Tony the Trash Panda

North Glenn 
outfit :(

Wallace was used to do this alone at this point. More confident about it, too.

But going into the woods in North Glenn on his own this particular night, he'd felt oddly... odd. Just human, really, in a way that simultaneously tried to unnerve him and soothe him. The tiger had backed so far off he almost thought maybe something was wrong, but the complacency had a way of getting to him.

He'd eaten beforehand, found a spot to chill in. Thinking he would shift but not finding the urge there, he'd sat instead on a blanket he'd brought out with him from his pack, and then eventually even went so far as to lay down on it, staring up at the sky. Kinda still thinking about reaching out to Abraham eventually. Maybe.

Wallace had dozed off unexpectedly, and he woke exactly at midnight in a world of pain and confusion. It was almost a nightmare, really, shrinking instead of growing. Collapsing as if a black hole had gotten ahold of him and the trees loomed up even as the familiar feeling of sprouting fur and growing a tail and claws and teeth tried to convince him that this was normal.

This was not normal.

The raccoon wobbled on stumpy legs. Looked down at.. paw hands. Reeled into a sitting position before... screaming as loud as raccoon could and bolting into the trees.

Literally. Into a tree, as his legs didn't quite work the way he was used to and everything was very weird and very big. He chittered furiously at the tree and continued to stumble around, as if answers might be found among the pine needles on the forest floor.


 She felt so damn... tired? Calm? She wasn't sure the exact adjective that suited her general mood or energy levels. This was the full moon right? Glancing up to the illuminated sky answered her question. Why the hell wasn't her beast bothering her? If anything it was almost as if the tiger was taking a snooze deep within her. That was fucking weird.

 She wandered in the woods, not entirely decided on where she'd settle down for the shift. It was nearly midnight when a familiar scent caught her nose through the overpowering stench of bear. Tiger? Jeeze, when was the last time she came across that? It had been a few months for sure. Had the other tiger already shifted? Raina kept herself on high alert, uncomfortable with how quiet the forest was on such a night that should be lively with the sounds of nature.

 Unaware of the exact time, the woman suddenly felt a change within her. Expecting the tiger to push forth, she was greeted by something smaller, yet no less feisty. Her body broke down, and inwards. Fur springing out in patterns unfamiliar to her pores. When the change completed, she was shorter, the trees looming up high above her. Raina felt her tail flick and nearly lost her balance. Tiny fingers clenched around the soil under her feet. Her stance was wide, her beady eyes flicking around with uncertainty.

 Well this was fucking new...

 The screeching and chattering of another creature came in the direction of the former tiger. She sniffed the air, finding that her own scent had dramatically changed, but also that the area the tiger once inhabited had a new scent too. One that mimicked her own. Curious she wandered in that direction on wobbly legs. This would take some getting used to. If she hadn't spent so many months living primarily in her beast form this may have been more of an extreme shock to her- yes she was shocked, but she wasn't screaming like this thing in the pine tree was.

 Standing on hind legs at the base of the tree she watched as pine needles rained down from the branches above. Raina offered her attempt at a call, but it came out a strange screech to the coon above her.

It was much easier to climb a tree when you didn't weigh almost nine hundred pounds, turns out. Even after the rattling he'd taken running into this one, he had shot straight up and felt a lot like a squirrel as he did so. What was going on!! Did anyone know?!

He went stock still when he sensed something below him. Heard it screech.

His butt was facing her, the ringed tail hanging down because of gravity and his claws dug deep into the trunk of the pine.

And he realized he didn't know if he could turn around or go down.

Whatever was down there felt familiar, so he cried out to her with the single most obnoxious noise that he felt had ever come out of his own mouth.

 She could feel him up in the tree, a feeling she got when surrounded by her own kin. This... screaming thing had definitely been the tiger, but just like her, he'd changed into something else. It was an odd realization, being the calm(ish) one in such a strange situation, but living in the wilderness, becoming familiar with her beast within had granted her some level of sense that was benefiting her in this moment. Placing her tiny paws against the tree she dug her claws in. Alright... not to bad.

