Life is a Zoo!

Xanadu Weyr - Dragon's Rest Farm
In contrast to the gigantic barn is the smaller homestead. The structure is a small two-level cottage, complete with a covered porch that sweeps around the exterior. The wooden slats of the house seem freshly painted, as if this old place has been brought back to life by careful hands. A chair-swing sways beneath the shade of the porch, moving with the slightest breeze off the sea. Inside, the quaint space has been decked out with the comforts one might expect. Fluffy rugs cover hardwood floors, and finely carved furniture dominates most of the spaces. A few things here and there seem older, heirlooms that now have a new place to call home.

Everything within the cottage is comfortable, rather than elaborate. Though it may have once been empty, there is now a warm, welcoming feel to the place. Many large windows and sliding doors look out upon both the training field and across the road, a view of the beach and the sea beyond. Even on the hottest days, these can be opened to let in air and leave the rooms cool and comfortable. Set back a ways from many of the other Weyrbarns along the roadway, there is plenty of room for those who need a bit of space and privacy. There is plenty of space, leaving room to grow, to learn, to expand, and most of all… it is a warm, safe place to come home to when the day's tasks are done.

Okay. Okay. So… okay. So. Home sweet home! Current count: four firelizards, three hungry babies, two harried humans and… not enough sanity? Fortunately, they had some meat in the house already for feeding to tunnelcats. It can be chopped up and turned into firelizard food for the little bronze who - pudgy as he may look - is still as hungry as any new-hatched critter. Also into human food! Not… raw. Humans are more civilized than that! But chopped meat can be tossed into a pan with some onions and tubers, also chopped, and stirred around into it's all nicely brown and fried and full of nutrition for… uh. Well, for a baby that isn't even born yet, but it'll have to go through Soriana first! Which is only fair, besides, given that she's the one who's cooking this ever-so-fancy meal while Ka'el takes care of New Best Friend.

Alloy is about, having popped home the minute Ka'el and Soriana arrived. Sooooomething feels…different. Somehow, something has changed, and he isn't quite sure if he likes it! There's a new firelizard in town, and Alloy, who has been the only lizard who has occupied Ka'el's mind (other than Kanekith but he doesn't really count as a lizard) does not like sharing! Nope. HE'S the number one firelizard in this mind-hold, kid! Alloy is perched on his firelizardy perch and is glaring daggers at the rolly-polly bronze who is chirping for food. Ka'el holds the new bronze, in one arm against his chest, heading to the kitchen with him in search of meat. More meat because the little guy just ate some meat, but apparnetly it wasn't enough to satisfy him. CHIRP CHIRP CHIRRUP CHIP-CHIRP! "So…" he says above the racket, swiping a slither of meat that has not yet been fried, "I think I'll be needing to order more from the kitchens from now on." He dangles the meat near the baby's face, and the noise is momentarily silenced as he scarfs it down.

A mysterious change has come to the menagerie! Haruhi is here to observe as well. She's chosen the top of a cabinet for her perching-spot, neck extended to peer out and watch… babylizard! Who is rather interesting, really. She's much less threatened by the new arrival because thing one, he's not in her human's mind, and thing two… he's a guy! So clearly he'll be a part of her harem once he, uh, grows up a bit. Until then… she watches, and flutters little images at Alloy's brain of… her clutches? Yep. Also her flying. Wasn't she so preeeetty? Haruhi knows where babies come from, oh yes she does, and she knows that very best babies are… hers. Clearly. Toral? Yeah, he's staying out of this. More firelizards, sure. Another bronze? You're the bosses, bosses. He'll just stay back with the tunnelcat babies and keep them company. …even if the male of the pair has decided that 'company' means 'chewtoy'. It's all good-natured wrassling, though, and if tunnelcat teeth are sometimes sharper than the baby thinks, well… Toral can be a very long-suffering firelizard. He only occasionally delivers a squawk of scolding. Not that it can be heard over the sizzle of meat and the chirps of the newest hungry baby. "What?" Soriana says, turning to look at Ka'el, and then her brain catches up on extracting words from noise. "…oh. Yes. We will. Since, uh…" she eyes that baby bronzeling.

