Insecurity blanket

Magic Hollow 
#51
What. On what planet would clawing at the window and destroying pillows make him not sad. He'd thrown things at her, and whether she was a jaguar or not, that was fucked up and he felt fucking terrible for it in retrospect.

He brought his hands to his face, rubbing at it, feeling responsible for her feelings and his own. If he answered honestly, that all of her efforts here were fucking stupid, then she'd get sad and he would have to fix it and just. It all felt like a lot, and he hid his face for a few long seconds like it might prevent him from existing.

Breathe. Think thoughts. Say words.

"Okay," he decided on eloquently. To his hands. "I. Appreciate that."

But then Asha would cut him off. :(
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#52
He appreciated being pushed into anger and fear? She gave a hefty grump to those words, and truthfully didn't even need a fucking connection to his inner psyche to know that that was bullshit.

"Stop." She lowered to the ground, some effort to appear less threatening, but if a cat could furrow her brows without having a wrinkle to her muzzle for it then this cat had missed the memo. So. There was a wrinkle to her muzzle with her kind of furrowed browline.

"Don't appreciate it when I mess things up. It's not fair."

To... him? Mostly. But also not to her. She circled a point, but didn't quite get to it yet.
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#53
Stop. Yes. Okay. He was stopping.

"I was going to say more. But."

She cut him off. So.

He lowered his hands and clasped them in front of him because he wasn't sure what else to do with them, working the palm of one hand against the fingers of the other.
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#54
Unfortunately a conversation just happens like that, Abraham. >:[

But anyway, he said he was going to say more. So. She. Continued because obviously it was her turn to talk maybe they needed a dumb talking stick.

"Why'd you get sad."

Yes! Haha! A question that meant he had to stand there and answer her!
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#55
He hated this. Being questioned by some grunting animal that was actually his girlfriend surrounded by things she'd deliberately destroyed.

"I told you I liked being around you-" it was worse than that, more personal and intimate "-and you shifted out of fucking disgust, Asha," he said, hands rising and falling again. "Like. Christ. What am I supposed to get from that."

Could there be something more hurtful than someone twisting out of their own body to get away from your affection?
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#56
What.

How in the hell did he leap from "You used to make me barf all the time" to "I like being around you" and think whatever disgust she'd felt was the result of the latter instead of the former? What kind of person was she that he thought she could feel like that? Moreso the shift was... not really related to that disgust, however suddenly after it had taken root. That had been a very personal panic that she wasn't sure she could delve into without making things infinitely worse.

Her cat's face remained unfortunately less expressive than she needed it to be, but she felt confusion, strongly, and also hurt that her feelings had been misconstrued and therefore also hurt him.

"I wasn't disgusted about that," she rumbled quietly, unsure just how deeply he'd convinced himself of that. He'd been sad enough to start crying and that was on her. "Just that I made you throw up."
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#57
Abraham was not even remotely convinced.

"You shifted because I talked about throwing up."

He stared her down, hating talking to an animal. Hating that it wasn't her voice or her face. All of this sucked. Knowing he was about to be lied to sucked.
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#58
"I didn't shift because of that."

He tread on dangerous territory. She didn't want to get into it. It wasn't for him to know because she just. Didn't know how to deliver it without hurting him.

"It wasn't about you."

And really... it wasn't. It was about her. Hell, the shift was the cat just punishing her again.
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#59
"What was it, then?"

Because he'd found someone attractive and then did absolutely nothing but be polite? Because he'd gotten nervous about her in the beginning? (And now?) Because it was easier to be a jaguar and destroy their fucking furniture than it was to have an actual conversation with him?
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#60
Nooooo. Why did he have to do this. She couldn't reliably explain it to him well enough, detailed enough, without stumbling somewhere and having him take it all so personally that she probably really would break out of the house out of shame.

"I love you and need you but I don't know who I am anymore and honestly I feel like I'm just a bystander with all this cat stuff and love stuff?"

He'd never understand.

"It was just shit between me and the cat," Asha answered through the cat's voice, and her head turned some so the cat could eye her own body threateningly, as if Asha was there instead of in that same head. "She pushed so I just let her out."
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#61
That was a lie. They both knew it.

But he'd already pushed as hard as he was willing to. Asha lied, and she lied a lot. She always had, and Abraham had a sense that she always would.

"Okay."

What else was there to say. Abraham stood there, waiting for some permission to move and... go to bed, maybe.
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#62
No it wasn't okay and she could tell. Why. Why wasn't it okay.

It wasn't a lie, it just wasn't the full fucking encyclopedia of the truth. The cat had pushed because she didn't like Asha's feelings of wanting to run away.

So why did he have to do that.

