Hollow Lowlands 
August full moon

She had really wanted to bother Abraham about her feelings about this plan with Vidya, but she didn't want to overdo it. The whole breaching of his space and all that.

So she writhed around alone with the fish and talked to them instead. They did not offer much in the way of advice, but it was... something cathartic to get the words out of her.

It was warm enough not to get shivers as she settled on some stone or another, but she kind of had them anyway. She wasn't sure if she should just, like. Shift now? Or wait until Vidya got here.

Either way, it was just hard to proceed when you really didn't know anything about this person whose trust you'd broken. Asha had a feeling she'd be getting a whole lot of side-eye and aloofness or maybe just accusations or something. Maybe even worse; just a bunch of crying.

Smile and do your best, fallen queen.

The thing about healing wounds you'd never gotten; you didn't know what would make it better, or what would make it worse.

Her feelings about this really hadn't changed much and that, she supposed, counted for something. The cat was eager to see the feline it had been so fond of, and Vidya was sure that she wanted to at least try. She just had to hope it didn't go poorly. In the end, it was up to the cats to conduct the majority of the evening, and the cat had no issue with the fact that Asha had lied so profusely. It was just happy she hadn't gone forever.

Vidya approached the place she and Asha had agreed to meet at with white knuckles, manicured nails digging into the palms of her hands. The cat roo'd loudly in her mind, and she cleared her throat as she came upon the woman sitting in wait. She hadn't seen her since the Terrace, the start of an emotionally draining day that had left her feeling empty. The feeling of going to meet a stranger that day as amplified now. It didn't even look like her, almost. Though that could have been the bandage on her face. Still, the fact that she was all but a perfect stranger to Asha made it hard to not feel the same. "Hi."

Round one started with a short greeting.

Asha's cat had of course alerted her to Vidya's nearing when she could sense it, a feverish pacing and calling. Hi, go go go go go, there's a jaguar here, let's crash into her before she gets here first! Thankfully Asha had slightly better impulse control nowadays.

It sent her heart thumping with nervousness about how this would all go, though. And there Vidya was with her little "Hi" and you know.

Asha was just happy she really had showed up.

"Hi," she stood and said with about a million times more warmth and a whole truckload of gratitude. "Wasn't sure you'd— just glad you're here." Roo roo roo. Shift now?? Now????

Not yet, cat. Not until the other one was ready.

Vidya eyed Asha's face when she rose to greet her, a small smile on her lips as she noted how relieved the woman sounded. She'd doubted her, of course, and maybe that had been a small part of what drove her to actually come. Just do it, see how it feels, and feel accomplished in doing something you said you would.

"I didn't know it was your face." She said, a brow ticking down as she neared and... just started kind of kicking off her shoes.

A little smile after a little hello. Asha would take what little she got.

"Oh, yeah," she said with a wave of her wrapped hand. "I mean it's fine. The cat was just wanting to pick a fight. Mine, I mean. Though I guess his too."

Rowan's leopard could have easily chosen to run off, but he didn't, so. Anyway— Vidya was starting to take her stuff off here so. Asha followed suit, but slowly.

"Uh, before we start, just like... how do you want to handle after the shift? I don't get a coma or anything so like. I can take you back to your car and drop you home or something. So no one fucks with us."

She just came shy of apologizing and saying this was her first time shifting with someone else, and even though she was technically correct memory-wise, it was not quite so true for Vidya.

Thus, a reason for her offering to come join her. Hopefully there would be no further injuries. At the pause, Vidya stopped unbuttoning her pants, and looked to Asha. Right, no unconsciousness. Her lips pressed together as she thought on it, considered how it would be a struggle for her to get back to her own car if she drove Vidya all the way home.

"You can just set me in my car after." She said with a nod. "I'll get home after I wake up. I have a blanket in there you can cover me with." So no one running by by chance would see her laying naked in her car. Still a chance of someone fucking with her, but less of one.

That didn't exactly feel right, but... she wouldn't argue. Couldn't argue. Needed to not drive Vidya away when she was already so clearly just on the edge of going.

"That works. Um. Where is home for you, anyway?"

Just wanting there to not be such a long way of a drive, was all.

Oh, right. She didn't know her.

"Crestview." She answered, and would continued with shimmying out of her pants. The cat was anxious to shift, and Vidya was finding that chatting was already feeling disconnected. "Sorry, I don't want you to have to drive out there, then come back for your car." And maybe she didn't entirely feel comfortable being toted around unconscious.

