File: growth_and_strength

By: brandy

Pounce and Nepeta in: Growth and Strength


Tags: commission, Homestuck, Nepeta Leijon (Homestuck), Pounce de Leon (Homestuck), Writing

Pounce and Nepeta in: Growth and Strength

Watching Nepeta grow had been something Pounce had taken great pleasure in as the sweeps had passed. Unlike most lusii she'd doted upon the young troll, pushing her and pawing at her along her growth periods, from pupation to adolescence. Her little one may not have been the biggest or the most scheming, but she was tough and fierce. She was powerful in a way that few other trolls were. She had been self-sufficient since hatching, and had only grown better through her lusus' careful and quiet guidance.

Their first hunt went over as well as one could have expected, the young one-barely a sweep at the time-going after a much too large prey. The memory still mad the great beast's fur stand on end as she remembered the flash of the monster's claws and fangs, the fear in her young one's eyes as she realized too late her mistake. The scars still race across Pounce's back from that day, fighting off the ferocious bear-like creature. She didn't mind the pain too terribly though, it had been a learning experience for the both of them. Pounce needed to start her off small; she'd become a great hunter only through great practice.

And so she brought the little one weakened prey to start with. Moles and mine, squirrels and other such creatures, their bodies broken, making them easier to chase after. Nepeta pounced and pawed and toyed with the little things more than actually hunting, per say. It was to be expected though; she was just a kitten in Pounce's mind, and that was what kittens did. They learned through play, and hopefully she would pick it up quickly.

And so she did, in fact, Nepeta learned far faster than the lusus had ever dreamed. Often she would awake to her charge curled up into her fur, a wet mix of supor slime and fresh blood coating her barely furred body. Warm prey awaited her those evenings, soft bodies full of dark meat and fat, perfect for the chill the Alternian night often brought to their little part of the world. She was so proud of the little troll, smiling down at her with both mouths as they happily tore into the little hoof beasts she would often bring in. Nepeta was still so small though so, while the kills she dragged home were enough for her belly, they barely filled up her guardian. She needed to start hunting on a larger scale, and Pounce knew she needed to show her how to do it.

And so, the next night, just before the sun set, she awoke the young troll and pulled her from her slime. The lusus purred and licked her clean, trying to communicate with her as best she could. They were going to go on a hunt tonight, she growled softly, her charge seeming to understand the rough noises she made. The difference this time being the size of the beast they would be going after this time. Pounce was tired of small fry prey, tired of her stomach grumbling in hunger. It was time for her little one to provide for real; she was old enough now to hold her own, and the lusus couldn't live on cotton tails and rats forever.

And so, just as the stars began to show themselves, the feline guardian took off into the woods, jumping down carefully from their Cliffside home. Nepeta clung to her back tightly, making soft little chittering noises, almost as if she were trying to speak; trolls had such a silly language, their chits and chirps forming nonsense words to the beast's ears. Regardless, she growled softly, a warning to hush as they entered the darkened forest, the sounds around them muted thanks to the density of the foliage.

What Pounce was after was big, perhaps too big for her little ward. Nepeta was the runt of her litter, but she'd made it past the grueling challenges pupation and growth had thrown at her; the lusus had faith in her. This wild beast would fall at her claws easily, she was certain of it. She hunched down low into the greens around her, crawling in towards a small grove. There, as the edge of a small pond was their prey.

The little troll let out a weak, almost silent mewl of distress at the size of the beast. Almost three times the size of her guardian, heavily clawed and fanged, rich, coppery blood dripping from its maw; it must have just finished gorging itself on some other helpless creature. Perfect. Pounce slid the little one off her back and nodded her large head towards the beast, a sign that it was now her turn to take the lead.

Oh, but she wasn't ready. She was still so young and inexperienced! A sweep and a half old and her lusus expected her to be out taking down giants, it was a terrifying thought. But Pounce was determined. She pawed at the troll, pushing her forwards, towards the monster. She swallowed hard, only a little stone knife for protection and offense. The olive blood tried to calm herself, thinking back on all the hunting lessons she had picked up from her lusus. She needed to get ready; this was going to be a hard fight.

She stayed low to the brush, eyes locked on the beast before her. It was huge, heavily scaled and licking itself clean with a long, flat tongue. All four eyes were closed as it relaxed after it's meal, making it just a little easier for Nepeta to get closer. She readied her blade and searched for weak points. Along it's jaw and underbelly seemed to be soft, fleshy scaling, something she could easily slice into should she get close enough. The eyes the size of her head; those would be perfect to target should it charge her. Taking a deep breath she crouched low, hind end swishing an invisible tail, before pouncing onto the monstrous creature.

It's roar was nearly deafening, ringing in her ears harshly as she landed upon it's back. She dug her claws it as it began to buck and thrash about. Pounce kept a careful eye on her ward through out the fight, making sure it never got too bad. Nepeta needed to learn how to hunt on her own, but there was no way that the lusus would allow for her charge to come to any real harm. She seemed to be handling herself well enough as it were.

She had learned well from watching and had applied the knowledge even better. She worked her way up to the head after being thrown off and nearly trampled at least twice. Nepeta plunged her little knife directly into the beast's eye, stabbing at it over and over, it's ink like blood staining her small hands. Her eyes were afire as she dug in deeper, though she wasn't quiet prepared for the beast to go so wild.

The monster threw itself onto it's back in a desperate attempt to crush the violent little cretin that had attacked. A harsh yowling hit Pounce's ears and she hissed, rushing in to help. She sunk her claws deep into the beast's belly, slicing him open, biting and clawing, blackening her pearly fur even as the creature ceased it's movements. She forced the carcass off of Nepeta and pulled her in for a careful cleaning.

The little troll was worse for the wear; bruised and bleeding, breathing hard and mewling in pain even as she did so. But she looked proud. She was proud that she had even wounded the beast as badly as she had. The lusus smiled wide with both mouths before grooming her charge, purring lowly. She had done well, and could only do better from here.

And better she did; with each sweep that passed her skills only sharpened. Her attacks became more powerful and soon she was lugging back bodies twice the size of her first real kill. As she grew older she needed her guardian less and less. Her friends, her moirail were there now to assist her. The blue blood patched her up after her back was broken during battle, gifted her with claws sharper than any Pounce had ever seen in her long life. And even as she lay dying under the rubble that had once been their home, she knew. She knew that her little troll would carry on. Nothing would ever be to big or bad for her to handle, and that was all Pounce had ever hoped for.