Jaycy had become (by necessity) an early riser; there was just too much to do in the day for her to stay abed too long these days. This morning, however, her pre-sunrise leavetaking had a more genial purpose; she'd intended to find a few new friends that her partner and the city employees might enjoy. She missed Skiddles, the miniature monster that she’d adopted at the conclusion of the Redemption Charity Gala
and she missed her children and she missed the exasperatingly amusing antics such creatures could bring. The Office could use some shenanigans and she’d noted on a previous Isle visit that familiars were being offered for the month.
Bella, the Familiar Witch was waiting for her (as if she’d known that the redhead had intended to pay a visit this morning) and presented several of the options with a smile. A pair of voidfox cubs flickered in and out of visibility as they scampered and scrambled in chase of each other while Jaycy and a few others watched. She grinned, peering at the weasels before turning once more to the fox pair. Finally, settling on them, she filled the paperwork and took the carrier that would hopefully
serve until they could be taken to the Office.
She almost left immediately but then she saw two more that she hadn’t noticed at first. A little gasp and she hurried back to Bella. A quick, animated conversation ensued and before long the redhead had found herself with a second pair of familiars.
She'd made that trip to the Land of Eternal Twilight via magic and had returned home that way (after a quick stop at the Governor’s Office), burdened with a squirming, wriggling thing against her chest and another, much more placid, at her shoulder.
Hope was nestled within the sheets with as the wind from the water licked at her toes. She grumbled and shifted about, twirling like a furry popsicle stick until she nearly went right over the edge of the bed. Flexing and stretching out she rubbed at her eyes and pat beside her to see where her dragon might have been. At first there was a little bit of a sigh but she rolled over and nuzzled her cheek into the sheets. "I'm gonna... spam the shit.. out of her phone."
She reappeared on the first floor of the dual-level abode and silently padded, slow and careful, up the free stairs and toward the blonde's bedroom. It should still be early enough that she would still be in bed and (hopefully) asleep. The fussy bundle in her hands let out a frustrated murr as it tried to find escape. The creature at her shoulder responded with a chirp of his own. Jaycy smiled, turning a small purr and nuzzle to both beings, cheek to one and then the other, before sneaking for the foot of the bed.
Finally then, she released the cub and let it stand on the bed, pausing as it took in its surroundings. Small, yes, but already larger than a domestic cat, blinked a tiger's big blue eyes. White fur had a magically blue cast, stripes black. Its tail swished, slow, as it tilted its head and sniffed. A few steps, then, and a few more, exploring the empty side of the bed. At least until it came across the blonde's nose and it tapped a paw at the thing.
"Mnngh...." She shook her face once or twice, still half-asleep before another bat of the paw caught her nose, still a little tender from its recent break. "Jaycy I'm gonna..." She managed to open one eyes and there was a warm exhale against her. A fuzzy black nose was close and as she blinked and opened her other eye she saw the blurry silhouette. "What....?" She leaned up and rubbed at her eyes with the balled fists.
And then the little tiger cub stepped over onto her lap and began inspecting her closer. Her fingers went to its ears and began to scritch before working them along its head. "You didn't..." She looked from the cub to Jaycy with a slow-evolving grin.
There had been a moment where the redhead had held her breath, unsure of the cub's reception. It was one thing to gift a living friend to someone else but another thing entirely to do so without asking
the person first. She'd had a backup plan (keeping it herself, most likely) in case Hope had been less than enthused to be presented with something else to care for but it seemed such an idea might not be necessary. A grin blossomed even as color suffused her cheeks. "I was getting a couple scamps for the Office…” The Governor's Office, of course, "... and saw these two..." she included the roly-poly bit of feathers on her shoulder, "... and couldn't resist."
The animal's bare stomach peeked out beneath a crest of golden feathers, feet oversized and claws gently digging into the scaled shoulder of the redhead. Flickering flames (apparently not hot) flecked off his plumage and wide blue eyes blinked sleepily at the now-pair on the bed. Finally, two long-stemmed floating antennae glowed above his head.
Jaycy was careful as she sat on the foot of the bed, only a hint of anxiety still plain, head tilting lightly to peer at Hope and the kitten. "Want a new friend?"
The blonde began to rub around it's collar and chin before pressing a kiss to its head. "What am I going to name them?" She scooped her hands beneath its arms and held them up some as it licked her face. "Wait... is it a boy or a girl?" She looked to Jaycy for the confirmation as she peered back at the kitty that was already a little hefty in weight. "Little chonky already are we? I'm going to need a lot of food..."
She looked to the feathered friend on Jaycy's shoulder and grinned. "So you were just going to take two of these on by yourself if I wasn't about it?" She tsked, "Such a gambler."
