I was commissioned by @taika-gwen to write this story about a singer in a tavern finding love with a traveling Tengu who is from the Rakshasa court.
They called you the Songbird of Heckler’s Tavern. It’s not the prettiest place in the world but your voice makes it feel that way. You had started singing in the tavern one night when the main singer had gotten too drunk to go on. You had been working as her assistant for a long time. So that evening when she toppled and wouldn’t budge you put on one of her gowns and took to the stage. Ever since then you’ve become a staple. You took her top billing and you’ve been singing there every night.
Every night as you went on stage you would count the people in the crowd. You’d first count the regulars and then the new faces. That’s when you spot someone new. It’s a surprise to you that your eye becomes drawn to him. You’ve seen enough new faces to fill several books. This one is different. His pitch feathers glow in the light of the lanterns. His sharp beak polished to a fine shine. Then he wears a long, elegant robe. Something you’ve never seen in this town, let alone the tavern.
Dream On … Little Bear Cubs by David & Shiela Glatz Via Flickr: Spring Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) cubs (twin sisters) enjoy a nap, while their mother looms in the background. Mother bear is fishing for salmon. She caught several that morning and shared them all with her cubs. Her cubs looked healthy, well-fed and occasionally feisty. Just like bear cubs should be. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Cubs Playing II by Cheryl Strahl Via Flickr: As we were photographing the adult bears catching sockeye salmon in the creek below, these twin cubs climbed up the bank and started playing near us. Not a care in the world - their mom was busy fishing. What a treat to see them, although we were watchful for the sow who might come looking for them. Soon they tired of their play and wandered back down to the creek to see if mom had some fresh fish for them. Katmai National Park and Preserve, AK.
A/N: I started this a month ago on a whim and I promised myself I wouldn’t go to bed tonight until I posted it so I can say to myself that the concept I wanted to write is out and I can relax a bit. This is also roughly edited as it is 1:45 am at the moment so if you see changes as time goes by its cause I went back and fixed it. I like this one a lot as I AM A HOE FOR WOLF AU’S so hopefully you like it too.
this is angst as heck. no warnings as its nothing crazy.
word count: 1705 … f i n a l l y d i v i s i b l e b y f i v e.
When Jongin finds you it’s in a bubble tea café thought he thinks his mind is playing with him. Your scent is what he first catches, sparking his instincts to know that he has found his mate. His brothers take notice of how he stops mid conversation to stare once he figures out the scent belongs to you rendering him speechless. Your walk alone could attract an audience with how fluid and smooth each step you make looks. Your long hair flows down your beautiful figure just past the mid of your back and your pretty legs are on display thanks to your skirt of choice. The oversized tee you pair it with makes you look especially cute and when you turn your face towards his direction taking notice of him, your smile just about sends him through the roof. Your smile is nothing but a friendly acknowledgment of his attention but when you turn away he can’t look anywhere else.
The first one to snap him out of it is the eldest.
“Baby Jong, stop staring it’s rude.” Minseok laughs out as he ruffles the young one’s dark hair.
Jongin turns to his brother for a brief moment. “Hyung … she’s my mate …”
Minseok, Chanyeol, and Sehun all turn to look at you.
“She’s your mate?” his twin Sehun questions.
Jongin nods his head as he turns back around to look at you again. His brothers all face each other again and Chanyeol smiles at him. With an encouraging pat on the back he speaks to his younger brother. “Then what are you doing still sitting here Baby Jong? Go try and talk to her, she’s cute.”
It takes Jongin a few moments to collect himself to try and figure out what he’s going to say to you and his mind begins to race.
What should I say to her? Do I compliment her? Do I walk next to her then drop something to make it look like an accident? Maybe I can–
“Cub.” Sehun whines interrupting Jongin’s thoughts, his hands coming up to rub at his temples.
“Stop overthinking, your internal monologue is screaming at me. Just stick with the first idea and go talk to her.”
Jongin turns to his twin to touch his forehead against his apologetically.
Sorry Puppy, I forget we always hear each other sometimes.
Deciding that he is done being nervous after a few deep breaths, Jongin begins to stand to make his way over to you until his senses pick up on a presence outside of yours or his brothers that stops him in his tracks.
“Boys, I think we have company.” Minseok, the oldest of the group, nods towards the direction of the door as another werewolf walks in and all four of them turn to look at the newcomer.
