Hot Potato Hot Potato! (Babysitting)
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#1

Buckshot had almost everything ready for surprising Sara tonight.  He sent a bird to guide her to the lake.  He had the honey, thanks to the golden wolf who caught him sneaking from the Castle.  Now he needed to make sure the children were taken care of, which usually meant his dad would take care of them.  He really didn't want to put the burden on him tonight and since their maternal grandparents--Buckshot's ears drooped--passed on, he wasn't sure at first what to do.  While Beatrice was squeaking about and Rapture and Aeneas were readying for bed, the older wolf pondered about letting his new friend watch them.  It wasn't like they were going to give him trouble at bedtime right?

"Lee Lee!"

Buckshot looked at his daughter.

"Squee squee squeek.  Lee Lee and Beeear!"

He smiled.  "You've been talking about Leader and Kyra all evening."

Snap, krackle, and pop he had an idea.

----Five minutes later----

Buckshot pushed Beatrice into Leader Mercury's entrance.  She tumbled over her head and rolled dramatically onto a deer pelt.  She went to biting it thinking it was food, because deer meant food.

"Hey Leader!  Beatrice can't stop squeaking about you!  I'm on a date tonight with Snowfluff so I thought why not let my daughter get to know her faaaavorite wolf.  I'll be back in a hour, thanks, bye!"

He ran like lightning.  Actually, he missed a rock and fell ten feet onto a pile of rubbish and then he ran like lightning.  She couldn't kill him with a witness present!

Snowfluff I'm coming!


8/3/18: Might be slow for the foreseeable future

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#2

The Dark Moon Queen of Nardir                 ☿
[Image: divider_by_polarshockka-d8ceg2q.png]

"Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.
- Emilie Autumn




"Hey Leader!  Beatrice can't stop squeaking about you!  I'm on a date tonight with Snowfluff so I thought why not let my daughter get to know her faaaavorite wolf.  I'll be back in a hour, thanks, bye!"
A pup was suddenly thrust at Mercury's feet.  Startled, the Nardirian Queen looked down dumbfounded at Beatrice. Then her head snapped up.

"What?! Buckshot!" She yelled.

But he was gone.  She looked back at the pup, busy chewing away on one of her hide rugs.  Mercury sighed.  No helping it now, she supposed.  Perhaps she should just thank the Mother that Buckshot had only left one of his offspring with her.  Walking past the pup, Merc dug through the growing pile of belongings accumulating in a nook of her den.  After a moment's search, she came across the bone she was looking for.  A good, solid tibia, but one not yet dry enough for crafting.  She saw no harm in letting the pup have it.

"Here, Bea." She offered. "This is more like it."

Hopefully, that would hold the child's attention for a time.  Mercury was expecting to hear from Arik. The Moonkeeper often came in the evenings to discuss his lessons with Mirai. There was so much more to being an Oracle than just visions.  The symbolism, the observations, and all the meanings were enough to make her dizzy.  Arik seemed elated, though, and his shyness disappeared when he spoke about the Isle and Mother Moon. They had become casual acquaintances now, and while his visits were always cordial and proper, they were beginning to catch the pack's attention.  Had Buckshot realized Arik had a lesson today?  Mercury scowled out the doorway.

Her pack was a bunch of meddlers.



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#3

[Image: Iw0sAnk.png]

A r i k,

"All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name..."

actions - “speech” - thoughts

His paws were a buzz of static as Arik made landfall on the mainland. He shook his black pelt to rid himself of the lake water and whisked his long legs across the ground immediately onward up the ramp to the Queens Patio. He was never hard to miss when he did show up at the castle, the first few nights of his lessons he hadn't shared with Mercury, not knowing if he could. Then one night when he was dismissed he was just so excited from a revelation that he couldn't hold it in, he had to share with her and it had all come tumbling out, completely oblivious of how it looked or seemed. She had seemed interested and was always very attentive. Since that night he had come straight to her den ever since to share what he had learned. Though usually he was very cordial and polite.

