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Circus [M]agic

Aeon · 190 · 7192

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Offline Aeon

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Muscles coiled in sudden tension with the press of her hands against his torso. She might have been the one pinned, but he felt trapped, held captive under a simple touch that he could not pull away from despite the fact his every nerve was set afire with the sensation. She wasn’t going anywhere it seemed, and this alternatively provoked and frightened the animal he had become. The middle of emotions drew a growl from him, though this time the sound was lower, less aggressive in tone. In the distance, it gave Mana some hope he was coming back to a norm for himself. She had heard Yugi’s words and, privately, she thought the young woman had no idea just how different her friend actually was. She’d find out soon enough, though hopefully with good results.

His head dropped down against her throat as she spoke of simple praises. His warmth, his comfort in himself, the genuine nature of his smile, the feel of power in his body, and the size of him which surprised her. A deep, rumbled growl escaped him. This was less aggressive in nature, more a purr than a true growl, and was accompanied by the press of him closer to her person. Not quite touching but there was far less space between them now. He was calming, though only just, and was far from his senses being completely returned to him.

It was Mana that gave further guidance. “Just keep doing what you’re doing. These spells never last terribly long.”


Offline Kei

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She felt the tension from the muscles underneath her hands but didn't dare to move them for fear of provoking a worse reaction from Atem. So she just hummed quietly to him and held her ground as he growled and grouched at her for her actions. She wasn't bothered by this though as she'd gotten what she wanted in getting him away from the other girl. Still, that didn't mean she didn't tense for a moment when his head dropped down to her throat. Gathering her courage again she simply tilted her head to the side a bit to give him better access and slowly raised her hands to tangle in his spiky hair, running hands slowly through his hair in the hopes of soothing him.

She got her heartbeat back under control along with her breathing as she began to gently stroke his hair and hum to him but didn't try to remove him from her neck. It seemed her babbling was working, so she was going to keep at it. "You know, I have absolutely no idea what's going on here, I was just happy I could do something to help. Though I will be quite vexed with you if you ruin my only good walking dress with any rough handling of my person. Not that I think you would hurt me, I feel that somehow you wouldn't, but it does need to be said just so you know my feelings on the matter. Also, I don't mind your head there near my neck but I swear to all that is holy if you try anything from that position twice my size or not I will yeet you straight across this circus and clear to the Americas and don't think I won't." She took another slow breath, clearly more snarking just to snark because her words held no bite to them.

It took her a long moment to regain her bearings again but once she did the wall of words began once more and she was ever so grateful there was no one here that knew her to see her doing this as it would be quite embarrassing. "Did I tell you I quite wanted to punch your friend in the nose for dropping me that night? I know it wasn't terribly appropriate, but he did drop me and scared me out of my wits and it made me quite annoyed. You though, you saved me and I am always going to be so very grateful to you for that." She paused to catch her breath and see how much progress she was making. Really though, he did need to get out of her personal space soon or she was going to become uncomfortable. It was improper, after all.


Offline Aeon

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A low, chuffing sound came from deep within his throat. It was an unusual sound for sure, a mix between a sudden inhalation and a quick explosion of air that resulted in a rattled noise that was decidedly softer than a growl ever dreamed of being. This was a contented, happy sound, something that originated from tigers and was unique to them. It meant she was on the right track, and in the background his family visibly seemed to relax. It would be alright, she just needed to weather the very last bit of the storm.

A hot, heavy breath gusted from his nostrils pressed so near to her throat. The sound continued, clearly in finer spirits that earlier despite the fact what she said hardly registered at all to him while he was in such a state. The side of his jaw rubbed feather light against the soft skin of her neck. The barest feel of stubble there would prickle her slightly, though not in the vein of a true scratching sensation. It was something cats did, rubbing their scent glands against things they favored. Mahad recognized this, though he kept quite. So long as the beast was calm, it didn’t rightly matter how it had gotten there.

He closed the gap between them and was truly flush with her for only a mere instant of time. Long enough for a wide, clearly animalian tongue to reach out and run halfway across the cover of her jacket and against the soft flesh of her shoulder. It was done quickly, no tearing sensation to the roughness of his tongue, though it hardly mattered because it was clear the action was only a singular moment. He dropped down at her feet, hands having moved from the post to rest on either side of her feet in the dirt. He panted, a man overwhelmed while his senses came into focus.

