This has been a work in progress for several weeks. I'm not really happy with it because I wanted it to be longer, but Epic Writer's Block fails. So, here's what I've gotten done so far. Note: this is a bit more serious than the last one. Also, the pictures I was gonna stick in were lost when my thumb drive died. :(
"Ah'm 'eadin' ta th' Plaguelands, kitten. Ah'm goin' back 'ome, ta Lordaeron."
Arvoss' words echoed in her head as Shaurria trotted to the Pig & Whistle tavern. The Pig was usually busy this night of the week, and she had gotten to know several of the regulars. So even though Arvoss was gone and Windstar and Frazle were nowhere to be found, she headed over out of habit.
Loneliness drove her to approach several different people, testing them for friendliness with a purr before begging an ear rub from the likeliest. Her evening improved considerably when two people she considered friends arrived. She spent the rest of the night sticking close to one or the other of them. As the tavern finally emptied and the druid she had befriended sat on the floor with her, giving her rubs and pats, she no longer felt quite so lonely.
* * * * * *
Shaurria stalked her next target carefully. The humans here in Darkshire needed help, and she had been tasked with culling the worgen numbers in the surrounding woods. Her technique was pretty simple- creep up through the shadows or underbrush, then pounce on her target and bite and claw it, while avoiding its teeth or claws, until it stopped moving. It didn't exactly take a lot of skill, but it was efficient, and she was slowly learning some finesse.
Killing was easier if she just thought of it as hunting. Cats were natural hunters, after all. But on occasions, in her mind, she could see that furbolg from so long ago, falling under her claws. She didn't quite understand why it troubled her so much, but it did. She had thought of talking about it with Arvoss, or maybe Windstar, but every time her nerve had failed.
Her hunting gave her time to think, as well. The words the Cat Spirit had told her rang through her head. Depend on no one but yourself, he had said. Shaur realized she was breaking that rule, but didn't know what to do about it. Arvoss was always there for her, and she really didn't want it any other way. Between him and 'Star, it was almost like having her parents back, and she desperately wanted that. She just wasn't ready to be by herself yet.
Shaur's buzzbox, laying on top of her pack nearby, suddenly crackled. "Evenin', all." Arvoss' voice came across clearly. Shaurria forgot the worgen and dove for the box, changing out of cat as she did. "Arvoss!" she exclaimed. "Are ya coming home soon?" She heard him chuckle. "Aye, lass. Ah'll be there before too long." Shaur heard Windstar start talking then, but she paid no attention. She quickly grabbed her pack and headed back to Stormwind to wait.
* * * * * *
"Kitten, there's sommat Ah've been wonderin' about." She looked up at Arvoss curiously, waiting for him to continue. "Why dinnae ye talk in yer kitty shape? Alla otha druids Ah've seen can do it." Shaur frowned, thinking. "Because my brain is a kitty," she said after a bit, then looked at him and fell over laughing at the expression on his face. "I can't explain it any better!" she said, giggling. Then she grew more serious. "But when I'm a cat, I think like a cat mostly. And cats don't talk. So, there it is."
* * * * * *
Shaurria knew that this was a Serious Talk by the expression on Arvoss' face. He patted the park bench next to him, and after a moment's hesitation she sat down. "Kitten," he began. "Ah feel like ye oughta talk about whateveh 'appened to ye. Ye ain't eveh gonna be free o' it til ye do, ye ken?" She nodded reluctantly. "Dinnae ye trust me?" he asked. She looked at him miserably. "Yes," she said in a small voice. "Ah reck' Star oughta be there s'well, an' 'ow about Tad?" Shaur just nodded, eyes downcast. Arvoss gently tipped her chin up, so she was looking at him. "S'aright, kitten," he said gently. "Ye dinnae 'ave ta do it til yer ready. But ye oughta be doin' it soon." Shaur looked at him for a long while, then just cuddled against him, her face buried in his shoulder. He didn't say anything more, he just held her.
* * * * * *
Shaurria left the Pig feeling unsettled. She made her way to the Gilded Rose and went inside. The innkeeper nodded at her as she went by. "Upstairs, to the right. His usual room." Shaur purred briefly and went up, finding Arvoss' scent and following it to his room. She stepped to the edge of the bed and murred softly, not wanting to wake him if he was asleep. He was still awake, however, and quickly sat up, moving to the edge next to her. Shaur shifted out of cat and sat beside him. After a moment, she said softly, "Aely seemed so sad." "Aye," Arvoss replied. "Love 'urts sommat th' tahm." Shaur sighed and leaned against him; he put one arm around her.
Almost as an afterthought, she added, "I talked to her. I think she'll be okay." Arvoss just grunted acknowledgment. Then, after a moment, "Ye did what?" "Talked to her," she repeated shyly. Arvoss blinked at her. Then grunted again. "Ye did, eh?" he said, sounding pleased. "Dinnae s'pose there's a chance ye'll start talkin' ta others naow, too, eh? Like mebbe yer crazy druid frien'?" Shaur shrugged. "He's not really that bad. He's just.... odd, I guess."
They sat in silence for a bit before Shaurria said, "He told me something before I left, but I don't understand it. He said I'm not, uh, one of the circle? But maybe soon." She shrugged again, looking perturbed. Arvoss frowned. "Hmph. Ye're both druids, right? Mebbe 'e means yer Cenarion Circle." "I don't know, maybe. I... I don't know much about them, really. Spent so much time with him that I didn't see the others alot." Arvoss patted her shoulder. "Ah reck' ye'll figger it out sooner or late, lass, Dinnae let it botha ye right naow. Ye ready fer sleep?" Shaur nodded and stood. Changing back to cat, she found her usual spot on the floor, turned in place a couple times and curled up. She was asleep before Arvoss was even settled back into bed.
Last bit was from RP night a couple weeks ago. Shaur still has no idea what he was talking about. And yes, Shaur is now talking to people outside her little "circle". We'll see how that goes.
Got a few more that I'm working on, but writer's block is killing me, and I'm starting to catch something. Don't know when I'll have something finished, sorry. It'll be up here when it's done.