The female neko held out a smooth, green object. "Then," she began. "You wouldn't mind explaining why I found this. It smelled of fresh fuel."
Well. No, no he couldn't. Because he had no idea what the object was, let alone why the other neko had it, or why it smelled like that. "It does have a human's scent on it, but it doesn't smell like her," he could feel a yawn deep in his throat, pushing it back. It felt like days since he'd last slept, even if it had only been an hour. Cats can sleep for twenty, and I'm already over my actually-being-awake limit. How do humans do it?! "Don't rush to conclusions until you've thought about it. You're a killer, aren't you? Yet I smell cold blood on that dagger and the other one you've yet to show us. You kill humans who've done wrong, don't you? Humans who can be called an enemy to nature itself? Do you realize that a neko killing multiple humans has the same punishment as having black fur? If any law-abiding citizen of this town sees me or your weapons, we'll both be on the government's radar." I really hope I'm guessing at the right thing...
"But if you actually do intend to murder her, what proof do you really have that she is guilty? Her scent isn't on that thing, and she obviously isn't dumb. Only a dumb person would set a forest on fire and leave evidence. She was running from the fire - because fire and humans don't mix and she would have died via burning alive had she not have," he turned to Sera at this point, pushing the fact she was now by a - for once he wished he knew some of human culture, enough that he knew words for things - that probably had things humans used instead of claws. What did Mother call them again? A knife? Yeah - knife. "Do you even recognize that thing?"
"No. I've never seen that before in my life," Sera said. Murmuring quietly, she added, "I'm afraid of fire..."
The brown-haired neko chuckled as she stared at Thorn. "You aren't wrong," she started. "I've killed plenty of humans, from young to old. You are also correct that I don't have proper proof of this human doing the crime." She sighed. "But..." She turned to Sera, dagger pointed straight for her heart. "Someone has to be punished." The killer charged at the girl.
His breath caught in his throat, and his body moved without him. Thorn placed himself between Sera and the stranger right as the dagger was to add innocent blood to its collection, and it went through him instead. The boy barely winced at the pain. He looked at the stranger with calm eyes, the red glow fading as the irises slid back to their shade somewhere between red and dark brown. "You want innocent blood? Take mine. Take your anger out on me. You're not killing her, and-" he chuckled, looking down at the dagger and the blood dripping from the wound, which would have killed him had there not been only one true way to kill a neko. "- you're not killing me, either."
"Thorn!" Sera squeaked helplessly.
The killer chuckled, " Fool," retreating, she pulled her dagger out of Thorn's body. She gazed at the bloodied dagger, examining the red liquid dripping from the blade. "I know what you are, and I also know a simple stab to the heart won't kill you," she added keeping her stance as if she owned the place. But this isn't your den... "You do not know how much blood I've spilled with these blades."
Okay, now he felt it, the pain of being stabbed, and his words quivered as he struggled to heal himself. "Congratulations, you've recognized your own species," He reached out and grabbed both daggers, cutting his hand on the blades as he did so, and flung them all the way to the back of the kitchen, the metal clattering. Something about the neko made him think, and he thought those thoughts aloud by accident. "You're like me aren't you? You don't belong to any human, and you resent them with a passion even the dumbest kitten can realize. You aren't tame at all, and you wish that humans wouldn't interfere with your life. You're wild, like me."
"You could say that," was all the opposing neko bothered to say in reply. Her brown tail swished behind her.
"Sharp blades - I have respect. Also massive pain. Thanks," he almost was hissing, in part because the pain, and the rest because he was ticked. How dare she? He actually found a human who didn't want to kill him and now someone's trying to kill that human? Over his dead body... and it was very hard to kill a wild neko.
The other nonhuman creature rolled her eyes. "You wish to stop me?" Uh... yeah. Why else would I let myself get stabbed? "Then come fight me as any beast would." Her muscles tensed as if she were about to pounce. What, exactly, had he gotten himself into?
