Stories by: Mirri

The Tall Tails of Catwood

Chapter Won


An alarm clock, that is upon a nightstand and is adjacent to a slender twin sized bed, rings repeatedly to awaken its owner. The alarm clock continues to beep with a resounding ringing that increases in volume until it is abruptly silenced by a dazed paw viciously slamming upon its snooze button. The dozing leopard that occupies the bed lifts his head and glares with half-lidded eyes at the alarm clock under his paw. The alarm clock reads six o’clock with a feigning and mocking flicker. The drowsy leopard swears he had just closed his eyes to go to sleep a few moments ago. Tika yawns widely and lets his head fall back with a groan, he just feels like lying in bed forever. However, after just a few minutes his door is nearly knocked down by a familiar tigress.

”Get with it, bro. We’re gonna be late.”

Tika grumbles and throws his blanket to the side. He grabs the loin cloth on the chair, slips it on, and follows the same way his sister just went, out the door and down the stairs to the kitchen. A purring tiger greets by rubbing himself against Tika’s legs and he fuzzles the fur between his ears with a sleepy smile, ”Mornin’ Sen, how ya doing?”

Tika does not expect any kind of response and quickly joins his sister and parents by the table for breakfast. The breakfast menu is what could be expected for carnivores plus a little fruit that rarely is eaten but seems to be there just for show. Things are a bit chaotic, the siblings’ mom is running around as in a panic and is getting everything ready for their father, Perihelion. Dad gives mom a peck on her cheek and calls to his offspring before taking off to work, ”Bye you two. Stay out of trouble today.”

The two siblings smile at dad innocently and echo, ”Of course. You know us.”

Perihelion nods, ”That’s what I mean.” he is halfway into the elevator already and disappears out of everyone’s view as the doors close.

Tika looks up from staring at his cereal bowl and grins, ”Relax mom, just us you have to worry about now.”

Mika groans and sits down by the table, nipping at the food on her own plate, ”Yes, I know. Just hurry up and go to school. It’s a long way.”

Mirri finishes her breakfast and pokes her brother, ”C’mon Tika, time to go.”

Tika leaves the remains of his food and runs upstairs to get his backpack and before Mika knows it, both her children are out the elevator and off to school.

The two furs step out of the elevator at the bottom of the huge tree they live in and start walking towards the city. It has not been more than two or three weeks since they both started in this new school and everyday life still has not got that routine feeling yet. They laugh and poke at each other along the way to get the morning frustrations out of their system. Mirri stops carrying her bag along her side and throws it over her shoulder, ”What is it you’re doing in school again?”

Tika thinks a bit then rambles, ”Well, it’s a sort of physical education thing I guess. All we do is sports and training and fighting and stuff. We only have books to read in a few classes.” He grins and tugs at Mirri’s evidently much heavier bag.

”Hey, stop that. It’s heavy ‘nuff as it is.”

”So where did they send you?”

Mirri throws the bag over her shoulder again to try and get it in a more comfortable position where it does not bite down on her shoulder, ”Well, after that first evaluation, they sent me over in the east wing. It’s a sort of extension of the Magic Academy in town where they train all the promising students and then let the best ones into the Academy once they graduate.”

Tika nods and watches a frog on the path ahead as it flees from the noises of the large feet of the two felines, ”I see.. I think it’s the same in the north wing. The best ones in my class get to go to competitions and stuff and maybe join the army. S’what I heard anyway. What’s your schedule for today?”

Mirri puts a paw to her chin in thought, ”Well, there’s physics, history, math, philosophy I think and then Basic Magic for three hours at the end of the day. You?”

Tika shrugs, ”Dunno. Basket all day I think.”

Mirri raises a brow, ”You’re just gonna play basketball for a whole day?”

”Think so. It’s part of some program or other. Tomorrow we’re gonna play something else all day. They say it’s to get us in shape before we start the real combat training.”

”I see..” The city is slowly coming into view as the two pass the next hill. Where the jungle ends that they live in, there are a few acres of grass and then the suburbs of Ustaraabu City. One of the biggest and oldest cities on the planet, and the one with the largest spaceport.

The school lies just beyond the suburbs from this side and it takes about half an hour to walk from the two siblings’ home in the high tree in the Anaconda Jungle and to the school. Approaching the school from the streets, it is hard to get an idea of the size of it. From the air you can clearly see the four wings situated like a cross along the axes of the planet and with a large ring connecting all four buildings, making it look somewhat like a compass from above.

