The morning and afternoon passed calmly. The sun gained strength, drying up the last of the rain that had drenched the land and the vegetation of the Nezinoma Salis continent that night in a violent storm, and drying the yards and yards of colorful fabrics that were spread out on the grass around one of the houses in Viola Town, the small and remarkably modern-looking village in the hidden Viola Valley.
Sunfire was busy unrolling all the rolls of different colorful fabrics, draping them over lines supported by wood poles, over bushes and simply flat out on the grass. She had taken them all to a small creek that flowed into a pond in the form of a low waterfall just outside the village to wash the salt ocean water out of the fabric, and now she was making sure the sun could dry out all the fabric evenly so they could use it to make clothes, pillows and curtains, and trade the rest for other items. While she was draping one of the lengths of fabric over the lower branches of a tree, the honey-colored Mry was singing a song to herself.
"Oh high upon a lonely moor, a widow lived alone. An inn she kept, and as she slept, the pillow heard her mourn. Oohh, many is the trav'ler, who spent the night with me. But..."
"But you do know that only the bards have a right to sing out in the open, don't you, Sunfire?" a voice cheerfully interrupted her.
Stopping her singing, Sunfire looked around. Another Mry had walked up the path to their house, holding by a paw a second, much smaller Mry who was obviously a young one. The one who had spoken was completely white of fur from head to toe, with long white hair and light silvergrey eyes. Instead of a leather vest, this Mry was wearing a white robe that flowed from her shoulders all the way down to the feet of her feral forelegs on the front, and it was draped across her feral lower back behind her. In her free paw, she was holding a long staff made of ebony which had artful carvings of quadruped cats and intricate runes along the entire length, while around her anthro waist was a belt of fine white leather from which several pouches, a silver dagger in a white leather sheath and a golden sickle were hanging. Side bags of the same fine white leather were draped across the back of her lower quadruped body, held in place by white leather belts with silver buckles.
The small, young Mry she held by a paw had light yellow fur, with in it a pattern of tabby stripes in light orange, which swept from the top of her head down across her anthro upper back and arms, and from there along the back and sides of her quadruped lower body, all the way to the tip of her tail and down to each of her four quite dainty feet, the backslant to the position of the frilly stripes making it look like flames in a breeze. This young Mry also was not wearing a leather vest, but a short top made of dandelion-yellow fabric that reached to the midriff of her upper torso, and in her free paw she was holding a short sort of staff made of white birch wood, artfully carved along the top with small figures of quadruped cats. The thing, however, that caught the most attention about this young Mry were her eyes, which were a pale blue hazed over completely with a cloudy, milky white, indicating the little Mry was blind.
Sunfire let out a soft chuckle as she spotted the two of them, turning around to step over to them.
"Well good afternoon, doctor Healsong. Glad you're here," she said. "And isn't it so that this silly notion about only bards having a right to sing was declared void ages ago already, allowing everyone else to sing while they are doing chores, or to lull their young to sleep, or things like that?" She leaned over a bit to stroke the young Mry's head. "And hello to you too, kiddo. Did your lessons go well?"
"Yeah!" the little Mry said, nodding happily. "Miss Windsong said I have talent for playing an instrument; she might teach me." She purred softly while she nuzzled against Sunfire's paw, tilting her head a bit. "Have you been to the Sand Shores, Sunfire? I smell salt on your paws."
"Yes, Skyfire and me went to the Sand Shores today, kiddo," Sunfire smiled. "We found a lot of nice stuff."
"Like that fabric?" the white Mry, who was indeed Healsong, the village doctor, said, adding with a chuckle; "And by the way, you're right about the singing, I was just teasing you a bit."
"Sounds like my weirdo sis is rubbing off on you, Healsong," Sunfire smirked cheerily. "But yes, all this fabric is one of the things we found at the Sand Shores. We found something else, too, though... and that is why I'm so glad you're here, because we need your help."
"Hmm?" Healsong said with surprise. "My help? For something you found at the Sand Shores?"
"Yes. Come along inside, and I'll show you," Sunfire nodded.
She led the way into the house for the two Mry, holding the small yellow and orange tabby Mry by a paw. The little one happily trotted along, keeping her feral lower body pressed against the side of Sunfire's lower body a bit, seemingly unhampered by her blindness.
