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Circus [M]agic

Aeon · 164 · 843

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Offline Kei

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Yugi was startled when suddenly Atem rolled off of her and she sat up on her elbows to see what was wrong only to stare in shock as he lost his human shape and took on one she'd never seen before. She sat there, eyes wide, as he chuffed at her and then growled. She felt the bed beneath her creak ominously and gripped the sheets for support, eyes never leaving the massive animal beside her. She looked him over and couldn't identify what he was, only that he was massive. Orange-golden fur, impressive mane, faint stripes down his back; what was he?

She watched him as he drew nearer to her, not moving an inch for fear of the bed breaking. She didn't fear him though, never that, but she did watch him as she knew by some instinct she now dealt with the beast instead of the man. He ran the rough rasp of his tongue against her, making her wince slightly at the grating sensation of it, then held firm as he placed a massive paw over her stomach as if to keep her where she was. Slowly she settled back against the pillows, hands coming up to gently touch the large head of the beast before her. Why had this happened?

She blinked slowly, then just decided to go with it. She hummed lowly to him, and praised him a low murmur of sound. "Look at you, you're magnificent aren't you? I've never seen the like." She ran her hands along what she could reach of him, and kept up her low words because really she didn't know what else to do. "It always startles me when you do this, but I do enjoy feeling the strength of you no matter the form you take; especially now when I can still feel the press of you against me even when we're apart. I quite like it."

Now she was a bit tired though and took the chance to just catch her breath and relax, not knowing what was going to happen from here on out nor what to make of Atem's sudden shift.


Offline Aeon

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The liger drew his back legs back until they touched the ground. The bed’s protest lessened some, though not completely; it was not designed for the weight currently pressed on top of it. As she had seated herself back down quietly, there was no reason for the beast to protest. She was compliant and listening dutifully to the unspoken instructions he gave her. Instead of staying there with his paw against her, Atem moved back and off of the bed. He paced around the bed for a moment, coming over to one side of the bed where she was more easily accessible where he pressed the enormity of his large head into her chest. The same chuffing sound from earlier echoed again, an aggressive muzzle of sorts gifted to her before he pulled away again.

Large nostrils flared, scenting the air. He snarled at the smell of clothing she had hidden away. The beast yet smelled Kaiba on those clothes and was displeased by the smell, enough so that when he found it he began to tear at it with sharp, long fangs and claws. It was a shredded mess in moments, effectively destroying what for her may have been a favorite garment yet it was also a painful reminder of that man. Whether he had done her a favor or not, albeit unknowingly at this time, yet remained to be seen.

He returned to his pacing, prowling her room until he came across her mirror. Initially, he snarled at the reflected image—a rival male he clearly needed to contend with. But the longer he stared the quieter he became until eventually he tilted his head, a strange expression crossing over his maw. Awareness perhaps?


Offline Kei

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Yugi held her place quietly as she was released while Atem moved off the bed thankfully. She watched him pace the room then come around the bed to press his large head against her chest before chuffing at her, nuzzling her a bit roughly before pulling away again. She sat up again to watch him but remained where she was on the bed, not wanting to set him off as clearly he was lost to his beast. Instead she said nothing as he found her discarded dress and destroyed it, making her wince because she'd liked that dress but considering what had happened in it she supposed it was fine he'd destroyed it. She'd just...have to dispose of the mess before her parents saw it.

She saw him come up to the mirror and pause, tensing and snarling at himself before he grew quieter as he stared at it a while and tilted his head. She noted the strange expression in the cat's eyes and chose this moment to speak up from her place on the bed. "Atem? Sweetheart, are you alright over there?" She wanted to reach out and touch him again, the desire to do so a strong one as she hadn't wanted to part from him just yet when he'd removed himself from her, but she held her place and instead reached a hand out for him even though she couldn't reach him.

She kept her tones low and soothing, a soft purr of sound, as she spoke to him, hoping for the best. "Won't you come lay beside me again?  I miss you. Though I should probably get off the bed for that so it won't break, but I do miss your warmth next to me." It was odd, her desire to stay close to him, but in the wake of what had just happened she supposed it was normal. For now though, she had something different to contend with. Slowly she turned on the bed to put her feet on the ground as she scooted to the edge but didn't dare stand just yet for fear she'd fall as she wasn't sure her legs would hold her just yet. Still, she wanted to do something to help if she could. Also she wanted him with her, but that was an urge she may have to get used to going unfulfilled. "Atem?"


