Chapter 11: Tension
After an amount of time unknown to him, Mi'rasj awakens on his belly, and feeling immensely weak. His wounds are itching, it takes all his willpower not to scratch them, as Khajiit claws will quickly undo what healing has begun, if given the chance.
He turns his head to find Yoake sleeping next to him, on her side, her back to him: a pleasant sight. Because they both fell asleep atop of the blanket, he has full view of her womanly derrière, accentuated by her snug leather pants.
The he-cat feel a wave of heat vibrate through him. But he is also famished. Since he cannot sit up to get out of the bed, and it is too risky to roll over the side, he slides himself downward slowly but surely toward the end of the bed. He slides down with his face just inches away from Yoake's behind.
That is when he hit his kneecaps on the malevolent chest at the foot of the bed. "Meowch! Krosis! Gzalzi..."
Awoken by the noise of Mi'rasj trying in vain to abstain from commenting on his hurting kneecaps, Yoake open one bleary eye. Her ear picks up Mi'rasj location, to her slight discomfort.
"What, exactly, are you doing?" The dumbstruck Khajiit remain where he is, his answer starting in a series of stutters and babbles, making the she-cat smile in a devious but inquisitive manner.
"Mir was just on his way to get some food. Really." The discomfort in his voice just made it all even better.
Yoake rolls over onto her back, looking down on the male's awkward face. "And I assume you planned on the food being at floor-level, seeing as that's as high as you can reach right now?"
"Mir thinks he can at least limp. Maybe walk. And his arm is fine... he will have no difficulty getting to the food on the top shelves. If he can stand up straight."
Yoake sighs, dragging one hand over her face. She then points at Mi'rasj' face: "You... are a stubborn cat. Get back in bed, idiot!"
With an annoyed but caring roll of her blue eyes, the spotted she-cat rise and walk to the kitchen, while Mi'rasj drags himself back to the bed headboard. Yoake gathers different dried and smoked meats, and fish. Grabbing plates, two tankards and some mead, she pads back to the bed, where the he-cat is lying on his belly with a strange look. "What," the she-cat asks him.
"Mir does not know if he can, or should, lie on his back. And it will be difficult eating and drinking on one's belly."
"Hmmm... that's a problem, indeed..." Yoake's tail twitches thoughtfully. "What if Mir was to lay on his side, that would be better, right?"
"Hhhh, that would work. I'm sorry, this one is too tired to think straight." Yoake places the food and drink gently on the bed, and sits back against the headrest. Mi'rasj groans while putting himself on his right side, facing the female feline.
"Oufh... it feels like Mir has been sleeping for an entire era," picking up a chicken breast and eyes it. He then devours it almost whole. "Mhm! Mir loves breasts" he says slyly, while smiling to himself. "...that's... good to know," Yoake thinks while sipping from her tankard. "You only slept for half an era, not much have changed. Dragons are still about, the Stormcloaks and the Legion are still fighting, and Markarth still has too many stairs."
"Hhhh... the stairs... but what has changed, then?" the he-cat asks, taking a swig of his mead-filled tankard. "Weeell... you can't run or jump, or do anything strenuous for a week. Also, I owe you my life."
"If Mir remembers correctly, he saved Yoake from drowning, no? Also... define strenuous," Mi'rasj says with a grin and a tilt of his head. The spotted she-cat takes a bit of a chicken leg and nods.
"You did, and I'm grateful for that. But I can't let you do something stupid that will hurt you... before you're all healed, at least. And strenuous as in take things easy and don't use those muscles too much." Mi'rasj smiles in self-reflection. "Stopping Khajiit in doing something stupid will be difficult," he says. "Shall Mir mute his brain or his heart?", downing his tankard of mead.
"Mute the brain, that's the one giving you ideas," Yoake says, smiling into her cup. "If Mir mutes his brain, he can only follow his heart... and instincts...", the he-cat replies while shifting slightly in the bed, reaching for a bottle of spiced wine. Yoake shakes her head with a grin. "...mute your brain, not your logic! Besides... haven't you managed well so far without thinking?" Yoake swish her tail in amusement and hide her even wider grin behind her rabbit leg.
Mi'rasj cocks an eyebrow, then puts on a warm smile. "Heheh, flea-bag thinks more than Yoake knows! He has a lot of ideas, some of them good... like when Mir-"
Yoake reach out to ruffle his many braids, and uses her keen Khajiit eyes to examine the scalp at a distance. She does so in both a serious and affectionate manner, still grinning. "Still no fleas, this one do not understand why you refer to yourself as a flea-bag..."
The he-cat frowns, looking distant, but rather suddenly serious.
"... when Mir had to save Yoake from drowning. He did not know what to do on instinct. He remembered a distant memory. Had Mir not been there that day to see the accident... then this minx would be... dead. ''Flea-bag" is just a phrase conceived by Mir to emphasize his worse side - to use when he is, or put in, a seemingly bad light. Heh... the fleas must all have drowned in the underground river..."
Yoake's face become serious, curious, as well as concerned, as her hand shifts from ruffling to stroking caringly. "What do you mean by "accident"? Do you want to talk about it?"
Mi'rasj sighs in resignation. When he recounts, his eyes drop down, gazing unfocused on the plates and remains of food between them.
"Mir knew how to save Yoake because when he was 5 summers old, he saw an old Khajiit fall in the main river of Riverhold.
She stood on one of the bridges, leaning over the wooden railing and watched the small fish in the stream, going about their business. Then the railing suddenly broke under her weight, and she fell in the deep. She could not swim. Mir frantically cried for help, and a huge Cathay-raht dove in and lifted her up to the waiting villagers on the bridge. The Cathay-raht then held her by her legs over the bridge, and all the water came gushing out... this is how Mir knew what to do.