Tika waves goodbye as they part, Mirri heads for the east wing and Tika heads for the northern one where his classrooms are located.

Obviously into the first few hours of the day, Mirri is already holding up her head with her arm and glaring sleepily at the physics teacher as he eagerly explains where the entire planet gets its energy from, ” you see, the black hole is kept in place by the spaceship and they are both orbiting the planet at a safe altitude and speed. All the energy that the black hole emits is collected also by the spaceship known as ‘Kaza’ throughout the planet, and is daily sent down to this very city to be distributed along our power lines to everywhere else.”

Mirri diverts her eyes from the over-enthusiastic wagging of their teacher’s tail, looks out the window, and is bored beyond death. She would give anything to be in her brother’s class right now.

In the meantime, Tika has been skulking around the other males in his class who seem to know each other well and has been trying to get a bit more recognition from everyone. He feels a bit desperate to be part of a group again. It did not take him long to figure out that the anthrolion in the corner is the guy you want to be friends with. His name is Kesonam, and judging by his size, handsome features and the way everyfur seems to flock around him to be noticed, he is the most popular guy around here. Tika joins the fray, ”Hey guys, what’s up?”

The lion lifts his head a bit to look over the crowd but does not need to stare in Tika’s direction for more than a few seconds before the herd around him disperses so he can see the leopard. The sight that meets him is odd indeed. His eyes fall upon what looks like a leopard at first glance, but the coloring is all wrong. His fur is jet black and the usual characteristic spots are as white as snow. The fur adorning the front of his chest and torso is an exception to his inverted fur-color, as it is as soft and creamy white like the fur of most other great cats. Tika is not as tall as most furs his age, and he wears nothing but a long loin cloth to proudly display his more primitive origins. He looks a lot like an ordinary leopard: strong, athletic build, bulky but still agile, except for the colors of his fur. He does not have any other colors besides black and white on his body except for the dark pink color inside his ears and his gleaming sapphire-blue eyes. Just his spots, belly, throat, paws, part of his muzzle and tailtip are shining white, the rest is midnight black. Kesonam glares at the strangely colored leopard indignantly and waits for him to give some kind of explanation of why he dares even speak to him. Tika just plays stupid and tilts his head curiously at the lion. A friendly smile creases his lips as he asks, ”What’re we doing?”

Kesonam keeps his glare for a few moments before smiling toothily, ”Looking at babes. Seen any?”

Tika looks around to gaze at the few females, in this mostly physically educating part of the school, playing basketball on the court beside them, ”Not really. All the pretty ones are in the east wing.” He prays to the forces above that the bluff works.

Kesonam laughs in his own particular rumbling way, ”You said it, lepurd. What’s your name?”

Tika keeps smiling, ”I’m Tika. I guess the legends were true then.”

The lion frowns, ”What legends..?”

”Well, the stuff about lions being the kings and ruling all other animals, of course.”

That seems to fall in good favor. ”Yeah! Say, you’re a pretty clever one, you up for a one on one?” A casual gesture at the basketball court.

”Sure.. umm.. I didn’t quite catch your name..?”

”My friends call me Kes. And don’t you forget it.”

Tika smirks, ”Kes.. don’t worry, I won’t.”

As the two anthros make their way out to a free court, Tika bubbles inside with sheer happiness. Only been awake a couple hours and he is already playing privately with the ‘ruler’ of the wing. Yes! Looking down Kesonam’s muscled body, he can imagine why no one seems to argue with him. ”Doesn’t matter,” he thinks to himself, ”I wouldn’t try to win this match even if I could.”

The clock is moving much more slowly in Mirri’s classes, however, and it seems like an eternity before her magic classes finally start. This is what she loves about school. Today’s subject is healing. ”Sissy stuff,” Mirri ponders, but is a bit surprised as the level seems to be quite a bit higher here than what she had expected. It is not just about small wounds, as she already knows about, but also about regenerating bones, tissue and everything else.

”Pretty helpful with my brother around,” she giggles to one of her classmates, ”He always has to show off and usually gets hurt.”

The match ends with Kesonam scoring twenty-one points more than Tika. The leopard is happy on the inside and thinks to himself, ”Not even a close match, but enough to make him think I’m not weak either.”

