Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Ice Caves Under Duskhill & the Surrounding Caverns

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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality” 

- Seneca Imagination

 

Nestled under the rocky overhang of a small, semi-enclosed nook located between two boulders.  


╺ ✽ ╸

 

Some people are made hard, cut from stone, formed into an unyielding diamond mold by the pressure of life closing in, vice-like, from every angle; pressing, pushing, relentless.  Villains are formed that way, the quiet kid in class relentlessly ridiculed; no slack, no chance.  Heroes are made that way, pushed, pushed, pushed; the memory of that one, significant past failure growing like a tumor in the mind, pressing at the temples, until only the ache of knuckles split against the shadows of their guilt can grant temporary relief.  Both hero and villain, one and the same; pushed in and pressed towards eachother, under relentless pressure, a shared foundation.

 

Some people are remade hard, stronger from trauma, whittled down to nothing but a cracked, emulsified core until there's nowhere to go but up.  Formed from the fusion of iron and carbon mixed with the ashes of broken bones, burned up trust, and shattered innocence; every aspect of themselves reforged with fortifying steel.  Each new trauma, every hurt, both seen and unseen, is another hypertrophic scar stitched into the shadows of their guarded heart.  Not hero, not villain, care-starved and hope-leery; cold-hearted, case-hardened, callous. 

 

Some people are born hard, entering the world already old and world weary; fully formed with a hollow blankness inside.  They walk and talk and live and breathe; they exist to exist.  The deadness inside can always be seen, no heat in the eyes, no depth to the soul; carved from marble, a cold veneer of  yawning nothingness.  The true terror of this empty void, is that it stares back; a mirrored gaze, cold, so cold, yet terribly fascinating. Their reflection, the churning absence, is too true, too pure, too harsh; no wonder they’re called monsters.

 

Tom-Cat kisses softly.

Treads silently. 

Kills swiftly.

He is hard: -as nails; -hearted; -headed.

He was made; bruised.

He was remade; bloody.  

In the end, it’s all the same: broken.

 


╺ ✽ ╸


 

The man is watching him. 

Tobacco-stained fingertips rub lazily together, middle finger to thumb, a slow slide of calloused, smoke and ash-tinged skin.  Back and forth.  The soft rasp of his fingers sliding together, then apart, chafes the silence that has fallen over the room. 

Tom-Cat flinches at the noise.  His reaction is automatic: he cringes back into a defensive hunch, ears flattening as he hugs his torso, protecting his belly on instinct; his tail curves between his legs to curl around his thigh and he shivers, instinct telling him to run and to run fast.  Except there’s nowhere to go, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide; he can’t escape.  He bites back a whimper and presses into a corner like the shadows will swallow him; his claws dig into his sides until he bleeds.

 

(Tom-Cat used to think that monsters lurked under his bed…

 

...they don’t. Real monsters live everywhere; nowhere is safe.)

 

The man doesn’t say anything, but Tom-Cat can feel  his eyes one him.  Always. The silence swells around him, too loud in Tom-Cat’s ears – even the man’s presence is chaotic.  His energy is oppressive, cloying, draped like a living thing across his shoulders; his own are wound taut, tense, uncomfortable.  The silence chatters in Tom-Cat's brain, coils at the base of his neck, seethes; mine, mine, mine.  

He keeps his head down as he curls further in on himself, tries to look as small as possible; he can’t stop the fine tremor of his body.  Tom-Cat can almost feel the cold burn of the man’s eyes drag up and down his spine; if he looks, he’ll see a flash of bright blue peeking out from just under the brim of his rancher hat; cool, rapt, empty.  Tom-Cat does not like the man’s eyes.  He keeps his own averted.

 

(Tom-Cat used to think that monsters had red-eyes, sharp claws, teeth, and maws…

 

 

...not always. Real monsters have tight grips, cold smiles, and empty eyes.)

 

The man shifts.  The leather armchair creaks softly.  His limbs are long, loose; they're stretched out in front of him, knees bowed open.  Confident.  Easy.  In control.  Tom-Cat hears the clink of ice cubes, hears the man swallow slowly, and hears the muted noise as a heavy glass is set down on the wooden tabletop.  When the man speaks, Tom-Cat wishes he couldn’t hear him.  He wishes he couldn't hear the honeyed timbre of his voice, a scrape of sound burned raw by whiskey as he says, “Such a pretty little kitten, ain’t ya kid? So pretty - so pretty, so pretty.”   

The man’s voice is so soft, too soft; it’s  like being choked by velvet. His syrupy tone makes the words stick to him, affectionate and sharp and wrong.  Tom-Cat feels his red-rimmed, rubbed raw eyes, burn.  Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry -- you’re a Big Cat, remember? ...But he wasn’t.  He’s not a Big Cat. He’s just stupid little Tom-Cat, pouncing butterflies and morning doves in the garden, because he’s still too small, too slow, to catch the squirrels.   

'iddle-widdle baby-Cat.'

DumbTom-kitten'

Cattus and Cattua were right.

 

(Tom-Cat used to think that monsters snarled, growled and  roared…

 

 

...not so. Real monsters speak softly by design to make others lean in to hear them.)

