Who F'inn, K'zre
What F'inn and K'zre find themselves some new friends! One of them gets to stay.
When Winter - Month 2 of Turn 2720
Where Living Caverns, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.

Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

K'zre has had A. DAY. A very LONG day. A day filled with snow, and sleet, and sweeps, and frozen toes, and frozen nose, and just… a lot of frozen things all around. He needs warmth. He needs food. He needs… to put down the over-stuffed messenger bag that looks like it might burst at any moment. But the first order of business is defrosting by the hearth. There's snow clinging stubbornly to the folds of scarf and jacket, his boots are fairly iced over and require a lot of stomping to get it out, his face windburned chilled where it wasn't covered by protective goggles or scarf. But having managed to acquire himself a table by the fire, he's slowly thawing out and, as he warms up, the layers come off and the healer beneath is revealed. Scowling, of course.

It has, apparently, been a day of days for everyone. Sweeps, not much more pleasant for F'inn, although there was a fair measure of relief in not coming upon any emergencies. Really, he's had his fill of emergencies for the time being. Having made it back a candlemark, or two, before K'zre, he's managed to de-ice himself and warm up. He's also managed to find a friend. In this case, the 'friend' is a tow-headed, chubby cheeked toddler firmly attached to his hand. It's cute. Actually, it's pretty damned adorable, but for the fact that F'inn has no idea who the child is, who he belongs to, or what to do with him. Naturally, his first stop had been the nursery, but with the majority of the staff being sick with colds, and the replacements whoever could be tagged in? The little boy remains an unknown and is still firmly attached to F'inn's hand. So it is, with toddler in tow, he makes his way toward K'zre, leaning in for a one armed hug and a nuzzle at his scowl. "You're freezing," he points out. Which is promptly echoed by "FVEEZING!"

Friends all around! Even if K'zre is kind of side-eyeing the child attached to his weyrmate's hand. "You have a child," he points out, as if F'inn might not have noticed his new addition. A frown, though at least this time it is not a scowl, as he considers the toddler. "Why do you have a child?" And while he might have all sorts of concerns about this new addition, there's still a returned hug and then a subsequent attempt to leech all of the bronzerider's warmth for his own, as K'zre nestles in firmly at his side. "It's cold outside," comes has his very belated explanation for his own state of being. "It's ridiculous."

"No," F'inn corrects in emphatic tones. "I do /not/ have a child. I have been grabbed by a child." There is enough of a difference in the two that he feels the need to make that abundantly clear. Course, he's all to happy to tuck K'zre in against his side, opening his coat to wrap it around the greenrider nestling against his side. "He just… walked up and grabbed my hand and won't let go," F'inn sighs. The Toddler, of course, laughs happily more then happy to press in against F'inn's leg. "Won't tell me his name. All the nannies are sick, the people covering for them have no clue." The toddler, of course, decides that now is the perfect time for cake and puts all his weight (Which is not much) into trying to tug the pair toward the tables. "CAKE! CAKE! FINN, /CAKE/." To which, F'inn sighs and clears his throat. "I told you my name, you should tell me yours." "CAKE!" "Not a name." "CAKE FINN!" "Tell me your name?" "CAKE!" "Still not a name…."

K'zre is extremely dubious of this child, eyeing it with extreme wariness. "You can't keep it," he points out, as if that were even an option. "No one is looking for a lost child? I would have thought…" But clearly, the answer is right there, tugging on F'inn's hand and attempting to drag them toward… cake. "Cake is not an appropriate meal. You should have some stew, or steamed veggies." Because toddlers are totally reasonable like that. But really, K'zre has no clue what to do with a toddler, especially one with no name and no parents to come claim it. "What… um. What are you going to do?"

