The Care Bears The Confidence Secret 2nd Part Chapter 14
One could hardly find a more cheerful people than bears and cousins. Everything for them was the occasion of parties and celebrations, and receptions were not uncommon in the great ballroom at Heartown, usually promoted by local companies or even by the government. Here it was where citizens could hang out with each other, having fun and even solving their problems. It was notorious to all the way the bears and cousins could face the bad times without losing the joy of living, something contagious for any other inhabitant of the island. That night was no different, although the party had no political, social or economic motives. It was just a collective celebration, organized by Caretaker Cat's friends to celebrate their engagement with Architect Tigress, so that everyone could join in the joy of the new couple. That local custom certainly reminded us that bears and cousins never hold celebrations of a private, just collective nature, believing that friends and families would be more and more united and ready to help each other. The city band played on the stage, while the couples danced happily in the hall, packed by the "Vienna Waltz" and other auspicious songs. And among them were the bride and groom, who looked at each other in delight, with bright eyes of love and wide smiles of satisfaction. - Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are in this silver dress? - asked the cat with a broad smile. - Ten times since the party began - the tigress replied with a satisfied chuckle - But you can tell me this as many times as you like, I don't mind. Especially because you're also very handsome in a suit and tie. - Tricks and Egocentric helped me choose this outfit. They said that so I would be much more elegant and would be training for when to use the wedding suit. - Ah, so that's the reason for the elegance. In my case it was Rose who helped me with the dress. She thought it would match up better with my yellow hairs and would be very well lit with the lights in the hall. - That's true, there's no other woman as beautiful as you tonight - Caretaker said, giving a chivalrous kiss to the tigress's paw before looking toward the door and seeing Heavenly and Flower arrive - Look who's there. Let's receive them, my dear. The middle-aged couple entered the hall and was welcomed by all, and soon the bride and grooms came to them. - We were very happy to be here - said Architect, shaking hands of the two bears - I thought you would not come, mainly because Egocentric and Grandiose brought you the sweets you prepared, Mrs. Flower. - Not to mention what happened this afternoon in Parliament, which seemed to annoy you a lot, Heavenly - Caretaker said amiably - But it's a joy to see that you've decided to show up at our party. - Well, we could not fail to come greet them, besides being a way of Heavenly to relax a little after today's discussion with Incomprehensible - Flower explained with a small smile, looking at her husband. - Flower insists that I need to relax more and leave the work aside - he commented with a sweet wink - But what about you two? You must be feeling in the clouds, right? - Of course yes! - said the tigress cheerfully - and is there a better feeling? - I could not even sleep last night with such joy - the cat added animatedly - After all, we'll get married. You must have felt the same thing when you asked Flower to marry. - More than that, I still feel it today. I love my wife with every passing day. Flower smiled excitedly as she heard this from Heavenly. The love of that couple was very strong and beautiful. With a faint squeeze of her fingers, she made him understand that she loved what she heard. Meanwhile, across the room, Frank and Trevor talked to Norman and Allan. This was one of the volunteer pilots who were part of the first group of the San Martin Air Force, who previously worked as a commercial pilot in the San Martin Aviation and having one of the company's Fw-200 under his command, and he and Frank often flew together. The other was a USAAF pilot assigned to advise and train the new Air Force, having previously participated as a volunteer pilot at the Battle of Britain. - I know most of the residents are against the creation of security forces, especially the Air Force, but the possibility of patrolling the territorial waters of San Martin and the alignment of the nation with the Allies are certainly more than enough reasons to take this project forward - said the foreign pilot - Of course this does not mean that you will have to send an expeditionary force to Europe or Asia, or that we are under the eyes of the enemy nations, which is fortunate for us. - Have you given us part of our training as fighter pilots, and you do not trust our abilities? - Allan said with a frown - We can be few, but we'll do the difference if the time comes. - Don't be delusional, Allan - Frank said with a giggle - We would not have the slightest chance of defense against an enemy invasion with only ten training and light attack airplanes. All in all, this is the same as prescribing a placebo. - The way you talk, it looks like we're going to be attacked - Trevor said seriously - There's something I'm not aware of and are you? - Of course not, Trevor. We're just rambling. And who would attack an island whose bananas are the main