Volume I – Drogo x Inca
A/N - I want to apologize to my Thundercat readers out there. I know I took absolutely FOREVA to get this out, but my mind was on flat like a tire when it came to this. So here is the first of two (maybe three) chapters, a short epilogue for Inca and Drogo. Others will follow, but you know it may be a while. Thanks for your patience and for sticking with me! Please read and review!
ALSO: I just did a spell check and some light proofreading, so if there's any mistakes, let me know! Thanks!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Thundercats or have any affiliation with the creators, producers, etc., nor do I receive any compensation for this work.
Chapter 1 - Misunderstandings
Inca sat next to Drogo in the pews waiting for the arrival of Cheetara. Glancing up at the altar, she spied Tygra shifting his feet uncomfortably. The prince was quite nervous, she noted with a smirk. She shook her head. Males…
It was funny how they could be so confident when it came to combat, or when chasing after females. But when confronted with matters of the heart, their nerves were ultra-frayed. Most of them hesitated at being so vulnerable.
Well, most of them, she thought sullenly as she tried again to shift over and put some space between her and Drogo. He had been hip-to-hip with her since they had sat down! She looked around, awkwardly. Didn't he know it was inappropriate?
He probably did know. He just didn't care. So here she was, scooting ever closer to the stranger sitting on her other side, attempting to make Drogo behave. So she edged away as much as she could, just short of making the stranger feel uncomfortable.
But of course it wasn't too long before Drogo noticed. Instead of moving himself closer as Inca expected, the dark lion slid an arm around her waist, pulling her in close to him again. The jaguaress rolled her eyes. It was no use. Obviously it was best to bear it rather than make a scene.
Drogo felt Inca relax against him, smiling to himself. That's my girl. It was about time she realized that struggling against him was futile. She was his, and he would behave as such, no matter who saw.
Regardless of his clan's standing, or opinion for that matter, he was proud to be seen with her. Many of his fellow clan members had communicated disapproval at his choice of liaison. He was a highborn son of the Black Mane clan, after all.
But it was to no avail, and they were most dismayed when they were either ignored or were the recipient of one of Drogo's warning growls.
Most had learned to leave him alone when it came to that particular topic.
He and Inca had been seeing each other for quite a while now, and he faced a dilemma. He was starting to…no. He cared for this female more than he ever had for any other. No…it was more than caring.
The simple truth was that he loved her.
He loved everything about her. He loved her moods, the sexy sway of her hips. He loved those captivating green eyes of hers that could set fire to his loins whether they were narrowed in annoyance or misted with pleasure.
He loved her spots, loved to count them every time she was laid bare before him. He absolutely loved…everything about her. It was clear to him that he couldn't be apart from her, not for long. Neither did he want to be. He craved some sort of physical contact with her at all times when they were together.
And that was why he invaded her space. Why just being next to her was not enough. He had to touch her, to be physically connected to her somehow. He had definitely never been this clingy with other females. Ever.
Most times, he had been happy to be rid of their company when they had fulfilled their purpose. It was harsh, but honest. Sex had been all females could offer him…until now.
As the ceremony progressed, the whole crowd seemed to enter into a pleasant lull, the romantic atmosphere affecting them. Even Inca leaned her head against Drogo's shoulder, her mind imagining what it would be like if it were they standing up there.
Her dress would be different, of course. She liked less flamboyant garments, if she chose to wear them at all. Her affinity for male clothing when she was younger had been quite annoying to her mother, who had always wanted to dress her up in beautiful gowns befitting her beauty.
If it were up to her, Inca would have a plain yet sensible gown with flowers in her favorite color, purple. She would maybe have her hair in an upsweep with pearls and purple beads.
Drogo could wear something in a matching shade…wait. What am I THINKING? she thought, her eyes wide, a blush creeping cross her cheeks.
She discarded the route her mind was taking. This lion couldn't possibly want her in that way. Sure, they were exclusive, and now they did other things together than just have amazing sex.
But for them to take their relationship to that level…she didn't know if she wanted to. She didn't even know why the thought had crossed her mind.
They listened as the couple exchanged their vows, and the ceremony quickly ended after that. As everyone moved on to the hall where the celebration would take place, Drogo held Inca's hand, and she found to her surprise that she really didn't mind.
His caressing thumb upon her hand was very relaxing.
