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oh i can feel it (magic in your fingertips)

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He’s tense. He’s been tense, ever since a scheduled brief teachers’ meeting turned into an hours-long affair dominated by arguments over the minutiae of instructing magic to children. Even as he walks through the front door of his home (no, their home, and doesn’t that still send a small thrill through him every time he thinks it?) he can’t stop the hunching of his shoulders, the clenching of his fists. The age-old desire to scratch his arms rears its head.

 

(His inability to relax is certainly not helped by a conversation from this morning he keeps replaying in his head, the words burning at the back of his mind. It’s not even fair to call it a conversation; just a simple Sending from Astrid, and his short reply.

 

Developments in his case, along with new findings. Trial to be postponed. 

 

Clipped and to the point. Astrid’s demeanor had been unreadable, though her tone held the strained sense of sympathy it always had when Ikithon came up.

 

“Understood. That’s...less than ideal.” He had considered asking about the nature of the ‘new findings,’ but didn’t want to push his luck. “Thank you for the notification, Astrid.” There had been no follow up.)

 

He huffs out a sigh, putting his books, coat and shoes in their proper places before calling out to his wife. “Jester?”

 

There is currently neither sight nor sound of Jester in their cottage as far as he can tell, much to his disappointment. He supposes it’s late enough that she’s already gone to bed, but he had been hoping to have a late dinner with her to help unwind. 

 

It’s just as he’s making his way up the stairs that he hears a commotion from the living room, followed by the sound of various meows. Ah, at least their cats are awake; perhaps one of them will be amenable to a cuddle while he reads.

 

The living room does in fact look to be in slight disarray when he enters: a picture frame on the side table has been knocked over and there’s a few pillows on the floor, along with a (thankfully unbroken) tea cup. And there in the center, rolling around playfully with Fritzi and Ingrid, is a long-haired, bright blue cat. 

 

The tension doesn’t dissipate instantly, but it does suddenly become much easier to drop his shoulders, relax his fists. “Oh, there you are, Katzchen ,” he says, chuckling at his own Zemnian joke. “I thought you might’ve gone to bed already.”

 

The blue cat races over to him and paws at his pant leg, violet irises shining mischievously. Caleb obliges the creature, smiling as he scoops it into his arms.

 

He suddenly becomes extremely grateful that he is standing near their couch, as he finds himself with an armful of blue tiefling. “ Scheiße , Jester!”

 

Her resulting laugh is able to clear away the rest of his funk; collapsing with her onto the couch, he finds a laugh of his own bubbling up out of his chest.

 

“Hello, Caleb! How was your day?” she asks, drawing out the ‘a’ in the last word.

 

Oomph , ja , it was alright, Jester. Too long.” She must detect something in his voice because she narrows her eyes and maneuvers them into a more comfortable position stretched out on the couch. 

 

“Is that it, hmm? Nothing else happened today?”

 

No longer holding himself together so tightly, he finds himself overcome with a bone-deep sense of exhaustion. “Well...yes, things did happen, but it’s...it’s too much right now. Can I tell you later?”

 

Her arms tighten around him and she rests her head on his chest. “Of course, totally. You don’t have to talk right now if you don’t want.”

 

Comfortable silence fills the room as the two of them lay there wrapped up in each other. Gods, this feels good , he thinks. I will never tire of this .

 

“Psst, hey, Caleb.” Jester’s whisper cuts through the quiet. 

 

Ja , blueberry?”

 

“I have an idea that might make you feel better.” He can feel her mouth widen into an impish smile where it's pressed partway into his chest.

 

“What did you ha-” And with no warning once again, Caleb finds himself now with an armful of blue cat, tail flicking excitedly. Jester-cat gracefully leaps off his stomach onto the floor, before turning back to him. She sits very properly for a cat, tilting her head and giving him a look. He can almost hear her voice in his head: well, are you going to join me or not?

 

Another smile spreads across his face as he reaches into his component pouch. “Ok, just a moment, Jester.” One hand finds the necessary cocoon while the other traces the necessary movements and then he is shifting and now everything is larger. His thoughts are different too, quiet in the way he finds relaxing instead of terrifying.

 

Look! Jester is on the floor and she is blue and she is a cat too. Yes yes yes! Not much else runs through his mind as he nimbly makes his way down the couch and runs up to his fellow cat, who playfully swats him before darting off, beginning the chase. 

 

Their meows fill the whole cottage as the two cats, one blue and one orange, frolic around in a swirl of color, lighting up the night.