(2015-07-15) A Perfectly Fluffy Day
A Perfectly Fluffy Day
Summary: After the awfulness of the previous day, Quinton was hoping for something good, and he found it.
Date: 07.15.2015
Related: None

The day dawned beautifully. It's cooler than it has been previously, comfortably so even. Birds chirping, rabbits and squirrels scampering. About the only unusual thing is the bank of fog that has settled over the river flood plains and the ghost town that is Fremont. Things are peaceful like a Bob Ross painting, with happy little clouds, happy little fog..and happy little birds and bees flitting here and there.

It may not be quite cool enough, but Quin wasn't going to be able to function today without wearing a sweater of some kind. So here he is, on this picturesque day, with a sweater vest over his t-shirt. And of course a backpack is over one shoulder as he slowly makes his way carefully down the street. He's also in different jeans, the blood from the man yesterday has been washed out, but that stuff stains. it'll be a bit before he's ok with wearing those again. Luckily for him, he has just about two of everything in his tent…somewhere.

Nothing much has changed in the town. The cars are still parked where they were last time they were seen. The same houses that were boarded up yesterday are still boarded up today. No one from the camp has been brave enough to pop one open and see what is inside. Not when there are so many other houses that don't have plywood over the windows and the doors nailed shut. In the distance there is the sound of a dog barking with another with barking back.

Today is not the day to tangle with angry barking dogs, so Quin veers off in a different direction. He passes, looking at the boarded up buildings, but thinks he's had enough of dead bodies for the week (ever). Unless something catches his eyes he'll move towards one of the store fronts. He's figuring less chance of drama than going through a home.

The only true store in this section is Casey's and while it's been picked through quite a bit, the serious scavenger usually comes out with one or two things that are relatively useful.

Quinton stops, trying to decide if it's worth going into casey's or not. Or if he should just bite the bullet and start in on the mobile homes. He lets out a soft sigh and runs a hand through his hair before making his way to the store. If he was with someone, then maybe… but he's not, and for once is going to play it safe. Hopefully that's the right call.

What was once a neat, well laid out store that provided miscellaneous goods to its customers is now just a big mess.

Dust covers just about every surface, from the counter where the out of date cash register sits, drawer open and still full of change and a few dollar bills, to the shelves that have been knocked over by looters. The place has been pretty much cleaned out of anything edible, though if enough searching is done things can be still be found in the wreckage of the place.

Upon entering the establish soft mewling sounds can be heard. Though it is unclear where they are coming from.

Quinton's not hungry, although he's not really ate since yesterday morning. Who could eat? He steps in careful of the overturned shelves. But extra food for everyone else would be good. After a movement the echoing sound of a whine can be heard. He freezes, who knows what thoughts are bouncing around in his head.Alien? Child? Magical radio that is somehow working? He swallows, nervous and tries to focus on where the sound is coming from.

Mew…mew…mew…echoes in the room. It's soft though, even normal talking would probably drown it out. It takes a bit, but after walking around it is determined that it is coming from the back left corner, where a couple of shelves lay haphazardly on one another.

Thankfully Quin's not a loud guy. He'll pick his way over, eyeing the ground as he goes. No need to pass over anything useful, as he's going to go check out mysterious noises (Isn't this what killed the cat, curiosity?). The shelves are looked at, can he see what's underneath without moving them? he'd rather not make too much noise. Although with his mood, he'd probably try to tackle a drone if it went by. And we all know how that will end.

As he looks around and heads to where the shelves are stacked he will see a flash of blue, it's a bandana, partially pulled out from a smooshed display box halfway under another fallen shelve. As for the ones the mewling sound is coming from there seems to be enough room to crawl under it, but there is no telling exactly how much space is under there, it's probably tight.

Quinton's not going to crawl into some tight spot. Not with aliens and bandits and god knows what else about. Instead he kneels down and peers in, he's thinking it's a kitten….or maybe multiple. Not being an animal person, he doesn't know if he touches them, if it will scare the mother away or not…or is that baby birds? He'll make a soft, hopefully soothing clicking noise, if it's a critter, it may come out…or may come out and attack his face. He thinks of that after making the noise , unfortunately. Oh well…who's he got to be pretty for, anyway?

It's shadowy under there but it's clear to see that it is a litter of kittens that is the source of the noise, which is louder under the shelves. There are five of them, crawling around and over each other, swatting and biting at each other playfully. The mama cat is no where to be seen. While Quinton is squirming under the shelve there is suddenly a weight on his foot that wasn't there before and a sudden tugging at his shoelaces of his left foot.

