We *Are* Family! (Pt. 3) ((JP: Andreya, Shalia))


Rosiegirl
 

When Andreya turned to look at her, Shalia was suddenly aware of just how kissably close they were.  All she’d need to do would be to move her own head just the slightest amount and steal that kiss that had been denied her, but which she felt wouldn’t be protested about.  But… now was not the time for that, between the hungry hatchling and, especially, the shocks the other Candidate had received that day.  So instead of closing that narrow margin of space, all Shalia did was return the grin and continue to enjoy the privilege of being there to see Andreya Impress her handsome little bronze.  And maybe hope a similar opportunity would present itself in the future.


When Andreya shivered once more, Shalia’s hands unconsciously started rubbing the bare shoulders they’d been holding, to warm her up.  She quickly realized what she was doing and stopped that nonsense - after all, it was highly unlikely that she was cold, given the warmth of the hearth - but her thumbs continued to lightly stroke the skin beneath.  Shalia looked around at the flits still humming, wondering why, and it took her a few moments to realize they weren’t focused on the bronze in front of the two humans… but the second egg pot next to them, and she abruptly tensed up, thumbs coming to a standstill as she stared at the pot.


“Andreya,” she whispered, “I hope you saved some meat, because I’m pretty sure this handsome boy is about to have a sister.”


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Feeling Shalia’s hands on her shoulders, warm palms against her skin and rubbing after she’d shivered in reaction to a bit of wind against the bronze’s egg-yuck soaked skin, Andreya shifted under those hands a moment enjoying the feeling of those hands rubbing her shoulders and even tilted her head just a little to the side without realizing it even as she fed another small morsel to the bronze. And then those hands stopped with the girl’s thumbs now the only thing rubbing her skin and a slightly disgruntled huff, an almost mirror of her bronze flit’s huff from earlier, escaped the Harper’s lips.


Andreya wasn’t paying attention to the humming still going on, assuming the flits were still humming for the bronze, but when she felt Shalia’s hands tense on her shoulders and the thumbs freeze Andreya’s hand stopped in the motion of feeding the bronze another morsel and her head came up slightly in concern. 


At Shalia’s whispered words, it took Andreya far too long to absorb and react to the words and what they mean, her first response being “Oh yes, plenty left. I didn’t know how much he might eat and didn’t want to run out.” And then the rest of the words about ‘have a sister’ penetrated and Andreya’s lips parted in a surprised ‘Oh!’ as she turned to look at the pot that that same, apparently maternal, green was nuzzling while humming and crooning in reassurance to the baby green stuck inside. 


Andreya looked back and forth between the bronze still demanding food to the pot the adult green flit was nuzzling and then looked at Shalia’s asking totally stunned “But...but I can’t...can I?”


In the meantime, seeing the ‘giver of food’ so distracted, the bronze began to actually crawl out of his shell and across the top of the sand to the edge of the pot closest to where the meat had been appearing from. Cause if the ‘meat hand’ wasn’t going to continue to give it to him, he’d go get the meat *himself*. And in the neighboring, covered egg the stuck green was still giving off the occasional mew of hunger as she responded to the adult green’s comforting croons right outside the pot. Andreya, where she sat, could not hear the baby green’s mews otherwise she’d not have asked Shalia her stunned question...


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Shalia, made suddenly aware of their closeness, also noticed Andreya’s reactions.  The slight shift of her body not away from her touch but into it, the way her tilted head offered up her neck for a kiss, or at least more access for Shalia’s hands, the small sound when those hands stopped their motion… the shorter redhead noticed these reactions, and made note for a later date.  Perhaps they were entirely unconscious reactions… but they certainly revealed something about how her new near-cousin might feel.


But those thoughts were for a later date, and even as Shalia was about to renew the shoulder rubs, her hands stilled completely when she realized the other egg was hatching.


“Yes, you can,” Shalia responded firmly.  It was either her, or herself, or let the flit go feral.  And with being about to gain a gold, she didn’t also want a green.  One female flit would be plenty for her, thank you very much!  Of course, if Andreya absolutely refused she would do it herself, but it would be better all around if the Harper Impressed her.  “After all, I did bring her for you,” she added, reaching out to slide the pot closer to the other girl.  “She’s coming one way or another.”

Between the cover of the pot and the humming of the flits, she hadn’t noticed that the hatchling was already there.


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At Shalia’s firm reassurance that Andreya *could* impress the other flit, continuing with the fact that Shalia *had* brought the egg for her anyway and was coming regardless, Andreya just nodded in shock as she watched Shalia move the other pot closer. When Shalia shifted the pot, the adult green, now reassured that the baby inside the pot was going to get looked after, backed up and just continued to humm with the rest of the adults around the room. 


