It was hot, but cooling off a bit as the sun considered setting. It was still bright daylight but the sun had past its zenith, the hottest part of the day was over and the shadows were getting longer. A breeze stirred the trees and made being outside bearable. Even the heat though didn't seem to discourage the kids.

Reign swore they kept watch because as soon as she had pulled in three of them showed up, looking for the mutt. Oh the kids seemed to like Reign well enough but Sirius was the star, no pun intended. Since she'd brought him today a half a dozen or so more had shown up as they made their way to the Tikerak. Not being any judge of kids ages all she knew is the ranged from small to big, but most of them knew how this worked.

She chattered with them, checking up on school and finding out about summer vacations and being told half coherent stories about adventures they'd had since she'd last seen them. The kids often talked over each other. It never seemed to bother them, and she was getting used to it and could even keep the conversations straight.

Soon enough, the games started, the Frisbee flew through the air and the mutt bounded after it happily. Reign suspected he enjoyed these trips even more than she did. The Frisbee made its way back to her and she started teaching one of the little ones how to throw it, she was very pleased with her success.

Nikhila 12 years ago
Walking across the huge lawn back to the den Nikhila started feeling nauseous, again. She was almost getting used to it. At least she was prepared and slid a ginger candy from her pocket and started sucking on it. She wasn't much of a candy eater, but these helped.

The gathering of children and dog took her a bit by surprise, but she couldn't help but smile. She slowed as one of the smaller once, he couldn't have been much more than two seemed to escape the group and charged toward her. The little boy stopped short just in front of her and looked lost. An older girl came running up after him, Nikhila recognized her as one of the students.

"Rachelle don't you have a class right now?"Â?

The girl scooped up the boy and looked back to Nikhila slightly embarrassed.

"Yeah, I've got about five minutes. But the folks are running late and needed me to take care of Owen for a while."Â?

"What class?"Â?


"That is Professor Robinson isn't it?"Â?

Nikhila knew full well it was. And Robinson was a bit grouchy about tardiness. She didn't blame him, but as this wasn't Rachelle's fault...

"Here, I'll take him and keep an eye on him until your parents get home."Â?


"Really, now run, you'll be late."Â?

The girl grinned said her thanks, handed her brother over and took off like a shot. Nikhila took the boy over to one of the gazebos and sat down with him. He jabbered on about the puppy and Nikhila cheerfully discussed it with him.
Reign 12 years ago
Typically the game could go on for much longer, but apparently the heat was sapping them all today. The kids wandered off in twos and threes and even Sirius was showing wear. He finally flopped at her feet panting.

"OK guys, he's out of quarters. We'll be back though."Â?

The few that were left did an 'awwwwww' and Reign had to admit it was cute.

She and the mutt headed over to a gazebo, not caring that it was occupied. She was pretty sure she'd met the woman before, although the small fry didn't appear to be hers.

"Nikhila isn't it?"Â?

Reign said politely while setting out a collapsible bowl and filling it with water for Sirius.
Nikhila 12 years ago
Nikhila could have kicked herself. She had been meaning to look Reign up, but she just hadn't gotten around to it. Still the woman was here now.

She smiled softly and offered the hand Owen wasn't hanging on to as he pointed excitedly at the puppy.

"Yes. It is good too see you again Reign. How is your mother?"Â?

It was a losing battle to keep the toddler and the puppy apparently.

"Will your friend mind?

Reign shook her head 'no' and Nikhila turned the boy loose.

"Soft Owen. Pet him softly."Â?
Reign 12 years ago
Sirius lapped up the water enthusiastically but when the boy started petting him he turned and gave the kid a very big drippy wet kiss making Owen squeal cheerfully. The boy grabbed one of Nikhila's pant legs and wiped his face off.

Reign was impressed that Nikhila didn't flinch at all or protest the kid's actions.


Making herself at home on one of the benches Sirius flopped near her feet and tolerated the toddler petting and climbing all over him with good grace.


Oh yeah, Nikhila had said she'd worked with her mother. Hell Ma had mentioned something about it once but Reign often forgot those things.

"She's fine. Well mostly. Alex says she's still a little skittish now and then but she's doing pretty good all things considered."Â?
Nikhila 12 years ago
With a soft laugh Nikhila shook her head.

"No. I'm just watching him for a bit."Â?

He was a sweet boy though. Right now he was quite happy and content to play with her and the dog and even with Reign to some degree. And, although, Reign didn't look totally at easy with him she did will enough. Which, really didn't surprise Nikhila.

"Good, I'm glad to hear that. I was upset to hear about what happened."Â?

Reign nodded, and Nikhila decided not to belabor the point. It probably made the girl uncomfortable, especially as she couldn't be home to take care of her family.

"It is kind of you to play with the children. It seems like they especially enjoy your companion."Â?

From what she'd heard of Reign it surprised Nikhila to see her playing with the children. It wasn't that she doubted Reign had good intentions or a good heart, it just was a bit of an unusually way for her to relate to the rest of the Pack.

"There aren't a lot of pets about, for obvious reasons."Â?

