"Out you go, my darlings!" Foxsly sang out happily, and gave her denmates a wink. She grabbed Crest and Riversong each by an arm and tugged them towards the exit she had bounced in through only seconds earlier. "Reedweaver and I have got a baby to make, and I don't think we'll need your help!"
"Oh?" Crest grinned, allowing his soul-sister to shove him to the den doorway. "Congratulations to you both!" As he stepped out of the den, he clapped a friendly hand on Reedweaver's shoulder.
"Yes!" Riversong agreed, adding a congratulatory squeeze of Reedweaver's arm as she passed by as well. "Have fuuuuuuun, you two!" Her merry peals of good-cheered laughter followed the two of them out of the den.
Reedweaver was almost certain his face would have flushed with sheepish self-consciousness just then if he hadn't been so filled with the pure need of Recognition for his delicate chieftess already. Leeloo... High Ones! Her soulname was as beautiful as she was.
As he stood in the den entryway thinking those thoughts, Foxsly had already made herself comfortable in her furs. She reached out impatiently towards him and gave him a sultry, teasing grin. "You're not afraid of being bitten, are you?"
"Of course not!" Finding his feet again, Reedweaver fairly leaped into the den and crawled into the furs with his chieftess, stroking her face softly with a hand as she embraced him.
"That's good," Foxsly replied, her grin widening. "Because I might bite!"
Reedweaver contentedly breathed in the scent of his chieftess, his face buried in her short crop of firey hair as they lay together. They were both tired, of course -- that was just to be expected when someone shared furs with this chieftess! Of course, she had no shortage of furmates within the tribe. Reedweaver himself had shared furs with her at least once or twice before, but it had never been anything even close to the experience after touching souls.
Finally, Foxsly lifted her head and fixed her lovely eyes on his face. "That was fun," she grinned.
"Yes, it was!" Reedweaver had to agree. "Isn't Recognition wonderful?"
"Mmm, yes," Foxsly nodded, rolling off of his stomach to lie on her back next to him as she stretched. "Always is a wonderful thing -- I can have fun any time, but this time it'll mean a cub. Of course," she added in a sleepy yawn as she snuggled over onto her other side and began to doze, "if I'd Recognized Crest instead, then it would have been downright perfect..."
Reedweaver was stunned and hurt by her words. Of course he knew it was not an insult to him, and everyone knew how inseparable the soul-siblings were. Still, something accidentally dropped on one's head could hurt just as much as if someone had bitten in anger, and Reedweaver stung. After several moments, he finally dared to look over at Leeloo -- Foxsly, and saw that she was peacefully sleeping off her exertion now.
Quietly, he stood up and picked his way out of the den, sending to Crest and Riversong as he did: **I give your den and Foxsly back to you now, and I'm sorry for taking them away from the two of you tonight...**
**Don't be,** Crest replied promptly from somewhere in the branches of the Dentrees above, and felt Riversong's sent agreement with his sentiment. Reedweaver wasn't sure, but he thought he detected the faintest trace of the same tone of disappointment from Crest that he had heard from Foxsly. There was no blame, however. How could there be? Everyone rejoiced at a Recognition. **You've given the tribe far more than you've taken tonight!**
Reedweaver didn't know how else to respond, so he simply sent his wordless gratitude to both of them for their understanding.