Teal’c inclined his head to the swordsman, a fraction deeper; one skilled warrior to another. “I would never stand between a valiant warrior and her comrades.”
“Whoa, wait – let me in there, okay?” Rob Flint objected, scrambling over to the door. “You let all those guys loose, we’ll be trying to catch them all day. And they’ll be laughing at us. Let me help.”
Crimson eyes were wide with hope and fear. “You want to help?”
The vet snorted. “Hey, I’ve been at this a while. I know my human when I see it. Easy now, little lady. Just let me open the door a little….”
Pina dove out as soon as the door opened a few inches, landing in the girl’s welcoming arms; sniffing her hands and neck, before rubbing her forehead against the human’s with a near-purr.
“You found her.” Eyes still wet, the girl glanced at Kirito, stroking under Pina’s jaw and along her neck. The dragon’s long blue tail feathers waved in joy. “You brought her back again.”
“Heh.” Kirito scratched the back of his head, and nodded toward the aviary. “Look at that door. I think she’d have found you sooner or later.”
“And how,” Rob Flint muttered. Finished locking up, and craned his head to look at the dragon. “Pina, huh? You two know each other? Don’t get me wrong, I can see you do, but – how?”
“I had peanuts.” The girl wiped her eyes. “Do you have any peanuts?”
“What, are you kidding?” The vet winked at her, and dug into one of the feed lockers for a small plastic bag. “With a whole flock of these guys? Of course I’ve got peanuts. Here-”
Kirito caught the bag, Argo fading back to guard the door.
“How did… um. Wow.” Rob Flint stood still, making no movement that could be construed as a threat. “Keep forgetting how fast you move.”
Kirito gave him a faint smile, turning plastic in his hands to look it over, even sniff it, before he handed it to the girl.
The vet hmphed, crossing his whole arm over the casted one. “Okay, now I have to say I am offended. I am a vet. I don’t give critters food that would hurt them. Not even people-gnawing basilisks.”
The girl reddened, but didn’t look away. Kirito didn’t even blink. “It’s not personal,” the swordsman said plainly. “There were poisons in the game. Some were lethal. Some were just paralytic. You learned to be careful.”