 

Come here, little kitty,” the man says.  There's a sharp tug, and the thick collar around Tom-Cat’s neck pulls him, none-too-gently, along the leash to the armchair -- to the man. He stumbles across the carpet, stiff, achy.  Hurts.  He wants his brother; he wants Cheshire.  Exhausted.  Cheshire always cared, always picked him up, always licked his wounds whenever the Twins ambushed him.  Weak.  He wants his Nannie Tusing.  How long has he been here?  She’s watched him since he was a baby; she always chased away the monsters under his bed. 

Nobody’s coming.  

The man leans forward. 

Wow, you really are a pretty little thing, ain’tcha?” he murmurs.  “Such a pretty face, little kitten  - you know that? Sweet boy.” His teeth are off-white. ”Where’s your claws, little kitten?”  The man breathes out a laugh, the sound low and awful.  “Don’t tell me the fight’s gone outta ya already.”  Those icy blue eyes squint at him. “Naw - you’re a little spitfire, ain’t ya kid?”  Tom-Cat feels  tears leak from the corner of his eyes, track down his cheeks, collect at the edges of his mouth.  He can’t hold them back.  They taste salty and sad, but secretly he’s furious.

 

(Tom-Cat used to think that monsters hissed cruelty and spat venom…

 

 

...some do. The worst monsters speak sweetly with compliments on their tongue.)

 

The man reaches out, thick fingers curling heavily on Tom-Cat’s shoulders.  His reaction is involuntary as he recoils from the touch, his body lurching back before a tug and the leash slams him to a choking stop, the collar suddenly tighter.  Adrenaline surges through him, chases away exhaustion, ignites his fight response.  He hisses, ears back, claws out, tail lashing.  The man just chuckles coldly, rises from the chair, winds the leather strap around his clenched fist.   “There’s the little hell-kitten,” he says lightly.  “Knew there was some fight left in you.” 

His free hand shoots out and clamps down around one of Tom-Cat’s wrists, yanking him forward.

Tom-Cat didn’t think, his eyes almost rolling with fear, anger, and adrenaline as he spits, hisses, and gouges his claws down the man’s forearm and sinks his teeth deep into the meat of his hand.  The man laughs loudly now, pulling up on the leash, until Tom-Cat’s fangs tear a chunk out of his hand as he’s lifted into the air by the collar.  As Tom-Cat holds onto the leash to keep from choking, he twists in the air and he tries to kick the man, tries to gouge him -- anything.  The man raises the leash higher, lifting Tom-Cat aloft until they're at eye level and holding him there like he weighs nothing.  “Such a pretty little thing; such a pretty little kitty,” the man almost coos.  Tom-Cat hisses in response, his ears folded back, body trembling with anger.  “So, so pretty - too pretty.  You're a real heartbreaker, kid."

The man then reaches out and delicately grips Tom-Cat's chin, before leaning in and kissing him softly.  Tom-Cat begins to shake violently, uncontrollably with fear, and he squeezes his eyes shut against the awful, unwanted contact.  The kiss is salty, gentle and so tender that it shatters Tom-Cat's soul, wounding him in a way that he wouldn't yet understand until much, much later.  It's one of the most wretched things he's experienced in his short life.   The man pulls back with a little sigh. "You’re even pretty when you’re mad...when you cry.”  

Without warning, the man drives his fist into Tom-Cat’s stomach and punches the air from his lungs.  Tom-Cat gasps as the man lets go of the leash, dropping him.  He immediately folds up as he  crashes to the ground in a crumpled heap, and stays there, curled into a ball, too stunned to move. 

The man stands over him.   “Perfect,” he breathes.

 

(Tom-Cat knows that monsters are everywhere, can look like anyone...

 

 

...they’ll break your trust, your body, your soul.  And then they’ll do it again.)

 


╺ ✽ ╸


 

Tom-Cat feels the weight of the man’s arm around him, holding him, possessive.  He was always especially brutal the morning after - always.  He’d leave him patterned with bruises in the shape of his fists on any part of his body he could reach, punishing him for some perceived disobedience that Tom-Cat may or may not be guilty of.  It never mattered; if he was lucky, the man would go easy on him and stop before Tom-Cat couldn't move.  If he was lucky, it would stop there.  If he was lucky, the man would only beat him.  

Later, when he was older, Tom-Cat would learn to wake up with fight in his veins.  Later, he’d learn to wake up swinging, making whoever was going to hurt him, earn it.

 

But not right now.  Right now, he was just stupid little Tom-Cat.  

 

He wakes in a blind panic, rolling out from under Miiya’s wing, rising halfway to his feet with fear in his veins, before the sleep has even cleared his eyes.  His fur is standing on end, his ears are back, and his tail is an exploded bristle brush of stiff fur.

 

It was obvious that the catboy wasn’t fully awake, wasn’t even seeing his present surroundings as he scrambles back into a corner of the nook, pressing his back against the cold rock wall and holding his arms over his face like he was ready to deflect a blow.  He couldn’t hold back the whimper that escaped his throat; he felt hot and nauseous.  Even if he displayed the most submissive pose he could think of, the man would still beat him.  He knew it was coming, knew it was for his own good. He’d been told that time and time again, laying on the carpet, aching and bleeding from a dozen different wounds.  The man was just trying to help him, to show him what was appropriate and what wasn’t allowed.

 

Tom-Cat had to be broken before he could be remade into a proper tool for his Father and for others. 

 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 5 times by Lassroyale

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

Miiya remained upon the rocks in the still-warm space recently vacated by the catboy. What the frett is this? She regarded the awoken Tom-Cat with wide-eyed amazement. 

