Water, he thought, shivering as he put on the t-shirt provided for him. How I despise thee. Thorn shook the water from his hair, not knowing or caring what a 'towel' was. At least the ash on his ear was gone, and good timing, too. If it had stayed, it probably would have made him mad or burned a hole in his ear. Neither of which helped him in the whole black-nekos-are-bad-news situation.
Thorn heard the girl rushing down the stairs, and followed the sound back to near the place they came in. Why is this den so big? She nodded to him as he entered the room.
“Um, well..” She murmured, glancing back to him. She held out her hand. “I’m Sera. Nice to meet you - kinda. It would've been better if it wasn’t in a fire.”
Are you attempting to attack me? Thorn look dumbfounded, as he had never needed to shake hands with anyone before. Was that how humans greeted each other? Having grown up with only one other being - his mother - he knew nothing about proper greetings. Add that to my list. "Thorn," he said, forcing his tail to fall still. Everything here smells fake, like all things made by humans, he thought. Those birds though...
The human, now known as Sera, let her hand fall to her side, a small smile present on her face. “That’s a nice name.” They both didn't speak for a time. All nekos technically had two names - the one they went by, and their true one, the one that, if said to someone with ill intentions, could use to kill them.
Thorn kept his true name a secret, and he'd never tell anyone (ever) what it was, not even think about it. If I don't think about it, then not even the fabled mind-reading creatures can know of it. There were no actual mind-reading creatures, but it was nevertheless something to keep an ear out for. Speaking of ears, one of his twitched. "What're you looking at?" he questioned. And are you laughing at me?
He must've startled her. "Oh - I... I wasn't really looking at anything. Just thinking.. daydreaming, you could say." No, I can't say, because you're not making any sense. The neko hadn't had much time to let his mind wander when he was in the forest. Which was... since he was born.
He was ready for a snack and a nap. This was the longest he'd let himself willingly be awake without yawning and complaining that he wanted to go back to sleep. Not that he had anyone to complain to, anymore, at least. "So, what now?" Seriously, who keeps birds in their house?! It's torture! Just thinking about it makes me wanna - Thorn felt his claws slipping from their confines in his fingers.
Sera shrugged. “Well, it depends.” She glanced at something on the wall. Something noisy and distracting to Thorn, but she seemed to not be able to hear it at all.“At some point, you have to hide in my room because you have to stay hidden. If my mom finds out, she’ll kick you out of the house.”
Depends on how long those birds can torment me. "Well, until then, what are we going to do?" By 'we', he meant her. Thorn was going to find a snack, attempt not to give in to his mad desire to eat those birds, and find a nice, quiet place to nap, perhaps not in that exact order. "Anything to not get kicked out via eating those birds..." he muttered under his breath. Baka... he hissed at himself.
She must have heard him muttering, as she gasped, “A snack it is, then. What do you like to eat? I don’t really have any raw things - I have deli meat if you want some of that.”
"I sincerely doubt you have a mouse or bird or fish just laying around here..." Besides the overwhelming scent of bird coming from somewhere in here. But I don't think killing one in front of you is a good 'I'm not gonna kill anyone' impression. He sighed at his words and thoughts, claws forcefully shoving themselves back into their sheaths. Thorn's heart saddened with his reality. He couldn't go back to his forest - the humans fighting the fire would see him, plus all he knew was already in flames. He couldn't go anywhere, either: this was human territory, and humans and black nekos like him didn't get along. I'm stuck here.
“Oh!” The girl exclaimed while rummaging through a weird-looking hole in an equally weird tree, with some sort of covering attached. Cupboard? “I know what you could have!” Sera took something that smelled like tuna from the weird tree-hole, placing it in a rectangular human invention and made it make noises. “It’s not fresh fish, but I’m assuming it’s good enough for you?”
After a small while, a noise he'd never heard before made the neko jump. Beep! She took the thing she'd place into a mechanicalized tree-hole and scraped out fishy-smelling stuff into a bowl, which she placed on yet a different tree in front of Thorn. “If you don’t want it, I’ll have it. I can find something else for you, if you want.”