"Mercury! The stars!" He started as he came whirling in to her den, completely forgetting all kinds of appropriate formalities that he typically used. This was an abnormal amount of excitement for him. He was practically dancing on his toes completely blind to who was already in attendance.

"So the star children, the star children! They're not just our ancestors! I mean they are, but they are so much more than that! They form these patterns in the sky and depending on which pattern is on the horizon for moonrise and moonset it--" He started excitedly, finally looking around to find the usual comfortable hide she had usually pulled out for them both, his mouth going a mile a minute that suddenly stopped as he wide eyed stared at the child in her den.

He knew who she was, he had tried to help carry some of the younger kids on his pack when they were traveling. He did not expect one to be here... at this time. And suddenly he remembered himself, and who he was talking to and suddenly he had an audience of more than just her. And he had completely barged in here like a blinded asshole with no decorum or proper respect.

"I am terribly sorry..." He regained some composure, though he positively looked frightened of the prospect of finding the child here. He flicked his eyes back up to The Queen and asked quietly, "should I come back later? I seem to have forgotten myself..." He was already backing his long legs and immense size out of her den. As if slowly retreating from a rabid bear.









ooc



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#4

Beatrice was having a good old time chewing the deer skin as Mercury rummaged through things in her cave.  She was sure she was getting to the meat under the hide until the alpha pushed something else her way.


*Gasp* "A bone!  Tanki-Tanki LeeLee!"

Like puppy lightning, Beatrice jumped on the bone, grabbing, scratching, biting, and trying to lift it off the ground.  Excited squeaks and pants were the only sounds she made as the leg bone bopped a little to the left and right.  It was too heavy to rise more than a centimeter up.  Nonetheless, Beatrice was mighty in her fight!  She bounced back and in true Buckshot fashion--

*Rawr!*

She rammed the bone and rolled that bad boy around her and finally held it in her paws.  She squeaked in triumph as she landed on her back.  However, her victory was short lived.  Someone rushed in, speaking excitedly words she barely understood.  Then he looked at her.  And she looked at him.

"Wooooooooah."

Daddy told her about him.  He trained him once as a Keeper.  She'd seen him when they left the mountains and came here.  But looking at him upside down and hearing him speak so LOUD.  He seemed so--

*Squeak-squeak!* 

Beatrice would have bolted, but there was a big bone stuck on her stomach!  She noticed him move away, but it was absolutely not, not, not far enough for her.  She made cries for help, but forgot she was squeaking.  None of the wolves understood mouse.

"Big!  Big!  LeeLee help help!"
 
Big was Arik not the bone, but Beatrice was incoherent at this point.  Still, she needed Mercury to keep her safe.  And someone to get this bone off of her!


8/3/18: Might be slow for the foreseeable future

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#5

The Dark Moon Queen of Nardir                 ☿
[Image: divider_by_polarshockka-d8ceg2q.png]

"Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.
- Emilie Autumn



"Mercury! The stars!"

Practically as soon as he appeared in her thoughts he appeared in the doorway, beginning their evening's discussion without her.

"So the star children, the star children! They're not just our ancestors! I mean they are, but they are so much more than that! They form these patterns in the sky and depending on which pattern is on the horizon for moonrise and moonset it--"

He stopped dead, And Mercury turned to the small voice of Beatrice going. "Wooooooooah." and beginning to squeak like she was a mouse. Arik had already begun to reverse.

"I am terribly sorry...should I come back later? I seem to have forgotten myself..."

His response was so fearful, so immediate, it confused her.  She looked down, noticed Bea, and then back up.  Did he think-... Oh, Stars, what did he think?!

"Wait- No, Arik!" She called hoping to halt his flight. She trotted a few steps forward, catching his gaze before he retreated completely out the door. "There is no interruption-"

"Big!  Big!  LeeLee help help!"

