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

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Duskhill - Estate Grounds & Surrounding Land

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NoOne
(@noone)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 527
 

Myrae

Apparently Meat did not want to talk. That was fine with Myrae. Also fine with the drowess was the proximity of those grotesquely broad shoulders barely covered by the tattered rag of a shirt--no better off for last night’s labors. Ya know, I think I’ma stop thinking of them as an aberration. Draekkor, now he had been bizarrely proportioned, but Rigel, Rigel Myrae found appealing both for his breadth and the nice arrangement of all those knotty cords, triangles, and everything else that she was now tracing with eager fingers.

Myrae shifted to hook a leg around the seated monk’s waist. Rigel’s surruptitious half-guilty glances might have left some uncertainty as to his intentions toward the drowess, but the placement of Myrae’s foot left no question at all. “It’s okay. Yew don’t have to talk.” Myrae whispered. 

Jookan visitors! The drowess thought to herself. Ordinarily, she would have enjoyed a bit of outdoors exhibitionism, but four out of the six weirdos wandering her place annoyed the bejeezus out of her, and those were poor odds for putting on a show for the desires audience. “Take me”

“somewhere more private.” Myrae purred, folding a second leg around Rigel’s midsection and squeezing his waist with her thighs.

Myrae could walk, but she'd much prefer a ride. Whatever got the taciturn Uman to her bedroom the fastest. 

Of course, Myrae was still game to talk rather than vith if Rigel really wanted, but not for much longer. If the hefty monk didn't want to do either, then he had better get himself quit of Myrae's presence post haste.

To: Possibly Directing Rigel to The Master Bedroom


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Rigel
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Rigel had sat for only a brief moment when Myrae’s leg shifted to hook around his waist her foot coming to rest in...aaa…wow.  Uhm, Perhaps she had not felt the humiliation Rigel had perceived earlier.  Once again Rige'ls mouth moved like a goldfish gasping for air as he searched for what to say next.  

Then Myrae whispered “It’s okay. Yew don’t have to talk.” 

Rigel thought to once again help himself to the beautiful Drowess’s body and all her gifts.  His focus beginning to narrow as he dismissed the fact they were in a public place.   

“Take me”  aah, that hoarse whisper that seemed to release him and brought an almost undetectable small smile to his face.

Rigel leaned in toward Myrae intent on feeling her lips on his again when she placed a hand on his chest stopping him.

“Somewhere more private...” Myrae almost purred, as she folded her other leg around him squeezing his waist with her thighs. 

If she was taking him somewhere more private to kill him or for some other purpose he didn't know. But either way,  He would enjoy the trip just feeling her warm body against his.  

Myrae would feel herself slowly lifting as Rigel stood, slipping one hand under her to support her weight as the other found the back of her neck.  His eyes bored into hers then softened slightly as he pulled her lips to his and gave her a long languorous kiss. 

Still holding her close, He started into the estate house and toward where he thought Myrae's bedroom to be...

To:  The Master Bedroom


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

╺ ✽ ╸

“As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of humankind.”

 – Cleveland Amory


[OOC: from the Hidden Estate of Duskhill - Kitchen]

 

Tom-Cat didn’t allow himself to feel bad about slipping away from the chaotic whirlwind of the kitchen, even though a part of him remained back with her, with his Teleskela and her exuberant celebration.  It’s easier once he steps out into the steady drizzle of the cave storm, the fat drops of moisture cool and refreshing on his overheated skin as he stops and turns his face up towards the rain.  He opens his mouth slightly, feels water collect on his lips, the groove of his tongue, before sliding down his throat with the unique mineral taste of cave rain.  

The catboy moves on after a moment of enjoying the rain, pushing his fingers through his dark hair as it begins to form into wet spikes around his face, blinking away and breaking the surface tension of water collected on the thick fringe of his eyelashes.  He swivels an ear when he hears the low murmur of voices, identifying them as Myrae and Rigel a moment later.  He alters his course to avoid crossing paths with them.  He shakes his head; he can’t see Rigel keeping Myrae’s attention long term, because (in his opinion) while he might fulfill all of the Drowess’ physical fantasies, his personality left much to be desired.   Ultimately, it didn’t matter.  After all, Tom-Cat isn’t the one who has to deal with banal pillow talk.

The assassin wends his way silently through the estate grounds until he finds a quiet, partially hidden clearing near the flat, mossy field cliff where he and Miiya sparred yesterday.  The clearing is covered in a layer of moss, grass, and small white flowers, and the ground is firm yet springy underfoot.  He pads out to the middle of the oblong space and sits down to meditate for a bit, before he begins to move through a series of yoga poses, just like Cheshire taught him.

It helps to clear his mind, forcing him to focus on his body and his breath as he gracefully moves from pose to pose, starting with some basic balancing poses, before moving on to some more advanced ones, many of which find him twisted and bent in some rather interesting ways.

After throughly stretching, Tom-Cat begins to move through a set routine, flowing between a series of poses that are focused on building strength in his arms and core, as well as increasing his flexibility and balance.  His eyes are shut and he’s focused on his forms, pushing everything else out of his mind as he empties it, finally achieving a sense of balance within himself.  Rain mixed with sweat sluices over him, tracing patterns over his skin and running in rivulets through defined channels of his torso and back.  His ears swivel now and then, cataloging the sounds around him without fully taking them in as he remains focused on his routine.  His tail moves in counterbalance to his body, the furry appendage cutting through the rain in almost mesmerizing patterns. 

Tom-Cat moves smoothly, barely looking like he’s exerting himself as one pose flows seamlessly into the next.  

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 - ★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 - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Rigel
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Rigel left the estate and once again returned to the pool he had used the previous day to clean himself.  He slipped once again into the hot water and spent several minutes relaxing before beginning his meditations in earnest. 

He used the time to contemplate his soul and his place in the world.  What Faran would expect from him and what he should expect from himself.  After his most recent...coupling... with the drowess he found himself untroubled by their first encounter.  she apparently had no particular disposition toward it so he could release himself of the guilt he felt afterwards.

Likewise he bore no strong feelings about subsequent encounters as he had had many like them before.  Particularly in his days in the kings service.  He also came to realize that the woman was devoid of warmth  She did as she pleased only to please herself. More evidence to Rigel that he needed to be aware and on watch,  Others were either a convenience or a burden in her view, as such she appeared to hold no particular bond with anyone here at the estate.   Probably anywhere.

She had mentioned traveling together away form this place and the idea made sense in a few points.  Safety in numbers, she knew the way out while Pioloss, Faan and Himself did not.  Though this did not guarantee that she did not have other designs upon them either.  He would not alarm the others by telling them of his thoughts yet but he would stay alert.  Perhaps he was wrong but he feared he was not.

Rigel cleared his mind and went through all of his forms, drills, and exercises.  He was pleased,  his hand to hand skill, though already better than most was still showing marked improvement.


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Irihi
(@irihi)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 720
 

Miiya

From: Duskhill Kitchen

The Aeros girl made her way around the outside of Duskhill, darting from one type of cover to the next. Her wings were not oiled, and she did not want them absorbing too much rainwater. Actually she didn’t want them absorbing any. She could probably hang out or even fly in the drizzle for a little while before they started to saturate, but once they did it would be forever drying them. Miiya had plenty of uncomfortable--mostly teeth-chatteringly chilled--experience with damp wings in chilly dwellings during or after the rain. That she now had a catboy heater to dispel the worst of the effects had not yet crossed her mind.

Said catboy did, however, cross her mind (and her eyes a bit) as she watched him ?enjoy? the rain. Miiya liked doing Q’oo Tal forms better than she liked doing housework, and she--of course--found joy in jumping, tumbling, and flying. This, though, was something different. Miiya had seen others perform these slow meditative strength exercises, before. They had not been nearly as much fun to watch as Tom. Miiya didn’t think anything would be as much fun as watching Tom, so she found a dry seat beneath the edge of an empty stable from which to watch. 