Quinton freezes. Even though he's looking at a litter, gaggle-whatever a group of kittens is, there's that flash of fear. Mini alien! Snake! Pale green eyes go down though and relief floods through his body as he sees the little kitten. "Hey….shoes are hard to come by…stop that…" Instinctively his hand lowers to shoo away the kitten…and if he gets to pet it briefly, well…that's just the breaks. The tiniest of smiles tugs at his lips and he'll look around again for the momma. His instinct is to just scoop them all up and bring them to camp in his backpack, but he has no idea how old cats need to be before leaving their mother…he can't imagine bringing them home and hang them all die. Not the upper he'd hope for. It would deviate the kids….and him. "Where's your momma at, kids?"

They're so fluffy soft with dark gold, creme and black splotches that mark them as calicos. They are to young to have learned fear of anything so the one attacking the foot is easy enough to pet and Quinton may get his finger chewed on in the process. Hearing talking is a new experience for all the kitties so ears perk up and all attention goes to the man. Within moments they are all moving in a sort of running hop and he is mobbed by little mewling adorable fuzz balls.

That was not his intent!!! Quin's eyes widen, but it's too late! He's overrun by an platoon of fluffy cute. "Oh shit!" He'll try to keep his balance, not wanting to land on any of them. "This is….not fair…stop that….no biting…." Not that they listen, the little beasts. He's half mesmerized, half worried as he looks around again, expecting a momma cat to come droping from the ceiling to attack him. He'll trying to get a head count, is it 5 or 6? Are they all calico? Could he fi them all in his backpack? No! that's not…could he? Where the hell is momma?!?

His moving doesn't seem to help. The swaying of pant legs and the jiggling of shoelaces have the kitties attacking both, one even latches on digging little claws into the fabric of his pants and dangling there. As for the momma, nope, no where to be seen. She isn't being ninja cat and attacking from the ceiling or anywhere else. It looks like six, five of which are calico, though the original shoe pouncer isn't, it's a grey on grey striped one. And yes, they could all fit into his backpack.

Quinton gives a yelp, not expecting a clinger. He's never had cats before, much less kittens. Aren't they supposed to hate everyone? He'll lean over, trying to detach the one from his jeans. " Holy shit….. You are all psycho!" He’s amused though, smirking down at them. "How long have you guys been here?" He's not expecting an answer, but will feel to see how skinny they are. Eventually he'll knee back down to start petting them all.

There seems to be no aloof, people hating kitties in this group. The only answer is more mewling. One particular cat has taken to chewing at the aglet on a shoestring, while another sniffs at his heels. The dangling one is freed and it is easy to tell that the kitties aren't as plump as all thier fur seems to imply. They are skinny, but not yet to the skin and bones, but it is a good indication that they haven't had a good meal in a while.

Quinton groans, unsure who the rest of the campers will feel about this. But then, he really doesn't care. Letting a school-herd-flock? of kittens die is just…inhumane. And he's not ready to make that kind of leap into the darkness just yet.His backpack is unslung and he starts to move around a few of the smaller items inside. Thankfully there's a towel at the bottom to make it softer for the half dozen. Anything sharp, like pens and pencils, or edible that could hurt their tummy's is put in the side pocket. Before trying to herd kittens, he'll lean over and try to get the blue bandana out, figuring something familiar might keep them calm. "Ok…ok. You're gonna come with me….I think that there will be plenty of mice for you guys to catch once your bigger by the horses." Cat's eat mice, right? they try to in every cartoon he can think of. After the bag is prepared he'll start placing each kitten in the bag. Gotta collect them all. He's not even considered how he's going to get a bag full of meowing kittens home quietly.

Herding cats is hard, herding kittens, harder. It becomes a game, for the kittens at least. Let the big pink person think he can grab it and then scamper away at the last second. And once they are caught and put in the bag, they don't particularly want to stay there so there is a lot of gentle pushing and prodding to keep them there. Eventually though, they are all in the bag and a bag of fishhooks and a box of matches are found in the process.

Those are not put in with the kittens. Quin doesn’t think they're smart enough to start a fire, but he'd rather they not pee and ruin them. Or impale themselves. No more gore for today. So the fishing hooks (Which he doesn't really know how to use) and matches (Which he does) are stuffed into a pocket and the backpack if hefted with some panicked meowing onto his back. He'll start talking, softly, to the felines, "It's ok….I'll get home…you'll like it…" He hopes. With that he'll turn to move out the building and back down the road. As always his eyes are peel for anything unusual, or any signs of anyone following him.

