Chapter 7: Parenthood
A.N.: come on guys… review the story. LOTG is a dead archive, and my stories in there get more reviews than this archive… that's messed up…
I was relaxing my sore body next to Azure in the nest when I felt her slide her wing across my chest. I smiled as I looked down at my own Azure angel. She was gorgeous and lovely, even as she snuggled into my side. I brought my wing around her and hugged her tightly, and felt myself starting to coo. Azure lifted her head up and was looking at me as she asked, "What is it Wolf?"
Pulling her even closer, I gave her a kiss, and completely lost myself in the feeling, and I said, "I love you so much…" she giggled when I pulled away from the kiss. I chuckled quietly as I started to preen her, but not just her neck.
Suddenly, she shoved me away roughly as she stood up, and ran towards the entrance. I was feeling hurt, emotionally, until I heard her vomiting. I quickly stood up and rushed to her side and held her still since she was wobbling as she was leaning over. When she finally stopped, I helped her back into the hollow, where she collapsed, but I held her close to me. While she was breathing weakly and heavily, I said, "We need to get you to Túlio now, so we can find out what is wrong."
Azure nodded weakly, and I walked her towards the entrance, where I set her on my back and glided down so I could readjust her on my back. I started to flap my wings hard, so I could get her help as soon as possible. I saw a few birds along out way, but none that I recognized. I noticed the white building that was the aviary, and flew even faster.
I landed in the courtyard in the back, and gently placed Azure onto the ground before shifting into a human. Carefully, and gently, I picked Azure up. Before I could reach the door, I felt Azure shifting until her head was above the ground, and she dry heaved. I kneeled down, and gently stroked Azure's back until she stopped. I stood back up, and Azure laid down in my hand as I reached for the door handle, and twisted it open, Azure shivered. I brought the hand she was occupying up to my chest, and quietly closed the door behind me.
When I released its grip, I placed my hand on top of Azure to keep her warm, and she said, "Thank you Wolf…"
"Anything for you Azure…" I answered as I kept walking. I passed the coffee room, and saw someone inside as I passed by. I stopped, and backed up and looked in and asked, "Um… excuse me?" when the person finally looked over, I asked, "Do you know where Túlio is?"
"He's in the treatment room…"
"Thanks!" and after that, I hurried off, and went to the treatment room, and instantly spotted the doctor near a few bird cages. I rushed over to him, and he was writing some notes down on a clip board as he would occasionally look at the caged birds. I stepped up to him and asked, "Túlio, may you come over here please?"
When he turned around, he smiled and nodded, I walked towards a corner that was least populated and turned to face the doctor and I said, "Something is wrong with Azure," I took my hand off her back, "She threw up while we were relaxing."
He seemed to be thinking, and when his eyes widened, he gave me a weird look before saying, "What did she eat last?"
"A papaya…" Azure whispered weakly. I repeated it to Túlio, and he seemed taken aback but said, "Here, let me see her. I will need to run some tests."
Before I handed her to him, she asked me, "Will you be there with me?"
"Túlio, can I stay with her?" I asked. When he shook his head, I sighed and Azure seemed to understand. After I handed her to Túlio, I gave her one last stroke on the back before I walked towards some assistants to see how I could help.
I was currently leaning up against a wall, taking a small nap when I heard, "Meu deus!"
My head shot up at the sound of Túlio's alarmed voice, and he shot his head at the door, and looked me up and down, before returning back to his work, or whatever he was doing. I pushed myself away from the wall, and walked briskly towards his door when he stepped out of it, holding Azure in one hand, and she seemed to be feeling much better. I stopped, and he held his hand out to me. I took it, while remaining confused and worried, and shook his hand.
"Congratulations, Mr. Wolf…" Túlio said, whilst forcing a smile.
I pulled my hand away, and asked, "Why did you call me Mr.? And also, what are you hiding?" he seemed to shrink back, but when Azure flew up to my shoulder, she was smiling also. I looked between her and Túlio, but it was the latter that answered, "Wolf… you will have children… or in this case… chicks…"
Stumbling, I quickly placed my hand to the wall, and the other to my forehead, and steadied myself before asking, "What… did you say?"