"CAKE!" Greets K'zre words followed by the sort of wail that raises every hair on the back of the necks of every adult in the living cavern. "I don't want to keep it," F'inn states quickly. "I want it to go home. Ssshhh.. shhhhh. it's all okay," he assures the inconsolable toddler. "Caaaaaaaaaaake*hic**sob*" Now, it should be noted that F'inn? He's exceptionally good with children. But at the moment? He's looking a little wild eyed himself. "Get some cake," he urges K'zre quickly. "We'll worry about the rest once he's not doing… that." To which, the toddler responds with "CAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!" Course, F'inn is nudging K'zre toward the tables laden with food while dropping into a crouch to try to soothe the child. "He's getting cake, you gotta calm down… I dunno," he adds to K'zre. "There's supposed to be a Nanny on duty in an hour or so.. It's their problem. What's in the bag?" Cause, that is a very bulgy looking messenger bag. >.> My, my, my what a big bag you have, K'zre.

Wincing, K'zre still manages to argue that, "You're only going to encourage it!" But while he might be making all sorts of faces about going to get cake, he does eventually scoot toward the tables to do that, leaving warmth and weyrmate (and wailing child) behind so that he can find a piece of cake to try and satisfy the toddler. He's at least quick about it, returning with… a slice of carrot cake. Because it's the healthiest 'cake' there is, right? Sure. "Here," he states, just about shoving the plate at the child. "EAT!" And for the love of Faranth, stop wailing! Of course, it's too late. The wailing has woken the beast (quite literally) and after a moment or two, there's a howling, crying, yipping, yowling sound from the messenger back because, "A puppy," is what Kez has in it. "I found him," he notes, kneeling quickly to unfasten the bag and shush the creature. "On sweeps." And oh my, is he a sight. 'Cute' might describe him, if he were cleaned up a bit? Maybe given a trim? But it's hard to tell, given he's coated in MUD and about five pounds of matted fur. Yay?

F'inn doesn't know where to look, the wailing child? The yapping messenger bag? His fleeing weyrmate? Or maybe one of the faces staring balefully in his direction? He doesn't know. So instead, he opts for staring at the fire, at least until the toddler is shoving cake into his maw with one hand. Course, the puppy? That distracts from cake and immediately inspires a cry of "PUPPY!" And an accompanying tug on F'inn's hand toward the muddy little mess of a creature. For his part, F'inn can't help laughing, pale eyes crinkling at the corners as he glances from K'zre to the puppy and back. "You can keep it," he assures proving once for an all that HE IS THE NICE ONE. "But you gotta bathe it and brush it… And ohh… maybe bathe it a few times," he adds as he gets closer courtsey of the toddler. "He's cute…. Messy, but cute…"

"I don't want to keep it!" Because F'inn might be the nice one, but K'zre will always be the practical one. "We can't keep a puppy. It would destroy the weyr!" Kez can only imagine the mess they would come home to, and it has him grimacing even if he has absolutely no qualms about picking up that mess of a puppy and cuddling it to his chest. Mud. Mud everywhere. "Don't touch," he warns, pulling the pup out of reach of the toddler with a look of deep suspicion. "You'll get frosting on him." Yeah. >.> (might be retracting that 'practical' comment…). At least toddler and pup can distract each other while the grown-ups try to figure out a solution? "He's going back in an hour?" he seeks to confirm, scooting himself (on the floor) closer to the hearth.

"We'll train him not to," F'inn notes as he drops into a crouch and holds his hand out to the muddy little beast. Course, it's the protest of getting frosting on the pup that has F'inn chuckling again. "Mmhmm.. What are going to call him?" Cause he's absolutely certain they're keeping the pup. As for the toddler? He's more then happy to share the frosting with the pup, and actually lets go of F'inn's hand in favor of muddy cuddles. "Less then, now," F'inn assures. "I'll take him back to the nursery once someone who knows what is going on is there." Leaning over, he ruffles the pup's ears, his smile broadening. "He's cute. Kinda looks like you, only smaller and muddier."

The puppy certainly has no qualms about adding 'frosting' to the list of things it's covered in, squirming like crazy to try and get to those sugar-coated fingers being offered it's way. It's in an effort not to harm the creature that Kez finally relents and lets it go. Pink tongue happily licking away at frosting fingers, little tale wag-wag-wagging. The pup is happy, the toddler is happy. Kez maybe is not. "I don't want to keep it," he argues, crossing his muddy but now puppy-free arms over his chest to glower briefly at his weyrmate. "I do not look like a canine," he huffs. "And I'm not going to call it anything, because we're not keeping it!" Plus, Kez is super bad at names! Like… super-bad. The puppy would end up being called 'dog'.

