Midsummer's Day (evening), 6107 RTR (Sep 08, 2007) Alptraum and Tulani have a surprisingly tender moment together before the party starts.
(The Right Hand of Shadow) (Alptraum) (The Light of Nala) (Sylvania) (Tulani)
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    Gypsy Camp
    Various wagons (in various states of repair) are clustered on the commons of Cataract Village. At one end of the loose grouping is a stage for dancers and others to perform, while behind that and weaving through the middle of the group is the space where the gypsies themselves come together, often filled with laundry lines, cookfires and the very young or very old among them.

In celebration of Alptraum's return (and gypsies need to celebrate once in a while) most of the tubs and other daily-use items have been moved aside from the center of the camp, and a cooking pit has been dug and lit. A whole Rughrat is spitted above it, and colorful blankets and cushions are being set out wherever there's enough space on the ground. Elders argue over which wine to serve, and some of the older women quietly prepare side dishes to be served.

Alptraum's adopted father, Dimitris, is sitting proudly with the elders. Whatever they end up choosing for the wine still has to meet with his approval, as his son is the guest of honor. His mother Sabine is with the women preparing the rest of the meal, chatting happily and showing a lot of animation for a woman her age.

After escaping death (or a rather annoyed Sphynx … about the same, really), Alptraum has spent the afternoon being accosted by various people from his childhood. Indeed, he hasn't had a free minute since he arrived. But … there's a lull in the questioning since they're now all preparing some grand party. And Alptraum seizes this moment to take Tulani's arm and pull her to the side. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" he whispers quickly.

Tulani, for her part, has been spending her time near the Khatta dancers once they were introduced, as well as helping where she might. The Sphynx nods and steps off to the side with the Eee, asking concernedly, "Sure Alptraum, is something wrong?"

A black fox struts up and down the line of decorations, blankets and general work, nodding approval now and then as if he were in charge of the whole thing… and smiling brightly to Tulani whenever she happens to be looking his way.

"You could say that," Alptraum whispers, "I haven't been able to get away for even half an hour since we got here! I'm not quite sure how to say this but … I'm hungry. And, well … not everyone knows of my dietary needs and there won't exactly be anything at this celebration I can eat." He pauses there and rubs his neck before continuing, "So, ah … I'm not quite sure how to ask this … Would you be willing, to, uh, share some of your blood with me before the celebration begins? I'm certain we can borrow my parents wagon for some privacy. I can even heal the bite afterward… "

Tulani looks… surprised, to say the least, at Alptraum's request. The Sphynx blinks and looks around warily, rubbing the back of her neck. "I didn't realize… well I guess it would be alright, just be careful, okay? I don't want to end up passing out… besides, if I don't manage to get away from 'the prince of gypsies' I may just die of laughter… " the Sphynx says while making an inconspicuous gesture towards the black fox, Hexen, and his strutting antics while trying to hide a smirk.

"You're a lifesaver. It won't hurt much and I promise to heal it afterward," Alptraum says as he pats Tulani's shoulder. "And don't worry about Hexen; he's harmless." The Eeee waves for Tulani to follow him and he makes his way back through the camp towards his parents' wagon. "I'm going to show Tulani some of the old flying gear we used back in the shows. Just yell when the party is about to begin!" he calls out.

Those in earshot wave back to Alptraum. The Reisender wagon is still in pretty good shape, although the murals on the sides are due for repainting again. Inside are the bunks and storage cabinets he remembers well, and even an old hand-painted poster for the flying act that has started to go a bit yellow.

"Oh, I know he's harmless. It's just… how do I put it? Well, I suppose he's very entertaining to be around, though I keep having to fight the urge to laugh," Tulani whispers to Alptraum, while chuckling behind a hand as she follows the Eee inside. Once inside the Sphynx takes a quick look around.

After Tulani is inside, Alptraum makes sure to lock the door, in case anyone decides to come snooping. "So, uh, grab a pillow and make yourself a comfortable seat on the floor," he says quietly. "I'll warn you in advance the initial bite will hurt … but that will fade fast."

"Alright Alptraum. It can't be worse than that bite Vorg took out of me. That feels like such a long time ago doesn't it?" Tulani notes as she finds herself a pillow and something to lean against and makes herself a comfortable seat on the floor. "Well, I'm ready when you are!" the Sphynx says, trying to not to look particularly nervous.