He had no bridge, so he had to manage with his thigh."
"A Cathay-raht? It has been a long time since I last saw a raht-Khajiit.
Hearing that make me long from the warm sands of home. All these Nords and Elves all look the same, they are not guided our dear moons, and understand not their importance. The two of us are lucky like that, not many Khajiit know how to swim, we are beings of the dry sands and jungles, after all... and your thigh make a good bridge!" punctuating her remark with a tap on his outermost thigh.
"Cathay-raht are an impressive sight. Tall, strong, fast, with jaguar-like features." Mi'rasj starts to slowly pull on his whiskers, a Khajiit gesture indicating deep, philosophical thought.
"Yes, neither men, mer, or those wet lizards understand our ways, and the impact the Moons have.
Khajiit do what we do, aided by Them, and let the world be damned. It cannot be coincidence that Mir was there at that exact time, to learn such important knowledge, but not using it until almost 20 years later..." Mir leaves his whiskers alone. Yoake's fingers and claws are still caressing his scalp, making it tingle. He shudders, making the she-cat giggle softly. Mi'rasj takes a sip of mead, then looks at the female feline at his side. She looks remarkable! Her face is content, her eyes kind. Mi'rasj tries to swallow the lump in his throat. It is still present when he continues: "Mir thinks luck come from the Moons. Tonight, they are both shrinking. That means new dangers, conquests, and Cathay-raht..."
Mi'rasj flexes his outer leg, tracing a claw over his tense thigh. "Heh, yes, Mir's legs are sturdy... he did a lot of walking and running, before. These days... Arvak absorb his muscles, haha!"
The he-cat chuckles, and Yoake laughs with him with a jovial trill, tugging on one of his braids.
"If Arvak absorb your muscles, he would have more of them. But seeing how skinny he is, it's more like he wears them away!"
"Pulls them out of Mir, yes! Hahah..." Mi'rasj is now starting to feel the effects of the mead. His head is spinning. He rubs his face groggily and scratches his ear, then looks upon with intrigue the giddy she-cat still caressing him. "How is Yoake feeling? Is her head still hurting from the blow?" The spotted she-cat repeatedly taps her finger against his skull, asserting her opinion: "You just had to ask... I was quite content not thinking about my head. But if you truly want to know, it feels a bit like a horde of Orcs are trying to smash their way out... or like a dragon sat on it..." Yoake gets a thoughtful look on her face, and she has a distant look in her eyes, in the direction of the sitting room.
"You know... dragons around here are more like wyrms, they only have two legs. A true dragon has four..." Mi'rasj gets a little annoyed at the alluring female's finger prodding him, but he is too sated to make a fuss about it. He smiles instead.
"Heh! For Mir, it feels like a dozen Dwemer Centurions are pounding his head... their hammers will probably echo in his head tomorrow." The striped male tilts his head, looking down on the remains of their meal. "This one has heard legends of four-legged dragons, they could only breathe fire... can Aura Whisper help Yoake determine which of them are tormenting Skyrim?" Yoake catches on his somewhat annoyed expression that shows just before it gets replaced by his sated, sheepish grin. She leaves his head alone, and drop her arm, resting it between Mi'rasj' pillow and the side of his neck. Mi'rasj relaxes, and leans his head on her arm. She feels his heavy, steady heartbeat pulsating through her forearm, and the head of his skin spread to her hand, warming the blood in her now tired fingers.
"I'm afraid not. Aura Whisper can only tell me where the beast is. And it's not that important, one only need to know that they are big, bad, breath elements, capable of flight, and want to eat us all!
And if indeed there are bigger, four-legged dragons out there... I don't want to meet those, the wyrms of Skyrim are bad enough, thank you." Mi'rasj nods and rolls gently over on his back, leaning his head over the headrest at a comfortable 90 degrees, groaning meekly in the process. Yoake's arm is now pressed against his neck, resting on his shoulders. Though the gold rings in his braids are initially cold against her skin, they soon warm up. Mi'rasj head and torso are well on their way of being absorbed by the fluffy pillows, though Saviour's Hide is dangerously close to poking a hole in the fine, smooth fabrics. "Hoohh... by Masser,that was good... Mir thanks this one for her pampering... he is not bleeding, is he?''
The she-cat at his side reluctantly pull her arm free, and reach over, moving all the plates, platters, and tankards she can reach to the floor. With that done, she slides down to lie comfortable on her side, facing Mi'rasj.
"What was good? The food or me stroking your hair? Hmm, you're not bleeding as far as I can see, but your armour is about to destroy my best bed sheet and pillows, you hairball!" Mi'rasj has still has the sated, sheepish grin on his content face. His eyes are tired, but warm.
"The food was splendid, but the root-massage felt like Mir ingested Moon Sugar! Ahhh, the phollicles twitched and pulsated in waves... magnificent." Mi'rasj shifts slightly. "If Mir's armour is destroying the bed and its contents, we should get him out of it... but it will be too risky for him to take it off alone. Besides, he is probably too weak, as well." Yoake smiles to herself from the feedback, but then she realizes what her companion just said. "...how do you know it's like Moon Sugar? And are you saying that I should... aid you in undressing...?" The stupefied she-cat looks down, and fiddles with a loose thread on her grey tunic, deeply relieved that fur hides blushing, no matter how hot her face feels. Mi'rasj smirks.
"Let's just say that when Mir was in his youth... he... experimented quite a bit. How did Yoake think he got so good at alchemy? Heh!"