Tika shakes Kesonam’s paw as they both pant and smile, ”Wooh, that was fun Tika. Had me worried there for a moment.”

They both walk over to the benches at the side of the hall and sit down to catch their breath. All the others are running around and playing still, so this is Tika’s chance to get a few private moments with the leader.

”So, what was that you said about the east wing?” Kesonam tries him, ”Is something you know about or just something you said to impress everyone?”

Tika tries the playful approach and lights up in a grin, ”Well, actually I just got here a few weeks ago as you might have noticed..”

”Yeah, right.” Tika thinks to himself.

Kesonam nods and dribbles the ball a few times, ”Just checking. You hang around in the east wing sometimes?”

The leopard waves a paw dismissively, ”Naw. The east wing is for girls and sissies.”

Kesonam spins the ball spin on his finger and watches it carefully, ”Y’know, I go to the east wing.”

Tika’s heart feels like it is going to stop and he uneasily stutters, ”Umm.. I see.. well, all I meant was that--”

”I know what you meant, Tika. That’s why guys like you aren’t in the east wing. I go there for a few classes a week. It’s the most highly academic one, while this one is for all the furs who don’t know what one plus two is.”

”It’s one.”

Kesonam drops the ball and it bounces off across the court. He turns his head slowly, ”Are you making fun of me..?”

Tika keeps smiling, a trick he learned from his dad. Perihelion could keep smiling with a concussion, three broken bones and a hungry jaguar pacing back and forth in front of him, ”No, I’m just saying it’s one. If you have one sand pile and put two more on top of it, you still just have one sand pile. Only bigger.”

It takes a few moments before the concept seeps into the lion and a sparkle of comprehension lights in his eyes. He roars with laughter and slaps Tika’s back so hard he almost falls onto the court floor, ”Hah! That’s a good one. I gotta remember that.”

Tika keeps smiling.

”Where do you live anyway? Suburbs?”

Tika shakes his head, ”No, Anaconda Jungle. We have a tree house way up in a huge tree.”

Kesonam nods, ”You live in a primitive cabin or something up there?” He motions towards the long loin cloth that Tika is wearing as opposed to the somewhat more normal clothes that every other fur in this school has.

”Oh, no. It’s really big and it’s got everything. My parents build it themselves many years ago.”

Kesonam raises a brow and nods sincerely, ”Really...? That sounds cool. I live with my dad in a big house at the other end of the town. Got my own JX-200 hovercraft y’know.”

Tika wows, ”I heard about that one. Isn’t it *really* expensive??” He has no idea where this ability to suck up to someone comes from.

The lion nods proudly, ”A-yup.. sure is.”

A screeching whistle resounds within the giant hall as the teacher claps his paws loudly, ”Alright you guys. Hit the showers!”

They both get up and Tika picks up the ball and hands it to Kesonam, before they follow the others into the locker room. Since they were the last to enter, they are both there when the last one leaves for class. Tika tries to keep talking, ”So, what’re we doing now?”

Kesonam shrugs, ”I don’t know about you, but I’m having Basic magic in the east wing now. I think the rest of you are having a tour of the combat hall and all the stuff you’re going to do next month.”

Tika nods and packs his bag. He is not very used to the idea of lockers, ”Alright. Well, catcha later then.”

A locker slams shut as Tika is almost out the door. ”Hey Tika.”

The leopard freezes and turns around, ”Yeh?”

”That house of yours sounds really cool. Think you could show me someday?”

Tika grins, ”Sure thing, big guy. Anything for the leader. Just lemme know when you have time.”

Kesonam laughs and thumbs-ups at Tika.

From that moment, Tika just knows that this lion is going to be a real friend someday.

Mirri stands outside the school entrance the two always use in the morning and watches for her brother, ignoring the glaring looks of the flow of furs who pass her by. She sighs as Tika’s distinct colors shine through the masses, ”Finally.”

Tika walks right up beside her with a huge smile on his face and they both start walking home.

”What’re *you* so happy about?”

”Well, I just took a great step in making the most popular fur my friend. He even remembers my name now.”

Mirri grins and pokes the proud chest of her brother, ”Oh yeah? What’s this great guy’s name?”

”Kesonam. Big lion type of guy. Takes classes in your wing.”

Mirri ponders a bit, ”Yeah, think I’ve seen him.. briefly. So what’d it take to be a part of the clique?”