"Oh, it won't be that bad," Alptraum agrees as he triple-checks the windows to make sure they're shuttered so others can't spy. Once he's finally satisfied, the Eeee slips up behinds Tulani and settles down on the floor. He shifts forward until his chest is pressed against her back between her wings. Gently, he starts sweeping her head-hair away from the side of her face and neck on the left hand side. "The best thing you can do is just relax," he whispers. "You do trust me, right? I feel weird about doing this … but if there's drinking and such later … I don't want to be drunk and hungry. Bad things could happen."

"Of course I trust you Alptraum. I wouldn't go running around the country with you if I didn't trust you, so don't worry about that. You just take what you need, okay? I'll be alright. I think," the Sphynx replies, tilting her head slightly with the sweeping motion of the Eeee's hand, making her neck more easily visible.

"That could easily just be insanity," Alptraum teases about Tulani's decision to run around with them. "All right, just relax," he repeats as he lowers his head down, lips brushing lightly against where her neck meets her shoulders. But, before he bites down, the Eeee actually makes a long, slow lick along the intended spot. That feels odd in itself because it seems to make the skin tingle. She doesn't have much time to think on the tingling, though, as two sharp points of pain flare up on her neck, just above her shoulder blades, as the Eeee's jaws firmly close down and fangs sink in.

"Mph." The Sphynx clamps down on whatever noise she was about to make and simply does her best to ignore the initial pain. It really isn't that bad when she thinks about it. After the Eeee has bitten, well, now that his mouth is full, Tulani lightly comments back in jest now that he cant protest, "Then perhaps were all a little bit crazy; I certainly know you are." She then falls silent.

Alptraum snorts a bit at that, which sends some warm breath over her shoulder. The pain remains for about thirty seconds then fades away to a cool and pleasant sensation, all tingly. About a minute later, Tulani becomes aware of a soft and gentle pulling sensation as Alptraum begins the process of drawing blood from her shoulder. The feeling is … strange, to say the least. After another thirty seconds or so, it starts to feel rather pleasant to bordering on rather good. His wings curl around Tulani, as do his arms. After seeking out her hands with his, he takes them and squeezes them reassuringly.

Tulani relaxes as the pain fades, leaning lightly on Alptraum. "Hmm… well that's… odd," she can't help but comment on the sensation of blood being drawn from her, but after a few minutes the Sphynx actually starts to purr softly in a rather relaxed manner, lightly holding onto the Eeee's hands.

A few minutes in … and the feeling starts to change at the point where Alptraum has bitten. It almost feels like cool, slick, tendrils are flowing back into the Sphynx through her blood vessels and spreading out inside her. She can feel the outlines of every vein and artery as the sensation spreads. It's hard to describe exactly how she feels right now … but being licked from the inside out is a fairly close description. It's not unpleasant in any sense, though … just extremely strange. So is the fact that it feels like her muscles are melty, relaxed and loose … just as if she had been on the receiving end of one amazing massage.

"Whoa… " the Sphynx states very softly, though it is quite obviously a noise of surprise and perhaps some confusion, and not a request for the Alptraum to stop. It is at this point that Tulani seems to relax completely, the only support now holding her body upright being the Eee sitting behind her, even her wings go askew, flopping limply to her sides.

Since Tulani doesn't actively try to stop Alptraum, he doesn't stop. The strange sensation only grows in intensity as more and more of her body feels like she's being licked from the inside. He continues to easily support her weight as what she feels on the inside … she starts to feel on the outside too … a cool, slick, feeling that seems to be spreading slowly over her. This time it seems to start from both where he holds her hands and from where he has bitten. It's strange … she can actually feel Alptraum's heart beating softly behind her, against her back. And … it feels like somehow, her heart is now beating in exact time to his.

"Alptraum… this is … really weird… " the Sphynx manages to say after a minute as her eyelids droop lazily. Though she doesn't sound exactly… worried. It seems impossible that she could feel worried at the moment. Instead it's just a quiet statement. "I can… feel your… heart… " she says slowly.

That she can. The feeling, the coolness and the utterly relaxed feeling of his embrace is intimate almost beyond description. As her eyelids finally droop closed, the coolness even spreads up and over her head. There she swims in absolute silence for a few seconds; her only sensations being completely exposed and open … explored. And then … he slides away and the coolness seems to retreat from her. It starts at the top of her head and from her feet at the same time and retreats backwards.

