With Sura involved, Akru had to admit that tending to Sakari became somewhat easier. When he needed to go out and hunt, he no longer had to worry over her, as Sura could stay with her until he returned. It helped a great deal that the two seemed to move past their initial encounter and were now taking to each other rather nicely. It wasn't surprising for Akru to return to his lair and find the two either engaged in conversation, so deep that sometimes they didn't notice him until he (rather rudely) interrupted them. Once Akru had come home to find Sakari asleep, nestled against his brother's flank, and Sura looking oddly out of place, as though he wasn't sure if this was allowed. Akru had laughed it off, despite the small pang of jealous he'd felt, and assured his brother that, yes, although it was odd, it was just fine. He had also taken that time to inform Sura that if he planned to stick around, then he had better get used to that sort of thing. Sakari was, after all, one in a million.

Akru had also told him there was never a dull moment with Sakari around. Sura had assumed it was only a figure of speech, but no. Akru had meant it when he said that, and Sura found himself constantly marveling at how quickly she could move, even with her leg in the shape it was in. Today was no different; Akru was gone hunting and Sura was left to watch Sakari – whom was making her way quickly away from the lair and into the jungle brush.

"I need to eat, too, you know!" she called over her shoulder, picking up her pace just a little when she noticed Sura nearly close the small gap between them. She had learned early on that it was fun to pester Akru, but since Sura lacked his brother's temper, she found it even more amusing to bother him.

"So, just tell me what it is you want, and I'll get it for you," Sura suggested, rather hopeful, because he was even more paranoid about being caught with her than Akru was.

"And I'm sure it would do your image wonders to be seen with a bunch of grass and flowers, right?" she chuckled, and didn't need to look back to know he was suddenly glaring at her. She had a point, and it seemed neither brother appreciated it when she did. Which was, much to their disliking, more often than not.

"Can't you just eat what's near the lair?" he asked, a little exasperated, but his patience were far from even beginning to wear thin.

"Would you eat that, if you were me?" she shot back at him, slowing down as they neared a thicket full of lush grasses and flowering plants.

Sura had to think for a moment, had to recall the flora near the lair. It was lacking color, worn down, and looked nothing at all like what this brush had to offer. He was no herbivore, but he could only assume the beaten greenery near Akru's lair would be very much like rotten meat, if comparisons were to be made. He folded his ears back and skewed his face some as he shook his head.

"No, I guess I wouldn't."

Sakari looked up at him, lips pulled back in a small smile. "Glad you can see things from my point of view," she mused, because Akru most certainly would never do that for her. He was far, far too proud to put himself in her position.

"Just... hurry, okay?" he murmured, turning his head to avoid her gaze and smile. For something so much smaller than he, it was incredible how she could unnerve him.

Akru had warned him of that, too, the she-rabbit's ability to catch one off guard with simplest phrases or gestures. He hadn't believed him then, but now he most certainly did.

"Don't rush me," she half-joked, beginning to graze. Sura watched her for a moment, then rolled his eyes a she found a place to lay down while she fed herself, knowing that despite his persistence, they would be here for some time to come. In a sense, he figured she deserved it, as most of the time she was cooped up inside of Akru's lair, but at the same time he couldn't help but worry about being seen with her. It was shameful, but he couldn't deny he was fretting more over his pride than her safety.

He couldn't continue to think of things in that manner, though, and needed a distraction. Unfortunately she was the only thing around worth giving any attention to, and even if he decided to go through with it, he couldn't help but feel striking up a conversation with her may have been just a little counter productive. But it would be better than just lazing about in silence.

"So," he started slowly, then proceeded on with whatever came to mind first, which just so happened to be, "why Akru, anyway?"

"Hm?" she asked, perking up and looking over at the wolf, head cocked to the side. "What do you mean?"

"I mean – well, he said you met during the Water Truce. I was just wondering what drew you to him."

She was quiet for a moment, eyes lowering to the ground and the grass patch she had been working her way through. "I'm not sure," she said after a few seconds, shrugging with one shoulder. "And I'm not really sure why I kept seeking him out afterward, either."

"No idea at all?" Sura asked, a little surprised at how impulsive she really was. She hadn't thought it through at all, it seemed.

"Not really. I'm sure he thinks it's because I get a rush from it. You know, being around a predator and all," she said quietly, pawing at a flower.

"That's what he said," Sura confirmed, chuckling softly to himself. "He's convinced you're some kind of thrill-seeker."

"I like excitement, but I wouldn't do something like that," she rolled her eyes, huffing a little. "I know wolves are dangerous. That he's dangerous," she added softly.

"So, then, why?"

"I don't know. Maybe it's because he humored me that first time. Maybe it's because he didn't kill me when he had the chance."

Sura was quiet now, watching her carefully. This was the stillest he had ever seen her, he had to admit, and that was just as unnerving as when she was moving so fast it was hard to keep up.

"Why me?" Sakari countered suddenly, looking up to Sura and locking their gazes together.

"Why you?" he echoed, ears flattening. He suddenly wasn't liking this conversation.

"Why didn't he kill me? I could understand him putting up with me that first time, but he had a chance to kill me after that and he didn't take it. He could kill me now even, and he'd be in the right, but he hasn't – and, to be honest, I don't think he will."

"I don't know," Sura said, looking away from her. He knew his brother well enough to get an idea of why he kept her around, but Akru's heart's affairs were none of his business. And on top of that, he wasn't entirely sure he was in the right to speak of such things, especially to the object of Akru's potential affection.

"He's your brother!" Sakari said, brow furrowed, "you have to have some sort of an idea as to what's going through his head!"

Sura was quiet again for a few more seconds before he sighed and looked down to the ground. "I think he admires your bravery, at the very least."


"Regardless of the conditions you met under, it still took guts on your part to approach him, not once but twice. He admires that courage, and I think he respects you for that. It's put you on another level from the rest of your kind."

She stared at him, brow furrowed, then looked away out of what he could only assume to be sudden shyness.

"He just likes you," Sura confirmed, shrugging one shoulder and letting his lips pull back in a faint sort-of-smile.

Sakari nodded, then started her grazing again. A few long seconds of silence passed before she murmured back, "I just like him, too."

And it was that moment that Sura realized just how deep of a mess his brother had managed to get himself into. There was a lot more to this than they let on, more than they would probably ever admit to, really. But Sura didn't need them to admit it, he could see it as plain as day in this rabbit's body language, could sense it easily in the sudden tension in the air surrounding her.

He wouldn't dare speak for his brother, but he did know for sure now that Sakari's feelings for Akru went far, far deeper than admiration.