[personal profile] skysailor
Based off this pic (anyone seeing this, let me know if you find a direct link to the artist's post of the pic, since she doesn't like reposts but I kinda need the pic to give this story any context at all.)

The master wraps the strap of the ribbonlike leash twice around his hand, pulling it close to his body, just in case the cat is about to strike. The cat is well-disciplined, no pulling or tugging; even with the strap short and close, there’s slack left in the leash. But the urge towards movement is there nonetheless. That cock of the head so the cat’s gaze hits the target, that tensing of the shoulders, of claws ready to flex. That slight step back, as if about to pounce. The master knows without looking that that gaze is threateningly direct. The cat never looks at you head-on unless he wants to hurt you. The master’s learned that the hard way.

The target? Someone who deserves it, perhaps. The kind of creature that meets the cat’s eyes head-on and shows its teeth; that presents its paw, the claws barely velveted; that approaches without heed to the warning in the cat’s gaze or the side-eye the master gives it. The master is tempted to let go the leash. But he’s not sure what language this thing is speaking, and for all that it doesn’t look human, perhaps it is speaking in human. Perhaps it meets their eyes out of politeness; perhaps the bared teeth are a smile; perhaps the extended paw is a handshake. The master has spent too long around the cats, and has begun to see things their way more often than he should.

The master is tempted to twitch the shortened leash, to force the cat to look away from the other, to cede ground so they don’t have to fight for ground. The cat is well-disciplined, but there is a part of the master that fears it won’t work. The cat is well-disciplined, but that means only that the master has become very good at convincing him that he wants to obey. Besides, this creature is a threat, if what it’s speaking is cat.

The master takes a glance up to his cat’s ears, trying to assess the situation. They carry a confused sideways tilt, twitching and scanning. The cat isn’t sure what to make of this creature, either, then. Which means the cat can be persuaded away.

The master drops the extra loops of the leash from his hand until he’s only holding the end, and steps between them, this creature and his cat. The master tries to stand a little taller, tall enough to break their line of sight. It is difficult, but his cat is crouched enough to make it possible. 

Not bothering to look at the other creature, looking only in the direction of home, the master brushes a hand against the cat’s jacketed shoulder, “Come on,” he says. “There’s treats at the house.”

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