|savage_storm (savage_storm) wrote in snark_n_bark,|
@ 2008-08-22 21:08:00
|Entry tags:||complete, etienne, serafino, serenus, tybalt|
All creatures, bi-and-quadripedal
Characters: Serenus, Tybalt, Etienne, Serafino, and a new critter
Summary: Tybalt brings home a surprise family expansion, and Serenus suggests another
"Hush!" Tybalt opened his jacket and peeked in, seeing two big black eyes peeping back at him. The little creature wriggled, its tails wagging and causing him to laugh at the tickling. "It won't be long, I promise! Just stay quiet and still for a few more minutes, all right? Then you'll have all the love and cuddles and spoiling you can possibly desire!"
He stuck his fingers inside, where they were promptly licked and then nibbled with rather sharp teeth. With another laugh, Tybalt closed his jacket again, then stepped up onto the porch of Azoth House and opened the door.
"Daddy's home!" he called out. "Where are my hugs and kisses?"
The twins were in the parlor with Serenus, where all three of them were on the floor, playing with letter blocks, but as soon as they heard Tybalt's announcement, Etienne and Serafino scrambled to their feet and ran as quickly as their short, plump legs would carry them to the front door, bouncing and stretching out their arms.
"We hug you!" Serafino exclaimed. "We kiss you!"
Serenus followed behind at a more leisurely pace, and his smile was both welcoming and heated. "I'll kiss you too," he drawled, the look in his eyes making the unspoken part of that sentence clear: wherever you like.
Scooping up one small boy in each arm, Tybalt chuckled and gave each of the twins a smacking kiss on the cheek and a nuzzle. Serafino laughed and kissed Tybalt back, but Etienne scowled, although it was obviously more for show than because of any real crankiness. Then he put the boys down, where each of them promptly attached themselves to one of his legs, slowing him down as he moved toward Serenus, reading the invitation loud and clear and giving Serenus a toothy grin in reply.
"Come here, big boy, and you get a special kiss," Tybalt said, wrapping arms around Serenus and giving him a firm kiss on the lips.
Serenus wound his arms around Tybalt's shoulders and hummed with pleasure as he returned the kiss, but the sound was abruptly cut off when he felt a strange lump on Tybalt's chest. A lump that moved. He drew back, his eyebrows climbing to his hairline, and glanced down at Tybalt's jacket.
"Er... Did you take some kind of odd curse damage today?" he asked.
Chuckling, Tybalt stepped back, giving Serenus a wicked smile. "Maybe I'm just really happy to see you," he drawled. At that moment, his jacket let out a distinctive bark. "Er... or maybe the lion in my pocket is really a puppy in my jacket. Care to find out?"
At the sound of the bark, Etienne and Serafino let go of Tybalt's legs and stepped back, staring up at him with wide, hopeful eyes.
"You got a Winslow?" Serafino asked, stretching out his arms again and opening and closing his fingers. "Wanna see! Please!"
"You got a puppy?" Serenus stepped back and shook his head, chuckling. "Well, that is a surprise! Go on, then, let's see it," he said, reaching out to help unzip Tybalt's jacket.
"Just a moment, pet," Tybalt told Serafino, while Serenus lowered the zipper. The moment it was halfway down his chest, a small, white, furry head with two perky ears and two big brown eyes popped out, precisely as though an alien had sprung from Tybalt's chest.
"RRRRFFF!" The little crup barked, then wriggled upon seeing the other people, wanting to get out and explore all the new two-legs.
"Quick, get him out before he kills me!" Tybalt squeaked, squirming as the puppy's motions tickled him. "Argh! I should have put him in a box!"
Laughing, Serenus plucked the wriggling creature out of Tybalt's jacket and held it up, examining it; as soon as he brought it close enough, it licked his nose. "You found a crup!" he said, noticing the little animal's two tails, which were wagging wildly. "Be careful," he admonished the boys as he lowered the crup to the floor. "Don't squeeze it too tightly, and don't grab its tails, all right?"
"He's a him, and we need to name him," Tybalt said, giving Serenus a hug and then crouching down so that he was on level with the twins. "What do you think, boys? Do you like him? Shall we keep him and make him a Savage-Snape? Well, subject to Papa's approval, of course."
"Keep him! Name him Winslow!" Serafino crooned, trying to catch the small crup, which nimbly avoided his arms and ran around both boys, barking wildly.
"But there's already a Winslow in the family," Serenus said as he too knelt and watched the little crup's antics. "Shouldn't we name him something else?"
