I've seen movies with bar fight scenes, and in every single one, without fail, a guy gets thrown through a window and someone lands on a table that crumbles like cardboard.
It appears that I'm going to be two for two tonight.
The broken glass doesn't really hurt, it's more like a slap in the back. I feel an impact, but my head is already tucked to my chest out of reflex. By the time I register that I've hit something, I hear a shattering sound, not nearly as grand as I would hope, and then I'm hurtling backward, my vision jostled about as I collide with a table and a set of occupied chairs. I feel searing heat soak my face as pain flashes through my back, my legs, and my winter jacket takes some of the impact, but not nearly enough.
I look up at two startled people, a man and woman my age, the girl holding a large coffee that's trembling, the cup threatening to runneth over onto my face like her boyfriend's just did. I smile meekly and try to get to my feet. At least it wasn't acid or something. I doubt there's proper chivalrous protocol for this situation. I could bow and deeply apologize and offer to pay the damages and offer my services to make amends, but I should probably face the real problem that's a tad more pressing.
That problem would be the werewolf who nearly tore a late night jogger to shreds in Tolon Park. I've been chasing the thing for the last twenty minutes.
I could be studying for my midterms right now. Hell, I should be studying for my midterms right now. I've got my backpack and warm clothes and notes from lectures and my textbooks, even a thermos full of tea that my boyfriend brewed up especially for me. Everything that a paladin needs to get by.
Except, of course, for my holy sword, which is in its case back in my dorm room. The most I can hope for is to headbutt this guy into submission, which makes me thankful I've got big damn horns growing out of my forehead.
Of course, fighting him in a crowded coffee shop full of people, some of whom I go to class with, is not exactly the best way to handle this. If I continue the fight, everyone's going to point and say, "Hey, isn't that Lennox Kingsley, the guy who was screwing the Econ prof for a better grade?" The werewolf doesn't have this problem. He can maul twenty people, and in the morning people will think it was a crazy bum or a rabid wolfhound. Asshole.
Considering I just crashed through the shop window and am currently wearing someone's double mocha latte, they'll probably be talking anyway.
Everyone is looking at me as I get up. I'm wearing a heavy jacket and jeans and a black backpack, just like any one of them save the cuts and bruises. I have horns, which thankfully the crowd can't see, and he has fangs and claws and muscles and probably a nasty case of rabies. So I raise my fists. Because what the Hell else am I going to do?