audio attachments

hearthawk  asked:

Hey! I was wondering if I could poke you and see if you had any good ideas for bird of prey enrichment. In my new position, I wanted to make an enrichment calender with enrichment ideas for a collection of program owls, vultures, and hawks (and the poultry who share the holding areas). Do you give enrichment to your ambassador birds? What have you found they seem to interact with the most? Novel foods, novel items, textures, bathing options, and of course, training ideas?

Nice! Congrats on the new position, and good luck with the enrichment calendar. Raptors can be tricky to plan for, at least if you want a diverse set of enrichment. 

The following list is a variety of enrichment ideas I’ve either used or seen used on the raptors you are working with. It is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good start. This post won’t go into great detail on how to do each of them, but if one catches your eye but the description is confusing, let me know and I’ll try to clarify. 

Basic Training: These are the basics. When it comes to raptors, consistency and routine are the biggest factors. If you can work the following into your basic training regiment every day or every other day, then your raptors will be enriched and learn valuable commands and behavior for vet care, handling, and presentation.

Keel Score and Touch Training: These two practices are crucial in training raptors because it gets them used to people, hands, and situations where they need to be held. It also trains the handler to do a thorough inspection of the bird every time its on their glove. Start with the keel and the feet, move to the beak and head, then try gently pulling their wings out or maneuvering their tail by hand. They wont like it at first, but if they get used to it, this can be invaluable for vet visits. 

Putting on and Taking off Equipment: Get the birds used to the anklets, jesses, leashes, hoods, and other equipment. Try to put it all on at least once a day. (Hood Training a raptor typically takes a more involved approach and should only started if you can really commit to the practice multiple times a day.)

“Step Up” and “Step Back”: Use treat rewards and repetition to teach each bird to step up onto a glove or perch when asked and step back onto a glove, perch, or scales when asked. Once learned, keep a habit of using the commands when weighing each bird every day. 

Jump Ups: These exercises both teach the birds to come to a gloved fist when called and if done in the right distances and elevations can be excellent exercise for them. 

Creance Training: If your birds are fully flighted, this is excellent training and exercise. It also helps prepare for flighted programs. 

Take a Walk: My team and I take our birds on walks at least twice a week. This gets them out of the enclosure, seeing new sights, and getting comfortable with their handlers. 

Owl Enrichment: Owls are largely solitary creatures with little to no food motivation. Much of their enrichment will revolve around stimulating their senses and appealing to their more destructive nature. Each bird will be different of course, so you’ll just need to try until you find which enrichment is the best received. 

Shredded Phonebooks: Setting up a partially shredded phone book or similar paper product can be one of the most enriching objects for large owls like the Great Horned Owl.

Cardboard Egg Cartons: Very similar to the above. (Really anything cardboard and shaped odd will do)

Towel Wrapped Perch: Some owls love to pick the threads off of towels. Wrapping part of a perch in a small towel can be entertaining. 

Live Prey: If the bird is fit and able, live prey is good enrichment. Insects like captive bred roaches or meal worms can be good as well. Try spreading the meal worms through long leaf astroturf. 

Feather Bundle: If you have old body feathers from a prior moult, tie them together and hang them in various places throughout the enclosure. Bonus if you can get breezes to move them occasionally. 

Audio Samples: This depends on the bird, but more social owls like the screech owl will get largely intrigued if you start playing their calls from various places on occasion. Try to get them to call back (Keep note of the call used and the response. Some are territorial calls or alarm calls, try to avoid those.)

Vulture Enrichment: These birds are usually social creatures with a large propensity for destructive behavior. Their food drive is okay, but the more intriguing the situation, the better. 

Food Puzzles: Try creating various puzzles and challenges for the birds to reach a tidbit reward. If its something they can destroy, even better. Look up “Striated Caracara Enrichment”, you’ll find videos by Elite Falconry. While Caracara aren’t really vultures, the puzzles are excellent for vultures and intelligent, food motivated birds. 

Hide and Seek: If it’s turkey vultures you’re working with, hiding smelly food can be a great enrichment option. Try hiding it in cardboard egg cartons or safely destructible items. 