wealth? - Well, I think the same thing as you, Frank - Tricks cheerfully commented, coming in surprise - How's my friends? - Very well, thank you. But I thought you were not coming to Caretaker and Architect's party. - I just gave a quick pass to greet the bride and groom on behalf of my family, since Idealist did not want to come with me to stay with Confidence. Besides, I have something to give you, and how I knew I was going to find you around here... The black fox quickly handed an envelope to Frank, who smiled as he opened it and saw a photo that had been made a few weeks earlier, showing him holding Confidence on his lap and taking Caretaker, Heavenly, Healthy and Norman alongside. The other three humans also looked at the picture, seeing the expression of happiness in the eyes of the young businessman both in the image and right there. - The photo is very beautiful - Frank said in a clumsy voice - I'll never forget that day. I don't know how to thank you. - You don't have to thank me for anything, after all you're one of our best friends - said the black fox with a small smile - Now I must go home, or else Idealist will be angry at me. Good evening to all. - Tricks certainly are a fine person, just like all the bears and cousins - Norman mused when the illusionist turned away - I must confess that I still find it odd to see all these colored beings acting, thinking, and speaking like humans. It's something I did not learn in the USAAF. - You get used to it soon enough - Trevor said with a giggle - Just think they're just like us, though they're shorter, more colorful and furry. - They are not like us, they are much better. Now smiled at the picture - said Jim, who had just arrived and greeted the bride and groom, immediately beginning to photograph the party. - How long we do not see us, Jim - Frank said with a wink - I thought you did not have your camera anymore... - No, you could not break it that day when you almost ran over me. And since then you've been hiding so you do not get punched in the face because of that, but today is not the appropriate time to start a fight and it's been a long time since that incident. Besides, I later learned the reason for his haste. So, how's Worker's son? - Very healthy and strong, and waiting for you to go and photograph him with his parents. I do not doubt that at this point Worker and Rose are acting like owl parents. They called him Champ Bear. - Worker, Rose, Champ, Tricks, Heavenly... It's such an interesting custom of bears and cousins to have names of feelings, quality and virtues - Norman argued thoughtfully - I can't imagine a son of mine being called Champ, there unless nickname. - Every people have their custom - said Trevor in a good mood - They certainly think the same about our names. Remember that we are not in their skins to know what they really feel and how they react to the outside world. - But it would really be interesting for any of us to put ourselves in their skins, even if mentally - Frank said, scratching his chin - Maybe we could learn more about ourselves and the world around us. - Would you like to be one of them? - Jim questioned maliciously - Help everyone, live almost eternally, be helpful, be furry and cuddly... - Perhaps, if it were necessary - said the businessman reluctantly - I only give up the part of the furry and cuddly. Everyone laughed at this response, before Frank walked away from the group of friends and headed for one of the balconies of the room, where he stood alone and silently staring at the star-dotted sky. That human had a high regard for bears and cousins. And a great love for them too. He found it the greatest privilege to live with them and learn from them how to be good. And would also consider it the greatest privilege to be one of them, not because a bear or cousin lived much longer than a human, or because they seemed a more united and understanding people, but simply because he wished he could help them more which he already did. While he thought and watched the stars, he saw a shooting star passing by. The tradition said that upon seeing one, the person could make a request that would be attended to. The human did not believe it, but as a joke he thought: - "If one day was needed, I'd like to be one of them. Even if it means I'm going to be short, hairy and cuddly"... - What are you thinking, Frank? The businessman jumped with fright at the sound of that voice, and as he turned around he faced Flower, who looked amused and amazed at his friend. - I'm sorry if I frightened you, Frank, I did not want to do this - she said fondly - But you seemed so puzzled, almost with your head in the clouds. - All right, so I'm going back to earth - the human replied, smiling. Flower then went to the balcony and stood beside his human friend. Their friendship had some time already, since Frank's mother had been close friends with the female bear. When she died, the human relied on her friendship to continue, developing much love for her and for Heavenly as well. - I was thinking about how I feel privileged to be here with you, on this island in the middle of the ocean, attending a party and everything being at peace here. And how many people would like to be in my place now. - Sometimes I think so too - said the female bear with a sad smile - While we live here in peace, the world goes to war and thousands of people die