Kein remains silent when Arroyo speaks, delaying answering the girl's question. His gaze does not stay on Arroyo, looking first to the cub, when Arroyo introduces her... then to Wiraqu. The foreign male's scent has a sense of familiarity to it. Staring at the younger male, Kein finally answers Arroyo's question. "Your mother is doing fine."
It is no secret that Kein is not fond of the idea of his daughters taking mates. All of them but Shade have, of course, and even Shade, off on her own as she is, may have does so. Maul is keeping her mate secret, likely for Kein's reputation. But at least Arroyo had plenty of sisters to test Kein's patience in that regard before her, and besides that...
Arroyo is back. Which means soon, Kein and Nyssa will no longer be here, and Arroyo will need a strong male to protect her and the land. Wiraqu does not have the current chieftain's complete approval just yet. That is something that can be handled in private. He does tolerate Wiraqu's presence, though, looking away from the male and back to his daughter to say, "It is good to have you back, Arroyo."
Therdde - The Mouthy Mallard - Staffer Alt
Maul - The Confused Cougaress Skahla - The ADHD Wolf
As she makes her way onwards through the snow, soon Shanira catches glimpses of fur through the trees ahead, glimpses of fur that soon grow into entire cougars. She recognises Kein, of course. She recognises the other male cougar as well, although she doesn't recall his name - he was there when Chaska and she returned to the tribelands. Then there's the female, unfamiliar in both scent and name. She sees all of them, one by one emerging before her eyes, but the scent that caused her to move so quickly? The one she expected to find doesn't seem to be there.
Disappointed, Shanira comes to a halt as she reaches the treeline. Perhaps she's been misremembering Kachina's scent all this time? The time they spent together has been far outweighed by the time they've spent apart and maybe she's had the wrong idea all along. Her eyes wander across the other cougars, her greetings and manners forgotten in her almost childish disappointment. Chaska's words about hunting come back to poke at her mind and she's just about to turn around and leave when she catches sight of the malnourished cub behind the adults. She hasn't seen her daughter in a very long time and the little one will have grown much like Chaska, but the scent..!
Her eyes are wide with wonder as she stretches her neck as if to take a closer look, even though she's several feet away. "Kachina..?"
Scanning the group, all Chaska thinks at first is 'Meh, more adults being boring.' Though his ears do cup at the sight of the lean female about his age. Huh. She looks kinda like his sister might've if the bird had'n't eaten-- he pauses though, tail-tip flecking side to side. Hm.
His mother confirms what actually turn out to be his worst thoughts. It's Kachina. On one paw, he's glad to see his sister-- and oh how horrible she looks, she must have been through so much horror that she might be forever tainted! .. But on the other paw, a nagging thought at the back of his head remains.
'Now that she's back, mom is going to spend all her time with Kachina. She doesn't spend a lot of time with me anyway, and now it's all going to be Kachina Kachina Kachina.'
Chaska frowns, and murmurs, softly to himself, "Great.." .... But, knowing his mother's happiness surely must come before his -- he's the man of the family now, isn't he? -- he tries to put on a happy front.
"Kachina!" He exclaims, as he makes a show of charging for the other youngster with bounces through the snow.
Kachina watches the daughter and father greeting, her tired gaze drifting over the forest behind him, seeming to wonder if she should leave or not. A slight cough escapes her before she tucks her head closer to her chest, her thin form quivering. The longer she stays put the quicker her thin form is quickly cooling off. She'll need to get someplace wamer soon.
The scents of other cougars is picked up but she doesn't bother to look, figuring just more coming to greet the returning female. At the sound of her name her attention drifts and she peers towards the form of her mother and brother and just blinks while watching them. Her ears perk forward and then lower slightly, and then more once Chaska is bouncing towards her. Needless to say she doesn't lok the part of 'happy cub'.
She watches the pair quietly before letting her head settle back to the ground letting her chin rest betwen her forepaws. It doesn't look like there will be any happy family time at the moment.
Wiraqu returns Kein's regard. He's not afraid, though he does keep his muscles just a little tense, ready to spring away if he must. He doesn't know this particular Chieftain's reputation, but he does know about cougar males in general. If they're not eager to have the kids gone - and Kein clearly isn't that sort, from the affection of his greeting to his daughter - they're protective to a degree where it's honestly a little surprising the Chieftain let his daughter run off alone in the first place. There's that spirit quest or whatever!
So, he holds his head at a middling level, neither submitting entirely nor challenging, and waits to see what Kein will do. He's not here for himself, after all. He's here because Arroyo brought him. Not that it necessarily makes much difference to an angry father.
He will be permitted, or else he will be chased away.
When Kein looks away, back to his daughter, Wiraqu relaxes slightly. Permitted it is! He's sure there'll be more stares to come - maybe some interrogations, and a few snarls - but at least the Chieftain is willing to move on to that step of the process. Victory!
So Wiraqu's got a bit of a grin.
