Hey there everyone! I admit it... I've caught the Dira bug too... those two are just SO Cute! (I still love Mellie though, don't worry folks!) I couldn't help but do a story for them... plus I just wanted to celebrate Shira's joining the herd. I REALLY hope that I managed to capture both Diego and Shira's personalities in this fic, as I spent ALL day long trying to make sure that it was THEM. The fact that I'm in the USA and haven't seen it yet doesn't help either... but anyways! I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: Diego, Shira, and the locations in this story do not belong to me, they're property of Blue Sky Studios, although, I CAN manipulate them and make them do and say what I want!

"You're joking... right?" Shira laughed as she and Diego walked through the clearing. It was the morning after their first night in their new home, one that had been filled with stories around the campfire of past adventures, and welcoming the new members, Shira, and Sid's elderly grandmother, otherwise known as Granny into the herd. Diego and Shira had woken up before everyone else had, and decided to go and hunt for their breakfast together. The pair had done a splendid job and had managed to fill their stomachs and were now simply walking through the forest on the island, getting to know each other before heading back to the herd's campsite.

"I'm serious!" Diego responded, "The plant was about… twice the size of Manny."

"Twice the size of a mammoth?" Shira asked, with a 'you have got to be joking' look on her face. Diego looked at her and blushed.

"Well, maybe not TWICE the size but… it was big enough to fit both of us!" He explained. This was a new thing to him. The only female saber he had really ever known was his own mother… and that was back when he was a cub. But Shira, she was different. She created feelings in him that he had never experienced before, and that made him a bit, nervous around her, he never knew what feelings would emerge next, and he was worried what would happen if he acted on them. He only hoped that as he spent more time with this seductive sabress that was Shira, he would be able to take control of the feelings that took over his body when she was around. Shira simply laughed.

"Hmmm, I'm beginning to doubt that this whole 'dinosaur world' exists!" she said as she walked in front of Diego, swaying her body seductively as she did so. Diego stared at her for a moment, entranced before shaking his head and regaining his composure. Not real? Of course this place had been real!

"Oh it's real!" he stated as he ran up in front of her, she stepped back a bit, feigned surprise on her face.

"Oh really? Did you fight any dinosaurs while you were down there? Take down a t-rex did you?" she said sarcastically as she walked ahead of him, giving him a playful nudge as she did so.

"Well, not a t-rex, but I did take down a baryonyx!" Diego stated proudly.

"A baryonyx?" Shira asked.

"Yeah!" Diego replied "And a few guanlongs!"

"Aww, all by yourself?" Shira questioned playfully "You must be SO strong." She smiled as they continued on their walk. She had to admit to herself that Diego was, different than any other male saber that she had ever met. Like her, he had decided that the pack life was not for him, and had found something else. Unlike him, she had tried out a crew before finding a herd… and after only spending a day in the herd, she had already decided that it was the best life for her in the long run. Not to mention that she DID find Diego attractive, but she wasn't about to tell him that, the two sabers were still getting used to being in the same group, and being able to spend time together, alone, without any negative ramifications.

"I'm still getting the feeling that you don't believe me." Diego stated. Staring at Shira as she stopped to lick her paws. She was beautiful… and Diego had to pull out all the willpower he had to keep himself from purring at her presence. Shira stopped licking her paws and looked over at him with her sapphire eyes.

"You have to admit, it seems a bit… farfetched. I mean, an entire world underneath us? " She stated. Diego looked down.

"Well… I wouldn't have believed it either, but trust me, it's down there!" He said. Shira smirked.

"So you're saying right now, underneath me, is an entire world, where dinosaurs are still living?" she stated, continuing to walk forward.

"Yeah!" Diego said confidently. "In fact, if you want, maybe I can show it to you someday? Take you down there so you can see it yourself?" Shira smiled sweetly at him, she had already admitted to herself that she had feelings for him, but she was still trying to keep her composure… this was a new life for her, and she wanted to take everything step by step.

"I'd like that… softie." She said smirking, Diego's eyes widened.