every day or have sequelae for the rest of their lives. And we do not do anything to help. I feel bad for it too. - But there must be some way we can help these people... Flower smiled at his friend and looked into his serene face. - And what could we, bears and cousins, do against well-equipped armies, armed planes, men thirsting for blood? - she asked - We don't even have the same height. And even if we were not killed or injured, no one would take us seriously, they would think we are clowns or animals. - So it's up to us, humans on the island, to do the work. - I thank you, on behalf of my species, for your interest in helping us to be recognized by humans. But this is not the right time for us to go out into the world, however much we want. At least I have no ideas how to do this... Frank laughed at that remark, nodding solemnly. - Maybe the best ideas are really the simplest, made with love - he remarked - At least that's what Heavenly and you taught me all my life. - Love is always the best way, but it is not everything - said the female bear kindly - The Bible itself records that it is God's desire for all men to attain the fullness of Salvation, recognizing His love and of Jesus Christ for humanity, so that all may have peace, faith and hope in eternal life. - I thought the bears and cousins did not believe in God, only in that being you calls the Great Wishing Star. Even more so because Heavenly is a type of priest and guardian of the beliefs of his kind. - It's not because my husband does not believe in God that I don't believe. And you've known me for a long time to know this, do not you, Frank? - Yes, since I've known myself. You're practically my second mother and Heavenly my second father. I will never have words to thank you for everything you have done for me and Trevor when my biological parents passed away... That is why my greatest wish to you is that you live very happy. For then I too will be happy, seeing Heavenly, you and Joyful living with all the happiness they deserve. Flower held the hand of the human with tears in her eyes, before they both embraced each other as mother and son. Only after a while did they both return quietly into the hall, each delivered to their own thoughts. ***** The parties in San Martin were not only moments of relaxation between friends, they also served to put the gossips up to date and even to do business. That is why it was not strange that Cristian Kayson and Edward Gresgon, two of the island's industrialists, were also celebrating the fact that they had signed export contracts for Central America, involving the production of bananas and processed coconuts by the factories of the young entrepreneurs. - Mean our friends now become farmer’s barons, too? - Heavenly asked amiably - I only hope you leave some bananas and coconuts for our people to use. - You don't even have to ask for it, of course we will not export all the production on the island - Cristian replied with a laugh - Otherwise, how could Flower make those delicious candies she always brings to the parties? - It would be a crime to stop Flower from making her candy - Edward added with a wink - What would happen to our parties and events without them? - No one really knows how to make coconut and banana candies like Flower - Norman joked - She's the best cook in the world. I think she grabbed you by the stomach, Heavenly. - That was one of the reasons - the bear confessed shyly - But she conquered me for many other reasons. - Cristian, you're the only one of us besides Heavenly who's already married, what do you say? - asked Trevor maliciously. - That Heavenly is absolutely right, there are other reasons to fall in love besides the chosen one to be a good cook. You see, Joana is an excellent mother to begin with, and a great companion. Andrews and I can't complain about anything. - Why didn't you bring your son and wife? - Andrews is having summer flu, and Joanna's been taking care of him. Heavenly nodded. - That's very good, your wife having taken care of your son - said the bear - That's the most important thing in this life. I would rather have stayed with my daughter, so I would spend more time teaching her how to be a good female bear. Friends agreed that having children and teaching them how to be good adults was very important. What Heavenly had not noticed was that Incomprehensible was behind him and heard when he said he liked being a father. - Ah, my congratulations, my dear - said the eagle in a false tone - It means that our president wants to teach his daughter how to have the same flaws in him. Very good this... - Thank you for the congratulations, but not the joke - Heavenly replied, frowning. - But I'm not joking. Generally, children inherit their parents' defects rather than their qualities. And in your case this is no different. Your little girl will have the same flaws as you. - I'd like to know what these defects are... In a pompous, Incomprehensible took the wing-shaped hand to the chest, and began to enumerate what he believed to be the defects of the white bear. - Well, first of all you're very annoying, you want everything done correctly and you're a flatterer of humans. It's an old man grouchy who doesn't understand what is happening in the world and his return. In the background you are nothing more than an archaic sucker who does not want to see that a new order, a