Alloy is thoroughly unimpressed by the newest addition to their flock. Er, herd? Group? All it does is make noise! And the thoughts that flash are very monotonous. Food. Food. More food. .. Not to say that Alloy doesn't appreciate food-thoughts. He totally does! He merely appreciates them more when they're his thoughts projecting to Ka'el, and Ka'el thus bringing him food. He flares his wings indignantly, then folds them again after that little show that was ignored by both Ka'el and the little one. With a flick of a tail, he allows himself to get momentarily distracted by Haruhi and her thought-clutches. Chirp? Oh did this one come from you, missy? Are you to blame!? Ka'el feeds another meat strip to the bottomless pit that is the little bronze, thus far unnamed. And speaking of names.. "I was thinking of calling him Gullet," he says with a nod of his head. "Since everything that gets near his face disappears down into it, you know?" A smirk. So clever, right! "Or Anvil, as he's bound to be as heavy as one. .. Maybe Pit. Since his stomach is an endless one." Such…awesome names, aren't they? His eyes turn at a Toral-sqwuak, and he lifts his brows. "Where's Quiet?"

Blame? Haruhi is not to blame for anything. Haruhi - in her wonderful wonderfulness - simply causes some wonderful things to be. This boy, though? This little firelizard who will someday flock to her? Her chirp back to Alloy is an indignant one. He didn't hatch from her eggs. He was just drawn here! By her obvious charms. One bronze just isn't enough for Haruhi, you know, and so clearly Ka'el got this one just to satisfy her. Clearly! So clear. So being utterly ignored by Soriana, who has better things to do. "Maybe we should just start keeping herdbeasts. It might be simpler." She gives her head a shake and the pan another stir, then looks back to Ka'el. "What about Chew?" she suggests. "Because he doesn't." Or Swallow because he does! As for Quiet? "That's not her name," Soriana says. She doesn't actually say what the tunnelcat's name is. Just that it's not that. Not coming up with a better one is her first mistake. Her second? "She should be -" …believing that where a tunnelcat should be has anything to do with where she is. "- in the basket."

Off of his perch Alloy hops, gliding to the couch which he lands upon gracefully. Ha! Try doing that you overgrown egg! Puh. He gives his body a rigorous shake and chirps to Toral. Hey. Buddy. Maybe you and I can team up and take him out? Oooh yeah. Scandal! That's… probably not what's going through Alloy's mind but whatever is trending through his thoughts are unhappy and annoyed ones. Enough for Ka'el to give him a glare. "Hey. You. Cut it," he snaps, to which Alloy plops down with a hrumph! One can almost imagine the grumbling… "Chew?" he says, eyeing the baby who finally seems to be pacified, for he's not crying anymore and it's not due to his mouth being full. Gently, Ka'el sets the little bronze down onto the ground, smirking. "Lord Chews-A-Little. How's that suit you?" Yarp? Now on the ground, little firelizard bronze is off to investigate his new home! First up: Brown Lizard and Fuzzy Thing! Helllllooooo.. Apparently his after-hatched trauma hasn't stunted his curiosity, and he creep…creep…creeps closer to the duo. Ka'el straightens. "If her name isn't Quiet then why did she come to me the other day when I called her that?" he says smugly, a triumphant grin on his face. "Watch, I'll show you," he says as he makes his way over to the basket that 'Quiet' is allegedly in to take a peek.

Whoa, hey, don't drag Toral into this! Bronze affairs are for bronzes to deal with! Them and golds. The shiny hides! They get extra merit gleams to deal with this sort of thing. Fair dynamics, flights of firelizards, all the rest of it. Toral, well, he's just a mild-mannered brown. See? Here he is, chirping along. He's just offering the shelter of his wings to a squirmy tunnelcat! Or, uh… holding his wings up out of the way so they don't get bit, and letting the youngster pounce around underneath them and stumble on his own (and Toral's) paws. Either way! Toral tilts his head down to peer at the tunnelcat. Chirp? So the tunnelcat weaves around drunkenly between his legs, butting the top of his head up at the firelizard's chest. Squeak! And… oooo. What's this? It's a new squeakylizardthing. 'Squirmer' regards the bronze hatchling with bright curiosity, aaaand… CHARGE! …scamperscamperscamper, which makes Toral look up and squeak what's probably a warning - though, really, it could be meant for either of them. It makes the tunnelcat look back to see what's going on, though he forgets to send his feet the memo to stop running while doing so. Soriana eyes Ka'el. "Because you had food, a shiny thing, or were suspected of such." Why else would tunnelcats care? …though she probably should figure out proper names for them soon, or they'll be forevermore… uh… not where they're supposed to? 'Quiet' certainly isn't. Basket? There's a blanket there, and a pair of fluffy toys, and even a little ball with a bell in it. What's missing is, well… the tunnelcat herself!

