2019-08-30 - Chicken is Better than Yelling Man


Pepper continues being patient while she babysits the young Jackal-kit. Surely someone's going to get the message soon?

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 30 03:12:51 2019
Location: Stark Industries

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Theme Song



It's been a surprisingly soothing couple of hours. While Pepper's not been able to get as MUCH work done as she would have at her desk, she still gets a fair bit accomplished via her tablet, with the AI assisting on phone calls and some of the more involved emails.

It certainly hasn't hurt that she's had a snoozing Rosie-kit on her lap the entire time. She's even put off a few emails because responding to them would require a bit more forceful a tone than she felt appropriate around the little creature. Maybe if Not-Rosebud were full grown, but definitely not right now.

For the wee jackal-kit, a period of silence is well-appreciated. Given the Bane doesn't interact with him in this guise, dwindling to a kernel of a curse in his soul, it means he can sleep. Large ears twitch and small paws jerk as he dreams of…whatever wild canines dream. Pepper is able to get much done while he naps, but eventually, all naps end.

Lifting his head abruptly, the Jackal-kit blinks woozily around before himself. Whose legs are these? Where is he? A look back and up at Pepper brings memory to the fore and then he indulges in a long-legged stretch, the tips of his ears trembling. A yawn showcases small ivory teeth before he licks his nose with a flick of pink tongue. Pepper continues to get the sleepy look, ears now at a lazy half-mast.

Being able to feel the jackal-kit wake up means he doesn't surprise her. By the time he's done yawning and stretching, she tilts the tablet to one side to look back at him. "Did you have a good nap, Rosie?" Oh yeah, he will NEVER live this nickname down, no matter what.

She doesn't move, though, giving the even smaller than usual creature the chance to choose where he wants to go next. Though, if he starts sniffing around the carpet, she will scoop him up and take him to the nearest planted terrace balcony post haste.

Pepper is wise. Precisely what the jackal-kit does after rising and arching into another stretch after he gets down to the carpeting: sniffs pointedly. A slink behind a plant for some privacy and then he appears again, shaking himself out from button-nose to tail.

With an arcing leap, he lands upon her toes of one foot and then proceeds to punch with both front paws at it multiple times, taken by a fit of youngling-canine pique. Then comes the scamper away, out of immediate grabbing reach, and the playbow with a flicker of ears backwards and forwards. A soft yowling sound leaves him.

Yup. She called it, and is glad that Tony listened to her suggestion to put this terrace balcony in. She takes a breath and looks out over the city when Rosie scampers off, and then looks down again when he pounces on her foot. She looks at him in clear amusement, then does indeed give chase when he scampers away. Because getting him to work off some of the zoomies out here is infinitely preferable to having him go bonkers in her office. She has breakables in there, and the balcony's retaining wall has zero gaps in it for little too-smart jackal-kits to fall through.

Though in hindsight, maybe she should have taken the extra five seconds to put her shoes back on.

The little cream-colored jackal-kit is a quick chase! Trailing his tail behind him in a blur, he arcs around Pepper in bursts of speed tending to end in pauses where he crouches, ears back and whiskers crinkled, before taking off again when she gets too close. The play doesn't last too long, however, no more than about fifteen minutes at most.

When he finally gives up, the Jackal-kit is a rapidly-panting splay of velvety-soft fur lying on his side on the balcony. With pink tongue hanging out, he gives Pepper a pleased look, as if he might imply feeling much better now that the sensation of metaphorical 'ants in the pants' has been burned out.

By the time those fifteen minutes are up, Pepper is panting a bit herself, though it's more from trying to give chase while laughing than because it was any sort of major physical exertion. When Rosie finally just sprawls on the balcony floor, she settles to sit on her legs next to him in a very Japanese style.

"That was fun," she tells the little jackal, not caring one bit if someone else shows up and looks at them funny. "Let me know when you're ready to head back, maybe get a drink of water." She's thinking about getting one herself now.

Tilting his head in a most charming manner, one way and then the other while Pepper talks at him, there almost comes the sense of the Jackal attempting to communicate back. Alas — no such luck. Twitching an ear back a few times, he then lifts up a hind foot to dig at it briefly. Apparently, that's the spot, given he makes a quiet groaning sound of contentment before shaking his head out.

Apparently, Pepper's idea about water is a good one. Rising to his paws, the wee creature then skirts past her towards the glass door leading back into the office. A glance past his shoulder at her is followed by a single scratch at the base of the door's frame.