"I liked your singing, Sunfire," she crooned, lifting her head to turn her unseeing gaze up to Sunfire's face, her small ears constantly flicking and swiveling in every direction. "It sounded very nice, you're good at it."
"Thanks, kiddo," Sunfire smiled as she led the way into the living room. "Now, you go sit by the window and be a good girl, Fleetfire, alright? I have to take doctor Healsong into the bedroom for a while. Oh, and Skyfire has something for you; she'll give it to you in a moment."
"Goodie!" the young Mry, named Fleetfire, said happily. "I'll be good, Sunfire! I'll sit by the window and listen to the birds, and I'll wait patiently till you and miss Healsong are done!"
She let go of Sunfire's paw and stepped further into the living room, lifting her head and sniffing to locate the open window Sunfire had indicated, using her small white staff to find her way around the furniture. The two adult Mry smiled softly as they looked for a moment at how the young one found her way to the pillows by the open window and sank down on them, leaning on the windowsill to sniff up the breeze, her ears perking and swiveling back and forth.
"Any news on her eyes, Healsong?" Sunfire asked as she led the white Mry to the bedroom door.
"Not much," Healsong replied with a shake of her head. "There's no real visible progress, but on the other hand, it hasn't worsened either, so there's still good hope she might heal."
"Let's pray to the goddesses she will," Sunfire said.
"I have good faith, Sunfire. Now, what was it you needed my help for?"
"This," Sunfire said, stepping into the bedroom, where her storm-grey sister Skyfire was sitting by the low bed at the far wall. "Skyfire, Healsong and Fleetfire are here. How's the kit doing?"
Skyfire looked around.
"Oh, hello doctor Healsong." She shook her head a bit, but with a light smile. "The kit's still out, but seems to be sleeping calmly. Her breathing improved even more, luckily." She rose up and half-turned. "Can you take a look at her and help her, doctor Healsong?"
She motioned at the bed, in which the small cinnamon-colored feline girl with the dark brown arms, legs, tail, ears and face was lying. The white Mry stepped forwards, her silvergrey eyes widening at the sight of the strange little feline in the bed.
"By the goddesses," she said softly. "What is this?"
"We have no clue," Skyfire said. "We found her on the western Sand Shores when we were collecting items that had washed up after that bad storm of last night. She was clutching some driftwood and a roll of fabric, and she was hardly breathing." She reached out and put a paw on the white Mry's shoulder, her dark blue eyes shadowed with worry. "Can you help her, doctor Healsong?"
"I'll... see what I can do," Healsong said softly, stepping closer to the bed.
"Yes. Please. Help her as best as you can, doctor Healsong," Skyfire said softly. "Don't let her die. She's just a kit... she still has her whole life ahead of her, she should be able to live her life. Please help her."
"I'll do my best, Skyfire," Healsong smiled. "Give me a bit of room?"
Skyfire nodded and stepped away from the low bed, letting the white Mry sit down next to it to examine the small feline. Leaning her staff against the wall, Healsong leaned over the low bed, slowly running her paws flat across the small feline's chest and sides while pressing her ear against the girl's chest. With a soft nod, she lifted her head again and touched her nose against the little feline's almost black nose, her white whiskers quivering lightly. Again she gave a soft nod of her head, rising up a bit to very gently roll the small feline over onto her side so she could press her ear against the girl's back, before carefully laying her on her back in the pillows again..
Reaching into a pocket on the chest of her white robe, the white Mry took a small silver pocket watch, flipping it open and checking it while she held the small feline's wrist in her other paw. Every now and then she hummed quietly to herself, closing and putting the small watch in her robe pocket again and bringing her paws up to feel the small feline's nose and rub the girl's quite large and pointy dark brown ears between her fingers. Slowly lowering her paws again, Healsong sifted her fingers through the small feline's very sleek fur from her ears down along her arms to her almost delicate paws, and all the way down along the slender legs to the girl's dainty, somewhat narrow feet, feeling softly across and around the dark brown pads, again silently humming to herself. Leaning over again, the white Mry brought her paws back up to the small feline's head, supporting the head with one paw while she pressed a finger of her other paw between one of the small feline's upper lips and her lower lip at the side of her slightly narrow, pointy muzzle to open the girl's mouth and look inside, nodding her head with another soft hum.