His tail's all poofy!

Miiya had always been the frightened one, or at least the one to wear it on her sleeve. She'd learned to read tension, anger, and grudging approval in Ma's demeanor. Cahron had had rarely evidenced anything other than a devil-may-care attitude. Even when he had crashed on the banks of the Love Canal under the influence of goblin poison, it had been Miiya who had panicked. Seeing fear and vulnerability in someone else was something totally new to the Aeros girl. was disquieting in the extreme. Miiya's own hackles rose and she pushed up on one arm and looked behind her, following Tom-Cat's unseeing terror-stricken gaze. 

There was nothing in the barren ice cavern behind her. Well, that's a relief, because she did not want to have to face whatever could frighten the assassin. 

Whatever could frighten the assassin?

More pressing; what was she supposed to do, now? Was he dangerous like this? He looked awful, terrified--no terror-stricken. Hurt. Miiya hadn't known Tom-Cat could look that way. Man, who have I been seeing? As with the vision of him peacefully at rest, this frightened tremulous boy was not the beast that had sunk its fangs into her, nor the confident nighttime visitor who had breezed into her room as if he owned her the place. "H-hey... are yew okay...?" The Aeros girl ventured, sitting up cross-legged and cross-armed. 

I mean, clearly yew aren't, otherwise yew wouldn't be pressed in the back of our this little nest cave with every single hair on your body erect with your tight pants unbuttoned and that hurt little boy expression on those lips and your weird tail that I really wanna grab all poofy.

 Also; dude, where's my top?

Miiya had no idea what to say to Tom-Cat in his current state. She did not know if she was supposed to want to touch him or keep her distance. Was she supposed to shout him out of the terrified stupor or just...

Sitting here and staring is probably not the right response. She took a breath and said something awkward. It was not supposed to be awkward, but the whole situation was, so might as well keep to the theme. "Uh... is my hair really that bad this morning?" She spared a hand to pat at her short-cropped mane and tried out a smile. The Aeros girl was absolutely crap at not telegraphing her thoughts and emotions with every single movement, so the hair-patting was weird and the "smile" was more top and bottom teeth clamped points-to-points with lips pulled back and eyebrows raised. 


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality” 

- Seneca Imagination

 

Nestled under the rocky overhang of a small, semi-enclosed nook located between two boulders. 

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

Even caught in the nightmare grip of just one trauma of many, Tom-Cat’s sharp ears and keen eyes were still cataloging everything going on in the present, filing the information away to turn over and examine when he was fully himself.  With a twitch of his tail the fur smooths out, his ears tremble once more before straightening, and with a full-shudder which looks like the ripple of wind travelling smoothly through a field of grass, all at once, he’s awake

 

And all at once he wants to die of embarrassment.  He wants to cringe back from the sheer humiliation, but now that his faculties are present and accounted for, stops himself before he even twitches a muscle.  Some distant part of himself wishes that a part of the cave ceiling would break off and brain him where he crouched and put him out of his misery.  He ponders if it's worth forfeiting one of his nine lives for a quick and easy death, save him from having to look at the Aeros and know that she saw him at his…weakest. His most vulnerable.  Who knows what she saw in his eyes, what he might have said or done.   

 

This is why he doesn’t sleep in front of other people.  There was just too much trauma, none of it forgotten, per se; rather faded, the edges blurred, and Tom-Cat is thankful even for that.  At night though…at night is where he has no defense against the memories of the past.  He doesn’t have anyone to– it really doesn’t matter.  Still, embarrassment aside, he feels an immense surge of relief now that he’s awake and the realization that the events of his nightmare are once more, firmly in the past.  The tension rushes out of him like the drawback of a tsunami, and the assassin feels his muscles loosen and the tightness unwinds from his shoulders.  He sort of unfolds while dropping back into a languid sprawl, leaning back against the wall of the nook for a minute, stretching his legs out as he tips his head back.  The cold rock feels nice and he heaves a sigh, drawing one knee up to lightly rest an arm atop it.  

 

He hasn’t even given a single thought to the fact that he’s sitting in nothing but his boxers, though as he sits there with his head tipped back exposing the long line of his throat, he can feel eyes burning into him.  Tom-Cat grits his teeth, the tip of his blue-grey furred tail flicking now and then in absent agitation.  He swivels an ear, listening to the tight breaths she’s taken, as if waiting for him to say something, her eyes boring into him like she’s silently compelling him to break the terse silence that’s fallen.  He does not.  What he does do, is unconsciously lick his lips and swallow to get some moisture back into his dry throat.  He cut a laid-back, albeit somewhat distant figure as he let the silence linger on for a bit longer.

 

Tom-Cat’s first impulse to soothe his embarrassment is to be as catty and unreasonable as possible, but as he sits there and takes a minute to sort through his thoughts and replay the events of the previous night, he can feel her awkwardness mixed with confusion and concern through the…through the…

 

…through the imprint.  KWESH.  Imprint.  Imprint, imprint, imprint.  The word starts chanting to him in the sudden staccato beat of his rapidly thumping heart.  Kwesh! He can feel it now, the bond has…settled a little; not much, but enough for it to be noticeable.  Kwesh, kwesh, kwesh,  He knew he shouldn’t have, what? Given comfort? Taken comfort in the giving? He feels his spine pull straighter with sudden tension, everything inside of him telling him to bolt, but a sudden note of worry sparks brightly through the bond and Tom-Cat pauses.  He cringes inwardly and pushes a breath through the clench of his teeth.   Nonetheless, finally he cracks open his eyes and regards the Aeros through a veiled gaze.  