Dining Hall

The dining hall is a dome shaped building fully capable of holding upwards of 200 people. Tables and chairs surround a large round fireplace that takes up the center of the main room. The walls are mostly windows that let tons of light through so additional lighting isn't need until after the sun is down. In the back a set of double doors, flanked by bookshelves, leads to the kitchen. On each side of the bookshelves is a door to bathrooms, men left, women right. The bookshelves themselves are full of books and boardgames. There is an upright piano partially blocking the view out one set of windows.

The dining hall is a good place to be anytime. It is cool on hot days and has the potential to be warm on cold days. Right now though it is a place where the children can play quietly. Caro is at the piano, lightly playing some easy children's tune, i.e Frere Jacques, the next three are playing a quiet game of Candy Lane at one end of a table while Becca colors at the other. Troy is asleep in his stroller. As for Piper, her head is tucked into her crossed arms on a table, the only thing making her recognizable, since her face can't be seen is the wild mane of hair.

Quinton's walking seems to have put the kittens to sleep, so he's quiet as he steps into the dining hall. His hair is messed up, like it's either been windy, or he's run his hands through it several times and it stuck that way. But Piper still wins for biggest hair. He pauses at the doorway, listening to Caro play and watches the kids. He hopes this helps…he's feeling better, even if it's just a little.

Becca seems to be the first to notice the new arrival or at least the first to acknowledge it. She's closest to the door and not so engrossed in her coloring to be unaware of the door opening and then closing, "Hai!" she pipes up, bringing the attention of the rest to the man. He gets greeting from the other kids but the only one that stops what they are doing is Caro, who jumps to her feet to scurry to Piper's side. Piper lifts her head, she looks dead tired and rubs an eye as she tries to get them to focus on the man in the doorway "Heya Mr. Quinton." Caro pipes up as she leans against the woman. "There is coffee in the kitchen, would you like a cup?"

Quinton's brow furrows as he sees the woman's struggle, "Go back to sleep, Pheobe. I can watch them." He seems much more with it mentally today than yesterday, which is somewhat ironic. He gives Caro a small smile, "If there's already some brewed yes…and then I have a surprise for you all…" At least, he hopes it will be a good surprise.

Piper shakes her head as she yawns, stretching upwards then an arm goes around Caro briefly so she can say something quietly to the girl. "Two coffees coming up." though at the mention of a surprise she is torn, go get the coffee and miss the surprise or get the coffee afterwards? Decisions. The word also has Becca and the rest sliding from their chairs and rushing the man "What kind of surprise?" "Is it more cookies?" the cookie question was of course from Jack. Even Piper's interest is piqued as she arches an eyebrow as if to ask what he is up to.

Quinton grins widely, possibly the most he's done since arriving to camp Hope. "Coffee first…and sshhh…" His finger goes up to his lips before he steps into the room more fully. His eyes flicker over to Piper, looking to see how she is, but he doesn't ask. Better to focus on the kids and good things. He's moving oddly though, like he's trying to not bend his back.

Caro rushes to the kitchen to fetch the coffee while the rest of the kids crowd around Quinton. Becca looks like she is going to bounce right out of her shoes in excitement. Piper looks tired, very tired, and her eyes are a bit blood shot from lack of sleep, but other than that she looks like she always does, except she is still in her plaid pajamas and of course barefoot as ever. She is still looking at him suspiciously.

The suspicious look has him frown at her, maybe a little hurt flashes across his face but it quickly goes away when he addresses the kids, "Well…I'm going to need some help. I found something….but I'm not sure if we should have it for dinner or not….can you help me decide?" He smiles at the kids and scratches at his chest briefly while he stalls, waiting for Caro to get back.

"It's not those long green things is it?" Kira asks, she doesn't like eating green things, in this case she is talking asparagus, which seems to grow prolifically in the wet ditches that line the local roads. She others seem to agree with her "What is it?" Becca drawls as she hunches over and then bounces up. Piper's suspicious look turns to one of concealed amusement at the dislike of green foods. She can't let them know that she thinks its funny. Caro then marches back a coffee cup in each hand. She hands them over and then drops a handful of crumpled cream and sugar packets onto the table "Okay. I'm ready Mr. Quinton.