This 

is 

great!

When Tom-Cat noticed her and came over, she was a little disappointed for the show to end, but then she wasn’t, because he was right there. 

Sweaty. “H-hi.” Miiya suddenly hated how her voice sounded. Slick. “What was that?” She also hated the inane question that voice was asking. Can I rub yew down? She hadn’t brought a towel, so, like, with her hands was fine, right?

Or with her wings? Miiya was pretty sure her head was going to fly right off her shoulders. She even stood up, but was not daring enough to step in as close to him as she’d need to be to fold her wing forward around them both. Her eyes were really, really wide looking everywhere except at Tom-Cat, okay, looking at Tom too. 

Do you wanna, like…” A whole lotta thoughts passed through her head that she was not able to say. They all deepened her already pretty heady flush. “...sit or something?” She finished, and--if Tom-Cat obliged, she’d lean-ish up against the fence she had been perched on, one hand “accidentally” brushing his side and flank. “Still raining.” She said because she had to say something, but did not want to disengage any part of her brain from its present focus in order to form interesting conversation.


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Rigel
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Finished with his exercises Rigel intoned a prayer to Faran before making his way back toward the estate house hoping to find The Lady Faan and Pioloss.  Time to think had only made him more concerned for their current situation.

To: the Great hall of Duskhill Estate


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

╺ ✽ ╸

But pain is like water. It finds a way to push through any seal. There’s no way to stop it. Sometimes you have to let yourself sink inside of it before you can learn how to swim to the surface. 

– Katie Kacvinsky

 

 

As Tom-Cat moved through various yoga poses, he'd forced himself to concentrate on being present.  He narrowed the scope of his awareness, focusing only on his body as he paid close attention to the positions of his limbs, tail, and head and where they were positioned in relation to his center of gravity.  He spent time and focused on his breathing.  He noted how his lungs expanded with each deep inhale of crisp, cool air, felt the way his breath warmed as it moved through his chest.  He held the breath in his lungs for one moment, two, before he slowly exhaled through his nose. 

Unfortunately, Tom-Cat found it incredibly challenging to achieve that sense of perfect balance and quiet stillness when he’s by himself.  So far, the only times he’s been able to attain the delicate synergy of mind and body harmonized into a state of quiet equilibrium, was when he’d practiced yoga with with both Cheshire and Chatte, either individually or together. 

The difficulty stemmed mainly from the endless deluge of sensory information that’s constantly filtered through his feline hindbrain, and from his trauma-induced hypervigilance.  He managed the latter well enough on a day-to-day basis, having learned to recognize the signs of it within himself and the various triggers that would send him into a state of twitchy, heart-pounding, paranoia.  Most days he’s fine; some days, he’s not.  Tom-Cat’s hypervigilance was why he has difficulty letting himself fully relax, whether he’s within the purview of familiar and vetted surroundings, or an unknown environment.  And even after almost six straight months of near-daily yoga and meditation practice with his brothers, he still has trouble completely dropping his guard.  It still took conscious effort to purge his mind of thoughts and emotions, while also seeking tranquility and stillness to fill the void. 

Tom-Cat concentrated on his breathing, his movement, and his body.  He tried to enable his mind to empty itself of anything not needed to be a present and focused on the here and now.  With each measured breath, the catling strove to keep himself in the moment. 

At first, he was easily distracted, his attention readily snagged by a rogue thought that randomly crossed his mind; sidetracked by some perceived aberration in the soundscape of the cavern; or suddenly derailed by the feel of a strong emotion jolting through the bond.  In truth, he doesn't have trouble with 'be present'; rather, his problem came from the purport of ‘remain present’  for longer than a handful of scattered minutes.    He found it particularly difficult to ‘be mindful’, given the chaotic spiral of his thoughts and emotions lately, so many of which were new and exciting, wonderful, terrifying, heady, and intimate, all compressed into a churning mass fisted in his chest.

Eventually, Tom-Cat was able to empty his mind and, for the first time on his own, was able to achieve a sense of stillness and tranquility.  A palpable feeling of serenity stole over him, smoothing away the traces of vestigial tension ground into the rigid set of his jaw, smudged into the tight corners of his mouth, and pressed into the terse furrow of his brow.  For the first time in days, he felt remarkably clear-headed.  His mind was calm and mercifully blank, finally unburdened from the snarled knots of heady, undefined emotions; the tracer patterns of too-fast, rushing thoughts; and the scarred shreds of unearthed traumas mixed-in with the detritus of his deep-seated worthlessness and self-hatred.

Tom-Cat embraced the rare moment of peace and quiet both inside and out, to go over the events of the last several days, his thoughts regarding the three newcomers, and finally, take the time to honestly examine his steadily growing feelings for  surrounding Miiya.  Things between them were rapidly evolving, though into what he couldn’t say.  He truly doesn’t know how she actually felt about him, as in: does she honestly have any (feelings) for him, or was it purely hormones and physical attraction?  

Because for him, things have already moved past the point of playing pretend. 

Maybe it got too real, too fast.  Tom-Cat always told himself that he’d never take a mate, and had never let himself even consider giving anyone his Mark, because he didn’t deserve something so intimate and fulfilling as  a mate and shared a bond.  Despite his denials, he’d imagined it, and even knowing he didn’t deserve it, he sometimes wondered, what if?  Whenever he had entertained the prospect, he only imagined what it’d be like to have a mate and form a bond after giving them his Mark.  He’d never, ever, dared  to dream, let alone honestly consider, what it’d be like to find a true mate.  It just didn't even cross his mind.  Why would it? There’s a saying amongst Shifters: “If you ask a Shifter to choose between finding a needle in a haystack or finding their true mate, the Shifter will bet on finding the needle, every time.”  Which basically meant that finding a true mate was a rare enough occurrence amongst Shifters and Weres,  that most simply found it easier to treat their prospective true mate like they’re not real.  

And yet he’d found his.  Him.  Stupid little, Tom-Cat.  

Sometimes he doesn’t know if he should (secretly) exuberate over it or if he should cut his losses now, because good things do not happen to people like him.  Other times, he wondered if there’s been a mistake, because he still felt the subtle traces of Miiya’s moralistic contempt for him dug under his ribs.   He knew that some part of her, however small and whether she even recognized it, still thought of him as scum, and as  a monster.   And it wasn't really the labels themselves, that hurt him.  

What cut him to the quick was how easily  Miiya thought of him like that; how readily  she saw him as bad, as nothing more than scum, and as a monster. 

He saw it when she'd yelled at him about her tipsu on the sparring field, only a brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flash, but there, nonetheless.  He’d seen the flicker of contempt in her eyes, and felt her censure in a fleeting, pinprick sensation through the bond.   And if she so readily, so easily, thought of him in that way (scum; monster), he had to wonder how little she really thought of him, or at least how low she thought his moral character to be.

Sometimes he wondered just what she thought him capable of; who does she truly think he is?

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

The trend of his thoughts had taken an unexpected turn, and the assassin discovered that he’s more bothered than he realized, with how Miiya definitely apparently possibly (still) saw him.  It doesn’t say much (good) as to what she thought of him, or maybe what she thought of his integrity.  He wanted to examine why that bothered him on such a personal level, why it wounded him, why it stuck, when he felt a small thrill of pleasure flit through the bond. 

