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The Cats Meow

Chapter Text

It doesn't bother you.

You've always been this way. Though your fellow Miqo'te had taken a liken to teasing you about your more... cat-like qualities, you'd just brushed it off at the time. It's genetic, you think. Your whole family had been this way. It only made sense that you would be the same.

So what if you like the feel of rough material scraping under your claws? Maybe you like being stroked on your ears and tail a bit more than was normal? Big deal. Everyone likes a nice scratch every now and again. It's your sensitivity to types of Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catmint, or catnip, that actually bothered you. It leaves you feeling rather dazed, and a bit too affectionate after coming in contact with it. You avoid it at all costs, if possible.

Your cat-esque qualities are something you embrace. They're a part of you. So you get teased? It doesn't matter. All peoples have their own little quirks.

Still, it does surprise you sometimes.

You're minding you own business. Spending the day in Coerthas, as you find the company here quite relaxing. You've had the pleasure of meeting one of Haurchefant's knights during your first stay here. A Midlander by the name of Germanotta. She's kind enough to keep you company in the times Haurchefant is unavailable for your frequent visits. You pretty much live here, if you want to be honest. Haurchefant even had a room made up just for you.

You smile into your drink, pleased at the thought of the enthusiastic Elezen. You're very much fond of him. You wish you could take him with you in all your travels. You'd certainly never be bored that way. You glance up as the door to the mess hall slams open, a harried looking Haurchefant walking through the doors at a quick pace.

You catch his eye and a smile clears the glower off of his face as he beelines in your direction. A chair scrapes across the floor as he falls into it, right next to you. He sighs, running a hand through his damp hair. You tilt you head, taking a sip from your mug. "Did you take a bath?"

He huffs, looking irritated again. "It was the only way I could think to cleanse myself of the smell." You set down your mug, giving him your full atttention. "What smell?" He frowns, gesturing down at himself as he explains. "I was assisting the local alchemists when the assistant tripped over his own feet, splashing me with some sort of mint-like oil. I haven't the foggiest idea of what it was, only that I still smell it even now. Tell me, my friend, is it overly apparent?" He leans towards you, stretching out the long column of his throat.

What an attractive neck. You clear your throat, a blush blooming hot on your cheeks. You close your eyes, leaning into his space to take a whiff of his scent. The familiar smell smacks you in the face, and you regret taking such a deep inhale. Judging by the look on his face when you open your eyes, you think your pupils must be dilated.

"That smell," Your voice has taken on a deeper rumble, a thrumming purr threatening to spill into your speech. "I know what it is." He tilts his head, looking at you curiously. "It is not something with adverse side effects, is it?" You shake your head, trying to breath through your mouth as you talk to him. "Not to you. Though, it may effect any Miqo'te you come across." His eyes widen, taking in the effect of the mere scent of the leftover oil lingering on his skin has done to you. "Are you well?" You dig your claws into your thighs as you restrain yourself from rubbing against anything. Most likely him. Your skin feels sensitive now, and you would really like a good scratch right then.

"I'll be fine," You grit out, clenching your teeth tight. He looks concerned now. "Is there anything I can do to help?" Oh, twelve have mercy. You want him to take off his gloves and scratch you with his nails. You stumble to your feet, chair screeching back from the table.

He grabs your arm, preventing you from leaving. You're panting now, flashing him your teeth and tongue as you try to control yourself. You want to run around, scratch your skin, and rub up against him. All things that you really shouldn't do if you want to come away with your dignity intact. He stands from his seat, pulling you towards him so he can look at your face.

"My deepest apologies. I should not have come out of the bath until I washed all of this oil from my skin. Is there nothing I can do to make this right?" You groan, giving into the urge to rub your head against the grate of his chainmail. "Just scratch my ears." You grumble, wishing this hadn't happened. He reaches into your hair, scraping his gloves fingers against your twitching appendages.

Your purring will not be denied. The rumbling sound spills out of you as he soothes your itch. You rub your head against his chainmail, tilting your head up so you can bury your face in the unadorned skin of his neck. "You smell nice," You tell him, feeling too euphoric to hold back things you normally keep to yourself. He chokes out a sound as you lick at his neck with your raspy tongue. "I-Is that so? Not just the oil talking, is it?"

