Author Topic: Anything But Numb  (Read 32108 times)

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Luna Moon

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2008, 10:05:48 AM »
Alec leaned away slightly as the cougar Tau came to her. She reached out slowly with her hand letting him sniff her. She looked up at Morgaine then back at Tau. "Don\'t worry, I don\'t think he will attack. You don\'t need to be nervous. Animals can smell it sometimes, I can now. Don\'t be nervous." She smiled at her then at Tau. "You know," she said, looking at the cat\'s face, "I can see the resemblance."

She let the cat sniff her. "I thought the bones would be worse. I expected more breaking, but I\'m glad that there wasn\'t that much." She shrugged. "If you thought that was bad, listen when I change. My bones split." She looked at Tau\'s face. How do you kknow me now? she thought to the cat. Do you know me as Alec or the girl that seems oddly familiar? She watched the cougar Tau to see what he would do next.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2008, 06:48:20 AM »
Tau snorted fine droplets of nose mucus upon Alacer\'s arm as he got hold of her scent, licking at the back of her hand with all the delicacy of a kitten lapping at milk - except his tongue was no kitten\'s, it was far rougher and stronger, moving Alec\'s hand with the force of his attention despite the gentleness of his intent.

Something about her taste obviously prompted further investigation by his feline senses, because all of a sudden, Tau reared up on his hind legs and half mounted the couch, his long, powerful body straddling the other shifter\'s (paws on the couch either side of her legs).  He snuffled into her hair, exhaling as much as inhaling, and grumbling low in his throat - it wasn\'t a noise of annoyance though, it was a prequel to a purr, like a thoughtful hmming to himself about what he was smelling.

After pressing his face all around Alec\'s head and neck, he licked her throat and opened his jaws to test the width of her shoulder, moving a huge paw onto her thigh and looking for all the world like he was going to push her sideways on the couch and instigate one of their wrestling matches.  He didn\'t, though, for something about tasting and smelling her triggered a form of familiarity in his brain and he merely pushed off her and dropped to the carpet again with a muted thud.

The big cat was facing morgaine, sniffing in her direction as if sampling from a palette of fruit.  He padded over to her and nuzzled around her legs, poking and prodding at her knees and thighs with his broad nose, snuffling a bit less than he had with Alec.  After a minute or so of that treatment, he looked consideringly up at Morgaine, as if waiting for her to scratch his ears, blinked and bounded up onto the couch beside her.  With no further ado, he then plopped his long, graceful body down on the space beside her, butted against her thigh and then rolled onto his back, paws poised in the air.  This little manoeuvre put his big head into her lap, throat exposed and not looking at her.

It seemed the large cat had found a place he wanted to rest... or be petted.  He flexed his claws and commenced purring, his blue eyes falling closed (though only Alacer would be able to see that from her angle) as he rubbed languourously against the couch and Morgaine.  Although it looked like a loving gesture, it was really just a way for him to leave his scent on the furniture and the woman who didn\'t bear any of his smells - because the other one smelled enough of him to satisfy his territorial urges.  The two humans might\'ve got a hint that he wasn\'t all just cuddly fur and rumbly throat noises from the fact that his long tail, which should have been dangling onto the floor, was flicking about the place in agitation... like he was about to attack or spring elsewhere any minute, he just needed a few moments to decide what he\'d like to do more.

Until then, he was content to swipe his head from side to side, up and down Morgaine\'s leg, and wriggle his huge, muscular body all over his couch.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2008, 07:25:36 AM »
Being no expert in the body language of big cats – or any animal, for that matter – Morgaine nodded, and did her best to follow Alacer\'s advice. She found no difficulty in releasing the tension held in the set of her shoulders as her much-changed host manhandled (no pun intended) his houseguest. She even found a smile spreading across her face, which only widened as he turned his attention on her.
 
