Maktaba and Scatha were walking home together, and they had managed to get past that initial 'new friend' awkwardness. The conversation came easily now, to them both, after spending a few hours chatting together in Maktaba's thinking spot. Scatha was still wondering why he was allowed to walk by the Knights without any trouble, though it should not have been bothering her as much as it did: she could go by them without a second look, as well. But then, she served in the Castle, and was considered of Toka blood. Maktaba could easily pass for Toka as well, but he was certainly not a Knight, and she never saw him as a servant to the King of the royal family.
He said he was a Slayer, but she was skeptical of him, regardless of his efforts to placate her. She liked him enough to not let it become a point of contention and ruin an otherwise easy and calm friendship, but she would bug him about it later, when he thought she was passed it. She just knew there was something more there, like he was a part of something bigger. If he was, though, he did a very good job of keeping it silent, giving no hint of self importance or that attitude that often came with those that were employed by the King for something special.
He did not act entitled, if he was so.
"I hope your mate likes the idea of you having more cubs," she said, smiling at him affectionately. He grinned back, looking dopey and giggling a bit. His reaction whenever she mentioned his family had not yet failed to make her laugh and feel warm inside. She hoped that she had the same effect on her own mate, when others spoke of them to him. It was a silly kind of hope, but seeing that kind of love and loyalty was always fulfilling in its own little way. She loved Fio dearly, and though she was shy about saying it she hoped he really knew just how much he meant to her.
She was sure he did, it was just the anxiety of asking him to have another litter of their family that had her feeling so bashful and silly. Maybe he would not be so eager this time, after being with her for so long? Or... or maybe he was not as fond of their babies as she thought he was... of being a dad? Why was she worrying about any of this, when she had not even broached the subject with him? It was seeing Maktaba's confidence and peaceful grace, the way he seemed to be able to love so unconditionally, that had her nervous. She imagined she was going to be jealous by her friend a lot.
"In any case, if we both have litters, and our families get along, we might be able to have ah... well. Play dates for our cubs, and things like that. If you wanted. Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves, neither of us know for sure." He laughed at that, and shook his head. He was just such a family oriented male, and a goof ball under all that calm. He could be rather bashful, but since she had approached him thinking he was a put together and collected kind of a lion he felt obligated to try and maintain that attitude.
He smiled at her cheekily.
"Yeah, we should do that if everyone goes for it. I mean, it's a little weird, planning for a future litter, but if everything goes well then I am up for it." She laughed, feeling like herself again. That heavy cloud that had been clinging to her was finally lifted, and it turned out the answer to all her troubles was just getting herself a friend. She kept too much on her own, and that was obviously not what she needed any more. She had her duties to th King and Queen, and she had her family and she loved them all, but a little break from the routine, she realized, would do her good.
So she was learning from Maktaba in a way she had not anticipated. It was not what he said, so much as who he was. He was kind and he made her see that she needed to reach out to more creatures of the pride, to become friends with them. That would be the best thing for her, undoubtedly. She smiled, sighing as though she had relieved herself of something painful, shaking out her fur and padding along with a lighter step now. Maktaba noticed the change in her pacing, but he did not call it to question, glad to see it.
"Well, I suppose I should be heading back toward my den, and you yours. We will meet again some time? I usually patrol the pride every night, and wake later in the day. But if you wanted to meet me, you know where I like to lurk when I'm relaxing." He chuckled. He was not hard to find, and most of the Knights would be able to point him out to her if she was looking for him. He was often at the Castle, anyway, though he had happened to never see Scatha while he was there.
"It was really nice spending some time with you, Maktaba. I am looking forward to seeing how things turn out for you! And I'll let you know as soon as I can if... well, you know. Anyway, good bye!" She chuckled and moved to him, butting her head against his shoulder, nearly toppling him, before she laughed and bounced off. He chuckled and watched her go, glad to see her feeling so upbeat now, thinking he had done something good by just being an open and available creature. It was not hard to do, but sometimes he felt, especially in this pride, that it was a rare feature to find. He sighed and turned toward home, feeling eager and happy himself.
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