Davis Zoo Sweet Creatures


Usually, people would avoid visiting work on their days off, but most people did not work at an aquarium, and most people did not love their job in the way that Evelina did. There were some aspects of her job that she would prefer to avoid, but she could come and visit the aquarium every day of the week and never grow tired of it. Sea creatures just happened to have the sort of charm that most animals lacked, and she was super excited to show Kanni this very charm, especially on his birthday.

Sticking towards the entrance, Evelina would wave both hands as her guest arrived, grin wide as she closed the distance between them both with quick steps. "Happy birthday!" She had already said it once, but it was better in person!


Evelina wouldn’t wait long at all, Tikanni eager to be there right at the time they’d agreed on. His friend was going to show him where she worked and all her favorite animals while getting to spend time with her. Literally, the best birthday gift ever!

Practically skipping to the entrance in a weird hybrid super zoom walking thing at the sight of his friend, he was soon wrapping her in a hug without thinking much of it.

”Thanks,” he sang song out, swelling with happiness. This was a hundred and ten percent better than just chilling by himself today.
Evelina was not really used to hugging outside of Safiya, but the action wasn't unwelcome, Evelina's eyes widening for just a brief moment before returning the gesture. "Of course." She would hum as she pulled away, the smile bright as tugged him further into the building.

"Are you ready to meet everyone?" They had all the time in the world usually, but tonight they were restricted to just the hours of the night.
There was a brief pause from her, but he was heartened when she wrapped him in a hug as well. Tikanni hadn’t meant to make her uncomfortable, but it seemed this was okay? Yes? Arms said yes.

As they pulled away, he let her tug him around wherever as they entered. ”Am I? I can’t wait! Who’re we gonna see first?”
A very good question... Her heart screamed to take him immediately to her favorite cowfish friends, but there was a saying that the best should be saved for last, and both Dozor and Sacha were certainly the best. They were also the only two that she had really named in the aquarium because Evelina had grown quite attached to them both.

She would start with one of the fan favorites then, "how do you feel about sharks?"
Algae and just general earthy-ness that could be attributed to large watery places filled the watery rooms as he looked this way and that at the lobby’s decorations.

”Ah! I love them,” he exclaimed, looking back to her, beaming. ”What kind we talkin’ ‘bout?”
Of course, Kanni loved them.

He seemed to like dogs a lot, and sharks were known as Sea Dogs, of course, so it only made sense. The confirmation of love did have her getting bit more excited to show him the tunnel though, her steps pulling a bit more bounce as she walked. "Oh we have quite a few," she answered, mind already running through the list. "Bulls, Sandbars, Nurses, and even Sand Tigers!" When it came to creep, Sand Tigers and Nurses easily took the cake for her.
The energy was infectious and thankfully they were going a fun pace otherwise he might’ve just vibrated without an off switch.

They had a few. No! They had a lot! He did a small jump forward on his right and then left foot in excitement. ”Ahh! That’s so many. I bet they look so cool floating around together.”
"The tank is the biggest one in the aquarium!" Evelina squeaked, finger jutting outwards as the silhouette of the tunnel came into view in the distance.

"And they are very cool to watch, the Bull Sharks kind of remind me of Great Whites, only way smaller."
The biggest one in the aquarium?! Now that made it a sight to see!

Following the gesture, he was able to see light refracting through…. Was that a tunnel?

”You can walk under them,” he asked, voice echoing as Tikanni moved to tug them forward instead now.
The enthusiasm was enjoyed, Evelina allowing Kanni to take the lead as her head bobbed in confirmation.

"Yep! It is probably the favorite for most people that come." They held so many events under this tunnel it was ridiculous, but she could not deny that the tank had its charms. It almost made it seem as if you were under the sea yourself.
That was the tunnel and you could walk under sharks with it!!!

Super fast walk initiated.

Soon enough, they were at the opening and Tikanni immediately was looking up, stepping on in with Evelina beside him. Gallons and gallons of water was being easily swam through by the shadows that occasionally sliced through it, zooming casually from the dark edges and, there! There was one now! He pointed up, looking from it to Evelina and then back, moving to stand on tiptoes as if Tikanni might get closer. ”That’s so cool!” And then more whipped by with swishes of tails and he spun to follow their trail with a ”Wooow.”
Evelina's focus would primarily stick to the birthday boy at her side, her smile growing as his excitement became clearer and clearer upon her face. The sharks were nothing new to her, but experiencing the exhibit with another made them see like an entirely new deal. Glancing back towards the tank, Evelina's index would shoot out towards one of the larger bull sharks.

