Aubrey had grown up around large animals, so they didn’t really scare him, and now that he was bigger than he used to be, they scared him even less than they had in the past. But he had never worked with his own creature before. It was always deemed too dangerous--- and he really had been quite small, so he didn’t exactly blame Aster for keeping him away from them.
But it did feel a bit… Well, a bit odd to have been living in the home of so formidable a trainer for so long, and to still feel out of his depth when confronted with a fish. Even if Yeo-reum was going to be something else someday, and even if he was a very clever fish even now.
Yeo-reum was swimming in lazy circles in the water. Aubrey had brought him out for a bit of sun and fresh air.
He had a big tank in Aubrey’s small city apartment, as big a tank as Aubrey could possibly manage and afford, but it was still better to be out, where he could stretch his fins, so to speak. And Yeo-reum was such a big fish these days too.
“The weather is nice today, isn’t it?” he said.
Yeo-reum blew a few bubbles in the water. Aubrey looked at him, smiled a little, and sighed a little too. He was going to have to teach Yeo-reum something in the way of manners soon, or at least figure out a system where he could ask the Tat to stop sometimes. He didn’t know about ‘training’, when they were supposedly smarter than people were.
… Well, no; the Yeo-reum of right now was still young, and even young people had to be taught manners, as well as limits--- their own, and the limits of others.
It wasn’t an impossible task, just a difficult one. Aubrey tried to convince himself of it, anyway, with somewhat mixed success.
He walked a little further along the dock, and Yeo-reum drifted after him, not quite following but keeping Aubrey in his sights, kind of like a cat. At times, Yeo-reum was really very cat-like. There were stories about dragons, and some of the dragons in those stories were very similar to cats too. Hmm.
“Yeo-reum,” Aubrey said idly. He reached a hand into the water, and Yeo-reum came up to nibble at it. “They say the first and most important thing to teach is a name. I guess if you’re so smart, maybe you’ve thought of a name for yourself already… You don’t mind, do you?”
It was maybe a little inauspicious that Yeo-reum chose this moment to bite his hand. Aubrey couldn’t help it; he yelped, and snatched his hand away.
… He didn’t know exactly how he knew this, since fish certainly didn’t laugh the way people laughed, but he had the distinct sense that Yeo-reum was laughing at him. The Tat swam in quick little circles back and forth, stirring up the water’s surface with his movements. Aubrey frowned, and tried to adopt a stern expression. This was what Aster would have called a teachable moment… probably.
“No, Yeo-reum,” he said firmly. The Tat didn’t look the least bit contrite though. Rey thought back to something Aster had talked about once, something he’d read in an animal behavior book about how to teach a dog manners. Sometimes you had to yelp, since otherwise they wouldn’t know that they’d hurt you.
Aubrey had yelped, but it hadn’t been enough. But maybe if the fish was smart enough, he could try talking to it--- explain where he was coming from.
It worked with Damien, even when Damien was very unhappy or feeling stubborn. Sometimes it admittedly took a long time to work, but it did always work in the end.
“I know you’re just playing,” Aubrey said, “but that really hurt. You scared me too. Maybe it was fun for you, but it wasn’t fun for me.” He spoke as though he were speaking to a younger sibling instead of a fish, which made it a little easier. They were even colored a bit alike, though that was pretty much where the similarities ended.
He didn’t know if Yeo-reum was listening to him a lot of the time. More often than not, it seemed like he wasn’t. But this time, Aubrey could see the Tat watching him, and it made him feel a little hopeful.
It was too early to tell much of anything though, and he knew that building these relationships took time, especially with more intelligent creatures.
He heard a great deal about the pride of Tats, and how most had little respect for anything with two legs. Once they got big, it was impossible to make them see eye to eye with you, if you haven’t worked things out when they were younger. But how you got that respect in the first place… There wasn’t much advice, not that Aubrey knew of, and what there was was pretty inconsistent.
