by Mark Andron and Time Lady
“*sigh*” She hands Tora her washcloth. “Want to help me wash my back?”
Tora takes the washcloth from her hand. He looks at her, his eyes saying “Do you really want to ask?” With the washcloth in hand, he slowly massages her back .
“Mmmm... that feels good....” She leans forward. Tora washes lower, brushing his fingers across the base of her tail, where it joined her body. Tegan jumped.
“Did I... hurt you?”
“No,” she said quickly. “It’s just... the skin is very sensitive there. And I don’t mean sensitive irritating.... it’s sensitive in a really pleasant way.”
“Ah... well, considering what we just did, do you want me to avoid it for now?”
“If you want to get this bath finished any time soon.”
“Well then... I’d hate for either of us to catch cold.”
Smiling, Tegan takes the washcloth from him. “Turn around.” Tora obediently twist himself under Tegan so that his back is now exposed to her. He rests his arms on the edge of the tub, and his chin on his arms. Tegan soaps up the washcloth, then begins gently scrubbing Tora’s back.
“Ah... this is bliss.”
Tegan doesn’t respond and, since Tora’s back is to her, he can’t see her smiling as she scrubs his back. “Ooh.”
“You just hit a spot that’s been nagging me for a while.”
“Ah.” Tegan rubs the washcloth in small circles over the spot Tora mentioned. Tora shifts his body in response, allowing himself to feel more comfortable.
“Here.” Tegan hands Tora the washcloth again. “Why don’t you finish the rest of your bath while I start taking care of my fur?”
“Thanks.” He starts to wash his left arm, over the scar tissue. “You give a good back rub.”
“So do you,” she purrs as she stands up. Water streams off her body as she reaches for a towel and wraps it around herself. She steps out of the tub and sits down on a bench in the bathroom, then begins towel drying the fur on her arms and legs. Tora puts the washcloth on the edge of the tub, takes some water in his hands, and splashes his hair with it. He lets his hair become soaked. Tegan notices how relaxed he seems to be. “Been a while since you’ve had a good soak in the tub?”
“Yep. Especially one like this.”
Tegan smiles. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a soak in the tub quite like this one either.” She pulls a special brush out of cat space and begins brushing the fur.
“If you don’t mind, I think I’ll just fall asleep in here.” Tora places his arms on the edge of the tub, tilts his head back and closes his eyes.
“Did I keep you up last night?” Tora only smiles, his eyes still closed. “Poor baby,” she purrs. Tora’s body moves as though he is snickering, but he still says nothing.
Since Tora’s eyes are closed, he doesn’t notice Tegan standing and walking over to the faucet on the tub. She reaches for the knob marked “cold” and turns it full out. At first, Tora seems to do nothing. And then, he starts to squirm slightly. “Normally, I think someone would really get upset by someone doing that. But since I’m used to cold showers, and because it’s you, I’ll make an exception to the rule.” Amazingly, his eyes are still shut.
Tegan shrugs. “It was worth a try. Now if I could get the hot water working....”
“Then I would have a problem.”
“Well, I was going to let you help me by brushing out that hard to reach strip of fur across my back, but if you’re not interested...” Tora’s eyes shoot wide open. “Oh well....”
Tora gets up out of the tub, wrapping a nearby towel around his waist. “Do you really want me to, or did you just want me out of the tub?”
She kisses him lightly on the tip of his nose. “What do you think?”
Tora sighs. “You always like to have me wrapped around your finger, don’t you?”
She hands him the brush. “Would you prefer my tail wrapped around you?”
Smiling, Tegan turns around so Tora could brush the strip of fur, which began on one of her breasts, came around her back, and ended on the other breast, creating the effect of a bra, for those less acquainted with cat woman bodies. As Tora brushes, he asks “Do you really need me for this?”
“I really can never get that spot right between my shoulder blades brushed out unless I manage to maneuver just right.”
“You mean this spot here?” Tora presses a finger at the spot where he thinks Tegan is describing.
“Ah... yes. Right there.”
Tora moves the brush through the fur at the spot. “There you go.”
“Mmmm...” purrs Tegan. “That feels good.”
Tora continues onward, eventually reaching the end. He hands the brush back to Tegan. “Anything else?”
Tegan’s response is a kiss to Tora’s lips. Tora refuses to let go of her lips for a moment, and then separates. “As I was saying...”