As he finishes his explanation, Mi'rasj takes a closer look at the female, wanting to determine Yoake's state of mind. Her befuddlement amuses him. "Oohh, what is this? Yoake is blushing, no? Mh, heh, Mir knows! You are female, my fine minx, and females work the same regardless of species!" Determinately ignoring her blushing, Yoake place her hands behind her head, and stares at the grey roof.
"Experimenting with alchemy? How are you still alive and in possession of both your tail and fur? The most dangerous thing I did was see how far up the trees I could climb, and even that was enough to give my father grey fur..." The amused he-cat decides to give her some emotional respite, simmer down and regain her composure, by recounting the alchemical feats of his youth.
"Mir was careful, which is actually possible. Khajiit ingest Moon Sugar in small amounts almost every day, we use it in our food, on it for seasoning, in our desserts... but Mir always craved... more. Heh. A sweet-tooth even among sugarcane-lickers... Mir's mother must have been saturated with crystallized moonlight! So, he made some in his spare time, by acquiring sugarcanes, and drawing Moon Sugar from them. He only made small doses with short effects, which he kept to himself. After trial and error for a few months, he had a decent... stash. Mir's parents didn't mind the refining, Moon Sugar is scarce in northern Elsweyr, and having a budding refiner in their hut was a thing to be proud of. Since Mir could do this almost self-taught, he gave potion-making a try. With this there was risk, so his parents kept their colours because they did not know about this activity. He would only pull out his mortar and pestle when they were out of the hut. Mir never made Skooma, though. He abodes the law... for as long as he could."
Yoake listens to his account intently, refreshed to hear private stories from another Khajiit, an event that seldom happens. Having gathered herself, she dares to look upon the he-cat's face. The lines of Mi'rasj appealing face have become warm and soft in their features. He cocks his eyebrow, the raising brow inquisitive of, and waiting for, Yoake's reply. The short silence that follows is a little awkward, ushering the she-cat to respond, using her brain, but also, surprising herself, her heart. "Mir used to be a smart cub, apparently!" she says in a taunting tone. "... but true, you can never be too careful with things like that. I once agreed to help a friend with a potion, I think she was trying to make water-breathing mixture not taste like... ufh... rancid mudcrab... that ended up with me seeing everything in green for nearly two days, hihihi!" Mi'rasj emits a brief but genuine laughter.
"Mir know what the minx is talking about. He would sometimes get strange... reactions from his sampling. Error was indeed a part of the process..." The lynx-like Khajiit laugh loudly. Nibbling on her tongue to stop the laughter, she manages to push in a question between the convulses of her throat. "...why do I get the feeling your fur got... interesting colours?" The he-cat smiles and scratches his ear, this time in embarrassment.
"Heh. Because that actually happened... Twice. First this one's belly hair turned green, and his chest tuft yellow. The other time his back became blue! Mir never expected to have localized pigment alteration occur... he was quite surprised! Fortune smiled on him, though, and only made the changes last about an hour. But those were one of the most embarrassing incidents Mir has ever experienced! Almost as bad as that... "situation" in Kolskeggr..." Mi'rasj rubs his face with his hand, blushing and grinning at his own mistakes.
"At least it was not made permanently pink!" Yoake says with a snicker. "... that would have been seriously embarrassing for you, my fine feline friend!" Mi'rasj laughs an awkward at the thought.
"If that had happened, Mir would shave off all his fur and go to live in the desert, like the naked-cats of legends, hahahah!" Yoake blink at the male sharing her bed for a moment, before covering her face with her elegant hands, laughing and blushing again. "Dear Mother, what a horrible, horrible mental image you gave me! I could have gone my whole life without picturing a furless Mi'rasj..." The cat in mention grins heartily. "Hehe, but now Yoake has it, for better, or for worse!" Still clutching her face, Yoake utter "all I see is a Khajiit with the skin of a Nord... it's enough to give one nightmares!"
Yoake's vivid imagination, able to conjure such a mental image, interests the he-cat. "Oufh yes, not exactly a sight sent from Mara, eh? Heh." The feline female shudders, and starts to massage her temples. "Not a vision from Mara, indeed...though maybe one from Vaermina? She is certainly one for nightmares... that reminds me, what does this one say we go to the Pale?" Mi'rasj nods in agreement. "Vaermina does like to meddle with our heads. Hn, the Pale? To Dawnstar?" "Yes." Yoake stops rubbing her temples, and start to count on her fingers.
"For one, I still have a contract to hand in, second, there is my homestead, Heljarchen Hall. A house with its own stables and all that good stuff! And a lot less stairs..." The brown-furred hand of Mi'rasj slowly tugs on his whiskers in a philosophical manner. "Hmm... Yoake's house sounds tempting to Mir... did she design it after her own head?"
"Mostly," she says, smiling. "It's unfinished though, I'm still working on the kitchen. Perhaps you'll have some ideas for it?"
"Mir should come with ideas! If Heljarchen Hall would only be decorated according to Yoake's head, it would be empty, haha!
Mi'rasj receives a slap on the arm for the quip. Though his smiling face make Yoake smile as well. She tries to assert herself in a serious tone. "Ha, ha, very funny. Should I tell you what happened to the last jester I met?" Mi'rasj tilts his head, thinking about the possibilities the... eccentric, bad side of Yoake could be capable of. "Did this one chop off his reproductive organs and made him eat them?"
"Yes. Then I removed his head. His name was Cicero..." "Oh." The he-cat is actually speechless for a little while. "Mir will have minx know she will have greater difficulty achieving this on a fellow Khajiit, because Mir's "tools" are retractable." Yoake raises one eyebrow, and tilts her head. "Oh? I thought only Frost Trolls could do that. Then I assume I need not tell you that I also dug out his heart, cut his body into pieces and set fire to the remains?" Mi'rasj holds up one of his fingers. "Male Khajiit can also do this. It is to prevent snagging on the trees, cliffs and buildings we often climb in Elsweyr... but, in cold climate, this "ability" helps the tools to stay intact and functional."