Well that thing sure looks weird! The little bronze peer peer peers as he creep creep creeps closer to the furry animal. Surely he's not being detected because he's a master of stealth! And he's creeping, see? That makes him invisible. His belly drags the ground as he goes, getting one more step forward before…egads! He's spotted! And OHNO it's coming right at him! And here we learn one trait that has not yet manifested in the young bronze: bravery. Ahhhh! He screeches his alarm, perhaps taking Toral's warning as a 'beware the fuzzy beast!' type of a warning. He scrambles to straighten up and run, but oh this darn wooden floor and scrabbling paws and a full tummy is making it difficult to coordinate all of his limbs. Flightless wings flap as he tries and fails to turn around, and so the inevitable happens.. CRASH! Tunnelcat/firelizard collision! Meep! He goes rolling like the little ball that he is, tumbling over himself til he lands on his stomach. Chirpwail! As this happens, Ka'el is peering down at an empty basket. "I did not have anything shiny or foodlike on me. She came because she knew her name, and…she's not in here," he announces, lifting up the blanket just in case she's hiding beneath it. Nope. "Perfect. I'll call her to prove it to you. Quiet!" Or maybe he's just calling for silence now that the youngest firelizard of the bunch is upset. Again.

Invisible firelizard! …admittedly, the silver tunnelcat could just as easily be pouncing at something he doesn't see. He does that regularly. The fact that there's something there this time is just a bonus! Or… uh… disaster, depending on how you look at it. Toral's thoughts, projected to the young bronze, certainly are full of squeaky pouncing fuzzy things, and the brown is hop-fluttering in pursuit. It could be dangerous! Must be dangerous, at least according to some firelizards. The tunnelcat, well, he's not so sure what this 'dangerous' concept is, but he does know that he's crashing - squeak! - and tumbling - eep! - and coming to a stop sprawled on his back with his tail draped over the bronze firelizard. Whoa. That was… was… COOL! The tunnelcat scrambles to his feet. Do it again do it again do it agaaaain! He pounces after the little bronze. Squeakdookchitteryaaaaay! "What are they even…" Soriana begins to ask of the firelizard/tunnelcat riot, then turns her attention back to Ka'el. Waitwhat? "She's not? But she was when I got here." And, uh, since then she… moved. Somewhere else. Ka'el can call, but 'Quiet' is… being quiet!

That was so NOT cool! Like, totally UNcool! … Okay, so maybe just a little bit cool, but not by much! Little bronze doesn't have much time to gather his bearings before he feels fuzz on him again. Woah!Hey! Chirp chirp! He flails, because flailing totally counts as playing, right? He hasn't had much practice in play, the poor thing. He didn't even have any clutchmates to bond with out there in the wild! 'Squirmer' has the advantage of experience, but little bronze has extra appendages. Wings! Wings that can flap and flutter as he flails and nips and rolls and chirps and finally makes it back on his feet long enough to hop away. And now, he will learn the game of chase! Ruuuun little lizard, ruuun! It's a comical sight actually, watching the pudgy little guy hop and scamper on legs that seem too short for the girth of his little body. But he can get around, and he zooms off, making a racket of noise as if taunting as he scurries across the floor, heading towards the sofa. Eat his dust! Ka'el…ehs. Has their weyr always been so noisy? At least Alloy is quiet, if not still glaring. "Well, she's not here now," he says, looking around. Hm. Tiny tunnelcat. Good-sized weyr. This is going to be…a task, isn't it? "She's gotta be around here somewhere. We haven't went out.." And so she couldn't've gotten out, right? He goes down onto his hands and knees and lowers his face to the floor, turning it sideways to peer beneath furniture. Tunnelcat view! "Quiet. Quiet, come here girl. Show Sori that you know your name."

