Natsu has risen early this morning and is currently in the shower. Jericho can hear the water as it runs and hear Natsu’s lilting voice as she sings to herself. The sun is nowhere near rising as yet and the sounds from outside indicate that the Factory is sleeping, as much as it does.
Certainly none of Jericho’s household staff are up and moving around.
To his side, the space that Natsu occupied is still warm telling him she’s not long left it.
All of a sudden there’s a pressure on his back, not too heavy but it seems to moving in a circle and … kneading. And … it’s purring.
It’s early enough that it’s yet dark. Natsuki is up before the sun which might suggest there’s something on her mind. Or perhaps she just wanted a hot shower before all the water got used. That’s possible.
“What…” There are animals on the factory but none in his residence so his mind does not go there. He reaches back trying to feel what’s there. There… really shouldn’t be anything but clearly something is.
There’s probably something on the part-elfs mine, it’s unusual for her to leave their bed before Jericho. She enjoys snuggling with the Baronet too much.
The kneading has stopped but whatever it is, is soft and warm and … fluffy. And it’s licking Jericho’s ear as he lies there. The purring getting louder as it does.
//Nice…// That sounds in the Baronet head as whatever this seems to settle. It’s not heavy but it has settled in a way that will make it hard for him to dislodge – easily.
The weight is the thing. That’s the part that confuses him and tells him it’s more than a dream at the same time. There’s a long pause before the Baronet tries to roll over. Maybe… that’ll get rid of whatever this is. Or at least get it off his back.
“What’s nice?” Jericho asks before realising that there really shouldn’t be another voice in the room.
//This is. Warm.// Comes the reply that isn’t a voice in the room but in Jericho’s mind. //Don’t move. Just got comfortable…// PURR PURR
It’s almost like an anti-gravity machine, the way the weight seems to be far heavier than the surface mass indicates. As Jericho rolls, there’s YOWL of displeasure and something sharps digs into Jericho’s back, enough to hurt and potentially draw a little blood.
“Jericho?” Natsu’s voice comes from the bathroom. “Are you alright?”
“No…” Jericho grunts as he continues to twist and reach behind him. Something is decidedly wrong and the grunt becomes a bit louder when pain is added to the mix.
“Something is in my bed which is not on the very short list of things that should be in my bed…”
It’s a very, very short list. It doesn’t generally include things that purr, yowl or have claws.
The yowl gets more indignant as Jericho twists. He manages to move it and start to roll, whilst getting his hand on it. It bites him as claws dig in, trying to gain more purchase.
As he moves it, he’ll get the impression of big, liquid, lavendar coloured eyes and … something green…
“What do you mean there’s something in your bed?” Natsu calls out. “I didn’t leave anything there…” like her hairbrush or something like that.
The door does start to open though as leaves the bathroom.
“OW!” Clawing and biting. And drawing blood. None of these are on the approved list of ways to wake up so far as Jericho is concerned. The big lavender eyes and green whatever it is get a hard shove and Jericho activates the shield implant on his right arm to slap that inbetween him and whatever is here.
There’s a gun on his nightstand which he reaches for with his bloodied hand.
As Jericho turns fully, he’s hissed at. The purring has stopped to be replaced by the indignant sound. On the bed beside him, on the other side of his shield is a … furry creature. About 15″ long from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. Its nose is snub, much like a cats, and on its head are three small horns.
The fur is green and the markings around its muzzle look like … feathers.
//Why did you do that? I was comfortable …// It asks Jericho, ignoring Natsuki who’s looking over this … staring in shock.
“Jericho!!” The cat-thing turns to look at Natsu and ‘meows’ at her. “Nyota?”
“I wasn’t.” Jericho says keeping the small energy shield between him and the claws. It looks… kind of like a cat. Except for the feathers. And the horns. Okay it’s not like a cat. It was purring though.
“Natsuki… you know this… thing?”