As Andreya’s gaze moved from the other egg pot that Shalia had moved closer back to the already hatched bronze flit, she saw his attempt to climb and reach the meat himself and reached for him as she said sternly “No, not by yourself.” Picking up the newborn bronze, being as careful as she could even as she internally ‘yucked’ at the egg-goop still coating the flit, when the bronze gave a small huff of grumbling at his foiled plan she rubbed at the bronze’s tiny headknobs calmingly as she said again “Wait, I’ll feed you.” at the same time sending the bronze reassuring feelings of being fed by Andreya’s hand.


Now holding the bronze in both hands, Andreya looked between the bronze she was holding and the other pot a moment, trying to figure out the best way of feeding *both* flits at the same time. A heartbeat later Andreya glanced back at Shalia saying “I need to get in a better position, actually sitting down, so I can feed them both.” With this warning, Andreya shifted oh-so very carefully as she was conscious of the baby bronze she was carrying, but moved quickly to sit cross-legged on the floor, her knee length skirt showing off her legs as it pooled a little bit in the middle of the ‘bowl’ her crossed legs were making. 


Placing the bronze flit between her legs, firmly reassuring the bronze when she could feel the male’s annoyance rising at the delay “Wait, one more second. Food’s coming, I promise.” As she sent this, she also sent the bronze a mental image of him waiting there, where she placed him, as she handed him more chunks of meat. The bronze, satisfied that at least this ‘meat giver’ understood what he wanted, stayed where Andreya placed him reluctantly...even as he told himself that if the delay continued *too* much longer that he’d just start trying to get the meat himself again. 


While this was going on, the green inside the egg pot was still mewing and when the comforting humming noise right outside the pot’s wall moved a little further away, the tiny green mewed a bit more frantically in the pot but couldn’t do anything else. Oh why oh why could she *not* have done her perfect entrance?! Now, with the pot moving, she had gotten some of this icky sand on her, coating her and sticking to her because of this *other* stuff on her. And that was *not* nice at all, she needed help and she needed it now! Oh, and also food too, because she was so terribly hungry now!


With the bronze settled, Andreya leaned a little to reach the meat pot and pull it so that it was sitting right next to her knee, easily within reach. Then, only then now that she was prepared, did she reach for the other egg pot oh-so-very carefully and pull it closer. She took a moment to feed the bronze a small bit of meat, and then while he was chewing and swallowing Andreya reached out and lifted the lid, expecting to see an egg that was just barely beginning to hatch. 


Instead, when the pot’s lid came off, the top of the egg shell went with it and Andreya was greeted with the sight of the mewing so-pale green she was almost *white* little lady, wings raised and head cocked to one side as if posing, but with a distinctly impatient ‘finally I’m released!’ feeling to the pose. Her first sight of this beautiful but so *tiny* green girl, even covered in egg-yuck and sand as well, brought a wondrous smile to her face as Andreya’s breath caught on an awed “Ohhh!...” Eyes widening at just how *tiny* this green was, with one hand stroking the bronze’s head (also to make sure he didn’t jump and try to attack the green), Andreya reached over and couldn’t help gushing “Oh, what a beautiful girl you are!” as with her free hand and scooped the little girl out of the pot carefully with just a single hand. 


Andreya wanted to pull the little green close and cuddle with her, reassuring the green she would be ok to stop the poor hungry girl’s mewing, but she knew the best way to do that would be to get some food into her. So instead of pulling her close, still with one hand on the bronze who was now eyeing this ‘interloper’ with a distinctly calculating look, Andreya placed the green down carefully on her leg saying “It’s ok, little one. I’ve got food for you.” even as she sent reassuring thoughts of love and acceptance to the green who’d hatched so very alone in the egg pot. 


With both flits now sitting on her leg, or in her lap, Andreya had both hands free now to grab chunks of meat and begin feeding them both earnestly, even making sure to give the smallest pieces to the new green and have her swallow before giving her another piece. The green took each piece so ladylike and dainty in her claws, instead of just opening her mouth and letting Andreya drop pieces of meat in, while sitting up on Andreya’s leg and doing her best to still show off just how *beautiful* she was even as she elegantly ate each piece of meat, ignoring that she still had sand and yuck covering her hide at the moment. 


The bronze, a pure contrast, still just opened his mouth for the chunks of meat and eagerly gobbled them up before watching the ‘meat hand’ like he was still starving as it brought the next piece. Still, the bronze shot the tiny green a look that made Andreya concerned about if she ran out of meat before the bronze was full enough to fall asleep and what he’d do to the green who he clearly believed was *stealing* his food. 