“I lost myself, didn’t I?” His voice was quiet, and there seemed to be a genuine pain in his words. Mana drew nearer to them, though she didn’t touch him. Much though she wanted to reassure him, she couldn’t do with Yugi present. He’d only favor her for the time being as the beast lingered. “You didn’t hurt anybody...It’s alright,”

He scoffed, shaking his head, and then realizing there were feet in front of him they did not belong to his family. He startled, reeling backwards to land roughly on his arse with his hands at his sides. A mixture of panic and disbelief crossed crimson eyes. Had she...Had he tried to hurt her?


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Yugi heard the odd sounds beginning to come from Atem but didn't think anything about it. Instead she took her cues from the others and relaxed minutely as they did. Then he was invading her personal space much too much and she tensed then forced herself to calm so she didn't provoke him again.

His large frame was pressed intimately close to her own. And his hot breath hit her neck making a small shudder go through her entire frame at the sensations. Of course then he had to go and lick her of all things and along with a more violent shudder her hair also stood out on end as a squeak of sound left her followed by a low exclamation of something that sounded like 'ew'.

She watched Atem slump to the floor at her feet and after a moment she knew he was back to himself as he spoke to the others. She could t help the low snort of sound that left her as he fell on his backside upon seeing her even as he moved away from her with wide eyes. Feeling bad for him she slowly knelt down before him and humming a low reassurance at him. "You didn't hurt me Atem. I'm sorry I interfered but I thought you might injured your friend there and rather I got your attention until you calmed down than have things escalate. I'm fine though, really."

Though she'd really like some answers.


Offline Aeon

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He heard her words, really he did, but his immediate panic had been replaced by a different sort of wonder and concern. His colors were back, and they were decidedly explosive in their brightness and rich tints. It was not simply her body anymore but also her immediate surroundings and the longer he looked on her the farther those same colors seemed to creep along his vision and expand in his reach. It was blinding, painful even, and his head dropped, eyes closing to protect themselves. He grit his teeth, attempting to ward off the immediate sensation of an impending migraine.

It was Mana who came to his side, kneeling down beside him and placing a blindfold over his eyes and tying it securely. Ishizu and Marik left the tent, closing the flaps securely behind them to ward off any other potential visitors. She spoke to Mahad to cover the space of light at the top of the tent and he set to work doing so. When he finished with that, he came back toting a well used but clean, dark blanket which he handed to Yugi. Mana explained things quietly, trying to lessen the pain of her friend.

“I will explain what I can, but some he will have to tell you. For now...You are wearing a very bright color, and he can not tolerate them well at the moment. If you could cover them even somewhat, it would help.” It was strange to see such a large man quite literally cripple by a shade of pink, but as Mana explained things the story began to unfold and doubtlessly brought more questions to the surface.

“Our people, our men really, are different in my country. There is a gift they are given at birth that takes the colors from their life in exchange for its use. It comes back in small bursts around certain people. You have that effect on my friend. It will come back permanently with the right individual, but you must understand that, for him, it isn’t easy taking all that in after being without it for so long.”

She placed a hand on Atem’s own which he offered a reassuring squeeze to in return before she asked in their native tongue if he would like them to stay. He answered in English. “No, you both may go. I’ll be alright in a moment...And then I owe her an explanation.” Mana nodded and took Mahad out of the tent with her. As soon as Atem sensed their departure, he spoke quietly to her. “I am sorry you got mixed up in this. Please believe me when I say it wasn’t my intention.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi accepted the dark blanket when it was offered and wrapped it around herself; understanding without understanding that bright colors hurt Atem's eyes just then. She figured he must have a headache or something equally as unpleasant. She watched as his eyes were covered and concern lit amethyst eyes because really she didn't understand. Her eyes shifted to the woman nearby as she tried to explain but really it all just confused Yugi all the more. She didn't understand what Atem being color blind had to do with anything, but she knew he was seeing colors just now and it was overwhelming to his senses and rightly so.

Slowly she moved into a sitting position, taking off her shoes and setting them next to her so she could tuck her legs beneath her and be more comfortable as she waited out whatever was going on. She saw the concern from his friend as she touched him and said something to him in a language she didn't understand before he told her she could go. He mentioned owing her an explanation, and he did, but she didn't understand what was so important that his friends worried so for him as they were.

She did watch them leave the turned her eyes back to Atem and simply waited, not wanting to speak and risk making his condition worse. Then he was apologizing and she scowled, knowing he couldn't see it, so she had to answer him. She began to physically reach out for him to place a hand against his shoulder, then stopped herself as she realized it was inappropriate of her to do so. So she spoke instead, voice quiet and more a gentle murmur of sound than anything too loud. "You have nothing to apologize for, Atem. I was just...glad I could do something to help. You'd have been upset if you'd hurt that girl, after all. Though...are you going to be alright?"