 

A quick flick at the tip of his is all the indication of surprise he gives when he sees her state of…undress.  Oh yes…the “shirt”.  He almost snorts out a laugh when he remembers her underwear, but he manages to not look, all the same.  Tom-Cat cants his head to the side, running his fingers through the fringe of dark hair, pushing it back from his eyes, glances away.  

 

Tele-skelaa…” he mutters in a voice slightly husky with residual sleep, stringing out her pet name on a somewhat lazy drawl.  He runs his fingers through his hair one more time, before rubbing the back of his neck, his fingers feeling fidgety with slow-to-fade adrenaline and mortification.  He looks at her.  “Thanks,” he says.  He drops his hand and stretches out his bent leg, leaning back again.  His gaze was heavy as he looked at her.  “I don’t sleep in frrront of people,” he rumbles on a low purr.  “Sorrrrry - I hadn’t meant to fall asleep…” he trails off, his brow furrowing in consternation.  Had he really been that comfortable with her? Or had it been pure exhaustion finally catching up with him? He didn’t know.

 

Without saying anything further or really waiting for much of a reply, Tom-Cat shifted forward a bit and grabbed his pants, tossing Miiya’s to her.  “We should get going.”  Deciding it’d be easier to put on his pants outside where he could actually stand, the catboy started to crawl out of the nook, deciding that it was the more dignified approach, vs. the half-standing, half-crouching shuffling walk that was his other choice.  He pauses after only going a few inches and glances back over his shoulder, one lambent yellow eye finding hers.  

 

Yourrr hairrr is fine,” he offers, possibly a faint note of belated amusement in his tone if one were looking for it.  Without another word he turned back around and crawled out of the nook with flick-swish-twitch of his undulating, grey-furred tail.

 

Outside of the rocky overhang

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

Tom-Cat emerged out from under the overhang and issued an indulgent, probably indecent noise as he stood and luxuriated in a truly satisfying, full-body stretch.  He rolled his shoulders, the motion seeming to ripple down the length of his back in one long, sinuous movement.  He shrugged into his pants, frowning when he noticed the leather had shrunk a bit from being soaked and drying somewhat crumpled.  He sighed; that damn top button.  Nothing for it, he guessed.  

Tom-Cat was in the middle of stretching out his back and making sure the new skin over the scar across his shoulder blades wasn’t allowed to grow back too tight, grabbing one elbow, then the other, behind his back and pulling his shoulder blades together.   He swivelled a furry ear in her direction, then craned his neck back to look at her.  

“Let’s go, Teleskela.”  He waited a moment longer and then started off at a fairly brisk pace, only slowing when he turned and saw her lagging behind. He dropped back, feeling twitchy, but managed to contain the restlessness in his limbs.  At an intersection, Tom-Cat stopped and held up a hand for silence, closing his eyes part way as he listened. His ears turned this way and that, flicking to listen down one path and then the other, his tail cutting ‘s’ patterns into the air behind him.  He focused on the left path.   He nodded to Miiya and indicated the left branch with a jerk of his head.

Wordlessly, they went left.

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


Irihi liked
ReplyQuote
Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

The shirtless boy in his underclothes was apologizing for something. "Uh... that's okay." Whatever it was it was waay more than okay. 

Ts--e--ert! He was something to look at. Should I, like, be paying for this show? Miiya wondered as she watched a tail adorned bum zip out of the alcove following the catboy parade that went right past her front-row seat. The Aeros' near-sight was just as sharp as her far-sight, so she got the full effect. Before, she'd been afraid to look at him, now she couldn't did not want to look away. 

Omigod! omigod! omigod! I got a wing-over... with him! Really, really, briefly Miiya clamped both fists, drew her forearms up, shook them, and bounced both knees with a huge grin cracking her features before banishing the expression of sheer delight. 

By the time she got into her now-kinda-not-totally frozen trousers, she had composed herself, sorta. He complimented my hair! It took a while to dress, since she put them on backwards to start, being rather distracted.  

If she was cold, hungry, thirsty, achy, or had a slight twinge from a feather socket in her pinioned wing, she most certainly didn't notice for a long while. Well, a long while for Miiya. At first she glowed while watching him stretch. She even forgot to ask about her clothing. Who cares?! Once they started walking, she trailed behind him, not really caring which way they went so long as he led so she could stare at

However, it was cold. The floor was hard and slick. Even folded tightly her wing was aching, and just an hour of walking was enough to give Miiya's untrained legs shin splints. She'd had more endurance when she'd been ground-bound in Daelows but she had been living (and travelling) like an Aeros for over a year, leading her leg bones and muscles to atrophy. The increasing discomfort eventually lead to an increase in talkativeness. Mostly about how much farther Tom-Cat thought they would need to walk.

"Are yew sure this is the right way?" She asked in various and sundry iterations until his shoulders began to twitch involuntarily at the sound of her voice. She also began losing ground as her footsteps became irregular and fell further and further behind the catboy. 