“What were you saying?”
“I ... forgot.”
“Then we better go get dressed and have some breakfast. Though by now it’s probably lunch time.”
“Don’t worry about it. We still have time.”
Tegan grabs a pair of towels, wrapping her body with one and her hair with the other. “Well, we do have to eat sometime, and I don’t think I want your father to see me without some clothing on.”
“You’re right. I’ll see you in a few moments then.” He walks out the door, leaving Tegan to finish drying herself off.
Tegan finishes drying off and wraps herself in her robe, then returns to her room to get dressed. She notices that all of Tora’s clothing that was strewn about last night has been collected, except for a pair of sunglasses. She picks them up, and then puts them on for a moment. “I don’t think it’s me,” she murmurs, before tossing the glasses on the bed. Tegan removes the body towel and then starts to put on a white T-shirt when there is a knock at the door. “I’m not ready yet, Tora.”
A strong Chinese accent replies. “It is not him.”
Tegan facefaults. “Uhh... be with you in a minute sir....”
She grabs her underwear and jeans and slips into them, before opening the door. There in the doorway stands the Jusenkyo guide, and he does not appear to be in a jovial mood. “Am I intruding?”
“Uhh... no. Is something wrong?”
“It just that I not get chance to talk to you without my son hanging on your arm.”
The Jusenkyo guide starts to slowly circle where Tegan is standing. “So, you are the one that has captured my son’s heart?”
“Is there a problem sir?”
“Do you love him?”
“He’s a very special man... and he’s willing to put up with me.”
“Why you think he love you?”
“Because I completely accept him for what he is.”
The guide stops his circling right in front of Tegan, and then looks at her in the eye. “You must understand. He very special to me. So I want be sure that he not do something he regrets later.”
“He’s very special to me, too. I would never do anything to hurt him.
The guide looks at Tegan for a moment, saying nothing. “You know, this has been first time he really smile, so you must be doing something good for him.”
“Thank you,” she says. Mentally she adds “I think”.
“What I about to ask may sound... unusual, but...”
“Would you marry him?”
Tegan blinks in surprise. “Maybe... if he asked me... but I don’t know if either of us is quite ready for that at this point in our relationship.”
“I ask because I see in his eyes how much he love you. It most amazing thing I have seen. And if you marry him, it would also make me happy.”
“I... think we still have a while before we get to that...”
The guide takes her hand. “I not ask that you marry him soon. I ask that...” He pauses. “... when you do, you come here again.”
“We probably will,” says Tegan smiling.
“Good good good. You impress me. I know that Tora be happy with you.”
“Thank you, sir.”
The guide starts to head out the door, but stops. “I would be very upset if Tora knew of what was talk about here.”
“I don’t think he needs to know.”
“Good good good. And I promise, no more questions about personal life.”
“Thank you. I would really appreciate that.”
The guide smiles and leaves her room, closing the door behind him. Sighing, Tegan collapses on her bed. There is another knock on her door. This time the voice is more familiar. “Hey, everything all right in there?
Sighing, Tegan sits up. “Yeah. Come on in.”
Tora opens the door and slowly steps in. “I thought that I saw Pop leaving your room.”
“Yeah. He wanted a chance to talk to me alone.”
“Ah. Anything important?”
“No. But I’m starved.”
“Well. I put the water on to boil. What you want will have to go from there.”
“Water boil? For breakfast?”
“Well, I’m not one for cold tea...”
“Hmm... So what do you want *besides* tea?”
“It doesn’t really matter to me. Your cooking is better than mine, so I’ll eat whatever you make.”
“Maybe French toast. If there’s any bread left.”
“There is. I checked. Plenty of everything today it seems.”
Tegan slides off the bed. “Then that’s taken care of. French toast it is.” She goes to the kitchen, followed by Tora.” Tora notices an envelope on the kitchen counter addressed to him. “Remind me who we told we were coming here?”
“You said you were just telling Ling-chan. I just told PATE, Feathers, Jake, Ryuji, Penny and Ro.”
Tora picks up the envelope. “Then I wonder who this is from... “ He takes a knife, opens the envelope, and pulls out a letter that was inside. He looks at it. It’s Chinese handwriting.
“Ahh....er... Pop says he’ll be gone for today. He had another tour planned.” He looks out into the living room. “It still amazes me how fast he can move.”