Túlio place a hand on my open shoulder, and repeated in a strained voice, "I don't know how Wolf, but Azure is pregnant. You will become a father in six months or less from the results.
Oh boy… my hand slipped, and I heard Azure panic as she took flight, and I fell face down onto the floor, feeling nothing, and hearing nothing. Blackness started to envelope my vision, and I felt my breathing slowing down…
"Ugh… what happened?" I was lying in my nest, with Azure under my wing. A dull throbbing was going through my head, and I felt Azure shifting under my wing, but I didn't feel the three lumps in between us. I heard her moan softly, and when she opened her eyes, she looked at me and smiled brightly, before pecking me gently on my cheek. I smiled slightly, and as she moved to the side, she looked down towards my side. I looked down to see what she saw, and I nearly fainted again. I reached a shaky wing out, and touched the bright white shell, and gently rubbed it. I never in my life saw a birds egg this close, and I never expected in a million years I would be the father of one.
Without realizing it, I smiled as I pulled my wing away from the shell, and looked over at Azure, who was smiling at me. I carefully moved around the eggs, and wrapped my wings around Azure and pulled her even closer to me. I smiled as I closed my eyes, and pressed my beak gently across hers.
Azure slowly pulled away, but I kept my eyes closed as I relished in the feeling. When I opened them, I pulled Azure closer, and laid my head on hers and whispered, "How does it feel to be a mother?"
"I don't know yet. We just have to wait until we see how the chicks behave… I heard some could be really mean." Azure said. What…. Chicks being mean… impossible… well. There are Rafael's kids, now those are some monsters!
When I lifted my head up, and backed up, I looked at the white ovals again before I sat down on one side of them. I pulled them closer to my side just as Azure sat down near them also, and asked, "Should we give them names Wolf?"
"How about we wait until they hatch? That way we don't give a girl a boy name, or a boy a girl's name." I replied. When I lifted my head up, I saw a look in Azures eyes that was making me nervous. I opened my beak and asked, "What is it Azure?"
Um… what? I felt the smudge of my confusion cross my facial features, and she added, "You're going to make a great father…"
It felt as if the feathers on my face started to rise, so I managed to stammer out, "Thank you beautiful…" I smiled when I saw her look away slightly, and I added, "And you will make an excellent mother."
Six months have now passed by; some days had gone slower, while some had seemed to pass by without warning. While I had been incubating the eggs, Wolf would take great care of me, he would even offer to watch over the eggs while I went outside to relax or do anything else I pleased. It was only when he would forcefully grab me and pick me up that I went outside, and even then I couldn't help but stay nearby and watch them, my family, staying in the hollow. When I had gone out to bathe, I made sure I came back as pristine as I could. I came back a few times with a flower in my head feathers, and when I would walk into the hollow; Wolf's beak would drop, and I would see a small sparkle in his eyes.
I was currently sitting along the rim of the lake, and looking down into the water, watching my reflection bouncing back at me. Today was one of those slow days, and Wolf had made sure I was away from the nest today. As I laid down on my back, I took a deep breath in, and let all the exotic scents linger around me. The warm sun was beating down on my body, and the cool breeze shuffled through my feathers. I exhaled slowly as I heard someone land nearby. I opened my eye on that side, and looked over and saw Jewel walking up to me.
When I started to sit up, Jewel said, "Hello Azure. I take it Wolf shooed you away from the nest?" I nodded and smiled, and Jewel added, "So how are your eggs?"
"They are fine. They were shaking yesterday, but they didn't show any signs of attempting to hatch. What about yours?" Jewel smiled, and looked out over the water before saying, "One of them hatched last night, but the other two didn't break through their shells entirely yet. So far we have a baby girl; we don't know what the other two are yet though."
I looked over at Jewel and smiled even wider before saying, "Congratulations Jewel! I just wish mine would hatch already; I don't get to spend as much time with Wolf anymore… well, not quality time. We always have to be near the eggs, and when we are, we have to be careful."