She sounded concerned and she knew it, but he had saved her life and she owed him much for that. Besides it never hurt to be kind to another person when he was hurting so.


Offline Aeon

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"Probably not, if I am to be honest with you.” Atem sighed deeply. He felt the part of a great fool, sitting there on the dirt in the dark blindfolded while explaining what it was that was actually getting to him. He owed her a explanation, certainly, but where in the world did one begin when it came to something like this? “What Mana said is true. The men in my country are…Unique in a way I am sure you would find impossible to believe without seeing it. It is a gift we are given from birth. I was born seeing the world in various shades of grey, black, and white. In exchange for this, we are given the ability to…Transform, if you will. Once my head stops pounding, I will show you, but it is something that affects us very deeply.” He paused, trying to settle the pounding in his head. One hand rose to his temple, a low noise of complaint coming from him with the sensation.

“It turns us into beasts, Miss. It is worst for those that go longer without finding someone to ground them. In this world, there are many people a soul could find that would pair well with them. For those like myself, we see those people very clearly in color. It is a fleeting thing, just a reminder, something we do not need to act upon, I want to stress that. Because, for me, I saw colors again meeting you that first night. I see them now, again, and it is…Painful in a comforting way.” If that even made sense. For someone like him who had gone so terribly long without someone, it was kind of the world to remind him he still had a chance in this world if he took it. “My people are bonded very young because of this. Mahad met Mana when they were both seven years old. They were bonded by the age of eight. It’s…a process Mana would be better to ask that for. I have no idea what she went through, nor did I care to ask because of what I know how I was taught, it is a nightmare for the male involved. He loses sense of self, and whatever animal she calls forth is what overcomes him. We need that to stabilize us. It gives our souls a solid form to maintain. The trade off is the gift is stronger in those that remain unbonded. I have many, many beasts in my skills. Mahad has very few, and even now maintains only the one Mana gave to him.”

He stopped talking, feeling like he was dumping too much information at her at once. After a few moments, he reached up to take off his blindfold and, squinting at her for several moments, he finally had some semblance of control over his eyes. “If you would like me to show you, you will have to close your eyes for a moment. I’ve very few good clothes to my name and I don’t intend on ripping these in the process of shifting.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi did listen attentively as Atem began to speak, but the more he said the more confused she became and the more concerned for his person. Had he hit his head at some point to believe such nonsense? What he was talking about was impossible not to mention completely insane. Also some of what he was saying sort of made her wonder if she should be offended but that was ridiculous because she shouldn't care rather or not he found her worth pursuing. Or at least that was what it sounded like with his strange talk of shifting and no colors and finding a soul to pair with and how she gave him colors but that didn't seem to matter because it wasn't something he was going to act on because he didn't have to.

It was good he had a choice, even if she wasn't sure she believed him, but it also made her feel strangely foolish for coming here in the first place. She seemed to only cause him pain and...Yugi blinked, confused about something now that she thought about it. She waited for him to stop talking and offer to show her before raising a hand for him to give her a moment so she could ask. "Okay, one moment please, none of this answers why you behaved in such a way before. And why that woman asked me to help and seemed to believe I was the only one that could. It was....strange, what happened. It was like you had no control of yourself and were someone completely different. I just...explain this time me please. If my presence is the cause of such trouble, I'll take my leave and stay well away. I had only intended to give you a gift to thank you for saving me,not cause such tensions."

She watched as he removed his blindfold and squinted at her before he commented about closing her eyes and hinted that he'd be naked. Um...Yugi turned a bright shade of scarlet at the notion of this powerful, attractive man being nude anywhere near her. It was indecent and intriguing at the same time, but she pushed the thought away before it could take root. A lady did not gawk at a man simply because he was attractive, it just wasn't done! Taking a deep breath, she decided she may as well humor him for a bit before she left to go home and forget this entire insane mess had ever happened. Shaking her head, she shifted until she felt the support beam at her back again then obligingly shut her eyes and kept them that way. "Alright, if you're intent on this, go on and show me what you're wanting to. It seems important to you." And it did her no good to argue with him anyway.


Offline Aeon

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“It does answer it, Miss. The longer I am without a bonded partner, the more of my humanity that gift consumes. I lose my senses, my reason, my mind. I don’t even know what I do in those moments, which is why I’m very rarely away from my family. They understand what is going on, and it’s something they know how to do, to pull me back from that edge before I do something I would very much regret.” He absently ran a hand through his hair. “You didn’t cause that reaction in me. You were the one that pulled me back from it, so do not feel like you are true cause for that change in me. It wasn’t your fault. You only helped me come out of it.”