There were Clerics posted throughout the party, and unfortunately for the couple, Drogo was pulled by Jaga to replace another who was sent on an errand elsewhere. Inca was herself indisposed shortly after, having been summoned by Leia and her family.
She wanted to enjoy this day with her best friend, but she felt her heart lurch as she was taken further and further from her lover. They would make up for it later, surely. But still, she had wanted a dance with him. He was after all, a terrific dancer.
The time was spent socializing, giving well-wishes, and drinking. Inca soon found herself quite tipsy, but still managed to keep her wits about her. She ached for a dance, and when one of the partygoers, a member of Leia's house, asked her to stand with him, she saw no problem with accepting.
It was only a dance, after all.
As she was twirled about the floor, she smiled and laughed, the alcohol making her more jovial, less inhibited. Her partner was a decent dancer, and she was having fun.
But just as she was passing one of the tables, she spied Drogo and saw his face. His expression was carefully blank, but Inca knew him. The telltale twitch to the muscle in his jaw, and the slight wrinkle between his brows told of his displeasure.
Trying to assuage his anger, Inca took a moment to blow him a kiss. He gave her a slight smile that didn't quite reach his eyes before she was twirled in a different direction.
Drogo felt helpless. He should be the one dancing with Inca, not that Goldenmane fop. He could not quit his post until he was relieved however, so all he could do was watch, when all he wanted to do was snatch her from that interloper's arms.
Truthfully though, his heart was a little bothered by the fact that Inca had so readily accepted the dance in the first place.
He knew it was childish, but she belonged to him. It was wrong for her to let another male embrace her, and he wondered at her inability to understand that. He tried to keep from scowling, from letting his face betray his bitter jealousy.
When the dance ended, the lion had walked her back to her seat, and she had smiled at him and thanked him before sitting down. He had even kissed her hand!
Drogo's frown deepened, his growl sending a server scurrying quickly away from him. If he had done as much, she would have scowled at him for being too forward in public.
When Leia approached Inca, the two embraced, and began talking in excited tones, exclaiming over Cheetara's dress and other qualities of the ceremony.
So engrossed in the conversation was she, it seemed Inca had forgotten all about Drogo.
Maybe she has, he thought huffily. Maybe she was happy that he was on guard and out of her hair. She didn't seem to like his affection when they were around others anyway.
As a matter of fact, throughout their whole relationship, it seemed he was the one who outwardly cared, the one who was willing to express his enthusiasm for the time they spent with each other outside of the bedroom, time that was often hard to come by with their duties.
His moments with her were therefore very precious to him. She was precious to him.
Inca was a passionate, pleasing lover in bed, to be sure. But Drogo had soon discovered, to his great surprise, that the sex was only one of the aspects he loved about this female, and not even what he loved most.
He could actually carry on an intelligent conversation with her, which was highly important. She was on par with some of the best philosophers when it came to poetry, astrology, and other such subjects. Her ferocity and often tenuous hold on her temper belied her intelligence, added intrigue.
She had a soft side as well. It wasn't something she showed often, and certainly not intentionally, but it was there. There was so much that interested him about her, and on the occasions when they could spend time together, he enjoyed drawing those hidden parts of her out.
But she didn't really seem to be all that into him, at least not out from behind closed doors. She was attentive, but…that need, that addiction to being together just didn't seem to be there as it was for him. It wounded Drogo to think he was just a plaything, a pastime for her while she stayed in Thundera.
He felt a pain in his chest when he thought that perhaps he would have to say goodbye to her soon. Maybe she was just biding her time until after her lady and Prince Lion-O were mated. Then…perhaps she would take her leave, bound for other adventures, other males.
It wasn't a pleasant thought, and when next he looked upon Inca she was still deep in conversation, this time with Leia and Lion-O. She's not even thinking about me.
Perhaps all this time together was for naught. Her indifference gave him no encouragement at all, not enough to be secure in his hold on her. Perhaps…perhaps it was time for him to distance himself so he would not be hurt when the time came to part from her.
He decided then and there that he would pull back. It was all he could do to protect his heart, and his pride, as he was never one to fall so easily or thoroughly before. As the party wore on, he maintained a façade of calm, detaching himself from his emotions as best he could.
Leia and Inca were laughing about some joke that Lion-O had made. The prince could be very funny when he wanted to, even with the stresses inheriting a kingdom entailed. Inca found she quite liked the young lion, and was sure that Leia had finally found someone to make her happy.
