I selected the image of the college dorm apartment for my twenty-minute sprint this time.
Delia sighed as she set her bags down beside the door and closed it behind her. Getting to Black Ashe this semester had been a nightmare. She’d gotten booted off her flight twice and spent almost 36 hours in airports before she could even get on a plane. She was just glad it was over and she wouldn’t have to deal with any of it again until summer.
“Is that our last roomie?” a voice asked from down the hall.
“Yeah. Hi,” Delia called back.
A head popped out of the first room with black hair streaked with bright pink. She was smiling, which Delia hoped was a good sign.
“I’ll be out in a sec to help you find your way around,” the girl called before her head disappeared again.
Delia inspected the common area while she waited. They were all here already, and she knew at least one of her roommates was another shifter, so she should really greet her properly before moving too far into the apartment.
The living room was nice. Typical college couch and chairs and a little entertainment center someone had set a TV up on. There was a big open closet where everyone had hung up their coats, and the kitchen wasn’t bad either. It had full size appliances and everything. Delia was really looking forward to getting to cook some this year. She loved to cook and bake.
“Hey, sorry for the delay,” her black- and pink-haired roommate said as she appeared completely this time.
The girl looked like something out of an anime. She was pale with freckles across her nose, and she was wearing a black satin dress shirt, a black leather bustier with pink trim that matched the hair, and a flared black mini-skirt that showed off the lacey tops of her black thigh-high stockings.
“It’s fine,” Delia made herself answer. She was a little shocked by the other girl’s appearance. She was used to the more average preppy Black Ashe students.
“I’m Jen,” her roommate said, holding out a hand when she stopped a little away from Delia. “I’m a werecat.”
“Delia,” she said, taking Jen’s hand gently. “Werewolf.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Jen said, stepping close and keeping her grip on Delia’s hand. “We should do this properly,” she added, tilting her head.
“Right,” Delia said, leaning down to rub her cheek against Jen’s.
Jen rubbed back rather more enthusiastically than Delia was used to from strangers.
“Welcome,” Jen said as she stepped back, only releasing Delia’s hands when she took a second step away. “The back two are out right now, but you’re sharing the front with me, so we can settle you in and sort out common bathroom stuff now and we can all sit down later about common area rules and all the paperwork we have to finish now that you’re here.”
“I was supposed to move in on time,” Delia said as she reached down for her bags.
Jen grabbed one before Delia could heft all three.
“The RA said something about airline problems,” Jen said. “That has to be rough, needing to fly in at all and then having issues.”
“Yeah, flying isn’t my favorite thing.”
“I can’t do it. We tried once and I wigged out, so they had to put me off the plane. I take trains everywhere.”
“I might have to look into trains,” Delia said. “Surely it would have been faster this time.”
“Depends on how direct a route you can find,” Jen said, stopping beside the second door on the left, which was closed. “They always leave the doors locked so no one can mess with anyone else’s space before they arrive,” Jen said.
“Oh, right,” Delia said, dropping one bag so she could dig her key out of her jeans.
“And are you okay with me coming in? You don’t have to if you’d rather keep your space just you.”
“You can come in,” Delia said as she got the door open. “I only have problems with other wolves.”
“That’s nice,” Jen said. “You can come in my room to. Cats aren’t always as territorial as wolves, and mine isn’t really, which has been really nice the past couple years.”
“What year are you?” Delia asked as she stepped into her room and set the suitcase down beside the bed.
“I’m a junior,” Jen said.
Delia turned back to see Jen lugging in both of her other bags, which she set in the closet area, which didn’t have a door.
“How about you?”
“Same,” Delia replied. “The other two are seniors, right?”
“Yeah, and they’ve been rooming together since first year. So they’re pretty tight. It’s kind of a relief to not be the odd man out now.”
“It must be easier to find a roommate you can keep when you aren’t a shifter,” Delia said.
“Probably,” Jen agreed. “Though I don’t think it was me being a shifter that made all mine want new roommates the next year.”
“Oh?” Delia asked.
“My first roommate couldn’t stand clutter and the second was sensitive to certain colors, including pink and purple. We didn’t mesh well.”
“Okay,” Delia said.
“Let me show you my room, it will make more sense,” Jen said, reaching out for Delia’s hand and gently pulling her along.
Delia went with it. Her wolf wasn’t upset about it, so she’d roll with it.
“My room,” Jen announced as she stopped them just inside the door.
“Wow,” Delia said.
The walls were practically papered. There were three big posters, one of which looked black light reactive, and another of which features a bright pink and purple goth-punk fairy of some kind. The rest of the wall space was coated in postcards. There were so many that Delia couldn’t pick out details on any individual one very well.
“I can’t stand white walls,” Jen said. “But half of what I put up last year aggravated my roommate so I had to take it down again.”
Delia just nodded as she glanced around at the rest of the room. There was a curtain that looked like a starry sky across the window and a matching one across the closet, and tons of bobbles and picture frames on the dresser and desk.
“And my first year roommate couldn’t deal with all the pictures and such even though they were all on my pieces of furniture. She was OCD though, so I couldn’t really hold it against her. We just weren’t a good fit. I think they added a question to the screening survey because of us.”
“Well, I can see where it would be a little overwhelming,” Delia said. “But I think it’s kind of nice that you’ve really made the place yours already.”
“Thanks,” Jen said, actually bouncing a little. “It’s been really nice having a couple days to settle in. I’m sorry you had to miss that.”
“It won’t take long for me to settle,” Delia said. “Getting my sheets on the bed is the most important thing.”
“Cause then it smells like home, right?” Jen asked.
“Yeah.” It was nice to have someone who understood.
“Cool,” Jen replied. “Do we want to sort out bathroom sharing agreements and stuff? I’m not super picky as long as we both clean up after ourselves.” She turned and lead the way to the bathroom area across from their rooms. The sink, mirror, and vanity were open to the apartment, but the toilet and shower stall were in a separate little room.
“Can we take turns doing a good scrub once a week?” Delia asked. “I can’t stand a messy bathroom.”
“Sure,” Jen said. “We can print up a schedule or something. I like to keep things clean too, so that should work out okay.
“Don’t use my stuff and I won’t use yours,” Delia offered.
“Definitely,” Jen said. “Though if you ever run out of something, just ask and it’s probably fine for you to borrow some of mine.”
“Thanks, and likewise,” Delia said. It didn’t hurt any to share a little. She just didn’t want someone who used up all her stuff and didn’t replace it. “I’m not really worried about getting more specific than that.”
“Cool, let me grab the papers and we can fill it all out.”
Delia smiled as Jen bounced off. She got the feeling she was really going to like her new roommate.