A Fox Among Cats
Naruto x Cheetara
Story Start

Among a populous of Lions, Panthers, Pumas, and other breeds of cat he stood alone. His whiskers more pronounced and his ears protruded in a way not so easily hidden. He was fast and his moments were like a reptile. He was quiet, often blending into the background with ease.

He was different.

So different, that the thought of fully fitting in was simply not possible. There was no sense in making any attempts to hide what he was. He was an outsider and there wasn't anything that was going to change that. They were cats and he was a fox...an outsider. He was the only one of his kind, in this city of proud warriors.

The only of his kind, meaning he often dealt with feelings of solitude.

Like any regular morning he got up and dressed for the day. The clothing was gathered from various places, some thrown away and the others donated, he was ready to start the day. His attire consisted of armor on his shoulders and torso with black pants held up by a large worn out belt. He unfortunately lacked the shin guards and other accessories.

He didn't train with the other clerics often unless it was for mandatory sessions, which while they didn't outright scorn him, didn't hide their uneasiness at his presence. Even the wise warriors and protectors of Thundera weren't sure what to make of him because he was different. One of the reasons he theorized had to do with the rumors that surrounded his species.

So he often trained alone, away from the others so no prying eyes would be burrowing into his back. Coming across several logs situated in the ground with deep grooves from powerful blows the blond creature got into position. His form illuminated by the rays of the sunrise as he gently breathed in and out. His fur was a shade of gold along with long and thick whiskers. His long foxlike nose inhaled the air as his chest slightly expanded and then slightly exhaled as he breathed out his mouth.

Getting into a stance his eyes focused on the objects before him. After a few moments he took a step forward, then another, and one more as he took to the air and twist around as the front of his foot impacted with the thick object, his fur covered foot impacted against the object causing a bit of the log's bark to be brushed off by the force with a shred or two becoming inner-mixed with his foot.

Dropping back on his other foot he flipped back and landed on his feet and left hand as he propelled himself forward and began punching the log with powerful blows. Each one impacted the log as grooves were growing with each hit. So intent in his work-out he didn't notice the gentle steps along the soft grass.

Watching the work out far away was a young she-cat whom stood out amongst cats. She was a beauty with long and flowing blond hair that reached down to her waist with the front section brought forward; creating bangs that formed somewhat around her face. She was a cheetah cat with brown cheetah spots with a pale pink up-sweep around her eyes bordered by short, blond eyebrows. Her outfit consisted of a brown two piece casual top that exposed her cleavage and midriff with brown shorts with long, darker strips that seem to function as suspenders for her foot coverings, sandals, which like the clothing of other cats left the claws of the feet exposed. Accompanying the multi-brown color was a red jewel that supported the upper-half. To top off her outfit she was wearing brown wrist-to-elbow guards that sport a disc around each wrist and discs around her ankles.

The woman in question watched the sight as the golden furred warrior struck the log again and again with unbridled determination. His strikes were both quick and precise. Nothing could break his focus for a moment. He wasn't a muscle-bound warrior, no his frame was built for speed just like hers. He was different like the others beyond the obvious one that most would point out. She couldn't help but want to reach out to him. But the way of the cleric was the mission before personal feelings. That one devoted their lives to the kingdom and must forsake their desires, and cleanse themselves of any emotional ties that would hinder that.

His arrival to the Kingdom shook things up in a cloud of mystery that garnered the she cat's curiosity. His past was unknown as he himself only had an assortment of jumbled memories to offer up. Though from day one there was an uninhibited determination to prove he was worthy. She was shaken from her thoughts when his ears, those large ears that were curved forward twitched a bit before settling back into his position. He came to a stop as his body constricted then un-constricted as heavy breaths exhaled from his mouth. He had looked up, his curious and soft cerulean eyes set upon her as surprise and even worry flashed through them.

The free and relaxed fox's body had suddenly constricted slightly. His eyes averted from her and he looked away, his face becoming flushed. ''C-Cheetara...I didn't see you there...'' he trailed off as he started to become self-conscious. His sweaty form and musk must have made him look like a mess. The Cheetah was someone of great beauty and restraint. She was gifted, rumored to rise up and take Jaga's place one he retired. Despite the fact she had no clan she was a cat, in other words she might as well have come from a noble family as that didn't remove the fact he would still be essentially viewed as a lowly outsider. Despite all this he couldn't help the fact he found himself attracted to her. She was nice, no more than that; being around her was such great warmth, a gentle calm that washed away the burden of thinking about his past.

''Working hard I see? Care to spar Naruto?'' she suggested with that calm and playful tone of hers.

''What...I mean...'' he stammered some more, feeling embarrassed that his eyes lingered on her lush red lips. ''What if one of us end up being injured and we're needed for duty?''

''Are you concerned I might be hurt? That's sweet...''a teasing smile formed on her lips as she appeared up next to him with speeds only a cleric was capable of. ''How about this...if you win I'll give you a kiss.'' she teased him as the blond's eyes widened and his mouth parted slightly. Cheetara wasn't sure why she proposed a kiss? Maybe, because what she really wanted was to get some sort of emotional response from her fellow blond.

''And if you win?'' he asked, finally saying something after a long and awkward non-response.

''For the entire day you have to answer any questions I ask you. No avoiding the question, no twisting the truth or changing the subject. If they get too personal then let me know and well talk about something else. Deal?'' she asked as Naruto nodded and moved a good distance away from her.

After a few minutes of gauging their opponents Naruto was the first to move. He seemed to be rather impatient at times and it was another fragment that added to the mystery of the blond. He was inches away from her; his hands already up as he prepared for a lunge as Cheetara disappeared from sight. Naruto spun and threw up his arm as it was thwacked by Cheetara's staff. She was quite proficient with a staff while he used his hands, something else that set him apart from the cats as most of them seemed proficient with a certain weapon.

Blow for blow was traded as Naruto was on the offensive, his strength putting him on even ground for Cheetara's control and finesse. Jumping back a few feet he tried to put some distance between him and Cheetara only for her to pop up behind him and caught him behind the knees, attempting to sweep him off his feet only for the blond to land one-handed on the ground with the free one shooting out and grabbing hold of Cheetara's staff catching her by surprise.

Landing backwards on the ground with an oomph he yanked it back as he pulled himself forward going in for the win, but he didn't count on Cheetara dropping her staff, dropping to the ground, and grabbing his leg resulting in it being yanked off the ground with Cheetara's foot slamming into the side of his ankle. As a result of being thrown off balance and the surge of pain Naruto was forced on his back with her pinning him to the ground, straddling his stomach as she reclaimed her staff and pointed the edge end at his chin.

''You did well!'' she said, being quite humble in her victory. For a moment she saw that the blond was becoming tense before realizing the position they were in. Getting up, which allowed Naruto to breathe she extended a hand and helped him up. ''Alright Foxy...looks like you and I are spending the rest of the day together.''

As much as Naruto enjoyed the thought of spending the day with Cheetara he felt it was cruel, life was basically placing a mirage of a bowl of cold water in front of him after spending two days traveling the endless expanse of a desert. Unable to trust himself to give into either dread or giddiness the blond decided he would just answer her questions and hoped he wouldn't inadvertently drive her away.