new time of peace is approaching and that we must be prepared for it. You'd rather go on being a mediocre type, living next to your old, stupid wife, who's only popular because of the candies she's making, and that give me bellyache every time I see ahead... Heavenly punched the eagle's face with as much force as he could, even though the bird was taller than him. The bear could even bear to hear disparaging remarks about himself, even getting nervous about it. But he would not tolerate anyone speaking ill of Flower that way. The bird staggered when it received the punch, just as the music stopped and everyone stood in surprise. Incomprehensible stood rubbing his chin, and looked with murderous furor toward Heavenly. Without giving any warning, he spread his wings and flew over the bear, which had no time to react. Gripping it with his feathered hands, he threw it on the ground and stood on top of him, trying to suffocate him. - Do not you dare hit me, you miserable bear! - cried the eagle with hatred - I'm going to kill you for what you did! The air was already missing in the lungs of Heavenly, struggling to break loose as Frank and Trevor jumped over the eagle, giving several punches and kicks until the bird freed the bear, which was promptly rescued by Healthy and Flower, Who was desperate. Incomprehensible got up slowly, with a cut on his eyebrow, and an ardor of hatred and death in his eyes and face. - You'll regret it - he said quietly and in a fatal voice - You will regret it bitterly... - Shut your mouth and get out of here, your plucked chicken! - Frank shouted angrily, standing before the eagle with clenched fists. Incomprehensible looked at Frank, Trevor, Heavenly, and each one standing there, silently and as if making a silent threat to each. And still in silence, he left the room with pomp and haughtiness. They all rushed to see how Heavenly was. The bear was pale, dejected, and had a mark on his neck, but it was already much better. - I'm sorry for what happened to you, Heavenly - Caretaker said - How are you feeling? - That evil eagle will not ruin my night and yours - said the white bear, rising slowly - You have your engagement to celebrate, and I want to be part of it more than anyone else. - Are you sure you're okay? - asked Healthy - Do not you want to go home? - He's right, dear - Flower said softly. Heavenly looked at his friends and smiled, assuring him that everything was okay with him. - I have to thank Frank and Trevor for helping me - he said. - We only did what you would do - replied the first. - And I was still with what Incomprehensible said in the afternoon choked in the throat - explained the second - It was great to have sent him away. - So if everyone is okay, we can continue to have fun - Caretaker finished with a big smile and a cheerful voice, signaling for the band to play again and they all started to dance again. ***** - Arghh! Do not do it, son! - exclaimed Worker. - What happened? - asked Rose, who was on her back, rearranging Champ's cradle. - He peed in me! Now I'm stinking. - What's his fault? He still doesn't know how to handle the needs... The yellow bear smiled at that. To help his wife, he had decided to change Champ's diaper, and as soon as he had taken the used one, the little baby relieved his bladder by urinating on his father's face, which had become very angry. But Rose's words, and another glance at the baby's cheerful face, who smiled at his father's reaction, made Worker relax again. - Oh, he's so cute - he said, smiling sweetly and continuing to change his son's diaper - You're right, my dear. I don't even have to be angry. And when he had finished the exchange, he lifted Champ and held him on lap, giving him a few kisses on his forehead. The cub had a luscious smile on his mouth, as if liking it, and settled himself on his father's lap. - I'm sure you two will still laugh a lot of it one day," Rose said, approaching - What's the first word he's going to say? - Tell Mom it'll be "Daddy" - joked Worker, speaking quietly as if it were a tone of confidence with her son. - Oh yes? It will be "Mama" - replied the female bear with a wry smile. - No matter. I just know we're going to celebrate a lot. When he is older, he will learn to play with us and with other cubs. You can't wait to play baseball with him, do you? After all, it's your favorite sport... - Or running and swimming with you, helping you to dry your clothes... - Going to the workshop to make you crazy... Worker trembled at this. What he least liked was when someone went to his workshop and took everything out of the place. - Well, I think we can put that aside - said his father - At least as long as he's a child. Saying this, Worker looked at his son and led him to the crib, placing it gently on the mattress. Rose leaned over the protection grid and stared at her son, while the husband did the same thing on the other side. After a moment, their eyes met. - I love you, Worker - declared the pink female bear. - I love you, Rose - said the yellow bear. And they both held hands and left the room, giving goodnight to the son, even though he still did not understand what those words were. ***** - C'mon - began Idealist with a smile on her face, her daughter Confidence on her lap and holding her feet, each with three toes - This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy roast