Story Twelve - Affliction
Krolia stared at all of her kits, who were laying in the nest. Keith looked flushed, a pink color on his cheeks. His twin's eyes were glassy. Her older kits weren't any better. Regris's fur was sticking to him, making him miserable. Lotor was flushed a deeper purple. Ezor felt hot all over. In short, all her kits were sick. It was hard to pinpoint which kit was sick first, but it didn't take long for all five to get sick.
Fortunately, the illness wasn't fatal or even particularly severe for hybrids. Unfortunately, it was deadly for pure Galra, which meant the kits' dads had to stay away. That fact was hard on the kits as they constantly wanted cuddles from her, and she only could hold so many kits at a time. She had taken to laying down on her side, so Regris was draped over her back, Lotor was in her arms, Ezor was cuddled up to the front of her legs, Acxa was laying on her lower body, and Keith was plastered to her upper body (which included her head). She switched between rumbling and purring to her kits as it soothed them.
Her rumbling and purring also drowned out the noise coming from the other side of the door.
The rest of her pack wanted to come in to take care of the kits but couldn't get in because Krolia locked the door. She could hear the whines and whimpers and even claws scratching on the door. Krolia never would have believed that the four highest ranking Blades in the organization could be such softies! If someone had told her eight deca-phoebes ago that her pack mates would be such doting and caring fathers, she would have stabbed them with her blade to put them out of their misery, for surely they must have ingested something lethal to produce such hallucinations.
However, she couldn't let the Blades continue making such a racket. She pulled out her data pad and sent a message to Taulol.
'Could you please get the pack away from my door? The kits are sick with an illness that is deadly to full Galra, but their Dads still want to come in.'
'On my way.'
Taulol thought she was prepared for what the four Dads could be doing. She was wrong. She wasn't prepared for the scene before her. Thace was scratching at the door, literally scratching. Kolivan was whining, which was a sound Taulol didn't think she would ever hear out of the leader of the Blades. Antok was half-whining half-whimpering. At first, Taulol thought Ulaz was the only one being quiet, but then she heard distressed whimpers coming from the pale doctor, and he had one of his hands on the door, not scratching, simply resting.
Taulol shook her head and growled loud enough to be heard over the distressed Blades. The growl wasn't angry but a warning. All four Blades turned and looked at her. She approached them and nuzzled each one in turn, relieved when the whines and whimpers ceased.
"Let's go to my nest. We don't want to disturb the kits as they need their rest. You four aren't allowed in anyways. This illness can kill you, and that would distress your kits even more. You don't want that, do you?"
The Blades' ears drooped at the thought of distressing their kits. Taulol purred to them, petting them as well. She gently grasped Thace's hands and led him to her nest, the rest of the adult pack males following. She let them settle in her nest with her in the middle. She was still nuzzling them, giving them comfort. The four men fell asleep, allowing Taulol the opportunity to send a message to Krolia.
Krolia sighed when she got Taulol's message. She was actually devoid of kits at that moment. They all got too hot and moved away from her and each other. Regris was on the furthest side of the nest, curled around a blanket his dad liked using. It was so big the kit could burrow into it, so his dad's scent was all around him. Lotor was nearby curled around a pillow that his father's scent on it, into which he buried his face, getting a nose full of his smell. Ezor was on the other side of the nest, completely buried in one of Thace's blankets. Acxa and Keith were near each other but far enough away where they didn't feel each other's body heat. Keith was buried in her blanket, but his sister was simply laying on top of the nest blankets but had her face buried in one of Ulaz's pillows. Krolia smiled and sat up, stretching. She surveyed her kits and sighed in relief. She knew she was likely to catch the illness from her kits, but she knew their Dads would watch over them and comfort them in her absence.