Keeping her focus on the flits, crooning to them both, Andreya did spare a moment to whisper to Shalia in a slightly shocked voice “She hatched, totally inside the pot! Poor girl, completely alone while she hatched. But isn’t she beautiful?”


Looking down, eyes flicking from the so very dark bronze to his utter opposite, Andreya gave a small amused shake of her head at the coincidence at how opposite they were, in both appearance and in personality, as far as she could see.  The green is clearly on the smaller end of callamere greens, but besides that she is  dainty, light, lithe, pretty, and somehow just about everything else you can think of, and is perfectly proportioned to look very femine with sleek lines to her even when her wings are settled down on her back. The muzzle is even more narrow and slightly longer than other greens. But then on top of her size being quite different when next to the large bronze, she looks like some glass or sugar sculpture, her hide being a perfectly very light pale sort of mint-green that at times if you catch it just right looks oddly white for a brief moment just like sugar. The only thing not the perfectly same shade of oh-so-very pale mint-green is that she does have some slightly darker markings around her eyes, on her cheeks, and in a few other places all seemingly placed just *so* to show off her features much to her delight.


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Shalia watched Andreya caressing and speaking to the little bronze, keeping him from going after the meat himself, and gave her shoulders another encouraging squeeze.  She wished she could take him and feed him so that the other girl could concentrate on the second flit, but didn’t dare even suggest that; the bond was too new and tenuous to risk something like that.


“Just tell me what you need from me,” she said, supporting her enough to keep Andreya from tipping over as she shifted position - a kind of awkward maneuver with everything around her and hands busy holding the newhatched flit - and ready to grab the second pot if it got knocked.  She resumed her position behind her, pressed against her back, watching over her shoulder.


Shalia watched as Andreya settled the little bronze in her lap, fed him a couple of morsels, and then reached for the second pot.  If she’d been a little quicker she would have offered something to place over Andreya’s skirt, but since the only thing readily at hand was her shirt (there was probably a towel in that bag, but it was over there and things were happening too quickly to get up and go digging) it was probably just as well.  She gave a small gasp when the top of the shell came off with the lid - they’d both been so focused on the little bronze that they completely missed the other hatchling for who knew how long! - and quickly reached out to take the lid and shell from Andreya.  Very carefully setting it to the side, she took a moment to look at the tiny little green that the other girl was scooping up.


The green was much smaller than the bronze of course; that was to be expected even at hatching with their colors, but it seemed like she was comparatively small for a green even as he was comparatively large for a bronze, which made the size difference between the pair all the more striking.  Shalia watched Andreya feed the first couple of morsels and smiled; the green was also apparently more fastidious than her brother, taking the meat in her forepaws and eating it rather daintily, as opposed to his lunges.  “Oh, she is gorgeous, Andreya,” she breathed in response to her question.  “And she knows it, too, doesn’t she?”


After a minute of enjoying the sight of her friend feeding her new friends, Shalia finally moved away from the other girl.  First she moved the two egg pots further away, and then settled in next to the meat bowl, separating out the larger and smaller chunks and handing them to Andreya as needed so she could slake the two appetites.


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Andreya felt Shalia’s encouraging shoulder squeeze and knew she was going things right so far, which was actually reassuring for the taller girl. At the other girl’s offer to do what she needed, Shalia was actually quite helpful as Andreya shifted position, as there was a moment when she worried she’d fall over without being able to support herself with her hands occupied by the bronze flit, but then Shalia was there helping her. So the awkward position switch went fairly well, actually, and soon Shalia was pressed back against her, watching again for which Andreya was grateful. 


For...well, probably the first time in her life Andreya had no concern for her clothes and the ick that was going to be covering the skirt, the thought didn’t even cross her mind to consider putting something over the skirt. It could be cleaned, after all...hopefully. Shalia’s gasp at the pot opening to an already hatched baby green nearly echoed her own, and Andreya gladly passed the other girl the pot lit and top of the shell, being careful not to cut Shalia with the edge of the shell. 


At Shalia’s response, Andreya smiled and nodded still in awe. The green, however, didn’t take the bite she’d been about to take as she turned her long, narrow head up at Shalia’s comment, tilted her head to the side, and gave the most adorable, preening, posing look full of satisfaction that clearly said ‘Oh, I *know*, aren’t I to be admired?’ And, where as it had taken several handfuls of meat for Andreya to begin to feel connected to the bronze, it had only taken a couple of pieces the green had eaten for the harper to feel practically a ‘wave’ of triumph from the tiny green in response to Shalia’s words. 


Andreya’s mouth dropped open a little and it took her a moment before she replied to Shalia in clear amazement “Oh, she totally is! And yes she very much knows...and she’s utterly pleased with herself that you, that we, noticed...I felt it. I feel her already, after only a couple bits of meat. It took so much longer for the bronze!”