beef... - and changing her foot, she continued - This little piggy had none, this little piggy was delicate, and finally this little piggy cried wee all the way home! Upon reaching the last toe, Idealist quickly tickled her daughter's soles and then her belly for a few seconds only, but enough to make little female fennec laugh. This was their favorite game, and almost every night Confidence sought out the mother to play the little piggy’s game on her toes. Confidence was approaching to turn two years old. Even though she still had a baby bottle, she was already eating solid foods in the teeth that had appeared in her mouth. She also knew how to grunt, as if she wanted to speak, and she was very sweet and gentle, though she was independent. She loved to stay with her mother and try to help her with her house chores, although Idealist usually left her in the playpen so she would not be disturbed. But the little playpen no longer held the little girl, who had run away from him several times, giving scares to her father and mother. Idealist got up, while her daughter lay stretched out in her mother's bed, laughing happily at that joke, but attentive to her mother's movements, who went to the wardrobe and picked up something. As she turned, she saw Confidence staring at her. - But with you do not have secrets, do you? - asked the mother, pretending to be angry, but with a smile on her face - I wanted to give you a gift, but I don't think you want to... The young fennec might not yet speak, but she already knew what a gift was and what it meant yes or no, and in response she stretched her arms out to her mother. - Oh, you do? But now I don't want to give. Confidence frowned and continued to stretch out his arms. - Ma! - the female cub said, unhappy with it. The mother was happy to hear that. It had been a few days since she'd heard her daughter say this for the first time, showing she was ready to learn to talk. Hearing that, Idealist stopped the joke and sat down on the bed, still with the object she had taken from the wardrobe hidden behind her. - Okay, I'll give you a present - she said, and handed for the daughter a cloth doll, actually a real copy of Confidence, since the color of the doll was the same color as the little fennec's fur, the eyes and the hair also of the same color. Seeing the doll, Confidence took her from mother's hands and began to play amusingly with the toy, hugging her tightly and stroking. Idealist could not help but smile when she saw that, and approaching her daughter, she said: - That doll is for you to never forget the Mama. You're not going to forget Mama, do you? - Ma! - replied the girl, indicating the mother with her finger. With a big smile and her eyes full of tears of happiness, Idealist hugged her daughter and then let her play with the doll. - Now it's late, it's time for the little girl to be in bed - said the female fennec. The little girl looked at her mother with a frown, as if asking to stay a little more awake to play. - Okay, but just a little bit more - said Idealist, smiling and stroking her daughter's hair. ***** The vast majority of the cubs were sleeping peacefully in their cribs while Noble read a story in the other room for Playful Monkey, Funshine Bear, Joyful Bear and Daydream Bear who were still awake, while True tried to make Bedtime Bear fall asleep, the which was no easy matter since the cub had slept all day and now he was with all his energy loaded. That was when she heard a light touch on the doorbell and ran to the door before the other babies awoke as well. Hello True, I hope we are not disturbing you - Grandiose Bear said with a broad smile on his lips, having Egocentric by his side in the light of the porch - We came to get our son. - All right, just speak in a low voice to will not wake up the cubs - the nanny said, gesturing for the couple of friends to come in - You know, it's not easy to put thirty children to sleep, and when one awakens frightened, they all begin to scream together. - We imagine how it should be - said the bear with a giggle - Fortunately, Love Bear is not a cub who gets scared easily. - This is true. The other day Noble dropped a vase on the floor and the cubs ran scared to the playroom, except Love who went to investigate what happened. - This is my boy! As brave as his father! - But in last Halloween you did not look so brave to me - the wife teased with a wink - Or running two blocks screaming is a new way to deal with ghosts? - I was just calling for help, not running away. Not to mention that I already knew it was Tricks with their magical illusions. - As if you were fooling someone with that speech - Grandiose teased - Not even the baby in my belly believes that, don't you my little dear? Saying this she ran her hand over her huge violet belly, the result of nearly nine months of pregnancy. Egocentric smiled and rolled his eyes, while True also lightly rested her paw on her friend's stomach, feeling the cub kick. - It must be a wonderful feeling to feel a life forming within you - commented the beige female bear thoughtfully - Noble and I take care of so many cubs, and we have not even had time to have ours... - You don't know what you're missing - said the light green bear proudly - Especially you, True. You can ask Noble everything you want to eat and he'll have to provide without complaining. - Are you calling me