When I looked over at Jewel, she was nodding as she looked at the sky. She swiveled her head and looked at me with a concerned face, "Has Wolf… you know… still been having nightmares?"
After I sighed as I felt my smile drop to a sadder expression before saying, "Yes, but they aren't as bad, and the last one he had was two weeks ago. He hasn't been having anymore lately, but I'm worried he may start again."
Before I could lie back down, or Jewel to say anything else, an urgent voice yelled from behind, "Azure, hurry up and get in here!"
I shot up and raced towards the hollow faster than Jewel could respond, and I was inside in front of Wolf within a few seconds, "What's wrong!"
Wolf grabbed my wing with his, and pulled me closer to him before pulling more towards the nest quickly. When we arrived, I looked into it and gasped; the three pearly white shells were rocking back and forth, and all but one had spider webbed cracks along its surface. I turned around briefly when I heard some noise, and saw it was just Jewel entering the hollow. When I looked back at the nest, a chip fell from one of the eggs, and I smiled as I unknowingly squeezed Wolf's wing.
Jewel sidled up next to the nest on Wolf's side, and was smiling as she watched the hatching of Wolf's and my chicks. I felt something warm start to run down my cheeks as my vision started to get blurry. I managed to see Wolf look at me from the corner of my eye, and I saw him move closer to me as he wrapped both of his wings around me. I smiled as I buried my head into his chest, but not enough so I couldn't watch one of my chicks break through its shell, and lightly fall back against the soft nest.
I heard Wolfs chest rumbling as he chuckled, and I heard him say, "Pink little thing… heh."
He pulled me closer as in unison, the last two eggs broke apart, but one of them seemed to fall inwards on itself while the other completely broke away and fell around the nest. I felt Wolf remove one of his wings from around me, and I saw him stretching it over the nest. He held it above the inward shell, and lightly pushed away the bigger pieces. Once he had done that, we could see a particularly small chick curled up into a small ball.
"How do we tell if they are boys or girls?" Wolf asked. I looked over at Jewel, who looked at me at the same time, and giggled. We both then looked towards a confused Wolf.
"We just know…" I said. Wolf looked at me incuriously, and asked, "But how?"
Jewel laid a wing on his shoulder to get his attention, and when he looked over at her, she said, "It is in a mother's instinct to know. For example, I can tell Azure already knows which are boys and girls."
But… you can't just guess… that wouldn't be right if you got it wrong! I thought. I didn't speak my mind this time, so I wouldn't offend either of the ladies present. I looked back at the nest and picked up the smallest chick carefully, and gently. I pulled it close to my body and looked down at the little thing. It seems so frail and fragile… well… it kinda is though. Hmm, let's see…
As I studied the chick carefully, I noticed a few features that stood out, thought they were quiet small and hard to see, "I'm guessing this one is a female?" I looked over at Azure hopefully, praying that I didn't just call my son a daughter. When she nodded, I mentally sighed, and looked down at the small pinkish chick that was cuddling into my warm feathers. I used my other wing to lightly rub its beak, and I watched as she twitched her beak as I pulled my feathers away. She continued to move it until I looked away and asked, "So, can I na-"
CHUU! The chick I was holding had just sneezed, and I wasn't prepared, so I jumped. This caused the small pink mass to let out a disapproved squeak, which caused the other two to start squeaking also. Jewel said, "And now is when you feed them… you do know how to do this, right Azure?"
I looked over at Azure, and she nodded her head. I watched as she walked over to a pile of fruit and nuts I had stocked up on in case the weather was bad, or we were being lazy. She picked up a nut and bit off of a passion fruit, and she starting chewing both the food items. I looked back down at the chick that had quieted down, but still kept chirping insistently.
Azure walked up to the nest, and bent over one of the chicks, which opened its beak upwards. I forced myself to watch and remain calm, as I watched her give her chewed food to the bigger chick. I felt myself give a small gag, but I heard Jewel say, "Well, are you going to feed your little girl or not Wolf?"