"I think that is one of our oldest." She informed, "they call him Bruce after that Disney movie. The one with fish in it."
As Evelina stepped in to direct towards a bull shark, his eyes widened, turning from it to her at the explanation. ”Fish are friends, not food,” Tikanni recited with a laugh. ”That’s a baller name for him.” His gaze traveled back up to the sharks swimming lazily around them.

”They’re so much bigger like this.”
"Yes, that one!" She beamed as Kanni picked up on the reference easily enough, "he is quite popular with the crew here."

The other sharks not quite as much, but they had to earn their names just as Brutus had.

"Right, I can hardly imagine what a Whale shark or a Great White might look like when compared to them." Movies hardly did any of them justice.
He’d nailed it. It totally made sense for staff here to like that movie; honestly who wouldn’t like Finding Nemo what with all the cool characters. Brutus the shark no doubt was a cool fish too to have such a name.

The image of a whale shark or great white swimming above them had his spine tingling. ”They’d be massive,” he agreed, stretching his arms open wise. And really really pretty.

Two swam by with slow flicks of their tails and Tikanni followed them, gaze straight up, absolutely mesmerized.
"The absolute biggest!" She agreed enthusiastically, her own eyes cast up towards the sharks that were making their way past. "I would absolutely kill to swim with them, but I imagine they would not feel quite as enthused as I." Whale sharks were particularly harmless, but Great Whites were another story entirely.

"Did you want to see some of the other children, or are the sharks stealing you away?" Evelina was quite content either way.
Tikanni nodded fervently in agreement to that sentiment. He’d love to swim with them except they’d probably be scared or try to eat him and then there was also the fact Tikanni himself was scared of the water. So. Anyways!

At the prompt, he twirled slowly around again before taking her hand again. ”Yeah, I’d love to meet them. Lead the way!”
Evelina was more than happy to lead the way, her smile growing wider as his hand tugged at her own.

"Of course." She sang, moving them through the tunnel towards the rest of their aquatic creatures. "My favorites aren't far from here."

The favorites obviously being her little yellow UFOs.
Apparently, they were close to Evelina’s favorite fish of all so that a was win!

As she lead them, he took in everything they passed, smile never dropping from his face.

”How many are there?” Of the cowfish.
"Two," Evelina beamed. "Boris and Faddei, I am usually the one who feeds them, so they might be just as excited to see us as we are them." Or as excited as she was to see them, they were both probably the closest things that she had ever had to having a pet... Maybe she would invest in a tank when she officially got her own place again.
Two! There were two cowfish and they had really spiffy names.

”Did you name them,” he asked.
”Boris and Faddei,” Evelina beamed, eyes catching sight of the familiar tank.

”They were the names of my neighbors cats, and so I thought I would bring a bit of my home here.” Although she was definitely the only one that called either of the fish by their names.
Tikanni nodded to the names, instantly trying to commit them to memory. Boris and Faddei were odd enough for fish that he thought he’d be able to relatively easily.

”I like them. It’s pretty funny to name fish after their mortal enemy.”
Evelina offered a sly grin for that, eyes narrowing slightly as she looked to her companion.

”The cats will never suspect a thing.” As if any strays could wander their way through her aquarium halls.

Approaching the ranks, Evelina would give a exuberant wave towards her yellow children, the smile much more genuine as she declared; ”our main event.”
Never ever!

Coming to the tank, he stepped up close, grinning as Evelina waved around at the fish, a picture of pure joy. Looking around, yellow cow fish were soon swimming closeby, the water bouying them along as their fins pumped the water. ”I never realized their horns were so big.”
Evelina grinned down at her two buddies, head nodding in time with Kanni’s words. ”They grow back if they are damaged too, which is so crazy to me.” How she loved these little UFOs.

”Did you want to try feeding them?” The real treat that she had been trying to contain this whole time.
They grew back. ”Like a lizard tail,” he added in thought, watching as they swam around.

At the question, his attention snapped to Evelina. ”Boy, would I! What do they eat?”
Pushing to her toes in excitement, Evelina would wave Kanni to follow as she led them both towards the nearby security door that housed the care products needed for this side of the aquarium.

”We are supposed to give them these little cubes that break up as you put them in the water.” She answered as she walked, but they’ve probably already had their evening feed, so I figured we could give them one of their favorite snacks.” She would trail off as she punched in the required code, allowing the mystery to linger.
Following, he listened carefully, trying to imagine the cubes. They were probably like some kind of pellett he’d seen at the pet stores for fish before. Maybe. But these ones dissolved!