"Nnh… " A quiet noise and a small flicker of the Sphynx's eyelids are the only apparent responses apparent as the sensations start to withdraw…

The slow retreat continues and within about two minutes … it's gone. The only odd feeling that remains is the one that follows when Alptraum's fangs slide carefully out of her neck. She can feel them leave and because of how slow he pulls them free, they tend to feel longer than they are. She can hear the Eeee draw a breath, then say, "Gods, Tulani … I'm sorry."

Tulani blinks once, then twice as normal feeling returns and her eyes slowly widen… The Sphynx suddenly seems very small and vulnerable, and even starts to pull away from the Eee, shielding herself slightly with her wings as energy returns to her muscles… "Alptraum… what… what did you do?" she sounds distinctly disturbed.

Alptraum tries to hold onto Tulani, though if she exerts any force, he'll let go. "I … think I kenned you," the Eeee admits weakly, "I didn't mean to. It just … happened."

"Kenned? What in the world is that?" The Sphynx is actually beginning to sound as though she is on the verge of panic. And shes just sitting there… staring at Alptraum wide-eyed with her wings slightly mantled around herself.

"It's nothing bad," Alptraum says quickly, trying to calm Tulani down, "It just means … I know how your body works; every joint, every organ. It means if I had the control and power … I could fix any damage your body ever got; to even making someone else look like you. It's a power of the shadow. I didn't even realize it was happening until it was too late."

Tulani whimpers faintly and starts to curl over on herself until her chest is pressed against her knees. "Dagh… Alptraum… I feel… not… not violated… that's not… the right word. Just, just wrong… so very Exposed… I suppose is closer… " the Sphynx tries to explain while fighting down the sense of panic threatening to take over.

Alptraum reaches out, though he doesn't actually touch her. "Tulani … I wouldn't hurt you," he says weakly, "I don't even know what to do. You're my friend, Tulani; I care about you. Maybe that's why it happened, so I could protect you in case something really bad happened. I don't know, I just … " The Eeee shrugs slightly, adding, "I cannot make an excuse here. I … messed up. All I can do is ask for your forgiveness and hope that you don't … hate me."

"I… don't hate you Alptraum." Tulani's forehead is against her knees now. "I just feel… very confused… and embarrassed… and vulnerable… like I need to shield myself… Like I need to… shield… myself." The Sphynx's voice trails off into a mumble as the temperature inside the wagon begins to drop, the beginnings of frost forming against Tulani's fur and wings and thickening rapidly.

Alptraum draws close to Tulani again and tries to hug her, even if she's starting to frost over. "You don't need to shield yourself," he whispers to her as he actually tries to pet the back of her neck. "Please, calm. You shouldn't feel embarrassed or vulnerable."

The Sphynx's white dusted neck arcs and lengthens even as Alptraum touches it. Tulani sniffles slightly as her body takes on a silvery sheen ands even her clothing starts to stiffen up and freeze… Then theres that moment of oddness, where her form almost seems to have an unreal, cold, liquidity to it before shifting completely over… and Alptraum finds himself hugging the smooth scales of a dragon. "Well… at least now you'll have an easy distraction at the party, right?" Tulani-dragon says with a weak trace of humor in her voice.

"You are not just a distraction," Alptraum insists as he withdraws a bit from the dragon and trying not to shiver. "I know we haven't talked a lot over our travels, but I do care about you. You've been there when I needed someone to keep my spirits up while I've been struggling with the mess that I have become. I brought you along to meet my family because, well … I wanted you to know that I did care about you and wanted you to feel included."

The dragoness actually smiles a bit at Alptraum and even leans over to give him a small kiss on the cheek. "And like I keep saying, you're a very sweet, thoughtful person. And well, I'm actually feeling a little better like this. It was just such a shock, I suppose. And I'm very glad to have met your family, believe me. And don't think you won't be getting dragged to meet mine at some point. But first things first," Tulani says and looks down at her half-frozen and now torn clothes. "I think I need you to help me find a change of clothes… " Tulani notes by way of redirecting the conversation away from the previous unpleasantness.

"I'm sure I can find you that," Alptraum agrees, looking a tiny bit relieved, "And I can imagine it was a shock … it was for me, too. You know, I've never been very comfortable talking to you?"

"Really? I had suspected that a bit, but I was never really sure why. Is there a specific reason?" Tulani-dragoness asks in reply while curling up comfortably in the center of the wagon to avoid knocking anything over with her increased size.

