Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: fffc #17.02: Weird & Hilarious AO3 Tags: Magical Talking Cats (Well, some would call it weird any way, but it was the first tag to grab my attention.); tamingthemuse #548: Panache; and 1_million_words Comment Fic Friday: Afternoon Delight
Word Count: 1,259
Date Written: 23 January 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DreamWorks, not the author, and are used without permission.
Donkey's long, gray ears flicker. His lover thinks the movement's caused by the breeze until Donkey comments softly, "Ya know, if somebody'd told me once I'd be enjoying afternoon delights with a magical, talking cat, I would've told 'em they were nuts."
Puss' own ears flicker, another motion not caused by the gentle breeze rolling over the grassy hilltop but rather by thoughts to which he's loathe to admit. The tip of his long, orange twitches, and he tries to refocus his concentration on the glittering panache with which he's been playing since awakening at Donkey's side. Still, he finds himself admitting to his dearest friend and most trusted confidante, "I'm hardly magical."
Donkey's ears flick toward Puss' admission. "Of course you're magical!" he exclaims in surprise. "We're both magical! We're magical, talking animals! Do the horses at the palace talk? Do the cows or the pigs on farms? Sure we can understand them, being animals and all, but the humans and the Ogres can't!"
"That doesn't mean we're magical," Puss argues, fluffing up his new feather again. His last feather had served him well, but it had been sliced in the last battle. He's not sure where Donkey found the new one with which he gifted him, but it's a very suitable replacement. It's long and yellow like the last one but with some kind of substance that makes it glitter in the barest light. "We're just gifted, is all, novio," he murmurs, just before forgetting their conversation as the sunlight hits the glittering spots on his feather just right. His emerald eyes narrow to slits as he catches the feather in his claws.
"Gifted is that spider who can write names in her cobwebs, or an ugly duckling that turns into a beautiful swan. I know you've heard the tale; we all have. But we're more than those animals, Puss, much more! We're more even than other magical, talking animals! We're more than the wolf, more than the Three Little Pigs -- "
"That's a given," Puss mutters out of the corner of his furry mouth. The feather flutters in the breeze, tempting. He pops it with his claws and runs his claws up its long length. This particular panache is beautiful, but it's not going to last.
"And not just because we're Shrek's sidekicks, either. Uh uh. No way. We're more than that."
"You are the father of dragkeys," Puss remarks, enjoying the way the feather feels in his claws and still not giving his lover's debate much attention.
"Yeah, and I love my babies, but God knows there was only one way I was distracting that dragon so Shrek and I could escape alive with the Princess -- " Donkey rolls carefully away from Puss and onto his back. Wriggling against the soft earth, he spends a few minutes scratching his back against the grass before turning onto his side again and looking once more at his lover, who's become quite content to simply play with his fluttering feather.
"But that's not it, either," he admits. Puss doesn't look at him. Donkey's not even sure he hears him as the enchanted cat continues batting at his feather. It glitters in his clasped claws, its sparkling, almost golden light reflected in Puss' dilated eyes. "I guess what I'm trying to say is I know you're magical, and not because of your boots either. I remember that time we'd lost Shrek and you were too high on the nip and you told me you thought your boots were part of what made you who you are. A big part, if I remember correctly."
He knows that Puss is finally listening only because of the way his tail curls around his furry legs and draws between them through his booted feet. They hadn't talked about that moment since, but Donkey knows Puss still gives his boots too much credit. "They may help you be who you are," he continues, "but that's all they do: is help. You are who you are because it's who you are."
Puss grabs his feather again and runs his claws slowly up and around it wriggling length. Donkey knows he's listening as he watches the twist of his lover's tail and takes note of the way his cute, furry, and orange ears have slanted backwards against his ear. Puss doesn't want to have this conversation, but Donkey's determined they're having it. He has something important he's been working up his nerve to say for days, something that his beloved needs to hear.
"I know you're magical," Donkey continues, undaunted, "because the way you touch me is magical. You make me feel magical, like I'm the most handsome being in the whole world and . . . and I know . . . " A lone tear trails down his long face. "I know I'm not," he finishes. He's been beaten in the past, being taken for granted, and called so many different names. He knows very well that he's a jackass, and yet the most dashing animal in all the kingdoms has chosen him to be his boyfriend, his one and only steady lover.
Puss finally stops playing with his feather and turns to face Donkey. Seeing the tears in his eyes, he bounds quickly to his side and lifts his long, sorrowful face gently in his loving paws. "You are beautiful, mi amor," he tells him soothingly.
"I know I'm not -- " Donkey starts to say, his bottom lip quivering.
"Hey," Puss reminds him, his Spanish accent growing thicker, "I'm Puss in Boots. I would choose no less than the most handsome beast for my lover."
But Donkey's face drops. "I know I'm a beast," he whispers, lips quivering even more now.
"Of course you're a beast," Puss returns, beginning to purr. He reaches out with his long, furry tail and runs its soft length reassuringly along Donkey's front legs. "But being a beast is a good thing. You're the only one who's ever been beast enough to keep me excited and hold up to me." He winks. "I'm a beast myself, you know."
"You mean . . . ?" Donkey's ears lean forward. He looks up expectantly, his eyes starting to shine with something far better than tears.
"Si, of course, a beast in love making! What did you think I meant? A beast of burden? If anybody ever tries to put you in a field again or attach a harness or saddle to you, I'll scratch their eyes out and then do a number on their butts that will leave them forever unable to ride!"
Donkey grins. "You'd do that for me?"
"Of course, mi amorrrr, and much, much morrrre!" Puss' purr deepens until it's the only sound other than their soft breathing on their favorite hill. He leans close and nuzzles Donkey's neck for several minutes before looking back up into his eyes. "Don't you know I love you, darrrrling?"
Donkey's grin fills his face. "And that," he vows, pressing his closed mouth to Puss' furry cheek in a gentle kiss, "is exactly why you make me feel magical!"
"Let's have some morrrre of that magic, shall we?" Puss purrs, his panache completely forgotten as is the fact that they're supposed to meet back up with Shrek in a hour.
"Oh, yeah!" Donkey enthuses. Soon, his hee haws of delight fill the hill, drowning out even Puss' deep, soft, and loving purr which always makes him feel so completely loved, especially when accompanied by Puss' loving touch, adoring eyes, and eager, swift tongue.