The Conference of the Animals

11 06 2010

((Before we get into this story, allow me to let you see the players…most of Tahl’s pets.  Here they are:

Now that you’ve met the players, here’s the story.))

“He’s less troubled these days, and he seems to be sleeping a bit more.  To my mind, that’s good progress.  And neither you nor I have any desire to see him return to what he was after the last one.”  Tsorovan glanced towards the empty bedroom.  Over his shoulder, the great blue-furred saber cat snorted.

“I still am not sure she’s a worthy mate for him, Tsoro.  My…our…Farstrider does not always seem to have the best taste in potential partners.”  Daishar lazily licked a paw and scrubbed it over an ear, then her face.

The ghost-pale spotted cat shook his head, then turned his attention to the low-burning fire in the fireplace.  “This one…I don’t think it’s about finding a mate in her.  At least, not yet.”

“Then what is it, Tsorovan?  There’s certainly plenty of mating going on in there most nights.  Mating, but not looking for a mate?  I do not understand you.”  Daishar twitched an ear and snorted.  “There are moments I’m not sure I understand him anymore.”

Tsorovan sighed and padded over to the saber, giving her cheek a comforting lick as he attempted to explain.  “They’re both…broken.  More than a bit.  The bat’s master and that little elf boy – each of them caused great hurt, maybe great harm, both to her and to him.”  The beast’s blue eyes dimmed as he closed them and shook his head.  “I still blame myself for that.  I should not have encouraged our boy to pursue him, in hindsight.  And because of me, Tahlian got hurt.”

“You were trying to help, Tsorovan.  You wanted him to be happy.  And really, the only time the trail is truly clear is when it’s our backtrail.”  Daishar arched a furred brow at her companion.  “You were explaining the mating, but not looking for a mate, god-cat.”

“They need something.  Contact, affirmation, to feel valued…I’m not certain.  But they both need something, and at the moment, each has the other to provide it.  And the intimacy, the mating…for now, that provides whatever-it-is they need.  Their heart-wounds are too deep and too recent for either of them to even consider the possibility that they might have found a mate.  If it is to be, it will take time for them to be ready for it.”

Daishar’s striped tail lashed as she resumed her grooming.  “But is this rogue worthy of him?”

“I like Jaz.  She rubs my ears and sometimes my belly.  She fights by him, when they’re out.  I think she’s all right.   An’ more than that…she seems to kinda need us sometimes, too.”  Cinders opened one eye as his whip-thin tail thumped on the rug.  “Sometimes she goes all quiet when Master’s out, and then she needs to pet me, so I go to her.  She cried that first night, remember?”

Tsorovan nodded.  “She did.  And he comforted her.  She said she needed him.  I think he needs her too, even if he hasn’t admitted it as – Clayburn, don’t eat that, silly lizard.”  The cat swatted one of the Farstrider’s engineering tools away from the devilsaur’s questing maw.  The big brown reptile looked reproachfully at the beast.

“But I’m hungry.  And I want a treat.  When’s he getting home, anyway?”

Daishar rolled her eyes.  “You’re always hungry.  It’s a good thing he works you as hard as he does.  You’d be as fat as that pig that hangs around with Regatta-priestess if he didn’t.”

“He’ll be home when he’s home.  And if she’s not with him, she’ll not be too far behind.  And I’m sure he’ll feed you before you go out to the Citadel, so stop complaining and be patient.”  Tsorovan chuckled to himself.

“Yah…hush up, ya big wussy.”  Cinders curled a lip in a hellhound grin as he scratched behind one large pointed ear.

“I’m not a wussy!  And Miss Rashona and Miss Grizz like me better than they like you anyway!”  Clayburn swung around abruptly and settled himself by the fire, forcing Daishar and Tsorovan to duck to avoid his lashing tail.  “Demon jerk.”

“Children…children.  No fighting, no biting.  You all know the rules.  And you know full well the last thing you want to do is get Veruca stirred up, Clayburn.  She’ll jump on you again if you do.  So let’s all settle down.”  Daishar gave the devilsaur a pointed look, earning a shrug and a grumble of assent from the oversized reptile.

The room fell silent for a time, the crackle of the fire blending with the sounds of feline grooming.  Eventually, the silence was broken by Clayburn.  “I like her too.  She introduced us to Kaelys, and he likes beer and he likes me.  Maybe he’ll make me some specially just for me.”

Cinders grunted and put his muzzle back down on fiery paws.  “You think she’ll stay, Tsoro?  You think she’ll be his mate?”

Tsorovan chuckled and stretched out before the fire.  “Oh, I think it’s a bit early to be sniffing around that track, Cinders.  No need to hunt that trail yet.  Just let them be, let them mend, and let’s see what time brings us.”

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