 Carefully Raina began pulling herself up the tree, feeling awkward yet fluid in the motion. She hadn't been much of a tree climber as a tiger, preferring the water to heights, but this wasn't so bad as whatever she'd become. Just from the small glances she got of her visible features, she'd pegged herself as a raccoon. A scrawny one at that.

 It took a few moments, but finally she found herself nearly level with where the other tiger-coon had found himself in the tree. She chirpped, trying to work her mouth to make actual words but finding this new form to lack the control she'd developed in her larger feline form. Hopefully he would be able to get that she was trying to see if he was alright? At least, as alright as one could be in such a situation?

Oh oh oh no, she was coming. It was a weird thought, not knowing her, but also feeling drawn to her, but also not liking her coming up behind him when he wasn't sure he could let go of the hold he currently had to go up, or turn around to go back down. He wasn't sure what he was, so he had little concept of if he was even meant to be capable of anything. In his quickly pattering heart he was exactly like a treed cat.

With her near, he tried to crane his head to see her. Was... she a raccoon? Was... he a raccoon??

He made a mournful noise, suspended from gripping claws like someone had butterfly pinned him there.

 Finally at his height she quickly looked down. bad fucking idea. Raina was not so good with heights. She held on tighter to the tree, her little legs quivering. She couldn't speak to let this furry dude know that she was a friend, despite not knowing him at all, but she could try? She stuck her nose out, sniffing, her little whiskers twitching as she familiarized herself with his scent.

 Slowly, shakily she reached out with one little paw? Hand? It was hand shaped, but had toe beans like any other pawed creature. An odd thought. She reached for his little ear, fingers waggling as she stretched the distance while maintaining a death grip on the tree. Please don't fall, please don't bite, please don't fall... the mantra repeated in her little pea brain.

Aaaah she was reaching for his--


He didn't move mostly because he still didn't think he could, and though he reared his head back a little, his neck was pretty short, and she reached him anyway. He didn't bare his teeth or snarl at her.

But he did close his violet eyes.

Very helpful.

 She gave pause for a moment as he pulled his head back, but he didn't make any violent actions, no baring of teeth or hissing, did raccoons hiss? She continued forwards as his eyes closed, and she gently touched his ear, moving her spindly fingers further into his fur to give a little scratch behind the ear. Raina liked the feeling of the fur between her fingers, and felt a sudden urge to play more with it, but with both hands. For a moment she forgot she was in a tree, letting go with her other arm to reach, only to nearly fall.

 With a startled chirp she quickly locked all four limbs back around the tree trunk. They needed to get down, onto solid ground, or at least onto a sturdy branch. Gripping on with her claws she stretched out a leg, embedding her toenails into the tree lower down, then slowly relocated her body weight lower so her upper arms were the ones stretching, then one at a time moved her strange raccoon hands lower. Okay, okay, okay! This was progress! It was a strange shuffle, but she could move down the tree. Left hind leg down, right hind leg down, left foreleg, right foreleg. Like a little dance.

 Raina chattered noisily at the other coon to get his attention, then continued the movements. It wasn't graceful in the least, but it worked.

It felt nice. That contact. It was something he'd missed, the feeling of kin. She felt like she had a tiger soul, but... maybe the had both changed. Maybe he was a masked bandit now, forever. Wallace didn't understand what was happening, because he felt the same only much smaller and somehow rounder.

She almost fell and it frightened a squeak out of him as he looked at her again, then realized she was going down. Like an awkward ladder climb, one leg at a time. He watched her with eyes, craning his head to watch her as she went, but no matter how he tried he couldn't seem to get his limb to make him follow her. He was very convinced he would fall if he did.

But he couldn't stay here forever, so...

Focusing upward, he managed to do what she was doing, but only in the opposite direction. Up the tree, very slowly, towards the nearest branch, getting quicker as he went and grew more confident.

Don't ask him what he was going to do once he got up there, though.

 She got about three feet down before little pine needles began to fall around her. Ah good, so he had started moving!

 Upwards. The idiot was going higher. She looked up at him as he ascended and shook her head. Really man? Fucking heights. Why did he have to choose a damn tall tree?