Offline Aeon

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He heard her—of course he did, his hearing was excellent—but he didn’t seem to really process the sound, at least not for what the words meant. A heavy head shook, disoriented. He blinked several times, confused the longer he looked within her mirror. Was that....Himself? Vaguely, he was aware of her getting up, or at least her efforts to do so, but it was this Trang’s feeling which kept him still. Most beasts in the animal kingdom were decidedly NOT self aware, and as a general rule he was no either when he was too far gone. The current moment was an oddity, just as his shifting had been. His world was slowly coming into focus, and he gradually realized it was himself staring back at him.

”What am I?” It was a rhetorical question, one he wasn’t aware passed over to Yugi’s ears. He wasn’t quite a lion, and yet he wasn’t quite a tiger either. He’d never taken this form before in all his days and he supposed since he’d shifted into it after a moment of ecstasy, that had to be the source. He wasn’t aware that he could combine two similar beings, but it was an interesting prospect, something he’d never considered before. It would merit further investigation, certainly.

He was pulled out of his thoughts by her second call of his name. The liger turned around in a quick moment Atem returned to a human state. He apologized. “I don’t know...What happened. It sometimes happens in...Triggering situations.” Intimate settings, moments a beast could be coaxed to claim. He came forward, kneeling down in front of her. “I am sorry if I scared you, sunlight.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi stilled her movements and settled in to watch the large cat as he moved about and stared at his own reflection as if he'd never seen it before. The moment remained silent until a quiet query sounded and Yugi blinked and looked around but didn't understand. That had sounded like Atem but there was no way he had spoken to her when he was an animal at present. It was odd, and perhaps she'd ask him about it later when he was more himself once more. What was he, indeed. He was still Atem, but the animal he had shifted into was new she could tell so perhaps he honestly didn't know. She'd heard him, somehow and felt maybe it had to do with the fact they'd just been intimate so she didn't worry overmuch about it.

The second time she called for him the massive beast turned back towards her and suddenly Atem was shifting back to a human state before apologizing as he came forward to kneel down before her; worried he'd frightened her. She leaned forward, bending slowly at the waist until her forehead came into contact with his and amethyst eyes could meet crimson. Her words were low and soothing and honest. "Now you listen to me, I wasn't for a moment afraid at any time. I've dealt with the beast before and besides that you didn't hurt me in the least. So don't worry so much, sweetheart, I'm alright and so are you. We're fine." It seemed important to her to say 'we' for some reason and she didn't question it, instead slowly sitting upright and patting the bed next to her. "Won't you come sit next to me? I really do miss your warmth." She gave him a gentle smile, hoping to encourage him to do what she wanted. Besides, she had questions.


Offline Aeon

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A small sound of relief left him as she assured him he hadn’t frightened her or hurt her. With that and her request, he rose up and got up onto the bed with her. Atem reclined back, strong arms encircling her waist as he leaned against the headboard. He was upright but not uncomfortable. One hand reached for her comforter, pulling it up and over her so that she might not be cold. He couldn’t fathom she would be given he felt scorched, but he did it just the same. It was some moments before he spoke again, mainly because he felt she probably still needed time. Doubtlessly she had her own questions, and since he felt his were fewer he opted to get them out of the way first.

Fingertips lightly ran against her arm, a small comforting gesture he intended. “I’m grateful I did not scare you, but are you otherwise alright? Soreness is to be expected. You may wish to take a long, hot soak when you get the chance. It will help ease up your muscles.” Another pause. This time it was something that bothered him, something he felt he very much needed to know. “Have I ever...Have you seen that creature before?” He inquired. “I don’t ever recall taking that shape. I’m not really quite sure what that was either.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi snuggled into Atem's side as he curled an arm around her waist while he leaned against the headboard. She began to draw light swirling patters on his arm as she soaked in the warmth of him quite happily. She giggled lightly when her pulled her comforter up and over her, kissing his shoulder fondly. "I won't need this for very long with you next to me you know. Besides that, I'm a bit hot as it is." True enough as not long after she pushed the comforter off herself, for the moment unashamed of her near nakedness. She snorted and realized her top was still on even though she'd lost her bottom long ago. She shook her head at the pair of them and what a sight they must make.