Your tail swishes lazily behind you, ears twitching madly atop your head as you take another deep whiff of his scent. "No, I've always thought you smelled nice. It's mixing with the smell of the oil, and I can't... contrrrol myself." By the twelve, you're rolling your 'r's now. This must be some potent oil.

The door opens again, drawing Haurchefant's attention away from you. It's Germanotta, hands on her knees as she pants like she had just run quite a distance. "Germanotta? Is something amiss?" Haurchefant asks, slipping back into his role as the Lord presiding over Camp Dragonhead. Germanotta straightens up to salute, still short of breath as she replies. "Pardon my intrusion, Ser! There are matters that require your attention urgently, I'm afraid."

He nods, glancing back at you with an apologetic look on his face. You force yourself to nod curtly, still feeling rather loopy. "My apologies, dear friend. I must investigate this matter. You will be all right?" Again, you force yourself to nod. You dig your claws into your hands, using the pain to center your mind. Germanotta is watching curiously from the doorway, glancing back at you as Haurchefant passes her by. "If you don't mind my asking, ser, what was that about?" She asks, the door closing behind her.

Haurchefant's voice has a strange note to it as he replies. "I've just discovered something interesting. I have no idea what to make of it. Never you mind, what was it that was so important?"

You don't hear what she says in response as their voices move away from you. You grab onto the table, using it for balance as you sit back down. You pick up your mug, inhaling the scent of sweet chocolate to try and erase the smell of that oil from your mind. You take a sip, hands trembling as you grip the mug tight in your hands. That was the first time you did something strange in front of him.

O.o

The second time, all you're really doing is taking a nap. In an odd place, yes. But you've been out doing missions nonstop lately, when you had finally taken your chance to rest. You had been waiting for him, sitting in his chair. You must have nodded off at some point.

It's the feeling of someone watching you that wakes you. You let out a jaw cracking yawn, tongue curling out of your mouth as your stretch. Your tongue peeks out of your lips as you blink awake. You jump as you come face to face with Haurchefant, who is watching you with wide eyes. He's leaning back against his desk, arms crossed as he just stares at you. You sit up from your half curled position, feeling rather embarrassed that he had caught you napping in his chair. "How have I not noticed this before now?" He says, seemingly talking to himself.

You wipe at your mouth, checking for drool. "Notice what?" You ask, clearing your throat so as not to sound so sleepy. "You. This." He points to you, twirling his wrist to gesture to the entire room. This? What in the world is he talking about. You stand from his chair, rubbing the sleep from your eyes. "Want to go get something to eat?" He stares at you a moment longer, before shaking his head and standing straight. "All right. What do you want?" You shrug, walking with him side by side. "I could go for some fish." Haurchefant bursts out laughing at that. What did you say? ...How was that funny?

O.o

The third time you really have no excuse. You were bored out of your mind. Haurchefant was busy. Germanotta nowhere to be found. So, when you saw the mouse skittering across the floor? Well, you couldn't help yourself.

"Hello, little mouse." You purr, biting playfully at the air.

The mouse squeaks in fear, scampering away to cower in a corner. You prowl towards it, sliding from your seat to crawl on hands and knees. Your tail swishes lazily behind you. You have no intention to harm the creature, you just enjoy playing up to your more animalistic tendencies. You cup your hands around it, raising the mouse up to your eye level.

You flash a grin as it trembles in your hands. "Come now, sweet mouse. Don't be shy."

Haurchefant chooses that exact moment to enter the room.

"Apologies for being... late?" He stares at you, taking in the sight of the mouse clutched in your hands. "You weren't going to eat that mouse, were you?" You frown at him, clutching the mouse close to your chest. "How barbaric. I was catching it so I could release it outside. What kind of monster do you think I am?" He smiles at you, leaning against the doorway.

"You are the most peculiar person I've ever had the pleasure to meet." What did he even mean by that? You sniff, raising up from your prowling position to sweep by him and out the door. "Ah! Is that a no to dinner then?" He calls after your retreating back. Hmph.