The coffee is set down, he'll fix it after the package is delivered. He'll start to gently shrug off his backpack, but the different motion finally causes one of the kitten s to stir and give a soft meow. He freezes, looking at the gaggle of kids in front of him, "No….not a vegetable." He waits for the chorus of yells, good and bad , before grinning and placing the backpack down and unzipping it to show the jumble of fur and sleepy eyes all waking up to look out of the backpack at the kids.

The kids don't notice the noise from the backpack they are all to relieved about the surprise not being a vegetable to hear it. Piper on the other hand does and she stares at it as he brings it around to open it. The kids crowd around the backpack looking into it and she is right there with it, squeezing between Becca and Caro. There is much Squeeing from the girls, even the tomboy Kira and words thrown around like cute and fluffy even Piper vocalizes a surprised "Oh!" before she reaches in the gently pick one of the kittens up to let them all have a better look. It then becomes a free for all, hands reaching in to pickup a kittens and remove them from it's shelter. Jack, who didn't seem excited as the girls and kinda hmmphed even reaches in to pet one, though doesn't lift if like the others. "They are so adorable! Where did you find them?" Caro finally asks as she nuzzles one to her face.

There. that's all Quin wanted. He might not be able to fix the world, kill all the aliens, but he can do this at least. "In town." He steps back, giving everyone more room to pick up and play with the babies. The sound from Piper gets an even bigger grin and he steps another step away to where the coffee is. Suddenly his stomach is rumbling and something in it sounds good.

With all the kittens being extracted from the bag, Piper moves amongst the kids, silently giving them instruction on how not to pet them or how to hold them properly. She seems to have as much experience with animals as she does children. There is a lot of giggling from the girls as they lay on the floor and let the kittens crawl and climb all over them. There is a bit of a whispered conversation with Caro, the girl's side can be easily heard "How do you know that?" "Really?" "Whose Ramses?" Piper then moves to the kitchen. "The grey striped one is a boy, the rest are girls." Caro relays, "The boy is being named Ramses for some Egyptian pharaoh…whatever that is. We can name the rest." that sets up a cacophony of girls calling out possible names.

Quinton tosses some sugar packets and fake creamer into the coffee, watching the kids. A small blink, guess he's not keeping the grey one. Ah well. He smirks at the name, "Good name." All the names throw out get a nod, he's not going to argue with kids about what to name a group of kittens. The coffee is sipped on and he sighs, feeling some of the tension finally leaving his form. The man slowly sinks to a chair, happy to rest and watch the kids. And drink coffee. that's nice too.

Returning from the kitchen Piper is carrying two plastic saucers. When she sets them down under the table its easy to see that its milk with lumpy stuff in it. Spidering her hand along the floor she gets the attention of one of the kittens and it prances over giving her a chance to grab it and plunk it down in front of the food. Sniffing at it tentatively it decides that it is good and begins to lap at it. The children of course see this and begin to gather kitties and bring them over for food. Before long all the kitties are eating whatever it is in the saucers. There is a chorus of thankyous from the kids after a pointed look from the woman. Becca even goes so far as to offer her one of her colored pictures as a thank you.

Quinton nods around his cup, glad that some one knows what to fed them. Other wise this story was going to have a very sad ending. The colored picture is taken with a soft thank you. It will be taped up in his tent later that evening. He seems happy to just sit and watch the kittens, or the kids, or both. The coffee is quickly finished though.

One day Piper may be able to speak in words bigger than one syllable, but today is not that day and tomorrow isn't looking good for it either. So she is stuck with non-verbal communication. Sitting down beside Quinton she leans over to put a head on his shoulder, letting the rare physical contact (outside of the children) do the job for her.

Quinton stills at the touch. But his eyes do dart over to look at the wall of fro that's now on his shoulder. He knows. This world has messed everyone up, so he gets it. The empty coffee mug is switched to the other hand so he can reach over and pat hers twice before bringing his hand back. He doesn't want to push her. Caro is given a glance though, to see if she's watching.

Message understood, but Piper doesn't move her head from where it lays and her breathing seems to have evened out. The children are playing with the kittens so they are oblivious, though Caro will look up when she feels the eyes on her. She looks from Quinton to Piper and back "I think she feel asleep on you." and quite literally too.

Quinton nods slowly, trying to not move and just let the woman rest. He did tell her to go back to sleep, that he'd watch the kids. Guess it's time to do so.

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