Still, despite her astonishment at the whole situation her hands were continuously in motion, grabbing bits of meat and feeding the flits slowly, making sure they swallowed each bite before giving them the next. She focused on them, sending them love and acceptance, telling them (especially the bronze) how good and patient they were both being as she fed them. So focused was Andreya, that it wasn’t until Shalia was sitting by the meat bowl, sorting out the pieces of meat by their size, and actually handing them to her that Andreya realized Shalia had moved from being pressed into her back. 


Glancing up at the first pieces of meat that were suddenly just *there* in her hands without her thinking about reaching for them, Andreya blinked at Shalia a moment before smiling and giving her a grateful “Thanks!” Then, with Shalia handing her specifically small or large pieces, they got into a rhythm feeding the two flits and Andreya was able to concentrate even more on them, on the feelings she felt from each flit, and on what she was sending to them.


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Shalia giggled at the green’s… well, ‘antics’ wasn’t quite the word, but she was definitely showing herself off.  As she giggled, a puff of breath gusted across Andreya’s neck.  “That’s good that you’re connecting so quickly!  And how could we not notice you, little one?” she asked with a smile.  “But don’t think we’ve forgotten about you, handsome fellow,” she added, turning her head to look at the bronze in Andreya’s lap and give him a smile.


“You’re welcome,” she replied, returning the other girl’s smile.  She was quite pleased about being a part of this joyous occasion and happy to be able to help, although there was definitely a certain allure to pressing against her newfound cousin’s back.  “You’re doing great, with both of them,” she added in encouragement.


Still, being so near the hearth was more than a little warm, and she carefully wiped away the meat juices from one hand on the back of her other so that she could undo a few buttons on her shirt in an attempt to cool off.


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Andreya was grinning down at her green as well when the pale green posed, but then the puff of air from Shalia’s giggle across her neck caused the harper to sit up a little bit straighter in response. Still, she nodded at Shalia’s reply, to her as well as to each of the flits. Turning her focus to them both, making sure not to focus too much on either of them so as not to ignore the other flit, Andreya smiled down at them both and took a moment to give them a scratch under each of their chins while they after they swallowed their current bite of meat. She said to each of them while she scratched “Oh, you both are so wonderful. Each of you!”


But Andreya quickly returned to feeding them, knowing she could pamper them later once they were fed. She glanced up at Shalia’s encouragement with a smile, saying “Thank you. Sorting the meat, the help, everything.” Then she noticed Shalia’s slightly unbuttoned shirt and, as if she’d been ignoring it (which she had been) Andreya realized how warm she was sitting here. At least her blouse/corset ensemble was an off-shoulder neckline, but that didn’t help her from feeling every extra layer she had. Giving an understanding nod, Andreya said “Yes, it is a bit warm isn’t it? As soon as, well...as they are done eating I’ll be able to move. But if you need to move back I understand.” Then, in an afterthought she added “Oh! I also got a couple towels, they’re in the bag there.”


Even as she talked with Shalia her hands were still moving, and she immediately returned her focus to the flits, feeling the bronze’s growing (but not quite complete) fullness and the green’s still preening satisfaction even as the ravenous hunger the little girl felt lessened a bit. 


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“Of course, Andreya!  I’m glad I’m able to be here for this, and to help out,” Shalia smiled.  She started to reach out and then thought better of it; she didn’t figure the other girl would want meat juices anywhere they didn’t have to be! So instead she leaned forward enough to give Andreya an elbow bump.  “And I’m alright here, we’ve got a good rhythm going and they’ll run out of stomach soon enough.”  She glanced down at the bowl and hoped they filled up before it emptied, but it would probably be okay.  “Once they’re fed, we can move, and I’ll help you clean and oil them if you want.”


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Andreya nodded at Shalia’s words, but still felt that she needed to say, to do, more to show how much she appreciated all of Shalia’s help...she didn’t know how this would have gone without the other girl there helping. Andreya noticed, having lifted her head to glance up at Shalia, the abruptly aborted reach toward her from the other girl, which was instead adjusted to an elbow bump, and with Shalia’s unbuttoned shirt Andreya caught a quick unintentional glimpse down said shirt at the pale skin underneath...apparently cousin was going bra-bandless again today. 


Andreya’s cheeks were just a touch more pink as she nodded in agreement to Shalia about the rhythm, and at the other girl’s glance down at the meat bowl Andreya, making sure to keep her fingers well clear of the bronze’s mouth, said “Yeah, I’m so glad I got too much. He’s beginning to feel full though, not quite totally full, but beginning to.” 