Eggs: the occasional egg can be a great treat. 

Un-stuffed Stuffed Animals: Like the owls this, can be a great thing for the birds to pick and pull apart. just be sure the materials are plastic free and there is no stuffing in it. 

Mist Sprayers: We’re located in Central Texas. If you are in a place with plenty of heat, mist sprayers can be great afternoon enrichment. Typically the birds will step in the mist then go sun themselves until they dry off. 

Hawk Enrichment: The most food motivated of the group, these birds are most enriched by the challenge and reward of obtaining food. 

Food Puzzles: Simple puzzles can be great, but a word of warning. Most hawks have a poor sense of object permanence, so be sure any treat reward is visible at all times.

Treat Foods: Eggs, Day old chick, chicken leg, insects, etc… These should be given sparingly, but can offer a great change up from the typical feeding schedule. If you can, try offering a rotating diet of core meats the bird would eat in the wild and then sprinkle the above options into the mix for rewards and lazy days. 

Frozen Food: This is another hot summer option. It takes the birds time to pick apart the food enough to eat and can actually help shape their beaks and talons in the process. (Word of Warning, make sure the food in question is large enough that the bird cannot swallow it whole. If it does, this can lead to sour crop. 

“Tirings”: This is a falconry term for food objects that really aren’t all that edible, but take the bird time to pick apart. These can be bird wings, rabbit ears or feet, an even handmade lures with tidbits attached. 

Audio Samples: This depends on the bird, but more social hawks like the Harris’ Hawk or even birds like the Caracara will get largely intrigued if you start playing their calls from various places on occasion. Try to get them to call back (Keep note of the call used and the response. Some are territorial calls or alarm calls, try to avoid those.)

Live Prey: If the bird is fit and able, live prey is good enrichment. Insects like captive bred roaches or meal worms can be good as well. Try spreading the meal worms through long leaf astroturf.

Feather Bundle: If you have old body feathers from a prior moult, tie them together and hang them in various places throughout the enclosure. Bonus if you can get breezes to move them occasionally.

Minnows in the Bath: Putting minnows into their bath pan will keep many hawks fascinated and watching for hours. Some will even try to catch them. 

Swinging Perches: Install a tree branch that hangs from the ceiling by a rope. Every hawk I’ve offered this to has made it their favorite perch. 

Poultry: These birds are largely foragers, giving them stuff to pick at or eat that is more interesting than seeds is usually a great bet. 

Treat Foods: Meal Worms, strawberries, plain yogurt, Tomatoes, etc…

Foraging space: Real grass, bushes and open area.

Dust Bath: Try giving them an area to lay and role in some finer dust.

Percussion Instruments: A small, brightly colored xylophone mounted safely to a surface is certain to attract and keep interest. 

Hope this helps!

Destiel and Cockles Fic List

Copper Park

(Words: 9843) - Audio Version Attached

(AU) The world isn’t fair– Dean has known that for a long time; but when he finds himself out on the streets, that’s when he realizes just how cruel the world can actually be, and, how beautiful.

In the Spine

(Words: 5467) - Audio Version Attached

Cas reads a letter from Dean.

The Perfect Gift

(Words: 2368)

Castiel has a big problem concerning Dean … thankfully, Sam is always around to help

Can’t Stop

(Words: 5863)

He needs to get out of his own head, so what better way to do that than to read? That’s how Dean end up reading “Twist and Shout”.

High Rise / Hard Fall

(Words: 17, 376)

(NSFW) Castiel Novak lives a simple life. He has his simple car, his simple apartment, his simple clothes and his amazing, astounding, wonderful pet cat, James. What more could he possibly need?

A Beast’s Perspective

(Words: 2508) - Audio Version Attached

Benny remembers purgatory– Benny remembers everything.

The Book

(Words: 1884) - Audio Version Attached

Dean finds something in Cas’s jacket pocket

Keep reading

Job Application

To: all US corporations

Re: Reputation management and PR

Hi.  You don’t know me, because I have absolutely no experience in the PR industry, and there are probably thousands of (on paper, at least) more qualified candidates than I am for any PR job you have.

