Hello everyone! So, MBSAVfan1 really liked my last alst actually story about Raz, and so did A.G. Wicked. I was working on another story when I read their reviews, and while I was reading, BAM! This idea hits me! 'Raz's Second Chance' was good, and there were some good elements, but I wanted it to stay a one-shot. I was already planning a multi-chaptered story, as I said before, so since there were some things from 'Raz's Second Chance that I really liked, I decided to not let those ideas die and shifted them over to this story. It has a completely different plot-line except for two things.
And I highly suggest reading 'Raz's Second Chance' to understand where I'm coming from. So anyway, to MBSAVfan1 especially, here is the continuation that you wanted so badly, and thanks to you, A.G. Wicked and Capt. Gutt for reviewing my previous Raz stories! Also: Raz points to whoever can tell me first in a review what language the title is in and what it means in English! Just thought I'd add a little sport if anyone is interested.
To MBSAVfan1: I am planning to use that baby name you gave me, so you don't have to guess unless you really want to. So to all who read; enjoy and please review!
Raz smiled as she leaned against a tree and watched her cub siblings tumble around with each other. They were only two months old and had learned to walk recently, and already they were outside the den wrestling with each other. The boys had their own separate match from the girls, the older one presently succeeding in nipping his younger brother's tail. The attacked cub squeaked in surprise, before rounding on his brother and clawing at his face. Of course, any claws he had were dull as of now, and barely did any more damage than annoy his older sibling. The boys were the odd numbers, first and third born. The oldest, Dennis, had inherited his father's fur and hot temper, but also Shira's blue eyes.
The youngest boy, Akuna, was completely orange and had inherited his father's eye color. He was slightly meek, but when agitated his temper flared up like Shira when she was forced to eat eels. The saber, as a pirate, did eat some meat, but she hated fishing and so did her best to get by with fruit. However, sometimes she simply had to have meat. And sometimes, the only meat available was eel. The girls were having at it as well, and Raz felt proud that her little sisters were starting out as strong fighters. The girls were the even numbers; second and fourth born.
Rebel, the oldest girl, was completely black, and had inherited her mother's eyes and love of teasing. Arilla, the youngest of them all, had Shira's pelt, but her father's eyes and the fierceness of both parents. Shira often urged the kangaroo to seek out her own partner for life, but Raz was hesitant, for a reason not even her adoptive mother knew. And her adoptive mother was a secret in the first place. Chuckling, Raz hopped over to her saber brothers and sisters and gently batted them apart. The four balls of fluff smiled at her and began snuggling up against her legs. Raz smiled kindly and bent down to them, patting their heads and rubbing their backs.
After only a minute or so, the cubs pawed at her pouch and began trying to climb up her front. Raz gently wrapped her hands around the tiny body that was Dennis, who sat happily in her grasp, and gently set him in her pouch. He giggled and cooed, smiling up at her with toothless innocence. Next Raz tenderly gripped Rebel and set her in the pouch with Dennis, the two cubs batting at each other. The cubs always got excited at the chance to ride in their oldest sister's pouch, and often tumbled around together in the small space. Next in went Akuna, and lastly Arilla. Raz chuckled as the four bodies soon curled up against each other to sleep.
Then she proceeded to hop towards Diego and Shira's hunting area. The two always ate on the western edge, away from the rest of the herd. Raz hopped steadily through the grassy plain, not wanting to awaken her baggage and suffer their constant movement. The cubs were in no way big enough to jump out by themselves, but all the motion they would make made Raz uneasy. She finally reached the two adult sabers, who waved at her. " Delivery for miss Shira." Raz said as she carefully began emptying her pouch of the cubs and placing them next to their mother.
"Thanks Raz." Shira replied. At that point the cubs yawned and rubbed their eyes, waking to see their mother. All four instanty scrambled over her, happy to see her as any baby would be. Diego began to eat a large portion of the kill, (Raz didn't dare look at it long enough to figure out what it was) but she knew why he was doing so. The cubs were distracted by Shira, (and they still nursed, to Shira's great irritation) so Diego could prepare the cubs' meal. The parents had decided before the litter was born that he would be the one to do the job. Raz had to admit the reason why was fascinating.