Rather than risk looking foolish by trying and failing to catch the crup, Etienne leaned against Serenus' side and watched raptly, even smiling, his blue eyes lighting up. "Pretty puppy," he said at last, pronouncing his opinion. "Wanna keep him."
"Well that's two votes," Tybalt said, giving Serenus a rueful glance. "I hope you don't mind. Stephen Proudfoot - you might remember him, my former partner in the Auror Corps? - well, I was telling him we were thinking of getting a crup for the boys, and he happened to know someone who had a litter, and this little guy was the last one. I went to take a look, and well... who could resist those eyes? They remind me of yours, so big and dark and loving. Except yours are sexier, of course!"
"Flatterer!" Serenus chuckled and gave Tybalt an affectionate look. "No, I don't mind. If we had talked about it, I would have said I was in favor of getting a pet. I was even thinking about getting one for you as a surprise!" he admitted with a laugh.
Tybalt flushed with pleasure, glad that Serenus liked the puppy, and he leaned over to kiss Serenus' cheek affectionately. "I didn't mean to steal a march on you, love. Well, you donated four legs to the brood, and now I have, too. Although mine was substantially less painful and far more tickly!"
Serafino finally managed to corral the wriggly puppy, and he waddled over, holding the little creature carefully even though it was almost as big as he was. "I got him!" he crooned, then rubbed his cheek against the soft fur of the puppy's head. "Soft puppy! Pet him, Tien! He nice!"
With the crup safely contained, Etienne left Serenus' side and approached his brother, stretching out his hand to pat the crup, hesitantly at first but with more confidence as the crup wriggled and lapped at his arm. "Soft," he agreed somberly.
Serenus shifted closer to Tybalt and sat down cross-legged, watching the boys get acquainted with the newest addition to the family. "Yes, we're even now," he said, leaning over to shoulder Tybalt affectionately. "But we still need to have that talk about another two-legged addition to the brood."
Lowering himself to the floor as well, Tybalt pressed close to Serenus' side and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He turned his head to nuzzle Serenus' cheek. "If you want another baby, I'm ready. The twins are out of diapers, and now that they're starting lessons with their cousins, they're becoming even more independent. You know I've always wanted a huge family, so as long as you want to keep producing adorable little cherubs, I'll be here to help."
Serenus slid his arm around Tybalt's waist and leaned against him. "Soon, I think," he murmured. "Perhaps after the holidays? It may take a while for me to conceive this time around, like it did with Severus with Gaia, and I'm not sure I want to battle morning sickness during Christmas." He smiled winsomely at Tybalt and gave him a squeeze. "But you could give me a baby for my birthday."
"That is a gift that it will be my pleasure to give," Tybalt said, beaming at Serenus and leaning down to steal a soft, lingering kiss, not deterred in the slightest by the squealing and barking in the background. He pulled back so that he could look into Serenus' eyes, lifting his free hand to cradle Serenus' cheek tenderly. "Whether you conceive or not, you've already given me a priceless gift as well, in just wanting to have children with me. Dirty diapers, midnight feedings and all."
Serenus leaned into the touch, gazing at Tybalt with affection in his eyes. "It's a gift for me as well, and it's my pleasure to share this bond with you. You know I want a large family, too, so I'm quite happy to keep going now that I've reconciled myself to the physical changes of pregnancy. It won't be the same as it was the first time; it'll be much better."
Tybalt brushed his thumb over Serenus' cheek. "You're sure you don't mind it? Because I know it really is a sacrifice for you, even if it will be the second time. I'm willing to do my part and carry a child for you as well, if that would make you happy. I can't promise I won't be the oddest looking creature in the history of the world, but I'd happily do it for you."
Laughing softly, Serenus shook his head. "I don't mind," he said, reaching up to stroke Tybalt's cheek in return. "I'm in a different place emotionally with a different mindset than I had then. A lot has changed, and I'm happy to be the one who incubates the new little spawn."
"Well, I and my waistline thank you for that," Tybalt chuckled, rubbing his nose against Serenus' playfully. "And I'm glad you're happier now than you were then. I know that it wasn't an easy pregnancy for you, but we got such beautiful boys out of it, didn't we?" He paused to glance over at their little cherubs, relieved that the puppy had settled down between the twins, submitting to them petting him everywhere they could reach. "You don't think Severus will mind, do you? He seemed very unhappy at the thought of not having another of his own."