”Nothing. He’s just very interested in seeing our tree house, so he’s probably gonna visit us soon.”

Mirri licks her muzzle unconsciously, ”Well, if it’s the hunk I’m thinking about, he’s more than welcome.”

Tika rolls his eyes, ”Girls... forget it, sis, he’s waaay out of your league. He’s the most popular male in the class, girls swoon and send him longing looks when he walks by. You’ll never get to him.”

Mirri snorts, ”Oh no? Well, then I guess I’ll just have to show him I’m not one of the swoooooning crowd.”

Tika gives it up, ”So what’d you learn today?”

”Healing bones and stuff. Pretty cool, tho I gotta practice with mom all evening I think. Y’see Basic magic teaching is sorta tailored for each student. Once you master the first thing you advance to the next group. It’s all just a matter of quick you learn. And since I better get this healing learned in a hurry before you decide to throw yourself out the tree house again..”

Tika snorts indignantly and crosses his arms, ”I wasn’t supposed to fall. I was trying to see if I could leap from our house to the guest house--”

”..without a vine, yeah I remember. Does your arm still hurt when I--”

”Ouch!! Stop it!”

”Alright, alright. Geez. Relax. Once I learn that healing we can break it again and heal it properly.”

”No way, man! I’m not gonna throw myself out the house again.”

”You don’t have to. And don’t they teach you about denying pain and stuff.”

Tika shakes his head, ”No, not yet. That’s next month I think.”

Mirri steps into the elevator first as they reach their tree, ”Well, we gotta think of something then. Maybe mom knows a trick.”

A few weeks pass by where not much happens. The two suns rise and set as usual and the violet sky hosts the bright orange clouds as always. Mirri cannot do anything about Tika’s wound, but she advances past a few basic magic types with the help of her mother and Tika and Kesonam make it a habit to take their time after last class and hang around in the showers and talk about whatever Kesonam wants to talk about. It’s the only breathing space that Kesonam has away from the crowds these days.

The two twins meet after school and start walking home side by side as always. Mirri seems very enthusiastic.

”Did ya hear? I’ve almost passed all the basic magic in record time. There’s just Mind shielding left to learn and then my final and then I’m all done! The academy *has* to take notice of me now. My teacher says the last time anyfur passed this quickly was more than six years ago.”

Tika just stares ahead at the road, ”That’s super, sis.”

The tigress frowns, ”You don’t look very happy about this. Is something wrong?”

A grumble. ”Naw, just hurt myself during training today. Stupid raccoon, I told him to be careful with that staff.”

Mirri awws and stops walking, looking at him carefully, ”Where does it hurt? Wait, don’t tell me!” She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath and grabs Tika by his upper arm.


Mirri blinks and lets go quickly, ”Ehe.. sorry.”

Tika murmurs in a mocking tone, ”Well, I’m glad your magic skills are working, otherwise even I might have forgotten where it was.”

Mirri crosses her arms, ”No need to be rude, bro. Just lemme fix it.”

Tika saves his arm, ”No! The last time you fixed my arm it grew back completely out of shape and still hurts.”

Mirri stomps in the ground impatiently, ”Just lemme fix it! I’m much better at healing now. Trust me.”

Tika looks at his sister for a few moments before hesitantly reaching out for her with a sigh, ”Alright..”

Mirri grins and grabs his arm carefully, ”Let’s see now.. ah yes.” She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath to clear her mind and thinks healing thoughts, Tika figures.

Nothing happens at first, but suddenly a warm feeling fills Tika’s body and he blinks a few times as the tingling sensation fills all his senses and seems to wrap him into a warm blanket of enjoyment, ”Oh yeah!” He gasps and struggles to keep his balance. All too soon, the feeling fades and leaves him strangely empty, ”Where did you learn how to do that??”

Mirri grins, ”I told you, my teacher. She told me how to add an almost aphrodisiac-like spell into it so you don’t even feel the pain when your flesh is burned away and replaced.”

Tika feels around his arm, ”Wow.. good as new. Can you do just that aphrodisiac spell again?”

Mirri shakes her head, ”Afraid not. We sorta weaved it into the other one.”

Tika awws, ”So I have to hurt myself all the time to make you do that to me?”

Mirri laughs and bats, ”I have better things to do than patch you up, y’know.”

Tika feigns surprise and gasps, covering his mouth with his paws, ”What could *possibly* be more important than that??”