Yoake give him a sceptical look. "Uhuh... this one know I am Khajiit as well, yes? I'm pretty sure I would know the "abilities" of my own kind." "Of course Mir does, minx! But this one did not know of this ability in male Khajiit. This is new to her."
The he-cat sighs, and continues: "When it is time for a he-cat and a she-cat to mate, this ability is clearly demonstrated. Is Yoake saying that she is... inexperienced with this... event?" The eyes of the lynx-like Khajiit narrow a bit. ''No, I'm saying I believe you are the only Khajiit with this ability, I for one, have never seen or heard of it before!" The he-cat opposite of her frowns, while blushing.
"Oh? Is that so? Hm! Sounds like Mir is special in more ways than he thought... is Yoake... curious?"
"A tad," she smiles. "...but you have orders not to do anything strenuous for a week, at least."
"Indeed, this one should not exert himself... but what if someone did the necessary strenuous action... for him?" "Considering that you were shot in the bum... that would be painful." "If Mir was to move around, yes. If he were to lie still, however, he thinks all would be well." Yoake give him her dead-pan look. "I think you need to think... because no matter what you do, there would be weight and pressure."
"If the one who applies the weight and pressure were to use the "Become Ethereal" Shout, this challenge would no longer exist."
"Because the one that used the Shout cannot be touched... and could not touch the other?"
"The Shout only make it so that the Shouter cannot harm or be harmed. Also, their stamina would not drain, and they would still have physical shape! Because of these things, Mir still thinks his idea will be both possible and free of pain."
"Cannot harm or be harmed. And seeing as it would harm, the Thu'um would not allow it."
"The Shout would stop them from harming intentionally, yes. But also unintentionally? Mir doubts that."
"I don't think the Shout care if it's intentional or not, it will simply prevent its user from harming or being harmed." Mi'rasj sighs, and pull on his whiskers again.
"Then what about using "Slow Time" to make the most out of the act... for the Shouter at least?" Mi'rasj only receive a dead-pan look in return. The moment draws on. "Well?"
Yoake sighs, and smiles. "You're hopeless, you know that, Mi'rasj?" "Hopeless, but hopeful! Besides, under the effect of Slow Time, the user will have more time to think about what they are doing, and making sure they are not harming the... "victim"."
"Eehh... how about we wait until you are well? It's much more... fun... then." But the he-cat's hormones are now flailing about, ruining his logic, laying waste his reasoning. "Impossible! Mir cannot wait that long! He has been close to rupturing for days! The other female Khajiit are busy with the caravans! Tonight, Masser and Secunda will yield a mighty Cathay-raht!" Yoake's ears angle themselves down and backwards at the scene in the bed. "I am very close to knocking you out with a frying pan, hairball," she says bluntly. The uneasy he-cat stop flailing his arms, and sighs in resignation. "Mir is sorry, he is overreacting," he mutters in a sad, gravelly voice. "Thjizzrini. There must be something in his blood. Or brain. Or heart. Something they gave him at the temple."
"Or," Yoake says, in a softer tone, "perhaps he's just lost too much blood for his brain to function as it should!"
The silence that follows expresses Mi'rasj' shame.
"Mir bled for a long time, no? And it doesn't help that what remains of his blood is going other places than the brain."
"The Gods were cruel," the she-cat says forgivingly. "They gave men two heads, but only enough for one to function at a time..." Mir chuckles and smiles, and slightly shifts in the bed.
"Fortunately, they do not need to use both heads at the same time!"
"You sure about that?" Yoake tries not to laugh at the now milder face of Mi'rasj, all eager and hopeful again. "Mir guarantees it. Which means if Yoake want him to shut his mouth for tonight, she either need to hit him in the head with said frying pan, or... make his "other head" even more... interested." Yoake reaches down for one of the empty platters, and study it with unnecessary fascination before hitting Mi'rasj on the head with it. "Meowch!" "I'm too lazy to go and get a frying pan... and I rather not damage your brain, it's rare to find one this rarely used!" Hurt both physically and emotionally, after a brief, but sad look at the cruel but well-meaning Khajiit by his side, Mi'rasj slides down from the pillows and carefully lays down on his side, with his back toward Yoake.
The feline female cannot help to think that she went a bit far. She puts a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Poor Mir... would it help if I let you use my lap as a pillow?"
Although Yoake cannot see it, Mi'rasj' eyes pops wide open, and almost out of their sockets. "Wh-wha-what did you say?"
Yoake must bite her tongue to keep herself from bursting into laughter! She finds his bewilderment hilarious as well as lovable. The spotted she-cat rearranges the pillows against the headboard to be able to lean back more comfortably. "I said "would it help if I let you use my lap as a pillow", though if the answer is yes, I have to ask you to get rid of the armour first. My linens are one thing, but I'd rather not get holes in my legs..." "Mmjes, Mir thinks it would help both his body and soul, if Yoake would be so generous." Yoake drape her blanket around her form, and nestle herself deep into the comfy pillows. "I'm all ready for you, Mir..."
"Would this one please help Mir with his armour?" Yoake emerges from her soft place of rest. "Stay like that for a bit," she says, and undoes the buckles holding the two halves of the armour together. She notices Mi'rasj' breath is a little fast, it seems his body is focused on something else entirely. "There! Now for the other side. Lie on your belly, please." Mi'rasj puts himself on his stomach, and Yoake starts unfastening the other side. She had to lean on his back to reach the buckles, and as expected, her bust came to rest atop of his back, something Yoake had mixed feelings about. Buckles opened, she pushes the armour off him, at the same time as Mi'rasj pushes himself up using his arms, and use his right to shove the other half out of the way.