Oh. Fuck.


But alsooo, Crestview? She wanted to offer going to her home instead or something. Doing breakfast together. Taking care of the car in the morning.

"Um. It's fine if you don't want to. But I could also take you home to my place. And we can come back for your car after breakfast tomorrow morning."

She hadn't been home in a...while. Ghosts and all. She started to undress also, feeling slightly shy about it because, like. This wasn't sex. And she couldn't remember having done this before with another jaguar. So she kept talking.

"I have spare bedrooms and bathrooms and all that. I haven't done well with the pool but, I could fix it up, or..."


That was... that was a lot. Too much. Vidya swallowed as she continued, nodded at the description of the house. "I know... I house sat for you." She said, not entirely feeling bad for reminding her here that they'd been friends. They'd known each other. And it wasn't going to be so easy to get back to that. "And thank you for the offer, but I think that would be too much for now. Let's just see how... tonight goes. I don't mind sleeping in my car." Her shirt came off, and she tossed it on the rock she'd draped her pants on.

Fuck. It was hard to know when she was treading on memories she didn't have. This was all just... hard.

That was a kindly worded no, maybe much kinder than Asha herself deserved.

"Okay. That's fine," she nodded, quieted, effectively dropping the topic. And further conversation.

She turned away from looking at Vidya, finding the entire situation was leaving her with an un-Asha sort of modesty. And she struggled through removing her clothing mostly one-handed, but eventually she was stripped and it was all folded up and in her bag and the bag was hung up on a branch (a habit she didn't know the source of but just knew it was important).

And then, just, like. Time to shift.

She was thankful she didn't press.

The rest of her clothing would come off, and she wouldn't really mind the fact that Asha looked away. Modesty just, did not apply anymore. Once naked, she'd go about folding everything up, and doing a similar practice as Asha. Her bag hung next to her former Queen's, she'd step back and roll her shoulders some, then her neck, and take a steadying breath in preparation for the pain she'd never get entirely used to.

After finding a place for it, she'd let her cat take its toll on her body for the next few minutes. When it was all said and done, a jaguar that was small for it's species would pull itself from the ground. Jowls agape and yellow eyes wide, she would roo excitedly as she sought to catch sight of the cat she'd come to meet.

All set, she was remarkably faster than Vidya. The cat herself was unsure, but wanted to watching the other's shifting, just because... it was so different! Seeing someone else shift!

Her tail lashed with interest in the transformation, and then as she formed into a perfect little jaguar roughly her own size, the cat shifted to a crouch against the ground, wiggly.

It was real! It was here! Another jaguar in the flesh! What was the first order of business??

Pouncing, of course!


She was not expecting a pounce!

The cat let out a surprised sound as she flattened herself to the earth, and darted backward out of the way. Eyes blinking, she regarded the familiar cat, and despite her reservation as a human, the sight of her was met with a warmth she couldn't deny. The cat would huff out excitedly, and move to swipe a heavy paw at the other feline's face, forgetting her injuries for the moment.

a miss


Asha was more than happy to sit back and let the cats handle all this. It provided a time of just... not feeling so fucking awful. Also, she was just like. So emotional inside over it. In a warm way. Look at her. Look at her cat. Playing with one of their own. Playing violently, sure, but still.

Such animal happiness. She wished shifts could last for days, weeks, months. However long it took for the human side of life to be better than it was.

The cat practically squatted back to avoid the swipe to the face, and then went for a move that felt so right it was almost a matter of muscle memory; pounce, wrap the other cat in her arms, and pin.

And then like.

Groom with a rude and inherent affection.



She couldn't have evaded the tackle even if she wanted to. The cat let Asha's pin her, and pressed herself harshly into her body as she was groomed. Small, chuffing sounds of contentedness ran through her, and her tail flagged in happy lashes behind her. She tucked her head to bite gently at Asha's shoulder, not intending to do more than place some of her skin and fur in her mouth. Vidya was much in the same mindset at Asha, allowing her cat to do what it pleased.

She was permissive of the biting, even if she lifted her head up to give a snarly faced panting of air, sending warm huffs of big cat breath Vidya's way.

And then continued grooming, and rubbing her face against the other with insistence. Rubbing her scent all over her, marking her as hers with a confidence Asha couldn't hope to be allowed to feel. It was a good fucking thing jaguars couldn't cry, even out of happies.