The smile, then, became a full-fledged laugh as he leapt onto the couch and laid his huge head in her lap. It was easy to forget that he was anything more than a huge housecat in those initial moments, and Morgaine caught herself in the midst of forming such an opinion. This was a predator; claws like the ones flexing from the pads of his enormous feet didn\'t come pre-packaged on any other type of creature. That, and he was huge – at least as far as Morgaine was concerned. By itself, the head currently rubbing against her legs took up most of her rather generous lap. She suspected, also, that he was far from tame, and only accepted them because his human side knew them. That thought made something inside of her very happy indeed. The purr emanating from his throat made her happy, too. She wanted to touch him; to see if the fur was really as soft as it looked, but she didn\'t fancy trying to rub his belly, and there was no way she would go near his throat, exposed as it was. He seemed friendly enough, but she also didn\'t want to try her luck by reaching around for his ears – part of this being (of course) that she didn\'t want to jostle him; she liked him where he was – though she was also eager to see more off how he moved about the apartment.
 
She looked toward Alacer, letting Tau do as he pleased – but paying close attention, even so, to his movements – and a awed joy flickered in the depths of her dark eyes. "Is it okay to touch him?" she asked, past caring whether or not the question was silly.

Luna Moon

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2008, 10:46:13 AM »
Alec leaned back slightly when he leaned up on her. She laughed when he snuffled her hair, breathing in and making the medium lengths fly around her head. She chuckled as she watched him get on Morgaine\'s lap, rubbing all over her and the couch. Alec smiled as Morgaine laughed, the woman\'s pure joy in the big cat laying on her evident. Alec laughed quietly, a little scared to get any louder.

When Morgaine spoke she considered for a moment. "Well," she looked at Tau\'s tail and saw he was flicking it. "I wouldn\'t with his tail like that. I mean, normal cats flick their tails when they are agitated. Tau probably doesn\'t even know us now. He probably thinks we are slightly familiar but he is completely different. An animal." She watched Tau and chuckled. "Though he does seem pretty cute as a cougar though. You have to admit, the resemblance is still there." She looked at Morgaine and shrugged.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2008, 06:35:13 PM »
After about five languorous minutes scenting Morgaine, Tau suddenly performed a neat spin-and-sit-up manoeuvre on the couch.  His back legs stuck out to the side and mostly off the couch, but the length of his body and his forepaws were secure on the soft cushions as he lifted his head into the air and sniffed, looking in the direction of Alacer\'s bedroom.  He\'d obviously caught the scent of something interesting in there, for his ears were perked up and his tail had begun to swing, rather than twitch.

A few head lifts and audible snorts in the air told him that he smelled a delicious rodent odour coming from her bedroom (mixed in with the lingering - but faded - scents of his brother) and he rose to his feet, intending to investigate properly.

In the few moments he took to gauge the gap that existed beyond where he currently stood (over Morgaine), the females would likely realise that he was going to spring away and explore whatever he\'d detected on the air, but only Alec would understand what he was going after.  If she valued the cages and her food at all, she would try to get in his way and close the door, but her reflexes would have to be very quick... and Tau would make short work of the enclosures sitting on the desk in there, if he got by.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2008, 08:06:21 AM »
"Oh. Okay." Morgaine\'s disappointment barely touched the joyful glow of her aura. She simply nodded, and looked toward the appendage Alacer had indicated -- to find the fluffy plume twitching madly, as his fingers had so often done in his human form. She hadn\'t noticed. Morgaine had never been allowed to keep pets (though she had, once, tried taking care of a stray cat. Her father crushed it with a shovel when he caught her at it, scolding his young daughter because the animal was \'unclean\') so she had no idea what most of his body language meant, and was grateful to have Alacer -- who was obviously knowledgeable -- there to tell her what was what.

Even so, his next signal wasn\'t all that difficult to interpret; he almost literally coiled like a spring on the edge of the couch. What surprised the singer was the speed with which he got there. Something that big shouldn\'t be able to move so quickly on such a small surface, especially not with that much grace. No matter what happened next, though, she instinctively leaned as far out of his path as possible without falling off the couch. She did not want to be anywhere near those claws when he made his leap to whereverland, the home of this irresistible smell she could only begin to wonder at.