All the while, Sunfire was sitting on her haunches near the head of the bed, while Skyfire was sitting on her haunches by the foot of the bed, fidgeting a bit, twirling her fingers in and out of each other repeatedly. As Healsong rose up and turned her upper torso to reach into one of the white leather bags at her side, the white Mry caught sight of Skyfire's almost nervous twitching, her lips curling into a smile.
"She will be alright, Skyfire," she said, taking a small bottle out of the bag. "She has a little hypothermia and suffered from shock, and she's rather undernourished, but she will live. Have you fed her anything yet?"
The storm-grey Mry breathed a deep sigh of obvious relief.
"Oh, thank the goddesses." She shook her head. "No, I haven't fed her anything yet. She has not been awake since we found her. All I could do was sit here and watch over her, and I've been rubbing and massaging her chest a bit to help her breathing get better."
"I see," Healsong nodded. "You did well, Skyfire. When she's awake, feed her light things; warm milk, porridge, or soup, and work up from there to bread, and eventually vegetables and meat or fish. She will most likely have a good cough at first and a sore throat, possibly trouble speaking; she has ingested quite some salt water which has hurt her throat and probably her lungs a bit, but it'll heal quickly. You can help her in that by adding some honey to the milk you feed her."
"Thank you, I will keep that in mind." Skyfire lowered her head and looked at her paws, twirling her fingers into each other again. "Doctor Healsong, could I... do you think it would be possible..." She looked up again. "Could I maybe feed her my own milk?"
At the head of the bed, Sunfire quirked an eyebrow, and Healsong tilted her head a bit, looking at the storm-grey Mry's anthro chest and breasts, which were uncovered as Skyfire had not put her vest back on after washing the sand and salt from it and herself earlier.
"You have not nursed before, Skyfire," the white Mry said, not as a question, but in the manner of stating a fact. "It's obvious, because you only have the single pair of breasts. How do you suppose to nurse this kitten? I see no objection to it, but how do you think you could do that since you have never nursed before?"
"I know, but..." Skyfire said softly. "I... I heard that even if you have not born young nor nursed, when you let a kitten suckle, it will, like, activate the production of milk so your second breasts grow and you can nurse the kitten eventually. And... maybe... like, isn't there... I don't know, maybe some kind of potion or something to stimulate the milk production, doctor Healsong?"
The look she sent the white Mry was somewhat hopeful. Sunfire was still looking at her sister with one eyebrow quirked and her head a bit tilted, but Healsong hummed softly to herself and ran a paw over her whiskers.
"You are not incorrect about the suckling stimulating the milk production, Skyfire," she said at length, nodding lightly. Again her lips curled into a smile. "And in fact you are right; there also exists a potion to instigate that process." She lay a paw on the storm-grey Mry's shoulder. "Do you really want to do this, Skyfire? I must warn you; the first few times it can be a tad painful, and once the second pair of breasts have grown in due to the production of milk, they will not disappear anymore after you stop nursing; you will have them for the rest of your life."
"I know. And... yes, I really want to do this, doctor Healsong. Honest."
"Right," the white Mry said with a smile. She turned back to the small feline, pulling the stopper out of the neck of the small bottle she had taken from her bag and gently opening the little feline's mouth with two fingers, dripping a few drops of the bottle's content into the feline's mouth after which she gently massaged the girl's throat to make her swallow. Stoppering the bottle and putting it back into her bag, Healsong then smiled at Skyfire. "I will come back tomorrow to see how she is doing, and then I shall bring with me a potion for you to activate your milk production. Until then, if this kit wakes up before that time, just feed her warm milk with some honey in it, alright?"
"Alright," Skyfire nodded, smiling softly. "Thank you so much, doctor Healsong."
"You're quite welcome, Skyfire," Healsong smiled. She took her staff and rose up. "There is nothing more I can do for her at the moment, so I will go now. Just keep her good and warm and watch over her to see when she wakes up, and I will check her again come the morrow."
"Thank you again, doctor Healsong," Skyfire smiled.
She stepped closer to the bed, taking one of the thick blankets to gently lay it over the small feline, tucking it in snugly at the girl's sides. The white Mry nodded and turned to walk out of the bedroom. Sunfire saw her to the door and also thanked her, before walking back into the living room.
"Has miss Healsong left, Sunfire?" asked Fleetfire, who was still sitting by the opened window, though she had turned her head to send her sightless gaze in Sunfire's direction.
"Yes, we're all done now, kiddo," Sunfire smiled. "She will be back tomorrow, though."