Andreya, feeding the green her next tiny piece and wondering if the tiny girl would *ever* really get full eating such tiny slivers of meat, considered Shalia’s offer to help clean and oil. She wondered if it was actually ok, once impression was set, for Shalia to help or if it would make the bond between her and the flits not as strong if someone assisted this first time...She didn’t know, but she figured Shalia did and wouldn’t have offered if there was any chance of a damaged bond between her and either the green or bronze. So, after a moment of watching the green dainty eat the piece she’d just handed her, and then glanced over to remind the bronze to swallow before she’d give him the next piece he was eagerly looking at her hand for, Andreya said gratefully “Yes, I’d love the help. I hope I got enough oil for them both though.” 


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Shalia gave no indication that she realized Andreya could see down her shirt, although given previous interactions the past several sevendays it was unlikely that she would have cared overly much if she did realize it.  


“That’s good!” Shalia said about the bronze beginning to feel full.  “Make sure that if he’s still hungry it’s actually his, and he’s not just feeling this beauty’s,” she cautioned.  The connection between flit and human wasn’t as strong as with dragons, but there would definitely be at least some bleedover, and it was at least possible that his feelings of hunger were from the more recently-hatched green.


She glanced down at the bowl; if the bronze was slowing down, and the green was going to eat less… they should make it, yeah.  “If you don’t have enough oil, I’ll grab some of Noctis’.”  There were certainly enough flits around the Barracks to make oil an easy get.  And now there were two more, and soon to be a third!  She gave a little bounce of excitement at the thought of her gold egg waiting, and the knowledge that she’d get another chance to experience this, but first-hand this time.


If Andreya had asked about the bond and the first oiling, Shalia would have reassured her; it was the feeding that was important, and the flits would likely be completely zonked out by the time they actually did any cleaning, much less the oiling.  And in any case, she was only planning on assisting, to help out with having two flits both needing it simultaneously.


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At Shalia’s words about the bronze feeling the *green’s* hunger, Andreya glanced up in surprise and asked “Wait, he’d be possibly feeling her hunger on top of his own?” But even as she asked that Andreya was focusing more on the bronze and what, specifically, she could feel from him. Taking a second to feed the green another nibble of meat, she then fed him a larger morsel and focused on the bronze as he ate, to see if the bronze *was* actually still hungry, or if he was still eating only because his green sister was still hungry. 


Andreya, focused on the bronze, didn’t see the calculating look Shalia gave the bowl of meat but at her offer Andreya nodded gratefully in thanks about the extra oil from her stash for Noctis. 


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Shalia nodded.  “It’s possible.  Flits are highly empathetic.  And being Impressed to you could increase that.  Either directly, or through you, if you’re feeling it.”  She leaned forward again to get a better look at the bronze.  “He doesn’t look terribly distended, though, so I don’t think you have to worry about overfeeding him yet,” she assured Andreya.  “But see how he feels about slowing down maybe,” she suggested.


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Listening to Shalia, even as she carefully fed another chunk of meat to the bronze, Andreya nodded at the explanation, tilting her head to the side curiously when Shalia leaned forward for a look at the bronze sitting in the ‘bowl’ her skirt-covered legs made. As Shalia mentioned it, Andreya realized the more experienced candidate was right, the bronze’s stomach didn’t *look* full and distended too much yet, not the way she’d heard they were supposed to get. At the suggestion, Andreya nodded saying “Slow him down, got it.”


So, focusing back on the pair of flits that were such startling contrasts with each other Andreya smiled down at the bronze. As he swallowed the piece she’d just given him, Andreya took a moment to rub gently between the bronze’s headknobs, still giving him attention even as her other hand gave the green another nibble of meat. Eyes flicking between the two, her voice pitched low and sweet as she alternated who she directed the comments to, she distracted the bronze with rubbing his headknobs through passing the green three different nibbles of meat. Only once the green had delicately chewed and then swallowed 3 pieces one at a time did Andreya take the offered larger chunk from Shalia and feed the bronze again, only to scratch and rub the male’s headknobs through passing the green 3 more nibbles of meat. 


This strategy, one piece for the bronze and distracting him through 3 tiny pieces for the green seemed to be working...until the bronze *realized* the green was getting more meat pieces than him. He accepted the next chunk of meat and swallowed quicker than he had before, hardly taking time to chew. But when Andreya reached up to stroke the top of his head, he gave a quick dodge out of the range of her hand and with fast whirling yellow eyes gave the most adorable ‘roaring’ grumble as he glared at the empty ‘meat hand’ and then looked over to where the green was just taking a small piece from Andreya’s other hand. Turning from glaring at the hand that was feeding the *interloper* the bronze flit turned back up to look at Andreya and gave a frustrated (almost pouty looking) huff clearly waiting for *his* piece of food. No more head scratches for him, that was for sure. 