Luna Moon

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2008, 11:43:53 AM »
Alec smiled at Morgaine as she watched the big cat joyfully. Alec leaned back slightly at the quickness of his movements as Morgaine leaned back. She watched curiously befoe she realized what he smelt. "Oh, crap," she said calmly as she grabbed the couch and leaped over the back nimbly toward her room, which she ran to quickly, thanking her namesake graciously all the way. When she got to the door she shut it quickly, turning on her foot and landing in a crouch outside her door.

All of these movements were conducted within seconds. If Tau had followed and wanted into her room badly enough, she wouldn\'t be scared to shift and defend her room. She didn\'t want to start eating rats out of the yard and risk getting her head chopped off with a shovel, which is what people in Arizona did to unsuspected invading snakes. "No Tau, you can\'t get into my room." she said it firmly at the cat that had sniffed her food. Alec stayed in a crouch, prepared if he wanted to force his way in. Though more intricate than Tau\'s transformation, Alec had learned over the years to change faster and faster. It hurt to change fast but she had the ability to change within a few seconds, if need be. If he didn\'t persue it, Alec was ready enough to dig out one of Tau\'s raw steaks from the kitchen for the now cougar Tau.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2008, 11:36:52 PM »
Tau did follow, but lazily, launching himself like a missile through the air and coming down quietly just in front of Alacer.  He butted his head against her and pressed his muzzle to the door, sniffing delicately and making a soft yowl in the back of his throat.  What he smelled within the room and what he took from her body language were enough to deter him from fighting her to enter the bedroom, however, and he turned away.

The big cat padded through the apartment then, strong shoulders rolling in his body as he investigated the familiar smells of the place - and any new ones that had gone undetected while the blinkers of more human olfactory senses were on.  He was relaxed in his exploration, but his tail kept swinging as he went.  As always, he exited through the sliding door in his bedroom to spray his scent on the balcony (some upstart domestic cat had had a go at wiping out his last declaration of dominance) before roaming back into the apartment.

His tail was flicking and he was looking for some fun now that he\'d secured his environment and broadcast his ownership for all surrounding beasts to be impressed by.  A relaxing wrestle was certainly the way to go and the female who didn\'t have any animal smells about her except what he\'d put on her was his goal; if she was still on the couch, he would drag her off, if she\'d begun following after him, he would pounce on her where she stood and push her down so that he could wrap her up in his arms and lick her face better... where and when and how didn\'t bother him at all, when he wanted to play (claws sheathed, of course).

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2008, 05:12:38 AM »
Immediately , Morgaine got up on her knees and spun around, leaning out over the arm of the couch to watch the proceedings, "What\'s in there?" she asked – guessing correctly that that room must be Alacer\'s – as she watched Tau poke his nose about the door. Shortly after, though, he lost interest, and she seemed to as well, preferring to watch her host prowl about the apartment, standing up on her knees, prairie dog-style - to get a better view.

And what a surreal sight that was. As little as a year ago, the sight of a full-grown mountain lion prowling about the interior of a second-floor apartment would have sent her 180 degrees in the opposite direction, feeling sorry for the dumbass who left his patio door open, and glad it wasn\'t her house getting ransacked. Perhaps, if it were a real (well, simple perhaps, was a better word) puma, she might have done the same thing – doubtless, though, she would try and hold a conversation with it first. Obviously, things had been a lot different a year ago.

As she watched him, the singer\'s mind wandered back to a question she\'d originally had: how much of the man she\'d met was in there? He seemed to be almost completely assimilated – except for the fact that he was acting more or less friendly toward the human-shaped beings in his vicinity. That thought lead to another: How did he know when to change back? She doubted very much that big cats often thought to themselves \'Man! All this hair is cramping my style! I so wish I were bald and bipedal, right now.\'

At about the time this thought process was going on, Tau had wandered out onto the patio, and since she somehow felt it would be rude to watch her host do his business (once she realized that\'s what was going on) Morgaine turned her eyes back towards Alacer (wherever she may have got to) and spoke what was on her mind.

"So, how d– WAAAAAAGH."