"Because … you know I tend to flirt with women. It's just, well, I like to seem playful and harmless. I was always afraid that if I did talk to you, which usually ends up flirting, that, well … that you would think I was just interested in bedding you. Your friendship means more to me than some … moments of physical enjoyment. I didn't want to say something stupid and ruin that friendship," Alptraum tries to explain as he starts looking through his mother's things, "Which isn't me saying you're ugly, or I haven't, er, thought about it. You're pretty in whatever form you're in and honestly deserve attention from someone better than me. And someone who has better control of … well, what they are."

Tulani lightly bumps Alptraum with the edge of one of her wings while the Eee searches for a change of clothes for her, "Well, don't worry too much about that Alptraum, your friendship means more to me as well… And, truth be told, I was actually feeling rather left out of things partially because you didn't seem to want to talk to or tease me like you do with the others, like Lilith. I wouldn't mind being teased a little bit. I was feeling a bit like I wasn't worth the attention," she explains and makes a rather silly pouty face.

Finding a few colorful things (probably from some of the old flying garb), Alptraum pulls out a few selections he thinks should fit. "Really? You do know that teasing could be dangerous," Alptraum warns, then turns around and taps Tulani's nose tip playfully. "Who knows what that might lead too, hmm? Particularly on cold nights on the road … a dragon and… well, uh … I'm not sure what I am, come to think of it." He holds up his right hand, where tendrils of shadow ripple and flow along the chitin. With a shrug, he says, "Anyway … it could lead to some things. Are you sure you want to risk that?" He even grins a bit playfully.

The dragon grins and sticks out the tip of her tongue before leaning forwards and lightly licking the tip of Alptraum's nose. "I think I can live with the risks." Mentally she adds to herself, "And it's not like you don't know me now already… " "Anyways, let's see what you found clothing-wise?"

Alptraum leans forward and actually sneaks a kiss on Tulani's lips when she's close, then notes, "I'll remember you said that." Grinning, he trails the fingers of his left hand along her cheek, before he goes to the selection of clothing. The first thing he holds up is a skirt of some sort that will probably go to Tulani's knees. It's actually several layers of gauzy red fabric. It's not see-through, of course, but it does appear to be rather light and billowy. "Just a skirt. Not too revealing or anything, and should flair nicely if you spin while dancing."

Tulani-dragoness licks the tip of Alptraum's nose again when he parts from the kiss and smirks slightly herself before accepting the skirt and carefully examining the fabric, saying, "This is very nice. I still can't quite wiggle my hips like the other Khatta, but they were giving me some pointers earlier."

"You just need practice and you can hip wiggle with the best of them," Alptraum asserts, "And I'm sure Hexen will help you practice." Grinning, he lifts up the next part. It's a shirt. Sort of. It appears to definitely be made for a flyer. The color is the same red as the skirt. The back, what little there is of it, seems to just be straps that go around the neck and then back and underneath the wings of the wearer. The front is a v-neck pattern that dips very low; Tulani's scar would definitely be visible in it. It also looks like it would stop only a couple of inches below her rib cage, which means it would leave her stomach exposed as well. "And for a splash of alternate color, we have a white scarf here to go around your waist," he explains.

"Excellent," Tulani says and chuckles as she receives the shirt. "Well, I'll certainly look like a gypsy with this." And without further prompting she begins changing into the new set of clothes, seemingly unbothered by Alptraum's presence, which is a bit different.

"You need to change back, you know," Alptraum observes, "Or you might scare the tribe… "

The dragon sighs heavily and tilts her head at Alptraum as she's finished disrobing and was about to reclothe herself. Setting the change of clothes aside, Tulani takes a slow breath and exhales a small stream of mist as her draconic form melts away, her scales dissolving into mist and leaving her fur rather damp, though not as much as usual… "Hey I think I'm getting better at this… " the now-Sphynx says, trailing off as she seems to re-realizes shes standing directly in front of Alptraum… with no clothes… Needless to say the insides of her ears suddenly turn red and she immediately turns around!

Alptraum gets one of the blankets from the bunks and goes over to Tulani, then drapes it lightly over her shoulders to cover her. He leans in and whispers in her ear, "Beautiful. You shouldn't be … embarrassed." And then he remembers something, and adds, "Oh, could you draw out the light? I need to fix that bite mark on your neck or people will … talk."