"We should call it Scruffy," F'inn decides. The pup? He looks up and barks happily before returning to trying to lick cake and frosting off a squirming, laughing toddler. At K'zre's protest, though, F'inn casts him a pointed look, pale eyes turning pointedly toward a mud-covered chest that speaks clearly of ample cuddling. "Well.. Then, I'll take him out to the woods and let him go," he states. "It's freezing, he probably won't last very long with no mother to take care of him, but you don't want a puppy…?" Which, he totally doesn't believe. Nor does the puppy, since it immediately twists around and puts both muddy paws on K'zre's chest and goes about the business of sharing frosting— which involves a whole lot of face licking and happy barking.

The shock on K'zre's face is clear. "I said I didn't want to keep it, not that I wanted it dead!" He's horrified at the thought, and pretty quickly snatching that puppy back into his arms as if F'inn might make off with him right then. The toddler might not receive such affections, but it is only because children are entirely foreign creatures. Puppies are easier. When licking the kiddo becomes licking K'zre, Kez just grimaces and tries to avoid getting a tongue up his nose. Frosting isn't really something he wants shared with him via puppy-tongue. Face scrunched up as though that might somehow keep him cleaner, there's still a side-eye aimed at his weyrmate. "I can't believe you'd suggest such a thing." And he can't. Honestly, he can't. And between attempts to avoid puppy kisses, there's a rather distraught expression on the healer's face.

F'inn leans in and brushes a kiss over K'zre's lips regardless of puppy slobber. "You know I would never actually do something like that," he whispers. "Scruffy is family now." And really? He finds it adorable that K'zre is so protective. The toddler, however, has worn his last nerve down and he's scooping the child up and balancing him on his hip as he pushes to his feet. "I just saw a Nanny head toward the nursery, I'll be right back!" And, with squirming toddler well in hand, he reaches down to ruffle muddy ears before dashing toward the nursery.

There's a dubious look on the healers face, and a long, search of his weyrmate's, before Kez finally decides to believe him. That F'inn had no intention of dumping his (yes. *his*) puppy in the woods. There is definitely a claim being staked with those arms around the wiggly, muddy beastie. "Alright…" but still. F'inn might be subject to some squinty-eyed scowls for a while, for the mere suggestion. "Be careful!" is called as the bronzerider heads off to deposit the toddler into the hands of someone who *hopefully* knows who he rightfully belongs to. Although what might happen along the way is anyone's guess. Maybe Kez just wants to make sure F'inn doesn't come back with *another* stray? The absence allows the greenrider to try and coax the pup back into the bag for a nap, so that maybe he can get something to eat… yeah no. By the time F'inn returns, Kez is still sitting on the floor with a puppy curled up in his lap, eating his bowl of stew as carefully as possible.

F'inn is not gone long and when he returns, he is stray free. He does, however, stop off at the table to grab some meatrolls and veggies and two mugs of klah before returning to sit on the floor. It's the sight of the puppy contentedly curled in K'zre's lap that has his face softening as he hands over one of the mugs. "I'll get kibble for him from the beastcrafters on the way back to the weyr. They make chew toys for puppies to play with, as well.. Warming up?" Course he's scooting in so he can drape an arm around K'zre and nestle him up against his side. "Turns out cake's name was Peter, his mother is one of the new women coming in to work with the headwoman."

K'zre might get cramps in his legs from sitting so still, but he at least looks content for it. "Thank you," comes for the Klah, stew carefully set aside so that he can sip at the beverage. "Yes," for warming up. "He's very warm," he points out, for the pup in his lap. "Like a small furnace." And while he might have protested keeping him, there's no denying K'zre's fondness for their new pet. Very carefully, in an effort not to disturb Scruffy, he scoots himself closer until he's smooshed up against F'inn's side. Even if it might (definitely) get his weyrmate muddy. "Peter?" Kez never would have guessed that. "He was a remarkably cheerful child, for being lost," he decides, contemplatively. "Hmm." But all the same, "I am glad he's where he belongs." And not glued to F'inn's side. "I've never had a puppy," he notes, peeking at the mess of mud and fur in his lap.

