As soon as the sun rose the next morning, Wolf was up and about, waking her friends to get ready for the day. Kipo was wide awake soon, while Benson still rubbed at his eyes. “This was the best sleep I’ve had in years. Kipo, I’m gonna make you my pillow…”, he mumbled, yawning. Kipo looked at him, confused while Wolf tried to stop him from telling her. In the end, Dave ruined her efforts, as he so does.
“Benson really liked your purring I think, he fell asleep in seconds. Even fewer seconds than usual!”
Kipo stared. “What… are you talking about?”, she questioned, hesitantly. Wolf facepalmed but turned to explain with a sigh, not trusting the others with it. “You’ve been… purring. Yesterday, when you fell asleep.” “You were full on vibrating!”, Benson threw in, smiling.
Kipo gaped. “R- Really?” She sounded… excited. Wolf sighed again, seeing her concern of last night coming true as Kipo took on a concentrated expression.
Awkward silence followed, only broken by Kipos dramatic moan. She threw her head back, “I can’t doo it”, she whined. Mandu nuzzled her hand in an encouraging gesture and Kipo pet her, smiling despite her antics.
“Well, you’ll have to train during the move then, we’ve been in one spot for too long already, anyway”, Wolf interrupted in her no-nonsense voice, walking away without looking back.
Kipo, Benson, Dave and Mandu all looked at each other for a beat before hurrying after the younger girl, fully aware that she expected them to keep up.
This was the third time now that Kipo had run into a tree, testing Wolf’s patience to its limits.
“Ok, listen Kipo. I’m all for you training your mute powers or… purring. Whatever. But how about you keep your eyes OPEN while you do that?”, she… suggested. Though suggestion might be the wrong word.
“Yeah, ok, fine. I’ll try”, Kipo amended, elbowing a snickering Benson. Wolf rolled her eyes at their childishness, but a smile tugged at her lips as soon as she turned away.
Kipo fell back a little, her smile turning sad as she watched the others walk on. She was so glad for her friends, otherwise she was sure she would’ve been lost when her dad was taken. This way, she had a chance to save him. Maybe without running headfirst into trouble again… she’d have to listen to Wolf more.
Again, Kipo tried to concentrate on her mute powers, without closing her eyes that time. Nowadays she constantly felt a tingle underneath her skin, where the fur had grown in at least once. Those places had become easier for her to change back and forth out of her own will, but not much else. The purring was new, but what else could she do?
She tried focusing on someplace that hadn’t changed yet, humming in concentration, eyes already half closed without her noticing, not paying attention to her surroundings. She could feel the tingle spread down her back, slowly, agonizingly slow. She scrunched her brows, afraid of the sensation slipping away when-
She jumped, much higher than a normal human should ever be able to, and clung to a tree branch getting in her way. The tingle had suddenly spread and felt… weird. Weirder than it usually did. It felt like it was… outside her body…
“Wha….. Are you kidding???”, Wolf exclaimed from down on the ground, Benson just gaping, jaw on the floor. Mandu ran in circles, squeaking excitedly while Dave just stared. Kipo was still trying to process both what just happened and what that weird sensation on her back was. Looking down to her companions, something pink flashed in her peripheral vision. Something pink that shouldn’t BE there… after all, her arms were in front of her and her legs were covered by her jeans and also clinging to the tree branch, not… twitching around like an agitated cats… Oh… Oh come ooon. Kipo groaned, sharing Wolfs earlier sentiment. But, now that she had solved that particular mystery she had to focus on getting down. One look downwards told her that she was, indeed, quite high up, but Kipo wouldn’t be Kipo if she wouldn’t take a stupid risk every once in a while. So she just let go.
Two shocked yells later she landed next to her friends, earning a third shocked squeal, hair disheveled and tail swishing. “Ok. That. Was. AWESOME!”, she exclaimed, grinning madly, adrenalin from freefalling cursing through her. Her companions just stared, similar to when her giant paw had appeared the first time. Kipo stared back and tried to glance at her back, where she had seen the… tail… earlier. She managed to catch glimpses, but, having no control over the unfamiliar muscle, the tail just moved with her until she ended up in the dirt, dizzy from turning too much.
That brought everyone out of their trance, only so they could all start laughing. Even Wolf couldn’t stop the small gasp from escaping. Kipo simply looked so… cute, turning after her tail like a kitten and falling over like one. And the dazed look on her face, it was too much!
Dave was rolling over his back with laughter, Benson just holding himself up but already bent over gasping. Wolf’s shoulders shook and she grimaced, trying not to let her amusement show again. Kipo simply pouted and finally pulled her tail up front to look at it. It sported the same pattern as her arm did, fur poofing out at the tip. Benson, still gasping for breath, sat down beside her, curiosity shining in his eyes.
“It looks so soft!”, he noticed, grinning, amusement still evident in his eyes, but calm enough to talk. Kipo nodded as she ran her hand through the fur. Wolf bent down too. She’d never really looked closely at Kipos mute form, it never seemed necessary. But this was a whole new body part, not just a changed arm!
“Can you feel it?”, she questioned, looking up at Kipos entranced face. Not gaining a reaction she reached out with a deadpan look and ran her hand through the fur, purposefully against its growing direction. Kipo yelped, fur standing on ends, looking ruffled.
“Don’t… NEVER do that again!!!”, she yelled. Or tried to, through Wolf's hand muffling her words, stopping her from ‘ringing the dinner bell’. “Then answer me next time”, the younger girl replied and stood. “Now come on, you can admire your fluff once we set up camp in the evening. For now, we should get moving”
She held out a hand for Kipo who took it, smiling. “Yeah, ok. But really… never, and I mean never do that again.” She shuddered.
Wolf merely shrugged. “If you pay attention.” She didn’t wait for Kipo to reply, simply started walking, grin hidden behind her wolfs fur.
Behind them, Benson and Dave looked after them. “That just happened… right?”, Benson questioned. “Yup”, Dave replied shortly. They shared a look. Shrugged. And went to follow their little ragtag group to adventure.