I swallowed as I looked down at the chick in my wing, and I focused on feeding my little girl. I walked over the pile of food, and grabbed a nut, and took a bite out of the same fruit Azure had. Normally my mouth would have watered, but now it felt insanely dry as I chewed. When I assumed I was ready, I didn't feel any clumps in the food, I bent my beak over my chick, and watched as she opened her beak like the other one had. Carefully, I moved the food toward the end of my beak, and let it fall into the waiting gullet of the hungry chick. I watched as she swallowed the food and reopened her beak upwards, and I repeated the process until she didn't open her beak again.
When I looked back up, I saw the smiling faces of Jewel and Azure watching me. I looked behind Azure, and saw the two other chicks snuggling into the nest. I returned my look to Azure, and asked, "So, are those boys or girls?"
Without looking away from me, Azure said, "They are both boys." I smiled, and walked closer to the nest. I looked down at the boys, and saw their each individual features… physically wise. They were different sizes, and one of them already had a tint of blue to its body. "Have a great day you two, I'm going to go tell Blu of the news." Jewel said.
I smiled and nodded towards Jewel, and looked back at the boys. I shifted my gaze to the little angel in my wings, and noticed a small white feather on one side of her head. I looked towards Azure, who was studying the chick in my wings, and I asked, "Can I choose a name for her?"
Azure seemed taken aback by my request, but she quickly smirked as she answered, "If I get to name both the boys." I smiled, and nodded. She looked up and into my eyes as she asked, "So, what did you have planned to name her?"
After she asked that, I smiled and looked down into the chicks sleeping face, and said, "I was thinking…"
-Two Months Later-
When I had finally returned home from my exhausting ordeal, I settled down onto a branch nearby. I was about to bring home the last fruit of the night before the storm settled in. Well… I'm glad I at least got all the food we will need. I could've just turned into a human to do all that, but I don't want to scare anyone… only Fay, Marco, Blu, Jewel, Rafeal, Eva, Nico, Pedro, and Azures family know about it… everyone else has forgotten it was me that could change.
Lightning cracked across the sky, and when a drop of water landed on my beak, I flew into the hollow with the mango in my talons. I dropped it softly, alerting the two awake occupants within, and landed next to it. I moved it towards the rest of the food, and turned around. I was greeted by a small blue chick jumping up and down saying, "Papa, papa…"
Grinning as I stooped down and picked up my girl, I asked, "well hello to you too beautiful! Were you good for mama?"
The chick nodded as she buried her face into my chest, and I chuckled when she did that. "Beleza, look what I got for you."
As Beleza pulled her head out from my feathers, I grabbed the hidden fruit from within my neck feathers, and held it up within the light. I was holding a blackberry I had went down and fetched before I came back with the mango. As soon as she could see what it was, she stood up in my wing, and wrapped her smaller wings around my neck in a hug. I smiled when she pulled away, and I put the berry to her beak, which she bit into, and slowly ate it.
I started to walk towards the nest, but when I looked in, it was a tight fit, so I sighed as I gently lowered Beleza into the nest and settled down on the hollow floor nearby. "Dear, aren't you going to sleep in the nest with us?"
When I sighed and shook my head, I said, "Not tonight… I'm going to have to make it bigger tomorrow, or just build another nest. The chicks have gotten big quickly…" I laid my head down on my shoulder, and slowly started to drift into slumber. I heard some shuffling, but let it pass, since it was either Luke or Gabriel shifting in their sleep again.
A light whispering kept me from drifting into the final stages of slumber, but I heard, "Beleza, get back into the nest. It is time to sleep." A smaller voice replied back just as quietly, but sadly, "But I wanna sleep with papa… please!"
Soft sighing was heard, and someone replied, "Go ahead, but don't keep him up too long…"
When all had quieted down, I started to enter the final stages of sleep when a gentle nudging in my wing made me open my eyes, and look over. I saw a small blue smudge in the dark, and a flashback came to my mind within that split second.