She awkwardly turned her head down at where Bea was flailing from under the bone she had just given her. With a surprised and worried face, Mercury lunged, picking Bea up and setting her upright.  Did pups always do this?! She gave the Moonkeeper a pleading look.

"Buckshot has me-" Was that a wince? "Babysitting."

Oh dear...



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         Profile ☿ played by EhwazAzi

I found solace in the strangest place
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#6

[Image: 4I3Twrs.png]

A r i k,

"All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name..."

actions - “speech” - thoughts

The boy perked his ears up and flicked his gaze to the Queen as she entreated him to stay, almost running after him. He froze on the spot. Then tilted his head while she rescued little Beatrice from under her toy while she wailed. Poor kid.

He tilted his head quizzically to the other direction as she admitted... (was that a wince?) to babysitting for Buckshot.

"Oh..." He said, craning his neck over to peek at little Beatrice, dipping his nose lower to get a better look at her, "I thought perhaps she was having a lesson... or-" His voice was much softer now, and he slowly laid down where he stood, resting on his elbows and blinking at the pup, his head level with his shoulders, "-or she needed you for something important..." He flicked his gaze up to Mercury again. He didn't usually get this angle on a lot of folks. Was this what it was like to talk to him when he was at full height?

"I'm sorry I scared you little one..." He said turning his attention back to the kiddo. She had certainly grown since their march from Inaria. She had been so small she could have ridden on his back or slept in his pack. He didn't remember if she did or if it was one of her siblings, or if his memory was fuzzy about it entirely, "I interrupted a good bone chewing, huh?" He asked her directly, again tilting his head, letting his ears flop to one side a bit and trying to give her a half smile.









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#7

LeeLee finally came to the rescue, pulling Beatrice away from the bone.  As soon as she was on the ground, she gripped the big wolf's leg and held on, shivering.  LeeLee sounded--scared?-- as she talked to the bigger wolf.  He leaned closer to her.  Beatrice started to squeak but his voice was softer, and he laid on his stomach to face her.  She stared at him for a few seconds.


"I'm sorry I scared you little one..."

She loosened her grip in LeeLee's leg.

"I interrupted a good bone chewing huh?"

He...he wasn't so bad.  She looked up at LeeLee.  Then she looked at him.  She let go and slouched in front of the bigger wolf.  She should say something.  Wolf words.  Don't say 'um' and don't mumble, her parents would want her to speak nicely.

"Hiiii."

What else?  It was then she noticed his ear flopping.  What big ears he had!  Beatrice was distracted enough to raise her paw to try and flap it.  He was still too big for her to reach even when he was on the ground.  She pouted and hmphed.  But she couldn't say he was big.  That sounded bad.

"I am too small."


8/3/18: Might be slow for the foreseeable future

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#8

The Dark Moon Queen of Nardir                 ☿
[Image: divider_by_polarshockka-d8ceg2q.png]

"Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.
- Emilie Autumn




"Oh... I thought perhaps she was having a lesson... or-or she needed you for something important..."

Mercury made a face at the thought of giving lessons at this hour.  But he did bring up a good point.  The pups were swiftly leaving their childhoods behind and would soon turn into adolescents.  She should make a note to speak to Buckshot about them when he came to collect his daughter.

"I'm sorry I scared you little one... I interrupted a good bone chewing, huh?"

Despite his size, which had caused Bea's earlier distress, he was clearly a gentle soul, and Mercury found herself smiling as he lowered himself to the pup's level.  It seemed, at least instinctively, he was good with kids.  She, meanwhile, had dropped a giant bone on a child.  Whoops.

"Hiiii I am too small.."

"We were all too small once." Mercury said with a smile, moving to lay down casually near where Arik had settled. She gave him a wry smile. "Even Arik."

It was a good queue, to be down at her level, and Mercury followed suit.  She was so intent on giving Bea space, she didn't realize how little space she had left between them.