His eyes snapped open and he immediately saw Miiya sitting several feet away under the cover of an old stable, watching him.  Smiling.   And suddenly…he’s not so bothered.   It just doesn't seem very important, because right then Tom-Cat felt a genuine flash of warmth (happiness) flow through the bond and move through him like a tropical current.  He felt remarkably composed, suffused by a lingering, deeply entrenched calmness that relaxed the set of his shoulders and loosened his hips, as he rose and went to her.  His thoughts were quiet and the faint tension that had carried over from the previous night, was absent.  

The catling gave the Aeros a wide, easy smile, his kohl-rimmed eyes remarkably clear and bright.  “Arrre you done making new frrriends, Teleskela?” he gently teased, a corner of his mouth tugging further up. 

An ear twitched and his skin tingled as her palm “accidentally” grazed his hip; it made him want things he wouldn't couldn't define, the directionless craving like an itch under his skin.  Tom-Cat turned to regard Miiya and favored her with a lazy grin, part of him distantly aware of a faint, low-grade heat crawling over his bones, undemanding yet present.  The tip of his tail  flicked rapidly back and forth, when, out of nowhere, a wave of fondness crashes over him with a feeling so intense, that he doesn't know what to do with himself.  His ears perked forward as his tail lashes involuntarily, and that's all the warning given before the catboy impulsively snatches up the Aeros.

In a flash, Tom-Cat lifted Miiya atop the low fence with a steadying hand upon her waist, his other resting lightly upon her knee, balancing her as he stepped into the bracket of her legs.  He honestly can't help himself as he pressed forward and leaned into her, their bodies flush as he affectionately scent-marked her, thoroughly rubbing a grey-furred ear (and a bit of his cheek) along each side of Miiya’s face and neck. The catling's hindbrain purred happily in response, the scent-marking both a show of affection and a reaffirmation of their bond.  Something deep within him settled in contentment, pleased to have everyone's scent back in its proper place (read: his scent layered atop hers).  Tom-Cat’s yellow-gold eyes were intense yet soft when he leaned back and looked at her, as he tried and failed to appear apologetic.  

“Sorrrrrry, Teleskela,” he said, giving her an obviously exaggerated, sad boy look.  “Will you forrrgive me? I must’ve mistaken you forrr catnip.”  He grinned a little.  An ear swiveled in Duskhill’s general direction and his grin widened.  “As to yourrr question, I choose, ‘orrr something’.  I need to bathe beforrre we deparrrt… will you join me?”  

Tom-Cat bit back a smile when Miiya answered enthusiastically in the affirmative.  He nodded and  turned around and got in the universal position for inviting someone for a kittyback ride.   With her seated position atop the fence, Miiya clambered onto the catling’s back with more ease and growing confidence, and only a minimal amount of choking.  Tom-Cat took a little extra time than was strictly necessary to adjust her weight snugly over his hips, and would offer the excuse that he only wanted to make sure she was as comfortable as possible.

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

It was only a short distance to the now empty bathing pools, which smelled like they were recently vacated by Myrae’s new play thing.  The catling didn’t go towards the main set of pools, and instead turned onto a sort of “hidden” path near the topmost pool, which just provided an alternate route to the mostly secluded ‘Waterfall Grotto’  that Miiya had used a few days prior.  When the catboy rickshaw service emerged in the grotto with his Aeros passenger, he paused and was pleased to note there were already towels and bathing supplies scattered around the edge of the pool.  Miiya exclaimed something in an excited tone, but Tom-Cat didn’t catch her words due to the dull roar of the small waterfall…

…and also because he’d taken a short, running leap and canonballed them both into the middle of the bathing pool with a respectable, SPLASH!

He broke the surface laughing, and wondered if he had managed to retain his Aeros backpack.

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 - ★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 - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
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Miiya

Tom! Wait! No!” Miiya laughed as the pair plunged into the spring. She let go of the catling in the confusion of splashes and bubbles, coming up beside him completely soaked and spluttering. “Oooh!” She growled in mock-anger before launching herself at Tom-Cat. The next few moments were a contest of who was the better--or at least kinder--grappler in waist-deep water, through a waterfall, and then behind the cascade. Miiya was not really angry, on the contrary, she was still having the time of her life. If she managed a takedown of her larger and stronger opponent, she made sure that any holds were released the instant he submerged. She was careful to mind her elbows, knees, and nails so as not to bruise or gouge. Focusing on that, the exertion of the dunk-fest, and getting a lot of water up her nose were the only way she kept from tipping into concupiscence. Because… wow.

Until they went through the waterfall into the shallow grotto behind the curtain of falling water. It was not intentional, nor could she say it was entirely unintentional, that Miiya backed up so as to guide their steps, hooked her fingers into the waist of his shorts, stumbled back and "found" herself pinned against the smooth, sweaty rock. 

It was fun to look at Tom anytime. Fun to catch surreptitious glaces of him concentrating on pouring misshapen pancakes in the kitchen, fun to secretly watch the wavering of his mussed hair upon his sleeping breath, fun to just straight-up ogle him posing in the rain. This was wasn't fun, this was something WAY better, and it caught her flat-footed. 

Miiya was not an Aeros given to impulse. For her wild year on the road with her brother, she had fourteen more under the strict and fearful control of her mother. Thinking things through had been ingrained into her. Aeros in the city of men could not give over to unbridled outbursts, dancing, laughter, or flight. It was dangerous. Yew must always, always think about what yew are doing. The whistlecrack of the switch and that word, think, delivered with quiet venomous severity, were the hallmark of Miiya's life.

She could not think. Her mind had screeched to a halt when Tom had stepped into her at her urging. Floodgates of inhibition, built up over years, lasted only an instant.

Then attraction, instinct, and impulse overflowed them, made her mould her body to his, made her press--

--into empty air, because in that breathless instant, Tom was gone. Not gone, but on the other side of the waterfall, like Magick.

Thoughts were back, though. So many thoughts.

You pressed what wh--Ohmigod he stepped into--tseert!how could I do not do--does he not like--what if I grab him b--

It had been some time since miiya had fitted her teeth into those familiar grooves in her finger. Because yew really can’t scream out your frustrations in Daelows. Not when yew are two flightless Aeros women in a slum with a door that is more wish than wood, in the back rooms of the Rising Sun with people who kill for sport out front, even occasionally when you are tired and battered and sore from doing the routine all day and your whole take is all took by the local protection outfit who don’t like foreigners. 

Then you apply pain until the red mist fades away and the thoughts and impulses unjam and reorder themselves in a way that won’t get you--well, that will make it so that you still have everything that you have left, right now.

Miiya bit hard on her finger, huching over in the dim illumination behind the waterfall, watching the wavery form of the catboy on the other side of the curtain. What do I have right now? What is this? 

It’s different. That’s for sure.

Because every other time she’d bit down until she felt the knuckle pop, it was because someone had taken, someone had hurt, someone had denied of her. Now she was the one denying. Or trying to, because she still wasn’t sure that an Aeros arm wouldn’t pop through the waterfall and pull (bite harder!) that… fantastic felinoid f--... back in here by his tail. 

Haha. Okay. I’m back. Miiya released her finger, wishing for blunter teeth and thanking Aka-Aar for a sense of humor.

Tom's tail was fun. She wanted to grab it. Haha. Focus on the tail.

Miiya exploded through the waterfall, taking them both underwater again in a surprise attack. Down in the bubbling confusion, she made sure to snort extra water into her sinuses. Flooding them with water burned, made her eyes water, and messed with her innate altimetry and made her kind of skitchy. That was all good, because she needed the distraction. 

“Okay, okay, stop!” Miiya half-laughed, half-coughed, holding up an arm and wading to the edge of the pool. Gripping the side, she bent double and blew a good spray of mostly water from her nose. She tilted her head one way and blew out more, then repeated on the other side. “Whoo.” When she had finished draining what she could from her sinuses, she sat on the pool’s edge, at last chancing a shy glance at Tom-Cat, and trying not to read too much into whatever expression he was wearing. 