However, in light of recent events and the accusations of [ sexism / racism / ableism / homophobia / transphobia / antisemitism / etc] that have been made against your company or persons associated with your company, and/or your current practices that involve [ police brutality / environmental destruction / etc ] I have several key skills that I believe would make me a good fit for your organization.

First, I have a basic sense of human decency, and I strive every day to at least do the bare minimum to be a good person and a participant in a healthy society.  I take this absolute bare minimum and apply it to everything I do, including things at work.  For instance, when someone makes a sexist joke at work, I say ‘that’s sexist, and not particularly clever’ out loud, in front of the person who made the joke.  As another example, when I fuck up and someone tells me I did, I say ‘damn, I am sorry, I will not do the thing again’ out loud and in public, and hold myself accountable.

Second, I know how to stay in my lane, and would like to help your executives to stay in theirs.  If a problem comes along that I believe would benefit from the voices of those who are marginalized by the problem (read: every problem, always, every time and forever) I would find someone in the PR department or an executive who can speak with that voice, and ask them how we should deal with the problem, and then give them a bonus for sticking with us and doing additional emotional labor on top of their usual work.  If we do not have someone who works for us and can deal with this issue who also comes from the appropriate community, I would ask you why the fuck not and pay a professional consultant three times their going rate just to deal with us, because we are assholes.

Third, please see the attached audio files, where I articulate key statements that have been missing from your campaigns in the past, including:

  • I am personally sorry and the company is working to rectify the problem,
  • We are changing our policies so this does not happen again, and here are the concrete steps as to how,
  • We have fired the employee in question, because ‘suspending’ them is usually a way to get the press off our backs while actually doing nothing,
  • I acknowledge the basic humanity of the person we have wronged, and 
  • while this will not undo the damage here is a substantial settlement that comes without a gag order, because buying silence is pretty gross.

I am willing to work just about anywhere, and for 10% of the collective salaries of people whose fuckups I have to fix on an annual basis, plus expenses.  This includes secondary fuckups like doubling down before calling me.  Any fuckups I have to fix that are a result of you ignoring or contradicting what I say cost the full annual salary of those who fucked up.  Failure to follow through on promises I make in public on behalf of your corporation cost $18 billion each and the right to stand, silently, in your annual meeting making uncomfortable eye contact with every member of the board while I very slowly peel carrots and potatoes with a very sharp knife for as long as I damn well please.

I am willing to work in just about any industry but I reserve the right to laugh, tell you to fuck off, and remind you I have a soul if you’re just too ghoulish to take money from.  You know who you are.


Knitmeapony, JD

All My Lovin

Adam leans over Ronan and whisper-sings the lyrics. His voice isn’t the greatest but it’s hard to mess up the Beatles. Ronan’s got one eye squinted shut because it’s fuckin early, Parrish but he’s grinning. Adam has to leave soon and make that long journey back to college. But they have time.

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you

Adam kisses Ronan’s forehead.

Tomorrow I’ll miss you

A kiss for his right cheek.

Remember I’ll always be true

A kiss on the left. Ronan’s smile is huge. His eyes crinkle at the edges.

And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

Adam kisses Ronan’s mouth. There’s a bittersweet ache in his heart as they prepare for one more parting.


The dorm is empty and Adam unpacks in the echoing silence. He’s stiff from the drive, hungry, and tired. Lonesome. His shirt smells like The Barns, which is unlike any smell in the world. Adam closes his eyes and inhales, feeling so homesick that he’s afraid he’ll cry.

His phone buzzes once. A message. Adam opens it and is surprised that 1) it’s from Ronan and 2) there’s an audio file attached. Adam presses play, his heart already straining as he hears Ronan’s voice swearing gruffly as he sets up the recording. Of course Ronan would send him audio but no video.

Ronan is humming and Adam instantly recognizes the tune. He lies down on the bed, phone pressed to his good ear. When Ronan sings, quiet and hoarse, Adam has to bite his lip to keep from sobbing.

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

There’s a pause at the end and Adam clutches the phone, hoping for more, needing more.