Eventually she would roll off onto her back, snuffling and writhing about next to the other cat, fangs flashing less for intent and more for gravity.

Hello, first cat. >♡w♡<

It was nice. It was good. It felt right, in this moment. She'd press as much of her own scent against the stronger female as she could, though she was still clinging to some sort of submissiveness that was no longer required. Old habits.

When Meowsha flopped, Kittya rose to stand with her front paws on either side of her head. Her own teeth flashing, in an excitedly jaguar way, she would move to bite gently at the underside of her jaw, and would lower her body back down to drape directly over Asha's.

A threat! Her tail lashed excitedly, enjoying the attention, taking comfort in the fact that she was stronger than this cat but also that this cat wanted to be around her. That made it easy to protect her.

She moved to hug the cat to her again, wiggling her head in that half-effort of "wehhh I really am enjoying this but I wanna make it a little hard for you!"

Then, of course, she tried to roll them both over. And then, a few thoughtful laps later, suddenly...

bolted to behind a tree. Or like. "Behind" a tree, in that most of her was still very visible.

Squuiiished face, and then they were rolling. She let it happen, grumbling just because she could, but not fighting against being moved around. She was happy to be groomed at, but she flopped excitedly to her feet when Meowsha darted away. Tail lashing behind her, she darted after the other cat, running for the tree. In the last moment, she leaped forward, and clung to the tree instead of tackling the other cat. Claws digging into the bark, she stared down at Asha with widened eyes and dilated pupils, excited and playful and feeling a little like she needed to destroy something. Not Asha, though!

She scuttled back when it seemed the other was coming for her, only for her to... hop the tree instead!! Roo!, she complained, tail thwacking about.

Naturally, a big long cat up a tree left the tail a target. So Meowsha decided to commit her first act of retaliation — swatting for the other's tail!

But it was hard to do that when said tail moved a lot.



Her tail!

Vidya let one of her paws pull from the bark so that she could curve in on herself and reach to swat playfully back at Asha's face, clawless because she remembered this time about the cuts.



A series of roo complaints as she backed away at the slap, huffing and pouty as much as a wild animal could be.

Fine, fine! She took off in the other direction then, trying to entice Vidya into following her.


Of course, Asha tantrumed, and Vidya moved to leap after her as she went running off into the woods. Large feet thudded against the damp earth, and she noted the smells here as she ran. Fishy!

Fishy indeed — soon the racing cats would hit water, which was good for Asha because her still healing paw was starting to hurt with all the weight on it. The water would at least soothe.

Far from being any kind of helpful, she decided to dip her nose into the water and... shovel it ineffectively towards Vidya, making tiny splashes at her pretty coat.


The cat moved to stomp right into it, sending up enough water against herself that the splashing from Asha wasn't even noticed. Fish stirred beneath them, fearful of the sudden motion, and the cat stuck her face into the water to bite at one that darted between her legs. No such luck. Face pouring, she peered over at Meowsha with a huff that sprayed water from her nostrils.

She was hardly fast enough to notice the fish that scattered when they were close enough. Her focus simply wasn't there. But as she blinked and squinted at the spray, she found herself noticing as they moved beyond Vidya.

The cat leapt past her to dive with a spectacular splash, and she managed to be the doom of one.

Stomping around quite unstealthily, she looked back to Vidya and stretched her head forward to her. Taaaake. It gift.

Asha got the picture, and as she waded through the water and made herself as wet as she could, a skillful hunt was happening.

A gift.

Her ears would flicker atop her head as she stretched her own face out to sniff at the fish that was still twitching about in the throes of death. With a wet sound, her lips parted and she took the fish in her mouth as gently as she could, though that did still mean there was a few teeth grazing against Asha's lips. Still, she cherished her gift by splashing to shore to devour it.

Vidya took the fish, and she huffed, happy to provide. See. She was provider. Strong protector. Love her. Roo roo roo roo...

She was hungry.

Turning abruptly back to where the other fish had been, she found nothing there anymore. Duh.

So she began to stalk, and a glimmer of something against the water's surface had her diving for it.

It was just a piece of plastic :(

Cronch, munch, crunch. The fish was small, so it didn't last all that long. Just long enough for Asha to hunt down... plastic. Vidya rose to her feet, rooing in concern as she padded down along the bank in the same direction Asha had gone. Something moving from bank to water caught her eye, and her head jerked to follow the movement of a turtle disappearing into the murk of the upset water. The cat slunk onto it's belly then, adjusting herself to face the water and peer intently at the clouded movement below.