When she slid back to rest against the post and covered her eyes, he stood up and began to strip. Unlike her, he hardly cared for people to look at himself. He knew precisely what he cared and how well he did so—there was no reason for him to be shy in any sense. “It is important to me, because what I’m going to show you is] me. I won’t be able to talk to you until I am back in myself, that is a privilege only reserved to bonded pairs, so if you have a question make it a yes or no only please.”

With that, he stopped talking and allowed his body to do what it had become quite familiar with. The shifting of bones, addition of muscles, appendages even that he did not possess normally. She had mentioned a large cat and so he thought would suffice, particularly because she had seen the same animal in the show days earlier. He took the form of a large bengal tiger which stood rather regally in front of her. He had to be careful now, because communication between them would be very limited, so instead of touching her with a paw he allowed a low, growl like sound to come from his maw before he regarded her calmly. She was not in any danger in his presence, not now at least.


Offline Kei

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Yugi found herself even more confused at the response to her query. It didn't explain anything at all! Like why had she been able to help pull him out of whatever it was? Because of the color thing? This entire situation made absolutely no sense to her, not at all. She kept her eyes closed despite her curiosity about the man so near to her and waited for something to happen. She heard him mention something about bonded pairs and only asking yes and no questions but she really didn't understand so she didn't try to.

It was then she heard a low growl that was clearly animalistic and the hair on the back of her neck stood up on end as her body went tense for a moment before she took a breath for courage then made herself relax. She wanted to open her eyes and see what was going on, but she wasn't sure it was safe. "Um...Atem? Is it alright to open my eyes now? I doubt you're decent, but are you done with whatever you were doing? I can hear...something nearby but..." She was uncertain, definitely.

She reached out carefully in front of her, not knowing what she'd come into contact with but figuring Atem could tap her arm or something if it was safe for her to open her eyes. She wasn't sure where he was, but she wasn't opening her eyes until she was certain of what would be before her.


Offline Aeon

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If tigers could roll their eyes, Atem definitely would have done so. He’d thought she would have taken the growl for a hint simply because he’d said as much that he could not respond to her in this form. It was no matter now, he couldn’t exactly shift back and say yes she could open her eyes and shift back quickly enough before she’d see half of him nude and exposed. Not that he minded, but she would definitely be traumatized in a different way than he had even remotely intended. She had at least asked yes or no questions as he had requested, so there was that. With her small hand reaching forward, he had very little choice but to come to her.

Slowly, he padded forward. Very, very cautiously, he reached out his head to her. Warm breath gusted across her outstretched palm before he pressed the front of his face, cold nose, whiskers, and all into her hand. He did not push her, simply rested his head into her hand. She would hopefully take the hint it was alright to open her eyes now, especially because he couldn’t exactly respond to her in any way that wasn’t a growl or chuffing sound.


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At the sudden touch of warmth and fur Yugi let out a soft exhale of sound before amethyst eyes slowly fluttered open and she found herself face to face with a rather large tiger. Her eyes went wide and she froze again, but didn't remove her hand. Something was odd about this tiger. Her heartbeat sped up for moment for the shock of it all before her eyes narrowed and she considered the creature before her. Slowly her expression morphed to one of wonder and awe as she shifted her hand more on top of the massive head than in his face. A low, hushed and breathless comment left her without her realizing it. "Oh wow." She tried not to be but Yugi was completely enamored of the creature before her. Such a wonder he was, but that didn't explain anything to her, not at all.

"You are a wonder, did you know that? I sort of want to touch you more, but that would be disrespectful to such an amazing creature such as you." This was the most exciting thing to happen to her since her Grandpa took her out of the country for a year when she was still a child. She marveled quietly at the wildness in the tiger before her, as well as the quiet strength and noble baring of him. He really was magnificent. She still didn't get it though, where was Atem? Surely his story about changing and colors was just old tribal legends or some such, because really such things couldn't be real, they just couldn't. Yet some part of her wondered about the sudden appearance of the tiger and the disappearance of Atem. She'd heard him disrobing so surely he wasn't wandering around, but still.

She knew she should be afraid, but somehow couldn't bring herself to feel so. Instead it was strangely easy to talk to a creature that could so easily kill her at any time. "I don't understand any of this, you know? It's all just...so much. I should be terrified of being so close to you since I know how dangerous you can be, and yet...I don't feel threatened at all. It's very strange, you know. I think I want to believe what I've been told, but it's all so...fantastical I'm having a hard time. I guess I can't be blamed for that, it's a normal reaction after all. Still..." Her other hand moved up to touch the other side of the tiger's head and she just sat there feeling the strength in his head and neck and marveling at the silky fur.