 Raina chittered to herself and began climbing up again. She didn't have a phone in some hidden compartment to call the fire brigade to get their furry asses out of a Christmas tree, so hopefully this coon would eventually get the common sense to climb down.

 Up she went until finally reaching his perch, which thankfully was more stable than hanging vertically off a tree. Raina looked at him with the best disappointed gaze she could muster in her current form and clicked her tongue, though the sound wasn't nearly as close to the humanoid sound she was trying for as she'd hoped.

He got to the branch he'd set his eyes on, and he crawled out onto it, his legs shaking with the energy it had apparently taken to hang onto a trunk. Or maybe he was a little shaken!

He was so small. He was pretty sure he'd never been this small in his entire life! (This was a lie. He'd been a baby once.)

And instead of continuing down, she'd come up after him, and somehow, in spite of what seemed to be confusion on both their parts, he understood very well that he was being scolded. Which he understood, because now not only were they not on the ground, they also had many, many feet of open air beneath them, the dark forest floor laid out below. His blanket and other small items many yards off to the east, barely seen through the trees.

Wallace bowed his head, pointed ears flattening, feeling very apologetic even as he finally started to have the nerve to wonder... where had she come from?

 She glared at him and with his lowering of head and flattening of ears, her little eyes rolled in their sockets. Raina scooted closer, not enjoying the feeling of being dominant to someone, especially a someone she didn't know, or someone who was frightened. Reaching out again she touched his ear, this time reaching out with both hands to run her fingers through his rough fur.

 A small content sound escaped her, not at all similar to the sound she made as a tiger, but content all the same. She gave him little scratches, feeling a serene sense of comfort well up within her, a feeling she only got from contact with kin.. something she hadn't felt in so damn long. Fuck. Had she been on her own for too long? Perhaps... her tiger had enjoyed being part of a group, but it was her human side that had made it difficult, not taking care of her needs, being rash, and violent. Being alone had brought her a sense of self, a line of communication with her beast, and right now despite her tiger being hidden away deep within her, she could tell that this is what it needed.

This was not at all what he'd expected from tonight. Stuck up a tree with another raccoon, being loved on with little scary witch hands that felt really nice in his fur and made him feel a little sniffly--for all that animals did not cry or get sniffly okay.

But that didn't stop him from waddling forward, into the underside of those grooming arms, nosing in against her furry 'coon belly. It didn't smell at all like a tiger, but she felt like a tiger. Surreal. Did he feel like a tiger, too?

He would let her carry on with this form of contact as long as she wanted to, his own chitter of contentment muffled from where he was all but shoved under her.

 To her amusement and pleasure the coon waddled closer on their little branch, sheltered from the world around. She allowed him to nuzzle in, the closeness very welcome to her and her inner beast. It honestly warmed her heart, that contact, that trust. The bond that could not be broken, linked between strangers. Fuck it was wholesome. She groomed him, untangling little knots that somehow formed in his jaunt up the tree, picking out little bits of bark and pine needles along the way.

 Eventually they'd have to get down, but she wouldn't rush him. Just because she wasn't completely freaking out over all of this, doesn't mean he was in a mindset to risk the climb down. for now they were safe, and content. It would have to do.

It emboldened him, having a friend up here with him that was really SO VERY NICE.

It was very easy for a guy like him, who did really well with one or two or maybe three close friends, to become very lonely when all of those friends decided to melt away. Living alone in a very large house was one of those moments. Being out here as an unusual animal by himself in a big forest would have been another, but instead he had someone who honestly felt... exactly like him?

Couldn't explain it. Didn't currently need to, 'cause it was basically a miracle in raccoon form.

So eventually he was released from the snuggle they'd gotten themselves into, and he sniffed with his little rounded nose at the piney night air. Then, very carefully, feeling braver now, he went to the tree trunk and then glanced back at her, as if to question... should they try again?

 She contently cuddled against him, taking up a protective position around him as she combed is fur until they were both satisfied and calm. It was a unique experience; their two tigers so close metaphysically, yet both tiger forms and human forms had been cast away for nearly identical coon sleeves. It was lucky for them both that they'd crossed paths.