"I think he's a male," she chuckled, relaxing even further, a hand pressing into the sheets as she settled. The golden creature chirped with a minute agitation, wings lifting to make sure he kept balance on the redhead's shoulder. "I don't know what to name him, though. Mayhap ask him? Mayhap he'll be able to say. I haven't named this one either." Smiling, her other hand extended to brush fingertips over the edge of his tail as her head tipped to indicate the baby phoenix.
"He'll eat a lot, aye, but he eats what I do so I can hunt for him." Non-humanoid
, she firmly commanded herself. "Eventually he can come hunting with me, if you're okay with that. Or if you really want to, you as well." Brows lifted; she didn't expect the blonde to be interested but she wanted to make sure the woman felt included
A pause, and then she admitted with a little blush. "I did bet on it, and I would have taken them myself." She didn't add that likely would have meant she'd move out - that wasn't what she wanted - but she'd fallen in love with the as-of-yet unnamed babies. "I'm glad I may have won this bet too," came the playful taunt.
Hope had to look over the little boy and gave him a squeeze as she felt that purring against her ear. "Hrmmm, what do we name you? You're cute and adorable but one day you're going to be big and bad... what name can be both?" She was looking over the fuzzy one to Jaycy and was contemplating the hunting. "I don't know about that... I don't really even like hunting. Maybe we can just order steak?" She smiled to Jaycy.
"I guess it's not really the same. He can't be a fuzzy kitten, he's a tiger." She held him up and out some and he just tilted his head at her. "Are you hungry now? What's your name?" She scrunched her face. "Maybe he needs to think on it. OOooooh... he needs a leash. A rhinestone leash! You’re going to be the baddest tiger in Rhy'Din." He didn't seem too sure as he sniffled and shook his head and she set him down on the bed.
"He's going to be the baddest with a rhinestone leash." Her own echoed skepticism lanced through her tone and the phoenix squawked in seeming concurrence. Hope might just be a little outnumbered on that idea, but ... it was Hope's choice! She chuckled and reached a hand across her body, lifting to the mythical creature at her shoulder. He peered at it, head tilting halfway, and then stepped carefully onto it. Jaycy lowered it carefully to the sheets and he climbed off, toddling a few unsteady steps on the too-soft surface before plopping down, belly and feet extending in front of him. "Sunspark?" she asked, canting her head toward the bird.
"Hope is both adorable and tough," she grinned. "What about ... hrm? Crown? or Royal?"
She squinted at Jaycy after hearing that response and scrunched her brows. "Well the rhinestones will eventually be upgraded to diamonds. Just you wait and see." He plopped over on his side looking at the phoenix and began sniffing before padding on over looking down then up.
"We'll see how snarky you are when he's all big and I can ride him." She grinned and rubbed his belly some. "So what kind of toys does an el tigre like? What would I have to buy him?" She's lifting a brow and rolling her neck. "How big of a bowl is he going to need?" She was seriously considering getting a little bowl, and then a bigger one, and then a huge stainless steel one.
"Hmmmmmmm.... You have given me a lot more work on top of my work you know." She slipped from the furs and walked over to Jaycy worming an arm around her waist. "I oughta..." She clamped her teeth.
Lifting her hand from the bed, she shifted so that she could pull the blonde close. "Oughta tell me how much you love him because he's perfect? Kiss me because I wanted to see you happy?" Peering up at her with twinkling gold in her eyes. "It's work we can share, love, and Sparkles can keep him company too." Speaking of 'Sparkles,' the young bird had toddled over to the tiger and flumped next to him, leaning in and nibbling at the fur of his ear with the beak.
"You'd ride him? Really? Mayhap? I don't know if he's got magic or anything, or how big he'll really get, so I don't know what he'll need. We may need to get you a book or something like, Tigers for New Mothers or something. I'm sure they like big toys like long ropes. I like bigger versions of cat toys in that form, I suppose. Bigger bowls, low to the ground though? They're just overgrown cats!"
"Oh yeah, they won't get into any hijinks at all." Currently the furry baby was having the phoenix hop on his nose before shaking slightly and nudging back. "He is
pretty perfect. Of course. He's going to get like, as big as a tiger, unless he's a little runt. But that wouldn't really be too bad either way. He'll always be a cute little lap tiger." She leaned in and pecked at Jaycy's cheek before pecking at her lips.
"Hrmm... he's going to tear my arms off if we play tug-o-war. I can make it happen though." She slid one hand up and down Jaycy's back. "Think they'll play safe if we take a shower?" She smirked. "Or are my furs about to end up destroyed in an protest to my authority? They're fake fur." She said over to the two on the bed.
Sparkles chirruped and clacked his beak at Hope as if he understood the question, at least not testing the furs yet. Jaycy peeked behind them before grinning at the woman. "There's only one way to find out, love. Shall we?"
(( Co-written with Hope! ))