The new wolf looks about Jongin’s age, though he is shorter and a little smaller in build but he walks tall and confidently as he strides through the door. The wolf picks up on their presence as well and there is a brief moment where he and the group try guage if each other is going to be a threat. Deciding that Jongin and his brothers aren’t for the time being, the wolf continues his path to the front counter to make a purchase avoiding causing a scene between himself and them. Jongin feels something about this wolf that he doesn’t like but he doesn’t know what it is.
In Jongin’s mind, he can hear his twin Sehun speaking to him.
His pack is of royal three lineage like ours. Where how our pack Aspirant dons black hair, his, pack Effulgent, dons silver.
Jongin’s gaze on the new wolf doesn’t let up. He is confused as to why he would be here in their territory until the wolf in question makes his way towards you. Instantly Jongin can feel jealousy growing within him as you allow the wolf to wrap his arms around your waist and let him pepper your face with kisses before joining you at your table. Instinctively his eyes begin to shift their color to red and his body begins to tense. Sehun places his hand on Jongin’s shoulder to calm him down and to get him to realize that this isn’t the time or place to let his instincts take over. Sehun heads a warning to his twin,
Cub, we’re amongst humans you need to control yourself.
Jongin reluctantly sits back down.
Puppy what could she be doing with a member of the Effulgent pack? I can sense they are not mated, but they are connected somehow.
He tries to return his attention back to the conversation they were having about the latest action movie but he finds that it’s impossible to focus. It feels like a switch has turned on inside him and he is now so hyper aware of you it’s beginning to tear at his insides.
His ears twitch and threaten to change into his wolf ones when he hears you giggle; his claws want to bare out of his fingertips when feels the vibrations from the tapping your fingers do on the table. When you flip your hair over your shoulder he just about loses it on the spot. He takes in a large breath and catches your scent even stronger than the first time and it’s something so intoxicating it’s torture. It’s taking everything within him to not swoop you into his arms and run out of this place.
Sehun reaches out for Jongin as Chanyeol and Minseok take notice of his distress.
Cub, I think it’s time to go now.
The brothers move quickly to get Jongin out and into the car circling around him to keep the attention away from the fact that his eyes that still haven’t changed back and the sound of his bones beginning to crack; Jongin is starting to shift into wolf form and they need to move fast.
On the drive back to their home Minseok juggles calling the alphas and speeding well over the limit to try to beat Jongin’s change.
“Mom, Pop, we got a situation; Baby Jong is changing against his will, something’s wrong. We’re on our way home but it’s not looking good, we might not make it in time before he shifts–” just then, Jongin’s pain starts radiating through Sehun causing him to howl in agony.
“Shit, Baby Hun is starting to feel it too. This whole twin bond isn’t doing us any good right now. They might both end up shifting.”
Meanwhile Chanyeol is doing his best to tend to Jongin, holding him while talking to Sehun. “Baby Hun, I need you to calm down, you have to help Jong, control the mood don’t let it control the both of you.”
Jongin begins to howl in agony from fighting as hard as he can and Sehun’s eyes begin to change their color as he howls louder with his head in his hands. When the car pulls into their driveway the pack moves quickly into action; the two alphas are out in an instant to assist Chanyeol and Minseok in getting Jongin and Sehun down into their basement before either of them can shift, managing to get them in just as Jongin changes into his wolf form where he collapses after becoming his beastly self. Seconds after, Sehun follows managing to stay in human form as he lies unconscious next to his twin. The elders of the pack move quickly to stabilize them, both are radiating an extreme amount of heat and their breathing is at an alarming rate. The younger ones of the pack move quickly to lock down their home as a precaution. Once the alphas confirm that the twins are okay, Joonmyeon and Yifan dismiss everyone except for Minseok and Chanyeol.
“Okay you two, what is going on?” Joonmyeon asks running a hand through his hair in frustration.
“Well we were hanging out when Jongin sensed his mate but before he could go and meet her, we all sensed another wolf,” Chanyeol pauses to see the alphas’ reaction before continuing.
“The wolf didn’t seem like a threat so we didn’t approach him and he didn’t approach us, but Jongin started acting weird when he seen the wolf with his mate. The wolf and her were a couple. And there’s one more thing … the wolf had silver hair.”