"Softie?" he asked, he'd had a few nicknames before, mostly from Sid, but softie? That was a new one.

"Yeah!" Shira stated smiling, "You're my softie!" Diego was taken aback… HER softie? He had to admit, he kind of liked the sound of that. Before he could stop himself, he found the soft rumbling sound of purring coming out of his throat. He quickly stopped himself and looked over at Shira; she hadn't heard it, had she? Shira gave a soft chuckle and nudged his shoulder with her head.

She had heard him.

"Like I said, softie" she smiled as she gave him a playful punch on the shoulder. Diego smiled back at her.

"So, what were you wanting to do today… kitty?" he said smirking. Shira simply rolled her eyes and smirked, then tackled Diego to the ground, him on his back and her on top of him.

"I thought I told you not to call me that." She said smirking.

"Well, you called me softie!" Diego smirked back.

"Oh really? Softie?" Shira smiled back. Diego grinned.

"Oh you're asking for it now." He said. But before he could move so he was on top and she was on bottom, Shira jumped up and ran off, laughing. Diego began to laugh as well and chased her.

The two cats continued to chase each other laughing, jumping over rocks, zig-zagging between trees, running through groups of other animals, causing said animals to look at the pair confused. Shira managed to stay ahead of Diego the entire time (Diego was letting her win, although he would never tell her that), eventually Shira got so far ahead, that the only way Diego could tell where she had gone was by her pawprints in the mud and dirt. He continued to run up to an Oceanside cliff, only to find that she wasn't there.

"Shira?" Diego asked confusedly, where was she? He followed her pawprints to the edge of the cliff, only to find skid marks made by someone's claws… Diego looked over the edge of the cliff to find a small white object in the water far below.

"SHIRA!" he called, anxiously.

"DIEGO!" she yelled up as she struggled to stay afloat in the choppy waves, Diego immediately took a breath, and jumped into the water.

It only took him a few seconds to compose himself and begin dog-paddling, which kept him afloat. Shira on the other hand, went under soon after Diego landed in the water. Diego gasped and dove under, about twenty feet under he found her, her eyes wide in fear. He quickly worked his way underneath her, and surfaced, swimming towards the small beach on the edge of the island, to the side of the cliffs. Shira remained awake during the ordeal, watching Diego as he swam them to safety. Eventually he managed to get them to the beach, carefully laying Shira down on the sand, where she was safe.

Shira lay there with her paws spread out in front of her, catching her breath. Diego sat for a few moments, catching his own breath. Shira looked up at Diego before sitting up herself.

"Y-You saved me." She said, shocked… "Thank you." Diego smiled at her.

"It's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other. You'll get used to it." He replied as he shook himself off and stretched. Shira stood up and shook herself off.

"You were swimming!" she said, amazed.

"Yeah." Diego said, smiling to himself as he began walking back to the woods "I was."

"You can swim?" Shira asked, thoroughly impressed. She thought that Diego was something special before, but now? She was becoming more and more attracted to him by the moment. She stood up and began following him.

"Yeah… good thing too, or else you'd be a goner." Diego stated smiling back at her… he knew he had impressed his new friend, and it pleased him to no end. Shira ran up to him.

"How'd you learn how to swim? Saber's aren't supposed to do that!" She said as he smiled to himself.

"Would you believe that the sloth taught me?" he asked her, then a look of confusion "Wait… you were a first mate on a pirate ship… and you didn't know how to swim?" Shira chuckled.

"First rule of being a pirate, its bad luck to know how to swim. If you knew how to swim, then it was more likely the captain would make you go overboard for certain missions. For us, those jobs landed on Flynn." She explained, then stopped "Hey, why don't you teach me?" Diego stopped still.

"Teach you?" he asked.

"Yeah!" Shira explained happily. "You can teach me how to swim! I'm not in the crew anymore, so it'd be useful!"

"You want ME to teach you?" Diego asked incredulously as Shira jumped up on a large rock on the side of the path they'd been walking on.