The two furs giggle their way home and greet their mom in kitchen before going to their rooms to do homework.

Mirri makes her way up the stairs first, emerging in a room that almost takes up half of the space on the second floor. The four doors in the room beside the hatch in the floor they came up of, lead to the bathroom, their parents bedroom, Tika’s room and of course her own room. Once at her desk she gets all the books out of her bag and starts reading her homework. She can hear her brother playing loud music in his room, guess there is not a lot of homework for him. With a slightly jealous sigh she buries herself in all the knowledge at her fingertips.

After a couple of hours of silent studying, a knock is heard on her door, ”It’s open.”

Tika pushes the door up and frowns at the girly room: Pink colors and blankets on the wall, posters of various wild animals, dresser with a big mirror, her desk with a table lamp filled with stickers, ”What do you want?”

Tika shakes his head clear, he does not come in here a lot, ”Uhh.. I was wondering if you’d like to train with me? Dad isn’t gonna be home for a while and my teacher told me to train some stuff at home.”

Mirri groans and smacks her books shut, ”Great. Why not? Everything else is more important than this.”

They both move out in the very spacious room, which serves as an exercise room and is used for meditation as well. Mats of various sizes and shapes dot the polished wooden floor of this room that takes up roughly half of the available room on the second story. Along the circular outer wall, beside the large windows giving you a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery, lies some gymnastic equipment that has been used and not put back into place. Hard points for attaching more gymnastic gear can be seen bolted to the walls and to some points in the roof. The outer wall shows some marks in it that probably have their origin in some hard impacts, making the exercise room look like it has seen some use. It is good to stay in shape, after all. Set against one wall, well away from the doors, is a target that seems to have been used for throwing sharp objects at, judging from the deep indentations. Rings hang suspended from the roof, intended for gymnastic uses, obviously and to prevent anyfur from accidentally falling down the stairs while training, the hatch to the first floor can be closed and secured. Mirri throws out her arms, ”Well? What d’you have to train?”

Tika grabs two quarter staves from a stand in the corner and throws one over to his sister, ”Staff fighting. I learned some pretty neat tricks.”

Mirri nods and circles the staff a few times in front of her, making that distinct *swoosh* noise, ”Alright. Show me.”

Tika circles the staff too, he is not about to be surpassed by his sister, ”Okay, well, there’s the leg sweep, a few jabs, feints, stabs, strikes--”

”Yeah, yeah, yeah.. nevermind the technical terms just show me.”

”You got it, sis...” He jumps at her with a growl and swings at her. Mirri eeks and evades, throwing herself to the side, ”Oh yeah?” She leaps in the air towards her brother, letting the staff circle in the air and making it generally hazardous to stand right in front of her. Tika stands his ground, parries his flying sister by simply holding the staff out, and makes her fall to the ground. She just has time to realize what happened and roll to the side as her brother’s staff smacks the mat where her face just was. Mirri rolls away and to her feet, snarling. A quick double-step forward and she flies against him, staff first and swinging. Tika manages to parry off the fury of her strikes, staff against staff making that hollow wooden sound as they absorb the force of each other, he uses one of the new tricks her learned and before Mirri knows what happened, her staff suddenly retreats to the ground and she goes down with it. Both find themselves on their knees on the mat, Tika’s staff pinning the end of Mirri’s. She does not at all enjoy that superior smile on his muzzle and resorts to brute violence as she kicks him in the side and gets her staff back. Both are on their feet again and Mirri attacks once more, whipping at him with the end of her staff, keeping out of range and going for the chest. Tika parries blow after blow with mere impunity, but blinks as a series of thrusts against his staff are made nearly faster than he can see. He yells, ”No magic!” and instinctively throws himself to the ground on his belly, just in time to hear the loud *swish* of Mirri’s staff missing his head by inches. Staff still in one paw, Tika moves his paws behind his back and keeps flat on the ground as he circles the staff behind him to make Mirri jump back in order to avoids getting her feet swept out from under her. That brief moment where she is on the defense, Tika rolls backwards, getting the staff out of the way and ends on his feet, snarling at her, ”That’s cheating!”