They end up, much to Yoake's amusement, crossing each other, with her midsection resting on his lower back, just over the hem of his loincloth. Spontaneously, Mi'rasj relaxes his arms, then push himself back up, making an exercise of the situation. He then begins to laugh at the absurdity of it all, shaking with part laughter, part strain. Yoake, still laying atop of him, laugh with him as well, bobbing up and down from the repeated clenching and relaxing of her abdominal muscles.
"Woah, easy there, raht!" Yoake exclaims when the he-cat below her reaches a handful of repetitions. "I'm pretty sure this qualifies as "strenuous"!" Mi'rasj heed her words. Relaxing and staying down, he allows Yoake to dismount safely. She affectionately taps the panting he-cat on his nearest arm. "Gzalzi!"she exclaims, when she's once again nestled in her spot. "Vaba!'' Mi'rasj agrees as he regains his composure. "That certainly got the blood flowing! But... since this one insists it is time for napping..."
The she-cat deftly grabs the corner of her blanket, and drape it over her once again. "My lap is ready," she says in a tone unknown to Mi'rasj, and taps her blanket-covered thigh. He frowns for a split-second, unsure of her intentions, but he carefully drag himself over to her nevertheless. Mi'rasj places his weary head in her lap facing her.
"Mir would prefer to look upon Yoake when he awakens, rather than the cold, empty room, if she doesn't mind" The woman in question reach down and scratch his chin, making Mi'rasj close his eyes reflexively. "I don't mind that at all, Mir. In fact, I'm honoured that you would rather look upon me than the room." The he-cat flick his beige tongue at the female's quip, then starts to purr as she switches from scratching his chin to stroking his hair. Mi'rasj' throat vibrates in a rhythmic, pleasant manner, and Yoake feel his purring resonate in her entire nether region. When she bends forward, to redo the handful of braids that came apart during their adventure, she feels the purring even stronger. It becomes a satisfying lullaby, and Yoake feels the claws of sleep tugging at her. She is unable to finish all the braids-to-be, before she must lay back to sleep in an acceptable position. When sleep conquers her shortly, Mi'rasj' purring is still going strong.
Vada: It is
Thjizzrini: Foolish consept
Chapter 10: Recuperation
Yoake heads out, ears perked to catch any sounds, be it friendly or hostile. She finds the main road, and puts her fingers to her mouth and whistles a melody. It's so high that it can barely be heard by someone standing next to her, but the tune carries far.
She doesn't have to wait long before the sound of distant thundering hooves is heard, increasing steadily. The impressive, night black stallion soon emerges between the nearby trees. Yoake lead Shadowmere back to the beach, a lump forming in her throat when she sees all the blood. "Mir? Are you alright?" "Hhhh... just tired... weak. Help Mir up, please."
The worried she-cat grabs Mi'rasj by his armpits, and through great effort, get him on his belly across the comfortable saddle. Yoake use some of her leather strips to secure Saviour's Hide to the saddle. Once Mi'rasj is in no danger of falling off, she instructs Shadowmere to make the trip to Markarth as stable as possible. He keeps the pace at a reasonably paced trot, with Arvak following a short distance behind. At this rate, they will reach The City of Stone when a sundial would show "8".
Keeping one hand on the dark stallion’s shoulder, Yoake sets of at a looping run that she can keep up for hours. Her sharp eyes scout the landscape ahead, searching each rock, bush and hillside on the road to Markarth for bandits and predators that they don’t have the time to fight, anything that may halt their journey. There is no sound beside the clopping of hooves and the occasional pained moan from Mi’rasj, but the lynx Khajiit has trouble hearing them over her own thumping heart.
Sooner than she thought, but far later than she hoped, a familiar hill lead down to a bridge, a guard tower and up to the welcome grey walls of the City of Stone. Sighing of relief, Yoake slow as she reaches the last slope before the stables. Calling out to Cedran for help as she nears, the she-cat start releasing the straps holding Mi’rasj to the saddle as soon as Shadowmere stop. ‘’Cedran! Mi’rasj has been shot, can you help me get him to the Temple of Dibella?’’
Having been momentarily startled by the sudden appearance of Markarth’s Khajiit Thane with her red-eyed horse, and another skeletal horse following them, Cedran gets up from his chair, and jog over to the duo. ‘’Well of course! As long as we take it slow, these old legs o' mine don’t like stairs very much.’’ Moving to Yoake’s side, the stable master help her lower the injured he-cat to from the saddle before slinging the Khajiit's left arm over his shoulder while Yoake takes the right side. Looking over at her human helper, she can’t help but let a small smile show. ‘’You are not that old, Cedran my friend. The wheel of the seasons shall turn many more times before you can no longer keep up with stairs and horses.’’
With Mi’rasj supported between them, the three make their way through the massive metal doors that lead into the city. They are quite the sight, walking over the marketplace, a slender she-cat and an elderly Nord carrying a Khajiit with arrows in his behind between them. The locals murmur among themselves as the group passes, and some of the drunkards from the Silver Blood Inn is pointing and laughing, as if the trail of blood left behind them where Mi’rasj drags his injured leg is a fun thing.
Hearing the drunken laughter, Yoake lift her head despite the tiredness dragging it down, and bare her sharp fangs in a vicious snarl, ears flat against her skull and eyes full of sparks. It stops the laughter rather quickly, and more than a few of the drunken bastards recoil in pure, instinctual fright. Turning her face forward again, the tired Khajiit concentrate on not stumbling over the stairs. Even with help, Mi’rasj is mostly deadweight. And heavy for a lithe, exhausted cat.