“All right, asshole, I hope you enjoyed that because I’m never singing that lovey dovey crap again. And don’t expect daily letters. That’s wishful thinking, Parrish, not reality.”

And that’s it. The recording, less than two minutes in length, is over.

Adam changes into one of Ronan’s tees and curls up under the covers. He puts in an earbud and listens to the song on repeat until he falls asleep.


so I’m making a podcast called “Aisle 7″ which is about a Petsmart that has a bunch of weird things happen in it (odd animals, the void, etc). I need some voice actors because each episode has different characters. They won’t be super big roles bc the episodes are pretty short and there are only 6 episodes anyway character info under the cut, unless directed feel free to interpret the lines/characters as you wish. 

If you’re interested, email me (Carrie) at with your preferred name, tumblr user name, which character you’re trying out for, and why you’d like to be part of this. Audio quality isn’t a huge deal but PLEASE make sure the lines are able to be clearly heard. Also when you attach your audio file to the email, please label them “Character.Audition” so I know what your audio is. Thank you!!

Keep reading

The Scarecrow - "I Love"
Dino Andrade
The Scarecrow - "I Love"

Earlier this month, I made my cover photo on facebook a sketch that the lovely @skizoh drew of Connor(my Scarecrow) and I. Our friend Dino Andrade, who was the voice of Scarecrow in the Arkham Asylum game, commented on the photo saying he would “love to voice this”. 

Well, last night Dino sent me a message with this audio attached, and the following message: “On October 4th you posted a wonderful piece of art that I said I would love to voice. Consider this an All Hallows Eve gift to you and Connor.

I present to you: The Scarecrow - “I Love”, performed by Dino Andrade

Inspired by this piece by @skizoh, of myself and ScarecrowToxin as The Scarecrow & Becky Albright: 

(and yes, we fangirled like CRAZY :D)

Alison S

Based on looking through several Incorrect YouTube videos, I’ve learned that Catholic hymns seem to have the same annoying property of Jewish zemirot. That is, everyone sings them with a different tune, so you can never find the version you recognise.

All I ever wanted was the version of the Gloria I recognise from mass in [Redacted] but instead I get tambourines like no fuck you this is important

If anyone knows where to find a version of the Gloria that has a tune like the one I used in the attached audio file (first line of the song only), could you please point me to it? (Sorry for the shit quality. It was a first pass while I was trying not to let anyone hear me.)

((Also, it sounds really weird without backing vocals, bleh))

Thumbs Up

[Namjin] fluff; drabble/oneshot/idrk

Based on my prompt ‘you gave me the first thumbs down on my dating profile and I am not happy’

“Down. Down. Down. Hmm…nah. Down.” Seokjin sighs, thumbing through the suggested people on his dating profile. To be honest, Seokjin wasn’t even looking for a date; he just liked all the thumbs up and comments he would get on his profile. It did wonders for his already huge ego. You wouldn’t know that if you met him anywhere else except the dating website though. He was an angel to everyone he met, never seeming cocky or self-absorbed. And he wasn’t. He just liked getting compliments as much as the next person.

His compliments were well-deserved too. Anyone who didn’t know Seokjin personally could easily mistake him for a model. He had bright eyes, plump lips, a well-defined jaw line and always perfectly styled dark hair. Everywhere Seokjin went he received compliments on his looks, whether it be from relatives at family gatherings or girls in Seokjin’s cooking class. So it’s no surprise that Seokjin is shocked when he receives his first thumbs down on the dating website.

“What the fuck?!” Seokjin exclaims when a notification with a thumbs down pops up in his dating profile. He clicks on it and his mouth hangs open as he looks at the small, measly number ‘1’ that has appeared in the thumbs down category.

He clicks on the profile of the person who had caused him to receive the first thumbs down on his profile thus breaking his perfect streak of positive responses. The page loads to a profile with the name “Rap Monster” in big, bold letters.