Cuz that’s about all he’s w--stopit

Well. Now I’m wet, too.” Miiya observed, rather belatedly, and that was pretty clever, so she decided to press her luck. “So I guess it’s bath time.” That phrase came out much more awkward. She tried not to cringe. How the heck was that supposed to work, anyway? 

Think! Swishcrack. 

How to recover? Oh, I know! Be totally unfair. “I’ll do yer back if yew help me clean my wings.” 

Ha, that’s like a minute of work for me and an hour--no… No! No! No! No! Stupid! Did you forget?! She hadn’t thought. She’d wanted those things; touching his back, his hands on her wings. But then he would see Song. Unfolded.

Just like that, Miiya didn’t need those floodgates any more. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t happy or erotic or playful or intense. She drained of all those emotions and impulses like she was a cracked mug; just a hollowed-out piece of ugly cracked crockery. 

Trash. 


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

╺ ✽ ╸

And then someone comes along, someone new, someone who sees it all with fresh eyes, and it snaps you out of your daily coma, reminding you of what you've forgotten. Of what you've become.”

— Bill Blais

 

When Miiya tackled him with a mock-growl, Tom-Cat laughed and let himself be taken down, sort of absenting his mind as he got caught up in the spirit of their energetic “play”.  Yet, as he grappled with the Aeros, each gently dunking one another as they wrestled in the shallows, something changed.  It became less play and more foreplay. 

It was intuition and impulse; interest and attraction.  It was courtship; it was an invitation, and pursuit.  It was eros.  It was the instinct-driven urge to lay claim to one’s bondmate.

Tom-Cat was knocked for six and caught completely off-guard when Miiya’s emotions (desire-fervor-excitement-lust-urgency) flooded unrestrained through the bond, like the deluge from a breached dam. It was dizzying.  He abruptly felt hungry and keyed-up.  He felt overstimulated, feral.  The itch under his skin, that nebulous, aching thirst, was no longer directionless; his nameless and undefined desire, was now sharply defined.  The faint, low-grade, crawling heat within him suddenly crackled and flared up into a burst of white-hot flames, like someone that kicked a jerry can filled with gasoline into a campfire.

By the time they slipped behind the cascade, Tom-Cat was operating on little logic and mostly basic, primal instinct.  Instinct that pounded demands through his blood as it urged him forward, the thud of his pulse deafening. He couldn’t think, he didn't want to think; kwesh! He needed to think.  Instinct called for him to Mark and then, to claim her – in exactly every way that was implied.  

He couldn’t think.  He didn’t want to think.  He needed to– 

–for just a few precious, exhilarating, and dangerous seconds, he doesn’t think.  Tom-Cat stepped in and  pinned the Aeros back against the smooth, rock wall; his blood thundered in between his temples so loud as it pounded out words with his pulse.  Mark.  Claim.  He’s too hot; the heat made his thoughts sticky, slow.  Can’t think.  The gap between them was sealed as he pressed her back (or does she form to him?) and for a single, thrilling moment, they’re pressed flush from knee to hip to sternum to– Mark her.  Claim her.  It felt like he was tipping dangerously close to some kind of event horizon, a point of no return.  He can’t needs to think

A sudden bolt of clarity lanced through the fog of Tom-Cat’s mind, and he knew with absolute, brutal certainty, that if he kissed her right now, it would be a point of no return: he will Mark her.  There would be no going back.

 It’s only been a few precious, exhilarating, and dangerous (too quick) seconds, when Tom-Cat jerked back from Miiya.  He moved to the other side of the cascade, breathing harshly, and turned away to gather himself.  Or try to gather himself, because kwesh!  That was jookanthrilling stimulating erotic Mark her Claim her ...certainly something.  His heart pounded in his chest, the beat drowning out all other noise.  He felt raw, overwrought…he wanted to turn back around and start what he’d finished before it’d even begun.  

Kvek! He was burning at the stake of contradictory impulses.  

Part of him didn’t care.  She obviously wanted him, so what was the problem? She’s his bondmate.  He should Mark her.  He needed to make her hisSo that no one could take her from him; so that no other Shifter or, even worse, a jookan thieving Were, could mark her, or claim her.  The mere thought of some sneaking thief  laying claim to his bondmate, instantly twisted his lips into an angry, anxious snarl, his chest vibrating with a deep, warning growl.  Something instinctive, primeval, possessive and jealous, surged up from the depths of his ancient genetics, and loosed a long, angry yowl as it momentarily engulfed him.  Tom-Cat's ears flattened as his tail lashed in furious agitation, his fangs sharpening as his snarl deepened.   His body automatically shifted into an aggressive posture, signaling his readiness to fight, as he searched for any sign of a challengers (filthy thieves) with narrowed eyes—

—before he abruptly snapped out of it.  The catling quickly got a hold of himself as he cringed inwardly; he’s so  jookan thankful nobody saw that.  Tom-Cat took a few deep breaths.  With some effort, he consciously relaxed as he told himself: There were no challengers here.  It’s safe.  She’s safe.  Nobody was going to take her from him.

He sighed, still flush with embarrassment.  Kwesh!  His feline hindbrain, that ancient animal core, was usually more help than hindrance, although it sometimes seemed to forget that it was no longer back with his ancestors in some primitive, bygone era.   Back when–Argh!

Tom-Cat’s distracted musings were cut short when Miiya exploded through the cascading waterfall in a surprise attack, tackling him and plunging them both underwater.  He came up sputtering, but grinning, and spat a stream of water at her as prepared to pounce...Miiya held up her hands, laughing as she called a truce.  He straightened, and watched her as she waded over to the edge of the pool. His expression was likely etched with clear traces of unequivocal desire; brushed with shades of feral instinct; and undercut by an unguarded look of simple, unreserved fondness that's reflected within the depths of his kohl-rimmed eyes.  

Tom-Cat's mouth curved into a soft, genuine smile at Miiya's sudden awkwardness, and it brightened considerably when she suggested:  I’ll do yer back if yew help me clean my wings.”  

 The catling was about to respond to her, when her mood instantly plummeted like a flipped switch.  The emotions that were shifting through the bond depressurized and collapsed, like everything bright inside of Miiya has flatlined, compressed down to a tiny flame guttering  within the darkness of her despondency, hurt, and grief.  Tom-Cat looked up sharply and felt something twist inside him, when he saw how Miiya sat folded in on herself, shoulders hunched, and every line of her withdrawn figure etched by insecurity and self-disgust.  Her eyes were winched shut and there’s something desperate and forlorn in the cramped fold of wi–

–ngs.  Her wings.  Rather, her wing.  She didn’t want him to see it.  Was she ashamed? Did she think he’d find it ugly...or find her ugly? Truth be told, her injured wing is just a part of who she is, just as it had been when it’d been whole.  It wasn’t even a factor to him whenever he thought about the Aeros.  It didn’t change how he viewed her.  It didn’t make her ugly.  

Tom-Cat was out of his comfort zone to the extreme, but a sudden epiphany had him wading over to her without thought:  How she saw herself and her injury, is what’s important.  How he saw her, what he thought about her injured wing – all of it was ultimately irrelevant.   

In the few steps it took to reach Miiya perched at the edge of the pool, Tom-Cat decided that he wouldn't let her shut him out.  She cringed slightly and started to fold her arms around herself as she tried to turn away; as she tried to box him out.  The catling moved fast.  Miiya has only managed to pivot at a quarter turn when suddenly Tom-Cat is right there.  He stood bracketed by her legs, preventing her from shutting him out.  Neither of them speak.  Although Miiya kept her face averted, she’s unresisting as Tom-Cat gently unbent her folded arms, and, in a parallel of her earlier actions in the kitchen, placed them over his shoulders.  He slid his arms around her waist and leaned into her, then pulled her close and gathered her into what he hoped was a firm, secure, and reassuring hug.  