Only just managing to keep a straight face at the bronze’s behavior, she reassured him “Ok, no more scratches. I understand.” even as she raised her head to give Shalia an amused eyebrow raise as if asking ‘Ok, slowing him down didn’t work. What now?’. At the same time, she took the next larger piece of meat and gave it to the bronze who was *clearly* overreacting as he ate that piece like he was still *totally* starving.


In the meantime, the green was still taking piece after tiny piece, content to sit there on Andreya’s leg, looking her totally beautiful self, still steadfastly ignoring the egg-yuck and sand on her since her stomach was telling her these small nibbles of meat were so much more important, and also ignoring the *male* over there who was clearly not being polite. So she was being oh-so-very patient as she was handed each next nibble of meat. 


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“Nice thinking,” Shalia remarked with approval the first time Andreya distracted the bronze with head scritches.  Or at least it was nice while it lasted, and she giggled at the bronze’s antics once the tactic was found out.  “Want me to cut the meat up a bit?” she asked quietly, amusement coloring her words.  They couldn’t just switch to giving them both smaller pieces without running out for the green who very clearly wouldn’t want to deal with the larger chunk, but cutting them down even more could work… at least until the bronze realized he was getting smaller pieces all of a sudden.  Or giving them the smaller pieces while she cut up the larger chunks.


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At Shalia’s compliment on her quick thinking, Andreya smiled up at the other girl. Until it didn’t last, of course. Watching the pair of flits chew and swallow their current pieces of meat, admiring their two entirely different personalities, at Shalia’s quiet question Andreya gave a very small nod hoping her smart flits wouldn’t have heard even as she said just as quietly “Great idea!” Glancing at the food bowl, seeing that Shalia had sorted some of the smaller pieces to the side already, Andreya added “I’ll just reach in and grab those while you do?” 


And then, putting action to words, Andreya began to reach in and pull out the smaller pieces and pass them to both flits. She knew the green wouldn’t care, they’d been the same sized pieces she was already nibbling on, so Andreya focused her attention on the more difficult male (why were males *always* more complicated?!) and fed him the smaller piece even as she sent reassuring thoughts and images of him continuing to eat out of her hand, nice and patiently. And wondered how long before the bronze would catch on this time…


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Shalia nodded her agreement and pulled out her beltknife.  She’d prefer a cutting board, obviously, but she wasn’t going to risk getting up to hunt one down and in the process disturbing the bronze and bringing it to his attention.  He seemed altogether too clever for his (or possibly Andreya’s) good.  She waited for Andreya’s hands to clear the bowl and started cutting the larger pieces in half against the side of the bowl.  “Let me know when you need another handful,” she said, wanting to make sure the other girl didn’t reach in at the wrong time.


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Still sending the bronze reassuring thoughts even as she tried to make sure he took the time to chew the smaller piece of meat, Andreya also sent loving and admiring thoughts to the green perched up on her leg who ate her piece just as slow and dainty as she’d eaten every other piece. Andreya didn’t realize there was a mushy smile on her face as she looked down at her pair of flits, feeling their hunger not quite beating at her like it had been. She was also doing her best to separate herself from their hunger so she could tell when they were really full. 


With the handful she had, Andreya waited until both flits had swallowed to give them each another small piece. At Shalia’s words about warning the other girl about when she’d reach into the bowl, Andreya nodded her head saying “Of course. Thank you for…” here she glanced down at the smart bronze wanting to make sure he didn’t catch on for as long as possible and so instead of saying something else she finished with “handling the bowl there.”


Seeing that the bronze had impatiently swallowed his last small chunk of meat while the green was still finishing hers and was already looking at her hand with the meat with a somewhat calculating look in his eyes, Andreya turned her attention to the bronze again. She sent feelings of reassurance that he’d get more as well as patience, to wait, while she crooned at him “In just a moment, handsome. I’ll give you both another piece at the same time. It’s ok, there’s enough for both of you.”


Finally, as the bronzes’ tail began to flick back and forth in irritation, the green swallowed the last bit of her piece and looked up at Andreya giving the tall girl a polite chirp of inquiry and a shift of her head. In response, Andreya said “Yes, there’s more for you too, bright eyes.” As she reassured the green, she reached out to pass both flits their next piece of meat taking care to keep her fingers out of bronze lunging space. 


With the pieces in her hand small, Andreya passed the pair of flits another two more pieces each before her hands were empty. While the flits both chewed, Andreya lifted her head and in a soft voice let Shalia know “I’ll need another handful in just a moment, when you’re ready.” 