“Who the fuck calls themselves that on a dating website?!” he mutters to himself. The next thing Seokjin notices is the lack of a profile picture. Instead there’s a picture of a pair of expensive looking headphones. Seokjin scoffs to himself. This guy just seems like even more of a loser by the minute. That is, until Seokjin reaches the About Me and Interests pages. They’re all filled out with detailed answers that seem more like poetic lyrics than an actual response. But they’re enticing nonetheless, Seokjin notes. There’s even an attached audio titled “Moi”. Out of plain curiosity, Seokjin clicks the file and finds himself captivated in the beat that flows out of his phone. Soon, a voice rapping, that he assumes is Rap Monster, joins the fast-paced beat and Seokjin can’t stop listening. He finds himself nodding along to the beat and before he can remember that he’s supposed to hate this person, the music stops. The rap sounded like it had been about Rap Monster’s childhood, but Seokjin wasn’t too sure.

“Wait. Why do I care? This guys seems like a bitch,” he says to himself. But he saves the audio just this one time.


Rap Monster: Hello! Thank you for saving my music. I take that you liked it? That means a lot to me!

Seokjin chokes on his water. He was at the gym working out when his phone alerted him of a new message.

Seokjin: Umm…I don’t know what you’re talking about? I didn’t save anything? Who are you by the way? Sorry I don’t think I’ve ever seen your profile.

Rap Monster: Oh it’s you…

Rap Monster: That was an automated message that goes out every time someone saves my file

Rap Monster: And you don’t have to lie haha it’s okay. I have an application that shows me who’s visited my profile and who’s saved my audio.

“Of course he does. What a little shit” Seokjin grumbles to himself, mentally cursing his luck.

Seokjin: Isn’t that like an invasion of privacy? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

Rap Monster: Haha it’s not. The government does it so why can’t I? It’s quite useful in fact.

Seokjin: Sounds a bit creepy.

Seokjin: Actually, scratch that.

Seokjin: Sounds a LOT creepy.

Rap Monster: Haha I think the princess is just upset she got her first thumbs down on her profile, huh? ;)

Seokjin: Excuse me?!

Rap Monster: What? You know it’s true

Seokjin: Shut up.

Seokjin: I don’t even care

Seokjin: Especially coming from someone who calls themselves “Rap Monster” on a dating website

Rap Monster:

Rap Monster: Touché

Seokjin smirks in satisfaction and goes back to doing his pushups. He lasts exactly five whole minutes before curiosity gets the best of him. Pulling his phone back out, he types.

Seokjin: Just out of curiosity tho, why’d you do it?

Rap Monster: Do what?

Seokjin: Give me a thumbs down?

Rap Monster: Um isn’t it obvious???

Rap Monster: There’s nothing on your profile?!?!

Seokjin: My face is on it!

Seokjin: So is my name!

Rap Monster: Yeah and that’s it

Rap Monster: Everything else just says ‘look at my profile pic—‘nuff said’ -.-

Seokjin: At least I have a profile pic!

Rap Monster: Yeah well looks aren’t everything.

Rap Monster: Some people prefer actually getting to know the person

Seokjin: Looks are the only thing some people have.

There was an awkward pause in the conversation. A weird heavy feeling on both sides even through text. Finally, Rap Monster replied.

Rap Monster: I’m sure that’s not true

Seokjin: It is

Rap Monster: Come on, there’s nothing you think is interesting about you besides your face?

Seokjin: What does it matter? You didn’t even like my face

Rap Monster: I never said that…

Seokjin: So you do like my face?

Rap Monster: I’m rolling my eyes at you

Rap Monster: Of course I do

Rap Monster: You would have to be blind not to

Seokjin: True. And to answer your question, I like cooking and playing Mario but that’s hardly interesting and something worth putting onto a dating website

Rap Monster: I think it’s interesting

Rap Monster: Well if you’re good at cooking anyway


Rap Monster: Woah woah woah sorry!

Rap Monster: It’s just I’ve never tried it

Rap Monster: Wanna change that? ;)

Seokjin: Are you asking me on a date right now?

Seokjin: Where I have to cook?!

Rap Monster: Ummm…yes?

Seokjin: You’re weird

Seokjin: It’s a date.

