AN: So there aren't actually any changes to this chapters, but to those of you who 'watch' this story--well... see I forgot to put up chapter 3... so now it's there .
~ When Dogs Cry ~
Africe smiled as he watched Dad fret with Barice's high, white collar. The human's serine face couldn't hide his pride or his pleasure as he looked from one son to the other. His eyes settled on Barice again, and he removed his glasses and, then, pressed his wrists against each eye in turn.
"Aw come on Dad," Barice groaned as a flush rose in his pale face. "I'm getting married; I'm not dying. You cry over Ravice, not me."
The human smiled and shook his head as he returned his glasses. "Don't be silly, son," he laughed. "I cry over you all the time."
"A regular crybaby," Africe teased as he elbowed his dad.
"Who has the twins?" Barice asked, his ears flicking in agitation over his brand-new pups.
"Tolly," Dad answered with a smile. "They're sleeping."
Barice's flushed deepened, and he smiled. "Hey Dad, did you feel this way about us?"
Africe turned towards his dad, curious as to the answer. Of course, he didn't know exactly what Barice felt when the canea interacted with his precious offspring, but he knew what he felt when he looked at them and how Barice had turned into an over-protective, agitated wreck.
The human smiled and sighed as he shook his head. "Every damned day since I entered your life," he answered. "Especially today."
"Alright, you two old women," Africe laughed. "Let's get going or Tanna's going to beat you to the alter, and then she'll beat me."
Barice grinned, and the three men left the little room at the back of the tiny chapel just down the road from Granddad's farm. The chapel itself only held about fifty people—packed—and the little wedding would maybe half-fill it. After all, the only ones in attendance would be the Kegle family and the members of Frenil's Third Strike Team and their spouse if they had one.
Africe walked with Barice all the way to the front as Dad slipped in beside Aunt Tolly, who held one of the sleeping twins, while rocking the other with her foot.
Africe grinned as he gripped both of Barice's shoulders. "Alright, daddy," he started. "I don't know what Ravice would say today, but I sure as hell am proud of you, you idiot. You're a good man, and I know you love Tanna and your little brats."
"How can use such insulting words and still sound like you're the nicest guy in the world?" Barice chuckled.
"Because I am the nicest guy in the world," Africe laughed. He pulled the simple gold band out of his pocket and pressed it into his brother's palm. "Take care of your family."
"Because they're all you've got," Barice finished Ravice's favorite saying.
Africe nodded and slipped away to join Hesslin in the back. He smiled as he slid into the pew beside his partner. "Hey there, Kitty."
"You looked good up there," Hesslin commented with a return-smile.
Before Africe could answer, the doors opened and Tanna started in. Unlike the lucky Kegle brothers, Tanna grew up in a canea home; her only family had ever been the Kegles, so Granddad escorted the excited bride to her groom. Africe smiled as he watched them. Granddad stood a little straighter than normal, and Tanna's simple, pale yellow dress fit right in with the intimate little ceremony.
Africe swallowed hard as the minister began. He wasn't a crybaby like Dad—he wasn't going to cry. The canea glanced to his right and lifted an eyebrow when Hesslin's soft hand slid into his just as Barice announced to the whole world that he would ever take care of Tanna and their family regardless of the ease or the difficulty with his simple 'I do'.
Hesslin's fingers interlaced with Africe's, and he smiled as he settled adoring emerald eyes on the canea's face. "I do," he whispered.
Africe felt the sting of tears he'd sworn he wouldn't cry as his breath locked in his throat. A single, hot streak rolled down his face as he smiled and lifted their hands to lay a gentle kiss on the back of Hesslin's.
"I do, too."
AN: Alright ladies and gentlemen, that's it! Thanks for joining me on this insane ride! It was fun for me, and so I hope it was fun for you! If you liked it, let me know. If you hated it, let me know! Either way, keep an eye out on my main page for related shorts and one-shots. I have a few in mind... I've even thought about putting Redemption up (remember, that's Hesslin's book?) Of course, it may not all happen immediately. Cheers!