Joonmyeon’s eyes go wide and Yifan takes a step back in shock. Both look at each other before Joonmyeon speaks up.
“Effluent is here, in our territory?”
Minseok sighs, trying to keep himself calm. “Well, we only seen one of them so we don’t know if all of them are.”
“Well then this at least explains Baby Jong’s forced shift. It’s extremely rare, but I’ve seen this before. Back when I traveled alongside the Bangtan pack, their eldest experienced the same thing. You know after our first transition when we become of age, we are able to control when we shift, but there are a few instances where we shift against our will. The most obvious one being the blood moon and the other …”
Yifan scratches his head trying to find the right words to continue explaining, “the other case is when our bodies kick into autopilot when we’re in extreme danger. In this case the danger is his mate and the Effulgent wolf. His heart is under attack.”
Chanyeol furrows his brow turning to Joonmyeon. “But mama, if she is Jongin’s mate like he said she is, why would he react like that? When Luhan hyung found his, she was also in a relationship and he didn’t forcibly shift.”
“I have a feeling it has something to do with that wolf. We’re not the only pack in the city, but we’re the only one of the royal three lineage so I think it may have to do with that. As for Luhan hyung, his mate was in a relationship with another human so it didn’t have a big affect on him like that of another high ranked pack member would.”
Joonmyeon runs his hands through his hair again then turns to Yifan.
“Pop, I have a feeling we will have war on our hands soon.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan is reflected in a table as he prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force; twin panda cubs, born on April 24 in captivity, are pictured in an incubator at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, China; Susan Walton and daughter Katie, 10 (pictured), who attended the concert of Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena, are seen in Manchester, Britain; Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fire towards Islamic State militants during a battle in Qairawan, west of Mosul, Iraq; an Indonesian man is publicly caned for having gay sex, in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia; a message is written on the pavement in Manchester, England, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. These are some of the photos of the day. (AP/EPA/Getty/Reuters)
Brown Bear Mother and Cubs by David & Shiela Glatz Via Flickr: Brown Bear (ursus arctos) mother shelters her cubs. She had twin female cubs. One female cub was curious and bold, the other female cub was curious but a little shy as you can see. Fast forward two years later during the 2012 Salmon Run the twins had been cast off by Mom, and are trying to catch Sockeye on their own. Labeled by the Guides as the “Terrible Twos”, these cute little terrors have been known to false charge pretty much any photographer they see. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
For everyone curious about the cub swaps, here’s the October 3rd update #ZAPandas #OnlyZooATL
The most common question we get about the twin panda cubs is how do we do the swaps. Now that the cubs are big enough and old enough for Lun Lun to put them down for a few minutes, the swapping is really quite easy. Lun Lun is left with access to an adjacent den to the one you see on PandaCam. When it’s time to swap cubs, we ask Lun Lun to put the cub down and come over into the next-door den. We reward her for coming over with biscuits, fruit, and lots of bamboo. As soon as she has allowed us to shut the door behind her, we can safely enter the den with the cub and retrieve it. After that cub has been weighed and put into an incubator, we give Lun Lun some alone time to eat and do what she pleases. We then leave it up to Lun Lun to let us know, by vocalizing or going to the shift door that leads back to the den, that she is ready for the other cub.
Right now the swaps are about every four hours, but we are always keeping an eye out for when Lun Lun is hungry and an ear out for when the cubs start letting everyone know that they are hungry too.
This method is safe for both the pandas and their care team and allows for the cubs to get equal time with mom and some alone time for Lun Lun!
And by the way, in case you’re counting, the twins turned 1 month old on October 3!
Curator of Mammals
A snow leopard with four cubs was caught on camera in Mongolia.
Scientists have observed snow leopards with one cub, twins, or triplets
in the region from 2011-2016. This is the first time observers have
WWF works in Asia’s high mountain
landscapes and communities to promote conservation of snow leopards and
their habitat. The USAID-funded project also focuses on improving water
security, designing and implementing community climate change adaptation
strategies, and fostering sustainable natural resource management and
development and local, regional, and national levels in snow leopard
Dutiful mothers, female polar bears usually give birth to twin cubs. The cubs will stay with her for more than two years until they can hunt and survive on their own, but they never get too old for eskimo kisses.