Rap Monster: Hahaha

Rap Monster: Oh by the way I’m Kim Namjoon

Rap Monster: And here’s a picture of me in case you’re curious (which I know you are)

Seokjin clicks on the picture and his eyes widen when he sees the blond god looking up at him through a selfie. He doesn’t reply but instead goes to Namjoon’s profile and clicks the thumbs up button. Seokjin grins when he sees the number next to his own profile’s thumbs down button change back to a zero and the thumbs up button go one higher.  

this was so bad i’m so sorry pls dont hate me i have summer work cramming to do 

Best Rhett & Link Fics of 2015 - Masterpost

Originally posted by graveyard-whistler

It’s crazy to see how much the Rhink fandom has grown since I first discovered it near the start of 2015.

Below is a list of my favourite fics in no particular order featuring, in my opinion, the best writing and most creativity. I highly suggest reading all of these and checking out the authors’ other works as well! Remember to encourage your favourites with likes, reblogs, kudos and comments. It only takes a second and will help spur them on to create new fics for you to enjoy!

Note that I only included one work per author, to be more fair, and that this is a biased list of my own personal favourites. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hey do you know any good apps for learning cantonese?

oh mannnn this’ll be hard bc there aren’t that many good phone apps for cantonese, but i’ll try my best :) 


Cantonese English Dictionary 

- Pleco Chinese Dictionary (useful for both Mandarin and Cantonese)

- uTalk (not necessarily a big fan of these types of apps, but compared to a lot of other apps, this looks the most promising) 

- Memrise - im pretty sure you’ve heard of it before but since memrise has a mobile app, you can definitely use it to study cantonese on the go. there are tonsssss of cantonese courses on memrise: link

- HelloTalk - more of a language partner app, but definitely useful for less common languages like cantonese!


- Cantonese English Dictionary

- Pleco Chinese Dictionary

- Speak Cantonese - the interface isn’t the most appealing, but there are lots of basic phrases and vocabulary with audio files attached

- Casual Cantonese - learn vocabulary and do quick flash card games (audio included) 

Learn Cantonese Phrasebook

粤语助手 - SUPER USEFUL but only if already know some mandarin

Leia's Song

Hey guys. Sooooo I’ve been sick with strep for the past few days which comes with a wicked fever, which led to me being unable to sleep through the night, which led to me writing in my head…it took a while to actually hammer it out (even now, it’s still much more perfect in my head) but here it is. It is technically a sequel to this Leia story but is fine as standalone. Leia is 3. It’s set about a week after the previous story for those of you who read it. Gah, I’ve missed writing and wanted to fit this in before I start studying for exams! Also I’ve attached audio, which is simply the tune to the song to help you hear it how it sounds in my own head. Hope it helps. (And yes I know I constantly write cuddly CS. I am trash for the fluff. We have been over this many times. Get used to it cause I doubt I will ever change)


It was well into the wee hours of the morning, stars still gracing the sky over Storybrooke. Killian and Emma’s bed shook, Killian waking instinctively from the vibrations of Emma’s shivers beside him. His eyes immediately went to the digital clock on their nightstand, an ingrained practice after caring for Leia, and now Emma. He did the calculation in his head and came to the conclusion that a suitable amount of time had passed since Emma last had a dose of fever remedy. He reached for the little blue canister and fetched her two of the little red pills, before also taking hold of the tall glass of water he had stationed there. (Quite a feat for a man with one hand, but he’d had good practice these past few days). “Here darling, it’s time. Sit up for me?”

Emma groaned, the sound a reflection of all the places she ached, and it broke Killian’s heart for what felt like the millionth time. First he’d had to watch his littlest love battle this wretched fever, and only 2 days after Leia had returned to herself, Emma began to be ravaged by it. Thankfully the little red pills worked wonders, but the period of time between the remedy wearing off and the new dose taking effect still proved ferociously uncomfortable for both of his girls. He hated feeling so powerless.

Emma unburied herself from her mountain of blankets and pushed herself to a sitting position. Killian handed her the pills and she downed them with the smallest sip of water, and he frowned. “You barely ate anything today, love. At least drink a little more. Please?”

