lost again

“How can she keep getting in situations like these?” Yael looks up to the small feline, perched up in one of the higher trees in the garden.

“She didn’t even try to climb up any tree when we got her up here on her own. I suppose she saw Colby climb up and she followed him up there.” Quentin studies their surrounding a moment and he shakes his head. This is one of the biggest tree Yael has planted up in the garden and getting up there is going to be nearly impossible, at least not without some outside help and he doesn’t know that any of them has that kind of a gift. They will have to set up the ladder.

“She just got busy getting lost the first time, though I suppose I should say lost again. When I shook the tin of candy, she came running out of wherever she’d been hiding in and that was that. This though, this is different. I don’t think our hope of letting the cats have access to this room is going to work.” He sighs as he utters those words, really having believed that he could somehow manage that much but if Astra kept on getting stuck up trees, mimicking her siblings, it couldn’t work.

“We’re going to need the ladder, unless you’d rather try the human ladder alternative. I can hold your weight up just fine so you could try to climb up my shoulders.” Yael studies his companion for a moment before he shakes his head with a wry smile.

“I don’t even think we’d be tall enough. We’re going to have to get the ladder.” He sighs and rubs a hand over his eyes, his head shaken lightly. “Stay here and keep an eye on her, I’ll be back with the ladder.”

A piece of equipment he never uses, not much caring for it. They could hardly leave Astra up there on her own, meowing pitifully. He really doesn’t know how she’d gotten up there, it bothers him. Though there are branches within reach if Quentin does give him something of a boost.

“On second thought, I think I might try your method first. I used to climb trees at the orphanage, of course I’d get stuck and Sterling would have to get me back down but I think I can manage this one. Let’s give this a try to if I do get stuck, then you can get the ladder.” The last thing he wants is to trample everything growing at the base of the tree with the heavy ladder.

Once up and able to reach the thicker branches, Yael carefully makes his way up, Astra still meowing pitifully as she watches him come her way. The climb up is slow and steady and once he is within reach of her, she almost jumps at him. He hugs her to his chest for a long moment and looks down the way he came. He knows he can’t climb back down with a single arm so he sets Astra up on his shoulders and she almost curls there, her claws partly digging in. He calls her his parrot on most days. She loves climbing to his shoulders and just staying there.

He turns then, carefully, and starts to make his way down. One branch, then the other, until he’s as low as he can manage. He sits on his branch then and tugs the now mostly purring feline from his shoulders. “I’m going to have to drop her down to you, Quentin. There’s no way I’m jumping from up here with her digging her claws into my shoulder.”

It isn’t so much dropping as moves to grasp the branch with his legs and then lowers himself as far as he can go, nearly hanging upside down. Quentin reaches out and their fingers nearly touch. Yael hands the feline over and carefully pulls himself back up to his branch.

“How are you going to get down?” Astra is already settling on Quentin’s shoulders, just sitting there, clinging somewhat, her whole episode with the tree already forgotten, it seems.

“I’ll just lower myself with my arms until I’m as low as I can get and I’ll drop, unless you think you can do the reverse ladder and manage to get my weight balanced on your hands or your arms or something so I can get down without breaking anything.” He’s not overly afraid of ‘breaking anything’ but it would be an uncomfortable bit of time for him while it healed and he didn’t much care for that.

“Let me drop her out of the garden and I’ll come back in. You can lower yourself down as much as you can and I should be able to get you braced on my shoulders, we’ll work from there.” Quentin doesn’t wait for an answer, he steps away from the tree and down the pathway that leads him to the door. He carefully drops Astra out of the door and closes it again before he’s jogging back to the tree.

He settles himself as close to the trunk as he can manage and Yael carefully eases himself out, legs dangling until Quentin’s hands curl about his ankles and his feet settle on those waiting shoulders. He laughs softly and together the work on getting him back to the ground. “This is absolutely crazy.”

“I think we can both indeed agree that the cats up here could have worked if it hadn’t been for Astra’s inability to get herself down from high places on her own.”

“Pretty much. Can we get out of this place before I start to think I have to go back up that tree for absolutely no reason? My feet are killing me and I could do with soaking them in some hot water for a bit.”

“You should have kept your shoes on.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to get up that tree with my shoes on. You can check me over for injuries when we’re down there and I’m off my feet for a while.”

Chuckling, Yael leads them out of the garden, taking a moment to rinse his feet of dirt and wipe them mostly dry on a small rug he keeps next to the doors. When they step out of the door, Astra runs down the stairs, as if caught somewhere she wasn’t meant to be. Both demons look after her for a moment before they laugh and shake their head.

“We tried but the garden stays off limit.”

“There’s the screen door, it allows the scents to come down all year round and that’s enough for me. These cats have a huge play area here on the ground floor and ways to get up near the ceiling and back down without an issue, they don’t really need the garden up there. Plus, in the warmer seasons they have access to the outside world through the catio.”

“I guess you’re right, I just wanted to see if it was possible at all for these guys to be up there with me when I was working there or to just have access to everywhere in the house.” Yael shrugs and heads to the living room, dropping almost bonelessly to sit into the couch while Quentin disappears into the kitchen to get a large bowl and some hot water.

“We should totally get one of those foot massaging things, you know, the ones you put hot water in and start it up and it vibrates and stuff?”

Yael blinks a moment but laughs. “We have plenty of things that vibrate in this house, I don’t believe we need another one!”

“That is not what I meant and you know it!” Quentin blushes slightly as he finally comes back with his bowl and water, he sets it down on the floor and steps back as Yael slides his feet into it with a low groan of pleasure.

“Now let’s have a look at you to make sure you’re in one piece and you don’t have any bit of bark or whatever else still stuck on you.”

“I’m fine, Quentin, let’s just have a bit of rest and relaxation, please?”

“Anything you want.”

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