She only hoped he remained so after the yolk of the monarchy was placed on him.
She glanced over her shoulder at Drogo, still standing guard. She stared, hoping to catch his eye as she had many times before. But he never looked her way. Actually, he never looked any way. He just stared forward, as stoic as any Soldier she'd ever seen.
Inca had never seen him so blank. He was usually so animated and happy. Now, he just stood there, eyes forward, feet shoulder-width apart, his arms behind his back. He didn't as much as glance her way.
Something was wrong.
Maybe it was her dance with the other male. She knew that Drogo's feelings for her had gotten more intense, and he had since developed the possessive attitude that most male cats took on when they regarded a female as mate material.
Her feelings had grown for him as well, although she was not as apt to show it as he was. She preferred to show him her affection when they were alone.
Moreover, she had learned a long time ago that showing too much too quickly, or to the wrong male could cause…unintended consequences.
So she had taken it slow, basking in the attentions she was given. As time went on, she recognized her feelings for what they were and decided she would stay by Drogo's side, regardless of where her lady went. This was all of course, if he wanted her. She was still unsure, despite everything.
She was always wary, because she had experienced how a male could deceptively act one way while feeling completely another.
It had been a difficult time, one she had nearly not recovered from.
With Leia and Lion-O having made a secure match, the welfare of her friend was assured. Even now the Clerics and palace guards were taking on the responsibility of guarding her, the prince's future consort. She no longer needed Inca in that capacity.
That freed the jaguar up for more pleasing, fulfilling exploits. It had taken her a long while after the trauma she had suffered in her youth to love someone. But she'd finally found one she believed she could trust.
Drogo never lied to her or tried to manipulate her to gain the upper hand in their relationship. He had always given her control, had let her set the pace for everything and determine when and where they would meet.
She had appreciated this immensely, and slowly but surely she had found herself very much in love with Drogo. She wanted to tell him, and there was no better time than tonight, with its romantic ambiance.
But she could sense that all was not well, and soon her mind was busy trying to figure out why.
Drogo continued to stand guard, his mind lost in thought, getting more and more disenchanted with his seemingly hopeless situation.
Curse the day he had followed that female to her room! He'd be his normal confident self tonight if he hadn't, instead of standing here, angry and insecure.
He just didn't understand. He had tried to do what she had wanted, followed her pace with things.
He had sensed that this was very important to Inca, that he would have lost her if he had tried to smother her too much. So he had taken it easy with her, because he also sensed that her reasons were probably from events in her past, events that were perhaps painful.
But he felt that they had been together long enough for her to trust him with her past. Honestly, he really didn't know much about her as far as her cubhood and clan history.
They just hadn't talked much about it. Drogo, on the other hand, had been completely open after a time, telling her everything he could think of about himself and his family.
If she really cared, really saw him as other than a provider of sex, she would have told him by now, surely.
But she hadn't, and the lion's jaw clenched when he thought on it.
So reluctantly, it was decided. Drogo had no intention of staying with a female whose heart would never be his. He loved her, regarded her more than he'd done any other, but he had to protect his own happiness as well.
And having her away from him when he treasured her so much was too painful a thought to fathom. But he would get over it, in time.
His resolve chased his sadness away, but made way for more anger. What a fool I've been, he thought. He had stayed as close to her as he could, craving her touch like an addiction, and all the time she'd shown next to nothing in response.
He thought of the Clerics, of his family, who had surely noticed him acting like a lovesick adolescent. How embarrassing to have everyone see him behaving as such, and with a female who obviously wasn't interested.
He was a lion of the great Blackmane clan, a reputable and proud line who had missed the monarchy by mere inches. He could name a whole flock of females who would be delighted to be his whore, let alone his mate. Why should he debase himself so?
His furrowed brow attracted the attention of a passing Eva, who was coming from the hors d'oeuvres table without her usual entourage behind her.
"Why the ugly face, Drogo?" she asked, her usual saccharine sweet tone stinging his ears. She clicked her teeth in a show of mock concern. "Aw, did you get pulled for duty?" She followed his gaze, which had reflexively moved to look at Inca.