"T-thank you Alptraum!" Tulani stammers and uses the blanket to dry some of the moisture from her fur before wrapping it around herself. Picking up the Light of Nala from her small pile of clothes, she draws it out a short ways before turning to face Alptraum again, still blushing in her ears.

Alptraum reaches out and places his right hand on the two puncture wounds on Tulani's neck. Smiling, he looks her in the eyes and explains, "This should just feel warm." He never breaks eye contact as he tries to channel the Light's power through him and into the wounds, urging them to heal.

The trivial little bite punctures heal over quickly.

Tulani smiles as the small wounds heal over and, after she finishes drying off, proceeds to change into the clothes Alptraum had picked out. She still looks rather 'embarrassed', but she's not asking the Eee to leave the room at least.

"So … would you like to know what you tasted like?" Alptraum has to ask, looking a bit impish as he does so.

"Sure… So long as you don't say 'fuzzy-cat'," Tulani replies back after making a few adjustments on her clothes before proceeding to pull her hair back into a braid so that it is out of the way. "And you wouldn't have anything I could tie this with, would you?""

"You taste exotic. Coppery undertones with a sharp bite. And there's a hint of bitter as well," Alptraum explains as he searches for something to tie her hair with, "Which, by the way, is dragon. Even in your current form I can taste the dragon's blood in you. All in all, you tasted rather … good. I envy Lilith, who will get a chance to taste you sometime. I can understand why you wouldn't want me to do that again."

Finding a bit of colorful yarn he can use as a hair tie, Alptraum goes over and helps her braid and tie back her hair.

"Well, so long as I don't taste terribly vile I suppose I'm happy," the Sphynx says with a wry smile before continuing more seriously, "And Alptraum? Thank you, for trying to be there for me, and for being a good friend." Tulani smiles as her hair gets braided up and out of the way. "Now! Shall we see if the party's started yet?"

"In just a moment," Alptraum says and draws a bit closer to Tulani. he leans in and cups a hand behind her neck, then leans in and very gently kisses her again. Looking her in the eyes, nose tip to nose tip, he says, "It has been an honor, Tulani. It is I who should thank you. You have been a stabilizing presence for me, and you have kept me from getting too depressed about my situation … not to mention forgiving of my mistakes. If you ever need anything in my power, just ask, okay?"

Tulani blinks, looking down for a moment before looking back up into Alptraum's eyes. "I will keep that in mind, and in my heart Alptraum, truly, the same offer stands on my end," she says quite seriously before continuing, "For now, just don't let me embarrass myself in front of your family, okay?" The Sphynx finishes with a chuckle.

"Oh, I'm not worried about you embarrassing yourself," Alptraum says with a grin, "And I do have one minor request to make… " He quickly folds up Tulani's torn clothing so that no one gets too nosy about what happened.

"And what's that?" the Sphynx immediately asks, tilting her head.

"If you get the chance … drive Hexen crazy for me," Alptraum replies with his characteristic impish smile as he wipes his hands off on his shirt. "He does have an eye for you, after all. And with that sexy scar on your chest … he won't be able to resist." He taps the dragon shaped scar for emphasis. "After all, even Kaira would tell you this; dragons are irresistible!"

Tulani cant help but laugh out loud at the Eee's suggestion. "Ah, but how would you like me to drive him crazy Alptraum? I'm sure there's more than one way of that. Shall I just tease him unmercifully?" she asks with a smirk.

"Like a worm on a hook," Alptraum agrees and traces a claw along Tulani's jaw. "Dance with him, brush against him. Tease him close … then stay just out of his reach. He might just explode… "

The Sphynx stifles a chuckle behind her hand before replying, "Oh but you are evil Alptraum. Heehee, but I'll try. I'm sure Lilith would be proud. I think this is going to be fun."

"You are a dragon, it is your duty to be evil. And I'm a dragon's apprentice … so it's expected of me," Alptraum reminds Tulani and winks. "Come on, let's see if everything has started without us… " And with that, Alptraum opens the door to the wagon.

"Indeed!" Tulani exclaims and 'hops' out, landing lightly on her feet outside with a rustle of her wings.

Hexen and several other young men are waiting outside the wagon, and they all burst into applause as the pair exit.

Alptraum bows. "Sorry to burst your little imaginations, but we didn't," he tells Hexen with a grin. "I would never try to steal one of your intended conquests."

Tulani instantly freezes up in surprise… and then merely starts chuckling brightly.

