathers still burning from the initial blaze. It didn’t feel like an accident. Eventually the heat became too much and he retreated to the ground, shifting his feathers madly in an attempt to put them out.
And when the lovely human from the cafe across the street took him into his arms and carefully set the fire in his feathers to rest, Villr realized maybe this wasn’t so bad. Especially when he could see closer as to what this human looked like. He still believed seeing as a raven was better, but he was sure he’d appreciate seeing this human if he was human right now, but he couldn’t change right now, not with so many others around. His ability was a best kept secret amongst the other ravens .
So he accepted the fact that he had been coddled in warm hands away from the heat of the fire. And he thought about it nonstop for the next few days, eventually finding a place where he could be alone and transform into a human. He nursed the skin where some feathers didn’t hide away before hiding them with his shirt and pants. He remembered how hard it was to first talk as a human, he didn’t understand mannerisms - he still has trouble with certain phrases - but he got by mimicking the ones he heard. And stealing currency was no issue when he was a raven anyways. Humans were careless. It was hard for Villr and the others to not take advantage of that.
Walking was hard to get used to as well - even though now he did it with no effort at all, gliding towards the cafe with ease as he heard other birds above wishing to preen his human hair. It was out of place, are you going to talk to that man, what will you buy. He didn’t answer them. Not many people talked to birds, and being disconnected from the family for a while would do him some good.
He had needed to get his head clear since he’d been over talons with his savior. But he didn’t have a name, only a face and a place. The fire damage from days ago was still there, and was only blocked off by weak tape that Villr was sure he’d seen choke many animals before. Why put it up if human’s weren’t going to listen? A child had just run through it, without any supervision. He slipped into the cafe, absentmindedly preening at his hair, and looked around for his mystery savior. Villr didn’t see him right away which was a bit disappointing but still he approached the counter.
“Hello, I’m looking for someone, he helped a raven across the street out of a fire a few days ago?”