“Yeah.... I was just talking to him not even 15 minutes ago.”
Tora pockets the letter in his jeans, then turns to Tegan. He’s smiling more than usual. “Anything I can do for you?”
“You can get me four eggs.”
“Not a problem.” Tora whistles ‘zippety doo dah’ as he leaves to get the eggs.
Shaking her head, Tegan begins slicing the bread. She wonders what’s *really* in the note.
Tora returns “Here you are. The best four eggs I can find.”
“Great. Any butter around here? And I need a little milk, too.”
“As you wish. Is there anything else you need?”
“That should be everything. I think we’ve already got some sugar to sprinkle on the French toast.” Tegan hunts out a bowl, then begins cracking the eggs into it.
Tora leaves once again, giving Tegan a few minutes to wonder about the note that was left for him before he returns again. “Thanks.” Tegan takes the milk from Tora and adds a little to the eggs. After whisking the eggs and milk, she heats up a pan with butter. While the pan heats, she dunks the bread into the egg mixture. Tora watches her.
“One of these days, you’ll have to teach me how to cook.”
“Like I said. Whenever’ you’re ready.”
The smell of Tegan’s expert cooking floods Tora’s nose. “Ahh... that’s something I haven’t experienced in a while.”
“The smell of homemade French toast.”
Tegan places a couple of slices in the pan. “And how long has that been?”
“Oh... since my time in the field.”
“Mmm...” replies Tegan as she flips the toast.
“We were out studying a group of tigers in China... no relation, I assure you. Our resident medic also happened to be one hell of a cook. She managed to cook French toast for the entire team... never did ask her how she managed to get everything she needed.”
“Who knows,” replied Tegan as she removed the finished slices and put more in to cook.
“I guess you learned to cook from your mom.”
“Some. I also learned in school, after I went to boarding school. Cooking classes were my favorite extra-curricular activity. I read cookbooks and watched cooking programs to learn more.”
“Well, they paid off, that’s for sure.”
“Thanks.” Tegan finished frying the last few slices of French toast, then put the plates on the table. She smiled as Tora hungrily devoured his portion.
“Ah. That took me back to those days in the field.”
“So what’s the plans for the rest of the day?”
“Well, we could go to the village for a bit. I know you’re a bit wary of the local, but they aren’t all as ... active as the ones back in Nerima.”
“I guess... maybe I can pick up a few souvenirs.”
“Actually, I’ve been meaning to pick up something myself.”
“Okay. I suppose we can get lunch there.”
“All right then. I’ll just leave Pop a note and then we’ll go, OK?”
“Okay. Should I bring anything with me?”
“Uhm, probably just some cash. You just might find something that catches your eye.”
“Other than that?”
“Can’t imagine that you’d need anything else. But, if you think you might just need something, go ahead and take it.”
“Maybe a jacket, and an umbrella, in case the weather changes.”
“As long as it fits on the bike. Unless you want to walk.”
“What do you mean put it on the bike? I can just stuff it in cat space.” She looks at him. “Besides, you’re going to have your hands full, if we’re taking the bike.”
“Oh, right. You know, I keep forgetting about your access to cat space.”
“Yeah... and the fact that I’m a lousy bike rider.”
Tora begins rummaging around for a piece of paper. “You probably just need some practice is all.”
“With everything else that’s happened, I’m not about to start bike riding lessons now. I can ride the same way I rode here, or we can waste the entire day with you trying to teach me how to ride a bike.”
Tora finally pulls out a piece of paper and a pen from a shelf. “I didn’t mean right now... never mind. I’ll just carry you in my jacket again.” Tegan smiles while she waits for Tora to finish his note. A few moments later, Tora puts the pen down. “There. I told him we might be out for a while. Now let’s just get everything and we’ll be off.”
“I already got what I needed.”