Mirri laughs evilly and makes a few displays by throwing the staff around herself, ”No it isn’t. Magic is as natural to me as the rest of my body. It’s just like--” Tika does not hear the rest as she fades into a blur of orange and stripes, rapidly moving to the side and out of his view before he can even turn his head to follow her. As a natural reaction to an unnatural action, he bows and falls to his knees, keeping his head low and hearing another one of those near misses fly right past his neck, making his fur rise. This time he is prepared, however, grabbing the staff by his side with both paws and lunging it backwards to hit his sister square in the belly with the tip of his staff.

”Ooof!” She flies backwards a few feet and gasps for air, long enough for Tika to get to his feet and swing the staff at her as far as he can while turning. The sight that greets him as her turns is not exactly what he was prepared for, though. His staff hits hers alright, but her staff is standing completely vertical in the air and she is sort of sitting in the air at the top of it, holding on to it with both paws to keep her weight from making it skid. Mirri kicks downwards at his staff as far as she can reach, with one end held in place with her staff, it is quite easy to kick the other end out of his paw. Tika blinks just once before her smirk disappears from view and is replaced by one of her feet, kicking him away and to the ground. Mirri ignores his staff and sets after her real prey, lashing out at him, but missing as he dodges, evades and rolls to the side all the time. He gets her increasingly frustrated at striking out with all her might, but hitting nothing but empty air. Just as she gets mad enough, he charges at her with a dramatic roar and leaps as high as he can just before ramming into her, somersaulting over her head as she once again misses with her staff. He lands on his paws on the other side and keeps rolling forward, using the momentum gained to make it to his staff, grab it as he rolls across the room and is on his feet again, ready to face her, ”Alright sis. You wanna play rough? Let’s play rough...”

He charges against her, leaping again just before getting to her, but Mirri is not sure it is just as safe this time what with his newly found staff, so she cleverly ducks as he somersaults overhead and sticks the staff out at an angle from his body, almost making it look like a buzz saw passing above. Tika is just as quickly back to her and beating wildly to try to wear her down so he can land a successful blow. She frantically parries as fast as she can and tries to keep the staves together to get some kind of stalemate so she can breathe a bit. Tika stops hitting and presses as hard as he can, really forcing Mirri to use all her strength to avoid being forced down on her knees. He grins down at her, feeling the sweat starting to run down his face, he keeps her pinned like this and grabs her staff with a paw in an attempt to wrestle her weapon away.

Mirri sneers and pants up at him, ”Careful, bro. It’s much too hot for you.”

A small twitch of comprehension comes to show in Tika’s eyebrow just before he, true to his sister’s words, feels the staves rapidly heating up to the point they burn his paw. He jumps back and howls in pain, but the trick seemed only to occur in his mind; Mirri is still holding her staff and smiling, ”Tee-hee.. gotcha, bro.”

Tika scowls and quickly places his foot on his staff, a quick motion backwards makes it roll his way and fly up in his paw as he lifts the rolling staff with the top of his furry foot.

Mirri blinks and hrmms, ”Not bad.” She swings the staff around a bit to appear more intimidating and then charges.

Her brother turns and starts running away with her hot on his tail. He makes it to the wall of the room and uses his momentum to run as far up the wall as he can, put his staff to it in a sort of vertical pole vaulting, which sends him flying backwards across the room and landing on his feet at the far end. As expected, Mirri is quite furious about his display and in her recklessness to get back at him for thinking he is so great, she attacks fervently, making it all the more easy for Tika to throw his staff at her feet and tripping her before he is within range of her rage. Tika grabs another staff from the rack beside him and grins, ”Clumsy tigress...”

Mirri sets her staff in the floor and leans on it as she slowly rises to her feet, throwing her long, partly spiky, orange hair out of her eyes as she looks up with a glare, ”That’s it, Tika. You’re going down.”

The rack against the wall to the left of Tika opposite the doors stirs for a moment before sending three knives flying across the room and into Mirri’s paw.

Tika shakes his head, ”Nononono.. no knives. No knives!”

His pleads fall to deaf ears as Mirri sends the three sharp instruments of death screeching the 20 feet between them, faster than any eye can see.


Tika grins and waves his staff in front of him, which has the three knives stuck firmly in, ”You’re getting slow, sis.”