Aubrey rather thought that Yeo-reum had never had much respect for him. But to be fair, he hadn’t exactly asserted himself in that regard. He also wasn’t going to have long to remedy that, so he had best start now.
Just about the one thing everyone agreed on was that spending time was key, so Aubrey had brought him out so they could spend a little quality time together. The trouble was that he didn’t know how to swim, so he couldn’t exactly just get in there with Yeo-reum to wiggle around in the water.
But there was a shallower beach area, so Aubrey meandered over until he had reached a place where the water’s depth was shallow enough for him to enter. He lowered himself into it, and was surprised when Yeo-reum swept up to him. He braced himself for some sort of unpleasant prank, as Yeo-reum was prone to these sometimes, but the Tat didn’t seem to intend anything cruel. He simply swam in quick circles around Aubrey, and after a moment, Aubrey relaxed. It looked more like Yeo-reum was excited than anything else.
“It’s nice to see you too,” Aubrey said. His smile was genuine this time. Yeo-reum bumped him gently with his head, and Aubrey laughed. “Hey, that tickles,” he said.
Perhaps the laugh had been too much encouragement. Yeo-reum swam around in another circle, a wider one this time, and when he came back he rammed himself right into the center of Aubrey’s side.
Aubrey didn’t have time to yelp this time; he doubled up with the force of the blow, and fell into the water, coughing and gasping. It took him a long moment to recover and get his bearings, before he struggled to his feet.
Thank goodness he had been in the shallows. It was a close call as it was. He still wasn’t very tall for a humanoid, even if he was bigger than before.
“No,” he said to Yeo-reum again. It didn’t sound particularly authoritative because of how weak his voice was from coughing and swallowing water. He took a deep breath, braced himself, and said it again: “No, Yeo-reum. That was---” He had to stop to cough again. “Gently is fine, but that was too hard. You hurt me. I can’t breathe in the water like you. I could have been seriously hurt if I fell in deeper water.”
At least this time Yeo-reum looked contrite, as much as it was possible for a fish to look contrite. Aubrey was privately glad; his distress had been very real and very apparent this time, so if Yeo-reum still thought it was only funny, then Aubrey might have had a sadist on his hands. And maybe other trainers could deal with that, but he definitely didn’t feel up to it. At least now he knew he could appeal to some sense of empathy in Yeo-reum, which was good, because Aubrey didn’t want to try to use force. He wasn’t going to be very good at it, and he didn’t think it was a good way to teach anyone anything either.
“Well, it’s alright as long as you understand,” Aubrey said. “I’d like it if you didn’t do that again. Alright?”
Truthfully he didn’t know if Yeo-reum would, but Aubrey wanted to trust Yeo-reum. You couldn’t get respect without treating someone with respect yourself, right?
Aubrey took a moment to recover, then straightened. “I know I don’t play with you enough, so let’s play a little now. What do you say, Yeo-reum?”
The Tat swam around him once. It wasn’t the high-speed circles that he had been swimming before, but Aubrey certainly did seem to have his attention. He laughed a little. Yeo-reum was a little… unconventional for a baby creature--- Aubrey had never seen much in the way of fish in Aster’s household--- but he could still be cute sometimes. “Alright, let’s play then. What do you want to do?”
There was a pause, in which the Tat seemed to be thinking, before he suddenly swam up to Aubrey. Aubrey braced for impact, unconsciously expecting something like what happened before, but at the last minute, Yeo-reum slowed, and in the end all that happened was a gentle tap of his nose to Aubrey’s leg.
Before Aubrey could quite catch up with what had happened, Yeo-reum was speeding away. It took Aubrey a moment to realize, but this… This was tag, wasn’t it? “Hey, no fair,” he said, but he was still laughing, and chasing clumsily after Yeo-reum through the water.
