"We'll remember you in the next monster fight," Kae nodded to the child. Getting a hold of a tooth wouldn't be that difficult, really. There were vendors about that sold them as novelty trinket sorts of items. It probably wouldn't be difficult to swipe one in passing, next time one or both of them were out in the further stations.
Bringing one back would double to make the child happy, and provide more fodder for Vanja's extravagant stories.
It had the intended effect of making the small girl beam at the prospect.
And then the unintended effect of causing the two small boys they looked after to hop in place.
"I want one too!"
"They do smell pretty awful," Kae wrinkled her nose at the thought. The ring line was fairly secure, so they didn't have run ins with the mutants often. But the smell of their droppings was familiar all the same; and in close quarters the creatures had a strange stench of their own, "We might have regretted bringing teeth home without any way to bleach them out."
"Of course I never missed a shot," Kae answered, giving her chin an upward, haughty tilt in the moment, "I can throw a rock straighter than anyone in the metro."
That much was maybe sort of accurate, at least. Kae did have a good aim when it came to throwing various objects - she'd hit what she was throwing at far more often than she'd ever missed. If cans and pebbles were as effective as bullets, they'd all be safe.
"Next time we'll have to stop long enough to pry out a couple teeth or something. Bring you lot back a souvenir," she grinned, "I tried to make Vanja wait but the nerves got to her," Kae gave her sister-friend a smirk across the table.
Even Kae almost rolled her eyes at the tale Vanja concocted on the spot. They both knew that she'd never done anything but either hide, or haul ass at the glimpse of a Nosali - let alone a pack of them. Now, Lurkers she could handle; but they were small and easy to give a solid boot to. Anything bigger than that, and the slight girl was out.
"Oh, well that part wasn't that impressive," Kae laughed and shook her head to delay a few moments long enough to come up with a tale to keep the little ones entertained, "that one was just trying to follow us through a narrow passage, so I whopped it a couple times while it was struggling to get through."
That was impressive enough for the small ones, who hadn't been out of their home station much. They mostly had embellished hero stories to rely on. So unlike the older members of the group, they had no idea how ridiculous the idea really was.
"And Van helped a little. You know what a dead eye she is with a rock."
The distraction of bringing fuel in kept the pair of middle aged brats out of the way long enough for Vanja and the older ones to get most of their task done. In the mean time Kaella helped with minor tasks in the background, lending a hand where asked, and keeping an eye on the little one. Fortunately the shiny new metal thing was keeping the youngest distracted for the time being.
When it came time to set their makeshift table, Kae drifted to help, "No sparse potions tonight," she grinned, "we all get to eat good."
Really, it only would have been better if they'd had a few sausages. But meat was a commodity, and even as good as their score had been, they'd both decided that three bullets a link just wasn't worth it.
The two that had been sent out for more stove-fuel came spilling back through the door, each holding small armfuls of old wood. They dumped it off in the basket and then came trotting to the table.
"You lot be sure to thank Vanja," Kae said once they were all gathered about the small space, "foraging and cooking all in the same day is a lot of work."
"Oh, pretty," Kaella murmured as she was shown the... metal thing. At a glance she had no idea what it might have come from.
Hopefully the kid hadn't pulled it off something important somewhere in the station. That was a fleeting thought, though, as the rest of them crowded in. Kae split her attention between acknowledging them and getting them directed to necessary activities.
"Maybe," she shook her arm away from the boy tugging at her and ruffled his hair, "we'll look after dinner and see if we've got all the ingredients okay?" she promised - breads she could usually manage without smoking them out of the place, "Come on now y'all, give Vanja room to work. Go grab us some wood."
She shooed two of the older children out to do that, then picked up the youngest of the bunch to get her out of the way.
The announcement brought a secondary ripple of excitement from the rest as they mobbed in.
"Hey!" Kae lifted her voice over the noise, "Come on. We're all starving. You lot know what to do," she made a shooing motion at them with both hands, "come on, faster we work faster we can all eat."
The older ones moved to help Vanja with the cutting and cooking. Kaella herself had a propensity for starting grease fires, and had long been banned from most forms of cooking. Instead she wrangled the younger ones into clearing space for them all to eat and compiling a stack of makeshift dishes for when everything was ready. In the meantime she conversed with them, listening to what they had to report about goings on while she and Vanja had been away.
"At least he has more to learn from," Kaella gave a shrug as they moved along, gathering what they needed. She and Vanja hadn't really had anyone older to rely on. Most of their learning had been the hard way. At least now they had accumulated their own knowledge enough to share warning signs.
When Vanja indicated it was time to leave, she gave a nod of agreement, "Yeah, let's go. I don't know about you but I could use a nap after today. More excitement than I was out for," she grinned. It seemed to have been worth it, though. She was confident that the ordeal was over. It just didn't seem likely that the soldier would go through the trouble of tracking anyone this far over a pistol, even if it had been in good condition.
"I think he's old enough for us to start letting him take on more," Kaella answered, "he's been with us a long time, and he's smart. I think I'd be more worried about him not necessarily recognizing a rip off," she added while watching Vanja pack away the bundle, "I mean, we've both gotten screwed over good a few times in the past."
Kaella followed the movement of Vanja's head, smiling at the question that followed, "Hell yes," she answered, "better to come back with it in hand anyway. Fends off the over excitement and specific demands we can't really meet," she laughed a little at that, even though it wasn't humorous so much as a relief of pressure, "this should last us pretty good for a while. No one's going to bed hungry this week, at least."