“Ah, well then, let me get my jacket.” Tora heads off, and shortly returns putting on his jacket. Tegan shifts into cat form and waits for him. Tora picks Tegan up from off the floor. “All set, kitten?” Tegancat purrs. “I promise you, I’m not going to pull any crazy stunts.” Tora cradles Tegancat inside his jacket, making sure that her head is sticking out of it. She makes herself comfortable, snuggling close to Tora. Tora heads out the door, keeping one arm supporting Tegancat in his jacket. He climbs onto his bike, and slowly begins to pedal his way towards the amazon village. Tegancat peeks out of Tora’s jacket, watching the scenery. Tora notices, but doesn’t say a word. The ride is long, though, and after a bit, Tegancat dozes off. Tora thinks “Amazing. Normally she freaks when she’s riding with me.” About a half hour later, Tora stops the bike and wakes Tegancat. She blinks up at him sleepily. “Hey kitten, we’re just outside the village.” Tora opens up his jacket and gently puts Tegancat on the ground beside him.” Tegancat shakes herself to wake herself before shifting back to catwoman form. Tora climbs off the bike. “You OK?”
“Yeah... just have to stretch a bit.”
“I guess my jacket is a bit tighter than I thought it would be.”
“Nah. It’s just curling up like I did. You ready to go in?”
“After you.” Tora gestures in the direction of the village.
Tegan takes Tora’s arm as they walk together to the village. The village is full of life: children are running amuck in the streets, their parents chasing after them. Others are sweeping entryways or talking to friends. Tegan barely manages to sidestep an oncoming child. “I hope they don’t mind a cat woman around. Maybe I should have used the disguise spell before we came into town.”
“I don’t imagine there being any problems.”
“Well... okay... Ayla probably comes by here enough.”
“More than likely.” Tora looks off to his left. “Anything in particular you want to check out first?”
“Nothing in particular. I just want to get some souvenirs for some people back home.”
“Well, there’s a small store in that building over there.” Tora points off in the direction he was looking in. “Hopefully there should be something there.”
“Okay. Let’s go.” They walk over to the entrance of the building. Tora opens the door for Tegan and lets her enter first. Tegan looks around at what is apparently a jeweler’s shop. Various pieces of jewelry are displayed. “Hm. I didn’t realize that there was a jeweler around here,” comments Tora.
“Yeah.... but how long has it been since you last visited here?”
“It’s been a few good years since I’ve been to the village. I didn’t really go anywhere whenever I visited Pop.”
“Well, let’s look around. Maybe I can find something for Mom here.”
From behind the drapes in the back, a woman dressed in traditional Chinese clothing spies the two of them purusing the wares. She steps out from behind the drapes. “[Chinese] Welcome. Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Tora, could you ask her about that jade bracelet? I don’t think my Chinese is good enough.”
“All right. [Chinese] Would you happen to be able to speak Japanese? My friend here would greatly appreciate it.”
The woman looks at Tegan for a moment. “[Chinese] Tourists?”
“[Chinese] Not exactly... “
“[Chinese] Well, I do happen to know Japanese. What is she interested in?”
“[Chinese] The jade bracelet she has her eyes on.” The woman nods, then walks over to Tegan. “You wish see bracelet?”
“Yes, please. The one with the carved leaves.”
The woman nods, then opens the case and pulls out the bracelet so Tegan can get a better look at it. Tegan looks over the bracelet. “Think Mom would like this?”
Tora looks at the bracelet for a moment. “It is rather nice. Dare I ask how much?”
“Might as well.”
“How much for this bracelet?”
“Hmmm.... maybe.... let me look around a bit more.....”
“OK” Tegan walks around the stores looking over the wares. Tora heads off to another part of the room, where he seems to have found something of interest. “Hey, kitten, what do you make of this?”
“Make of what?” Tegan comes over to where Tora is looking.
Tora points at an intricately designed gold ring, with a diamond flanked by three opals.
Tegan looks at the opal ring. “It’s lovely.”
The woman takes notice. “This ring would look good on you. You want try on?”
“Well.... aw, why not?” The woman takes out the ring and hands it to Tegan. Tegan slips it on her ring finger.
“It looks lovely on you, kitten.”
“I do. But what about you?”
Tegan looks at how the white opals glimmer against the black fur of her fingers. Then she sighs and takes it off. “I’d love to, but it’s not in my budget right now. I’m looking for gifts for others, not for myself.”
“You no want? Is OK then. Maybe I have something else you like?”
“I’m not sure. Let me think about the bracelet while I check out some other things. Thank you for letting me look.”
“You welcome.” the woman puts the ring away. “And you young man? Anything you like?”
“Well, um... let me look around a bit more...”
“I think I saw an outdoor stand with some fabrics,” Tegan whispers to Tora. “I’m going to look there.”
