AN: I was gonna upload these all separately, but I decided that would be kinda confusing. So now it's just a series of one-shots all strung together. The music note by the way is what I was listening to when I wrote the one-shots. I just threw them in for the heck of it, but you can look them up on Youtube if you want to hear them.
Music: Wolves (by Michael Cusson)
Hunith's Letter to Gaius ~Piano Solo~
Dove leaned back in her chair as she stared at the list of names written on the inside of the book, sighing. She remembered every one of them. Brothers and sisters alike that had come from the Pound; seeking a temporary escape. She sat in her chair, staring at the list while simply soaking in her memories. A soft knock on her bedroom door startled her out of her thoughts, and she quickly snapped the book shut, tucking it back onto her bookshelf before padding over to the door and opening it curiously. Aqua Spark stood there, frowning slightly.
"You should come down; Annashi just got back." Dove cocked her head in curiosity.
"Just now? It doesn't usually take her this long to drop someone off." Spark shook his head.
"She's not alone."
Dove stood nervously behind the sofa, eyeing the unconscious Lupe that Annashi had brought home. It had been quite a surprise when Annashi had come home with a pet herself. Usually they would wait a week or two to settle back down before adopting another sibling. And then the whole family would go down to the Pound. But this time was unlike any other. When Annashi had come in, she had been carrying the unconscious Lupe in her arms, despite his size. His blue fur was matted and dirty, and Dove had wondered at how long he'd been in the Pound. She'd never seen a pet in such terrible condition as the Lupe before. She could even count his ribs though his fur. Annashi had spent several hours gently cleaning the Lupe's coat, brushing him softly and muttering soothing words, despite the fact that he was unconscious, and thus unable to hear her. After tending to him and settling him down on the sofa, Annashi had told her pets to keep an eye on him and to not expect her back before morning. While she had been smiling on the outside, Dove could see the terrifying fury just beneath the surface of her owner's calm façade. And so, while Spark and Hato had gone off to bed, Dove waited in the living room, watching their new brother. Glancing at the clock on the wall, Dove was surprised to realize it was already 2 in the morning. She shook her head and circled the couch, seating herself on the carpet in front of the couch. Her movement seemed to have disturbed the Lupe however, as he began stirring. One hazy yellow eye cracked open, and Dove leaned forward curiously.
"Reach?" The Lupe croaked; his voice hoarse. Dove cocked her head in confusion before shaking it.
"My name's Wardove Reincarnated, but everyone calls me either Wardove or Dove. Or War." She frowned at the last name; she really didn't like that one. Shaking her head again, Dove smiled kindly at the Lupe. "What's your name?"
"Nippynuck." He muttered, glancing around the living room as he did so. "Where am I?"
"You're in our Neohome." Dove replied. "Well, it's not technically ours. We rent it from someone, but…" She drifted off, spotting his frown. "Our owner, Annashi, adopted you." At the word 'adopted' the Lupe's eyes narrowed, and he struggled to sit up.
"I can't be adopted." He growled. Seeing how much he was struggling, Dove reached out and put a hand on his shoulder.
"You should lie back down." She muttered. Quick as a flash, Nippynuck reached out and caught her wrist, causing her to yelp in shock and pain.
"You don't understand." He growled darkly, glaring dangerously at the young Xweetok. "I can't be adopted. I have to get back home; to my real family. I'm not going to be taken in like some unwanted stray." Wardove shivered, trying to shrink back from the furious Lupe, but his grip on her wrist was too tight. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see the anger, the pain, and the desperation that swirled in a chaotic mess behind the Lupe's haunted eyes. Suddenly, there was a crash, and the large paw that held her wrist suddenly released, causing Dove to tumble backwards. Opening her eyes, the young Xweetok spotted Aqua Spark crouched in a defensive position to her right, holding a dictionary up as a weapon. Whoever said words couldn't hurt had never met her brother. Judging by the Thesaurus that sat on the couch and the way Nippynuck was clutching at his shoulder; one reference book had already been launched.
"You leave my little sister alone." Spark growled darkly, grey eyes narrowed in anger. Aqua Spark rarely got angry. This was one of those times. Nippynuck glared right back, carefully rolling off the sofa and standing in a position mirroring Spark's. Dove looked between the two pets nervously; edging back until her back hit the wall. Carefully, she eased herself to her feet. Then she took a deep breath and stepped in between the two angry males.
"Please." She almost whispered. "Please, don't fight." Spark eased out of his defensive crouch slightly, but Nippynuck didn't move a muscle. She turned her eyes on him. "Please. We can sort this out once Annashi comes home." She stared Nippynuck in the eyes, silently pleading with him. Slowly, she watched as his anger crumbled, and finally he sighed, dropping down to the sofa. Confirming that the threat of conflict had been temporarily nullified, Dove reached down and scooped up the Thesaurus that lay on the floor, tossing it to Spark, who easily caught it and placed it back on the bookshelf.
"Can you tell me a little about yourself?" She asked Nippynuck curiously, keeping her voice soft so as to try not to annoy him again. Her glared at her half-heartedly before sighing again and dropping his head into his paws.
"You're just like a little Reach." He muttered. Dove carefully sat herself on the floor again, watching him curiously.
"You called me Reach when you first woke up." She said. Nippynuck nodded.
"She's my sister. Yellow Xweetok. Year younger than me." Nippynuck didn't look up as he spoke, and Dove allowed him to speak at his own pace. "Her name's Reachekeila, but no one calls her that. Not even Arannahs. That's our mom's name." He seemed to pause before looking up at Dove and grinning. "I used to have another sister too; her name was similar to yours. Wardove. Zafara though." He frowned and shook his head, shifting his eyes down. "She got picked up by some stranger at the Pound though, and she's since gone missing. She was sweet. Had a real temper on her though. Worse than mine even."
"Sounds like a very nice family." Spark muttered from his position leaning against the bookshelf. Nippynuck nodded absently.
"Mum had been out for a few weeks. Something strange happened while she was gone though. Four pets that worked for the Pound just showed up on our doorstep and took W.D. and I away. Reach tried to stop them, but they were big guys."
"I read about that." Spark said, sounding surprised. "No one really knows what happened. One day a whole bunch of pets were carted off to the Pound for no reason; even if the owners didn't abandon them. There was a huge uproar about it. That was almost two years ago though." Spark stared at Nippynuck strangely and the Lupe nodded.
"That's what happened. I've fought anyone who's tried to take me away. I know Arannahs is out there somewhere with Reach, and they're both looking for Ward and I."
"And that's why you were so angry when Annashi brought you to our house." Dove muttered. Nippynuck nodded.
"I'm sure Annashi will understand if you explain things to her." Dove said happily, grinning.
"She might already know." Spark muttered quietly. Both Dove's and Nippynuck's heads whipped around at his soft words.
"What makes you say that?" Nippynuck demanded.
"Annashi was acting very strangely when she carried you in through the door. She kept pacing around, and she seemed only stressed, but…"
"She was furious about something underneath." Dove finished, remembering her owner's hidden fury. "Do you think Arannahs and Annashi know each other somehow?"
"It's highly improbable." Spark said with a shake of his head.
"But not impossible." Nippynuck reminded him, looking almost hopeful. Spark nodded hesitantly. Seeing this, Wardove grinned.
"Let's all go back to sleep for now, and we can ask Annashi what's happened when she comes back." At the Xweetok's suggestion, both males hesitated, but Nippynuck suddenly found himself yawning, and Spark finally nodded, heading back to his room. Wardove retrieved a spare blanket for Nippynuck before heading to bed herself.