Cedran is obviously tired, having taken as much of Mi’rasj' weight as he could when he saw how worn out Yoake was. His sweaty face is gleaming in the torchlight, but his dark eyes radiate determination. Together they inch up the stairs to the Temple. When they finally reach the entrance, Mi’rasj slips his arm of his helper, and lean shoulder first against the stone wall to give them a chance to catch their breath after carrying him across the city.
Using his shirt to wipe the sweat from his forehead, Cedran straightens and turn toward the stairs. ‘’This is as far as I’ll go. Good luck you two!’’ Yoake shake his hand and reach into her belt pouch for septims, but Cedran stops her before she can do much more than start untying the string holding the pouch closed. ‘’If he lives, I’ll accept your coin. If he doesn’t make it, I’m not going to take your gold for nothing!’’ The she-cat nods in appreciation, and waves him goodbye as the horse-seller starts descending the stairs. Adjusting the arm over her shoulder, she turns toward the temple doors.
Using her one free hand, Yoake push open the doors, grateful they are not heavier. ‘’Hello? Priestess? I need a healer; my friend is hurt!’’ Walking further into the temple, struggling under the weight of her by now nearly unconscious companion, the spotted feline sigh in relief as one of the young apprentices hurry over and lead them to a room in the back, where the head healer is already preparing. Helping the male lay down on his belly on a low table, the healer wave Yoake away and inspect the damage. ‘’Thank you…’’ the furry female manages to breathe out as she sinks down on a nearby bench.
The healer gesture one of the priestesses over, and whisper something in her ear. The priestess hurries away, and arrive shortly with a wooden tray with different tools, including sharp bladed knives with long handles and a variety of different tongs. Trusting the woman to know what she is doing, Yoake barely keep her eyes open as the healer slowly but precisely cut the vicious two pronged arrowheads out of the male’s flesh. They have gotten a good thumb-length deep.
Immediately after the last arrow is removed, the woman applies a strange, translucent paste that smell like mustard, on the bleeding wound. The effect is instant as the blood stop flowing and form a crust. Feeding her patient some herbs, the healer walks over to her tired but visibly worried spectator. ‘’He will recover, the arrows where luckily not poisoned,’’ she says in a soft voice ‘’but he will need a lot of liquid, mead is fine, but milk is preferred. He will also need a lot of rest, at least 8 hours a day for a week. No running or jumping, either.’’
Looking up from the bench where she was close to nodding off, Yoake give the woman a tired but grateful smile. ‘’Thank you, Milady. I will try to keep him from running and jumping, though this one know not how successful she will be. He can be rather sneaky… and stubborn.’’ Rising to her feet, the usually graceful cat stumble before finding her footing. ‘’How much for your aid? And can he stay here while one get someone to help me carry him home?’’
‘’If your friend here knows what is good for him, he will listen to you. We do not want the damage to get worse. The small sum of 80 septims is all we require for this service. Of course, if you spend a few minutes praying at the altar of Dibella, the Goddess of spirit and love, there will be no sum to pay at all. And he can stay here until you have found a volunteer to help you.’’
Yoake look from the alter to the healer and back again. ‘’Actually… I have something for the Temple. A statue of Dibella, found in a bandit lair. It must have been stolen from some poor, unfortunate soul that were mugged and perhaps even killed by those ungodly savages. This one can think of no other who would give it the respect it deserves, and maybe even find who it belongs to. And I thank you, fair healer, your Temple's kindness is a beacon in these dark times.’’
The soft-spoken healer smile brightly at the news. ‘’Haah, Dibella be praised! Thank you, child, thank you! This more than make up for the effort I have done here! Oh, such a gesture of good cannot go unrewarded! Here, take this enchanted ring. It was donated to us a month ago, but we have little use for it here. The enchantment will make you able to resist hostile magic, may it protect you when you need it the most!’’
Bowing to the healer as courtly as she can without falling over in her exhausted state, Yoake head for the door. ‘’This one thank thee, Milady. The statue is still in my saddlebag, you shall have it upon my return.’’ Walking outside, the slender she-cat begin the seemingly endless journey back to the stables for the statue, smiling when she sees that Cedran have been nice enough to saddle off both Shadowmere and Arvak and put them in their pens, with plenty of food and water. He has even brushed them down! Or at least the one that have fur to brush.
Yoake hangs a small bag of coin, with a thank-you note in it, on a convenient peg. She digs through her saddlebags, once again praising her own laziness when it comes to emptying them, and drag the statue out from under an old hood. Prize in hand, the feline walk back into the city, stopping by her house to collect her housecarl for help.
Heading down the stairs, Argis follow his sworn mistress, statue over shoulder. His steel boots clank loudly against the stone, in contrast to Yoake’s nigh-soundless steps as she swears and curses said stairs to the deepest levels of Oblivion, and beyond. Entering the Temple as they come full circle, Argis hand the statue over to a grateful priestess, and walk towards the room where Mi’rasj still lies.
Casting a look on his barely standing Thane, Argis solve the problem of getting Mi’rasj to Vlindrel Hall by simply dragging the Khajiit’s arms over his shoulders and lifting the him onto his back, grabbing under the male’s knees to hold him in place. A tad undignified, and the black-striped male would have protested heavily… had he been awake. Herself, Yoake is far to worn out to do more than shake her head with a sigh and a grin, and follow her housecarl down and up even more stairs. ‘’When he gets well, we are going to Heljarchen Hall… where aren’t so many… bloody… STAIRS,’’ the feline mutter angrily to herself as she opens the door to her Markarth home, waving Argis toward her bedroom.