"Why not?" Shira asked, before smirking at him "Or I could always get the sloth to teach me…" Diego frowned… he wasn't about to let Sid sneak his way into some quality time that he himself could have with Shira.

"Oh, I can teach you." He said, knowing fully that she had tricked him. Shira smiled.

"Great! Come on!" She then began running towards a nearby clearing. Diego chased her into the clearing, and noticed that there was a nice sized pond in front of them, and the clearing was empty. Shira sat down by the edge of the pond and smiled. "So?" she said "Show me!" Diego smiled and walked his way into the water.

"Ok" he started "It's just like hunting… like stalking the prey. You just claw then kick." He said, demonstrating as he explained the process. Shira stood up and watched, taking in his movements as he did so. "Come on in" Diego said "It's not that hard."

"You sure?" Shira asked cautiously as she dipped one of her front paws in the water and pulled it back out, she'd almost drowned several times in the last few days, and had no interest in having it happen again.

"I'm right here." Diego stated, dog-paddling again "You're safe."

"Ok…" Shira said as she cautiously stepped into the water.

"Remember, claw and kick, that's all there is to it." Diego instructed. Shira carefully began moving her legs the same way Diego was, and before she knew it, she was swimming!

"Hey!" she said, pleased with herself. "I-I'm doing it!"

"You're doing great!" Diego said proudly "I think you caught on faster than I did!" Shira laughed and the two of them continued swimming around in circles in the pond. Eventually they got tired, and stepped out of the pond. The pair shook themselves off and Diego began licking his paws clean. Shira looked over at Diego, beaming, breathing deep, before walking over to him and nudging his head with hers. He looked up at her, smiling.

"Thank you, again." She said, grinning. "You, You really are something else."

"I was about to say the same about you." Diego said back, smiling. Shira smiled back sweetly. Diego's heart began beating faster, she was so beautiful, he couldn't take his eyes off of her. This was the female who had intruded all of his dreams the past few nights, waking him up, causing him to have restless sleep. His entire life he had told himself that he wouldn't let himself get sidetracked by a female, that he would remain single, and straight minded… but… that was before he had met Shira, and now that she was standing right next to him, he couldn't help but hear a soft purring noise fill the air around the two tigers.


There weren't any vibrations in his throat… he wasn't purring.

That could only mean one thing…

Shira was purring.

Diego turned to her and smiled sweetly at her, she smiled and quickly pinned him, grinning seductively. Looking into his hazel-green eyes, she continued to purr. It only took Diego a few seconds of looking into her sapphire blue eyes to begin purring himself. Slowly, Shira began to rub her cheek against Diego's, nuzzling him affectionately. Diego beamed and nuzzled her back. Shira smiled as they continued nuzzling, this… felt wonderful. She'd never really felt loved, or even cared for before and now, there was this INCREDIBLY attractive male practically showering her with the affection and attention she craved, not to mention the fact that it happened to be the incredibly attractive male that she had fallen in love with and who had caused her to gain the courage to get away from the pirating life that had been ahead of her. Diego could not have been happier, this was quite possibly the most amazing feeling he had ever experienced, this female he had such strong feelings for seemed to reciprocate them, and he could not have been more pleased. After a minute or so the pair stopped nuzzling and Shira climbed off of Diego, sitting up, blushing. Diego smiled at her as he sat up.

"I know I've said this a lot today but… thank you, for… everything… getting me away from Gutt… giving me my freedom…I… I don't… I don't know if I can ever repay the favor but I just wanted you to know, it, it means the world to me." Shira said, looking at him bashfully. Diego smiled at her.

"Hey… as long as you're happy, that's more than enough for me." He said grinning. He had to admit it to himself, he was in love with this sabress, and he was beginning to seriously rethink his decision he had made when he was younger about never settling down and raising a family. Settling down and raising a family with Shira, he thought, wouldn't be bad at all. In fact, the more he learned about her and the more time he spent with her, the more he wanted a life with her as his future. Suddenly his stomach growled… the pair had lost track of time, and it was now around noon. Shira grinned at him.