Then she remembered and snorted to herself. "Yes or no questions, he said, like that's very helpful. Or I suppose it is but maybe I'm a bit frazzled still, excuse me." She looked into the eyes of the tiger before her, and decided to just give it a chance. "Let's try something simple, shall we? Yes or no question...let's start with the easiest question though it's probably stupid to ask but..." She took a deep breath then finally just asked her question. "You can....understand me very well....can't you?" There was hope in amethyst eyes because she wanted this to be real. It was something that could be her secret from the life her parents wanted her to lead, but she was scared to dare to believe it.


Offline Aeon

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She hadn’t believed him. Even now, she doubted the validity of what he had said with his head settled in her very hands running through the fur of his face. He supposed this was normal, the confusion, the disbelief. He knew nothing of her religion, or even if she practiced any faith, but this would doubtlessly be a shock to her foundations should they exist. He wouldn’t blame her if she accused him of some sort of devil worship after all of this, though for his sake, as well as her own because it rarely worked well for the accuser either, he hoped not.

When she posed her question he could have simply nodded but that wouldn’t exactly convince her any now would it? He retracted his head, one large paw raising. With careful precision, a single claw carved out a short sentence in the dirt. Yes, Yugi. He understood her quite clearly and, should this get her to realize he spoke the truth, he’d go to great lengths to demonstrate he had not lied to her. He wouldn’t lie to her, not now or ever.

The tiger inclined his head, a long tongue licking over one lip. He bared no fangs to her, giving her nothing but a quiet sense of respect.


Offline Kei

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Yugi didn't stop the large tiger as he moved away from her, instead letting her hands drop to her sides as she watched and waited; part of her hoping he would indeed prove that what she'd been told was true. So when the tiger suddenly there were two words written on the ground amethyst eyes went wide again and she took a moment to just stare at the words on the ground. So he understood then? Did that mean....? But then, did she dare to believe such a thing when it was so impossible? It was easy to see her mind working as she looked at those words on the ground; trying to figure out what it all meant. Her Grandpa had always taught her to keep an open mind because all things were possible in the world and just because none had ever seen it didn't mean something wasn't real. Still....She looked back at the tiger, then down at the words, then back at the tiger; eyes intent and curious and considering as she tried to figure out what was going on.

She just couldn't figure this out, no matter how hard she tried. It didn't make any sense! She let out an aggravated snarl of sound before shaking her head. "I promise I'm trying here, but I just don't get it! It's all just so hard to believe, and anyway why would it matter that I know about this mess anyway? I know, not a yes or no question, I'm just...so out of my depth here." She ran a hand through her perfectly pinned hair, causing to come tumbling around her body in a way as the pins didn't hold up to the gesture. She didn't care and then finally very carefully issued a cautious and hesitant query that was, in fact, a yes or no question. "I can't believe I'm even considering this is truth but....Atem?" It was a question that wasn't a question, but she was making the connection between his disappearance and the tiger's appearance. So she was asking a very important question with that single word. Was Atem the tiger?!


Offline Aeon

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This would be so much easier to simply show her the process from beginning to end, but for the sake of decency, propriety, and her own innocence he thought perhaps it was better to spare her that moment. Even still, he toyed with the notion. It would be beyond difficult to deny that he had become an animal after she saw as much with her own eyes. This mattered a great deal because of what he could be accused of, what his family would go through in the event this got out beyond where it currently resided. She wouldn’t understand the societal pressure, and more importantly the upheaval and demand for blood on the chance this got out in the world. His people were already persecuted. What would the rest of the world do once they didn’t trust the beasts around them to not be human spies? Or worse, devils.

She seemed to come to the right conclusion, and for added measure he both nodded and circled the ‘yes’ drawn in the dirt. He approached her then, his teeth gripping gently at the blanket wrapped around her. A careful tug indicated he wished for the material and after a moment he was able to pull it from her. The large mass of his long body stepped backwards before rearing up on his hind legs. With the blanket draped in front of him, his body returned to a human state in the span of a few short seconds.

Naked in front of her now, with only the cover of the blanket to prevent his own indecency, crimson eyes regarded her. He wrapped the blanket around his hips securely. “It matters a great deal of you know what I can do, Miss. it isn’t witchcraft, and it isn’t devil worship. I haven’t sold my soul to anything. I was born this way.”