|All That We Could Have Been
Author: thebrokencradle PM
He knew he could never have the panther again, what they had once was long turned to ruins like the temples within the jungle that once shone so brightly. While it still stood, their love had become decayed and covered with vines of complications.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Romance - Bagheera & Shere Khan - Words: 821 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 36 - Published: 04-15-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5898992
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: There is not enough of this pairing out there. And Shere Khan is such a twisted bastard who plays mind games that this pairing would be so awesome.
Don't own. SLASH, don't read if you don't like. Reviews are love. I make no money off of this so please don't send the lawyers after me… This is really tame for me so I can't think of any warnings other than brief grudging snuggles.
Bagheera growled to himself as he tracked Mowgli's scent. The man cub had run off – again and it was highly unlikely he would meet a friendly creature like Baloo.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't my wayward sweetheart." Bagheera jumped at the smooth voice, turning to see Shere Kahn lounging on a rock nearby. How Bagheera had missed him was beyond the panther, but then again, Shere Khan was unlike any animal in the forest. He carried no scent, he made no sound as he moved and left no trace that he had ever been anywhere.
"Where is Mowgli, Shere Kahn?" Bagheera snarled, praying to the gods that nothing had happened to the boy.
"Hmm… Kaa is keeping him adequately entertained at the moment." The tiger, made of nothing but ebony and the fire that he feared so much, circled the pitch colored feline, so much larger but no less graceful than Bagheera. Bagheera tried to keep his fur down, to not allow the tiger to know just how much his appearance put him on edge.
"You let Kaa have him? They boy will be gone by the time you get to him." Bagheera stated admonishingly.
"Kaa is a joke, the boy can handle himself."
"Everything to you is a joke, Shere Khan." The tiger purred and circled closer to the panther, sultry golden eyes piercing Bagheera's own.
"Hmm… say my name again, little panther." Bagheera snarled and turned his face away, flouncing over to a tree branch.
"I do not have time for your foolish games, Shere Khan." He spat, leaping through the treetops easily. The tiger flopped onto the ground and smirked, watching the slender form vanish into the canopy.
Shere Khan hadn't expected the gentle touch to his burned, scarred face or the soft voice whispering to him. He pried his remaining eye open and saw Bagheera looking at him sadly.
"You brought this on yourself, you know." The panther sighed, grooming the tiger's face and neck, making sure to not aggravate the burns. The tiger growled and Bagheera ignored him, moving to untangle the brunt tree branch from the larger cat's tail.
"Have you come to mock me with my shattered pride?" The tiger spat and Bagheera glared at him coldly.
"I come to try and salvage some of your flesh. When I heard what happened I came to find you to see if you were alive. And if not I would give your carcass a proper burial instead of letting the scavengers pick your flesh."
Shere Khan was silent, frowning as his tail was freed, the burnt flesh and fur painful but slowly dulling as it was left free from the irritating coarse bark of the branch.
"You and your pride." Bagheera sighed, looking over the tiger sadly before lowering himself to his stomach, pressing his body up underneath Shere Khan's thick front paws, grooming the larger cat's neck and chest. "So stubborn."
"You're one to talk, little panther."
"At least I know when my stubbornness is misdirected to a lost cause."
The tiger was silent for a few moments, basking in the warmth of the panther against him. Warmth that he hadn't felt in a long time.
"What do you think at times like this, I wonder." Bagheera sighed and Shere Khan realized that the smaller male was looking at him. "The times when you look so mournful."
"I think of you." The tiger sighed. "Of what you once were to me. Of what can never be again."
Bagheera was silent before he wriggled out from underneath the tiger, looking down at him.
"The man cub is back in the village, do not try to attack him again." And just like that the moment was broken and Bagheera was gone, nothing but a black shadow amongst the dead grasses and trees.
Shere Khan sighed and closed his eye, and for the first time in a long time allowed himself to be vulnerable and let a tear escape him. He knew he could never have the panther again, what they had once was long turned to ruins like the temples within the jungle that once shone so brightly. While it still stood, their love had become decayed and covered with vines of complications.
And so they parted their ways yet again, always doomed to cross paths, but to never let their paths join into one.