a chubby just because I like to eat? - Grandiose asked seriously. - My friend, you're chubby because you're pregnant! - True replied cheerfully - And you should not abuse it and go to the celebrations, with almost nine months of gestation. What if the cub is born in the middle of the party? - Then it will fully justify the name we have already chosen: Animated if it is boy or Cheer if it is girl. At this the three of them heard a faint sound of footsteps, and as they looked toward the corridor, they saw Love Bear coming cheerfully, wearing his little pajamas full of moons and stars, arms outstretched to give their parents a strong hug. Behind him came Noble, bringing the bag with diapers, baby bottles, and toys. - Look who's come to say good night to Mom and Dad - the horse joked - As soon as he heard the ringing of the bell and the sound of their voices, he came down alone from the cradle and called my attention to bring him here. - Is that true? - asked Egocentric holding the child in his lap, and the boy just nodded, since he still could not speak - Did you miss Mom and Dad? Great! So now we're going home, okay? - Say goodbye to your Noble and True Uncles - Grandiose said politely, as Love waved his hand to the couple - I don't know how to thank you for taking care of him. If there is anything we can do to help them, don't hesitate to ask. - You know we do it because we like it - True said in a friendly tone, accompanying his friends to the door - Good evening to you too. Until the next. The family quickly walked away on the street, while the horse and the female bear stood in the doorway, watching for a few seconds, hugging each other. - Another cub delivered back to his parents - the horse joked with a wink - Now there are only twenty more left, and we can go to sleep. - And we'll start all over again tomorrow - agreed the wife with a giggle - I love you very much, Noble Horse. - I love you too, True Bear - he finished with a kiss on his wife's lips, before they closed the door and went to look after the other cubs. ***** The party was over, but the Caretaker and Architect families, along with some close friends, were still gathered in the hall for a last toast in celebration of their marriage. Despite the earlier bout involving Incomprehensible, Heavenly and Frank, the cat and the tigress had really managed to keep the astral and the joy of all... With only two exceptions. From the beginning of the party, the cautious cat had noticed that his parents Stellar Cat and Curative Cat did not look very happy, and he knew very well what the reason was. It was the annoyance they both felt at the presence of their rebellious daughter Family Love Cat and her companion Sea Cat. Caretaker knew that if he depended only on his parents he would not have invited Family Love and Sea to be at the party, but his grandmother Katina Cat had insisted that all family members should be present. And it was also because of her grandmother, who had always supported her and never ignored her in life, that the young yellow cat was at the party, since her desire was to avoid arguments with her parents, her brother and the relatives of Sea, because they all were against the union of the two felines. This had started from the fact that they had both lived together in the orange cat's little cabin without really getting married, a situation that only grew more tense after the birth of Proud Kitten, their daughter. Family Love, who had changed her name to Mother Cat after the birth of her daughter, practically became the black sheep of her family, so much so that Stellar and Curative had never talked to her again. As for Sea Cat, he was also frowned upon by everyone in his family, except for his mother Loose Spirit Lynx. And the one who most criticized the uncompromising lifestyle of the feline sailor was his older brother Responsible Lynx, who had always been considered an example of a cousin of the bears, unlike the cat. The two brothers had virtually nothing in common, and nothing in the world could make them understand each other, especially after the day Sea punched him in the nose and was expelled from his father's house. And it was precisely Responsible and his Pacifist bride, as well as Stellar and Curative, who were talking to Caretaker and Architect in this the time, while Katina talked to the tigress's parents, who were not bad people, but did not look favorably on the relationship of the young mother cat with the sailor. Both stood apart from the rest of the group, watching in silence as bored and upsetting eyes were directed at them. - Do we really have to go and talk to them? - asked the orange cat in a discouraged tone - We could just go away and avoid embarrassment... - Caretaker is my brother, I want to greet you - Mother replied, looking sadly at her companion - Please make that effort for me, my dear, and do not fall for their taunts. Sea Cat gave a deep sigh and rolled her eyes, a gesture of unkind acceptance, before the two slowly approached the bride and groom. Ignoring the glances of her father astronomer and her mother nurse, as well as her brother-in-law, the young cat held the hands of her brother and the tigress, smiling at them enthusiastically. - I want to wish you and Architect all the happiness in the world - she said gently, looking at the bride and groom - May you be together every day and be a very