Last night at the Pig & Whistle.
The Pig was full but not crowded, with comfortingly familiar people. Shaurria was trying to divide her time between everyone equally, until she was distracted by Pitch getting into a discussion with Arrens, one that seemed to involve a lot of big words. Finally Pitch turned away, and came over to her. "Kitty?" he asked her. "Umm, come here for a second, kay?" She looked at him curiously, then got up and followed as he went back to the corner under the stairs.
Once there, he unshifted and sat, then looked at her. "Can you elf for me?" he asked. She blinked at him, then left her cat form and sat next to him. He hesitated, then leaned closer, speaking softly enough to not be overheard. "Shaur, umm, you have a thing for me, don't you?" She blinked again, then blushed as she nodded. He continued, "I like you too, kitty. But, well, I have to tell you something, okay?" She nodded again, a sinking feeling starting somewhere in her stomach.
"Shaur, you're still very young, and I'm not sure if you're really ready for this. Do you... understand?" She bit her lip, looking at him uncertainly as he reached over and gently rubbed her shoulder. "I'm sorry, but we can't be anything more than friends right now."
Shaur blinked again, then whispered back, "Is it cause y'like Sky?" Pitch blinked back at her. "Sky and I are friends, kitty. I don't know if it's ever going to be more than that." Shaur dropped her gaze and stared at her knees. Pitch rubbed at her back, gently. "I'm still your friend too, okay? I can still teach you. I just... can't do more than that right now, okay?" She gave a slight nod, still not looking up. "It's-.. it's just cause I'm little, isn't it?" "I'm sorry, kitty," he said softly. "If you were older then maybe, but, well, you still have some growing to do. And that includes up here." He gently touched her forehead.
He hesitated. "Do you want me to keep teaching you?" he asked. "If it's gonna be too hard on you..." Shaur shook her head. "No, it'll be fine. I- I don't want you to go." He nodded, slowly, then took her hand and squeezed it. Shaur suddenly looked up at him. "W- we are still friends, though. Right?" He grinned. "Course." She gave him a faint smile. "Okay."
Pitch wrapped an arm around her and gave her a brotherly hug, which she returned. "Okay," he said. "Back out there now?" She nodded, and both druids changed to their cat forms. Shaur followed Pitch out from under the stairs, then hesitated. Finally she went to lay between Aely and Arrens' chairs, and just listened while everyone talked. When the two of them got up to leave, she did too. "M'gonna go find Arvoss t'night," she said, not quite looking at Pitch. She felt his eyes on her, but all he said was, "Okay." She hugged Windstar, then changed to cat and followed the other two out the door. Once outside, she started running, and didn't stop until she reached the familiar room in the Rose, where Arvoss was reading a book by lamplight. "'Eya, kitten," he said when he saw her. "Ye gonna sleep 'ere t'nigh'?" She simply nodded, then curled up in her favorite corner. She was blessedly asleep before very long, and left her troubled thoughts behind.
Back at the Pig, Pitch just sat and let the others' conversation flow around him. He felt somewhat helpless, and hated it. First the mess with Shaur, and now it appeared that Sky could use some help, but he had no idea what to do. Elly gave him a glass of juice as she passed at some point, but it sat on the table in front of him, untouched. Finally he stood. "Gonna go sleep," he announced to the room. "Night all." Then he shifted to cat and went downstairs to the spare rooms, where he curled up in a corner and tried to forget his problems in sleep.