Tikanni watched as she put in a code, the door no doubt opening with it. ”Are those also cubes too? Or worms or somethin’?”
”How did you know?!” Evelina asked, aghast as she pulled a tube free from the shelf that held four multicolored worms. ”Bristle worms are one of their favorites, but the higher ups prefer us to keep them limited.” Healthier foods led to longer lives and all of that.

She would hold the tube out to Kanni, tapping lightly at the plastic tubing. ”They look pretty bad, but they are harmless.”
Walking in, he took a quick once over before confusion pulled at his brows into a squiggly. All Tikanni could imagine with that kind of name was a bristle brush in worm form.

As Evelina pulled down a tube and held it out for him, he stepped closer to look. Through the plastic he saw what looked like fat centipedes. ”Does one feed them all?”
”I usually like to give one or two each depending how hungry they are.” Evelina answered with a shake of her head. ”Prevent any fighting between the two of them.”
So many and not what he expected! They were so big! ”Gotcha.” It made sense.

”Have you ever touched one of these things before?”
”I have,” she hummed, offering a sly grin as she wiggled the tube threateningly. ”But if you are too scared to touch them, you can always use tweezers.” Definitely teasing.
Okay, that one he hadn’t expected out of her. First, that you could actually hold them and second that she would.

At the threatening tease, he laughed, hands waving up”No way, jose, I’m notta chicken. I wanna touch them too, er, if its allowed at least.”
She had not really been expecting for Kanni to push back on her little challenge, fully aware of just how intimidating the worms came off at a glance. It had taken her months to work up the courage to actually grab the creatures with a set of tweezers, let alone her hands.

Color her impressed.

”It will be our little secret.” A finger to her lips as she moved to lead them back out of the utility room.
He smiled at the gesture, a soft laugh escaping as he mimed out zipping his lips. ”Lips sealed.”

On her heels, Tikanni was already buzzing with trying to figure out how the worms would feel. ”Are they actually bristly feeling or is that just the legs?”
Closing the door behind them both, Evelina’s lips would purse in silent debate.

”The bristles themselves are not really hard, but the rest of the worm has a certain texture to it.” She answered, ”I usually try to avoid the bristles as best I can, because the worms do have a potential to sting if they feel too threatened.” Though normally she had them in the water before any real harm came to her fingers.
So it wasn’t all a gooby worm, but multilayered in some kinda way. He absolutely couldn’t wait to touch one. ”Oh! The bristles are like its defense, kinda like a porcupine or pufferfish then, right?”
”Yeah!” Perfect comparison right there.

”I usually just grab them from the front and back towards the middle so that they have less a chance to get me, but even then, we can usually get them in the water before they have a chance to really react.” Plus the stings were not the worst things on the planet.
That made sense since worms were something everything wanted to eat.

Front and middle, he tried to imagine holding one there, index and thumb already making a small crane to mimic the movement. ”Are they slow?”
Another shake of her head as she pulled out a key for the tank, sliding it into place as she spoke. ”They are actually pretty fast despite their size.” A soft tug and the tank slid from its little pocket against the many other tanks.

”But not faster than either you or I.” Everything set up and ready to go, Evelina would raise the tube back up, thumbing at the lid.

”I will do the first, and you can try the second?”
As she explained, Tikanni squinted at the worms, trying to figure out just how fast they might be.

Tank opened, it look like they were really doing this. He beamed at her before a deeply serious expression took place. ”Yeah, sounds good.”
Tapping the plastic, Evelina would drop a single worm onto the closed part of the tank, allowing the wiggling mass to calm some where taking it between her index finger and thumb. Twisting her hand so that Kanni could see just where she had taken hold before pushing the insect into the water.

A bit of wiggling from her hand to grab attention from her babies before finally releasing the worm. A swarm of fins as both fish dove for the snack, but Boris would come out on top.

Stealing his prize before darting behind the nearest rocks to save himself from Faddei’s pestering. ”Got it?”
Eyes widening impossibly bigger, he watched as a worm plopped onto the tanks lid before Evelina picked it up. Ahhhhh! He really, really, really, really wanted to touch it. His hand partially lifted to hook a finger near it when she lifted it up for him to see as it wiggled around.

And then! It was plopped into the tank, the fish instantly swimming up and then after it. Laughing at the reaction of the two, he almost jumped in excitement as it looked like it was his turn. ”Easy peasy! Let me at ‘em.”
Easy peasy!

Evelina would chuckle, stepping back from the tank as she allowed the other to get closer, handing the tube over with a tap.

”Lets see your work wrangling skills.”
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