happy family. - Thank you for the good wishes, sister-in-law - the tigress replied with a small smile - Caretaker and I are very happy to have you and Sea here. - That's true, thank you, little sister - agreed the pale-blue cat, also showing his receptivity, though he noticed the rather disgusted look on his father's face. At that moment Sea Cat approached the bride and groom, but his gaze was fixed on his brother Responsible, only a few yards away and also staring at him steadily with an angry expression. With a supreme effort, the sailor controlled his nervousness, opened a small smile, and squeezed Caretaker's hand. - Congratulations - he said simply. - Thank you, Sea - the fiancé replied, trying to be cordial. For a few seconds everyone was silent as the tension grew, so much so that the sailor cat and the young mother cat just stared at each other quickly and, holding hands began to move away. That was when Stellar and Curative stepped in front of both, and occurs what the couple least wanted. - It's a surprise, and even an affront, to see you two here - the astronomer said dryly, his hands on his waist and looking coldly at his daughter and his renegade son-in-law - I hope this means that you are beginning to think of acting as an honorable man, as well as your Responsible brother or as my son Caretaker, and mark the date of your marriage with Family Love. - Please, Daddy, not here... - muttered the yellow cat, swallowing hard, since she did not want a new discussion to be made between them. - Here, yes! It is my duty to protect you and demand an attitude from this asshole cat! - I'm not an asshole... - Sea Cat said through gritted teeth. - It's not what it looks like in the way you act with Family Love - said Responsible seriously, entering into the conversation - Mr. Stellar has every right to demand a concrete position regarding his relationship with his daughter. You can’t postpone this decision forever, and fool everyone. Even Papa and Mama are ashamed of their childlike and disrespectful attitude! - And I do not think you should intrude on my life! - replied the orange cat growling with rage - Also, if our parents think that way about me, surely they will not use you as spokesperson! - They do not have to ask me for anything, I'm just talking about what any decent person thinks about you! The truth is you're nothing but a cowardly, irresponsible kid who just wanted to take advantage of Family Love! Sea tried to attack his brother, but Mother grabbed him by the shoulders and stood between him and Responsible with a desperate expression. On the other side, Pacifist did the same with her fiancé since she did not want to see the two of them fight. - Stop Sea, do not do it! - the yellow cat screamed with tears in her eyes, trying to hold her companion - Please, I do not want to see you fight! This is not worth, please! Come on, let's go home... - We're just trying to defend her from this shameless ruff, daughter - Curative said harshly - He never deserved you, he never deserved your love! See how he acts brutally with you... - I love him! As much as he has flaws, I love Sea Cat and I know he loves me too! Can’t you just accept it?!? - What you call love, I call it lust - said Stellar, frowning - And if that cowardly bastard respected you, he would not have taken away his innocence and would not have made you the mother of a creature with the blood of that tramp! Certainly Mother Cat could bear everything, from being barely spoken by all the other bears and cousins to even the incomprehension shown by her parents, but she could never allow anyone to say that about Proud Kitten. She felt her blood boil, and she clenched her hands and gritted her teeth in anger. - Do not talk it about my daughter! - she shouted at her father - How dare you say that about your own granddaughter? - She is not my granddaughter, and you will not be my daughter until you finally walk away from this wretch! - the feline astronomer bellowed with an angry look - I did not raise you to be a bitchy cat, next to a stinking sailor! Either he does what's right and marries you, or forget I exist! Saying this, he turned his back to Mother, who could not say a word. She looked desperately toward her mother, but Curative just shook her head with dismay in her eyes. - You disappoint us for choosing as a companion someone so wordless, without self-respect - she said in a hard tone, the same way she used to reprimand the female cat when she was just cub - I honestly did everything for you to see your bad choice, but now enough. You chose to be dishonored, and I will not take care of a dishonored daughter and an ill-loved child. And she also crossed her arms and turned her back to her daughter, even if it hurt her heart so much. Mother Cat just stood there, feeling her heart stop beating, since she had never expected to be rejected by her parents that way, especially when it also involved Proud. It was too much for her heart, and immediately she covered her face and ran away from them all, starting to cry. - See what you've done, Sea? - said Responsible in an angry tone - You only serve to displease others... The sailor raised his wrists and was about to punch the lynx's muzzle when Katina stepped between them, looking at them seriously. - Enough! - she ordered irresistibly, causing the two fighters to give up fighting. While Pacifist