"Aww!" she said, smirking "Is the remorseless assassin hungry?" Diego chuckled.

"I could use a bite to eat…" He said smiling. A confused look grew on his face as Shira walked over to the pond and jumped in, swimming around. "What are you doing?"

"I'm trying to catch us some fish!" Shira replied in between sessions of diving down into the pond water, trying to catch one of the large fish that inhabited it. "I figured it's the least I can do after you've done so much for me!"

Diego smirked, oh yeah, she was SO going to be his mate someday, he was going to make sure of it. He walked to the edge of the pond to watch her.

"Catch anything yet?" he called out as she resurfaced, it took him only a second to realize she had an enormous fish in her mouth, she swam over to the edge of the pond, deposited the now dead fish onto the ground and climbed out.

"Lunch is served." She said proudly, shaking the water off of herself. Diego smiled at her as the pair began eating the fish. Eventually they managed to eat all but one bite, Diego nudged the fish towards Shira, who smiled gratefully as she bit off the last chunk of meat from the bones of the fish. Afterwards the two felines began licking themselves clean, after Shira finished cleaning herself off, she looked at Diego and found that he was still cleaning himself, she smirked, and walked up to him sensuously.

"You missed a spot." She said, putting her paw on the arm he was using to clean himself, pushing it down.

"I-I can get it." Diego stammered. The new feelings were raging through his body like a storm, and her sitting there, in front of him, looking at him with an incredibly sexy look on her face, didn't help to control the feelings whatsoever.

"Just let me do it." Shira whispered as she gently leaned in and began lovingly licking Diego's face. The sensations that were now going through his body were strong, and he was unable to stop himself from loudly purring. Shira began to purr too as she continued licking Diego. After about thirty seconds, she stopped and pulled back. "There." She stated, somewhat still in a trance "I got it." Diego couldn't help himself, the hormones that were raging through his body were too strong, and before he knew it, he had pinned Shira to the ground her on her back with him on top, and he was licking her face tenderly, trying to express the feelings that he held for her, without actually saying it. Shira's purring grew in volume as Diego licked her. She knew she had made the right decision when she chose to leave Gutt for a life with Diego before, but now, laying there with him… it just… she knew that he was the one. After about thirty seconds of licking her, Diego stopped and pulled away, the pair stared at each other for a few seconds, entranced by each other before Diego snapped out of his trance and jumped back, walking a few feet away and looking down at the ground. Shira sat up, looking at Diego confusedly.

"Diego? Are-are you ok?" She asked, hoping that she hadn't crossed any boundaries. Diego continued to look down. He had just licked Shira, she had just licked him, they had just LICKED each other! It was getting hard for him to breathe, so he sat down. What he had been worried about had happened, he had let his emotions get the best of him, and while yes, it was a magical moment, it frustrated him a bit. Diego had tried SO hard to make himself seem like a strong, independent, brave male for Shira, so that she would decide to select him as her mate when the time came. And losing control of his emotions did not help in that regard whatsoever. "D-Diego?" Shira asked, worriedly. She hated seeing her new friend so upset. He meant a lot to her, the main reason that she had left the pirating life behind was so that she could be with him, and the last thing she wanted on their first day together, was for him to decide that she made him too vulnerable, and ditch her.

Diego looked back at Shira and saw the worried look on her face. He immediately realized how deeply he cared for this elegant tigress. He loved her, he wanted to be her mate someday, have her be the mother of his cubs. He wanted that life with her so badly, he could hardly stand it. He realized that keeping all these emotions pent up inside was not healthy; He sighed, kicked a small rock with his front paws, and turned around.

"Ok, That's IT!" he said, frustratedly…. Shira took a step back, a bit surprised at his outburst "I-I've tried to keep my composure… to… to control myself but… I just… I just can't! I can't keep this in any longer!" Diego continued, he turned to Shira and walked up to her, looking her straight in the eyes "I- I love you, Shira."