"And secondly, if we had been engaged in such … well, we wouldn't have come out till next morning," Alptraum adds, grinning very fangily as he elbows Tulani.

"Ahh, I was so sure you'd actually get a girl this time, Alptraum!" Hexen says. Then they applaud again, just because Tulani is dressed like a dancer.

"Oh, don't worry about me; I have several girls," Alptraum retorts. "One of which could make your toes curl, too. I just didn't bring them to spare your feelings. I know how sensitive you are about your lack of success."

The other men snicker, and Hexen puffs up his chest and tail. "Why… I'll have you know that I regularly help Katka with her belly-dancing costume now… "

"Yeah, you polish the bangles," one of the others snickers.

"Beat me to it," Alptraum tells the erstwhile snickering gypsy.

"Well… that's still further than any of you have gotten with her!" Hexen barks. The other boys don't have a comeback for that one!

Now grinning like a madman … Alptraum grabs Hexen and hugs him. Then he thumps him in the center of his chest with his gloved right hand. "It's really good to see you," he says, letting the jokes drop for a moment. "You haven't changed."

"Well, I was already pretty perfect you know," Hexen says with a grin, and punches Alptraum in the shoulder.

"Wish I could say I haven't changed … but I have. I've been through a lot," Alptraum comments, though he doesn't sound depressed about it. "So, how is Katka anyway? Going to re-introduce me?" he asks with a waggle of his eyebrows.

"No way!" Hexen says, straightening the collar of his vest. "Besides, didn't that spotty girl you eloped with satisfy your lust for cats?"

"Autumn-Storm? We never got that close," Alptraum notes with a small shrug, "I haven't seen her in a long time."

"Couldn't keep up with her, eh?" Hexen says, nudging the bat with his elbow.

"She's a Savanite. Of course not," Alptraum counters with a grin.

"Come now, are you two going to throw jibes at each other all night? Or are we going to get to party?" Tulani suddenly says with a small smile as she breaks into the conversation.

"Throw jibes? Why, we're bonding. Guys insult each other. It's the natural way of things," Alptraum insists with a grin.

"But, yes, perhaps we should get to the party. Why, I could go find Katka myself and see what she can tell me about my old friend," Alptraum considers and rubs his chin. He then gives Hexen a smile.

"Oh, well, while you two bond I'm going to find my way to where the food is going to be," the Sphynx retorts with a smile and rolling of her eyes, flicking both Alptraum and Hexen with the tip of her tail as she passes by.

The fox grumbles, then smiles and offers his elbow to Tulani. "Care for an escort?"

"Certainly, how kind of you to offer, seeing as Alptraum is going to go looking after other Khatta," Tulani replies to the black fox before winking at Alptraum over her shoulder.

Alptraum just waggles his brow. "Have fun, you two. Don't do anything Arkold wouldn't do," he tells the Sphynx and pats her on the back. Now grinning rather mischievously, he looks towards the dancers and rubs his hands together.

The dancers aren't on the stage right now – they're in the middle of the camp. Nyneve's girls are in their belly-dance outfits, swaying around those seated on the ground and providing music with their hip-bangles, bells and finger cymbals. The Rughrat looks like it needs a bit more cooking time, but this hasn't stopped people from filling their plates with the other dishes and getting glasses of wine.

And that certainly gives me a wide range, the Sphynx thinks to herself as Alptraum gives her a pat on the back, before taking Hexen's offered arm and heading in the direction of the firepit and those gathered there.

Alptraum saunters towards the dancers. "Hello, ladies," he calls out to them, grinning impishly and waggling his fingers. "Why, you're even more beautiful than when I saw you two years ago!"

One of the dancers (not Katka, but a sister) undulates her arms at the Sphynx when Hexen leads her towards the food, as if inviting her to dance.

Two of the other dancers start spinning around Alptraum now, perhaps trying to get him dizzy – it's difficult to say, but the people seated nearby find it amusing enough.

Alptraum whistles appreciatively when the girls spin around him. Playfully, he reaches out so that his fingertips can just brush against them, even though still gloved.

Tulani lightly taps the black fox's arm when one of the dancers catches her attention. "It looks like someone wants my attention. Perhaps food should wait if I'm being invited to dance?" she suggests with a small smile to herself.

The two Khattas clash their finger cymbals right in Alptraum's ears as he tries to touch them! Hexen grins to Tulani, and says encouragingly, "I'm sure you're a wonderful dancer – you have the legs for it!"