Thing. It might be a D-Bee. Nat has been called a thing before. But to Jericho… it looks like an Animal.
//There you are kitten. I was just getting comfortable when your … mate … decided he wasn’t.// The little thing looks a little like a dragon, as well as a cat. Settling in a sitting position, tail wrapped around it’s feet, it takes its time to lick one of its paws and gazes up at Jericho.
//Is this one of your finest specimans, kitten?// Jericho can hear all of this.
“Nyota!” Natsu sighs and moves to Jericho, intent on looking at his back as she settles beside him. “You won’t need that, leannan. Nyota … is a friend, I suppose you can say.”
//And Nyota is not a thing. Nyota is an Arach-Cait.//
“An Arach-Cait?” Jericho finally lowers his shield and sits up. Yes he’s bleeding.
“Okay. How did this Nyota get into the house… and what is it doing here?” Still it, but that’s more because it’s not at all clear whether or not Nyota is male or female or from one of those strange races that isn’t either. Or is both.
Rfits Earth is an odd place.
//Nyota is not an it.// The arach-cait says placidly, licking its paw and gazing up at Jericho. He’s made himself very much at home in the middle of the bed. //And I phased of course. I wanted to see what kitten had aligned herself with.//
“Nyota is a ‘he’, Jericho.” Natsuki says quietly from behind him, inspecting the scratches that the cat thing had inflicted on him. “You can let the shield down. He won’t hurt you. I don’t think he meant to hurt you, did you Nyota?”
//Of course I didn’t, kitten. I wouldn’t have tried to nest on his back, if I had. I’m not sure he is such a good mate for you. Is he the best you could find? There are others at home who are … better.//
//Are you sure you are a good mate for kitten?// That’s directed to Jericho as the arach-cait grooms itself.
“Why is he calling you Kitten?” Jericho thinks he knows what the answer to that is but assuming is often very bad for beings like this. It gets you into all kinds of trouble.
“I am… if she wants me to be. And I think she does. What better than the one she chose herself?”
Why is he answering this cat-thing again? As opposed to inviting it to make itself at home… somewhere else?
//A kitten is young and impulsive.// Nyota says, answering for Natsu and drawing another sigh from the woman.
“For whatever reason, he’s decided that’s what I am to him. A kitten. Young and impulsive. I’m not sure where that comes from, really.” Jericho might. He’s been exposed to her Elven nature.
//Perhaps you are right.// Nyota considers Jericho’s answer, gazing over his shoulder at Natsu with lavendar eyes. //She was ever willfull and I can see that hasn’t changed. I would ask why she chose you, but I don’t think either of you will answer.// It seems that it was good answer from Jericho. The purring commences again.
//Well then, I suppose we should get you training for your trials…//
“No. No trials, Nyota. Jericho is human and we will live here.” Natsu says quietly.
Why //is// Jericho answering the arach-cait? Can he invite to … make itself at home elsewhere?
“I have no idea why he might think you impulsive.” Jericho mutters half to himself. She’ll hear him though. And while she may not think herself impulsive… she is.
“What trials?” That’s really more a question for Natsuki tha Nyota but the feline thing may well answer. He suspects this has something to do with her elven heritage. And he suspects Nyota does as well given that she mentioned ‘home’.
“I’m not impulsive.” Natsu smirks, lips near Jericho ears as she wraps her arms around his shoulders. “I’m … passionate…” About oh so many things.
//I’m sure Morgyn mentioned something.// Nyota answers. It seems the cat-thing is familiar, at least, with Natsu’s grandmother. //You’re to marry the granddaughter of an elven noble. You need to meet certain standards, of course. Nothing too difficult, of course. A test of arms and test of character … // The arach-cait blinks and looks at Natsuki, then Jericho //You will not let her return to her home?//
“That’s not home, Nyota. We’ve had this discussion. I’ve chosen to live here.”