Pepper watches Rosie, then chuckles and moves to stand. "Right. Water it is." She steps over to the door and opens it carefully, figuring the jackal-kit will likely squeeze through the instant it's open enough for him to squeeze past. And she's okay with that. It's a good test to see if he can find her office again, though she follows quickly enough to not let him out of her sight. Because that, she suspects, would not end well for the kit or anyone else involved.

It certainly doesn't hurt that JARVIS can track him much more easily than she can.

Ooh, hallway. That's right: he was carried down this hallway earlier. Brimming with curiosity, the jackal-kit takes off at a brisk, light-footed trot down its center. He looks around at the walls and at the doors, pausing once or twice to sniff at their base cracks between frame and carpeting. Then, he moves in, this time at a rolling canter down the hall.

Ooh, Pepper's office!

Ooh, beyond Pepper's office!

The Jackal-kit continues down the last third of the corridor, headed for a cracked door in particular. What's beyond this?

Uh oh. She continues after the jackal-kit, perhaps speeding up a bit to try and catch him before he gets past that cracked door. Especially considering that she KNOWS the Finance Director whose office that is very likely could be in there yelling at a conference phone call and making the angry studio guy from Tropic Thunder seem like a mild-mannered intellectual.

"Rosie, don't, please," she half-whispers as she tries to catch up and not be overly obvious about it.

Boy, someone is yelling, and rather loudly. Most wise beings would turn away or just linger at the door to listen. However, the brain-space currently occupied by the Jackal is over a century old and now inversed in maturity. He makes it to the crack and sticks his nose into the thin space, attempting to force it open by dint of pressure.

Thankfully, he's all of four pounds wet under the sleek pale fur and Pepper will be more than quick enough to snatch him up before he crosses the boundary into the Yelling Man's office.

With a last bit of a run, she scoops the jackal-kit up off of the floor and away from that office just in the nick of time. Leaning her back against the wall next to said door, she takes a relieved breath. "You really don't want to go in there, Rosie. That man would yell at a wall for being in front of him." She keeps the kit in her arms and returns to her office, making sure to close the door before putting him down again.

The water bowl should still be on the floor in the washroom.

Aw — no seeing the Yelling Man after all. Content to be carried, however, given how his little legs are a little sore, the Jackal-kit ends up tucking his chin to Pepper's collarbone, nose elevated up next to her neck. His small ribcage rises and falls in a sigh. Once placed on the floor, he sits there for a second and takes a moment to recognize his surroundings.

Oh yes, this place, with the furniture so tempting to chew upon. Firstly, however, water. Swiftly as a shadow, he slips off to the washroom. The sounds of delicate drinking follow; even as a kit, the Jackal will not intentionally make a mess on the floor belonging to one miss Pepper Potts.

Dusting nearly white fur off of her clothing (and getting only a tiny bit dislodged), she steps over to the small corner table next to the mini-fridge that houses her current tea collection. She starts a small pot of Devonshire Earl Grey and says while heading to her desk, "JARVIS, let me know when the tea is ready, please."

"Of course, Miss Potts."

Her shoes remain on the floor where she left them.

The pointed mask of the Jackal appears from around the washroom's lintel. He freezes, surveying the room, and then gallops out into the middle of it. A moment of sitting where he licks his chops. Distant door-slamming makes him cringe and stare back out towards the hallway. With ears pulled back, he immediately makes to slip away under the nearest piece of furniture.

The last thing to be seen before he disappears is the darkened tip of his tail. Swish, gone, flattened beneath barely four inches of space, comforted by the closeness and darkness on some elemental level. A soft whine is heard.

The slam of the door has her look up from her computer, and she sees movement in her peripheral vision just in time to see the tailtip disappear under the furniture. "Oh, Rosie."

JARVIS informs her the tea is ready just as she stands again, and she takes a moment to set the tea leaves aside before going to check on the jackal-kit. "It's okay, I promise." She puts her hand near the edge of the furniture Rosie is hiding under, but doesn't try to reach after him. "You'll let me know when you start feeling hungry again, yes?"

He can see the woman reach down. The muted gloss of his dark little nose twitches before he oozes closer to the open space beyond the edge of the furniture. Pepper's fingers get a small testing lick before the jackal-kit pulls farther back into the heavy shadow again.

It's not too long, maybe a handful of minutes more, before he appears again. Those huge ears unfold like petals as he sticks his pale face out into view. Still leery, he slips out into a crouched pause before the office furnishing. Pepper is given a long, contemplative look before she's murred at softly. Apparently, his little stomach is interested in what she has to offer!

