Foreverhome Pt. 8

"Arch. Don't spoil him too much." Bear worked happily on in the kitchen, pretending to be unaware of just how many scraps of people food was being passed to Richter as Archibald sipped his tea. Leaving that aside, the training sessions were going well enough. Richter was more confident to climb into Bears hands. And after the fuss with Bears medication, he took to Archibalds handling just as fast.
 Perhaps it was all the sweets. As Archibald passed another tidbit of vanilla cookie to the small man. this time it appeared to have a crumble of icing deliberately scooped on it. "ARCH! Come on. We don't know if that stuff's good for him."
 The other man flinched, leaning closer to Richter and whispering softly. "Busted. Right, Sorry Will. But he just looked so cute with the little pleading face." The earth giant had been learning how to care for such a small being from Bear, though often brought up a few points about diet.

Bears vegetarian nature often forced Richter to eat just the same. Fortunately, he too was an omnivore though, Archibald had a point. Richter really had no ability to choose which he’d prefer. Meaning he may have been lacking some essential nutrients.

This was most likely why Archibald let the little guy pick from his plate. Either that or the fact that Richter was honestly just that cute.

 It was rare when Bear raised his voice, and had caught Richter off guard as he held his crumb between his hands. Smiling nervously towards Archibalds thin features, he took another nibble of the cookie. Knowing that would be the last for the day. Archibalds visits always had that constant. Tons of sweets or other forbidden foods and then a quick halting of all of it.
 It was part of the reason he loved these training sessions so much. Richter was no fool, he knew he was being socialized now. With the routine handling and passing back and forth between the two giants. It was an annoyance for certain. But then, he was happy enough to sit through it if it meant he'd be able to try something new.
 "Give it an hour, he'll forget. Or you'll forget." He smirked as he finished that last nibble of cookie. Last time it had been dipped in a sweet tea. This time there had been a bit of the creamy icing. Not a favourite as it turned out. Though Richter was a fan of sweets, this was a little too sweet for his tastes.

It came as little surprise when the two giants started playfully bickering between one another. Leaving the man all but forgotten on the table. At least he had things to do now. As the play pen had been set up at last. Sure enough some of the furniture had made it in, a chair to sit on, and a sort of futon laid out on the ground.  

As it had turned out, allowing himself to be handled had profited much more than he’d thought. As it gave him a bit more room to roam. Even if it was in a contained area still. It was more than the enclosure.

Some of the toys Bear had previously bought were scattered about as well. Mostly small puzzles for him to work out. Richter had to admit he’d had fun with them. And he couldn’t help but try to reset the first one he’d solved.

He’d almost figured out how to do so as well until Bear took it from him. In the end, the giant had reset the puzzle himself and gave it back to Richter. Leaving him to pout over it. However, Richter was in fact, getting bored. Leaning on the little sofa he gazed up at the bottom of Bears beard grumbling.

It had only been a short time from when he’d started to be lifted and carried. And Richter still felt a bit overwhelmed by it all. However there was so much gained from it, he’d found himself asking to be picked up every so often now.

Inhaling and shouting with all his might, he gained the two giants attention. In one motion he pointed to his enclosure. Doing his best to look pleading and adorable. If Richter was going to be a hamster, may as well put his all into it.

He’d discovered he’d be brought back to his cage upon pointing this way after one long training session. At the time, he was thirsty as could be, and simply meant to ask for water, pointing at one of the massive tanks hanging off the back of his shelter.

Instead he’d been carried back and set free to do as he liked. Now, it became and exploit. A way to get his way if he wanted to. And Richter abused this heavily. Pointing to his enclosure whenever he felt like he’d had enough of the giants constant fawning over him.

In a mere second, Bear smiled, reaching down and scooping Richter in a loose grip. Being surrounded from all sides and lifted into the air had taken some getting used to. Now that he as accustomed to it however, life was much easier.

Richter held onto Bears thumb, and eased himself into a sitting position while he was carried back, smiling down over the little orchard, house, and practical out door gym that was his home. One of Richters favourite things was seeing the world from so high up.

“Really puts into perspective just how small I am to you.” He thought out loud. The fleshy platform lowered to the grass, allowing Richter to slide down and regain his balance. Casually he made his way into the shelter without even so much as a thank you. Smiling the whole time. Yes. Richter had it made now.

Archibald heaved a long sigh, leaning on the table. “And you say I spoil him. You let Richter walk all over you man. He gets his way no matter what, just has to look cute enough.” The lessons were helping to at least get Archibald out of his mountain.