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Shalia took a moment to look at the expression on Andreya's face, smiling herself.  Her smile faltered briefly as she imagined seeing Kime with a similar expression the day before, the joy of watching her friend's Impression to a pair of flits warring with her anger at being kept from seeing her girlfriend's Impression to Godith.


She blinked back tears and looked down at the bowl of meat, forcing herself to concentrate on the task at hand.  "I'm happy to help," she responded to Andreya's thanks, glancing up long enough to flash the other girl a smile before resuming her task.  It was difficult enough with the curved bowl as a cutting surface without letting her attention wander!


She kept her beltknife sharp, though, so cutting the meat wasn't too difficult; it was keeping her own fingers intact that was the problem.  Pretty soon she had a good rhythm going, and had gone through a substantial amount of the meat when Andreya spoke to her once more.  "Goferit," she said, pulling her knife out of the bowl.  "You're doing great," she added with a grin.


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Andreya, focused entirely on the flits in her lap, didn’t see Shalia’s surge of emotion but if she had she’d have reached out to comfort the other girl. 


At Shalia’s response, Andreya glanced over to see that Shalia had pulled the knife out of the bowl and was waiting. Smiling at the shorter girl, Andreya reached in and grabbed a scoop of smaller meat chunks with a “Thanks!” She did see that Shalia had gotten through a lot of the meat chunks and cut them into smaller bits already, and based on how it looked Andreya was a bit more relieved even as she realized the pounding hunger she felt from the flits had lessened a bit.


Andreya spent the next while just steadily feeding both the flits, glad for the green’s slow and dainty eating as that gave her an opportunity to slow down the bronze’s inhaling of the smaller meat chunks to something a bit more reasonable. Andreya fed the flits through this handful as well as 2 more (making sure to alert Shalia each time she needed to reach into the bowl), getting slower and slower between passing the pair each small chunk of meat. 


Finally, while waiting for his chunk of meat the bronze’s muzzle opened wide in a yawn that he quickly tried to smother but was unsuccessful. Smiling down at the bronze, feeling that his hunger was nearly gone but that he was *determined* to keep asking for food while the green was getting meat still herself, Andreya began to space out the next few meat chunks to the bronze with longer time between as well as soothing strokes between the bronze’s headknobs. Her touch, and the nearly full belly the bronze had, was making the bronze drowsy enough not to argue against the delayed food chunks he received, as long as he still got a small piece every now and then. 


The green moving slow and steady through each meat chunk she’d been handed, due to her smaller size, was feeling on the way to full but not quite there yet. The pale green, watching the bronze yawn and begin to doze even as the male insisted on getting meat still, lifted her narrow snout in the air as she gave the larger bronze a look of clear disdain at his greediness and gluttony, wanting what he wanted just to have it.  So, Andreya made sure to keep passing the tiny green small bites of meat, adoring the way the green moved as she ate so lady-like for a newborn. She was surprised at the clear personality differences that had shown through for each flit despite they’d both been starving when they’d Hatched.


After a moment, with the bronze still half dozing/half demanding a bit of food and the green still delicately eating the bites of meat she was handed, Andreya glanced up at Shalia and asked with slight concern in her voice, needing to make sure she was still doing things right “How do you think it’s going?”


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As soon as Andreya's fingers had cleared the bowl once more, Shalia resumed cutting the meat.  She finished just before the taller girl needed another handful and carefully set the knife aside to clean it later; the flits probably wouldn't take long enough to finish eating for the juices to dry enough to be a worry.


Her task done, she simply sat and watched the byplay between girl and flits with a smile; even second-hand, their personalities were quite distinct. Shalia gave an approving nod and murmur once she caught on that Andreya was slowing down the bronze's feeding again. And this time the demanding little greedy-guts didn't seem to be noticing, although she wasn't going to risk bringing it to his attention by saying something!


"It's going great," she assured Andreya with a grin.  "You've got quite the pair on your hands there, I think!"  She carefully set the bowl down on the floor, trying not to disturb the sleepy bronze, and stood up.  "You said you have towels?" She asked heading towards the pack, intending on grabbing one for her (and Andreya's) hands and the knife.


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The bronze was curling his tail around him a bit, curling in even as he fought against being drowsy and Andreya’s soothing fingers in order to keep eating. Feeding another bite to the green, at Shalia’s reassurances, Andreya smiled and then nodded at that comment about the pair of so opposite flits. At the question, the taller candidate nodded saying “Yes, I got a few towels actually...hopefully enough now with both of them. There’s also the bathing and oiling supplies in there too, but we’ll have to take them to the bath pool to bath them.” Maybe there’d be some extra towels by the bathing pools they could use for drying the flits off after a bath.


Andreya focused back on the flits, forgetting to mention the wooden box she’d gotten for the egg shell pieces...although she’d not expected to need a second box for a second egg! 