Tom-Cat didn’t know if this was right.  It felt right.  It felt natural, comfortable, as if standing and holding her like that was exactly where he was supposed to be.  Where he needed to be.  He didn’t say anything and neither did she.  All he tried to do was convey a sense of security and support through the bond.  He wasn’t sure how long they stood there.  It could’ve been ten minutes or it could’ve been thirty.  As the minutes ticked by, he felt some of the tension gradually ebb from Miiya’s body.  She doesn’t relax completely, but neither is her body drawn taut as a bowstring. 

Eventually, Tom-Cat leaned back and regarded her, though he didn’t release her from the loose circle of his arms.  Now what?  He didn’t know what he should do, what he should say.  All he knew was he needed to say something.  Kwesh! Cheshirrre would know what to do,’ he thought.  He wished that she could see herself how others did…how he did.  He barely considered her wings whenever he thought about her, because although they’re the most obvious trait of an Aeros, she was so much more than that.  

At some point, Tom-Cat just started…talking.  It wasn’t planned; he didn’t know if he was making things better, or worse, or if he was just making a cul out of himself.  “Teleskela,” he began, glancing at Miiya.  He froze as he was hit with that same rush of intense fondness and affection that’d overwhelmed earlier at the stables.  “You’rrre so damn cute, I barrrely know what to do with myself!” he blurted.  Kwesh! Damn-it. That hadn’t been what he wanted to say…right?  Probably.  Maybe…maybe, he should keep talking.

Apparently, he was playing a one-catboy game of: How deep can I dig this hole before I cringe myself into nonexistence?  He forged ahead. 

I know I teased you earrrlierrr about making friends with the thrrree strrrangerrrs,” he said, looking at her.  “But that’s one of the best things about you.” He glanced down, his brow furrowed as he continued. “You always trrry to see the best in people…and I may not always agrrree orrr see it, but yourrr positivity at least rrreminds me to searrrch forrr the good in the worrrld, too.”  He looked back up and gave Miiya a sincere, half-wondering look.  He absently slipped a hand under the hem of the Aeros’ shirt (well, his shirt, technically) and trailed along the path of her spine, the calloused pad of his thumb lightly brushing over each divot.  It’s a mindless action that the catlng didn’t really seem to be aware of; it’s meant to soothe, although he seemed to gain a measure of comfort from it, too.

People seem drrrawn to you, Teleskela,” Tom-Cat said, after a moment.  He gave Miiya a teasing half-grin, as amusement glinted in his yellow-gold gaze.  “I’m prrretty sure it’s the pancakes.”  He nodded sagely, and lowered his voice as if sharing a secret.  “Everrrything you cook is delicious, but therrre is something extrrra special about yourrr pancakes.  Everrr think of opening a rrrestaurrrant orrr food carrrt?”  The catboy smiled adamantly, absolutely sincere.  “I bet even if you only serrrved pancakes, yourrr food would be the best in the city.”  He paused, his voice going smooth and earnest as he said, “I’m confident that you’d be successful at whateverrr you set yourrr mind to.

 Tom-Cat leaned forward and tilted his face to catch her eyes with his own.  He blinked slowly, a note of surprise and sudden, impulsive desire shooting through him; his face was very close to hers, but he didn't pull back.  He needed her to hear him and maintained their closeness so she cannot retreat from his steady gaze.  “Jokes aside, people arrre  drrrawn to you — and I completely underrrstand why.”  The catling nearly jammed up, because what he wanted to say to Miiya somehow made him feel open, vulnerable, like no matter what he said, he’d be giving up something more in the exchange that he didn’t want wasn’t ready mean to give to her away.  “I–um, kwesh,” he swore lightly.  “Let me starrrt overrr.”  Tom-Cat chuckled, and took a breath.  “Did you know, Teleskela,  that one of the firrrst things noticed about you, were yourrr eyes? ” he asked.  He felt heat sweep up his neck and cheeks; he hoped she didn’t notice.  “I (maybe definitely) comparrred you to a storrrybook prrrincess, because you have the big, shining, prrretty eyes, of one.  But it’s not just that,” he said, a different kind of warmth creeping into his tone.  “Yourrr eyes have such warrrmth.  It drrraws people in .”  He smiled a little. “Worrrked on me.  But what rrreally drrraws people to you, is yourrr smile.”  The catling  whistled softly.  “Yourrr smile is infectious –  brrright enough to light up any rrroom yourrr in…” 

Tom-Cat trailed off, his brow crimping as a faraway expression settled over him. His yellow eyes were unfocused as he unconsciously shifted his gaze to fix on an unseen point over Miiya’s shoulder, although some nameless emotion seemed to darken the shadows within his kohl-rimmed eyes.  When he spoke, his tone had gone curiously flat, like the color had been momentarily leached from his voice; except for a razor edge of self-deprecation that sharpened the points of his words.

Yourrr smile, Teleskela,” he began, sounding almost a distant as his thousand yard stare.  “I don’t deserrrve it.”  Tom-Cat frowned, the ‘v’ between his eyes, deepening.  “How can you…” he broke off from what he’d been about to say.  The catboy shook his head, the motion decisive, as if he’d actively rejected something in his mind.  “...But I’m such scum,” he murmured.  “I know I’m scum, w-why else would Fatherrr” the words lodged in his throat, his breath suddenly shallow as if the stuck words were a physical mass that blocked his airway.  Tom-Cat swallowed hard.  “...scumonly good forrr one thing”  he spoke in less than a whisper and his lips barely moved, making the words all but inaudible.  “How can scum deserve” 

Tom-Cat gave a sudden jolt like someone yanked on his puppet strings, and the quick jerk of his body seemed to snap him back to the present.  The faraway look faded from his gaze, and he blinked a little, as if suddenly remembering where he was.  The catling glanced away.  When he returned his gaze to Miiya, his eyes were clear and focused, no longer gripped by whatever had briefly haunted their depths.  After a moment, he spoke.  "I sometimes wonderrr, Teleskela,” he said, the low hush of his voice no longer bland, colorless.  He continued, his quiet words infused with focused intensity.  “How yourrr smile is so brrriight, when it’s dirrrected at…at scum, like me.”  He dropped his gaze, but when he spoke, his tone was almost helplessly sincere as he admitted:  “I love yourrr smile.”  The catling kept his eyes averted, as a slight grimace crossed his face.  A shadow of his perceived unworthiness was pressed into the tight seam of his lips.  “I know I don’t deserrrve it…and yet,”  Tom-Cat raised his eyes and met Miiya’s, once more.  “And yet, I’m too selfish to sharrre.  Because I confess, Teleskela,” he leaned closer. “That I want to make you smile, so I can selfishly keep it (yourrr smile) all to myself." His words are nakedly honest and so unintentionally sweet, made even more so because the catboy is (obviously) oblivious to how his words may come across. 

Tom-Cat looked into Miiya’s eyes and only she knew what she saw in their yellow-gold depths.  "Thank you,he said, his tone straightforward, serious, and heartfelt. And yet there’s far more hidden beneath the surface of that simple 'thank you', filled with the intentions and feelings of everything Tom-Cat just can’t say.

 

‘Thank you for looking at me – for smiling at me – like I'm something worthwhile.’  

‘Thank you for giving me the second chance I don't deserve…the chance to be something more than…’  

‘Thank you for the best sleep that I've had in years.’

‘Thank you for seeing me…’  

‘Thank you for not yet abandoning me.’  

‘Thank you for letting me stay with you for as long as you'll have me.’