Diego had apparently been rescued by a wolf pack as a cub after his entire birth pack had been slaughtered by a human attack, and so the dogs decided to raise him. They had taught him a rather valuable skill. Since the pups had to be fed partially digested flesh, and it was the duty of adolescents to learn the skill in preparation for their own pups to come, the adults taught them how to ingest a certain amount of meat, then regurgitate it for the younger ones with less sharp teeth. Diego got a little bit of movement in playing with the cubs as Shira had her fill, and by the time she was done, Diego presented the cubs' meal. It still made Raz wince to watch it. Then as Shira supervised the children eating, Diego would have his own meal. Once satisfied that the family was well, Raz turned and hopped away to go about her own business.
She enjoyed playing with her younger siblings for Shira, but still needed time to herself.
Shira licked the cubs as they messily dug into the sicked up meal Diego had provided. She had to admit; Diego's wolf parenting skills certainly made life easier for them. Plus she got a tad more to eat cleaning the cubs' meal off them. But it was no OCD condition that made her do so; the cubs' fluffy fur easily trapped dirt and dust of all kinds besides smudges from their food, and Shira knew that if she didn't keep her babies clean, they were bound to die from one disease or another. As soon as they were finished, the four insisted on rough-housing with each other, so Shira sat back to watch them. She heard a distant rumble, and turned for a moment to see storm clouds approaching from the east. She then turned to Diego, who was licking his paws and muzzle clean.
"Diego." The male looked up at her, the tip of his tongue poking out of his muzzle due to being interrupted midlick. Shira nodded towards the clouds, and Diego turned to them as well. He turned back to Shira and nodded, before snagging Akuna by the scruff and depositing his youngest cub on his back. Then he scooped up Dennis in his mouth and began trotting back to their cave. Shira did the same with Arilla and Rebel. The six sabers arrived inside their den just in time to beat the vicious downpour that the clouds released.
A loud boom of thunder caused all of the cubs to jump. Then a crack of lightning caused them to squeal in terror and sent them running underneath their mother. Shira made her way to the back of the cave, then lay on her right side so that her back faced the entrance. The cubs snuggled themselves in between Shira and the back wall, huddling against her for comfort. "Shhhhh, shhhh." Shira gently shushed their whimpers, licking them fondly and nuzzling them with her nose. The four of them soon began to nurse, hungry as ever, causing Shira to cringe in pain at their needle sharp teeth. Diego lay down and curled himself around her, gently licking her cheek for comfort.
Shira sighed. "I hope they don't keep this up for much longer." she whispered. Diego gently rubbed his muzzle against her neck.
"Don't worry about it. They'll switch over soon enough." A sudden thought struck Shira. She looked at Diego worriedly.
"What about Raz?" she asked. "Do you think she got home safe?"
"I'm sure she did." Diego replied. "Just rest. You only need to worry about the cub's right now."
"That's just it." Shira muttered.
"Nothing." With that Shira lay her head down and got as comfortable as possible for a nap.
Raz panted heavily as she hopped through the rain. The wind pushed forcefully against her, and the rain beat on her body painfully. She squinted through the pouring rain, hardly able to see a foot in front of herself. She just kept on hopping forwards, hoping that sooner or later she would reach something.
When she did, it wasn't the 'something' she had been hoping for.
All at once the kangaroo found herself slipping and sliding painfully down the rocky incline, tumbling head over heals, bleeding from various wounds, no idea where she would end up. Screams and grunts tore from her mouth as she continued on, until at last she landed face first into water. She quickly got her head to breach the surface, and gasped in between the sloshing ocean and pounding rain. She flailed frantically, never having learned to swim since Manny was the only one to ever sink one of Gutt's ships. Horrifying memories flashed before her eyes, distorting her vision and terrifying her further. "Mum!" she cried out desperately as the past and present morphed together before her eyes. "Mum!"
Her head bobbed in the water, her entirety now drenched to the bone. Tears of fear began to roll down her cheeks. She soon began to tire, and looked around for any means of floatation. Finally, Raz came across a large log, and gripped it tightly, claws digging into the bark. She hauled as much of herself as she could on top of it, and clung to her only hope of living through the storm. "Mum..where are you?" she whispered, before drifting into unconsciousness.
Raz awoke with a wide yawn, her sleeping form having been jarred by her log ride hitting something. Rubbing her eyes, she looked up to see that she had reached a yellow beach. Carefully, she stood up in the knee deep water and stretched, looking around. She had no idea where she had ended up; ocean currents had a way of taking anyone anywhere. She scanned the horizon, hoping for a faint smudge that would indicate she wasn't far from her island home. Sadly, she saw nothing but water. "Where am I?" she wondered.