She shuddered lightly as he ran fingertips along her arm in a gesture she realized was meant to be comforting. She sighed contently once more and snuggled more into his side; preferring to stay there for as long as he'd let her. His query wasn't a surprise, and the answer was immediate. "I'm just fine, a bit sore and still more than a bit tingly, but it's a good feeling. As to a soak, I'll do that later definitely. For now though, I'd rather sit her with you and bask in how I'm feeling." She looked up at him as she could tell something was bothering him, then he asked if she'd seen the creature he'd become before and she blinked before considering for a moment then answering him. "I had never seen the like of what you became before today. I've seen similar, but nothing like that. A hybrid certainly, and more massive than I would have expected. I'm lucky you didn't break my bed, honestly."

She considered again, quietly tracing their names over and over on his skin in the native language of her Grandpa even though she barely understood most of what it meant. She thought about the situation for a while before offering more input. "Could that have been a reaction caused by what we did? You did go quite a bit feral there at the end. Not that I minded, it felt..." She shuddered, then continued. "But could that have caused the shift to be different from anything you've ever experienced because it was the feral part of you in control?" Or maybe it had something to do with her hearing his voice even though he was in an animal form, but she hadn't told him that yet. Her eyes narrowed for a moment, and she went ahead and asked the question bothering her most. "You really didn't know what you were, I could hear the confusion in your voice while you were looking in the mirror at yourself. 'What am I?' you said, like you didn't know it was yourself you were seeing. I guess you didn't by what you've just told me." She shrugged, not realizing the importance of what she'd just revealed.


Offline Aeon

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Atem chuckled. “I’m glad I did not break your bed. There is no telling who would have come running at such a loud sound.” Truthfully, it was a small mercy now that no one had come up to check on Yugi with all the sounds the pair of them had been making. Her family either didn’t care or was too absentminded to be concerned at the moment. Both worked just as well for him in that moment. “I don’t mind sitting here for however long you’d like me too. Of course at some point your presence will likely be requested somewhere, and I do have an act to run through tonight so I will have to be back before dark.” Really though that was hours away so they certainly had time to spend in each other’s company for now.

Atem nodded. “It very well might have been. Anymore I have very little control over myself when certain emotions are triggered. Hunger is one, which would explain why I am always eating if you ever wondered. Decidedly sexual acts trigger it as well, though that was the first instance I can ever recall having been told of shifting after the act. In any other time, it’s been before and I’ve had to be calmed down. I was very much aware until I got off of you. The feral part you mentioned, that’s just me so I apologize if it startled you. I was a bit more than over my head with sensations at the time.” If he cared about such things he might have had the decency to blush. As it was he wasn’t bothered by his behavior, not during the act at least.

Atem stilled with her words, silence prevailing. His heart drummed loudly in his ears. The sound was deafening. No, he couldn’t have. He hadn’t said any of the binding words. She hadn’t been gifted a form. There was no way she had heard him. And yet...he had said those very words. Apprehension seized his spine and for a man that feared nothing, he felt a very human chill go down his spine. He could not have taken that choice from her, forced a union. It wasn’t possible. Could it?

“Yugi, I....” He trailed off, crimson eyes regarding her own. “I need you to let me go for now. I need to test something out, because if you can still hear me when I shift again...Then I desperately need you to come with me because we have to have a talk with Ishizu. I swear, I have no idea how that even happened. It shouldn’t be possible. You shouldn’t be able to hear me in any form but this unless a very specific ritual is followed. Something we didn’t do.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi only grinned at the comment about the bed. "Yeah, my mother may ignore a lot of things but that she'd have come up here for. Good thing her foyer is downstairs on the other side of the house." She snuggled in against him in quiet contentment when he agreed to stay for a while longer. "I know you have other obligations, I don't though. I've already dealt with those for today. I won't keep you here when you need to go, so long as I get a while longer I'm happy." Which was true enough.

In the meantime she got to learn a bit more about how Atem worked and what could trigger the shift. She grinned at the comment about the feral side of him startling her and nudged him. "Oh, it didn't startle me. More that it was a challenge I wanted to rise to. I enjoyed seeing you like that in that context." Not to mention it was arousing, but she didn't dare say that to him. She felt him go still at her words and looked up at him, worried and slightly alarmed.  She looked up to meet his eyes and saw the worry there. Then he was telling her to let go of him because he needed to test something out.

She blinked slowly then let him go, pulling a light robe up and over her naked body so she didn't feel so exposed to the world. He may be comfortable in his own nudity, but she had a limited amount of time that she was and she'd just passed it. "Alright...I don't understand what's going on, but I've trusted you thus for so it can't be anything too terrible." Yet he looked worried and that made her feel anxious.