The look she gave him was as plaintive as a jaguar could give, but she, Asha, human Asha, just felt completely and totally beat down by his hurt and her cat's anger and his cat's wariness. All of it directed at her. All because she had a fucking panic that she felt just... completely unwilling to face the consequences of explaining.

So, she got up, mumbling one last "I'm sorry," before she headed up the stairs to the bedroom.
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#63
Okay.

Okay again. She apologized, and he was tempted to apologize, too. But Abraham didn't have anything to apologize for, and he told himself that over and over and over and over in his head.

No one felt good here, though. If he'd just kept his shit together a little better. If just... anything had been a little different.

"Can I come up with you?" he asked, remembering that she'd asked him not to crowd her in the past.
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#64
"Yes," would be the answer he got. But she had four legs versus his two to work with, so unless he just... bolted, she'd beat him up the stairs and into the bedroom.

Where — as she saw the pumpkins and felt a fresh wave of bad for having ruined whatever his plans with those were — she would be found pushing one towards the other with her face and paws, trying to guide them to the relative center of the room.

She was hungry on an instinctive level, but the idea of eating didn't really appeal when she could do... whatever this apparently important thing was instead.
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#65
She would indeed beat him upstairs. He followed at something of a sluggish pace, feet heavy on his way up.

Abraham wasn't sure what to make of her nosing at the pumpkin. He watched, wondering if she might try to eat it or something.

Gently, he sought to rest a hand on her back, not really petting so much as... acknowledging that both of them were in the same space.
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#66
Her skin twitched involuntarily to the feeling of his hand on her back. She gave a quiet rumble straight from the cat's heart, but otherwise she was dedicated to her mission, continuing to move along under his touch.

These pumpkins were indeed large, and it took some effort and circling before she was satisfied with them next to each other. And then she circled them one more time, and then... flopped to the ground encircled around them.

It had felt important and took too many feelings to explain why. But now she was a jaguar protecting their pumpkins.
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#67
Abraham wasn't really sure what he was watching. Asha was... challenging to understand even in her human form.

But he let her do her thing, a leftover frown on his face. She eventually settled, and he looked at her with less fondness than usual, but certainly something. A big jaguar protecting her...

Eggs, his brain said. Jaguars didn't have eggs.

Unsure of what to say, he moved to settle crosslegged on the floor near the pumpkins, opposite her.
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#68
She watched him with the saddest face a killer cat could offer as he moved. Then he sat across from her, close... but not close enough.

Asha was still kind of burned by all this. It didn't help that he largely felt the same. Extending a stubby leg forward, toes splayed but claws mindfully sheathed, she moved to carefully, carefully, carefully boop a paw at his knee.
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#69
Her paw was giant, easily eclipsing the size of his knee.

Abraham reached a hand out to gently grab it, if she'd let him, just to feel at the weird paw pad and the fluff in between. These were details he never paid attention to when he himself was a jaguar, but right now it was something to focus his attention on that wasn't depressing or infuriating.

"Such big paws," he murmured.
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#70
She did have very perfect big paws. Not as big as his in jaguar form, but it was okay here.

She'd let him hold for a healthily long moment, glancing down at his small hand and lengthy fingers. Human bodies were so wiry and frail. And tasty, thought the cat, running her tongue over her nose and down the side of her mouth.

No eating him. But she'd pull her paw upward a bit, hovering it over his hand. Glancing to him pointedly before looking back at the hand, like they could make this a game.

There were moments where her being a cat seemed easier for both of them. This was one of them.
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#71
He didn't like watching her lick her lips. In the end, for all the trust in the world, she could spread his guts like pillow filling in a second if she wanted to. Asha was of equal strength to him, maybe greater, but her control had never ventured near his.

Her paw lifted away and he watched her, unable to read her mind but knowing he was on the hook to do something.

So he began to slowly pull his hand away from beneath hers, wonder if she might try to swat it still.
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#72
She watched it like prey as his hand began to slide back, her paw still hovering, waiting. And then...

She slapped her paw down onto his hand, successfully pinning it and pulling it along the carpet towards her. But she'd lift her paw immediately again with a snort, lapping her nose once more, glancing repeatedly from his face to his hand.

Again?

hit!


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#73
Boy did that make Abraham sweat a little. She was quick, dragging his hand back clawlessly for now.

If this was what she wanted to do, then... well. Abraham would do it.

This time he began to inch away very slowly, then abruptly tried to yank his hand away from her reach.
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#74
miss!


Not as quick this time. Her slapped dully on carpet as he evaded her, and she gave a gruff huff and flopped onto her side.

"Too fast," Asha decided, apparently playing sore loser.

Her paw kneaded into the carpet, claws poking out just a teensy bit through toe fluff. Give hand now. Please.
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#75
Abraham slid his hand back toward her carefully, mindful of the claws and supplied very vivid imagery of what they could do.