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         Profile ☿ played by EhwazAzi

I found solace in the strangest place
Way in the back of my mind
I saw my life in a stranger's face
And it was mine

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[Image: ruvbfa_by_ehwazazi-dcfe5qt.png]

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#9

[Image: Iw0sAnk.png]

A r i k,

"All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name..."

---

Arik creased a small smile as Beatrice seemed to warm up to him. He glanced again at Mercury as she started to settle down as well, giving the girl some space. He didn't notice how close they were either, his attention was on making sure he didn't scare Bea again. He liked her, and his grin grew even bigger as she greeted him and remarked on her own size being small.


"Ha, well..." He breathed a half chuckle as Mercury interjected that they had all been small once, even himself. Even as a child though, he was on the larger side. But it was like he had never really grown into his long legs. He honestly felt like he stuck out like a sore thumb a lot when he really didn't like a lot of the attention his size sometimes garnered.

He tilted his head as she pawed at his eare for her to reach,
"Now, size doesn't much matter. Especially at your age," He said soothingly, gently disagreeing with her comment about being too small, "You're not too small, you're exactly the size you should be now. In time you'll grow to be the size you should be then as well."

He tilted his head to look at Mercury, half smiling at her, "Right?" He asked playfully.

He had never once thought about having kids one day, it just hadn't occurred to him. He had been his sister's protector when they were kids and when they all became independent, and went on their own separate ways, he had felt lost and purposeless. True he wasn't the real warrior type but it was second nature to him to step in front of others to protect. He never really realized it, but seeing the pup, and thinking about Kyra being pregnant and bringing in her own brood, oh yes he had gotten wind of the news, he was reminded of his childhood. It reminded him of his brother and sister, he at one point protected them both... What happened to that Arik? Where had he gone? In his place was a nervous wreck that could barely keep his composure when there was more than two people trying to talk to him.

Maybe he had spent too much time alone... He was born during the exile, and wasn't really interested in joining packs until he finally found Nardir again.







ooc



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#10

"We were all too small once.  Even Arik."

"You're not too small, you're exactly the size you should be now. In time you'll grow to be the size you should be then as well."

They were really nice.  And gentle sounding.  It was that combination that made her feel much better.  Beatrice decided to smile nice and gentle too in difference to her excitable toothy smiles.  As the too of them talked, her thoughts of LeeLee changed even more.  She was more than tough and strong.  She was sweet, though not mom sweet.  She even got scared.  And Arrrrik?  He wasn't scary at all anymore.  He was even afraid when he got here!

Well, they were all scared before, and now everyone was sweet 'n' nice.

Beatrice flipped Arik's ear for a while until she decided to wedge herself between the two wolves.  It wasn't very comfortable.  So she pushed a little (on Arik's side because she would never push LeeLee!) until she was upside down resting on her back.  She licked LeeLee's chin out of affection first and then respect.

"Whew."  That was a lot of work.  Unless someone spoke, it was silent for about a minute.

Beatrice squeaked.

"My bone!"


She looked between the both of them.  She was already cozy.  And it would just be for a second.

"Pleeeeeease?"


8/3/18: Might be slow for the foreseeable future

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Mercury She
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#11

The Dark Moon Queen of Nardir                 ☿
[Image: divider_by_polarshockka-d8ceg2q.png]

"Being brave means to know something is scary, difficult, and dangerous, and doing it anyway, because the possibility of winning the fight is worth the chance of losing it.
- Emilie Autumn





"Now, size doesn't much matter. Especially at your age," The corner of the Dark Moon's mouth twitched at the comment.  A bit defensive, was he? But she didn't argue, letting him continue uninterrupted. "You're not too small, you're exactly the size you should be now. In time you'll grow to be the size you should be then as well. Right?"

The twitch spread into a full smile as he looked for backup, despite their earlier contradiction.  Oh, how easy it would be to poke him again with an exaggerated display of deliberation.  And yet she was reluctant to tease him, afraid that it would cause a withdrawal back into his shell she had worked so hard to coax him out of.