A younger Azure was standing before me in the dark, beautiful as ever, and I didn't know why she had just woke me up. Azure's voice sounded out from the blue smudge in the dark, "I'm cold, Wolf."
In my memory, I had let Azure sleep next to me, and that was the beginning of our relationship starting to strengthen…
Beleza's soft and melodious voice cut through the darkness and said, "Papa, I wanna sleep with you…" and with one smooth motion, I scooped her up and pulled her into my chest snuggly. I laid down on my back, and held her close to me while I hummed a lullaby to her. Before long, I heard the small chirping of her sleeping. I opened my eyes and looked up at Azure, who just happened to be looking at me.
"You know Azure, I remember when you did this… remember? It was when I had first saved your life; you had snuck up to me in the dark and asked to sleep with me." I smiled as Azure blushed, and I added, "When we woke up, apparently mom and dad didn't know you were there at first." I sighed as I remembered dad telling me that, and I finally felt myself drifting away. I mumbled, "I love you Azure, sleep well."
"You too my dear Wolf…"
I awoke to a soft whimpering noise, along with a shivering moving through my body. I heard soft gentle crying issuing from somewhere next to me, and when I lifted up my wing, I felt like my heart had broken; Beleza was cowering into my side. Her face showed fear and tears when lightning flashed across the sky, and thunder echoed throughout the hollow. "Beleza, darling, what's wrong?"
She whimpered more before muttering, "I-I'm scared!"
Puzzled, I pressed on, "Scared about what my little beauty?"
She held up a small shaky wing and pointed towards the hollow entrance. I looked out, and when I saw the lightning flicker, I saw what she meant; the rain was falling in curtains, leaves were flying around fast, along with the occasional lightning and thunder. I had an idea on how to help her fall asleep. I picked her up, and held her to my chest, and let her rest her head on my chest, near my slow steady heart. "Listen closely Beleza, I promise you nothing bad will happen to you… here, I will sing you a lullaby, how is that?"
"W-What is a l-l-lullaby?"
I chuckled softly before saying, "It is a song to help young ones," I tapped her beak lightly, "such as yourself, to fall asleep. Would you like that?" she nodded vigorously, and I smiled as I started to pick through words to sing for her;
"Hush now lit-tle one,
I won't let a thing harm you.
Hush now my sweet Be-le-za.
Calm your rac-ing heart,
Relax and sleep to-night.
Hush my lit-tle girl,
Everything will be al-right,
I won't let a thing harm you to-night.
Let your dreams find you now,
Don't worry about a thing,
You will for-ever be safe."
She was on the verge of sleeping, but not quite there, so I finished with one final line, "Hush now Be-le-za, your pa-pa has you now…" I finished quietly, and gently kissed her on the cheek. She was sleeping soundly against my chest, and when I looked back out towards the night sky, I saw the twinkling stars shining through the hollow opening. A rainbow could be seen from the moons light, and I smiled as I heard a shuffling behind me. I turned around and saw Azure looking over at me from the nest. I stood up and silently walked over to her, making sure not to wake up Beleza. When I stopped in front of Azure, she leaned forward and planted a kiss along my beak.
After she pulled away, she said, "That was sweet of you dear…"
I smiled as I said, "The storm was scaring her, and I couldn't just let her be by herself like that… did I wake you?"
Azure smiled softly before nodding, but before I could apologize, she said, "But it was for a good reason I hope. Just go to sleep now Wolf, we have a big day tomorrow."
As I nodded, I walked back over to where I was before, and sat down in a comfortable position, and felt Beleza snuggle into my chest. Hehe, she is daddy's little girl… and with that final thought, I once again drifted into sleep…
-Three Months Later-
My family and I were currently sitting alongside each other near the edge of the lake. Luke and Gabriel had just gone swimming, and Beleza had stayed dry and away from them as they played splash fights in the lake. I looked over each individual of my family, observing their individual uniqueness.
Azure was lying across the grass taking a small doze while the sun reflected off of her beautiful blue feathers, and the yellow around her beak highlighted the light blue around her eyes. I knew that beneath her eyelids lay two sparkling emerald green eyes.