‘’Just… put him on my bed… then you are free the rest of the evening… night… whatever.’’ "Yes ma'am," Argis says stoically while he gently puts down Mi'rasj on his belly. The recent exertion appears to have had no discernible effect on the Nord. As he moves towards the main door, he turns and looks back at Yoake with his usable eye. "I'll be at the Silver-Inn. Shout if you need me." His Thane is too tired to reply. She just nods at him, and Argis take his leave.
Yoake relaxes her spine, and limply falls backwards onto the comfy bed. She gazes over at Mi'rasj. He must be dreaming, for his eyelids, nose, and whiskers twitch regularly! The she-cat sighs, brings her feet up to her chest, and pulls off her boots, before remove the rest of her shrouded armour as well, throwing it all in a heap in the corner. She leaves her grey tunic and snug leather pants on, and pulls off his Forsworn boots and gauntlets.
"Heh! You know," Yoake says as she undresses the sleeping he-cat, "I think Argis thinks that I sent him away because we're up to "funny-business"... not like you're unconscious and I'm exhausted or anything...," throwing his gauntlets and boots in the corner at his side. Mi'rasj only mumbles indiscernibly. Yoake scratches him behind his ear. "This time I'm afraid it's going to be you that will have to sleep in your armour, kitty-cat! It's both too late and too cumbersome for me to safely unequip it... hhhfff..."
With a gurgling gasp, Yoake's eyes open in a heartbeat, panicking. She rolls over to her side as she coughs and regurgitates what feels like an entire river. With ragged breath, she collapses on the sand as her lungs strain themselves to give her enough air. "Hahh, by the Moons, the Mane, and the Mother Cat! You live!" Mi'rasj' leans back on onto his side, his tears of distress and anguish have become tears of utter joy and relief.
Yoake looks at the he-cat's euphoric face. "...we made it... hhhh... let's never do that again," she says as she lifts her weak arm to cup his jaw, and stroke a thumb over is wet, furry cheek. "Thank you, Mir... for saving me." Mi'rasj puts his hand on the back of hers. It's trembling, but feel pleasantly warm. "hhh, agreed. Next time we... hhheh... we kill them all. Mir may have saved Yoake, but her potions... saved us... so thank you!"
The she-cat smiles. "Heh... I never thought... it would pay off to... never truly empty out my packs..." The she-cat weave her fingers into his for a moment, then sits up as she notices two snapped thumb-length arrow shafts protruding from his blood in the sand, coming from Mi'rasj' behind. "You're hurt, Mir..."
Mi'rasj doesn't feel his injuries before Yoake points them out.
"Hn. It appears Mir has a couple of arrows in him, yes. But he cannot reach them at a good angle. Can this one take a look?"
"Of course," Yoake says, putting a hand on the male's shoulder. "Okay, lay down on your belly... good..." Leaning over Mi'rasj she counts two arrow shafts, one just under and beside his tail, and the other in his right upper thigh. "Well Mir, you have one arrow in your butt... and one in your thigh... they have penetrated quite deep... the only way to remove these is to cut them out..."
Yoake winces as she sees Mi'rasj' narrow his eyes and wrinkle his nose, the coming procedure does not, understandably, appeal to him. The worry in his eyes is substantial.
"Oufh... is Yoake's skill in restorative magic inadequate? Can she carve the arrows out herself? Does she have any Sleep-Sap from the Tree That Sleeps? Mir has heard from Ysolda in Whiterun that it has healing qualities. He is unsure how it will affect a Khajiit, though."
Yoake puts a comforting hand on his tense shoulder. She massages it lightly, kneading the muscles. ’’I can heal... a little. I can fix scratches, cuts and broken bones with a spell, but cutting into and digging around you muscles, never mind your behind, in order to remove arrows? That I'm not anywhere near qualified for. Even if I was, I don't have any surgical tools with me, and I would never dare to use my Blade of Woe! And I don't have any Sap, it's been ages since I had anything to do with that that stuff. I'm sorry."
"Hhhh... alright, it's alright... eehh," Mi'rasj scratches his ear. "The priestesses of Dibella in Markarth are patrons of love and life. Maybe they have healers who can help Mir?"
"Hah! The priestesses! I think they can! Markarth is not that far away. But how to get you there... you're obviously not fit to ride..."
Yoake cross her legs, and absently drag her fingers through Mi'rasj' hair as she thinks, looking at the river. She spies their packs being stuck to a root, the glowing blade of Dawnbreaker is visible in the water, having made a hole through her pack.
"Will you be alright while I look for the horses, Mir?" she says as she tiredly walks over to the shore to retrieve their packs and her sword.
Mi'rasj rests on his side. "Mir may not be able to sit, but what if he were laying over the back of the horse? Heh, Yoake will not have to look long for his horse..." Mi'rasj raises a trembling hand, palm outwards, and focuses on a spot somewhere in front of him. The air shimmers, ripples and with a blue flash and a crack, Arvak stands 3 fathoms away.
Yoake blinks, looks at Arvak, then back at Mi'rasj, then back to the skeletal steed again. "I'm not going to let you lay across him! I'm getting Shadowmere. Stay safe, Mir." "He will. Good luck!"
Co-authored by Me and My Friend
Mi’rasj is engrossed is licking the fish juice from his fur, and answer before really hearing the question, ‘’Mir will be sure to keep his tail and the rest of his appendages close…’’ His head snaps up, eyes and ears alert and nose sniffing the air as he finally takes note of what the female asked. ‘’What?’’
Beside him, Yoake is looking at him with a deceptional calm look on her face. ‘’We are in the middle of a mine filled with enemies, we are out of armour and our weapons are out of reach… in other words… WE ARE IDIOTS!’’ Scrambling to her feet, the spotted feline dive for her arms and gear as fast as her muscles can carry her across the floor as the sound of distant footsteps echoing through the cave become louder.