Well then! It's a good thing the little firelizard's here now, because having no clutchmates (er, siblings) is boring! It's no fun! It's dull! But! Now that he's here, he has… a little silvery tunnelcat to chase him. That's like a clutchmate. Silver and bronze go together, because they're both metals… and if one is polished hide and the other is fluffy fur, well, they're both babies and that's what matters. The ferret chitters what's pretty well a giggle as he tumbles around while being buffeted by firelizard-wings, then twists around Toral's legs as the brown tries to catch him before scampering off after the round-bellied lizard. Gonna getcha! Because, uh… … …gonna getcha! He's apparently heedless that his tunnelcat companion is missing, because he has a new friend. A firelizard one, but his own size instead of big like the grownups! Soriana is not so quick to forget the caramel tunnelcat. "That's not her name," she tells Ka'el again, but there's more of an edge of worry to her voice. She turns the stove down a bit, because this might take a while, and frowns as she looks around. "Maybe she's…" In one of the cupboards? Soriana did open them to get out those tubers. She opens them again to check, but… no ferret!

Alloy can see that the little ones are getting closer to where he has claimed as his spot. The couch? It is HIS! … well, until Haruhi takes it away from him, but…til then, this is his throne! Get away, get away you two! He makes a warning sound. Not…quite a hiss, but something nearish that. Away! He projects this to the one that's able to receive such messages. Images of Alloy on the couch. Alloy rolling on the couch. Alloy owning the couch. This is a hatchling free zone! .. Warble? Little bronze doesn't…quite…get those pictures, but he does get that feeling of warning. Again! FIrst from the brown one. Now from the bronze one. The world surely is a confusing place with many things to be warned about! He changes trajectory, but drat these floors! Why can't he find traction? Claws scrabble, and with a startled chirp, he slides right into an end table. Above, a mug wobbles at the impact. Wobble. Wobble…oops! There goes someone's drink! Splat! Hopefully that's juice and not ale that goes splashing down. Ka'el doesn't see Quiet, but he does see that spill. Exhaaaale. What to deal with first? Crashing firelizard/tunnelcats, or missing tunnelcat? He stands up, brows furrowing. "Did she get into the food?" Apparently the spilled liquid can wait a little. They have an Amber Alert to take care of! "..Maybe we should put bells on them.." he says as he lifts up couch pillows. Maybe she nestled behind them?

Hasn't Alloy claimed everything as his spot? This is his, and this is his, and this is his… that way he's guaranteed to still have something even once Haruhi has decided which one she thinks is best for these five minutes! The silver tunnelcat perks up at attention when he hears the hiss from Alloy. Ooooh. That's… uhwait. Was he supposed to stop his hindpaws as well as his forepaws? He does a slippy-slidey spin around in place. Woooooo! This is awesome! The baby bronze crashes into the table, and the baby silver slides right underneath the couch. Gasp! It's dark down here. Dook dook chirp? He investigates the darkness! Also the dustbunnies. Soriana hasn't swept under here in a while. Oops? Soriana winces at the sound of the crash. "Shardit -" aaaand this is why creatures need names. It makes it much harder to cuss at them otherwise! Sigh. She glances to Ka'el, then shakes her head. "I haven't been…" wait. She checked the tubers, but did she check the coldbox? Is a small tunnelcat freezing amidst the beers? …Soriana goes to check that. Aaaand… no, that's a carrot. And that's an amber ale. And… "No," she says, somewhat decisively, and double-checks before closing the door. A bell? "Maybe we should." It would make things even louder. Joy? …could be a name for a baby tunnelcat, especially a cute one cuddled right up between two of the couch cushions - she's just small enough to fit between them, and just heavy enough to sink down and be half-buried for her nap.