"But there are no lessons tomorrow?" Fleetfire said.
"Ah, but Healsong's not coming for you tomorrow, kiddo," Sunfire chuckled. "Come, we have something to show you. Give me your paw."
Yes, she said 'show you' to the blind young Mry. Fleetfire was not born blind, and as doctor Healsong had said, there was good hope that the young Mry might see again, so Sunfire and Fleetfire found no use in treating their baby sister any differently for the duration of her blindness. At the honey-colored Mry's remark, Fleetfire smiled and rose up from the cushions, holding out her little paw. Sunfire took the small paw in her own and slowly walked into the bedroom, where Skyfire was once more sitting next to the low bed, murmuring a melodious tune while she very gently ran her fingers through the wavy dark brown hair of the small feline in the bed. At the sound of her two sisters stepping into the bedroom, however, she looked around, and smiled softly, giving Fleetfire a soft hug as she and Sunfire stepped up to the bed.
"Hey baby sis," she crooned softly. "How'd your lessons go today?"
"Good, Miss Windsong may teach me to play an instrument," Fleetfire smiled.
"Doctor Healsong's sister? The bard?" Skyfire said. "That's great news, Fleety, she is very talented."
Fleetfire nodded happily.
"I hope she will teach me. I like music." She lifted her head a bit and sniffed the air, turning her head in the direction of the bed. "Who else is here? I heard you talking about someone when Miss Healsong was here, and Sunfire said you had to show me something?"
"Yes, we found a little girl when we were at the Sand Shores today," Skyfire said softly. "About your age, I would say. C'mere, step a bit closer, put your forefeet on the edge of the bed and give me your paw." Fleetfire did as Skyfire said, and the storm-grey Mry gently took her baby sister's little paw and carefully placed it against the cheek of the small feline laying in the bed. "See?"
Fleetfire leaned over a bit, her ears perked forwards, her whiskers fanned out, sniffing at the air a bit while she carefully ran her fingers along the small feline's cheek and muzzle, and from there up across her forehead, through her hair and along the large, pointy ears.
"Ohhh, her fur feels so soft and smooth," the young Mry cooed softly. "Her muzzle is quite long, too, and her ears are big." She turned her head towards Skyfire. "Is she sick?"
"She almost drowned," Skyfire nodded softly. "It even looked as if she was dead when we found her, but we found out she was still alive, so we brought her home to nurse her back to health."
"Ohhh," Fleetfire said again, with a note of compassion in her voice. "Poor girl. I hope she will be alright." She ran her paw down along the small feline's cheek until she felt the blanket that was tucked securely under the girl's chin, using both paws to gently pat the blanket, feeling the outline of the small feline's body under it. After a moment, the young Mry's face adopted an expression of puzzlement. "Where is the rest of her body?"
On the other side of the bed, Sunfire chuckled behind a paw.
"There is no rest, kiddo. She only has two legs. The part from here..." She drew her finger down over Fleetfire's side from where the young Mry's anthro upper back met the shoulders of her quadruped lower body, to the point just below and behind Fleetfire's feral forepaws, then ran her paw flat along the little Mry's side backwards to her tail. "...all the way to here is not there on this girl. She only has two legs, and her tail is at the bottom of her upper back."
"That is odd," Fleetfire murmured, running her paws over the blanket again. "I have never seen anyone looking like that. I mean, I know there's the felines who walk on four feet, but I've never seen any felines who look like this girl."
"Neither have we, nor doctor Healsong, and I daresay any Mry in this land, kiddo," Sunfire chuckled softly. "She looks very special alright, and she probably came from a land very far away from here."
"Yeah," nodded Fleetfire. "Wow, I hope she can tell us all about it. It must be so exciting!"
"We'll just have to wait until she wakes up and is healthy again, kiddo, alright?" Sunfire smiled. "And we'll have to hope she can understand and speak our language." She took one of Fleetfire's paws. "Come now, let's go back to the living room and let this girl sleep, alright?" She looked past Fleetfire at her storm-grey sister. "That goes for you too, Skyfire. There's not much you can do for her now, so just leave her be and come into the living room with us. We still have to sort through all that stuff we found on the Sand Shores, and besides, there's something you have to give to Fleetfire, remember?"
"Ohhh, yes!" Fleetfire said, turning her head towards Skyfire again. "Sunfire said you had something for me, Skyfire?"