Tulani arches an eyebrow and tickles Hexen beneath his chin with the edge of a wing at the compliment, "Thank you. But I sadly lack the experience of the dancers here… " Even still, the Sphynx heads towards the dancer that had beckoned her a moment ago, swaying slightly as she goes.

Alptraum winces and shakes his head. "Now now, is that any way to greet the returning, conquering hero?" he chides them, though rather playfully. "Why, I'm hurt."

Having wings does make balancing while swaying a bit of a challenge without practice… and the speed that the Khatta can move her hips at is just ridiculous! The two orbiting Alptraum give him two pinches on his rear in answer!

Alptraum jumps forward a bit, still grinning. Not to be outdone so easily, the Eeee actually joins in the dance with him, relying on his own innate agility to try and keep him from looking too silly. Instead of swaying cloth, he uses his wings, allowing them to hang limp as he spins and dances with the two girls.

Both performances earn timed claps from the onlookers… and even from Alptraum's own parents! The claps keep speeding up to match the pace of the dancers.

Once Tulani is close enough to the Khatta that had beckoned her she pauses, whispering, "I wasn't mistaken in your invitation to join. I'm afraid I don't have as much experience with dancing as you do." And with that the Sphynx starts dancing with the Khatta, mimicking the cats movements and using her feathered wings like an extra balance, folding and extending as she sways.

Tulani's partner tries to get the Sphynx's hips jiggling faster by reaching down and tickling them!

Alptraum certainly lacks the girls' skill at dancing as well … but it's certainly not stopping him from trying. Not that he has any hips to speak of for jiggling. So, the dance mainly seems to consist of Alptraum trying to sneak in glancing touches now and then!

It's a time-honored gypsy game of dancing-tease-keep-away, and everyone seems to be enjoying it. "All that time avay, and you didn't learn how to dance any better?" one of the sitting women ask the bat, smiling gleefully.

"They're just not drunk enough yet!" Hexen declares, and hands Alptraum and Tulani glasses of red wine.

"I was too busy saving the world," Alptraum replies, eyes twinkling with enjoyment as he continues to try and get close. "Besides, out there, no one could match your skill to teach me!" Alptraum gladly accepts the glass and takes a long drink from it.

Tulani laughs as she is tickled and immediately tries to get her hips going faster before accepting the glass from Hexen and performing a sort of dance and balance act, trying not to drop the glass.

The girls around Alptraum try to sneak sips from his glass, and Hexen tries to get away with tickling the sides of Tulani's exposed midriff as well!

The Sphynx laughs out loud and leans back as Hexen tickles her, brushing most of her back against the Fox.

Alptraum doesn't even try to stop the girls from drinking from his glass. Instead, he encourages it … so that when they're done and he gets the glass back, he can lick the rim lightly to taste of their lips before he takes another drink. He then winks to them in turn, grinning fangily.

The clapping gets louder and faster, Hexen sneezes from getting a feather up his nose, and Alptraum's tormentors start spinning around him and snapping their cymbals even faster…

Alptraum finds himself just lost in the dance. Spinning and swirling with the girls now, the glass held in his hand glints in the firelight, along with his silvery eyes. "I've missed all of vou," he comments to the girls, even his old accent returning for a moment.

Clap clap clapclap clapclapclapclap… The clapping reaches a crescendo… and then stops abruptly, along with the dancers. Glasses are raised instead and everybody shouts out, "Oh-Pah!"

Alptraum raises his glass too. This might actually be the first time Tulani has ever seen Alptraum look so … light. Like there is no weight on his shoulders.

Tulani somehow manages to stop with the other dancers and raises her glass as well, looking very exhilarated , and smiling when she sees Alptraum and how much more relaxed he looks.

"Meat is ready!" Someone announces, and then a carving knife is pressed into Alptraum's gloved hand.

"Well, as long as I'm cutting, no one will expect me to eat," Alptraum realizes as his gloved hand closes around it. His glove ripples a bit, though, as the shadow has also been … inspired a bit by the dance, but he forces it back under control. He finally sneaks a kiss on one of the girls' cheeks before slipping off to the fire. "Now, I expect vou to all line up in an orderly fashion," he teases the group. The Eeee then twirls the knife in his gloved hand and begins carving. He whistles happily, for once the worlds problems can wait. Family first.


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GMed by BoingDragon & Jared

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