Then Shanira enters onto the scene. He looks her over curiously, her and the boy following her. Hey, isn't she the one who - yes. Yes she is. This is the mother of that missing cub. And there's that brother of hers. His grin widens, and his gaze flicks back to Kachina.
Ah. The grin turns to a slight frown. The kitten may be meeting her mother and her brother, but she stills seems to find herself without a family.
Well, her father isn't showing any signs of aggression towards the strange male she's brought home with her...it's a start, at least. Before Arroyo has a chance to respond to Kein, however, their own familial reunion is interrupted by the arriving sounds of another. She opens her maw to say something cheerful about how she knew Kachina's family would be happy to see her again, but her own smile fades as she notices the neglected youth's reaction - or lack thereof - to their appearance. So instead, she merely clears her throat, the matron-to-be pronouncing a humble suggestion: "We all have our own matters to discuss, and bonds to renew. Perhaps we should part ways for the time being to allow for a proper pair of reunions?" She glances around the gathered group for unspoken acquiescence to her proposition before attempting to extricate herself as tactfully as possible, intending for both Kein and Wiraqu to follow along as well to leave the fractured family to their mending...and perhaps to address their own impending changes as well.
If there is but one role within the tribe that there is no chance that Kein will ever fulfill, it is that of therapist. He can barely manage to keep himself on good terms with members of the tribe at all times. Helping others get along, be happy, particularly ones so new to the land as Shanira and her cubs are, is simply out of the question, and when his daughter suggests that they leave the small family to it, there is a definite sense of relief about the chieftain. He responds, though, only with a slight nod of his head, as anything else he could possibly have to say can be said when he does not have a perhaps no-longer-grieving mother and two sullen youths in his presence.
Therdde - The Mouthy Mallard - Staffer Alt
Maul - The Confused Cougaress Skahla - The ADHD Wolf
Shanira's attention is fixed at Kachina, the departure of the other adults barely noted. Chaska beats her to a proper greeting, but the notable lack of response from his sister makes Shanira uncertain. Kachina is back, she's in their new home, shouldn't she be as happy as Chaska? They're safe now! But Kachina's happiness isn't there, or at least it isn't visible and happiness should be visible.
Hesitantly, Shanira approaches her daughter, her head held low and her neck stretched out. "Kachina?" she repeats. Why is she just lying there in the snow? And she's shivering, too. Shanira presses a nose to the little one's shoulder, urging her to get up. "It's cold in the snow, aren't you cold? Come on, get up, we'll go someplace warmer..."
That does seem more logical than standing around here at the edge of the trees.
Chaska frowns as his greeting is not met with enthusiam. Yet again, torn; at least someone else isn't happy either! .. But he also worries. Why is she like this? What happened to the cub that he admittedly didn't have as much time as he should have to get to know?
He comes to a stop in the snow before her, and stands there, looking down at the thin, shivering form of his sister, and lifts a paw, to swat at her slightly. ".. Kachina, you didn't get dropped on yer head when the eagle took ya did you? I mean, you're bein' all.. stupid silent and stuff. Mama worried like sick when you was gone, don't ya think you should say hi to her?" He frowns.
And now she's being selfish, too, making Mama worry even more. He makes a face. "Get up and come back with us, it'll be warmer, an' maybe Mama'll actually take us hunting."
Kachina's ears perk and her gaze turns towards the movement of the three leaving, her maw opens to say something but then she just stops. Her bright gaze drifts to her mothers form once the oehr is close to her and she shifts on her paws to escape the touch. "I'm just tired.." Is all she says, her head lowering while she eyes the ground. Many things running through her head at the moment about what to say, and what not to say.
Hearing Chaska she blinks and sends a glare towards him. "I'm not stupid.." She states with a sudden thin tone. Problem is she doesn't know either of the felines before her, sure it is her mother and brother but she doesn't know them anymore. She's been gone for a long time, and through a lot, an she still blames them for not trying to find her.. The wolves found her, not her own kind.
As for being happy, Kachina hasn't been that in a very long time, she isn't sure what that word even means anymore. Her tail slowly flicks, a tired sigh escapes her. "I just wana sleep.. somewhere.." A slight pause. "But not in a hole.." If anyone even tries to get her into a den or a cave it most likely won't be a pretty sight.
Wiraqu nods, and follows after Arroyo and Kein. He does glance back at Kachina, though - as cougars go, he's at least a little more inclined to the role of counselor than Kein is. That said, whatever her rifts and problems, her mother and brother are as well-suited as any to seeing her out of the cold and fed. Perhaps he'll drop by with something to eat afterward, to make sure.
Yes, that seems like an excellent idea. Assuming, of course, he manages to get through this conversation without being mauled senseless or having his tentative acceptance revoked in a flurry of claws and teeth, which he's not going to guarantee just yet.
Still! He'll make something of this, see if he doesn't. Always has before! So he grins again as he pads after Chieftain and Chosen for this little... talk.