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Let Me Lead You

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As soon as Alex had seen the holonet advertisement he had begun to make arrangements.

His Garazeb would while away his free hours peering into the crystal waters of Lira San's lakes and rivers with eyes like saucers, watching enraptured, at the multitudes of fish and skittering creatures flash and swirl beneath him.

It hasn't been easy, keeping such a thing secret as Alexsandr wanted nothing more than to see excitement brighten his husband's eyes. But Garazeb could only discover where they were going the once, and he didn't want to blow his surprise's cover too early.

Zeb, quite obviously, had known something was going on, as Alex had them board an anonymous ship and had somehow managed to get the entire crew to not confess a word to where they were heading to him.

Garazeb simply smiled, and let his ears flick happily along their secret journey, having witnessed this exact scenario but as the man standing where his Sasha was now.

He had kept their destination a secret through disembarking, the short trip to their hotel, a lengthier trip testing out the quality of the bedframe, and up until now, when Alexsandr tugged on his hand to slow their easy walk to a stop.

"Aw'rite." Zeb rumbled, shaking himself bodily to fluff out the fur of his shoulders. "Now, can I ask where we're goin'?"

Alexsandr stuttered a short laugh as Garazeb looked around at the high buildings and sniffed the air like an overly cautious Tooka cat.

"We're almost there, my dear. It will be worth all the secrecy. I do promise."

He stepped in to link the fingers of their other hands together, and took a moment to marvel at the sheer difference in size, pressed palm to palm.

"If I may..?" Alexsandr said quietly, tearing his eyes away and untangling one of their hands, raising it slowly up to Zeb's eye level. His voice was quietly coaxing and kind, and he stroked the tip of his little finger over the heavy ridge of the Lasat's brow.

One of Garazeb's ears flicked and he flashed his mate a shy and eager grin, one of his sharper canines peeking up from behind his lower lip.

Alexsandr squinted for a moment, feeling an odd stalling tug in his mind at the reality of finding teeth that could dent metal cute. He shook himself, as Zeb would, and wrapped his hand over Garazeb's eyes.

A gentle nudge with his shoulder was all it took to have Zeb step forwards, and Alexsandr stepped around to steer him with the reassuring press of his own body against the Lasat's back.

Zeb held one hand out in front of him.

"If yer walk me in to a table, Alex, 'm gonna be cross with yer..."

Kallus laughed quietly at his own words from long ago being used back to him.

"No tables in here, my dear, I can assure you of that."

They must have been close to somewhere, as his keen nose soon picked up the combined scents of people, and something clean but almost earthy and plant like.

Zeb's ears quivered and he smirked in response to Alexsandr laughing quietly at him from behind.

"What are those ears of yours doing?"

" 's not my fault there's..." Chatter? Children? Rushing water that got louder with every step they took? "...weird noises." Zeb grumbled good naturedly.

Alexsandr tugged on Zeb's bicep to bring them to a gentle halt.

Alright," Zeb could hear his smile, "we're here..."

Alexsandr's hand fell away, leaving Zeb to blink in the lights with both of his tall ears quivering and twitching. His green eyes grew wide, and not even his Sasha's soft petting at the fur of his shoulders could smooth it flat.

"Surprise..." Alexsandr breathed into the soft fur beneath his husband's ear, watching the Lasat's fur prickle back up beneath his fingers.

"It's... it's... we're..."

Zeb took a hesitant step forward, pupils blown wide and his ears flat against his skull.

Alexsandr chuckled; his husband looked very much like a kit at their first festival, overwhelmed by colours and new scents to breathe.

Garazeb whipped around with a bright and toothy smile, and closed the distance between them again in two loping strides. Alexsandr had just enough time to draw a breath before his love's lips were on his, passionate and deep.

He moaned, soft but brazenly, at the feel of his Zeb reaching out to cup his neatly bearded jaw within the both of his massive hands.

Those wonderful hands... Kallus sighed, reaching up to slide his fingertips over the short velvet fur of Zeb's ears. He loved how those encompassing fingers felt under his thighs to be pulled up a wall, or threading delicately through his hair as the first light of day was beginning to make itself known.

Zeb's lower lip dragged free of his teeth and the Lasat nuzzled in to muffle his laugher against his cheek. Somewhere to their left, an enthusiastic passerby wolf whistled.

Alexsandr chuckled, his smile filling Zeb's palms where they were still tenderly cradling his face. His husband's eyes had gone as round as saucers. He'd tease his Garazeb about it later, about how he looked alike a little Loth-cat with it's eyes zeroed in on a moving glint of sunlight.

Alexsandr shyly tucked a wayward lock of hair behind his ear, his smaller ears were still able to blush pink and hear a few others cooing at their open display of affection.

"Come on, dear..." He ducked his head, shielding his burning cheeks, and took Zeb's hand in his own again. Garazeb was almost vibrating at his side with open and honest excitement. Or perhaps it was the Lasat not having a spacious enough chest to keep his purring contained.

The moment they were allowed entry, Garazeb was a kit again; his green eyes wide and all the striped fur bristling up on his shoulders.

It was difficult to not be happy when Zeb was, his open delight was infectious, and filled wherever was lucky enough to have him standing with sunlight.

Alexsandr laughed joyously, as uncontained and brightly as his lover, and let Zeb gleefully pull him around from tank to tank.

The first was a shallow freshwater tank filled with scuttling crabs, their narrow, spotted legs poking out of squared shells and snipping at each other with equally spotted claws.

Kallus leaned over, grinning, and gave Zeb's wrist a gentle pinch. Garazeb looped his arm as far around Kallus' middle as he could reach and squeezed.

