Subject: Gall sighed raggedly and shook her head.
Posted on: 2019-10-17 02:51:13 UTC

"How can two big, hard men like you both be such wusses?" she demanded. "He's a baby, not a bomb! If you can avoid literally dropping him on his head, he'll be fine—and honestly, I knew at least one kid in Berk who actually was dropped on her head, and she was still smarter than Kana."

"That's not saying much." Derik scowled at the memory of the Sue.

"It's saying plenty. Look. Here." As Gall talked, she had loosened the straps of Gadrik's harness, and now she lifted him free.

Gadrik, who had responded to the wiggle of Thoth's finger by chewing on it and had happily drooled quite a lot in the process, was obliged to let it go. He squawked and kicked his stumpy Gronckle-paw feet in annoyance, but stopped when he found himself thrust into his father's hands. He looked up into Derik's face with expectant wonder. What new entertainment was this?

Derik, taken by surprise, held Gadrik at arm's length and looked between him and Gall. "What are you doing?"

"Getting something to eat and maybe finding a conversation that isn't totally embarrassing." She ducked out of the harness and tossed it over Derik's shoulder. "Also making a point. Bye!" Free of extra weight, she practically skipped off into the crowd.

Derik was left standing like a statue. Gadrik, not terribly pleased to be suspended in midair anymore, started to wriggle and fuss. Reflexively, Derik gathered him against his chest, but the harness bunching up in the crook of his elbow made his hold awkward, and Gaddie squirmed more.

Derik grimaced. "Er. A little help, brother? If you could just—no—Gaddie—!" Gadrik lunged sideways, and Derik compensated. In the midst of his struggle, he tried to indicate with gestures that Thoth should please take the harness off him, quickly, please.

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