 

A quiet, contemplative silence fell over them in the wake of Tom-Cat’s ‘thank you’.  The silence is heavy, but it’s not necessarily uncomfortable.  Rather, the silence is infused with all that’s left unsaid between them, making the air crackle with electricity.  They’re each lost in their own thoughts, although neither has made to move from the relative closeness of their positions.  

After a short while, Tom-Cat straightened, and sought to regain Miiya’s attention by reaching out.  He lightly cupped her jaw and she looked up at him at his gentle urging.  He didn’t drop his hand, just stroked the pad of his thumb along the ridge of her cheekbone.  This was important; he needed her to hear his words.   "Teleskela, I," he started, his voice thick. "I'm herrre forrr you.”  He held his gaze steady to her own.  “I'm always herrre to listen, if you everrr want to talk.  I’m herrre forr you...I’m herrre to help howeverrr you want and need." The calloused pad of his thumb came to rest at the corner of her mouth. "You don't need to go thrrrough this, alone."

Tom-Cat let his hand drop as he gave her a small, reassuring smile.  There was a moment’s pause, before the catling once more asked, “May I, Teleskela? 

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 - ★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 - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


Wynterleaf and Irihi liked
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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 720
 

Miiya

Tom, yer not scum.” Miiya said, matter-of-factly, because it was pretty clearly correct. I mean, it made sense. Sure, he was scary and he had probably done bad things, she thought. He had a… predatory mein sometimes that made her feel,

well,

The Aeros girl was nowhere near being able to even categorize the things it made her feel, and she guessed she had hurt him more than she thought when she called him “bad” down in the deadly freezing beauty of the ice caverns. He was mean, or accidentally vicious, maybe, but no way was Tom scum. He’d said it more than once, unprompted, and Miiya was beginning to realize that the boy had a history before their paths had crossed. She academically comprehended that other people existed outside of her bubble, of course, but they had always been so transient or tangential to her, that she had not really taken their thoughts and feelings to heart. 

Besides Ma, Li, and Cah, other people were almost all just named and nameless faces that came and went, their internal struggles opaque to Miiya and therefore--in her still rather immature apprehension of the world--nonexistent. 

That Tom-Cat’s scars, especially the ones he tried to hide on what should have been sensitive smooth skin on inside crook of his arm, had a history; that he had a past of happiness and hurts which informed his every move, was something that was only just beginning to dawn on Miiya. For an instant, she suddenly wanted to know all of that history. She wanted to read the story of his body life together with him.

But just for an instant, because he had just gotten done with a really nice hug. Like really nice. Nice enough to bring her back from the echoes of that place where the crushing depression of her first few days and nights at Duskhill had been a shield against killing hurting herself. After he…

Oh yeah. “I mean, yew saved me. Like, a bunch of times.” She blurted, not thinking about how transactional that sounded. Twice or three times, right? Gosh, and he had called her a fretting “storybook princess.” And she blushed again at the memory, just as red hot as she had when he had said it. Complimenting her eyes. Complimenting her smile. Complimenting her cooking. Saying he wanted her to himself?! Ya-hoo!  

The shower of nice things Tom was saying, plus the hug, plus a sudden insight into his own insecurities, had washed away Miiya’s melancholy. So when Tom asked to touch her wings, now, she charged right in, like a swimmer rushing the ocean at the beach. Miiya unfolded what was left of Song. Even with four feet missing, Miiya had to step aside and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Tom-Cat. Then, at full extension, Song was nearly as long as Tom-Cat’s armspan. 

A moment of expectant gentle lip-biting gave way to Miiya cracking one hazel eye at Tom-Cat. “Oh.” She giggled. He doesn’t know how to touch. That’s fair, “I guess there are a lot of feathers.” Miiya reached out and guided one of the catboy’s hands to the wing root at her back. “Start here and move out.” She said. “Yew can r-run yer fingers through them… if yew want. They go out and down.” 

Many grounders found Aeros wings quite strange--often disturbingly so. They were not arms or evolved arms, like the wings of birds--though they had almost identical structure. They were an autonomous extra set of limbs, making Aeros seem slightly insectoid when not folded in tight. 

Beneath the feathers, Tom would feel the shifts and twitches--lots and lots of twitches as Miiya closed her eyes again--of an intricate muscle structure. If he were gentle, he would find nothing but feathers beneath feathers. The pinfeathers rigid and waxy, almost like fingernails. Below them fluffy insulating down feathers that felt softer than hair, more like velvety fur. The flesh in which the feathers, muscles, and tendons were rooted was below this, but it clearly required dedicated (and painful to the Aeros) digging to reach. The further out Tom-Cat’s hands travelled, the larger the pinfeathers as he moved from tertiary to secondary to primary pinfeathers. 

While the feathers themselves did not feel, their hollow cores transmitted changes in pressure and temperature to nerves in Miiya’s wings. With Tom-Cat stroking them, it felt like those transmissions were going straight into her brain, flashing bursts of sensations like flying through fireworks. It was far from the first time anyone had touched Miiya’s wings. Ma had her brusque way of helping Miiya to set and clean them when she was younger. Occasionally some curious, or just arfline grounder would tug a feather or yank at a handful. However, no one had ever touched them like this before. Miiya endured--not Tom-Cat’s ministrations--but the riotous feelings that sensing both the pressure of his fingers and just the overall warmth of his presence radiating against the inside of her feathers. It was yfretting glorious!

Miiya's heart was racing erratically and her eyes were opened but completely unfocused. The sensation wasn't any more erotic than the exhilaration of flight, but it was much more erratic, like what she might feel from the swoops and dives of acrobatic maneuvers. Perhaps it had a analog in what Tom-Cat might feel if he fell into a meadow of catnip.

Miiya reveled in the sensations until Tom-Cat reached the truncated end, and the euphoria guttered and died, quenched by the deeper water there, at her injury. Miiya’s gaze regained its focus as she tried to pull Song back in, but then, the things he said and did stopped her. 

“It was a part of me, and now it’s gone.” Miiya said. “Even if it’s replaced, with something that lets me fly again, it will still be gone.” Now she did fold Song, but not all the way, only enough to step closer to Tom-Cat. She raised the missing trim tab, and passed her hand through the space where it would have been. “Part of me is missing. It will always be missing. This is how I am now. Y-Yew don’t think it’s ugly?” She asked, even as she felt something inside herself slipping away at the felinoid's affirmation. 

When he answered, Miiya reached out for Tom-Cat again, for the same embrace with which he had comforted her earlier. “I’m losing it.” She whispered as she put her arms around his neck and pressed her face into his chest. This time she extended both Song and Dance and folded them around the catling. “I’m losing--” The words were choked off by sobs that shook the Aeros’ slight frame. Anger, denial, depression, there might even be some bargaining in there. Miiya was losing them all, while clinging to Tom. This is how I am now. She could feel the dichotomy of sensation from the wings that enfolded Tom-Cat and herself, and she accepted it.   

 

Acceptance hurt.

 

This was not the end of her grieving, but it was the end of the beginning. Miiya had not realized that frozen mass in her chest had been something to which she had willfully clung, just as she did not know she was sinking her talons into Tom while she wrapped him in soft fingers and feathers. 

She just needed him and liked him and was liked by him and maybe was falling in love and maybe wanted him to and

how much damage could that really do?

So when she was done--and it wasn't all that long before she was cried out--she looked up at Tom-Cat with blotchy face, tear reddened eyes, and a smile that was a lot less burdened than just a moment ago. "I think I'm okay now."

More okay. 

"So… wash yer back, sir?" For all the complex emotions she had just navigated, she still had a bottomless well of cringe-worthy awkwardness.