O.o

He's doing paperwork. And ignoring you. He's ignoring you while doing his paperwork, and you're hungry. You pout, ears flat to your head and your tail lashing out behind you. "What are you doing?" You ask, voice coming out a bit too much like a whine for your taste.

He doesn't look up from whatever he's writing. "Paperwork, my dear. It has to be done." You sulk, winding your way around his desk so you can peek over the back of his chair. "Can I help?" You're really hungry. Maybe if you help him with this, he'll finish up fast so you can go get something to eat together.

He laughs, dipping his quill into the ink pot before starting another sentence. "I think not, my dear friend. Your handwriting is rather atrocious." You frown, sitting down in a sulk by his feet. "I'm hungry." You groan, flopping over onto your side, tail twitching in your agitation.

Your ear flickers as he strokes a hand over your head. You peek up at him, frowning. "Just a few more, if you don't mind? I would love nothing more than to go and eat with you, but I have duties to attend to before I am able. If you find it is not worth the wait, please feel free to go ahead without me." You duck your head, embarrassed at how whiny you became when going without food for so long. "No, I want to go with you. I'm sorry, please finish your work."

He smiles down at you, hands gentle as he scratches at the base of your ears. "All right then. I won't be long, I promise." You hum softly, closing your eyes. You'll wait for him.

O.o

You found a bird. Just a baby, really. It must have fallen from its nest and injured its wing.

You're carrying the bird clutched in your hands, searching for Haurchefant when you hear the sound of conversation near by. You hadn't meant to eavesdrop.

"...the fury! What in the world is going on, Ser?" That's Germanotta's voice. You pause, ears twitching as you listen in. "It is as if having a pet, but not quite. All the sweetness and fun with none of the responsibility. I find myself quite smitten, Germanotta. What am I to do?" That was Haurchefant!

What were they talking about? Did Haurchefant have an animal? You peek down at the injured bird in your hands. You hope it isn't a cat. Germanotta huffs, seeming offended. "Adorable or not, my Lord. The Warrior of Light is a person, not a pet!"

You flush, staring down at the bird with wide eyes.

...They were talking about you? Oh.

"What if they were to hear of this? How embarrassed would they be?" Well, you are kind of embarrassed. Even a little flattered, if you allow yourself to admit it. Lord Haurchefant fancied you as his pet, did he? Well, there were worse things. He would take care of you, at least. You frown, shaking your head at yourself. Why were you even considering such a silly notion? You're a Miqo'te! Not some kind of house cat.

Haurchefant sighs, his voice apologetic as he replies. "I see your point. Forgive my foolish notions. I had not meant to imply that our dear friend was some kind of animal to be kept. Merely that the way they act at times is most endearing." Ah, you're really embarrassed now. It was one thing for other Miqo'te to tease you about such things. But for Haurchefant to notice it as well?

You leave the bird on his desk before making your escape. You need time to think.

O.o

You've made your decision. You like him. He seems to like you. So, why not? You're going to court him. In the Miqo'te way taught to you by your family. You'll hunt for him.

Haurchefant jumps to his feet when you slam through the doors. You lock eyes with him, not looking away for a second as you present him with your kill. He drags his eyes away to look down at what you brought. Several snowshoe mice, a karakul and even a wolf.

"This is...?" He furrows his brow, looking at you in confusion. You duck your head as you shuffle your feet. "I didn't know what you liked." He blinks. "What I like?" Oh no, did you read it wrong? Did he not like you after all? Well, it was too late to take it back now.

You place your hands on his desk, leaning in while maintaining eye contact. Eye contact was very important. He needs to know you're serious. "I like you. Do you like me?" He flushes, staring down at your present to him. "You like me? Ah! Then this is...?"

You nod. "It is my intent to court you, in the only way I know how. Is that acceptable?" He nods, looking at you with wide blue eyes. You sigh, relieved. "Then you do like me?" Again, he nods. Have you rendered him speechless? "I like you, too. Please accept my offering as a suit for courtship."

With that said, you turn to leave. A grin tugs at your mouth just thinking about courting him.

You're going to woo him so well, he'll have no idea what hit him.