practically pulled Responsible to the side of the stage, Sea Cat moved towards the door, and he took a deep breath to try to calm down. That's when he saw Mother sitting on the stairs crying. He felt sad that he had caused that embarrassing situation for his life mate, but he was too proud to apologize. That was when he felt a hand on his shoulder, and as he turned, he saw Katina at his side, staring at him deeply with those piercing brown eyes, as if reading his soul. - Stay here and do not get in trouble, I'll talk to her - the old female cat said gently, walking down the stairs and approaching her granddaughter. Tears streamed from Mother Cat's eyes. She felt truly trash, someone who was worthless, and her mind was filled with doubts whether she was actually making the right choices or not. All she really wanted was to marry with Sea, having a happy life with him and Proud. But she also knew that the mate was a poor person, very proud to ask for the help of the parents to improve his lives, besides his profession to make someone a little rough and difficult to express feelings. If only the families of both supported it, things might be easier for everyone... While she was still crying desperately, she felt someone sitting next to her and two strong, familiar arms hugging her. Looking out of the corner of her eye, she saw her beloved grandmother Katina by her side, smiling and gently rubbing her back trying to calm the young female cat. - Do not feel that way, my little kitten - said the old feline gently - I'm sorry for what happened today, I did not want it to be like that either. Stellar disappoints me, he wants so much that you and Sea do things right, but he himself forgets his fatherly duties and treats her unfairly. I thought that Caretaker's wedding might soften his heart a bit so that tonight you two could maintain a harmonious mood... But I was wrong... - Why are you still trying to help me? - Mother Cat finally asked between the sobs - You also do not approve of my union with Sea, I feel it in my heart! Why do you try to help us, then? - Because it does not matter what I think of you two, but what you feel - said the grandmother, kissing her granddaughter's forehead, and continuing to stroke her back - Even if I said all that I think about Sea, it would not change her feelings for him. And I would be just another person chasing you both and making your life hell. You do not need it. As I've said before, whatever happens between the two of you, this will occur, and no one has to guess about it. The young yellow cat smiled and slowly began to calm down, breathing deeply and feeling the affection that the grandmother did to her. - Thank you for just letting me try to be happy without being a perfect cat... - she finally said, opening a tiny smile - I do not know what I would do with my life without you, Grams... - You can always count on me at all times, even if it is to vent your feelings, learn to cook, or just sharpen your claws into our secret trunk in the basement. Finally Mother Cat managed to giggle, especially when her grandmother reminded her of her favorite amusement when she and Caretaker were cubs and went to bed at Katina's house. She remembered the three of them playing sharpen their claws in the basement before heading out into the yard to play catch in the middle of the night without Stellar and Curative knowing. - That's a lot better, I like to see my little kitten smile - Katina said, wiping her granddaughter's tears. At that moment Caretaker slowly approached and sat down on the other side of her sister, lovingly embracing her, while Architect stood in silence with Sea at the top of the stairs. - I'm sorry I did not defend you and Proud Kitten earlier - he said sadly - As much as I do not like Sea Cat, I do not agree with our parents' attitude either. You and Proud can count on me always, I will never abandon them. - Thank you, my brother - replied the yellow cat hugging Caretaker and Katina - After my daughter and my partner, you two are the most important people I have in my life. The three of them hugged each other, purring with joy, until finally the sailor and the designer approached. - C'mon Mother Cat, it's late - Sea said without much emotion - Let's get the girl and go home. The female cat nodded, hugging her grandmother, brother, and future sister-in-law one last time before joining her mate, who did not offer her a hand, which was really a rare thing to do. - Caretaker and Architect apologized for the embarrassment - he remarked as they walked side by side - At least this time they did not take part in the offenses. - My brother knows what's right and wrong, he does not argue with people for bullshit - the yellow female cat answered with a sigh, before looking at Sea and holding it in his hand - Thank you for being my mate and loving me, dear... - Of course I love you, but now we're going to hurry to get the girl, I want to go to bed soon - the cat concluded in a most unpleasant way, pulling his arm to himself and speeding his pace, almost leaving Mother Cat behind. The young female feline just stared at her mate thoughtfully, and lowered her head at not having her feeling reciprocated as she imagined, but she knew that Sea Cat was hot-headed and wanted to relax. At heart, what she most wanted was that one day she, he and the female kitten could be happy together.