"We are as the Mother makes us." Mercury said instead, her eyes laughing with the joke she had not told him.  At least he didn't call her fat.

Bea seemed to have gotten over her startlement, and proceeded to climb between them with the childlike abandon of a creature who has no concept of their own weight.  When she gave Arik a shove, Mercury huffed a chuckle under her breath, and then outright when Bea's tongue licked under her chin.  Mercury dipped her head to blow a raspberry into the pup's tummy, hoping for a giggle.

"Whew." Bea sighed at last, and the laughter faded with a relaxed sigh as the three of them began to get settled. "My bone! Pleeeeeease?"

Mercury leaned away and picked up the discarded bone.  This time, she was more careful in how she handed it down.  When Bea was nestled between them,  she watched the pup gnaw on the bone for a moment.  Mostly to make sure there wasn't another ensuing crisis.  Merc had to turn her head to look down, tilting her head past Arik's muzzle and under his jaw to check their charge.  It was only when she was satisfied that Bea was content that she had time to even consider how close they were.

Was it awkward for him? To suddenly have two female unexpectedly pile upon him immediately at his entrance?  And yet... hadn't that been exactly what she and her siblings had done when their father came to visit.  Either of them.  It must be one of those things that was universal among pups.  She would have to ask Kastra if he did so when he was young.

She had never considered asking... anyone... about pups, about motherhood.  It was knowledge passed from one generation to the next in the quiet way females did. Another piece she realized she lacked, that she had never learned.  Hakan could answer... or Kyra, when her time came.  The Dark Moon would have to observe the Red Bear, thinking she would have learned, right? Oh how interesting that would be...

She became intensely conscious of the fact she was staring into space in the breath of silence before their conversation began again.  Hopefully he hadn't noticed...


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         Profile ☿ played by EhwazAzi

I found solace in the strangest place
Way in the back of my mind
I saw my life in a stranger's face
And it was mine

vixxie's codes

[Image: ruvbfa_by_ehwazazi-dcfe5qt.png]

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Charley She/Her
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#12

[Image: 3qGQxcF.png]
All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name...
A r i k

----

The priest looked at Mercury with a curious glance, now why hadn't he thought of such an answer?

Arik smiled softly and shifted as Beatrice shoved against him. Creating the perfect little pocket between them. His thoughts turned naturally inward as Mercury reached out for the bone.

Babysitting wasn't that bad honestly, maybe he could find a new way to get on Kyra's good side if he took to babysitting her new ones when they came. Put the past behind them? He knew his rejection had hurt her, he could tell in the way she was constantly trying to verbally hurt him back. Maybe her teasing would stop.

He blinked as Beatrice settled in, if she looked up at him he would smile. He liked her, he thought again, tucking his paws under him.

He glanced back at Mercury as they were both lost and when her attention was pulled back to earth it suddenly became obvious to them both that they were... borderline snuggling??

He sat rigid for a good half moment, thinking it over, wondering where he had crossed the boundary... but... He didn't. They had both come to him? He wondered if this was ok, he didn't know, maybe this was ok. Was he ok with it? If he thought about it, yeah... actually. It was like a puppy pile.

Hey didn't he come to share what he had learned today? Maybe Beatrice would enjoy it! He launched right into it.
"Oh! So the stars! Apparently depending on the position of the stars, and they move across the sky hourly, can sometimes determine aspects of your personality, or your fate, or your love life! The Oracle has the foxes trained to tell her which star is where and depending on what star is closest to the moon can determine your future or just your life's journey, but the stars near the horizon can tell us what personality aspects a pup could have! But I can't remember if it was on the moment their born or on their name day. She kept saying the name day was important about something. Do you remember name days?" He asked the queen. Their usual nightly ritual resumed. This time, much closer, and with a small audience.








ooc
"Well you talk like yourself... no, I hear someone else though... now you’re making me nervous"

Photo © Spencer Arquimedes / Modified coding © vixxie's codes/ Headshot by EhwazAzi


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