“That you are…” Jericho murmurs softly, reaching over to kiss Natsuki on the cheek.
“Morgyn did in fact not.” Not that he remembers. He remembers trials coming up in other manners. As in he and Natsuki will probably endure a number. If you ask him he’s enduring one right now.
“She’s never expressed any desire to go to what I think you’re referring to. And anyway so far as I knew home was the Taniguchi manor and she’s there all the time.”
//She’s not there now …// Nyota points out //And she’s often here, from what I’ve observed. I’m not sure it matters whether kitten plans to live there, the trials may find you anyway.//
Natsu smiles and kisses Jericho’s cheek in return “Doesn’t that sound so much better than impulsive?” she murmurs. “What do you mean, prepare him anyway, Nyota? I’ve not heard of this before.”
//Of course wouldn’t have, kitten. You never been back and others have decided to leave you alone. But now that you’ve taken a mate, there’s rumblings.// Of course there are.
//If you don’t want my assistance, you’ll likely face them unprepared. Whether kitten thinks you will or not.// Nyota stands and stretches, the green of its fur shining brightly. //It’s a nice place you have here though …//
Jericho loops an arm around Natsuki and forrows his brow at Nyota. “Your assistance, hrm? Does your assistance involve sleeping on my back?” What would have happened when Nat came out of the shower if he hadn’t woken up he wonders?
He suspects he would have woken up then. Nyota seemed rather reticent to leave his back. He’s not sure how he feels about being used as a pollow again but even less sure he wants to simply dismiss this being without finding out what it came for.
Would Nyota have let Jericho sleep or had he planned to introduce himself like this. It’s unlikely that he would have let Jericho sleep, either way.
//It might…// The arach-cait smirks at the Baronet. Yes, that’s a smirk on its very feline face. //… but I think kitten might object to that. I was just waiting for kitten to arrive before speaking.// He never uses Natsu’s name or call her //her//.
Nyota stretches again and turns to look at the pair //I think I’m going to go hunting and come back later… // Without another word, he just melts through the wall and … disappears.
“Well, then.” Natsu answers.
“I’m going to guess that you know him through your… grandmother.” Jericho’s actually not clear on how much time if any Natsuki had spent with Morgyn and her people. He had assumed none but he hadn’t ever actually asked. Why would she not have lived among Dogwood and it’s people. He knows she has been associated with the House for some time…
“Why did he call what I’m going to assume is some manner of elven land ‘home’? Had you been there before?”
“Yes, of course.” Natsu answers, moving to sit … next to Jericho now that their bed is clearer. “I spent some time there when I was younger. After Mother and Father died. Grandmama took me there but it … didn’t work out. So I returned here and went to school.”
She must have been youngish when she went there, then.
“It’s not home for me, but is for Nyota. He doesn’t grasp that I won’t settle there.” Or why she won’t.
Jericho can imagine why it didn’t work out. Being a half breed in any society can be rough of the society values certain traits and thinks they’re inborn. Being part human could have been as much a curse as being part elf is in Dogwood.
“So he, it, whatever, came to look in on you? Or do you think it’s more ‘came to try to convince you to go back’.”
He’s not especially worried that she WILL go back but a phasing cat dragon thing could be troublesome.
Or worse, in some ways. Morgyn hinted at some of that when she spoke with Jericho. Either way, Natsu has made Dogwood her home and solidified that with contracting herself.
“I … don’t know. That’s not like Nyota. Either way. He doesn’t act unless there’s good reason too.”
“So we should assume that there’s more to this visit than just looking in on you.” That suits Jericho just fine. It makes more sense in his world that there was some kind of ulterior motive to that kind of drop in or at least he likes to think that there has to be some grander purpose to a talking cat thing winding up randomly on his back very early one morning.
The Baronet draws Nat a bit closer and lies back down. “The sun’s not up for a bit yet. Why don’t we enjoy the quiet of the morning before the day calls us back to work?”