Beleza was currently sitting close to me, and I saw how her dark blue coat and bright yellow feathers around her beak highlighted her physic. I had shooed a few lookers away as they thought she was older than a few years, when she was in fact only five months. The white feather she had from birth had grown larger, but retained the pearl colored clearness, and it hung above her left eye, bringing out the golden colored irises she had.
Luke was my little demon child, causing even more trouble than Rafael's chicks at times, all combined! He was respectful, and he listened, but if you didn't watch him; in six hours he would do something horrible. He was brilliant when it came to anything having to deal with needing muscle, he was the largest of all our chicks, but he was still less than half my size. He had dark blue feathers like Gabriel, but his eyes were almost a muddy brown.
And finally, my brain… Gabriel! He could out-think any other bird in the jungle, his intellect had even rivaled Blu's at one point, but then Blu had proven himself to be even smarter than anyone had originally thought. At times I wondered if those brown eyes contained any answer to the questions I had. His feathers were an odd assortment for any bird, especially a Hyacinth. He had dark blue feathers everywhere, but when night came, his feathers shimmered nearly midnight black.
What a wonderful day. I haven't needed to shift, fight, or even get hurt ever since that… crash. *shivers* I can still remember that angel…
Beleza looked over at me, and slowly scooted closer, until she was pressed up against my side. I smiled at her and asked, "And what does daddy's little beauty want now?"
I chuckled as she gave me a playful glare before saying, "Nothing, I just wanted to sit closer to my dad." I sighed as she rested her head against my side, and I let my eyes close as a cool breeze rolled off of the lake. I heard someone land far behind us, and I looked behind me to see who it was, and I felt my blood turn to ice. I didn't mean to, since my children never heard me act violent in any way, but I let out a deep menacing growl as I slowly stood up. Beleza had jumped when she hear me make the noise, but I was too busy facing the harpy eagle before me, who looked a lot tougher since I last saw him. He slowly walked forward and stopped a mere twelve feet away. I growled again before saying, "What do you want."
My posture went from straight, to angled with my feathers bristling when he took a few steps closer and I said, "That is close enough!" he stopped and held up his wings. He slowly put them back down before his beak dropped into a frown and he said, "Do you remember the plane incident?"
When he mentioned that, I flinched, and he went on, "Well… the smugglers have escaped. And they found Nigel." He seemed to shift his feet a bit and said, "I thought I should let you know, since you saved my life."
I straightened my back, but my feathers were still standing on end. I felt someone push themselves under my wing, and I took a glance and quickly wrapped Beleza in my wings to hide her from the Harpy Eagles view. She made to protest, but I firmly whispered, "Not now Beleza!"
The only times I used firm words with my children was when they had gotten into trouble, I wasn't in an ok mood, or I was being serious. She didn't make another fuss, and I turned back to the Harpy and said, "Thank you… you can go now…"
He bowed his head before he turned around and flew away quickly. I unwrapped Beleza, and walked away from them all. I rubbed my shoulder and back as old memories, along with the long gone wounds came back. I remembered the burning pain of Nigel's beak in my shoulder, the gun wound, and the bolt cutters digging into my lower back. I looked up towards the sky, please help me…
I looked back down and turned towards my family. Azure was looking at me with a concerned look; Beleza had an anxious, nervous look over hers. I looked past them to the boys, and Gabriel looked curious, while Luke seemed prepared for a fight. I walked up towards them, and instantly Beleza asked, "What is wrong?"
I looked over at her, and let out a weak smile, and then looked at everyone else before saying, "Azure… I will be back before noon. I need to go get some stuff. Luke, watch over them, don't let any bird we don't know get close to them. I want you all to wait in the hollow until I get back, I will explain everything then."
When I turned around, I focused on my bird of speed, and heard three simultaneous gasps, and I shot into the air…
A.N.: Cliffy! That is the end of this story… now… you must wait! XD hope you enjoyed…
The chicks are all still young, except Rafael's, those EVIL lil demons! Don't let them bite you!