The giant froze when Bear gave him a long, smirking look. “Sure, Mr. ‘pleading little face’ I’m just letting walk over me alright.”  Bears bulky frame leaned against the enclosure.

“There’s a difference between treating him and letting him have his way Will. Think about it, how much do you let Richter get away with? Have you ever really had to re-enforce ‘no’ for him?” Archibald had struck a cord there. Bears brow scrunched up in concentration.

“Thought that was just a testament to his good nature.” Bear admitted, staring down into the enclosure and watching as Richter for the most part ignored him.

It was hard to tell the little thing ‘no’ at times. As he’d stubbornly persist in his action until you either put him back in his cage or let him have his way. It was why Bear bought the play pen in the first place. Though pulling it out was a pain, it truly did make caring for Richter easier.

Over the course of a few weeks Richter had become more confident, even a little cocky. Bear had taken the time to socialize the little fellow with Archibald just in case but ended training on Richters terms. He didn’t want to stress the little fellow too much. Not so much he wouldn’t come back for another lesson.

Archibald broke the conversation with a jaunty; “Well I have to get going. The mountain isn’t going to dust it’s self...As much as I’d like for that to happen.” He smirked briefly. “Take care of yourselves.”

Archibald gathered his coat, rinsed his teacup and made his way to the door, pausing a moment. “Hey, Will?”

“Hmm?” Bear perked up, glancing at Archibald. There was an air of importance and weight to the earth giants tone that almost demanded Bears full attention.

“I... I’m going to be picking out a pet... Really soon I think. I was wondering if you’d come with me for that?” A small smile tugged on the mans lips clearly hiding something but still remaining honest.

“Don’t see why not. We’ll make a date out of it.” He gave a shrug. Not quite realizing just what he’d said. Not until Archibald slammed the door, a flustered mess.

“W-NO! Wait! Arch! Slow down!” Bear had flung out the door just in time to see Archibald dashing for the river. Worried he’d upset the man, Bear tracked after him only a moment before realizing it would make things worse. Biting his lip, Bear crept back in the house, and shut the door.

The mountain wasn’t far, if he had to apologize he could just walk right over and do so somewhere Archibald felt more secure.  

Some of what Archibald had said did settle with Bear however. For the most part, Richter had always got his way in the end. He got to choose whether or not he’d be picked up, he got to choose when he went back. Most training was on Richters terms.

Though Bear didn’t want to break that trust, it soon became apparent that he’d have to eventually if he wanted to bring Richter around the house more. Often Bear felt bad that the little guy was so cooped up all the time.

Come to think of it, Bear hadn’t cleaned the shelter since adopting Richter. And they were bordering on...A month, and a half. The man outright shuddered at the thought. Poor little Richter had been stuck in there all that time, without a clean place to sleep.

Repulsed by this notion, Bear made the split decision to clean the shelter NOW. While the thing dried, he could take Richter around the house and show him the rest of his home. And so it was decided. Today, Richter was going to have to push his limits.

This of course was unknown to Richter, who was enjoying a bit of a nap on the sofa. So much being passed back and forth again today. Shortly before tea. If there was one thing he hadn’t expected from being handled, it was how much physical work went into it.

It was probably hardly noticeable for giants, but the simple act of staying balanced took a great deal of work from his core muscles. Climbing into a hand took a bit of lifting and high stepping just to get on the hand alone.

In short, Richter was starting to develop toned muscle around his arms, legs, and stomach. Just little hints, but enough to point out how much he actually did. It wasn’t as though he lived an inactive lifestyle to begin with.

The three months at the shelter had taken much of his tone however. Without much more to do than sit and sleep. His early days with Bear were much the same. Thinking back on it, Richter had only known a short time of just... relaxing like he was currently doing.

This made the clacking of the access hatch all the less pleasant. Richter only knew those hatches to open when it was bath day or when something was being changed. Given that he’d already had a hot bath just the day before, that meant something was changing again.

He groaned outright. “Alright, alright. I’m moving.” Richter staggered to his feet, making his way to the staircase groaning. It came as a great surprise when a familiar pressure tugged at his chest and stomach.

“Bear?” He glanced back just in time to realize he was being forcibly hauled out of the enclosure again. This time Richter kicked up a fuss. Swearing and reaching for the edge of the hatch. In his efforts Richter jerked back enough to smack his head and groaned.

“Come on Ricky, it’s not that bad.” He could Hear Bear chide him. Taking the sting from his fresh bump on the head, and turning it to anger.