When he finally turned and asked her about the delay, she shot him an annoyed look. "It's hardfoot. I'm not used to walking sooo far." They had been walking for perhaps an hour, so Miiya estimated they must have covered at least seventeen miles. "Especially with no idea if we're even going the right way." She added, though how that lack of knowledge would engender a limp was a mystery. Remembering herself, the look of annoyance deepened. "Turn around." She said, crossing her arms once more. "It's fine. I'll get used to it. Just keep going." 

There were some thoughts swimming around in there, besides how numb her feet were, and how much she wished her aching ankles and shins would follow their example, that threatened to make her misty. 

Ma got used to it. The pinioned always do. 

I will too.


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline with an Aeros Backpack

╺ ✽ ╸ 

"Why kill a wild thing when you can take it home and tie it down?"

-Danabelle Gutierrez 


[OOC: 1/2]

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

          Ma got used to it.  The pinioned always do. 

          I will to.

 

Tom-Cat might be annoyed, but whatever the girl was thinking about with her chin tucked and the corners of her mouth pulled down into a tight frown, didn’t sit well with him.  He turns a little more and watches her, his sharp vision noticing the sudden sheen of wetness at the corners of her eyes.  He sighs inwardly, softening to her despite himself, and starts to make his way back to where she’s standing, still lost in her own head.  He can’t dispel his burning curiosity, and after a second or two of internal debate, the assassin tentatively reaches out through the bond, touches it, feels the shape of it within himself, and then follows the line that connects them.  

She’s…sad…there’s grief…bitterness…melancholy…resignation.  Tom-Cat raises his eyes to the Aeros’ maimed wing, then back to her face.  He hadn’t thought about it before, but now that he does it makes sense that she wouldn’t be used to walking long distances.  Birds are meant to fly, after all, and this one was built to soar.  He wonders what the equivalent would be for him; perhaps if he was no longer able to jump, leap, pounce, prowl…maybe.  Though, he thinks it would be worse if he became a cat who could no longer find their feet after a jump or fall; a cat who could no longer rely on innate balance to always land on their feet and in control.

Tom-Cat comes to a stop in front of Miiya, waiting until she notices him with a somewhat startled jolt through the bond, even though her expression remains irritated.  His lips quirk, but he manages to stop himself from snickering.  Instead, he heaves a long suffering sigh, playing up the drama for his own amusement and to tease her a little.  The catboy squats down in front of her, then reaches out to grab one of her feet, steadying her with a hand on her shoulder.  Ignoring any protest, he slightly lifts the foot he’s holding and pretends to examine it, though as he does he curiously catalogues the differences between his and hers.

 “Harrrdfoot,” he muses, more to himself than her.  Well, he’s not sure what that is, exactly, but her foot is very cold.  Removing his hand from her shoulder, he cups both of his palms around Miiya’s foot and massages lightly but firmly, trying to warm it a little.  She automatically grabs his shoulders for balance and he feels a tremble in her fingers.  There’s some interesting things going on through the bond; inwardly, Tom-Cat grins to himself, but maintains his stoic, somewhat annoyed outward demeanor.  Without warning, he lets go of the foot he’s massaging and lifts her other one, then repeats his actions.  Her fingers curl into a tighter grip and he glances up at her to see her top teeth digging into her bottom lip as she stares wide-eyed down at him.  Okay, he’s had his fun.  

The catboy drops her foot and sits back on his haunches, regarding her for a moment.  Then he rises halfway and pivots, dropping back into a crouch.  Without looking at her, he says, “Alrrright, fine, I’ll carrrrrry you.”  He waits for her to climb onto his back so they can get moving.  And waits.  And waits some more.  Now there’s real annoyance in his expression when he looks back at her, fixing her with a yellow eye.  “Well? What’s the hold up?” he snaps.  “Come on, beforrre I change my mind.

Miiya seems to blink from where she’d been staring at his…back.  “What?” she asks.  It’s obvious that she’s completely missed everything he’s said.  His shoulders twitch involuntarily, as does his tail.  Tom-Cat scowls, irritation flickering through the one blazing yellow eye that she can see through his fringe of dark hair.  He really needs to get that trimmed up.  Then his eye flicks up to her mutilated wing and back down to her.  He sighs.

Get on, Teleskela,” he says as evenly as he’s able.  “I will carrrrrry you so yourrr feet do not hurrrt.”  His tail lashes for a moment before he curves it around to his front and out of the way of accidentally being stepped on.  He watches her as she takes a tentative step forward and then turns back when she places a hand on his shoulder.

O-okay.”  Miiya places her other hand on his other shoulder, gingerly.  And then…it’s obvious that she has no idea how to mount someone for a kittyback ride.  Tom-Cat rolls his eyes as she touches the span of his shoulders, clavicle, throat, and chest, repeating this a few times.  If he lets this go on a little longer than maybe he should, they both ignore it.  Eventually, though, he shakes his head and huffs a breath that’s tinged with slight annoyance and– it’s not important.  He stops Miiya by grabbing the wrist of her hand that’s gently stroking along his collarbone.  Not that it didn’t feel nice, but they had to get moving here.  