"Ah yes, that's right," Skyfire smiled, rising to her four feet. "And you are right too, sister. We do still have to sort through all that stuff, and I can do that sitting by the door to the bedroom so I can hear it when this girl wakes up."
"Of course I'm right," Sunfire chuckled.
She lay a paw on Skyfire's shoulder and gently pushed her storm-grey sister out of the bedroom, holding Fleetfire by her other paw. In the living room, they all three settled down on large, soft cushions, Sunfire near the large stone fireplace where all the urns and vases and amphoras they had found were lying or standing in holders, Skyfire, after taking one of the cloth toys from the windowsill where they had been drying, next to the doorway to the bedroom, and Fleetfire settled down next to Skyfire, with an expectant expression. The storm-grey Mry smiled as she turned to her young sister, taking one of Fleetfire's paw in her own and placing the small feral lioness made of red and yellow velvet into Fleetfire's paw.
"I also found this at the Sand Shores, Fleety," she cooed at her baby sister. "Look, it's a little kitty toy, I thought you would like to have it. It's yellow and red, just like you."
Fleetfire smiled brightly while she ran her fingers over the velvet toy, exploring the shape of it with her fingertips.
"It's so cute!" the young Mry crooned, turning a bit to give Skyfire a hug. "Thank you so much, Skyfire! I love it!"
"You're very welcome, sweetie," Skyfire cooed. "I also found one that is green and blue; I will give that one to that other girl when she is awake, but this one is for you." She pulled near all the weaponry they had found on the beach with her forepaws. "Now, I also found a lot of very nice weapons, swords and daggers and sickles, and I'll have to clean them and sort them, so you just sit here and play, and be careful, okay? We don't want you to accidentally cut yourself."
Fleetfire nodded happily and sat back a bit, purring softly to herself while she explored the toy, rubbing it, feeling it, every now and then bringing it up to her face to sniff it - it still smelled slightly of salt and brine - or softly squeezing it. Eventually, she turned to the side a bit, facing Skyfire's large quadruped lower body, making the toy lioness 'walk' over the storm-grey Mry's lower back this way and that. Skyfire giggled softly, giving her tail a light lash now and then while she sorted the weapons, laying them sort by sort before taking each one from its sheath to clean it with a rag. By the fireplace, Sunfire had taken a coal and split it, using one half to write something on each amphora after she had uncorked it and smelled at the content. She grinned a bit as she looked at Fleetfire walking the toy lioness all over Skyfire's back, inventing and speaking out loud a whole story right on the spot about a hunting lion who was prowling the land, and suddenly encountered a very large snake, oh no! The 'snake', of course, was Skyfire's tail.
After a few hours, darkness began to settle in as the day drew to a close. Having finished their supper, the three Mry just sat together calmly in the living room. Sunfire was by the hearth again, in which a fire was burning, laying on the cushions in a relaxed pose, her feral hindlegs stretched to the side of her lower body and her tail draped over them, while Fleetfire was laying on her back in the embrace of Sunfire's forepaws, nestled against her big sister's anthro upper chest and hugging the yellow and red velvet lioness toy in her arms as Sunfire was reading to her from a book. Skyfire was still laying by the doorway to the bedroom, now carefully polishing the leather sheaths and scabbards of all the weapons they had found, and their belts, with some oil from one of the amphoras. All the while, she kept her perked ears turned in the direction of the bedroom, every now and then looking up from her work to glance through the doorway at the low bed in which the small feline was lying.
Suddenly, she sat up with a shock and leaned over, flicking her ears as she looked into the bedroom when a soft mewing sound rang out.
"I think she's woken up!"
She jumped up and hurried into the bedroom, switching on a small electric lamp standing on a cabinet in between the two low beds. Indeed, the small feline in the bed had woken up, looking around her with surprise and anxiety, mewing softly and a bit hoarsely. She had quite large eyes of an intense, deep blue color, which widened when she saw the large storm-grey Mry stepping up to the bed. Crawling backwards a bit, she clutched the blanket in both paws, holding it up over her muzzle while pressing herself with her back against the wall the bed was standing against, gazing at Skyfire anxiously.
"Don't be afraid," the storm-grey Mry cooed in a soft, friendly voice, laying down on her feral chest and belly by the side of the bed. "I won't hurt you. Can you understand what I am saying?" The small feline nodded very lightly, not taking her intensely blue, wide-eyed gaze off Skyfire, who nodded with a smile. "Good. Can you tell me your name, little one?"