She said with a small smile emphasizing her understated humor.
Reign 12 years ago
"The kids don't judge. I don't feel like I have to impress them or justify my presence."Â?

It was a very direct and honest answer, not at all what Reign had planed on saying. But something about Nikhila made her open up. She was so calm and open, it was hard not to respond to that. She reminded Reign of on of her favorite professors when she was at school, Sabine Beauchamp. Bas had a good relationship with Sabine and would like Nikhila. Reign couldn't help but think that.

The boy made it clear he expected Reign to pick him up, so she did. He sat on her lap, chattered about something for a second, and then became fascinated with her pendant. The little bit of white gold that identified her as an Illamar. Reign slid the necklace off and let him play with it.

"You grew up with this then?"Â?

So far, everyone she'd really developed a relationship with had grown up as a wolf. Well other than Bas, but that was long over. She was still sad about it, but it was long over.. Still it was one of the first questions she asked of any of the Pack members.
Nikhila 12 years ago
"Has it been hard for you then? Are you not ... fitting in?"Â?

Nikhila was genuinely concerned. It wouldn't do for Reign to feel on the fringes of the Pack. She was part of this family just like any one else. Beyond that she knew Aidan was fond of her and Nikhila liked her mother and thought it would be easy to like Reign.

"I think Owen has adopted you though?"Â?

She grinned warmly as he De-accesorized Reign, tasting the jewelry before trying to put it on himself. This was apparently more than Reign was ready to deal with but from the flustered look on her face she didn't know what to do next. Nikhila pulled her office keys from her pocket and offered them to the toddler in exchange for Reign's necklace, which she returned to the blond. She then scoped up the little boy and held him on her lap, playing with him and the keys while speaking to Reign.

"With the Pack? No. The family I grew up with was... is... quite human."Â?

Nikhila was thoroughly estranged from her family. Both her parents were dead, she'd run away from home as a child and other than one difficult and painful (both physically and emotionally) visit with her brother, Makhesh, after her father had died she'd not seen any of them in years, decades. The Pack was her family and her home now.

"I was rather lucky to find them, or to have them find me."Â?
Reign 12 years ago
"Er... yeah. I guess."Â?

Reign looked awkward with the boy. She just didn't quite know what to do with him. Oh she'd have figured it out in a second or three, she had cousins and nieces and nephews after all. But this whole maternal thing didn't come terribly naturally to Reign. She was just as glad Nikhila took him.

"Nah. I'm doing as well as can be expected. I mean I'm new and it takes people time to warm up and it isn't like I'm overly friendly."Â?

Which was true enough. She could be a bit shy, cautious and she knew it. No one had been overtly hostile though. Hell the parents of the kids she tended to play with had been damned nice. Apparently they appreciated the break or something.

She grinned at the Indian woman, that had been a lot more than she'd intended to say. Twice now she'd told Nikhila more than she would most folks.

Really? That surprised her. Oh it wasn't because Nikhila acted like an outsider or in any other way came off as anything but a wolf. It was just because she'd not found anyone who'd been adopted.

It was hard not to catch the hesitation and tense change when Nikhila spoke of her family. It was the one thing Reign zeroed in on though. Family meant a hell of a lot to her.

"So... .... they don't know?"Â?
Nikhila 12 years ago
Nikhila managed not to smile too big at Reign's obvious confusion with Owen. She wasn't completely inept, she was playing with the kids and had done just fine with toddler until he climbed into her lap. Reign just needed to relax a bit.

"Well you are making yourself available and that is a good first step. Perhaps we can introduce you to more of the adults if you'd like."Â?

It would be good for her too. Nikhila knew a lot of people who lived at the Den by site. She was getting to know more of them since she'd been requested to remain on the grounds. But she could always do better, it was too easy for her to quiet and shy. It wouldn't hurt to push herself.

She smiled, although it was vaguely sad, at Reign's question. But it was hard to just answer it. She could have just said 'no' but that wouldn't really answer Reign.

Adjusting Owen and ultimately letting him down to play with the dog again, she tried to answer.

"Other than the Pack I haven't really had a family, not in the traditional sense since I was fourteen. It would be a touch awkward to tell them now. One of the sisters knew though, I think she might have known before I did."Â?

Nikhila missed Lalita. The diminutive nun who'd been a surrogate mother to her while she was in the convent had passed several years ago, before she'd come to Nachton. By the time the sisters had found her to tell her Nikhila had missed her chance to pay her respects. She had, however, sent a letter to Aidan, it had been one of the more emotional letters she'd sent him in their time apart.
Reign 12 years ago
Sirius got up and wandered a few steps away, the little boy followed, it quickly turned into something of a game. Thanks to a lot of good training Sirius never wet very far away either. Although at one point he did attempt to herd Owen back towards them.

"Sure I'm game for anything. If I can manage a weekend on a boat with four werewolves I can do anything."Â?

Reign said with a smile. She actually appreciated the offer. It also put Nikhila firmly in the good egg/like category. Like the Boy and the Doc she cared and was interested in making sure Reign was part of the family.