It takes the male a second to process Yoake's frantic shout, but when he does, he run for his own weapons and armour as well. ‘’By Alkosh, this one is right!’’ He barely has time to put on Saviour's Hide, and shove his boots and gloves into his haversack which he then slings over his shoulder. ‘’Kolskeggr does not lack in excitement. Does Yoake know where they are coming from?’’ Readying his Imperial bow, the Khajiit look to his partner.
Said female is jumping beside her own pack, trying to fasten her armour and put her things in the sack at the same time, her Blade of Woe between her teeth and Dawnbreaker already hanging askew at her side. Flicking a look in Mi’rasj' direction, their eyes meet for a moment. ‘’Everywhere.’’ While emitting a couple of Khajiit curse words, he throws his bow along with his sword in his haversack as well, and cast his golden eyes around the cavern, looking for a way out.
‘’Fantastic… this one knows, Ahzirr Traajijazeri says that in situations like this, honour is madness!’’ His gaze fall on the river, still rushing past into the hole in the wall. ‘’How long can Yoake hold her breath? We could dash for the underground river, and pray to the Moons it leads to the main river outside. We have to leave the staff, though!’’
Throwing her bow and pack on her back, the feline female run for the river. ‘’…Good idea, let’s do that. Here!’’ She throws a potion of waterbreathing to the male running after her, chugging one herself as she dives into the river, swimming as fast as she could toward the point where the water disappears into the wall.
Mi’rasj catches the small white vial mid-air, and run towards the rock he had been sitting on not long ago. He primes the muscles is his legs, and jumps. He lands on the rock and use it to propel himself further, leaping an impressive distance both upwards and onwards.
While airborne, he uses his Khajiit reflexes to uncork the vial and drink its contents. He coughs from the unpleasant taste that reminds him of rancid mudcrab, then he hits the water not far behind Yoake, nearly clawing her tail as he cuts through the water.
Trusting the potion to work its magic at a moment’s notice, he dives under the surface to increase his speed. He struggles to keep his eyes open against the force of the water around him, barely managing to keep the white tip of Yoakes tail in his view. Around him he hears a series of small splashes. Arrows.
The lethal, two-pronged arrows of the Forsworn also hit the cavern wall in front and above the fleeing Khajiit, and fall into the stream. Distantly, Mi’rasj feel a piercing pain somewhere in his behind, a few arrows have found their mark, or have been carried by the current into his flesh. The river current increase as it disappears underground, sucking the cats with it. There is no turning back now, there is only one way forward, and all they can do is pray the water will carry them outside before they run out of air.
The current was strong, dragging the two along quickly enough that trying to swim was a lost cause. All they could do was try to avoid the rocks and walls of the tunnel, that even the Khajiit struggled to see in the pitch-black darkness. Yoake didn’t know how far they had been dragged, but she could feel the potion losing effect, her lungs trying harder and harder to convince her that gasping for breath would be a good idea, even if her brain knew doing so would mean the end. Exhausted from fighting the current's desire to bang her against every wall, Yoake is unable to evade a jutting rock in her path, slamming into it at high speed… she catches a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel before everything fade to black.
Mi’rasj drank the potion later than Yoake, so he still has a few precious seconds of air left when he saw his companion hitting a protruding rock head first, the stone almost hitting him as well. He barely manages to grab the furry feline by her tail to stop her from being carried off by the water, the light of the outside afternoon growing rapidly closer. Reaching the opening, and the open air, the current pull them toward the right, toward the thundering sound of water going over an edge to crash against rocks. Clenching his jaw against the pain of the arrowheads digging into his flesh, the male lean backwards. With Yoake's tail still in hand, he uses every ounce of strength in his body to move them toward the left, and the shore that should be there.
His head break the waterline, and he desperately gasp for air, that burns as if his lungs have forgotten their purpose. Seeing the frothing edge of the massive waterfall, he doubles his efforts. Mara the Mother Cat herself must have been watching over him, because his free hand finds a solid tree root hanging over the river. Straining every fibre in his body, he locks his shoulder, arm and hand as he looks around in panic. Yoake's head is still underwater.
10 fathoms away there is a small, sandy beach. With a few strong drags and quick grabs, the male get the she-cat’s head above the surface. She is far too still in his arms. Letting go of the root, Mi’rasj drifts on his back, kicking with his legs to guide them to the shore. When he feel the coarse sand rubbing against his shoulders, he turns and drag Yoake up the shore to relative safety.
The he-cat then collapses, panting, trying to regain his composure for a few seconds. He stretches his hand over Yoake’s mouth. Mi’rasj feels a rush of new energy as he notices she is not breathing. He suddenly starts cry uncontrollably. Quickly moving his fingers to the side of her throat, he gasps as he feel a weak pulse. All is not lost yet!
Something deep within Mi'rasj awoke. A distant memory told him exactly what to do.
Hurriedly changing his stance from almost lying to as if he was going to propose, he throws away her pack and bow and bends Yoake’s back over his thigh, torso facing outwards, head downwards, to make sure her air duct and esophagus is diagonal. Sure enough, a second later, horrifying amounts of water pours out of her mouth. When the stream is reduced to a trickle, Mi’rasj puts the female down, draws a deep breath, closes his lips around hers, and slowly blows air into her. He presses his hand down on her stomach to confirm that the air is going to her lungs. Barely any air is received before a new torrent sprays out, and he repeats the procedure, each time getting more air into her, and less water out of her. The pain from the arrows are forgotten as he tries to blow life back into the woman who’s well-being has quickly become connected to his own happiness.