At least, she tried to, before she was dragged unceremoniously to the floor. Even her surprised cry was cut off by a faceful of sandpaper tongue as her body was wrapped in a powerful feline embrace, before she even had a chance to feel the carpet under her back, or the panic that had bubbled up in that split second. Her tattooed face crinkled under the tongue, a product of the velcro texture scraping over her skin, but she laughed anyway. "Hey!" she gasped, smiling and wriggling about in his grasp in an attempt to escape the questing tongue, "You\'re in my grille, mister!"

Luna Moon

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2008, 11:35:14 AM »
Alec let out a low hiss as Tau sniffed the door, her reptilian side fighting the mammal slightly. She relaxed however as he lost interest. Alec looked up at Morgaine as she spoke, leaning over the couch. Alec shrugged slightly, "My food." She said it simply, leaving some to wonder what kind of food it was. Alec returned to her feet, back to her complete height as she watched TAu walk around the apartment. He checked some smells out as Alec returned to the living room. She sat back down on the couch next to Morgaine, glad that snakes didn\'t mark territory. She looked away from Tau as he marked outside his patio. The snake woman took off the hoodie she was wearing, regulating her temperature once again.

She watched as the giant cat came and tackled Morgaine. Alec laughed at the situation. "My guess is that you don\'t smell like an animal and he wants you to." She smiled as she laughed again, watching the cougar Tau lick Morgaine\'s face as he seemed to hug her in his strong feline grasp. She smiled at how odd the situation was. A shapeshifter turned into a cougar, a shapeshifter that turns into a snak as a human, and a human all taking in the playful feline form of their new friend. She laughed at how odd this would sound to someone that didn\'t know about their world.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2008, 10:27:43 AM »
Tau was less concerned with how Morgaine smelled than he was with having fun.  His growling returned - though it was mixed with the very unusual cougar ability of purring, indicating that he wasn\'t angry, just occupied (and could be angry if the whim took him) - as he began rolling his captive bodily around on the floor.

He stopped licking and pulled his head back to get a look at her, then opened his broad, strong jaws and began nipping at her arms and body - mostly just holding her arm in his mouth, gnawing a little and then letting go, but chasing her hands if they moved before his face (ears perked curiously) and batting at them while he attempted to bite.  His claws were sheathed but his hits, when they landed, weren\'t soft.  In addition to keeping her upper body under his control, he kicked at her legs with both of his back ones (somewhat like a rabbit) in a rapid attack that wasn\'t too terrible to him, but which would likely leave bruises on her hips and thighs later, simply because he was more powerful than he understood, in comparison to the slight female.

After a while, he would begin to let her go so that Morgaine might think she could escape him, only to have him pounce on her anew but even that would grow stale and eventually he sat up suddenly, four legs poised under him, tail flicking, ears flattened and looking around the apartment in agitation.  The domestic, human side of him could only stand to be pandered to for so long in cat form, before he needed to immerse himself in the wilderness; to travel and hunt.  He\'d had enough of wrestling tamely (well, tamely for him) and now sought the freedom of the forest so that he could stretch his claws, mark some territory and investigate all that smelled ripe.

Of course, this was also the moment that triggered the change in him; when something inside him reasoned that if he left as a cougar, he wouldn\'t return and he was committed to living as a human for a while longer (at least).  He therefore needed to change back, or flee.

Tau\'s back legs slid out from under him and he thumped back down onto his side (almost as if he\'d been pushed).  The only motion visible from him for a few moments was his ribs rising and falling in rapid pants as his body gathered itself together for the change, then the cracking bones and movement beneath the furry skin began to pick up pace.  His back legs began to elongate as his tail was sucked up into his body as if by a straw.  This time, the noise wasn\'t nearly so loud, for the process of small bones turner into longer, stronger ones was quieter.  The fur upon his body seemed to draw into his skin all at once (it was quite a bizarre sight, to see tawny fur one moment, then smooth, humanly-haired skin the next) and be the catalyst for the extra length to be pushed into arms (his fingers had already formed), muscles to be stretched over much wider shoulders... even the length of his penis to be extended so it was thicker and lolled along his thigh, sprouted from an inscrutable patch of hair.