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 706
Journey starter  

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

╺ ✽ ╸

“He didn’t pick her; you don’t choose who you fall in love with any more than you choose the shape of your bones.” 

– C.J. Carlyon

 

Tom-Cat hasn’t forgotten the silent look of censure and utter loathing that Miiya had given him, right before their header off the cliff into the Ice Caves.  He’d read the unspoken subtext as easily as emphasized and underlined text, as if she’d scrawled the word across her skin using the stark, black ink of her immutable, razor-edged certainty.  Scum. He hasn’t forgotten her look.  Neither has he forgotten the deep jag of hurt and hate that’d burned through him in response.

What Miiya will never know, because Tom-Cat will never tell her, is how deeply that look of utter censure and disgust had cut him.  It’d pierced straight through several battered layers of intersecting pathos and ethos, before tearing a jagged line through the hypertrophic scars formed around the oldest and most deeply entombed traumas of his past. He’d been wholly unprepared for the crisp freshness of old, unearthed trauma, the original pain somehow feeling sharp, new; faded echoes of old hurt seeping out from under the bandaids placed over the  bullet holes of his past.

His past. 

A part of him wants to insulate her from ever knowing about his past.  He doesn’t want to experience the feel of old trauma and old hurt made fresh, again.  He doesn’t want to feel the disgust Miiya would surely have if she ever glimpsed the hidden hash of gnarled scars, located closest to the truth of him, nearest to his heart.  He doesn’t want her pity, almost as much as he doesn’t want her to see his ugliness; the barely scabbed-over wounds of his deepest traumas that he tries (and fails) to keep pressed down and hidden.  

“Tom, yer not scum.”

The words aren’t profound.  In fact, Miiya states them matter-of-factly and with no great (or any) gravitas.  And yet the words hit him like a sucker punch, forcing the air from his lungs on a quiet, yet forceful exhale.  She says something else – something about him saving her – but Tom-Cat doesn’t really take it in, because his blood is suddenly roaring in his veins, the thundering pulse momentarily drowning out all other noise.  Suddenly, he wants to share (some) of his past with her, the things he hasn’t told anyone – not even his brothers. He wants to know everything about hers, too.

He almost physically jerks in realization: he wants to share…he wants to share everything with her.  Not just his past, but his future, too.

And just like that, Tom-Cat is officially lost.

Later, when he looks back and reflects on this moment, he’ll recognize it as the point that the lid on the pandora's box of his feelings for her was flung wide open.  It’s the exact moment he crosses over the event horizon and there’s no going back: it's the point where  his emotions cannot be put back under lock and key. 

It’s the exact moment that he starts to fall in love with for her.  

Tom-Cat is hit by a rush of warmth and affection so strong that he’s about 0.5 seconds away from pouncing on her, when Miiya effectively diverts his attention: she’s going to let him touch her wings.

A knee-jerk thrill of eager excitement sizzles through him, but after the initial spike of intense, automatic enthusiasm levels out, a new sense of awareness settles over him.  He’s immediately struck by the amount of trust that Miiya’s given him by offering him the chance to, first touch and later care for her injured wing.  The realization leaves him a bit wonderstruck.

There’s nothing weird to him about how her wings feel under the heat of his palms and the careful caress of his fingers.  In fact, he’s intensely fascinated by the subdued power and strength he can feel in each twitch of the intricate musculature, his yellow-gold eyes bright with genuine curiosity.  He thinks back to that first pounce on the beach, when he’d pinned her beneath him and pressed his palm against the largest joint.  On the beach, he’d only glimpsed an inkling of the intricacy of the structures beneath his palm.  Now, he can truly appreciate the efficiency of the design: the specific arrangement of different feather types, the interplay of muscles and tendons, the structure of the bones, etc.

At least for now, the catling only explores her wing, maps it out, memorizes every detail.  Later, under Miiya’s direction he’ll meticulously go over both wings, carefully straightening feathers and smoothing out the pinions, so that they lay properly.  Later, he’ll wash and oil her feathers.  Later, later he’ll gladly wrap himself around her and blanket her in his warmth, to chase away the chill as her wings slowly dry.

 

╺ ✽ ╸

 

When Miiya reaches for him and actively seeks him out for comfort, Tom-Cat can’t really explain what that does to him. It’s more than happiness or pleasure; it even goes a little beyond contentment.  It’s the feeling of being needed by someone, and the unique feeling that comes from knowing that you’re the only one who can give that person what they need.  She wants needs something from him, specifically. 

Him. 

No one else. 

It’s a feeling that’s new to him.

Maybe there’s something worthwhile about him, after all.  Maybe he’s not entirely worthless; maybe he’s not only good for one thing.  Maybe there’s more to him...maybe he’s allowed to be more than just a tool, just an object, for other people to use, break, and throw away.  His hands are fluent in the language of death and violence; it can't be overwritten, but maybe his hands can learn a second one.  Maybe his hands don't have to only cause pain, bring death, or mete out violence; maybe they could also give comfort, offer pleasure, or protect and defend.

Tom-Cat doesn’t even feel the points of her nails digging into him as he wraps her in his security and warmth, his tail slipping around her waist as she enfolded them within the curtain of her wings.  He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t offer up empty words, and only hugs her close and lets her grieve.  He simply offers his solace and strength as he tries to convey a quiet reassurance through the bond and his presence.  It seems to work, because within the safety of his arms and the concealing cocoon of her wings, Miiya finds the strength to let herself be vulnerable in front of him.  It gives her the strength to let go of some, not all, of her grief.

Through the bond, he feels the knots of her grief begin to loosen, some fully coming untied.  It’s difficult to describe, but he can feel something, lessen within her, like she’s somehow gotten lighter (not literally, he hopes – he’s noticed that she’s filled out some and he likes it, but has no idea how to tell her that). 

When Miiya sheds the last of her tears and looks up at him, her voice is somewhat thick, but steady as she tells him that she thinks she’s okay now.

Tom-Cat stares down into her face for a moment, and is struck by how remarkably strong and how resilient she is.  He doesn’t think she realizes that not many people would have been able to push through the depression and grief after such a huge injury.  Add the context that the person is an Aeros and the injury is a pinioning denying them the sky, and the catling is in even greater awe that Miiya not only pulled through, but is still able to smile that bright smile he loves so much.  (Part of him still can’t believe he told her that…and everything else.  Another part of him wants to do it all over again, because when she blushes her cheeks turn a deep red that’s so damn cute, he sort of wants to bite them.)

Tom-Cat blinks.  Maybe he’ll keep that one to himself.  He refocuses when Miiya, with red eyes, tear-streaked cheeks, and a smile free of the previous tension that had tightened its corners and dimmed its brightness, offered to wash his back…awkwardly.   Was it a little cringey? Sure, but he wouldn’t have it, have her, any other way.  Oooh, he was going to smother her in his scent when they’re alone later.  As for right now…

…Tom-Cat huffs a laugh in reply, before catching her eye and bending down.  When Miiya smiles two pretty dimples appear, one at each corner of her mouth, just off to the side.  He keeps his yellow-gold eyes on her for a moment, before they’re obscured beneath the thick fringe of his eyelashes as he drops his gaze, his eyes falling partway shut.  The catling tilts his head and leans, not impulsively, but carefully, forward.

Then Tom-Cat presses a small, unhurried, and deliberate kiss to one the dimples at the corner of Miiya’s smile.

It’s not necessarily chaste, nor is it salacious.  It’s (maybe) a bit selfish.  It’s also deeply affectionate.  It’s sweet, it’s passionate; it’s a little teasing, if not definitely supposed to be  somewhat tempting.  Tom-Cat sighs softly against her cheek as he traces a path over to her ear. (Miiya might think she feels his lips ghost along the line of her jaw in a soft, barely-there touch, but the sensation’s so light that it’s probably imagined.)