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Shalia nodded her understanding, and pulled a towel out.  "We'll be able to get more towels there," she said as she wiped her hands clean, echoing her cousin's thoughts. She cleaned her knife off and gave it a quick inspection before sheathing it,  then brought the rest of the towels over to Andreya, figuring the other girl would want a head start on cleaning the egg goo and meat juice off at her earliest opportunity.


She settled back down, towels in her lap, and smiled down at the green; she already seemed like she'd complement the other girl well, which was good because the bronze looked like he was going to be a real handful!


"How're they doing?" she asked; the bronze was clearly ready to drop off and hanging on by pure stubbornness, just waiting for the green.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Shalia’s words received a nod even as Andreya kept her focus on the pair of flits. It was a sign of how dedicated and focused on these flits the Harper candidate was that the normally *so* careful, put-together, and overly clean girl was able to ignore the sticky drying bits of egg goo covering not just her hands but were on her skirt as well, not to mention the blood from the meat that had stained her fingers. She was, unconsciously, making sure not to touch her hair with her gross hands, not even to brush stray bits that had escaped the braid back out of the way. 


Andreya watched as the bronze’s eyes drifted shut after another yawn even as he still kept himself upright instead of curling into sleep, and pulled her hand back from where she was stroking his head being careful not to make a move that would disturb him However as she carefully fed the green a few more small pieces slowly (thinking the bronze was finally out for the count), the sound of the green still eating jerked the bronze out if his upright doze. With a small jerk, the bronze‘s eyes opened half-way and he opened his snout in a grumbling whine for more food like *that interloper* was getting.

Knowing the bronze didn’t *need* more food, that he was full and was just being stubborn, Andreya shushed him and stroked his head again in the same calming motion she’d used to get him to doze reassuring him softly with “It’s ok, handsome. You’ll get more later. Rest now.” As she said that, after an annoyed grumble the bronze’s muzzle closed slowly and his eyes drifted shut again as he *finally* curled up limply in the bowl between her legs.


Letting out a breath at the attitude she’d been getting from the bronze, Andreya crooned at the lovely, polite green a moment before turning to Shalia and whispering in relief of the bronze having finally slipped into the food coma that he *should* have fallen into minutes ago if he’d not fought so hard “Oh man! The attitude he has contained in such a small package. So stubborn too!” 


Smiling down at the green, who slowed down on her eating too between adorable looking yawns that the green looked almost embarrassed to be doing as she shifted her head down as if to hide the yawn behind her wings, Andreya added “She’s just about done herself. Maybe a few more bites, I think?” 


However, as if to directly contradict Andreya’s words and prove how much *she* was not the horrible glutton the bronze had been, how much better *she* was over that larger, rude,...*male*, the green looked at the small piece of meat that she was in the process of eating in small delicate bites (only about halfway through the small chunk), and instead of finishing it the green laid it down on Andreya’s skirt-covered leg and gave a soft croon as if to say ‘I’m done’. But then, instead of curling up and passing out immediately like the bronze had, the green finally looked herself over (not being hunger for the first time) and gave a clearly distressed whimper as she stretched her wings out. The green was *clearly* unhappy that she was covered in *yuck* and not clean like she should be!


Holding back a laugh at the green’s antics, both to not offend the green or wake up the limp bronze, Andreya reassured the green saying “Yes, that’s going to be taken care of next, bright eyes. You’ll get all clean, no worries.” Reassured by her person’s words, the green lowered her wings and settled back down, but didn’t curl up to doze...no way could she let herself *sleep* in this state, after all!


With the green settled down and the bronze limp where he was curled up, Andreya finally glanced up again at Shalia and let out a happy and yet overwhelmed sounding breath saying “Wow...just..wow.” Seeing the towels Shalia had waiting in her lap, Andreya held her hand out for one with a kind of dazed smile saying “Oh, a towel would be great! Then we can get this pair cleaned up, finally. I have a feeling the bronze will sleep through the whole thing, but that this pretty girl will keep herself awake and alert as much as possible until she’s cleaned and oiled...I get a feeling she’s going to be very particular about the cleaning process.” That last bit was said with a small, amused, uplift in her voice. 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Shalia giggled as she passed a towel.  Like human, like flit, sometimes!  "Then you should probably clean her first and let her get her beauty sleep.  Not that she needs the beauty part of it, of course!" she added, smiling at the pretty little green.  "Want me to take him so you can get up?" she asked, readying a couple more towels for the flits once Andreya got her hands more or less clean, suspecting neither Candidate nor green would want to use a dirty towel for that.  The bronze might not care (especially now that he was unconscious), but the girl still would.


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