Perhaps learning how to describe things in human terms would make understanding the habits of them a bit easier for the wild neko. He didn't want to look rude...r than he usually did, so he took the bowl of tuna. How do humans normally eat this stuff? Honestly, he would have just licked the bowl clean, but humans tended to not like seeing black-furred nekos be like cats, and boy, Thorn was as much cat as one could stuff into a human body, and then some - even his yawns were oddly cat-like. "At least it smells like fish."
For a second he wondered why his ear was twitching so much, more so than it usually did when he was half-asleep and listening to the smart birds too far away for him to kill. This time was not like the times prior, and he actually heard something fall, too close for his liking. Judging by the sound alone, it was probably either a neko or a human, and he feared the latter, making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
"Crap," he whispered, slipping back into Japanese. He actually was fluent in three languages: Japanese, his native one; English, because he thought it necessary to understand the humans that wanted to end him; and Cat, which was probably the hardest one to learn of the three, since it wasn't spoken by humans at all and was far more complicated than either. "Did you hear that?" No, no she didn't, and it was mainly because she couldn't understand enough Japanese to comprehend what he was saying. Her hearing isn't as heightened as a neko's, either.
In the darkness of a nearby room, - was that what humans called separate areas of their dens? - a figure was outlined. It didn't smell like it belonged in Sera's den.
"Give me the one who woke the fire," it spoke up, in Japanese surprisingly enough, still out of the light. Thorn could smell metal from where he stood.
"The one you're looking for isn't here," a strange thing happened when it was dark or he was scared or angry (and in this situation he was a little of both) - his eyes, normally a color that could be described as either dark brown or red, glowed red, several shades lighter than his normal eye color, but still distinguishable as red. Mother had teased him about it when he was still with her, calling him "the laziest villain", which, not noting the fact he was most certainly not evil, was not necessarily incorrect. He knew he looked evil. "But you have no reason to come looking for innocent humans."
Why did Sera seem so calm about this? "Who are you? Why are you in my house?" Ah - that's the word for human dens. He'd forgotten.
He would have liked to continue speaking in Japanese, but the fact Sera's response was in English told him that maybe she wasn't as fluent in his native language as he expected. So, Thorn paraphrased for her: "She claims you set the forest on fire." Another thing that made him look like a villain - his pupils were slits, like a cat's eye in daylight. They weren't always that way, and he could make them narrow at will, but when he did, he looked even more like something humans would want to destroy, in his mind's eye. "And she wants to kill you for it."
"I saw her walk out of the burning forest, fool," the brown-haired neko pointed her dagger in Sera's direction. "I watched humans bring their filth into the animal's home."
It was obvious the neko was angry - her eyes said everything. "Whoever set the forest on fire, it wasn't her. Listen to her heartbeat. If she had done it," his own was surprisingly calm, despite it beating faster than a human's naturally.
He turned to look at the human before turning back and staring the unknown neko down. "Her heartbeat would be out of control, knowing that not one, but two predators are in her home and that each has claws and fangs and a right to destroy her and her life. She's scared, even if it doesn't show in her voice. You have a dagger, or maybe more than one, and I'm guessing you know how to use one. But put it down. Any human who allows me to stay in their presence for more than five seconds is a human worth keeping alive."
"I would never start a fire - I love animals. I loved the forest too, I'd walk there every day." Sera attempted to defend herself. It didn't appear to work, as the intruder didn't lower her weapon. For a brief moment, he wondered if that was what humans saw him as. Something that profoundly wanted to kill someone. He'd never do that. The boy had a heart for finding places to nap, not people that would meet an untimely demise at the end of his fangs.
He didn't know what to do - Thorn was never the type to fight if he could avoid it, and the dagger in her hand made him wary. Luckily, there was only one true way to kill a neko, so he'd live even if she stabbed him, but he wasn't alone here. Sera was human, and to the best of his knowledge, humans died when they got stabbed in the right place. The stranger obviously knew how to handle a dagger, and he could tell that the one in her hand wasn't new at all. She's armed, he thought to himself, and he looked down at his claws, which were sharpened to a point, as he kept them. But so am I.