Emma gave him a weak smile that he could see faintly in the dim room, most likely to try and make the worried look on his face dissipate. He helped steady her shaking hand while she drank, and she coughed hoarsely when she finished, handing him the cup. He set it down, ready to endure the next half hour with her before the medicine took effect and she could fall back to sleep. Emma was already laying back down, frantically trying to burrow under all of the blankets so she could be warm.

“Hey, hey, come here, Swan,” he beckoned, stopping her mid-burrow. (As he always had to; she always tried to insist that she was fine and didn’t want to risk getting him sick, and he always fought with her until she gave up and let him hold her.) Tonight, though, she didn’t argue. She simply looked at him with wide, grateful green eyes and moved closer to him, snuggling deeply into his warm chest, lodging both of her feet between his calves. The blistering heat of her body always startled him, especially when at the same time, goosebumps covered her skin. So infuriatingly perplexing. He wrapped his arms around her securely, holding her flush against him, bringing her sweaty forehead to his lips, peppering it with kisses. She had her face buried in his neck but he could hear her teeth rattling. He couldn’t stand this. It was so heartbreaking.

“Ahh,” she mumbled into his skin as he used his fingers to message the borders of her spine. He knew that particular area caused her to ache, and his ministrations usually soothed it some.

“Alright, sweetheart?” he whispered, always needing to know, always making sure that there wasn’t anything more beneficial he could be doing for her.

“Mmmm. Love you so much,” she said, her tired voice still somehow laced with admiration and thanks.

He swept her hair back and pressed his lips to the back of her neck, the skin there absolutely burning. He could taste the salt from her sweat on his tongue and he blew gently, watching more goosebumps rise as he did, a shiver rippling through her. He immediately regretted it. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he apologized profusely. “You just feel even warmer than usual, Emma. Are you sure we shouldn’t see a doctor?”

He felt her shake her head as another violent shiver shook her. “It just has to run its course,” she explained, just as she had on multiple previous occasions. “I’ll be fine in a few days, maybe even tomorrow. Just hold me, okay?

“Always, my love,” he vowed, tightening his arms. “Is there anything else I can do? Anything at all?”

“Hmmm,” Emma hummed, lifting her head from his neck to look up at his face, a hint of an embarrassed smile on her lips. He nodded at her encouragingly. “I’d love it if you sang to me,” she admitted, tangling a hand in his hair and scratching his scalp with her fingertips. “It’s been too long.”

Killian chuckled, beaming down at his beautiful wife who he could never dream of denying. “Of course, Emma,” he answered immediately. “Any particular requests?”

“I miss that song you used to sing to Leia when she was in my belly,” Emma fibbed. (She knew he still sang it to Leia all the time because she was a mischievous shameless peeper who listened and watched them on the monitor every single night while Killian put her to bed). “Do you remember how it went?”

“Aye, of course I do, love. Here, lay back down, Emma. Are you warm enough?” he asked, pulling a blanket up overtop of her.

“You always keep me warm,” she said, yawning. The meds still hadn’t fully kicked in, but they were getting there. He kissed her once more before he started to sing, his voice soft and sweet and smooth, right in her ear, the lyrics tugging at her heartstrings like they always did.

I love you, more than ships love waves,
More than birds love tides,
More than souls that wait,
Love the peace they find,
You’re my very best friend
and soon you’ll be my first mate
I’ll hold you in my arms,
where you’ll always be safe,
You’ll always make me proud,
and you’ll never be alone
because for my whole life
your heart will be my home.

The second he finished she opened her mouth to beg for it again, but she didn’t need to. He looped it on its own, starting at the beginning, just like she knew he did with Leia. She kissed his collarbone, nuzzling her nose there in appreciation. She could never get enough of this song; it is literally the embodiment of his love for Leia and there is nothing in the world Emma cherishes more. She listened to it 2 more times carefully before she felt herself starting to sink into unconsciousness, his soothing voice a perfect lullaby for her tired mind. She was just about to surrender to sleep when she felt something spark inside her, a little jolt of mother’s intuition that prompted her to turn her head toward the door. Sure enough, a very sleepy looking three year old was standing silently in the doorway, her purple nightgown a little too loose and falling off her shoulder. Her long dark hair was haphazard around her shoulders, and she was so hypnotized by her daddy’s voice that Emma thought she might fall asleep right there, standing up. Much to her chagrin, she cut Killian off right in the middle of the song. “Leia. Are you alright, my littlest love?”