His arm remained curled around his mate's back and they walked each other over to the next line of transparisteel tanks, these instead filled with long fronds of swaying leaves pulled in the directions of the artificial currents and Naboo sea dragons, holding on tightly with their tails.

Zeb grinned and stepped back, as a group of small children wormed their way in front on the glass, pressing their faces close. One little girl, a Cathar, tipped her chin up to smile at Zeb and giggled as he gave the top of her head a gentle pat, as he would to Jacen.

"Have fun, little'un." She butted her forehead against his palm with a soft trill, and went back to peering over her smaller friend's head.

Alex caught his smile, and the look in his eyes. One day, soon.

They descended further from shallow aquariums into rooms with walls of transparisteel and water, the shadows of huge fish flickering through the dappled light.

Zeb ducked down a little, ears laying flat, and he peered up from under his heavy brows as numerous fish in little shoals swam by overhead.

Alexsandr smiled up at the glass's inhabitants from over Zeb's head;  cosmic jelly fish like something from a storybook, their long fronds trailed behind glowing domes.

He couldn't remember ever being taken to an aquarium as a boy. He hoped Zeb had, or been taken by his family to explore Lasan's rivers and lakes, and been scolded kindly for trailing wet and muddy footprints.

Kallus turned his smile to Zeb, now small and wistful, and covered the clawed hand curled holding him by the waist with his own.

Garazeb's feline ears pricked up then flattened, and he whirled around at a familiar sound from behind them.

The wall opposite, housed an aquatic varient of the purrgil.

Garazeb had always been indifferent to the hulking beasts, happy to nod and growl along with Hera's open dislike. But since Ezra had gone...

He tentatively reached forward, palm stopping just short of the glass, and stared up as one stared down.

Kallus rubbed Zeb's bicep soothingly, and littered the Lasat's shoulder with sweet kisses.

"Knowing your brother," Alex kept his voice low, and let it's timbre's soothing rumble imitate a purr. "He'd find some way inside and try to swim with them."

Zeb laughed softly, despite his sadness, and nodded his agreement. He'd seen Ezra riding one of the things.

Alexsandr steered him away after another moment when Zeb's ears drooped, over the shallower tank in the middle of the room. There, there was a small knot of mangrove trees, with small freckled sharks flitting between the spindly roots.

A soft breeze wafted the leaves, the gentle rustling and Alexsandr's warm grip slowly smoothed the discontented frown from the Lasat's brow. He never wanted Garazeb to forget his lost little brother, but to soothe the ache his disappearance had left Alexsandr would do anything.

A different sort of rustling caught Kallus' attention, sharper and papery. Beside the open door, was mounted a little box of leaflets. He released Zeb's hand with a parting squeeze and slipped away to pluck one from the pile.

'Come feed the otters!' in bright and bold lettering, and underneath a list of dates. He felt a slow grin brighten his face, and Kallus folded the glossy paper and stashed it inside his jacket. Absolutely next time, when the dates aligned.

He returned to Zeb's side, stood where the human had left him a moment ago, and linked their fingers together. "Are you ready, love?" He asked softly, pressing against Zeb's cheek with an even softer touch from his lips.

Garazeb met his eyes slowly, and offered a crooked but honest smile. "Yeah." He swallowed down his voice's unsteady lilt. "Where next?"

Alex lead him through the door, and into a sweet smelling courtyard, surrounded by pockets of bright flowers.

Along one side of the cobbled square, there was a shallow open topped tank and a raised railing for excitable visitors to lean over.

Zeb laughed, brightly and loud, and pointed to one of the otter-creatures behind the barrier, merrily collecting pebbles and shells into a neat little pile.

"Look, Alex! That one has a little beard like you!"

The little creature in question stopped it's organized stacking to clean it's extra furry cheeks with it's two sets of hands. It snorted, nose wrinkling, and squeaked at two more of it's fellows floating around on the surface of the water with their second hands linked.

The little creature sat on the rock turned it's attention to their new visitors and leaned up against the glass. The otter squeaked and chirped, and and held up a shiny piece of shell in it's webbed hands to Kallus.

"Why, thank you..." Alex leaned back to skim the placard bolted neatly to the railing. "Pasha. I do love shiny glowing rocks."

Zeb spluttered a laugh. "H-he won't understand you, you know?"

"I do know." Kallus mirrored the Lasat's smile. "It is polite to acknowledge his efforts, however."

Zeb knocked the sides of their heads together. "Yer daft, love."

"Garazeb. Tookas adore you,-" Zeb elbowed him. "-and these creatures are fond of me, it seems." He reached out his hand to accept another shiny little rock.

Zeb wrapped his arms around Alexsandr's middle, chin upon the human's shoulder, and gave his mate a little squeeze.

"Hm?" Alex inquired, one brow ticking up though Zeb wouldn't see it.

"Hhmm..." Garazeb rumbled back, blinking slowly in contentment, though, Alex wouldn't see it either.

"This is nice..." Alex whispered, rubbing his cheek against Zeb's where his neck allowed him to reach.

"Yeah..."Zeb mumbled, sealing his lips over the side of Kallus' neck and suckled a dark bruise, just beneath the human's jaw. His scent was far too appealing to resist.

"I love you, Garazeb." He rolled the 'r' in an almost perfect purr.

"I love you too." Zeb whispered, nuzzling his short nose closer, and tightening his grip. "My beloved. My golden warrior."

Kallus hummed again, and nestled back against the comfortable dip in Zeb's shoulder. Something caught his eye before they could fall shut in contentment.

"Zeb dear?"

The Lasat's ears flicked. "Yeah?"

Kallus rolled his head to the side to bump against Zeb's brow. "...There's a gift shop over there..."

Their eyes met conspiratorially. Together, they linked their hands and giggled, ready to spend far too many credits on foolish and absolutely necessary souvenirs.