She spat the plastic out, pawing at her face and licking at her paw for good measure.

Vidya was on move, and she paused her own attempt at hunting to watch, naturally curious.

Maybe she could find something bigger after this.

The turtle settled into the silt of the pond’s floor, and for a moment she lost sight of it, unsure what was a rock and what was the turtle. But there was movement! And after a moment of wiggling her back end and distributing her weight perfectly, she pounced. Front paws out and ready to pin... a rock!

The turtle darted from beside her and toward Asha.

Ahhh???! It slithered by her leg, and like a typical cat she jumped in surprise. But she landed with her focus on it, and dove forward in the water with a hefty splash.

The catch was by the flipper — she tossed her head up to send it spinning in the air and caught it around the shell with a flourish. Making up for her messy failure earlier, she guessed, and also partially just showing off.

She looked to Vidya proudly and would seek to lead the way to the shore. This was hardly more than an appetizer for bigger game they could hunt after. Really, she needed to get them something substantial. And show off her sweet hunting skills!

Asha would be content to share some of this, with that in mind.

Where Vidya failed, Asha excelled. She snagged the turtle, whos legs kicked wildly once it was caught around the shell. If she were human right now, she'd feel bad for the poor thing. But the cat only had the urge to saunter up and press her head under the other females' neck, tilting her face to nip at one of the legs and tug gently. Drop pls. She wanted to crush it.

It was not that she wasn't very, very hungry by now. But when you were playing with your first jaguar ever, and you wanted to impress, and you wanted to be liked, and you wanted to be wanted...

Asha and the cat both came to a decision.

She turned away and dropped it so that it wasn't falling on Vidya's head, and then moved to lap groomingly at her back. Eat and then we can eat bigger other things together plz 8(

That was almost disappointingly easy. Still, she didn't argue with being given the turtle. So she pounced forward, claws scraping roughly across it's shell as she fit her jaws around the top of it and... crack! More cracks, cronches, and tears as she gutted the thing. A series of happy grumbles and chuffing breaths accompanied her eating, tail dancing behind her and across the back of the jaguar that groomed her.

Even with the tough shell, the turtle wasn't much of a match for her devouring. After a short while, she abandoned what she didn't want to gnaw on, swiped her tongue across her lips, then turned her head to shove it roughly against her's companions face before rising. More cuddling? More turtles? More swimming? The possibilities were endless.

H U N G R Y 8((((

She ate literally all of it and Asha had yet to eat anything at all. Being a provider was tough.

Rising and stretching, she sought to lead away from the water. A soft roo to the other to follow, and then she was attempting to hunt.

Or like, you know. When you had werestrength and werespeed, it was really just a matter of being able to find a thing and then you could just swoop and kill it.

And that was what happened. Eventually, after a significant time searching (and probably being affectionate along the way) they would find... a nice, fat deer.

She crouched, ready to murderize. And eat, finally.

Hunting it was! And she would be as helpful as she needed to be. When the deer was dead and warm and ready to be torn into, though, she would take to prowling about in excited circles while her counterpart ate her fill, because she wasn't rude and knew that she hadn't eaten yet. Happy to settle for her belly full of fish and turtle, for now! At some point, she'd lay beside her companion and groom at the back of her head as she ate.

Cool. Deer dead.

Asha ate her fill finally, and then moved aside to groom herself clean so Vidya could eat. And then groomed her after.

Eventually, much later, she'd also be leading the way back to their things, ready to settle down and snuggle and shift back.

If Vidya would allow that.

It was the simplicity of this, just existing as the creatures they were together, that made it worth it to Vidya. Despite the lies, the distrust, the destruction of everything... they were still connected in this. She wouldn't be able to think on it too deeply until much later, when she was home and in the shower. But, for now, as they wandered back to where they began the night, bellies full and feelings nice... she enjoyed it. She would allow that.

Asha would not fall into a coma.

She would, however, use the hours of Vidya's sleep to dress her up (leaving her naked, even under a blanket, felt wrong). Grab their stuff. Find her car keys. Press the buttons repeatedly until she found the car. And then settled her in.

She would... go find her car too, and settle in for a nap. When she woke, she drove home, unsure if she was supposed to message her or not.

In the end she just sent a "thank you."

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