“No,” Sera spoke up, stepping out from behind Thorn to face the neko. “You’ve hurt him enough,” her voice carried the utmost seriousness the wild neko had ever heard a human muster... then again his opinion on the matter wasn't the best, as Sera was the only human he'd come into contact with. “Think. I have a feeling that you nekos don’t side with humans easily. If Thorn is willing to throw himself in front of your blade, do you really think that I’m the kind of person to destroy a forest belonging to hundreds of animals?” Her arms were crossed. “No. I would never hurt any animal unless they were hurting something I love. I will not stand by and allow you to hurt Thorn.” said cat was standing behind her, looking sort of pathetic and weak from purposely not healing himself. “You can either stop trying to murder an innocent person or I will make you leave my house.”
"Innocents?" the intruder's hands balled into fists. "I did not say that those lives I've taken were innocent. Did I?" She took a small step forward, her ears falling backward as she did. "I don't kill innocent humans. Only those that deserve to be killed by me."
"Well, go find someone else to kill," he hissed, forcing his body to not heal as fast as it would have normally, so he could make her think he was more human than he actually was. "She didn't start the fire. Take the truth and leave." A year and a half. That's too young for me to get stabbed, by my calculations. Well, there's a first time for everything.
“If you truly kill only people who are guilty, then you cannot kill me. The fire was not my doing.” Sera glanced at Thorn. Her concerned expression was all he needed to know. Why are you so kind?! The neko pondered. Why had she not run away from the mere sight of him?
" I-" the attacker suddenly bent over, hand tightly gripping her side. "You gotta be kidding..."
Sera had rushed over to the female neko's side, who was now bleeding. "Where are you hurt?" she asked in a hurry.
With pain, even Thorn drew himself closer to the bleeding neko. There wasn't much he could really do, as most of his energy was being focused on surprising Sera went she inevitably went to heal his wound, even though she didn't need to. Sera was supposedly nice like that, from what he could figure. Treat the stab would that could have killed him but didn't, and from the looks of it, she'd never seen exactly how a neko healed itself. Her face will be priceless. He chuckled softly to himself. "Hey, even if you literally try to kill me, I'm not just gonna stand around and let you suffer that much." Purring is a relaxing thing to do, and no doubt she's gonna start purring too. It was complicated, just exactly how nekos were able to purr at all, but he did because, like cats, nekos didn't just purr when they were content. They purred when they were in pain or stressed, too. So, he purred, as moral support if nothing else.
"Stay away!" the female neko hissed, sliding away from them. "I don't need your pity! I won't be fooled... again..." Just what exactly are you playing at? Who fooled you?
“It’s not pity. Well, mostly not pity,” Sera began, “But most of it is that I hate seeing anyone hurt. That, and I don’t want to have to explain all this blood on the floor to my mom.” She was quiet for a moment, as if thinking. “I’ll go get some bandages. Both of you stay here. And don’t kill each other.” The girl stressed, speed-walking to the stairs.
Thorn and the intruder sat there alone for a while in silence. Until the female growled, "Just stay away..."
He inched himself closer, a bit at a time until he was just out of reach of her claws if she happened to feel threatened. "It'll hurt worse if you don't calm down. The human's only trying to help," the only downside to purring is that he had to stop purring to talk. "You think I completely trust her, either? I literally just met her. I don't know if she's gonna rat on my existence or not, but I'm not in the position where I can deny her help."
"Stop looking at me like you want to scratch me," he felt his words end in a hiss, but he sighed, sitting down with his back leaned against a cabinet. "Wouldn't blame you, though. I'd scratch me if our positions were switched," his claws came from their prisons in his fingers, and blew over the sharp, black-tipped pieces of bone, though he didn't know why he was doing so. A black ear flicked, hearing Sera upstairs. "What do you call yourself, stranger?" Thorn asked, trying to make conversation, or was he just trying to break the silence?
"Slash. Just Slash. Now leave me alone."
"If you say so," he complied with a yawn and stretch. Thorn could fall asleep anywhere at any time, and this was one of those moments. "I've got a nap with my name on it." He felt his eyes closing, and he didn't try to stay awake. When he slept, he became aware of everything around him, from the movement of his skin between his ribs to the vibrations Slash's heart made on the floor as it beat, and even the rhythmic sound of his purring (of which he had returned to doing). It wasn't a deep sleep, as he was just napping, more like a tranquil state of mind where all hearts beat at the exact same time.