Killian stopped abruptly and followed Emma’s gaze, before his face broke out in a huge smile. Leia’s green eyes were wide, like a deer caught in headlights. She bit her lip. “Yep,” she chirped, staring at her parents but not daring to enter the room. She was a good girl; she knew she shouldn’t be out of bed.

Emma couldn’t help but chuckle, “Come here, kid,” she said gently, and Leia took that as her cue to sprint into the room, almost tripping on her nightgown. Emma and Killian both sat up and Emma reached over to help their daughter up onto the bed, setting her in between them. Leia immediately climbed into Killian’s lap, gripping his index finger with all five of hers. (She knew that if she was about to get in trouble, he would be her ally.)

“What woke you up, sweetheart? Did you have a dream? You don’t feel sick again, do you?” Emma asked her softly, feeling her forehead.

“No, Mommy. Daddy sing Weia’s song, so I woked up,” she explained, still gripping her daddy’s finger.

“You heard me all the way from your room, little lass?” Killian asked her incredulously.

“I do have magic, Daddy. Wemembuh?” Leia turned up her palm and wiggled her tiny fingers, and instantly little pink sparks of light flew from them, lighting up her “Duh, Daddy,” expression. Emma could not hold back her giggle and Killian began tickling Leia mercilessly, causing the little girl to shriek with laughter. “Yes I very much do remember, your highness,” he teased, and she writhed in his grip, laughing hysterically. “How on earth could I forget about my special little girl’s wonderful talents?”

Leia was attempting to talk through the tickles. “Why were you singing…my song….to Mummy?” she asked, out of breath as Killian finally let up. Emma extended her arms and Leia went into them willingly, putting a hand on each of Emma’s cheeks and squeezing them together, effectively squishing her mother’s face. “Look, Daddy!” she exclaimed. "Mummy’s a fish!”

Now it was Killian’s turn to burst out laughing while Emma moved her fish lips up and down and lunged forward, using them to kiss all over Leia’s face and talk in a silly voice. “Why are you so silly, hmm?! Where’d you learn to be so silly?! Do you know how much this Mummy fishy love you? Do you know that you’re the most special little girl in all the seven seas? We love you so much, Leia. Did you know about all that?”

“Mmhm! And I love you and you and Henwy and Grandpa and Unca Neal when he is nice. Now,” she said, as though she was the adult trying to keep the conversation on track. “Why you sing Weia song when Weia in bed, Daddy?”

Emma was hugging Leia tightly to her chest and both girls looked to Killian, who was gazing back at them with nothing but love in his eyes. “Because Mummy wasn’t feeling very good and she wanted me to sing to her,” Killian explained, brushing some stray hair out of his daughter’s face, “And she loves your song, little love. Is it alright with you if we share it with her?”

“Ah course!” Leia said, wrapping her arms around Emma’s neck and pressing her little nose on Emma’s cheek. She took a very big breath before she started to sing the song, now nose to nose with her mommy. “I wuv, you mo-wa dan ships wuv waves, mo-wa dan…” Killian joined in with her and pulled his girls against his side as they sang, fixing the pillows behind them so they could all snuggle up together. Emma moved Leia so that she was nestled in between them, and with a flick of her wrist she made the ceiling look like the night sky, filled with stars. Leia smiled so big and Killian and Emma shared a long look, one they shared often, one so filled with wonder at how they got so lucky as to be the two parents of this amazing, adorable, sweet little person. All thoughts of any dumb fever absolutely forgotten, Emma began to sing along with her perfect little family in the middle of the night:

I love you, more than ships love waves,
More than birds love tides,
More than souls that wait,
Love the peace they find,
You’re my very best friend
and soon you’ll be my first mate
I’ll hold you in my arms,
where you’ll always be safe,
You’ll always make me proud,
and you’ll never be alone
because for my whole life
your heart will be my home.