"He is rather disappointed," Serenus said quietly, turning his gaze to the twins as well. "I think he would expand their family too if he could, but after what happened with Cymbeline and Gaia..." He shook his head. "You remember how terrible it was for him afterward. For all of them, really, but he had that awful depression. I don't blame him for not wanting to go through that again." He paused, considering for a moment. "I don't think he will mind, really, and I'm certainly happy to share the experience with him as much as possible. With our bond, it could be quite easy to share on a deeper level. I do think he'll be a little envious and wistful, but not angry or resentful about it."
"I can understand his reluctance, and yet... well, I suppose it seems unfair that Cymbeline has that much control over the lives of her parents." Tybalt sighed and shook his head. "Ah, well. You're both still young as wizards go, and who knows how long both of you could keep having children? Perhaps when Cymbeline goes to Hogwarts, it won't be an issue any longer. I think I'm rather glad we had the twins first. They've had to share since the very beginning, so I don't think accepting another sibling is going to be an issue."
"No, I don't think so either," Serenus replied. "Which is quite a relief! I don't know... It's more complicated than control, I think. It was a huge emotional tangle, and Severus' depression made it worse for him, the poor love." He glanced at Tybalt wryly. "Although don't tell him I called him that! Anyway, I doubt we'll have the same problem."
"I can imagine it was hard, especially given Severus' personality. And don't worry, I won't tell him that you sympathize; he'd probably clout me upside my head for daring to voice something so maudlin anyway." Tybalt chuckled, hugging Serenus hard. "We'll have no problems, I know it. I'll make certain to brush up on my foot rubbing and back massaging skills, and have every odd fast food place in London on either Muggle speed dial or emergency Floo call. I learned too, you know! I'm big and dumb, but I can be taught."
"You are not dumb," Serenus replied sternly. "Aren't you the one who was brilliant enough to compare pregnancy to tending a garden? You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, especially when it isn't true." He scooted to drape himself across Tybalt's lap and wound his arms around Tybalt's shoulders, nestling close. "As for the massages and all that, I'm looking forward to it." His expression turned wicked. "Not to mention all the practice."
"Practice makes perfect," Tybalt agreed readily, wrapping his arms around Serenus in turn, enjoying the feeling of Serenus in his lap and against his chest. He nuzzled his nose against Serenus' temple, breathing in his sweet, familiar scent. "And I'm glad you have such faith in my intelligence, as idiotic as I feel sometimes! Those two little monsters are just about perfect, I must admit, but there might be a tiny, tiny bit of room for improvement. Like... pre-potty trained, perhaps? Or no spitting up?"
"I think that's beyond even magic to provide." Serenus grinned and nuzzled Tybalt's cheek in return. "But perhaps a red-head this time? An adorable daughter for you to spoil and who will wrap you around her little finger?"
"Mmm..." Tybalt smiled dreamily. "A little girl would be fantastic! Mum and Celestra would be over the moon, you know. Although you know no female is going to wrap me around her finger! I'll be a very stern daddy and lock her into a chastity belt until she's twenty-one. I've seen what Snape females are like! I'll have to resist any urge to turn her into another Cymbeline."
Serenus burst into uproarious laughter until tears began to roll down his cheeks, and he nearly fell out of Tybalt's lap, forcing him to cling tighter to Tybalt's shoulders to keep his seat. "Oh, caro, you say that now," he said, wiping his eyes while the twins stopped petting their new best friend long enough to give their papa a quizzical look as if they were wondering what all the silly noise was about. "I know better. If we have a daughter this time, you'll be an ambulatory pile of goo."
"You wound me!" Tybalt laughed as well, but he reached down to pinch Serenus' arse playfully. "I'm stronger than any half-stone mass of lungs and flailing limbs, you'll see. Perhaps I'll borrow Cymbeline for a few days, just to make certain I'm properly inured to any feminine wiles."
"You do that, caro." Serenus smoothed his hand along Tybalt's hair, smiling knowingly. "Of course you're stronger than a sweet, innocent little baby girl of your own. You'll be a rock. An absolute rock," he said, his dark eyes dancing with mischief and amusement.
"Oh ye of little faith," Tybalt sniffed, then pulled Serenus to him, kissing him with an equal measure of affection and passion. When he pulled back, he was breathing harder, blue eyes glittering down at Serenus. "So, when can we start practicing? Think we could convince the devilish duo to skip dinner and go straight to the nursery for the night?"
"I wish!" Serenus smiled and shook his head. "But with a new pet to play with, I think we'll be lucky if we get them to bed anywhere close to a normal time. Besides, we still have to decide on a name for the new critter!"