“All right. I’ll be with you in a moment.”
“Okay.” Tegan goes out of the shop and over to a stand draped with fabrics. On closer inspection, Tegan finds these to be scarves. An elderly woman sits behind the stand. Tegan asks in her limited Chinese “May I look?” The woman nods. Tegan begins examining the scarves.
In the jeweler’s shop, a small conversation is going on. “[Chinese] Your friend seems quite taken with the ring.”
“[Chinese] I noticed.”
“[Chinese] You wish to buy it for her?”
“[Chinese] That depends. How much?” A few minutes later, Tora finds Tegan at looking at some scarves. “Any luck yet?”
“Yeah. I’ve found some really nice silk scarves for Mom and my great aunt. It’ll be easier to ship scarves to New York than jewelry. I’m seeing if I can find one for PATE, for Penny, for Su, for Akane, and for Feathers. Maybe some for some other people.”
“Not taking any for yourself?”
“Maybe, if I find one I like for myself.”
“Well, after you’re through here, we can go and get something to eat.”
“Okay.” Tegan sifts through a few more scarves, while Tora watches on. Finally, Tegan settles on a selection of scarves, which she hands to the old woman. “Tora, could you ask her how much?”
“Sure.” After a moment of discussion, Tora looks at Tegan and tells her the price.
Nodding, Tegan pulls out her wallet and counts out the money. The woman wraps the scarves in some tissue. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“Now if I recall, that restaurant that I visited last time should be around here..”
“Okay.” Tegan checks around to see if she is being watched, then stashes her package in cat space.
After a few minutes of wandering, Tora looks up at a sign. “Ah, this is it. I think they’ve got a branch in Nerima now.”
“Oooookkkkkaaaayyyyy....” Shrugging, Tegan follows Tora.
“Its called the “Neko Hanten” back home.” Tora enters the building. “For ramen, they’re pretty good, actually.”
“Ah yes. Cologne and Shampoo’s place. I’ve been there a few times.”
The two of them are promptly greeted by a hostess and are seated at a small out of the way table. Almost immediately thereafter, a waitress comes. “And what I get you two?”
“You order,” says Tegan. “I can’t read the menu.”
“[Chinese] Just a bowl of ramen for the both of us. And some tea.” The waitress is pleasantly surprised by the Chinese, then takes down the order, bows, and walks away. He looks at Tegan. “I hope you don’t mind ramen and some tea.”
Tora notices that Tegan is twiddling he thumbs. “You’re still trying to get used to this place, I take it.”
“Yep. I can’t help it if I’m slightly nervous here.”
“They’re only normal people here, nothing to be afraid of.” Tora takes Tegan’s hand in his. “Besides, I’m right here with you.”
“So tell me, what would really cheer you up right now?”
“What would probably cheer me up is going to have to wait until we get home.”
“Whenever you’re ready... but I did want to eat, and find something to send to Dad and Uncle Joe, and maybe something nice for Ryuji, too.”
Tora’s head jerks up a bit. “Huh... oh, no, I didn’t quite mean that. I just kinda... ah, never mind.” He looks around for a moment. “So what would you like to do when we go back... to Pop’s place?” Tegan just smiles. Tora soon smiles as well. “You’re going to end up as an addict, you know.”
“Well, I know who to blame for it.”
Tegan could swear that she sees Tora blush. Tora tries to hide it, though. “You ... you... what am I going to do with you?”
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
Before Tora can say anything further, the waitress returns with their meal in hand, setting it down before them. “Is this OK?”
“Yes, thank you,” replies Tegan.
The waitress smiles, and then leaves the table to serve other customers. Tora takes a bowl of ramen for himself. “Anyhow, changing the subject... “ Tegan grins. “Uhh... you still want to send something to your dad after the stunt he pulled?”
“He’s still my father. At least I can show him that I’m still thinking of him, even if he doesn’t want to think about me.”
“Ah. Well, I’m sure you’ll find something in this place.”
“Hmmm,” says Tegan as she picks up some chopsticks. Tora starts into his ramen, matching his pace with Tegan’s. They finish fairly quickly, both being extremely hungry. Afterwards, as they drink their tea, Tegan asks “Do they have anything in the way of desserts?”
“Anything in particular that you want?”