While the little silver tunnelcat has found new surroundings to explore, the new bronze has found something new to play in: spilled juice! First, he's sniffing at it. Smells straaaaange. And it looks all …reflectivey. He can see something on the surface! .. Another firelizard is in there! Probably trapped! …He must save it! He swipes a paw and gets an unexpected splash in return. Mrchirp? He recoils back at the shock of it. What was that?? Blink blink… Hm. He should just do it again! Swipe! Splash. Swipe! .. Heheh this fun! Might as well splash all four paws in right? Sploosh! Alloy snorts. Somebody is going to get in trrooooouble. And he's not even going to warn him. Nope. He'll learn that he's not supposed to do that, and that by doing such thing he'll hear the loud word NO. It's a bad word. And a word that Ka'el will definitely say one they've located their lost tunnelcat! -.-; She's .. not in the cooling unit, thank Faranth. She's not in the cabinets. Not on the floor. Not under the pillows. Not betw-…oh wait! "There you are…" he says, sounding relieved as he spots the soft brown kit nestled between the cushions. Phew. And aww, isn't she cute? His expression softens for a fraction of a second before he lifts an arm to wave it. "She's over here, baby. Can't really blame her for hiding with all this.." He zeroes in on the splashing firelizard. Ugh. Now stickiness will set in both on the floor and the lizard. "You!" he says, his sharpness felt in his thoughts, "lil' bronze nugget, NO!"

The male of those tunnelcats is hidden from sight, but he's not lost, oh no. He's exploring! Also making his presence well-known with a cheerful series of dooks from beneath the couch as he gets himself good and… Dusty. Toral? He eyes the couch, with tunnelcat disappeared beneath it. He eyes the little bronze, splashing around in the puddle. Kids these days! Not like when he was young, oh no. Back then… uh… life was simpler? Probably because his world consisted of him, his human, and one already-grown tunnelcat, so they left most of the troublemaking to him instead of making him be the responsible one or… something. Toral stops right in the middle of the floor and slumps down, wings splayed to the sides. Ex-hale. Soriana takes another look around - and gives the pan of human-chow a quick stir as she passes it - and maybe…. "She is?" Ka'el to the rescue! The tunnelcat that once was lost now is found! Soriana crosses over that way, taking an extra-wide step to pass over the Toral-shaped lump along the way (why is it that a flying creature is on the floor, anyway?) and then peeking down at… "Aww." The word just slips out, followed by a small sigh and a rueful twitch of her lips. "What are you doing there?" That's directed to the tunnelcat girl, though it might just as easily be directed to the splashing firelizard. If it were, it would probably be in rather different tones. Like the ones Ka'el uses! Soriana eyes the firelizard a moment, then scoops up tunnelcat from couch and receives a squeaky chirp of greeting as the girl opens her eyes. "Next time, nap out…" in the middle of things to be tripped on? No, wait. "…in your basket." Where she belongs! "Okay?" …chirrup!

Nugget isn't sure just what he did wrong. But there a sharpness to that word that he has yet to hear. And there was a sort of .. negative feeling projected with it. Not a picture, exactly, but moreof a feeling of…wrong. He's done something wrong! Or something. His tail flops inthe juice and for now he just sits there, trying to figure things out. Ka'el just….sighs. What else can he do? He'll have a sticky lizard in his hands a moment, but for now…little Quiet has been found! And isn't she so precious? He smirks at the sound Soriana makes and watches as the soft colored baby is lifted out of the sofa, safe and sound. "At least we'll know where to start if she goes missing again.." he says, smirking as he reaches out to rub his finger gently against the tunnelcat's head. All of their furry (and non-furry) kids are accounted for! Now he can…uh…not quite relax, as he has a sticky-firelizard to contend with now. He sighs. He then kisses Soriana's cheek. "Who's grand idea was it to bring home two tunnelcats and a firelizard?" he asks with a small smirk before moving to deal with 'lil bronze nugget'. "Come here, knucklehead. That is not for playing," he says as he picks the plump youngster up and out of his pool of juice. He eyes him. Lil bronze eyes him back. Chirple? "Rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to clean him?" he says over to Sori. Hopefully?

They'll know where to start, which means little Joy will be somewhere else. Baby tunnelcats never make things simple! Neither do baby firelizards. Neither do baby anythings. For now, she's safe and sound, and so is Dusty as a particularly vigorous pounce after a clump of hair brings him rolling back out into the room again. Hullo light! And… oh look, there's his little bronze friend, looking extra-shiny. Along with shiny floor! Scamper scampe- squeak! That's the sound he makes as Soriana scoops him up and keeps him from getting his fuzzy butt into trouble. Now she's double-fisting tunnelcats! Because three babies with a fourth to come was… uh… "Shards if I know." Who's the bright glow who thought that the pitter patter of little feet was something so missing from their lives that it needed a threefold fix? Not her! "It's…" Soriana eyes Ka'el, and smirks. "Sure. Loser cleans him, winner cleans the floor." And oh, she's going to need some hands for that, won't she? Or she'll be playing rock-ferret-scissors instead. Better put these tunnelcats down.