Crap. Leave it to her to say the wrong thing. Reign's ears went vaguely pink, a very rare give away that she was embarrassed. It sounded like at least some, if not all, of Nikhila's family was still alive. Some thing pretty big and pretty bad had to have happened for her to bail when she was fourteen.

"Sorry about that."Â?

She swallowed, getting over her little faux pas.
Nikhila 12 years ago
Drew had told her a bit about that weekend, or at least mentioned it in passing. Nikhila was a bit envious of the trip. But, she would be jealous of any trip off the grounds. Even the grocery store sounded like a grand adventure. But she was being good. She was honoring her Alpha's request, even if she was starting to feel slightly crazy.

Rather than dwell on it she just smiled at Reign's apparent embarrassment.

"Don't be sorry. I've had the good fortune to have three families in my life. This one, the Pack, means as much to me as blood ties ever could."Â?

About then Owen stumbled and fell and began to cry. Nikhila quickly moved to pick him up. Sitting back down on the gazebo bench she dusted off his little hands and knees and determined there was no massive damage. Kissing his temple she held him on her lap. After a second the boy realized he wasn't dying and was happy to just sit with her for now. In the mean time the big Sheppard lay back down, but firmly between the two women, not favoring either of them.

Nikhila continued from where she'd left off, as if nothing at all had happened.

"No one has ever asked me to give up one for the other. If my relationship with my family were better I would be forced to hide this from them and if I were to go back to Dharamsala none of the sisters would be at all surprised how I spent my evenings three days a month."Â?

Perhaps some of the newer sisters would, but that was besides the point. What was relevant was that they accepted her, she trusted them and they kept her secret. She in turn did what she could do to help the tiny convent in the middle of no where.
Reign 12 years ago
How did other women do that? Reign just waited while Nikhila resettled the boy as if nothing ever happened.

It was good to hear it from another source, that this wasn't some deep dark secret. She wasn't willing to cut her family out of her life, not again. Certainly you didn't go around telling just everyone, probably not even trusted friends you were a werewolf, but by the same token you didn't have to become a hermit and cut yourself off from regular human ties.

"Good to know."Â?

From those few words, perhaps it was the way Nikhila said them, but Reign got the sense that all though the Indian woman might be quieter about it her loyalty and desire to protect her family, families even, was no less than hers. Damned if Reign didn't approve and it raised her opinion of Nikhila a bit further.

She snorted at Sirius as he made himself comfortable between herself and Nikhila. The big dog was at home with this Pack like he'd never been with Bas. Maybe she shouldn't trust his judgment quite as much, but it was hard not to think that meant something. Not that she went in for this destiny crap.

"I need to get this big lug home and then I have a few hours to kill before an exhibition I'm giving. Did you want to grab a beer or something to eat?"Â?

Reign covered, struck by the fact that Nilhila didn't look like the sort of woman who just grabbed a beer.

The invitation had been quite sudden and unexpected. In fact, Reign was surprised to hear herself make it. But it didn't sound like a bad idea.
Nikhila 12 years ago
Owen was back to playing with her keys and occasionally chattering something at her or possible Reign, maybe even the dog, it was hard to tell. But he was happy and not squirming around so that was good enough.

She smiled quietly at Reign. It wasn't hard to guess what she was thinking and that she was still feeling her way around for an answer. She had Aidan and Drew though and both of them would answer any question asked. So would Nikhila for that matter, what she wouldn't do was offer unsolicited advice or presume to know Reign's thoughts.

The offer to go out both surprised and pleased her, but Nikhila quickly sought a plausible excuse.

"Ordinarily I would love too, but I have some paper work that I have to finish tonight."Â?

She quickly adjusted Owen, who was becoming heavy. He was a sturdy toddler.

"The next time you are here you'll come up for some tea... or a beer."Â? she said with a smile, "I'm sure Aidan won't mind sharing one or two."Â?

Honestly it would probably be very easy to just walk off the ground and then walk back. She thought that Xeph trusted her enough not to have security keeping her here. Of course, when she wasn't there for dinner, that might be a bit of a give away and she wanted to keep that trust. House arrest would be rather humiliating, even if it was for her own protection.

Lord she needed a run and she needed it -now-. She had to get these thoughts out of her head.
Reign 12 years ago
It couldn't be helped, she responded to the odd gentle teasing with a lopsided grin. It was so different from her usual banter, which could be loud and crass, that the humor had almost escaped Reign's notice. But it was there. Any time you could share a joke with some one, no matter how small, it was good.

Although she did wonder who Aidan was. The name sounded damned familiar. The Doc. It must be. And strangely enough that thought made her happy.

"He's gone though enough of mine. I think he might owe me."Â?

Reign quipped, returning the humor.

The sun was starting to set in earnest now, and while it wasn't the full moon it just seemed like a good idea not to have Sirius about after dark, just in case. Besides, she did need to get something to eat and get to the hall, and the kid seemed to be starting to nod off too.

Reign made her excuses, which were graciously accepted and she wound up promising to look Nikhila up again. It wasn't much of a stretch to make that promise. The woman was easy company.

Dog in tow Reign found her way back to her car as Nikhila headed to the Den, apparently to find the boy's parents.

((OOC... both out))