Again the small feline nodded very lightly, keeping most of her face hidden under the blanket and not saying a word. Skyfire giggled very softly behind a paw.
"Alright, then what is your name, sweetie?"
"I... name... Lucinia," came the somewhat hoarse, squeaked answer from under the blanket. The small feline pronounced it 'lu-chee-nee-ya', the word making her cough a bit.
"That's a very beautiful name," Skyfire smiled. She placed a paw on her chest. "My name is Skyfire." She noticed the small feline's eyes widening again and look past her, so she turned her head, seeing Sunfire stepping into the bedroom as well, holding Fleetfire by a paw. "This is my big sister, Sunfire," she added, pointing at Sunfire, and then at Fleetfire. "And that is our little baby sister, Fleetfire."
"Sister..?" the small feline squeaked from under the blanket, coughing again.
"Yes, we are all sisters," Skyfire smiled, flicking an ear at a light grumble sounding under the blanket. "Are you hungry, Lucinia?" The small feline nodded ever so slightly again, her deep blue eyes now less anxious, but still wide. Skyfire looked at her sisters for a moment. "Sunfire, would you go and get a mug of warm milk, please? And put some honey in, like doctor Healsong said? Oh, and bring the other toy, please?"
"Sure, sis," Sunfire nodded, sending a smile at the small feline. "You don't have to be afraid, kiddo. We won't hurt you; you're safe here."
She turned and left the bedroom, while Fleetfire stepped a bit closer to the bed, holding the velvet toy in one paw and holding her other paw on Skyfire's back for direction. The small feline in the bed looked at Sunfire leaving, then at Skyfire and Fleetfire by the bedside, very slowly lowering the blanket a bit so her pointy muzzle became visible again.
"Safe..?" she squeaked softly.
"Yes, Lucinia, you are safe here," Skyfire cooed. "No one will hurt you here, and we will take good care of you." She reached out to lay a paw against the small feline's cheek. Lucinia drew back at first and closed her eyes, but opened them again and even very lightly leaned her cheek against the storm-grey Mry's paw after a moment. "Can you tell us where you come from, and what kind of girl you are, Lucinia?"
The small feline nodded a bit again, once more closing her eyes.
"I come... land, Saloria. Desert land." She opened her eyes to look at Skyfire. "I not know... what you mean, what kind girl?"
"I meant, what do they call your people, sweetie?" Skyfire cooed softly. "See, my sisters and me, and all the others who live in this town, are called Mry. What do they call your kind?"
"Oh," Lucinia said with a cough, thinking for a bit. "I... Kattin." She shook her head a bit. "I not know, Mry."
Skyfire shrugged lightly, letting out a soft giggle.
"That doesn't matter. We have never heard of Kattin either." She splayed the fingers of the paw she was resting against the small feline's cheek, giving a soft caress. "Can you tell us what happened to you, Lucinia?"
The small feline shuddered softly and closed her eyes again, nuzzling her face into Skyfire's paw.
"Bad men come," she squeaked in a whisper, her hoarse voice quavering. "Burn village, kill men, steal women." She sobbed softly. "Men... kill mama. Take me... make slave. I... put on boat, sell as slave," she whimpered, shivering. "Then... big storm. Much noise. Boat break... I hold wood... float. So cold, so wet. I think... I dead."
She started crying softly, interspersed with coughs.
"Sunfire, that's... that's awful!" Fleetfire mewled, clutching her toy lioness and pressing herself up against her sister's side tightly.
"Yeah..." Sunfire said softly, stricken by the small feline's broken tale. She leaned over and gently pulled Lucinia into a warm embrace against her anthro chest, rocking the small feline in her arms. "Aw, ssssshhh now, sweetie, ssssshhh now," she murmured softly. "It's okay. You're not dead, you're safe here with us, and we will take very good care of you and make sure no one will ever hurt you again."
The small feline kept crying softly, pressing herself up close against Skyfire's chest, her head buried in the storm-grey Mry's bosom and her arms wrapped tightly around Skyfire's upper body, seeking protection and comfort. Skyfire gave her just that, holding the little Kattin in a warm embrace, gently rocking back and forth with her head a bit leaned down to softly nuzzle the girl's large dark brown pointy ears, murmuring soft comforting purrs into them. Sunfire, returning into the bedroom with a mug, looked at it with her head a bit tilted as she sat down by the bed.