"He was adorable," F'inn admits. "Apparently, he likes wandering. They're gonna have their hands full with that." Mud doesn't bother him in the least, though, his arm remaining comfortably draped around K'zre as he sips his own klah. "More mud then pup at the moment," he notes with a wry smile. "He's going to need a nice long bath. I'm betting he ends up loving the tub." Somehow, Scruffy just strikes him as a swimmer. "And Yasminath will be /thrilled/, I'm pretty sure she's been wanting a pet since Marvin went home. How was he with the dragons?" Course, as he speaks, he's setting down the klah in order to run a hand down the length of the puppy's back. "Now you do," is added in the wake of the last. "You'll be great pup-dad."

K'zre scrunches his nose at the last, in clear disagreement with that assessment. Or perhaps the title. "Animals are easier than people," he decides, affectionate gaze dropped to the puppy. "I can heal people. I understand how their bodies work, and how to fix them. But I don't… get them." It is nothing new. "Animals are easy. They don't lie to you. What they want… how they're feeling… it's written in their actions." A shake of his head, and he's sipping his Klah once more. "You were always good with the children," he recalls. "You're a natural." But the pup, and dragons? "He is not at all afraid of them. Came running right up to Yasminath and I, when we made a stop on sweeps. That is how I found him. No one in the Hold claimed him, so… I brought him back." Klah set aside, he leans his head on F'inn's shoulder for a moment or two. "I didn't want him to freeze… And he was very hungry. Ate all my snacks."

"I love children," F'inn admits as he pets the puppy, mud doesn't bother him. "I still try to make time to slip down to the nursery and help the nannies when I can." Listening to the tale of how Scruffy came into their lives, his expression softens, a mellow laugh humming in his throat. "Everyone loves Yasminath," he admits. Course, how could they not? "You did the right thing," he notes as he turns to steal kiss. As he does so, his hand leaves the pup to lightly grip K'zre's chin. "He knew his family when he saw it." And F'inn has no doubt of that.

"I thought so," agrees K'zre, the words coming softly in the wake of that kiss. He leans in after it, briefly ignoring Living Caverns crowd and snoozing pup alike, so that he can claim a second kiss. "The puppy is not the only one who will need a bath," he notes, feeling the mud on his chin even if he can't see it. "You're muddy," calls the pot to the kettle. Kez is definitely wearing more mud than the dog at this point. But he is not quite ready to move, if just because said dog is happily snoozing and Kez is disinclined to disturb him. So instead, he'll turn his gaze to his stew, reach for his bowl and poke his spoon around for the good bits before asking, "Do you want kids?" in a manner that is not at all innocent.

F'inn slants a glance at K'zre's face at the question, his head tilting as he studies his profile. "I did," he admits. "I always thought I would have a large family. But now?" Trailing off, he shakes his head, his expression serious as he ducks his head to catch K'zre's gaze. "The man I love is more then enough for me. Of course, if you happen to find a way to get pregnant, I wouldn't object," he notes with a teasing wink. It is in far more serious tones that he adds. "I love our family, there is not a single regret in me that we won't have children, K'zre."

K'zre is very carefully studying his stew and not his weyrmate, even if he would be hard pressed to describe what it is his spoon just captured. He is listening very closely to F'inn's answer, too, and when it comes he gives up all pretense of being interested in his food. He's not sure how to respond and so he simply doesn't, offering a bit of a glance and a halfhearted shrug of his shoulder. "Oh." Is all he can think to say. That and, "Alright…" which isn't much better. A final bite of stew, and he's shift-shifting in his spot and deciding, "I'm done. We should go back. I want to take a bath," he decides, setting the bowl aside so that he can scoop up Scruffy into his arms and carefully finagle him back into the messenger bag. "If we don't get the mud off soon, the jacket will be ruined." Lies. But it is a good excuse either way, and Kez is going to use it.

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