Offline Aeon

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“I just...I have to know if it’s going to happen again. Just nod of you can hear me once I shift, alright? It is very important that you are honest with me. I will explain everything that I can once we know one way or the other.” It was vague of course but that was necessary—she wasn’t a part of his culture, and he didn’t want to needlessly scare her. The Binding was a complex, life long tying. He did not want to present her with the enormity of such a thing, especially under the wake of everything thathad just happened to her in her young life, unless he was absolutely certain it was necessary. Once they knew he could tell her freely in the event he had somehow done this, but otherwise he could maintain the secrecy of his culture and only divulge what she needed to know.

Once she had released him, he took a simple form—a black tom cat. He sat there on her bed, amber eyes peering up at her. His tail twitched behind him, anxious. Eventually, he tried to speak to her, to ask her if she could hear him or not. He did so several times, tilting his head and meowing at her twice. Atem looked up expectantly at her, wondering perhaps if she had heard him and was simply too stunned to speak or not.

He shifted back, crimson eyes seeking her own. “Did you hear me? Any of it at all?”


Offline Kei

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Yugi listened, of course she did given how anxious Atem seemed, but didn't say anything as he moved back and shifted into a black cat. She blinked slowly and watched the cat, holding her silence and waiting; knowing he was probably speaking to her but unable to hear him like she had before. So she sat and she waited until he shifted back and once again met her gaze, asking if she had heard. Her first instinct was to reach out and soothe him and she did so, scooting up to sit next to him again and running her hand lightly against his back in a comforting gesture.

"I didn't hear anything though I can guess what you were asking just out of context. Maybe it was just that shape you took and the nature of what just happened before. A one time thing, if you will. So nothing to worry about, just something surprising. And it didn't bother me in the least, so there's that. Now, since I get the feeling it's something to do with your culture, how about you tell me what you can about what has you so worried and I promise I won't pester you for the rest as that's your business and not mine."

It was against her nature to push for such things anyway, so there wasn't a point when something told her he wouldn't give her the answer. Really she just wanted him to stop being so anxious so she could enjoy what time they had left together. It felt like what had happened before was a distant dream even though the lingering soreness in her body told her it wasn't. Considering the entire thing had been likely to comfort her after what Kaiba had done to her, she doubted it would happen again or that Atem even wanted it to.

So really she should enjoy his presence while it lasted and then get used to going without the closeness she realized she craved. First though, she needed to find a way to assuage his worry; so that was her priority for now. The rest, including her own feelings on the matter, could wait.


Offline Aeon

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Atem breathed an audible sigh of relief. He was more than grateful to not have forced something so integral to his culture upon her, particularly not without really having explained much of it to her. Now granted, he couldn’t exactly tell her there full of things now, but she would at least have some explanation for what had happened, what he had feared had gone down. He nodded, once more grateful though this time for her understanding. Some things were not just improper for him to tell her, but moreover it was against his own customs to do so. She was an outsider until she intended to be bound to one of his people; such was just the way it had always been.

Now that she was giving him the chance to explain things, at least as best as he could, he took the time to do so in as much detail as he was able. “I was worried I had somehow, by some fluke, instigated the Binding. It is an integral, complex ritual that my people go through only once in their lifetime. For all intents and purposes, it is like a marriage is for your culture, but there is a great deal more involved with it and, once it is established, it isn’t a bond that could be broken by something as paltry as a divorce.” Granted, divorces were decidedly taboo, rare, and certainly not respected proceedings, but they still could occur given special circumstances. For him to go so far as to say it was beyond even that should hold great significance.

“A bonded pair can communicate just like what we experienced. You would be able to hear me, and I wouldn’t even be in the room. It is a telepathic link, something even oceans of distance struggles with erasing.” Mind you he couldn’t tell her the why it was needed, namely to keep the male sane from his shifting, but his much he could reveal to her. “I cannot tell you what the ritual encompasses, but there are words, oaths, spoken, and as I have told you, the woman is the one which initiates and asks for that ritual. It is a....” He hesitated, wondering what he even could say here. “It is a battle of sorts that ensues between the two. If all goes well, they come out bound in the end.”


Offline Kei

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Yugi blinked slowly as she listened to what explanation Atem could give her regarding why he'd been so worried about her hearing him before when he was shifted. She didn't seem worried even after the marriage comment, mostly because there wasn't cause to be worried as it hadn't happened and she still felt it was only because they'd just been intimate and he'd lost control of himself a bit. Still, she did take the fact he was worried about it seriously even if she wasn't. "I guess that makes sense why you'd be worried about it then if it's that big of a thing for your culture. Though it does make me curious why I heard you even a bit, but I still think it has to do with the circumstances around it and the thing you shifted into more than anything else. That creature, whatever it was, was absolutely stunning by the way."