Teleskela,” he says, turning his head and regarding her from the corner of his eye.  His ears twitch.  “Slide both of your arrrms arrround my neck.”  He waits a moment and then feels her arms go around his neck as instructed.  He raises his free hand and grabs her other wrist, before tugging forward on both so that she’s drawn close against his back.  He almost jerks away in shock – she’s still so cold!  He forces his attention away from the thin thread of worry that suddenly shoots through him.  He looks forward once more.  “Grab your wrist with your other hand.”  He nods a little as she does so, then releases her arms.  He reaches back and places a hand under her right knee, bringing her leg forward to curve around his hip.  He keeps his hand there for a moment and reaches back for her left leg, curving his palm under her thigh this time, but doesn’t lift it or pull it forward.  “Hop,” he instructs.  When she does, the catboy stands and pulls her leg up around his hip at the same time.

She slips for a moment and chokes him briefly, but Tom-Cat hunches his shoulders to counteract the choke hold while he situates her so that he can easily and comfortably carry her.  He slides both hands back under her knees and a little further, until it feels balanced, then lifts her higher until legs are settled more comfortably over his hips.  “Squeeze my waist tightly, Teleskela,” he murmurs.  Then he glances over his shoulder and grins.  “You won’t hurrrt me.”  She huffs a little breath that tickles his neck, but compiles, nonetheless.  After a few more adjustments and telling her not to choke him, he straightens up a bit though maintains a slight forward tilt.  His grip is firm about a handspan above the bend of her knees, his elbows pulled in tightly to keep her legs as close against his torso as possible.

He feels her hands settle on his shoulders.  He glances at her out of the corner of his eye as she leans forward a little.  “Arrre you comforrrtable? he asks, unknowingly telegraphing his sincerity through the bond.  

"Yes... thank yew,” Miiya murmurs into one of his furred ears, making it twitch and a (hopefully-unnoticed) shiver to go down his spine.  He swallows, nods.  

Good, let’s go.”  With that, Tom-Cat sets off on a steady walk. 

 

╺ ✽ ╸ 


[OOC: Post 1/2]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline with an Aeros Backpack

╺ ✽ ╸ 

"Why kill a wild thing when you can take it home and tie it down?"

-Danabelle Gutierrez 


[OOC: 2/2]

╺ ✽ ╸ 

 

Tom-Cat starts at a fairly slow, even walking pace, at first, letting Miiya get used to his sleek gait.  She’s stiff at first, as if not daring to breathe, but eventually, she relaxes more and more as she becomes used to the feel of his stride, his movements as easy and reassuring as the constant ebb and flow of an ocean tide.  At some point, she slips her arms further around his neck and rests her head on his shoulder, using her arm as a pillow.  Her breathing evens out and the catboy finally picks up the pace, moving smoothly from the steady walk into a brisk jog, the roll and shift of the muscles in his shoulders and back more pronounced but no less supple.  

They don’t speak, and yet the silence between them is companionable, nice.  There’s no tension or awkwardness that he can feel through the bond, and he’s glad for it.  He alternates between stretches of jogging and periods of walking, and it's during one of these walking sections when he feels her relax into him.  Miiya hugs herself closer, burying her face into the crook of his shoulder and neck, her breathing becoming the fast and shallow pattern of an Aeros in sleep.  Thankfully, it seems like her wings automatically lock into a tightly folded position when in a more upright repose, so Tom-Cat doesn’t feel much of a difference as she sleeps, her shallow breaths ghosting warmly across his skin.

‘No nightmares, this time, he thinks distractedly.  He focuses on picking the best path across the slick ground, instead of the feel of her breath on his skin, the way her lips sometimes brush the side of his neck when he jostles her as he steps around some obstacle in their way.  Kwesh… As she continues to sleep in relative peace (insofar as he can tell through the bond and otherwise) Tom-Cat’s thoughts wander.  He’s bothered by something, and the longer he thinks about it, the clearer it becomes.  

He thinks about the night before when Miiya collapsed upon the ice and he picked her up in a state of pure panic.  He didn't focus on it then, but now that he has time to reflect and compare, he realizes that the Aeros is remarkably light.  Even with her wings soaked, half-frozen and heavy with water, he’d lifted her like she’d weighed nothing.  Sure, Tom-Cat is strong and could easily lift most of his siblings, aside from Leo and Torao. (There’s no way he’s lifting the 6’4 Reachlander/Lion hybrid or the 6’6” Skyld/Tiger hybrid, respectively. Their animal or “cat” forms aren’t even worth considering, with each one easily weighing over 500lbs.!)  Still, his strength isn’t really the issue:it’s her weight.  Or lack of weight, as it were.

Kwesh! He’s sure that Miiya is too light, even for an Aeros girl; there’s practically nothing to her.  It’s as if she’s been starved while forced to trek for miles across some blasted wasteland, with only some bread and water as her reward at the end of each day.  She’d felt incredibly fragile in his arms when he’d lifted her, and now that he thinks about it, it’d been painfully easy to count her ribs with the brush of his thumb while he’d warmed her.  He recalls the feel of her hip under his palm, the bone sharp beneath her skin; remembers how pronounced the divots of her spine felt as he soothed his hand down her back.  She way too thin, like she’s a day - hours, even - away from starving and wasting away!

The thought makes something clench in his stomach, makes something fist tightly in his chest. After a minute, he realizes that he’s worried, maybe even a little upset at himself for not noticing it before.  You little idiot, he thinks with surprising fondness.  Haven’t you been eating? You made all that food, why not eat it? Myrae and I can fend for ourselves…”  He’s almost mad at her for creating this knot of worry within him that he knows won’t be alleviated until this is…fixed.  When they get back to the estate he’s going to help her make as much calorie-rich food as possible, and then he's going to sit there and watch her eat all of it.  Kwesh, he’d force-feed her, if he has to!