Shira breathed a sigh of relief and beamed… he LOVED her! She could barely contain her happiness.

"I love you too, Diego." She stated, smiling. Diego looked at her with a perplexed look on his face.

"Really?" he asked. Shira laughed and gave him a playful punch in the shoulder.

"Of COURSE I do you idiot!" she giggled "What do you think all that nuzzling and licking was for? Yeah, I left Gutt so I could go and find some OTHER male saber to be with." She stated sarcastically. Diego smiled.

"Good, cause I was getting worried there with all of the."

"Diego?" Shira interrupted.

"Yeah?" he asked, looking her straight in the eyes. Shira pounced on him once again.

"Just shut up and kiss me." She stated, smiling.

Diego didn't have to be told twice, before Shira knew what was happening Diego had flipped them so he was now on the top, and had pressed his lips against hers. Shira kissed him back and wrapped her front legs around Diego pulling him closer to her; both tigers began to purr loudly as they continued their embrace. Diego smiled into the kiss, forget what he had thought earlier during the nuzzling, THIS was the most amazing feeling he had ever had in his entire life, he had never really thought that it would ever be his turn to find 'the one' but, here she was, and he was eternally grateful that they had found each other. Shira also smiled into the kiss, she was glad that she had left the pirating life behind, she had found something ten times better than any treasure she could fathom. And she wasn't about to let him get away anytime soon, or ever for that matter.

After about a minute of bliss, the couple pulled away, Shira smiled and gave Diego a lick on his nose, Diego returned the favor by depositing a lick on her forehead.

"I love you, softie." Shira said as she gazed into her love's hazel-green eyes. Diego smiled.

"I love you too, kitty." He stated, smirking.

"I thought I told you not to call me that?" Shira said jokingly. Smiling up at him, her sapphire eyes glistening with happiness.

"Well, it's my petname for you. I'm your softie, and you're my kitty. If that's ok." Diego explained, grinning.

"Petnames? That is SO cheesy." Shira stated as she giggled "I love it. But you're the ONLY one allowed to call me kitty!"

"And you're the only one allowed to call me softie!" Diego responded.

"Deal." Shira said as Diego climbed off of her. The pair got up and began to walk off towards camp, the rest of the herd would SURELY expect that something had been going on between these two since they had been gone for so long, and even though there HAD been something going on… they didn't want the herd getting the wrong idea within twenty four hours of Shira joining.

"Hey, Diego, Can I ask you a question?" Shira asked as they continued on their walk.

"Sure, ask away." Diego responded.

"Who's a better kisser? Me, or Sid?" Shira said, smirking. Diego stopped short.

"Wait, what?" he asked. She didn't – Did she?

"Sid told me all about your little… make out session in siren cove." Shira explained, mirth in her eyes.

"What? That- that wasn't a make out session! It was barely even a peck! He didn't even touch my lips! He kissed me right above my lips!" Diego tried to defend himself, only to have Shira laugh.

"You still didn't answer my question." She said giggling.

"You're way better… paws down… but seriously! I did NOT kiss Sid! SHIRA!" Diego stated as he chased after her as she began running towards camp to tell Ellie, Crash, Eddie and Peaches about Diego's little 'encounter' with the sirens. A new chapter in his life was starting, and even though she was going to be a handful, he couldn't wait to see what his life with Shira would bring… even if she told some of his friends secrets he didn't want shared.

So, how did I do? Did I keep them in character? I sure hope so! I couldn't help myself, Those last few lines came in my head and I was like "OMG It's SOOO Her! And it's SOO funny!" And Diego's right folks. If you look carefully at the freezeframe of that moment... it's EXACTLY as Diego describes. At least that's what I've been telling myself O.o Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my "welcome to the herd!" gift for Shira (Granny don't need one, she's so old, she probably won't realize it anyways, plus she's got those teeth from Sid... those can count.) either way, WELCOME TO THE HERD SHIRA! We've been waiting for you for a good... year and a half now and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I am THRILLED you have finally arrived!