“No. Just wanted to know what they have.”
“Actually, I’m not sure. It’s been a while.”
“Hmmm. I guess we can skip dessert.”
“Well, I think that’d you want to be hungry later, though. “ Tora grins.
“Then are you ready to go?”
Tora pays the bill. They then go to an open air market. As usual, Tegan has more problems shopping for her father than for her mother. Tora keeps hold of Tegan’s hand as they walk from shop to shop, and barely deflecting questions about whether or not things would make a good gift. “I hate trying to find things for my dad.”
“He’s not the type that has everything, is he?”
“No. He’s just the type that’s incredibly difficult to buy for.”
“Maybe some herbal teas to relax him?”
“Cute....” says Tegan dryly.
Tora grins “You have a better idea?”
“Maybe a figurine or something. Besides, I don’t think you can ship tea without a bunch of paperwork.”
Tora pauses and shakes his head. “Come on, maybe we can find something for him here.”
Tegan looks around at the items in the shop. Her eye falls on a pair of jade snuff bottles. Tora looks at them for a moment. “Interesting....”
“One for Dad, one for Uncle Joe. What do you think?”
Tora senses that he can’t dodge this one. “Well, I think they’ll like it. I haven’t met Joe yet, so I’m not too sure about that.”
“Compared to Dad, Uncle Joe is very easygoing. Generally, if Dad likes it, Uncle Joe will like it. Though maybe a saki set would be better for my uncle, since he owns a bar.”
“Ah. You know, I’m going to have to meet Joe one of these days.”
“You will. He’ll get out here eventually.”
“Probably won’t be until something really important happens, I’ll wager.”
“Who’s to say with him.”
“Indeed.” Tora glances a his watch for a moment. He notes that there’s still some time left.
“I think I’ll get Uncle Joe that saki set, and maybe that statuette for Dad.”
“I’m sure they’ll like them. Just hope your dad doesn’t decide to introduce that to my head...”
Tegan sighs and shakes her head. Then she picks up a carved puzzle box. “Hmm... this might be nice for Ryuji. Doesn’t your dad get overprotective like that with your sister?”
“I guess. I haven’t exactly seen Plum in a while, so I’m not too sure.”
“I think it’s a father thing. You’ll probably feel the same way one day.”
“Kids...” Tora’s eyes glaze over for a moment.
“I can just imagine what Ranma’s going to do when Nuriko reaches dating age.... You okay?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. Just trying.... to picture myself as a father.”
“I doubt I’ll ever be ready...”
“I don’t think anyone is ever ready.”
Tora looks at Tegan “So, are you going to buy those things or no?”
“Yeah,” Tegan replies with a sigh. “I think so. There’s some small wooden figurines I might get for Ro, Leo, and Ranma.”
“OK. I’ve already got what I need, and we should be heading out soon anyway.”
“Find out how much I need to pay.”
Tora begins a brief conversation with the shop keeper that’s been eyeing them intently all this while. He look back at Tegan and tells her the total cost of her purchase.
“Dad and Uncle Joe better appreciate these...” she mutters as she counts out the money. The shop keeper only smiles as she takes the money out of Tegan’s hand before she hands over her wares. Tegan and Tora walk back into the street. Tegan stashes her purchases in cat space. “I guess that’s it. I’m ready when you are.”
“Think you trust me enough to not shift into a cat, or are you still wary?”
“That’s not a bicycle built for two, you know.”
“Neither was the Midnight Star.”
“Motorcycles are made with seats for two people to sit one behind the other. That bicycle isn’t.”
“I can go without the seat.”
“For how long? It’s not a five minute ride, you know.”
“Look, it’s just that...Never mind. I don’t know why I brought it up.”
“If you don’t want to ride with me as a cat, fine. I’ll just find my way back through cat space.”
“Its just that... I rather have you trust me enough to ride with me as yourself, not the cat.”
“Tora... it’s not that... it’s just that I know of no logical way for two people to ride a bike made for one, short of one sitting on the handlebars.”
Tora rubs his eyes. “You sure you’re on the pill? I think some pheromones are getting to me...”
Tegan looks at him with an uplifted eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Whatever passes for my logic is completely thrown out the window whenever you’re around...”
Tora picks up the bike. “Come on, let’s go. I don’t think you want the locals spotting you change to a cat inside town limits.”