That earns Rosie a smile. "Let's see what I have here, and if I need to, I'll ask the executive kitchen to send up a few things." She reaches a single knuckle toward the kit to lightly touch his cheekbone, then stands and heads over to the mini-fridge.

"Let's see, I don't want to give you too much of the pastrami, it might upset your stomach… Oh. I have some hard boiled eggs that I forgot to eat for breakfast. And some baby carrots you can make a mess with, and— sure, why not." She pulls her selections from the fridge and turns to put them on her desk.

Leaning into the glancing touch of a knuckle, Pepper has a shadow as she walks over to the mini-fridge. The kit does back off a few steps when the door is opened and wiggles his nose at the cold air emitted as he rustily plops down into a sit to see what is brought out for him. More pastrami does sound good, but so do eggs. He remembers liking the hard-boiled eggs as a human, sprinkled with a touch of salt.

Flitting over to the desk, he puts his paws up upon it and reaches to rutch whiskers up at the food beyond his reach. Murring purrs rise up as he bares teeth, almost set to panting by the interest in calories.

"All right, let's see…" She takes a moment to pour herself some of the tea, then goes to sit in her desk chair, though it's pushed back farther than normal.

"Come on up, then, Rosie," she invites with a pat to one knee. If the kit either is unwilling or unable to make the jump (she doubts the latter to be possible), she'll pick the little jackal up to settle on her lap and then feed morsels from the selection of foods, which include a closed container with a piece of grilled chicken meat inside.

Boing! Pepper will still need to steady him in his enthusiasm once he lands on her lap, little paws digging into her legs as he turns around. Another marked plop of a sit and the Jackal-kit continues the soft murring sounds even as food is parceled up into appropriate sizes for him.

Only when he's being fed do the grunts and chirrups cease. Apparently, he's having a conversation as he eats, which would no doubt be charming to someone with All-Speak. Instead of acting the miniature toothy mouse-trap, the pale pup seems to be more careful in accepting the morsels this time around. His thin tail slaps against her leg now and then in exuberance.

Steadying Rosie with a chuckle, she does indeed take the time to break one egg, a piece of carrot, and a little of the chicken into kit-sized morself. "As chatty as always." She wipes her hands off on a napkin and takes a sip of her tea before starting to break up the second egg.

"Voracious. You must be hitting a growth spurt." Would he go through those, considering his being a kit again isn't the most normal thing?

Lady — if only you knew! The Jackal-kit leans in after the second egg and licks at what he can reach. He risks his balance, but rises onto all fours with his rump barely lifted from his sit to try this. It doesn't work out well, so he sits back down again and exercises youthful patience as best he can. The carrots are accepted more grudgingly and the smallest orange shavings fall here and there from his mouth, but the egg.

Oh, and the chicken — especially the chicken. Kent's probably getting a delighted triste on the merits of grilled chicken in the kythe.

Amusedly breaking up the food as quickly as she can while Rosie chows down something fierce, she seems to not care one bit at the small mess being made of her desk's surface. It'll clean more than easily enough.

The eggs are gone quickly, as is the carrot, and she stops after half of the chicken is also gone. "I think if you eat much more right now, you'll hurt yourself."

Closing the chicken container over the leftover, she wipes her hands and the desk surface clean before finishing her tea. "All right. Now, I've got to get some more work done. You're welcome to wander and explore or take a nap." If explore is the chosen option, she'll gently set the kit down so he can roam about while she works and keeps half an eye out — and JARVIS keeps a closer watch.

Apparently, the option is a nap. How to resist after a full belly in the small body? Turning about three times on Pepper's lap, the kit then dedicates his entire being to cleaning the inside line of his fore-hocks. Licking at the fur, he then passes a paw along his muzzle until he's decided the cleanliness factor will do.

A flop down and his nose disappears beneath the feather-duster fluff of his thin tail. Such a sigh, big enough to lift and fall ribs, before he smacks his lips. Within a minute, the Jackal-kit is out like a light. The sleep of the young is a deep one; Pepper might be able to pick him up and move him and he might not even wake.

Rosie-kit is painfully adorable, but Pepper is very much reminded why she's never tried to get a pet — the amount of time involved is more than her job currently allows. But, she'll enjoy this while she can. It's certainly not sustainable.

Settling a bit in her chair and pulling her keyboard closer so as not to disturb the sleeping jackal, she gets started on the emails and other things she's not been able to do from her tablet earlier. She can't help but wonder when one or the other of Rosie's dads is going to call her. She knows it's still early yet, but the longer she waits the more she's going to worry.

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