"What's the matter?"
Skyfire cast her eyes up at her sister without lifting her head away from the crying Kattin's ears. With a few short words, she explained, repeating the story Lucinia had told them. Sighing softly, Sunfire shook her head, gently stroking the small feline's wavy brown hair with a paw.
"Good goddess, that's terrible," she said softly. "But my sis is right, kiddo; you're safe here, no one here will hurt you. We will see to that, and we will take good care of you."
"Yeah," Fleetfire piped up, stroking Lucinia's arm. "You'll live here with us now, and you can be, like, our sister too." She leaned in to softly nuzzle the small feline's cheek. "Hey, here, you want to hold my kitty?" she said, holding out the red and yellow velvet lioness. "I called her Sunburst. Isn't she pretty?"
Very slowly, the small feline's crying died down. She stirred in Skyfire's arms, rolling and lifting her head a bit, sniffing hard while she ran the back of a paw along her eyes, then along her nose. Nuzzling her cheek against Skyfire's breasts, she looked at the toy Fleetfire offered, hesitantly reaching out a paw to touch it.
"Pretty... kitty," she mewled hoarsely, the very corners of her lips lifting a bit in a tiny smile at the unintentional rhyme. "Is nice... I thank. You... sweet, Fleet... fire?"
"We have one for you too, sweetie," Skyfire murmured softly, lifting her head a bit to look at her honey-colored sister. "Sunfire..?"
"Yeah, I got it right here," Sunfire nodded with a smile, lifting her other paw in which she held the green and blue velvet lioness, handing it to Lucinia. "Here you go, kiddo, this one's for you. And here's some nice warm milk for you, too," she added, offering the mug.
The corners of the small Kattin's lips lifted a bit further as she took the green and blue toy.
"I thank," she squeaked, letting out a longing mewl. "Milk. I hungry."
Skyfire took the mug and gently brought it to the small feline's lips.
"Here you go, sweetie, drink some. There, small sips, that's it, nice and steady now."
The small feline drank gratefully, her eyes closed, clutching the green and blue toy with both paws. When she had finished half of the milk in the mug, she averted her head a bit, mewling softly.
"No more... I sleepy..."
"Yes, we'll go sleep now, sweetie," Skyfire cooed, handing the mug back to Sunfire. "Sleep is good for you. Tomorrow, the doctor of our town will come to look at you and make sure you are healthy, and from now on, you will live here with us, and we'll take care of you." She looked up. "Sunfire, I won't sleep on the pillows, I'll be in the bed with her tonight. Mind the fire when you and Fleetfire go to sleep, alright?"
"Sure, sis," Sunfire nodded. "We won't make it too late, it's been a long and eventful day after all." She softly stroked Lucinia's head with a paw. "Sleep well, kiddo. There'll be no more worries for you, promised." She wrapped an arm around Fleetfire's shoulders. "Come Fleetfire, let's go back to the living room and let her sleep now. I'll read you some more, and then we'll go to bed too, okay?"
"Yeah," Fleetfire nodded. She reached out, her paws finding Lucinia's shoulders and sliding over them so she could give the small Kattin a hug, leaning in to press a soft kiss on Lucinia's cheek. "Sleep well, Lucie. You're our sister now, and we'll always be here for you."
"Thank..." the small feline murmured softly with her eyes closed, nuzzling against Skyfire's breasts, still clutching the toy lioness in both paws against her own chest.
Sunfire smiled and wrapped her arm back around Fleetfire's shoulder, gently leading the small Mry out of the bedroom. Holding Lucinia cradled in her arms, Skyfire climbed into the low bed, laying down on her side with her forepaws and hindlegs drawn against her feral chest and tummy while she cradled the small Kattin against her anthro chest, pulling the blanket over them wit one paw. After switching off the small light on the cabinet, she leaned down her head and pressed a soft kiss in between Lucinia's ears, curling herself around the small feline's body protectively, giving her head a last soft shake before closing her eyes.
Not long after, Sunfire and Fleetfire returned in the bedroom as well. Not turning on any lights, they settled down in the large heap of pillows and cushions laying on the thick rug by the bedroom fireplace, snuggling against each other to go to sleep as well. It had, like Sunfire had said, been a long and eventful day, after all.