Heeeey friend down there, look at him! Nugget spies his grey furried pal down yonder, and wriggles about. Put me down! He's learned the art of play and wants more of it! Apparently…he's over the shock of being told no. Such things only last for a blip of a moment in the memory before being replaced with more recent things. Like his friend, who is no longer 'down there' but is very much 'up here' as he's picked up too! Chirrrup! "Well," says Ka'el who keeps a firm grip on the increasingly belligerent firelizard, "I was thinking more along the lines of…loser cleans him andthe floor and winner gets to relax in bed and enjoy the luxuries've pillows and blankets and…silence." Or the relative silence once receives when the door is shut and sounds are muffled. This is a very democratic way to do things! Everything should be won by rock, paper, scissors. How much easier would the world be if Weyrleaders and Weyrwomen were chosen this way? … Uh… Well. Perhaps not! "Ha! What kind of weyrmate would I be if I had you bending over on hands and knees cleaning up juice? To be fair … this time, I'll get them both. My firelizard. My mess. Here's a compromise. You put those two buggers in their basket (ha, as if a basket would hold them for long), I'll clean up the mess, and we'll rendezvous in the kitchen for a supper that's smelling better and better by the minute. Deal?"

Oh sure, now Nugget wants to be friends! Now that… uh… Dusty (yeah, he could probably use a bath himself after crawling around down there) is distracted. Why is he distracted? Because there's another tunnelcat here! An awake one! One who he can pounce at… and wrestle with… and generally make it hard for Soriana to hold onto the two of them, as two ferrets turn into one wriggly ball of fur. Oh Joy! Soriana acks as she tries to adjust her grip on them so they don't go tumbling down to the floor. Silence? She arches a skeptical brow for that, to go with the disbelieving smirk she has for the rest of it. "Maybe if you put those pillows over your ears…" Maybe. She's not sure if it would be enough. It probably wouldn't, not once these kids really got going. The tunnelcats are demonstrating just how loud they can be, with squeaks and chirps and wrassles, and Soriana's trying to keep a hold of them. So far, so good, but this may not last for long. Fortunately, Ka'el doesn't keep her waiting with a prolonged debate! "…uh yeah," she agrees. "Deal." Assuming she can, well, deal with these two troublemakers. Back across the floor, where Toral is still slumped in a posture of tiredness. Into the basket, with toys and each other aaand a piece of wire screen over the top so that maybe they'll stay there for at least a few minutes. Maybe, if the humans are super lucky, long enough for that supper to be had. Maybe.

That's a lot of maybes. A … whole lot of maybes, and with the way those tunnelcats are squirreling around, those maybes are getting unlikelier and unlikelier! Oh well. That's what parenting is all about, right? Lesson one: All that 'me time' (what little they had to begin with) is out the window! It's the needs of the little ones now, and one little one needs a bath while two little ones need to be contained. And thus, with a smirk for the noise being made by the little male and female, Ka'el ushers Nugget off to be wiped down. He isn't foolish enough to try to dunk him in a bucket of water (hey, he did raise Alloy from a hatchling and learned a few things along the way!) but getting the little guy to sit still in the sink for his sponge bath is just as difficult: What's this? What's that? Why is that on me? What are you doing? What's that smell? Lemme see. No I don't want to see! Never mind, yes I do! Chirp chirp chitter warble! "Hold still…" He gets beneath a wing with a wet sponge and wipes down his legs before the sponge is attacked. Gnawgnaw! He wrestles it free and finishes the hasty wipe down and carries him to the couch, plopping him down near Alloy. Oiling will happen soon enough. "Watch him.” Chirpwhat? “He’s your little brother now..sort of. Keep an eye on him .. and don’t go popping off.” Alloy gives the hatchling a sniff, and Nugget sniffs right back. Sighing, Ka’el turns back to Soriana, back to the kitchen, hopefully hopefully for a moment to sit, eat, and chat before the chaos happens again. Faranth knows they won’t have time for anything else.

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