With a few blinks, Tau leaned up onto his right elbow, tilting his head to the right and rolling his shoulders like he was trying out his new body.  His left leg arched up, making him look distinctly like a sveltely-muscled clothes model (sans clothes) sprawled across the cover of some elite magazine, but what he was really doing was waiting for his internals to finish putting themselves back into position - a silent but necessary process.  His brain, also, didn\'t immediately spring back to human size and give him something to chat about; his vocal cords needed to reassert themselves and then human thoughts needed to travel the synapses in his brain, rather then the animal impulses that had just been dominating it.

It took about two minutes for Tau the human to become aware of himself, clearing his throat to get a feel for speech once more and looking around as he recalled that he\'d changed for the benefit of his guests.  He was still a very sleek heavily-muscled package as a man, but the shift had aged him very subtly; there was now a tinge of salt mixed in with the pepper of his hair - at his sideburns, stretching up to his temples - and the lines of his face were ever so slightly deeper.  He looked to be older in the face too, his bright blue eyes seeming to shine out from the face of a man approaching forty, rather than just cresting thirty, but his body was as toned and angular as ever and he wore the new age with grace.

Recalling what he\'d done as a cougar was much like remembering an instant where he\'d woken from a deep slumber on a long road trip - like he\'d sat up at one point and watched the scenery blurring by but couldn\'t recall exactly what he\'d seen because he\'d dropped back to sleep almost immediately.  He only vaguely remembered wrestling with Morgaine, but it was enough to spur him to sit up and look in her direction in startlement.  "I did not hurt you, did I?" he asked worriedly, registering that he was on the rug in the lounge area and that his pants were close by but he was more interested in checking that the fight hadn\'t injured his guest.  He believed he\'d been gentle, but what he believed and what was actually true was very rarely the same, when it came to women.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2008, 11:55:25 PM »
When you hold a puppy on it\'s back with it\'s front legs pinned up above it\'s head, the response is almost universally the same -- nippy little teeth, flailing limbs, lolling tongue -- and quite similar to the provoked in Morgaine when she realized Tau wasn\'t going to lose interest in the first two minutes, and damned if he wasn\'t mauling her with those powerful back legs of his. Although she didn\'t bite (because who wanted a mouthful of fur?) and her teeth stayed firmly clamped shut, with little growly sounds of her own sometimes escaping through them -- her strategy had about the same effectiveness as the puppy\'s. Which was to say, nil.

But then, finally! She could escape! There was an opening! Haul those aching legs under you, honey, this is your shot!

Until he pounced on her from behind, and the air whooshed out of her lungs with a grunt, and the process started all over again.

Still, somehow, she was rather disappointed when he sat back, looking unhappy (as much as a cougar could look unhappy, at any rate). She\'d been this close to turning the tide, she told herself. Somehow, he must\'ve known it, and that\'s why the look. Yeah, she smirked as she lay panting on the carpet, you better run, punk. But then she rolled over onto her back, to see that he wasn\'t as cougar-shaped any more.

Up close, the process was a hundred times more disturbing to watch (and to hear, despite it being much quieter now - body parts weren\'t supposed to slurp. Ever.), but oddly fascinating at the same time. When it was over, though, her gaze traveled up his new (old) body (starting politely above the waist, which took a good deal of effort -- though his nudity overall didn\'t seem to affect her overmuch) to his face. She sat up when he did, smiling dopily, still breathing somewhat hard, "Naw," she said. It wasn\'t strictly true; she could feel the predicted bruises already starting to form on the insides of her thighs -- but she was unhurt in any way that would last, as she assumed he meant. There wasn\'t an inch of her skin that wasn\'t intimately familiar with bruises, "That was fun, man." As she studied his face -- all crinkled up in that concerned expression, her smile slowly flowed into a perplexed crease between her brows. He was different, but she couldn\'t place how immediately. After a moment\'s study, though, she grasped it; he looked impossibly older.

The silence stretched as she searched his face, leaning forward. The skin was ever-so-slightly creased where it shouldn\'t be. Where it hadn\'t been before. The singer reached out, brushing the gray at his left temple with a feather-light touch of her calloused fingers, "What happened?" she asked, almost a whisper.