And then he’s going to disappear and clear out that last goblin camp, because a lot has happened within the last 24-48 hours and he needs some time and space to think. 

Tom-Cat wraps the end of his tail loosely around one of Miiya’s ankles.  

It makes him feel better.

He continues on with renewed purpose, seeking their way up out of the ice caves.

 

╺ ✽ ╸

If Miiya were awake at any point in time during their long, uneventful trek, she’d have witnessed  Tom-Cat pause now and then, listen, and then orient himself to where he thought they needed to go next.  At present, he was walking them down a narrow, winding tunnel that gradually opened up into a cave that was…breathtaking.  He pulled up short in sheer awe, his eyes wide as he looked at the scene before them. 

It is a cave of pyreflies.  The glowing bugs rise into the air and cling to the ceiling, lighting up the dark cave like stars in the nighttime sky.  The pyreflies look like glowing blue orbs as they nested in the ceiling and along some of the pockmarked rock walls.  The roof of the cave looks like the velvety darkness of the nighttime sky, strewn with stunning, blue-glowing stars.  As he stands there and marvels, Tom-Cat sees it: at the back corner of the cave, a wall slopes up and disappears into a crevice that leaked light from the surface above it.  It’s the soft phosphorescent light of the Underneath.  That’s their way out! He wants to run over to it and start climbing, but as he looks back up at the glowing blue orbs in the faux nighttime sky above them, he stops.

Tom-Cat unwraps his tail from around Miiya’s ankle and instead uses the sinuous appendage to tickle her face, teasing the soft-furred tip across her cheek and nose.  “Wake up, Teleskela,” he coaxes softly.  “You should see wherrre we arrre.

 


Tomcat miiya(pyrefly cave

[OOC: 2/2 - (pictured above) the Cave of Pyreflies that Tom-Cat & Miiya discover]

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

Something happened to dispel the little lump that was forming in Miiya's throat. Tom-Cat not only turned around, as demanded, he also squatted. 

Uh-huh. Yes do that more.

"What?" Miiya had totally missed anything and everything he had said.

She saw a flicker of something in one lantern eye peering back at her from behind the shock of dark hair that veiled it. Playfulness? Concern?

"O-okay." Miiya's voice was as tremulous as her first couple of steps toward the crouching catboy, after he told her to ride.

We really doin' this? Gingerly, she touched Tom-Cat's shoulder. 

There is no gentle way to mount a catboy for a kittyback ride, Miiya discovered, after touching his shoulders, neck, and chest way too much--not nearly enough. You just gotta jump on there, wrap your legs around his waist, and then stop strangling him with your forearms and no idea where to put my hands now.

Tom-Cat apparently knew where to put his hands, and all those little adjustments, as he settled her weight as close to his hips as he could, were prrr-et-ty thrilling.

"Yes... thank yew." Miiya murmured into Tom-Cat's ear when he asked if she was comfortable. 

I mean, no way. Who would be? But I like it. 

At first, Miiya barely dared to breathe, but after he had carried her for a while, she began to relax slightly. A while longer and she laid her head upon her arm (upon his shoulder). Her nose was more or less in his neck and his hair tickled her face with every roll and shift of the muscles in his back and neck. 

Aeros don't carry or get carried. In flight they can lift themselves and a nominal cargo. On the ground there's hardfoot to contend with. Nobody wants to bring it on sooner by doing something dumb like lifting each other. This was Miiya's first time riding anything alive. Even had they money like Uncle Osu, there was no way Ma would ever spring for even a ride on the back of a turnip wagon, let alone carriage or horseback. Cah had gotten them transport on a few wheeled vehicles, but what was the point of being on a horse when yew, yerself were twice as fast at nominal cruising speed?

Well, however riding a hose must feel, riding a catboy was a million times better, Miiya was certain. And if that catboy had happened to lose his shirt…

A zillion times better. Fer shure!

Miiya found she needed to not focus on how Tom-Cat's skin slip She needed to think about something other than how his hands and hips

She closed her eyes and forced let her mind to drift and idle. After a while, she noticed sweat starting to bead just under the dark curls on the nape of his neck. His skin against my skin is, He runs so hot that laying on him, I am making things too warm. Miiya louvered her feathers, transforming her wings from thermal blankets to radiators. It didn't work as well folded, but the girl would still cool noticeably as her wings wicked away heat from the pair.

That was her last coherent thought for a while as she, at first studiously, and then later warm and comfortably, kept her mind adrift with her cheek nestled against the crook of Tom-Cat's neck.

The gentle brush of a furred tail and Tom-Cats rumbly words brought her slowly out of her doze…

...is what would have happened if her instincts had not beaten all others to the draw. 

Moving!

Low altitude!

Stars!

Terrain!

Pull up!

Miiya exploded from Tom-Cats back in a flurry of feathers. Her imbalance in lift had her spun halfway around when she hit the ground, much more slowly than her involuntary self had expected. As she slowly uncurled from crash position a breathy "wow…!" Escaped her lips. 

In the dimness of the pyrefly cavern, it might be hard to tell that Miiya was blushing furiously with embarrassment. I sure hope so. She had not been hard asleep, and had regained her bearings somewhere between catboy back and cavern floor. 