It really wasn’t fair though. Aside from the head start, Yeo-reum was a natural in the water, while Aubrey didn’t even know how to swim. He wasn’t swimming, but a person wading through the shallows on their feet would never be a match for a fish who had lived in the water their whole life. So Yeo-reum would often double back, to give Aubrey a chance to catch up… Or maybe to taunt him. That seemed equally likely, given Yeo-reum’s penchant for mischief.
Aubrey chased him for a while, but a movement out of the corner of his eye made him stop. What was that big shadow over there...?
He turned to look, and perhaps it was because he was idle for so long that Yeo-reum came up to tap him again. Before Aubrey could do anything though, Yeo-reum had dashed off… right in the direction that Aubrey was looking at. Right in the direction of someone out with their Pliathor, which looked as though it was barely under control.
“Yeo-reum! No! It’s dangerous!” Aubrey called out. Yeo-reum didn’t stop, however, and kept going, only to halt abruptly when the Pliathor made a lunge for him. Then Yeo-reum turned as quickly as he could manage, and shot like a rocket in Aubrey’s direction, dodging between his legs and hiding behind him.
Aubrey was terrified too. Yeo-reum may have been no match for a Pliathor, but Aubrey wouldn’t have been more than a snack for something of that size either. Fortunately, its trainer had marginally more success with her reprimand, and the Pliathor was called off before it could reach them.
Aubrey breathed a heavy sigh of relief. But then he rounded on Yeo-reum. “That was a really dangerous situation,” he said. “You could have been hurt. We could both have been hurt. I wasn’t trying to stop your fun, you know? Sometimes I can see something that you can’t, or maybe I know something that you might not have seen before, so when I warn you away from something, I’m doing it for a reason, okay?”
It was a lecture, no two ways about it. Aubrey didn’t feel good about it, since he generally didn’t like lecturing people, but some things needed to be said too.
Yeo-reum looked dispirited. He was probably shaken too. Aubrey reached out and ran his hand under the Tat’s chin. “It’s alright. Let’s just try and be more careful next time, okay? You’ll see more things and learn about them, and then you won’t make the same mistakes… probably. Soon you’ll be the one warning me about stuff,” he said with a smile.
It took a moment for Yeo-reum to recover, but eventually the clouds over his mood passed, and he began exploring along the shore again. They didn’t play any more tag, but Aubrey followed along behind him at a slower pace.
Yeo-reum forged ahead and wandered back, going everywhere quickly. He was really a very high-spirited creature, doing everything in a rush. Sometimes Aubrey would find some interesting thing that Yeo-reum might have missed, and call out to him to catch his attention.
“Yeo-reum! Come look at this!” he said, pulling something out of the sand. The Tat didn’t pay him much mind, but then, Aubrey hadn’t really made an effort to teach Yeo-reum the name he’d chosen. So Aubrey yelled louder, and waved his arms. “Yeo-reum!” This time, it worked, and the Tat stopped to look his way. “Look at this,” Aubrey said, holding out what was in his hand.
Silver: I can give you one of my Baby Berries, Sev!
Aug 12, 2020 4:53:31 GMT -6
Sevyrn: Getting in to orbarus first, have half a breeding written up already just gotta get my hands on some baby berries first. But I'm gonna see if anything comes out of houlou in the future. Who knows, I could like them more than orbs.
Aug 12, 2020 4:21:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oh that's awesome!!! I love breedables too, and houluh have been such a fun addition to that.
Aug 11, 2020 10:58:30 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I have two from when they were first released, so I figured why not give it a shot now that there's something to really do with them. Plus breedables. I love breedables.
Aug 11, 2020 10:29:12 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Oooh, houluh kennel request spotted. :0 Thinking of getting into houluh, Sevryn?
Aug 11, 2020 10:25:55 GMT -6
Sevyrn: I've been trying to scour through things, slowly catching up bit by bit I do think!
Aug 9, 2020 2:05:23 GMT -6
Riku: Have you read all the updates, Sevryn? You’ve missed a lot, so it’s probably going to be enlightening/exciting.
Aug 8, 2020 23:24:15 GMT -6