Now she wanted to slowly shift his mind away from the 'might-have-been's and back on more pleasant things because she knew she wouldn't have him here with her for much longer. She also knew Kaiba was due to return to see her sometime in the following days if not the next day itself since he was back from his business trip. At least the engagement was a long one so she had a bit of freedom before she was ultimately caged for good. She pushed the dark thoughts away, wanting only to focus on the man by her side and the sense of warmth still spreading through her body from what she'd just done. She found she didn't regret it - and in fact wanted to do it again sometime soon - but she held her silence and instead did what she did best and listened and observed.

She thought for a moment, then decided it was good to ask him questions and make comments about his culture without asking him too much information. More questions about what he'd already told her. "Your culture sounds fascinating and complex. It's very much something that fits with what I've seen from you and your family." She opened her mouth to say something else then amethyst eyes narrowed and her mouth went into a firm line as she considered something. She looked like she was concentrating on something for a moment before she blinked, surprised by what she'd remembered. "You know, I've just realized something. I have actually seen something like what you turned into before, just so long ago I barely remembered it."

She thought hard, since she'd been young it was a fuzzy memory, but she did tell him what she knew. "I was still very young and my Grandpa was still able to bring me on his adventures sometimes. There was once we were visiting...somewhere....I don't remember, and he showed me something that he called a 'strange and beautiful marvel of nature'. It was something like what you turned into; though female if I remember correctly." And, strangely enough, Yugi felt the large and powerful creature had fit Atem better than anything else she'd ever seen him become. Strong and graceful, powerful and stealthy, patient and cunning. It was many things but it felt more like the creature was Atem instead of something he'd become. It was...difficult to explain and she didn't think he'd be all that thrilled if she told him so. Instead she shrugged over the memory, leaving it as it was.


Offline Aeon

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Atem gave a short, snort of sound, a noise of vague amusement. Of course she would find the creature stunning. She seemed to admire most animals, really. Anything that he had ever become in front of her from the smallest beetle to the tallest giraffes in his native Africa, she had always been in awe. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe her so much as when everything was amazing he found it hard to be too proud of himself for the form. Particularly because he hadn’t decided what to take then, more it had just happened on its own accord. He couldn’t take credit for that splendor—he didn’t even understand where it had come from to begin with.

“It can be a bit much,” he admitted. “There are a lot of nuances and certainly different behaviors from most anywhere else I have been in the world. And trust me, I have traveled a great deal of it in many different forms. It was part of my training, and it was my duty as a royal guard to obtain any number of beneficial forms to safeguard my people. I came back a very different man during the course of that training.” He seemed lost in his thoughts for a time, reflecting on precious journeys perhaps and what he had had to do to get to such a point in his life as that.

When Yugi spoke to him again, he turned his gaze to her, curious. “Oh?” He inquired. “Where were you at, if you recall?”


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Yugi heard his snort of amusement and had the grace to flush over it because, really, she was always impressed with any shape he took as an animal. The new one, though, felt different to her, but she didn't think he'd appreciate the explanation if she gave it to him. She left him to his thoughts for a long while until something she'd said finally caught his attention and he turned to regard her with curiosity; asking if she remembered where she'd seen the creature that he'd looked like before. She tilted her head to the side for a moment as she thought about it, digging deep into a very old memory so it took her a lot longer than it otherwise would have.

Finally she shook her head to clear it and offered a response to the asked query. "Somewhere in Asia, I think. I remember we accidentally stumbled across some ruins and she was there. Grandpa thought someone had to have released her because it's not something that usually happens on its own in nature as the two species are from very different places. Still, she was thriving there in the temple and there were a lot of such creatures around; likely her offspring as they still looked relatively young. They stayed out of each other's way, but she seemed curious about us so she might have been used to people. She was absolutely massive as well; though not so large as what you became. My Grandpa studied her for a while so it's probably in the notes in his adventure journal from that time. I have it here if you'd like to look at it."

It was something at least. Although...if they were going to be talking for a while she saw no reason not to get dressed. Feeling strangely confident in her own skin, Yugi rose from the bed letting the sheet drop away from her body so she could step away and dig around in her closet for more undergarments. Her movements were a bit stiff still, but they weren't overly painful so it was fine. Eventually she emerged with a simple dress on and she was quick to settle back on the bed and lean against the pillows to continue talking as Atem wanted to.