Three youths sit together at a picnic table in an open, grassy park. Two of them are chatting animatedly, one a lithe girl with short hair comprised of cherry blossom flowers, Laela, and the other a handsome young man with brown hair and the beginnings of what will eventually be antlers, Cernunnos. The third of the group, Gwydion, looks a lot like his brother save for softer features, shoulder length, very pale pink flower hair, and white eyes. He's wearing robes as opposed to the others' minimal clothing more suited to the warm day. He pays them no mind as he reads a thick book. The three are clearly siblings if one takes the time to look closely.
It takes a moment for Laela to realize that her brother isn't paying attention to what she's saying. She follows his gaze to see another young woman walking along the path. She's beautiful, with long legs, a shock of red hair, and a fox's tail poking out from the back of her jeans. Her tail swishes back and forth with each step. Laela laughs when she looks back and finds her brother straightening out his hair and running a finger over one of his budding antlers.
“Earth to Cern. Come in Cern. Do you have to preen yourself like that every time she walks by?” Laela says teasingly.
”I'm not preening. Is it a crime for a guy to try and look good?” Cern replies distractedly. As the fox tailed girl walks by he gives her a brilliant smile and a wave. She smiles back, but her attention of torn away by the sound of Laela whistling.
“Hey baby, got some fries with that shake!” The girl gives Laela and incredulous look, but then laughs and just keep walking.
Cern glowers at his sister. “You're a pig, you know that?”
“Oh come on, she knows I'm joking.”
“She thinks your joking, there's a difference.”
“Pfft, why do you care anyway? It's not like you're ever going to make a move on her. Don't you agree, Gwyd?” Her other brother avoids the attempt to drag him into the conversation by simply rolling his eyes in response. “Anyway, you've been doting over her for, what, a month? And she's been sending you signals for the past week. Just ask her out already.”
Cern's scowl doesn't relent. “It's not that easy. I me-”
“Sure it is, just ask her. But fine, just keep ogling her like a creep. Hey I know, since you're not gonna talk to her anyway, maybe I should ask her out.”
“You wouldn't. Besides, she's not even into women.”
“Nothing like the present to try.” Laela nods sagely.
“Alright, fine. Then maybe I'll just go and ask Cora out.”
“Shut up. You know that's not the same at all.” Laela's expression suddenly shifts to a frown.
“Sure it is, just ask her.” He says, mimicking Laela's voice. “Just stop being a hypocrite if you want to criticize me.”
“If you ask me.” Gwydion chimes in. “I think you both should spare the poor women and not ask anyone out.”
“No one asked you. Gwydion.” Laela snaps. “I don't take advice about women from a guy wearing a dress."
The boy sighs and sets down his book. “You know perfectly well these were a gift from Aunt Cessie. They're the fashion of the male nobles in Hestopia.”
“Are you sure she never grabbed it out of her closet?” The girl smirks.
“It's interesting hearing comments on clothing coming from someone who barely wears clothes at all.” He gestures at his sister vaguely. Laela's clothing consists of only a tank top and short shorts. “I'm sorry for not wanting to have my butt hanging out.”
Cern shakes his head. “Lay off you two.”
“Hmph.” Laela crosses her arms and looks away. “Isn't Dad supposed to be picking us up soon?”
”He has to drop a couple of the little kids off at...”
“Soccer practice I think it was.” Gwydion supplies.
“Right. I don't know why they bother. It's not like they're actually gonna stick with it.” Laela suddenly laughs. “Oh gods, you guys weren't there were you? You should have seen what Sammy did this morning. She got into some laundry. Apparently Mom forgot to empty the dryer, because she came into the dining room with some lingerie on her head. I've never seen Mom move so fast.”
All three of them burst out laughing at that. “Oh man, where did she get that?” Cern says when he catches his breath.
“Come on, don't be so naive. It obviously came from Mom and Dad's room.”
“Ugh, I don't want to think about that.”
Laela laughs again. “Really, guys? With the way those two are all the time, you're really gonna pretend they don't have some kind of love life?”
“Yes, that's exactly what I'm going to pretend, thank you very much.” Cern says stubbornly.
“You're so thick, Cern. How about when they practically made out all over the table last week?”
Gwydion rolls his eyes. “It was just a kiss.”
Laela shakes her head. “And don't forget she's pregnant again.”
Cern blinks. “Wait what?”
“Yeah, Dad's waiting on her hand and foot like he always does when another baby's coming. I'm surprised he's been letting her walk on her own.”
“And she's been eating again. Full meals.” Gwydion adds.
“You both know? When did this happen, and why don't I know?”
“Like I said, you're thick. I'm surprised there's any room for brains in that head of yours.” Cern shoves her in response, but she just laughs.
“I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but damn. Here I thought they were slowing down. You'd think there'd be a point where there's just too many of us.”
Gwydion picks up his book and finds his page again. “They do have us as babysitter slave labour. I expect that helps.”
Cern just chuckles and shakes his head. “I guess.”
Before the trio can move onto another topic, the sound of a horn draws their attention to the not too distant road. A truck is idling by the curb.
“About time. Thought he'd never show up.” Laela hops off her seat and hurries over to the truck. Her brothers follow at a more leisurely pace. Once they've all piled in, the truck pulls out and they head home.