"This is true," Tybalt sighed longingly, stealing another swift kiss before glancing over at the twins. "All right, boys, you've gotten to play with him for a bit. Any suggestions for a name?"
"Winslow!" Serafino piped up immediately, and Tybalt laughed at his son's persistence.
"We can't have two Winslows. We'd never be able to tell which one we were talking about, and it would confuse them," Tybalt explained patiently. "Come on, bring him over here, and we'll see what he has to say. Unless you've a suggestion, Etienne?"
Etienne shook his head somberly, and then he climbed to his feet and toddled over to his parents, crawling into Serenus' lap to share in the cuddling for once. Serenus wrapped one arm around him to secure him in place while still keeping one arm around Tybalt's shoulders.
"Come on and join us," he said, beckoning to Serafino.
Serafino picked up the crup, who wriggled and licked at Serafino's cheeks as he made his way over to his parents. "He sleep in my bed!" Serafino announced.
Tybalt laughed and shook his head. "I'm afraid not, my little man. He's not potty trained like a big crup yet, so he'll have to be downstairs where daddy and papa can take him outside. But you can see him first thing in the morning, I promise. And when he can keep from having accidents inside, he can sleep in the nursery with both of you... er, so long as Papa approves!"
"We'll have to see where he wants to sleep," Serenus said, reaching out to pet the little crup when Serafino drew near. "If he's like Winslow, he'll have preferences of his own. But I do agree with Daddy that we shouldn't name him Winslow. That would be too confusing." He glanced at Tybalt. "Any suggestions? We could give him a name that starts with W, if that helps."
"Hmmm... That would make sense," Tybalt agreed. "Okay, let's think of W names. How about William? Or Winchester? Or Wiggles?"
Serafino wrinkled his nose and shook his head. "No like those, Daddy!"
"What about Waggles, since he has two tails?" Serenus suggested, but that got a veto from Serafino as well. "Or Wordsworth?" he added, deliberately teasing Serafino now, since he knew that one probably wouldn't fly.
"No!" For a moment, Serafino scowled, looking quite like his twin. He looked at Etienne appealingly.
"Wooster," Etienne contributed, and Serafino beamed at him.
"Yes. Wooster," Serafino agreed, and cuddled the little crup closely.
"Well, it looks like we have a consensus," Tybalt laughed. "Not that you and I are getting a vote, it seems!"
"Of course not." Serenus bent to press a kiss to the top of Etienne's head and smiled affectionately at Serafino, reaching out to ruffle his hair. "We're just the parents. So, Wooster it is! Shall we see if Wooster is ready for dinner? I certainly am, and I'll bet Daddy is too."
"I'm starving! And not just for food," Tybalt said, then gave a long-suffering sigh. He wrapped an arm around Serenus' waist and unfolded himself from the floor, lifting them both easily, then setting Serenus on his feet. "But dinner will do for now. I've even got a bag of crup chow shrunken in my pocket, and I suppose we can spare a bowl until we go buy dishes and a leash and whatnot for the little beastie."
Serafino nodded and went running toward the kitchen, the crup bouncing in his arms, while Etienne followed at a more sedate pace. Tybalt chuckled, wrapping an arm around Serenus' waist. "Not that we're settled on all that, I do insist that we start practicing for our new two leg as soon as possible. If you're agreeable, of course. Enthusiasm is important for an excellent result, you know."
Wrapping his arm around Tybalt in return, Serenus glanced up at him with a heated gaze. "I'm very agreeable and very enthusiastic," he said, his voice low and husky. "I'll show you just how much later."
Tybalt licked his lips, his hand sneaking down to grope at Serenus' arse. "I'll consider it dessert. I'll even bring the whipped cream."
"It's a date." Serenus grinned playfully. "Once we get the boys and the new baby settled, we'll start practicing for the next one. Whipped cream, paddle, cuffs - whatever you think will help our practice reach perfection."
"All I really need is you," Tybalt whispered. "Everything else is just gilding the lily."
"Come on!" Serafino called out. "Wooster is hungry!"
Heaving a mock-sigh, Serenus picked up the pace a little in response to the summons, smiling ruefully. "But for now, the princes beckon. Just think about all that lily-gilding we'll do be doing later." He sneaked a grope of Tybalt's arse before pulling away and heading to the kitchen to serve dinner, glancing playfully over his shoulder. "I know I will!" he called back as he disappeared from sight.