Deciding the best course of action was to pretend like nothing was wrong had happened, Miiya gazed upward at the galaxy of luminescent creatures. "This is amazing!" One of the glowing bugs drifted near her, and she deftly snatched it from the air. Holding the insect between two fingers, she regarded it. "How do yew think they taste?" She asked, before popping it in her mouth and taking a big skritchy wet chomp.

Haha. Ew, gross. No. I don't need a distraction that bad.

She let the pyrefly go and watched it's blue glow ascending to join the constellations overhead. 


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
Journey starter  

TOM-CAT

A Felonious Feline with an Aeros Backpack

╺ ✽ ╸ 

"Why kill a wild thing when you can take it home and tie it down?"

-Danabelle Gutierrez 

 

Unfortunately for Miiya, her furious blush was noticed by the catboy’s keen night sight; fortunately for her, he chose not to mention it, choosing instead to hide a half-grin and a chuckle with a stretch and a cough.  Tom-Cat leans down towards her, his yellow eyes fairly glowing in the low light and brushed with humor.    He favors her with a toothy grin.  

 

Perrrhaps it’s my hairrr that, ‘looks bad’?” he asks, though follows up with a rumbly, purring-laugh.  He flicks her with the tip of his grey-furred tail, then straightens up.  “Come, Teleskela,” he says, walking towards the section of sloping wall that leads back to the Underneath.  “I’m surrre you’rrre as hungrrry as I am.”  As he reaches the foot of the wall, he glances over his shoulder at Miiya.  “Perrrhaps I can perrrsuade you to cook some food forrr us? I’ll help.”  Without waiting for her response, Tom-Cat jumps and pulls himself up onto a low ledge and starts to pick his way up the wall.

 

He’s concentrating on choosing the best path where he’ll be able to easily carry her up, and not paying much attention to  what’s coming through the bond as he does so.  If he had, he’d probably be quite amused.  As Tom-Cat picks his way up the wall, he only sees two potentially “difficult” spots: one where he’ll have to jump across to another ledge, and the final vertical section of the wall, where they’ll have to hang for a second as he pulls them up.  He dangles from a ledge near the top of the wall with only one hand grasping its edge and looks down at the Aeros, a fine sheen of sweat covering his skin from the exertion and grins at her.  “The climb should be no prrroblem,” he calls down.

 

Then he lets go of the ledge and drops.  He lands smoothly next to Miiya, feeling in high spirits now that he knows they’ll be safe back at Duskhill in no time. He turns and squats down, glancing at her from over his shoulder.  “Let’s go, Teleskela.”  He waits until she jumps onto his back, makes the necessary adjustments and says, “Hold on tight!” before pulling them up onto the first ledge.

 

Tom-Cat can easily scale the wall, even with his Aeros backpack, but he takes his time about it, enjoying the time alone with her.  It’s a little selfish since he knows she must be starving, but he can’t help himself as he prolongs the climb as long as he can.  When they get to the leap, he touches her knee and turns his head so that he can look at her over his shoulder.  Their faces are close and he blinks slowly at her.  “Don’t let go, Teleskela,” he almost whispers, a small grin curving the corner of his mouth upwards.  He turns back, takes a deep breath, and then makes the leap.   Afterwards, there’s only the last vertical climb and then they’ll be back near Duskhill.  He can’t help a bit of his disappointment from bleeding into the bond.  He sighs a little as he says, “Looks like we’rrre almost back…

 

Tom-Cat pulls them up onto the last ledge and begins to scale the wall up.  The muscles in his shoulders and back are tight with exertion as he climbs up the last vertical section with Miiya on his back, until at long last, they’re up over the top of the wall and out of the Ice Caves.  Duskhill is a short walk away, but he doesn’t mention it and continues to carry her towards the estate. If she chooses to get down, that’s her choice but the catboy doesn’t give any indication that he wants that.  He wraps his tail loosely around her ankle and asks, “Would you make us something to eat, once we’rrre back?

 

[OOC: Tom-Cat and Miiya to the Hidden Estate at Duskhill]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
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Miiya 

Miiya laughed aloud at Tom-Cat's turnabout. She would have laughed if he had called her a turnip head. She was having a good, no great, time! It only got better as she watched him climbing. At first she had thought he wanted her to follow him up. She probably could have. She was light and strong. If she fell, it wouldn't be pretty but she could probably slow herself enough to not get hurt. 

However, Aeros climb walls like birds climb trees; they don't. So Miiya stood below, wishing she had better dim-light vision but still enjoying the view and almost visibly glowing with all the nice things Tom-Cat was saying and doing. 

He wants to eat my cooking! Is the tail stuff involuntary? Could.he be... No... Yes! He's definitely showing off for me!

It was very hard not to grin like an imbicile at Tom-Cat when he landed next to her. He's going to carry me again! Yay! Miiya had to grit her teeth to keep her expression, if not neutral, then at least not too overeager. She hopped onto his back and squeezed extra tight with her thighs, cuz it's dangerous or something, but was careful not to choke him this time. 

Miiya loved every second of the ascent. Like nearly all her people, she had not the slightest fear of heights. All the dangling, jumping, and straining of the limber and strong catboy beneath her was...

Yfretting tseert!

...thrilling. I am going to need. a. minute. Think about what to cook. She told herself.

When they surmounted the final vertical rock face and emerged in the cavern that held Duskhill, Miiya had absolutely no inclination to dismount. 

Ever.

To: Duskhill


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