Luna Moon

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2008, 12:11:57 AM »
Alec laughed as she watched Tau play with Morgaine. She knew he wouldn\'t leave any lasting damage from previous experience with big cats. A chuckle escaped her as she watched Tau give Morgaine a place to move then pouncecd on her. Alec knew that the woman would be very bruised later. She watched with a slight amusement as he wrestled with her, not that much different than the wrestling they did. It was very similar. Tau sat up suddenly with discontent on his face then flopped over. Alec turned serious again. She knew that look, when you know you\'re about to turn back. She sat quietly as she watched the furry form turn into her gracious host again.

Alec kept her eyes above his waist and immediately noticed his older appearance. She grimaced slightly as Morgaine asked him what happened. Since Tau answered earlier for her she decided to take the liberty this time. "Every time Tau shifts, he ages. Tau ages in cougar years, not human. He\'s actually about six years old." Alec looked at his face again, noticing that he looked rather well in it. She seemed sad at the fact. "Damn Tau, I didn\'t know it could be this bad." She leaned in closer until she was next to Morgaine, feeling the heat from the woman beside her. She didn\'t touch him however, because the other woman was lightly touching his temple.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2008, 12:32:36 AM »
Tau was initially confused at Morgaine\'s question and his hand lifted hastily to follow in the wake of hers, expecting to feel his hair gone or something equally as drastic but no, there was still the same thick, wavy thatch of hair in place that there\'d always been in his human form.  He tilted his head and frowned, ready to repeat her question in a far more confused way, when Alec answered and his expression lifted to one of enlightenment.

"Ahh," he said in realisation, giving a deprecating shrug as he lowered his hand back to his lap and met Morgaine\'s gaze directly.  It made him feel inexplicably warm inside to see her concern and he felt reassured by her touch.  Even though he spoke jokingly to Alacer, his stare didn\'t shift from Morgaine.

"Gee, how bad is it?  You make it sound like I look ancient now when really I should be looking," he paused to calculate silently, then gave up - his brain was still too addled from shifting to perform such tasks this quickly, "well, a bit less than middle aged.  Cougars live for about fifteen years and I am over six, close to seven, which is almost halfway - I have not shifted for a while, so I have not shown too many signs of ageing.  For some reason, shifting seems to bring it on rapidly, I do not know why.  Am I... repulsive now?" he asked worriedly, not being overly vain about his looks but feeling that being repulsive looking would make working at the Oligarchy more difficult - if he was trying to make himself known as approachable to shifters who would find him hideous to look at, he would be defeating his own purposes.

Offline Harlequin

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Re: Anything But Numb
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2008, 04:55:07 PM »
Morgaine, too, kept her eyes on Tau\'s face as Alacer spoke, though she registered the woman\'s words quite clearly. Seven years old? A profound and inexplicable sorrow spread through her veins, blossoming in the depths of her brown eyes. When she was seven, she\'d just been starting the first grade, and he looked like he could be a college professor. How could he fit in all the experiences? All the joy? All the pain? Everything it meant to be --

He\'s not human, Morgaine.

Still, there was so much to learn! How long did he have until he wasn\'t able to do even that?

"Oh, Tau," she said, still, barely a whisper, as she traced his hairline, and then the line of his jaw, with her fingertips. Her touch was still feather-light, as if she expected him to turn to dust at any moment. "I\'m so--" what, sorry? This is his life. He\'s accepted it, it\'ll just be painful to hear you say you\'re fucking sorry. What is there to do? Still, something in her wouldn\'t let it go; this simply could not be all there was for him. Some part of her couldn\'t stand the thought of him – or anybody – whiling away this little time in an office way up in Rapunzel\'s tower.

Instead of finishing the statement, however, she found herself almost smiling at his question, "No!" she said emphatically, with an almost laugh to go with her almost smile "Repulsive? Never. Distinguished, maybe." She let her hand drop back to her side, and her eyes followed it reluctantly to the carpet momentarily, a deep breath trying to work it\'s way into the knot in her chest.