"Or perhaps it's something…else?" Her lips pulled up into a nasty grin. "Don't tell me that filth finally dumped you. Ha! And to think you defended her so adamantly. Fool! It serves you right. You should have known that refuse would—"
She was stopped by the deep, ominous growl that emanated from the Cleric. His gaze was no longer on his lover, but on Eva, the intensity of his cold stare quickly cowing her. Drogo fought the urge to lift his lip and flash huge, ivory fangs at her.
Instead, he warned her, his voice quietly menacing. "Take your seat, girl, before I make you eat those words."
Eva, showing that she did at least have some sense, quickly made her way back to her seat and the safety of her immediate family.
Tamping down his anger, Drogo heaved a sigh. This was exactly what he wanted to avoid. Soon everyone would be aware of his and Inca's split, if they split. He really loved her, wanted to be with her for always.
But it all depended on her now. He was done making the lion's share of the effort in this relationship. He just couldn't do it anymore.
As the partygoers began filtering out to prepare for the departure of the couple, the room rapidly emptied. Inca tarried, trying to get a moment to talk privately with her disgruntled lover.
He was still standing there, stone-faced as ever. She wanted to go to him, but Leia was motioning for her to come along with her and her family, so she followed, resolving to speak with Drogo as soon as she could.
Once all of the guests had vacated the main banquet hall, Drogo and his fellow Clerics did so as well. They were met by Jaga, who told the group they were welcomed to participate in seeing the couple off.
By the time Drogo made it outside, Tygra and Cheetara were standing next to a couple of Monteracs, preparing to leave. Cheetara had just thrown her bouquet, which the young lynx Talli had caught with great glee.
Drogo made his way to Inca, moving to stand beside her. Perhaps when things concluded, they could finally talk.
As everyone watched, Tygra deftly removed Cheetara's garter belt, moving a little ways away to throw it toward the crowd. The prince smiled as he turned his back, tossing the garter high above his head.
Drogo lifted his eyes. It was coming straight toward him! He had but to lift his hand and the garter fell into it as easily as if Tygra had thrown it directly to him by design. Lifting his prize high, the lion smirked at the other males then looked down at Inca.
She spied the garter in his claws and gave him a reproachful look. Surely he didn't think this little bit of lingerie could erase all of their obvious problems?
Before she could make a remark however, she found her mouth otherwise engaged as Drogo swept her up into an especially intimate kiss, right there for all to see. Inca started to resist, but the taste of him, the smell of him, all of it flooded her senses, and her eyes shut all on their own.
She only snapped out of it when some of the onlookers started clapping and whistling at them. At that point, her eyes flew open again, and she pushed Drogo off of her slightly, their lips separating with a loud, embarrassing smack.
"Why would you do that?!" she whispered angrily, feeling awkward and exposed. She stepped away, her eyes down. Her cheeks were burning. She didn't like advertising their relationship in front of everyone.
Drogo leaned in close, his own anger resurfacing. "Why would I not?" he ground out. "You are mine, aren't you?"
Before she could answer or even look at him, the lion had departed, moving away from her through the small crowd.
Inca was at a loss. This was not what she had wanted! They were supposed to talk, not end up even more at odds with each other. She moved quickly to stop his departure.
"Drogo!" she called, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Please stop!" But he kept walking, muttering under his breath. She was able to make out the words 'troublesome female,' but that was all.
"Is this about the dance?" she finally asked, trying to keep up with the lion's large strides. "Did it really bother you so?" She nearly collided hard with Drogo's back when he came to an abrupt halt.
He turned to her, indignation and disbelief written in his features. "Is that really what you think this is about, Inca?" He stared at her for a moment, then scoffed, nearly smiling before his face went blank again. She really had no clue.
"It's a pity, that," the lion muttered as he shouldered past his chagrined lover. "To think you would believe our problem stems from something as petty as a dance." He began walking away.
This time, she let him go. He obviously did not wish to speak with her, and she would not force him. But the look on his face...she just couldn't get it out of her head. She'd never thought he would look at her that way.
He had actually been disgusted with her, by her.
Inca was left to herself in the cheering crowd as the prince and his new mate rode off to enjoy alone time together. She looked around when everyone started to disperse, but the Cleric was nowhere to be found.
Now she was worried. Drogo had been really mad. She needed to go to him and fix this, now.
"Inca?" Leia inquired, placing a hand on her friend's back. She'd never seen the jaguaress look so distressed before. "Is everything alright?"