“PUT. ME. DOWN.” Richter warned. He was in no mood to be handled now. Only interested in making his way to his bed and sleeping off the invading headache.

However, after a time, Richter gave up and sat in the curve of Bears palm. Grumbling. He couldn’t really argue with this any how. It did little good to fight with the initial removal from his enclosure.

“So, what? Another bath? Or are y-” Richter had to brace himself as he was transferred from Bears hand to his shirt pocket. Finding himself frantically flailing to catch hold of the giants ring finger. This didn’t work however, and now he was sitting in the bottom of the fabric chamber, gasping.  

It wasn’t BAD per say. However the suddenness of the change in location shook him up a little. He heard some loud clattering outside the pocket, prompting him to reach as far as he could. He pulled himself up on the fuzzy lip of the flannel surface.

Before his eyes, Bear placed both massive water tanks from the back of his shelter in the grass. The shelter it’s self was ripped right from the very earth. Carried slowly to the kitchen sink.

Richter watched in awe as the compartments of the shelter were pulled from their place, and left on one side of the sink. Leaving a white panel with several protruding boxes. The bed room was emptied of blankets and scrubbed with a soft brush. The others were washed like dirty plates. Any wiring was pulled before hand before Richter climbed up. Soon after the base was given a quick wipe with a cloth.

Richter watched on for a moment only to find himself ducking away from a soapy, bubbly finger headed his way.  “Oh now stop. You’re alright Rick.” He could hear Bear was losing his patience. And watched as the giant re-assembled his shelter and left it to dry. Except... Things were moved around.

Richters bedroom was where the kitchen used to be, the living room was up in the bathroom area, Kitchen where the bedroom had been and the bathroom in the remaining slot. In other words; his whole world had been rearranged.

That wasn’t the half of it, as the shelter was put back in place, Richter was dragged from the nice warm pocket. He sat in Bears palm as he was carried to another room in the massive building. Held a little higher so he could see the room he’d lived in for so long.

Before he could take it all in however, Richter was whisked off. His world blurred a moment, before he found himself rocked slowly by the careful gate Bear carried. A warm golden room greeted them. There was a fireplace to the left of them, a sort of orb on a round table to the right. In front of that was a soft looking recliner chair.

The living room. Though it was quite barren it had a full look to it. Knickknacks lined the walls, held aloft by wobbly shelves. Where there weren’t shelves, there were photos on the walls. Many of them were moving by too fast for him to see.

Every so often Bear paused to show Richter something in more detail. Those things being a pillow on a table, a water dish next to it, and a bit of dry crumble Richter occasionally had as treats.

“You’re... Showing me the house... Great~” Richter rolled his eyes, pressing his forehead into his palm. He jabbed an accusing finger in the direction of the kitchen. Indicating quite firmly that he wanted to go HOME. Back to his soft bed.

Instead he was given a soft huff of air rustling his hair, and a quiet sound that translated well. It was something he’d come to know well. “No.” Richter had heard this many times. Never quite as firmly though. Never regarding going back to his bed.

“What?...No no no. I don’t think so. We have RULES Bear. I point, you put me back. That’s the-HEY!” Richter was set on the mantle of the fireplace. Given a soft scratch on the back, then left a moment.

“Hey! HEY! Oh come on! I want to go back! Is that too much to ask?” When Richter found that Bear was ignoring him, and tending Richters new sitting spot instead, he grew angry. Sure, Bear was bigger. But this month and a half were enough to teach Richter the big guy was a softy.

“BEAR!” He bellowed. Nothing. Instead the giant started fidgeting with the orb until it displayed a sort of book. Finally, Richter looked around for something he could knock over. Even if it broke, Bear would probably just scold him and let it be.

Spotting a the back of a picture frame, Richter grinned. He shoved his shoulder against the solid object with a grunt. This was nothing in comparison to the ruined cities. Richter couldn’t count how many heavy things he’d had to move back then.

With one last shove, the frame fell. Crashing against the ground. A sharp noise ripped through the air. And Richter smiled. Pride overwhelming him.  He turned to Bear and defiantly pointed to the kitchen. Putting his foot on an ordainment and threatening to knock that down as well.

That was, until it hit him. He’d just knocked over a photograph... in a giants home... deliberately All too late did he think his misbehaviour through. As the giant turned from a look of shock, to disbelief to anger.

“RICHTER!” The shriek that welled up in Bears throat was even beyond what the giant thought himself capable of. He could see the little smile of pride that had been on Richters face and it infuriated the giant. “What did you just do?”