Mirri throws her staff away and goes to close quarters, kicking the staff out of her brother’s paw and delivering a solid blow to his abdomen. Tika tumbles backwards a few feet and regains his balance, ”Wow, easy sis. You could get--”

Tika blocks another combination of kicks and punches effectively, close combat is his specialty, why does she keep forgetting that? As such, it does not take long before he sees a chance to get a stable hold on her lower arms and takes full advantage of it, throwing her to the ground and tumbling with her. For some reason this acrobatic tumbling along the floor does not appear quite normal, but Tika has no time to wonder why she is suddenly able to throw herself to the side and keep rolling with him with much more force than she ought to judging by her weight. Fact is he ends up underneath with her paws on his wrists and knees on his thighs, keeping him pinned firmly.

Mirri pants heavily and smirks, ”Finally.”

Tika decides to let her win this round and does not start struggling under her grip, ”That was pretty good, sis.” He says with a roll of his eyes at her.

Mirri laughs, ”Oh, so now you’re trying to flatter me and hope I’ll let down my guard?” She lays more weight in, just to get her point across, ”No way.”

Tika makes no sign of wanting to get up and just keeps panting with her, ”No really, I like fighting with you.”

She licks her dry muzzle, slowly starting to catch her breath and keeps him pinned firmly at all times, ”No you don’t. You just thought you could find someone to beat up until dad got home.”

Her brother laughs and wiggles underneath her, ”C’mon sis, you won. Now lemme up.”

Mirri considers that for a long moment while searching his face for any indication that he will attack her again as soon as she turns her back, ”Okay, but I’m warning you. If you jump at me again I’ll cream your butt.”

Tika grins and blinks his eyes innocently, ”Deal.”

The tigress very reluctantly steps off him and to her feet, never once taking her eyes of him.

”C’mon, relax. I told you I wouldn’t keep going.” He takes a deep breath and looks around, gladly noticing that they didn’t make as much of a mess as they usually do when fighting. His head slowly turns to her and without any provocation at all he shoves at her chest and runs towards the bathroom, yelling, ”I’m in the shower first!”

Mirri growls and bounds after him, but nearly smacks her head against the wooden bathroom door as he slams it shut, ”I’ll get you Tika!” She promises the wooden door, ”Just you wait!”

She crosses her arms and stands sulking outside the door for a few moments before moving over to the hatch, opening it and quietly moving down the stairs, past the platform where the stairs bend the other way and then peeking through the kitchen into the living room where Mika is sitting in the big beanbag chair and watching TV at the usual earsplitting volume. Mirri exhales a sigh in relief that she did not hear the noise and goes up the stairs again, making her way to the bathroom.

Tika takes his time getting cleaned up in there, but finally unlocks the door and opens it. The first sight greeting him is his sister with something that looks like a thundercloud hovering above her head. He ignores her bad mood and shoots her his most joyful grin, ”Your turn.”

Mirri snaps at him, ”Took you long enough. What, you couldn’t catch your own tail to wash it, again?”

Her brother sticks his pink tongue out at her and moves into his own room.

The sleek tigress steps into the large room, her mood changing as if by magic as soon as the warm, damp confines of the bathroom wraps around her body with the black ironwood door closed. Tika has already showered and a lot of the warm vapor still hangs in the air, making Mirri’s fur tingle. The room is spacious, though not as large as the exercise room outside, it is definitely large enough to satisfy even the snobbiest of furs. The family just likes to have enough room, however. Light is supplied from the large window in the outer wall with the characteristic panoramic view of the jungle. Occupying a corner of the room is a sizable shower done in white marble like a large, tiled cubicle of sorts and with a large sliding door. Mirri always gets a quivering sensation when she sees the shower, there is just something about it that invites her to step inside and let the warm waters wash down her.

Situated next to the shower is the obligatory toilet and at the other end of the room is a nice, clean sink set in the table that goes from the door to the window, dutifully holding all the bottles, cans, boxes and whatever else they think belongs in a bathroom and just throw there. Above the sink is a spotless mirror, framed by cabinets full of various bathroom items that could not fit on the table. The table also has drawers in it with clean fluffy towels en masse, all stacked neatly. The bathroom floor is tiled to keep the water from finding its way down to the floor below, and the fan in the ceiling is running almost soundlessly while it desperately tries to get all the vapor from Tika’s shower out of the room.

Mirri smiles to herself, slides the blurry paned door to the shower aside and steps into the running shower. Typical of her brother to leave it like this. She closes her eyes and starts purring as the nice, hot water seems to wash away all thoughts of her unfinished homework and her irritating brother. No wonder she comes in here so often...


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