"Um…it's fine, Leia," Inca replied, pasting an awkward smile on her face that didn't reach her eyes. She looked around again, still not finding the one she wanted to see so desperately. She could think of nothing else. "I just have to find someone is all."
"Then go," Leia said as Lion-O came to join her. "Go to him. It would seem you both have much to work out." Understanding was clear in the lioness' eyes, and Inca thanked her before heading off.
Where could he have gone? Inca backtracked into the banquet hall, back outside and to one side of the lane leading to where the new couple had left, but could not find him. Maybe he had gone back to Cleric Hall? Everyone had all but dispersed by now, so it was a possibility.
She turned in the direction of the Hall, fully intending to storm the building in search of Drogo. She simply could not leave things this way.
As she was walking a scent came to her nose, an odd scent. Her nose scrunched with it, noting that it was vaguely familiar but different.
She was passing a garden area near the palace infirmary when the scent seemed much stronger. More importantly, she could smell Drogo here as well. Curiosity led her from her original path, and she walked toward what appeared to be a gazebo.
Just as she followed the path around some climbing roses, she saw him. His mane came into view first, his back toward her. She started to smile, to call to him when it became apparent that he wasn't alone.
He was currently being fondled and cheek rubbed by another female, a panther from the looks of her sleek, ebony coloring. She wore a Cleric uniform as well. Inca could hear her purring from where she stood, just out of sight but within hearing distance.
"Come now, Drogo, what's the matter?" the panther cooed. "It's not like we haven't before, and I need you to help me." She shimmied closer, cheek rubbing him again.
"It's becoming…uncomfortable, and I don't want Jaga to have me locked up. We both know it's the quickest way to end it." She ran her hands up his broad chest, stringing her fingers up into his mane. "Give me relief," she crooned.
Inca's eyes narrowed in on Drogo's hands, which were grasping the female Cleric's hips. He didn't seem to be completely against her advances, his eyes closed, his brows furrowed in a half tortured, half ecstatic expression.
Inca could feel the hair along her spine rise in wrath. How dare he be tempted?!
"I can't, Isis," Drogo muttered, his teeth grinding together as he tried to maintain self-control. He was trying to use his hands to keep the black leopardess at arm's length, but her scent was driving him crazy, sliding up his nose, tantalizing his brain and awakening his nether regions.
She had intercepted him on his way back to the Hall, pulling him aside, saying she needed his assistance with something.
It was only when they had gotten alone that he had realized her "problem." Isis was coming into heat, and was just entering the most uncomfortable stage for both her and any males she would encounter.
The intoxicating scent was unmistakable, and if he didn't get away from her quickly, he was in danger of infidelity, whether he wanted to or not. Yes, he was angry with Inca, but he did not want to betray her, never that.
So with his control rapidly waning, and his instincts shouting at him to do quite the opposite, Drogo set the randy female away from him, forcing himself to be firm.
"I said no, Isis. Find someone else to provide you with…relief, or go lock yourself up." His harsh breaths, and the snug fit of his breeches, were contradicting his words, but he was proud of his resistance as he turned to leave.
When he stepped onto the path leading away from the gazebo however, Inca's scent slammed into him. It was so strong that she had to have been there, if only just a few moments ago…when he was being groped by a certain female Cleric.
No, he thought, his legs moving him quickly to the main path, trying to see if Inca was here. He had to explain.
But she was nowhere to be found. She must have run out of there quickly, which could only mean she was upset.
Drogo shook his head with a sigh, looking toward the castle. Should he go to see her now, after he had come down so hard on her back there and the scene she'd just obviously witnessed?
With a heavy heart, he resumed his return to the Hall. He knew she would have nothing to do with him tonight. She was probably extremely angry, thinking he had serviced Isis.
Maybe he could talk with her tomorrow, first thing. Hopefully she would see him. She would see him, and he would explain things, and they would talk.
They would finally iron out any issues between them. They had to.
His nagging mind plagued him as he entered his quarters. But what if she won't see me? he thought to himself. What if this was too much to forgive? What if she is done with me?
Drogo lay in his bed far into the night, thinking about what his life would be like without Inca.
He just couldn't bring himself to imagine it. Such an existence was so empty, devoid of meaning. It just could not happen. So he went to his rest vowing he would make things right.
He would find Inca, force her to speak with him if he must, tomorrow. Then they could reconcile and be happy, together.
He did not foresee that his plans would be thwarted.