 Raina didn't know what time it was, or how long they'd been sitting like that, but eventually her company decided it was time to move. She allowed him some space as he moved towards the trunk. At first, she was worried he'd climb higher, but he began looking towards the forest floor and sniffing the air. Finally he looked towards her with his beady eyes expectantly.

 With a chirp she inched towards him, nodding her little head that she was ready to descend.

 Raina would wait for him to begin his decent before taking position on the opposite side of the tree to begin her own climb down, being careful not to accidentally interfere with his movement.

Okay, here went nothing.

He put his paws back on the trunk, trying really hard to trust in his claw-feet-hands that felt nothing like the retractable claws of his usual paws. He didn't feel strong enough to move around a trunk without falling, but he had to remind himself he was also quite small.

He started down. Careful, small movements. Tail first, as he didn't want to crash his head into the ground and if he was going to fall, this would be better. Edging, faster, a little more confident and then!!


Just when he was thinking he was doing real well, his hind claws slipped and he slid several feet down the trunk with his front paws scraping bark and shrieking at the near-freefall. Catching himself only just, he clung on, heart pounding again.

 One foot than the other foot. Steady succession would lead to success. So long as neither of them rushed it. The thought had no more left her pea brain than the other raccoon and become a little overconfident with his decent, nearly leading to devastation. The first sound from her throat was shock, and the next was chattering scolding. Incoherent but badgering enough to get the point across; be careful dammit!.

 She continued her steady pace, always staying slightly above the other raccoon as she kept her gaze locked on the top of his head in case he took another tumble. Between the scratching sounds of their claws on the bark, and the general forest noise, one might be able to hear the quiet mutterings of a raccoon, trying not to scold the other every few minutes for being a risky clutz who got them stuck in the tree to begin with. Sigh. At least for now they were in one piece, safe, and together. That's what mattered.

The universal tones of being absolutely told off. He supposed that he deserved it, but that didn't stop his ears from splaying permanently flat out either side of his head.

That said, it worked--she told him off for being a dummy and as a result, he was no longer a dummy. Careful, plucking his way down the tree, he almost startled in surprise when his tail brushed the ground, and the gasp was almost human through pointy teeth.

Solid fucking ground, bitches!!

The moment all four of his paws were on needle-strewn forest floor, he spun in a lumbering circle and then ran away from the tree, just as fast as he could, as if mere proximity to it would tempt him into going up it like a fool again.

 Inch by inch she approached the forest floor, but not before her companion did... and he promptly took off. She rolled her little coon eyes once more, not bothering to rush herself and risk injury. He was leaving a trail of debris and scent after all, she could always find him so long as he didn't go for a swim.

 Once she was collected on all fours, she too took off, at a slower more controlled pace as she relearned how to walk in this form. It was strange, it's legs were shaped to work both upright and on all fours, like a transformer. After a few moments of awkward lumbering, she figured out how to run, taking off after the other trash panda.

 As she ran she let out some loud chittering calls, hoping the fool would return the call, or at least slow down so she could catch up.

Oh, he could hear her alright! But he was just... completely dumbfounded again now that he had his paws on the ground rather than giving himself a serious heart attack up a tree. Who on earth had thought that was a good idea, huh?!

So instead of stopping his run--he felt so small, what the fuck!!--he simply screamed back at her, a tumbling, bumbling, tummy-rumbling raccoon in a forest that felt far too big for something no larger than a chunky dog.

 She was growing frustrated with this striped idiot. He screamed back at her and continued his mad dash. Irritated, she slowed to a walk. She was hungry dammit. She wanted to find food and then go play near where shed stashed her belongings. If he was going to go off into the woods to get lost, then he could feel free.

 A piece of the hidden tiger within begged her to chase him. She was lonely after all. Carnal hunger won out however. Giving a final scream in his direction she took off looking for anything to eat. What was her little raccoon brain craving...

By time he realized he'd lost her, it was far too late. He had pulled to a halt, his chest heaving with exhaustion from the run and the emotional toll of being all of two feet tall. He pricked his ears and listening, turning in a circle, but... nothing.

Just him.

Well, at least that was normal.

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