"Flynn? Gupta?" She searched the surrounding ocean hopefully, but frowned as no one came into sight. It only further proved her wonderings about the rest of the crew still being alive; she missed them on a daily basis, but was loathe to leave the herd to search for them. The reality that she might never see her family again hit her like a tidal wave. Her face became sad and her ears more droopy than normal. "I'll nevah' forget them." she whispered, then turned and hopped up the beach.
She looked around as she hopped over the ground, finding the area strangely familiar. She suddenly spotted a very familiar creature up high in a tree. "A koala?" she murmured, eyes widening. "But, but that means that I'm..." she looked around frantically, suddenly realizing where the ocean had taken her. She turned and hopped speedily back to the beach, staring out at the water, perplexed and afraid. "Why? Why did you bring me back here?" she called out to the waves. "I can'...I can' stay!"
"Why not?" Raz whirled around, reaching a hand into her pouch and retrieving her prized corkscrew-shell spear. She aimed it at the throat of the kangaroo behind her with a glare.
"Who are ya?!" she snapped in a demanding tone. The other kangaroo's blue eyes widened, and they took a hop back. Raz took a hop forwards, keeping the stranger within her grasp. "Are ya' gonna' speak or stand the'ah like a barnacle? Cause if yer' goin' fer' the second option I won't hesitate ta' cut out that tongue of yer's." she threatened.
"Yer' no ordinary sheila." A deep voice replied. Raz tensed; this was a jack, not to mention a good bit taller than her. She inwardly cursed her feminine genes of short height, but kept her ferocious front.
"I won't ask ya' again. What's yer' name?" The jack smirked and chuckled.
"So demanding, so bold. I suppose you know how to use your little 'spear' too?" he asked mockingly. Raz's glare deepened, and her grip tightened. Her teeth ground in rage, but she kept herself in check.
"I know how ta' use a lotta' things that could kill ya' with one blow." she replied. "Now are ya' gonna' tell me yer' name or am I gonna' make a wood carving outta' ya'?" The jack gave a laugh.
"The name's Jae. What's yours?"
"Ah, Raz. Now there's a fine name. So Raz, why don't I take ya' on a tour of the area? Maybe once ya' see some of the land you'll decide ta' find a mob." He held out one hand, giving her a stare that said no one refused him. She lowered her spear, but didn't approach him.
"I suppose life here's changed a good bit?"
"I don't know when ya' were last 'ere, but I'm sure you'll like anythin' that's new." Raz eyed him. She opened pouch and let her spear drop inside, then let it snap shut, not taking her eyes of Jae. The jack blinked at her, apparently out of shock.
"Alright then. Show me around." Raz agreed. Jae nodded and began hopping inland. Raz hesitantly followed him. Jae showed her vast expanses of grassland, all plentiful of water and food, other mobs having already made home in them. Raz fondly stared at the happy mothers and their joeys, but turned her mind away from such thoughts. Family like that was not for her.
The only place that she had ever felt she truly belonged was with her shipmates. Gutt might have been a little too overbearing...okay, too overbearing in general. But the rest of the crew had always treated her like a sister; and a daughter in one particular case. They were a rough and tumble, gangly group, but never sought to truly hurt each other. That was what Raz liked about them. And they stuck together, except when Gutt's fury had overruled his mind and he had left Shira behind. Presently the two kangaroos stopped hopping, Jae turning to Raz with a smile.
"So?" Raz shrugged.
"It's very nice. Quite similah' to what I remembah', actually. I'm just...no' good with...big groups."
"It could be a small group if that's what you need." Raz blinked at him in confusion. "Just you and I." The female frowned, then smirked.
"Yeh...it's gonna' take a good deal more than that ta' get mah' affections." she replied. "I'll find meself a nice cave, near the watering hole." she said, turning to the direction of the main water source she took a hop, then turned her head back to Jae, and hand on her hip and a mischievous smirk on her face. "Ya' can come visit if ya' like. Thanks again for the tour!" With that she continued on her merry way. She heard Jae murmur behind her, and smiled. Clearly he fell easily for a pretty face, however he didn't know of her pirate-enhanced ways.
"Nevah' thought I had that pretty of a face though..." Raz shook this thought off. There were things to do. Things to prepare for.
So yeah, I think some people will recognize my idea of Diego being raised by wolves. I thought that idea deserved to live too. ;)
Official review thank you's go to:
for reviewing my previous Raz stories!