He wished he found a little more fun in this, recognizing that it was the sort of thing he might try to do to cheer her up. But he was also still burned to some degree by this entire encounter, mindful still of the disgust she'd felt toward him not long ago.

Still, he did his best as he inched his hand nearer, more tired than anything else.
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#76
There was some sense that she should give up being a cat.

But she had... this thought. That he might, like. Disappear while she was knocked out. And that she'd come to in a few hours and find all his things gone. And probably not even a note because he hadn't left a note that other time.

And how was it fair, that she could fear that immensely, but at the same exact time she also found herself lost in this reality they'd built with each other. Lost in her own cat's wants.

She wanted to be a good girlfriend and also she didn't want to be a girlfriend at all, but it seemed utterly irreconcilable that she should be able to return to being a person she recognized but also keep Abraham.

He brought his hand forward and she pulled it to her, hugging it to her cheek with her big paws. It was probably turned kind of weirdly, so he'd just have to adjust.

And then she was still, awake and pushing her thoughts to nothing. It was all a mess that she'd spent far too much time paying attention to today. She needed to bury that shit down to where it usually lurked and carry on.
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#77
He felt a moment of worry as she pulled his hand into both paws, and especially anywhere near her mouth. But he moved his arm as needed, eventually realizing where she wanted him.

Abraham leaned in, stroking her cheek with his thumb as best he could reach with her paws there.

There was still so much to say that he was left largely speechless. This would blow over as it always did, and nothing really would he resolved from it.

So he continued gentle movements, then eventually... slowly let himself kind of fall over, stretching his legs out as he met the floor on his side.
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#78
Her side rose and fell heavily, deep breaths filling big lungs. It felt like a moment of silence too thick to break. But she'd look at him, enjoying the feeling of his thumb at her cheek, and break it all the same. (The silence, not his thumb.)

"Hi," she spoke in a quiet rumble, using his favorite Abrahamism against him.

Would it be so bad to just get stuck in roo form?
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#79
"Hi."
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#80
Echo. She didn't know what to say to that. Felt a little cornered by it.

"What should I do. So you can be happy again."

She felt a rare need for direction here as she continued to hug his hand needily, and she knew on a surface level that asking for direction was something she would hate from him but Asha was a hypocrite, so.
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#81
This couldn't keep happening.

She couldn't do something that made him feel like shit, then provoke him into enough anger that he did something regrettable and then fell back into some easy to tame form out of guilt.

Asha looked very large as some animal on the same level as he was near the floor.

"You have to tell me what you want. And if I'm doing something wrong. When you just... ask me a bunch of questions, you're not talking to me. You're just... interrogating me. And it leaves me really... like. Raw. And not knowing what's going on."
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#82
She wanted to give a long, long grumble while he admonished her. Just a little "rrrrrrrrrrr." But she held it in, feeling like a defeated pancake, because she didn't want him to get scared. Or mad.

When he finished she let out another heavy whoosh of air.

"You didn't do anything wrong. Sometimes I just get lost in thoughts. But sorry I questioned you."
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#83
That felt a little better. Maybe? It would be nicer coming from someone who wasn't avoiding him in the form of a giant animal.

There probably wouldn't be lessons learned here. Maybe there wouldn't be.

"Thanks. For talking," he said, and that was honest. He did appreciate it.

He just also didn't know what else to say.
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#84
It did feel real. But also, it felt like a barricade, like he was deciding it wasn't worth his time to keep talking.

Nodding felt stupid with such a big head. Her cat wanted control again so she could... flop onto him or something. Asha decided to let her, and if he would she'd settle on her stomach with her head on his chest and her tail still curled around the pumpkins.
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#85
He was comfortable like this, as comfortable as he could be given everything involved. Abraham closed his eyes.

"Is there... anything else you wanna talk about," he asked, stroking her fur with a lazy hand.

Like many things tonight, probably not, but at least he was trying.
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#86
The petting felt nice. The reinvitation felt nicer. Did she want to talk about it or was it enough that he wanted her to?

"I don't... want you to think I'm not happy."

That felt like a good place to start. And stop. Just. Stop. She thought about things, about the plans for his party, the gifts she'd gotten him, things she'd done and would do for him on so many levels.

It couldn't just be the cat holding her hostage and making her do it. She was in this. She just also had her doubts sometimes, and they were real and frightening and she should be allowed to feel that way.

Maybe not be shitty and destroy furniture but. Asha was loathe to part with her faults.

"Don't put me back in bed when I go back. Gonna do the pumpkins with you."

She said this sleepily.
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#87
These were all words he was willing to accept.

This wasn't a fix. There were still problems. But he felt a little closer to peaceful.

"Won't move except to make us sandwiches," he said, this time with a more audible fondness.

Two monsters curled around pumpkins on the floor. It was probably the best Abraham could hope for.
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