Tora takes one last look around before they walk away from the village and back home. After a couple of minutes, the two stop. “I think that should be far enough.” Tegan doesn’t respond. Instead, she shifts into cat form, then rubs up against Tora’s ankles, purring. “Don’t worry kitten.” Tora picks up Tegancat from off the ground. “This’ll be as painless as it was getting here.” Tegan just purrs in response. “You know, I still have to get used to you when you’re like this.” Tora gently inserts Tegancat into his Jacket, making sure that she is reasonably comfortable.
Tegancat decides she’s very comfortable, and licks Tora’s chin. “On second thought, maybe I can learn to like you like this.” Tora gets onto the bike and begins to pedal his way home. Tegancat is restless this time. Rather than dozing as she had before, she pops her head up from time to time and licks Tora’s neck.
After about the tenth time she does that, Tora stops the bike for a moment, and takes Tegancat out of his jacket for a moment. “You really are playful right now, aren’t you?” She purrs and licks his nose. Tora droops his head for a moment and then chuckles. “You know, this is really starting to get ridiculous.” She purrs and bats him with her paws. “All right, all right already.” Tora wraps Tegancat in the warmth of his jacket again. “One of these days...” He begins pedaling again. Tegan’s response is another purr. Tora sighs. “I can only imagine what we’re going to do once we get home.” Tegancat purrs and licks him again.
After a few more minutes of Tegancat enjoying torturing Tora, they finally arrive back at the guide’s house. Tora gets off the bike and takes Tegancat out of his jacket. He holds her off the ground, and face to face. “You really wanted to test my control on the bike, didn’t you?” Her response is a low, rumbling purr and a lick to Tora’s nose.
Tora carries her into the house. “I swear, you’ve been asking for it ever since we left.” Tegancat doesn’t reply. Once inside, Tora puts Tegancat down on the ground. “OK, kitten, we’re home.” She looks up at him, pondering her options.
Tora takes off his jacket and drapes it on his arm. He takes off his sunglasses and hooks them on the collar of his shirt. He then looks down at Tegancat. “I don’t know about you, but I’m going to take a short nap. It’s been a while since I’ve done that too.” He pauses. “Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a lot of stuff around here...”
With a mental sigh, she shifts back to cat woman. “I guess if you’re going to nap, I’ll go over my purchases.”
“If you need me, you know where to find me.” He walks off to his room down the hall.
Sighing, Tegan watches him go. Then she goes off to her room and begins pulling her purchases out of cat space. She wraps each more carefully, then puts it back into cat space for travel.
With a loud thump, Tora falls onto his bed. But he finds that he can’t fall asleep.
Not wanting to disturb Tora, Tegan puts on her headphones. She picks up one of the novels she brought, then flops onto her stomach on the bed to read.
After a few minutes of Tora tossing and turning on his bed, he decides to just give up. He gets up and goes to knock on Tegan’s door. With the headphones turned up, Tegan is unaware of the knock. Tora tries knocking harder, but to no avail. So he walks over and sits down at the edge of the bed. Absorbed in her book, Tegan still doesn’t notice Tora. Sighing, Tora rests his body on the bed. Feeling the bed move, Tegan glances up. “Oh, hi. Didn’t hear you come in. I thought you were taking a nap.”
“Just couldn’t get to sleep for some reason.”
“Oh. Did you want to do something?”
“Well, only if you would agree to it.”
“And that would be?” Tora takes the books and the headphones and pushes them aside. He slowly brings his lips closer to hers.
“Mmmm...” Tegan purrs. She meets Tora’s gaze. Before he presses his lips on hers, he whispers softly, “I guess you don’t mind.” His fingers begin to trace the curves of her back.
“Absolutely not.” Tegan reaches over to embrace Tora.
Tora breaks his lips away from hers for a moment. “You realize that this is going to be addicting for the both of us?”
“Going to be? You mean it isn’t already?” She smiles.
“C’mere you!” Obliging, Tegan lets Tora suck up her lips in another kiss, while his hands begin work on slowly removing her blouse.
Writer's note: At this point, the story becomes a "lemon" - meaning that there is sexual content. If you are under 18, offended by or uninterested in sexual scenes, go straight to Chapter 11. If you are of age and do wish to read the lemon bits, continue with "Awakenings, Lemon Addition to Chapter 10."