((ooc Alright, I think that in the next couple posts we should bring this one to a close, we can come back later if we want, but I do believe that canon material is demanding our attention as well as the Never Ending Party. However, we can come back and continue it if the wish to do so arises.
Katsuke's ears turned even redder. His paw tingled where Antellia had touched it, and he blinked rapidly, the epitome of embarrassment. "I -- er --" he started to stammer, but was cut off by the beautiful vixen placing a candied roll into his mouth. "Mff!" he tried to protest, but bit down anyway.
Food is food.
He tried to swallow and talk some more, but then came the final blow -- Antellia's paw came up to his white-ruffed throat and drew itself up to his chin with a soft, slow stroke. "You're so cute when you blush," she giggled.
Katsuke's ears turned an unnatural shade of bright pink, his tail stood straight up, and he started purring at a rather mollifying rate. The poor fox stood and promptly tripped backwards over a bench, landing on his behind with a THOOMP. "I-I-I, er, uh," he blabbered. The Ishuni was beyond flustered.
From the other side of the room, Etain spotted the interaction and tugged on Hinata's sleeve. Hinata turned away from the chivalrous Bandit to the white vixen, who was grinning wickedly. "I've got the most horrendous idea," she whispered, pointing to some mistletoe hanging above the main mantle of Cavern Hole. Hinata's eyes widened, and she nodded and started to chuckle uncontrollably as her girlfriend walked quickly to the mistletoe and unpinned it. Etain snuck up behind Katsuke, who was still stammering, and winked at Antellia.
She then held the mistletoe right above the unaware Bakuchiku.
Hinata started giggling even harder.
Jurou stood beside Citrine, still looking at his handiwork on the tree. His mother placed an arm around his shoulders, and he leaned into her. "You did very, very well," she murmured. A contented smile spread across Rouki's face, the first in a long, long time.
He turned and looked up at his mother's face. "Mom . . . I feel like . . . l-like I haven't s-seen you in c-centuries," he stuttered, tears starting to gather at the corners of his dark eyes. Citrine tilted her head slightly, confused, as he started crying more. "I --" He struggled to keep himself together. "I feel like I won't . . . won't see you again . . ." He buried his face in her tunic, and started to sob.
The emotions of the last five years had all come crashing down on the young ferret's head in one torrent of pain and sorrow. It poured out as tears upon the fabric of Citrine's clothes, who clenched him closer to her body, determined to make him feel her presence. "I'm here," she murmured gently.
And Jurou felt happy.
Anghan laughed heartily at Joshua's request, and nodded his big head up and down. "That can be arranged, little lad!" He lifted the young squirrel off of his lap and turned to a bag behind his chair, opened it, and reached in. "Naow . . . Santa Paws happened to a'ready ken whae it was that ye wanted, on account of mah magic powers," he said with a grandiose wave of his other paw.
He promptly pulled out the tiny jewelry-making tools that Eolin had supplied the other day, and placed them in Joshua's paws, then turned to the next Dibbun (Sophie), grinning at Joshua's sounds of pure joy.
Happiness was almost tangible in the great chamber, the Christmas cheer floating on the air like wisps of dandelion seed, or flurries of snowflakes. Aodhán sat up straight in his chair, taking the position of head of the table in the Abbot's temporary absence. "Attention! Attention, please!" he called to the whole room. When everybeast was silent, he turned to the tree. "I'd like to call upon a number o' creatures tonight, to share in the saying of grace. One from each o' the nations, in fact, that we have represented here tonight. And we've got a bloomin' load o' them," he chuckled. He wheeled away from the table and pointed at creature after creature, naming them one by one.
"Anghan Silverfur, from the Northlands."
"Lucas Sandeye, from Maraul."
"Tessa Streamlily, from Redwall."
"Bandit, from Githinien."
"Asa, Etain, and Antellia, from Kyuna, Kanneki, and Ishuni."
"Dominique, from . . . well, Martin knows jolly well where." Laughter.
"And Brother Bartolomew, one of our oldest members at Redwall Abbey."
The hare raised his ancient paws. "May goodwill rest on this Abbey, and all of its creatures," he intoned.
Anghan nodded, and stood from his chair. "Ah donnae have the fanciest o' graces to say," he started apologetically. "But ah do hae one from mah homelands." And he spoke.
"From the great north, tae the warm south
From sungen song, tae word o' mouth
Let grace an' goodwill to creatures below
Bely the whole o' this land covered with snow."
Each creature named had a grace from their home to say. Etain said a prayer in the Kannekan dialect of Senshaan.
Asa said one similar, yet modified for Kyunan monks.