Bear snatched the photograph from the floor and paused. His heart dropped when he found which photo Richter had knocked over. He glanced up at Richter once more and found him still pointing towards the other room.

So this was how Richter would act if he didn't’ get his way. In one motion, the little brat was snagged and pulled into the air. “I said NO. Now look what you’ve done. LOOK” He waggled the broken frame in front of Richters face.

“BAD.” He growled. Not long after Bear pulled the small dome out. He’d never thought he’d have to use it. Richter was always so well behaved. However this time. This time he’d pushed the limits of Bears patience.

There was a twinge of guilt when the little fellow actively cried out and attempted to wriggle free. “Look, I’m sorry but you’ll just have to learn your limits.” Richter was shoved into the dome with that, and was locked in there for good measure.

That said, a part of Bear felt like it was being ripped out. He couldn’t help but take a shaky breath. Richter was just testing how far he could go. Bear knew that. In truth, had been anything but THAT photo, Bear would have just scolded him and cleaned up. However, Archibald had a point. Richter was walking all over him.

This was just a temper tantrum. That was all. Bear could put up with that. He just needed to stick to his guns on this one. “You’ll stay in there until I’m done cleaning up your mess.” He sentenced with as much conviction as he could muster. Then set to work cleaning.

A few moments after the last shard of glass was discarded, Archibald had called using an orb. Asking how to warm small creatures. Apparently he’d rescued something from the River, and it was worryingly cold. The earth giant was clearly frantic. After a drawn out conversation Archibald ended the call.  

Bear checked Richters enclosure. The rooms were dry, and he took the time to put them back where they had been. After all, today had been a bit rough on the little fellow. It was about time he went back where he belonged and had some time to himself.

Richter sat with his knees against his chest. Sure enough, the dome was meant for punishment. Thinking it through though, it could have been worse. Just a time out in a dark room. Nothing he couldn't’ handle. The facts were, this was the first time anything like this had happened. There wasn’t any need to be upset.

That said, Richter WAS upset. He’d pushed things way too far. For once he’d discovered exactly what Bear would do when angered. He closed his eyes a moment and inhaled. He could hear Bear shuffling things around, cleaning up his mess.

It occurred to him that he was basically acting like a spoiled brat. Actually going so far to break something of Bears simply because he hadn’t gotten his way. In the quiet dark of the dome, Richter could process his thoughts easily it seamed.

The facts were, this was his life now. He’d known this for a while, only now, he realized there were consequences to acting out. Something he’d never really had after the fall of humanity. Richter used to get away with almost anything. Being one of the two youngest men in his small troupe.

It caused a lot of conflict with the oldest man there. As Richter had been snuggling up to his daughter. Thinking back on it, Richter found himself perhaps a little too cocky back then. He butted heads with anyone who disagreed with him.  

With Bear, he couldn’t do that. He would always be smaller, easier to deal with.  Richter thought he could take control of the situation like he used to. Given how often the giants let him do as he liked. As it turned out, that was simply because he’d done nothing wrong until then.

The dome opened up, light spilling into the room as Bear casually placed his hand in. Richter climbed right up, thankful he wasn’t there longer. He was moved through the room and held in front of the photo he knocked down. Bears expression was flat, demanding something from Richter.

Examining the photo in the new frame, Richter saw that it was of a series of very short men. Much more stocky and stout than a human. They all leaned against a large boot. A giant was crouching behind them, but only his knees and single hand dangling made it in frame.

Richter assumed the giant in the image was Bear. He turned to the larger being and ducked his head. “Sorry.”

Bear gave a short nod before running a hand carefully behind Richters back. “That’s better. Now, I’m willing to bed this has all been stressful. So you’re going back to your home now.” Richter didn’t understand a word, but allowed himself to be carried.

The contact re-assured him he was no longer in trouble. That said, the idea that Bear, sweet, gentile Bear, got angry with him... It was jarring. The giant cleared his throat, pulling Richter from his thoughts.

“I figured I’d be pretty pissed too; if all the rooms in my house rearranged themselves.” Bear set Richter in the soft grass of his enclosure. All he could do was stare in awe. Everything had been put back in place once more. Richter turned around, gazing up at the giant.

A reassuring smile returned to the bearded face. Indicating that the unpleasantness of the moment had passed, everything was alright now. Richter let out a sigh of relief and nodded slightly. Confirming things were similar on his end. Slowly, he returned to his shelter, wanting nothing more than a nap.

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