I’ll let you wash my back, Teleskela,” he purrs in a low pitch.  “And in rrreturrrn you can guide me as I wash and carrre forrr yourrr wings.” 

Tom-Cat straightens and gives Miiya a genuinely happy smile that actually reaches his kohl-rimmed eyes.  He tightens his arms and keeps her close for a moment.  “I wonderrr if you rrrealize how strrrong you rrreally arrre,” he says.  “And I’m happy that you’rrre fine now.”  He holds her gaze, hoping to convey his sincerity.  “And if tomorrrrrrow, orrr the next day, orrr any day therrreafterrr, you’rrre not fine? That’s okay, too – I’ll be herrre.” 

The catling relinquishes his hold on her and turns a little, reaching out for Miiya’s injured wing and gently, but firmly running his hand over the feathers.  At his urging, she briefly folds back the wing before bringing it forward, curving it partially between them so that the shorn end is visible and on full display.   Tom-Cat steps around the truncated wing until he’s next to Miiya, and then reaches out, and lays his hand on the joint.  He purposefully trails his hand along the inside of her wing, absently straightening and realigning some of the feathers when his fingers brush over them. 

This is parrrt of you,” he says, echoing her earlier words.  His hand comes to a rest on the gnarled scar tissue as he reaches the severed end.  “But it’s only that: a parrrt.” He carefully, but deliberately, examines the end of her wing with a sure touch, the brush of his fingers exploratory, palms warm.  He raises his other hand and presses the pads of his fingers against the knotted ligaments on the other side.  He glances at Miiya.  “It’s not ugly.”  

Then Tom-Cat leans forward and kisses the shorn edge of her wing, pressing his lips firmly against the scar tissue.  He rubs a furry ear along the edge, marking it with his scent, before he pressed another kiss along the edge where the tendons had bunched and healed around the site of the missing bone.  “It’s a parrrt of you…” he gives the edge one last, quick kiss and steps back. He back to her and continues.  “...And you’rrre so much morrre than both of yourrr wings, Teleskela.

Finally, Tom-Cat steps away from her and slips out of the pool to gather up the bathing supplies.  He returns a moment later and lays everything along one edge of the water by the cascading waterfall.  He wades over to the Aeros and takes both of her hands, grinning and walking backwards as he draws her back with him.  The catling guides Miiya to three, wide, tiered platforms arranged like steps, the middle of which raised both of them up high enough that it’s like standing in the shallow end.  There’s a fruity-smelling soap next to two scrub brushes, one with a longer handle and the other just a round brush head with a strap for the hand.  He points to the one with the long handle.  “You can use that forrr my back,” he says.  “But, since you’rrre going to be back therrre….”  Tom-Cat takes one of Miiya’s wrists, then turns around and places her hand at the base of his tail.  He looks over his shoulder, his ears twitching as he tries to keep his tail still.  “Would you please brrrush out and wash my tail, Teleskela?” he asks, fixing her with one lambent, yellow-gold eye.  “The rrround brrrush has soft-enough brrristles to brrrush the furrr, but forrr the soap, just use yourrr hands.” 

He turns back around to hide his anxiety.  He’s never let anyone do this for him.  Just don’t pull it orrr brrrush the furrr the wrrrong way,” he adds. 

A moment later.

I trrrust you, Teleskela.

 


@irihi 

Spoiler
OOC: If you want to jump us forward
I've accomplished everything I wanted/needed to do with Tom-Cat.  (Sorry for the length of this post.)  If you want to move us back to Duskhill with your next one, please go ahead and assume/have Tom-Cat help Miiya with her wings (wash & oil).  He'll wrap a towel around his hips and use another to towel off his hair as he walks back with her, maybe sling an arm around her shoulders or hold her hand or something.  If you want to reference/continue Miiya's part of the funny Cheshire & Tom + birdy stuff convo that we discussed, I'll retroactively go over it in my reply. 😉 

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 - ★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 - Button Pressing - Thunder & Honey
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte]Enter Chatte - Chat w/Castor -Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Irihi
(@irihi)
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Miiya

Am I? Miiya thought as Tom-Cat called her strong. 

Ha, no she didn’t, or at least she wasn’t contemplative for long because he freakin’ kissed me!! I mean… almost, like our lips touched, if I had just turned my head when he was… 

Tom-Cat was saying other stuff. Really nice stuff that she should pay attention to and not obsess over how his unruly hair had tickled… 

Okay, he’s got Song again, calm the frett down. Miiya did not really like the mangled wingtip being touched, but she was glad he was drawing her attention to it rather than the

She didn’t like touching, didn’t like her injury being touched, but she felt it was okay when Tom did it. The Aeros girl guessed she had not melted into a thin sheen of feathers and happy atop the water of the spring only because it was not really physically possible to do so. She certainly felt like she had, because Tom was being so super sweet.

He was helping. 

And now, after watching it, and the rest 

of Tom-Cat move around

Still not wearing all that much

She was gonna get to touch

His tail. 

 

Yay!

Miiya nodded solemnly at his instructions, keeping quiet even as her sing-songy thoughts maintained her ever-widening goofy grin. 

Cuz he’s got a tail what

Is furry and twitchy

And leads down to his…

As she brushed and shampooed and washed the sinuous tail, Miiya couldn’t help giggling. That broke her verbal barrier and she freely made lots of observations about the furry appendage, comparing Tom-Cat’s hair to his fur, remarking on how “weirdly” bare his back was, and trying not to be too delighted when he acquiesced to moving so that the trapezius and other dorsal muscles shifted under his wingless skin. 

Tom-Cat’s back wasn’t really bare. There were scars. 

Lots of scars.

Maybe that was how he knew just what to say to help Miiya not feel low. Maybe some of those scars marked where bits of Tom had been taken away, too. The Aeros girl got a little quiet at that thought, especially when she washed and massaged skin marked by corresponding sets of long-faded horizontal lines. They looked a little like gills, or old claw marks. 

Even though she didn’t talk as much after that, Miiya was still having a fine old time, and it got finer the lower she went. 

Washing and oiling her wings with Tom was fun too. It wasn’t a terribly intricate process, fortunately, because there was a medload of wing area to cover. Miiya usually only gave them a good wash once a month or even less often if she didn’t fly in the rain much. Unlike the rest of her skin, the flesh where the feathers rooted didn’t sweat or secrete much of anything. Unless she dragged them through some ick (and she did not make a habit of that) her wings stayed pretty clean by themselves. However, RIGHT after she had washed them last, she’d gone in the river, and they’d been kind of river-y ever since. Once cleaned and oiled, they would repel water, dust, and grime pretty well, but not if completely submerged.

“Because I’m not, ya know, a duck.” Miiya elucidated, since cleaning her wings had brought her back to her usual chattery self.

And then they were all done. Which was kind of a bummer, because it sure was fun hanging out in the hot spring with Tom. It was also kind of not a bummer because it was totally time for lunch, and making another run at Myrae’s seemingly endless stocks of food. Tom-Cat needn’t have worried about insulting Miiya’s weight. She had existed in a state of perpetual near-starvation in Daelows, which had only been exacerbated when she started aviating regularly. Add in the additional caloric burn of being a Storm Dancer, and there had never been, nor was there likely to be, a time when Miiya could gain--what she judged to be--enough curves. 

But that was not going to keep her from trying. If she kept eating and stayed ground-bound, maybe she’d gain enough to have something to throw in Tom’s face, flaunt in Myrae’s tightest, get her noticed for more than just her eyes and sunny smile. As she declared it time for another meal and led Tom-Cat inside, those thoughts put Miiya’s lips into a half-joking quirk.  

To: Duskhill


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