"What is it?"
"I thought that was obvious, darling. It's an egg."
"Yes, I can see it's an egg. I mostly meant, what is it doing here? And why are you sitting on it?"
"Well how else do you expect it to hatch? Really, Arthur, I realise that you are not terribly familiar with how this whole 'propagation of the species' thing works, despite our many attempts to prove science wrong every mating season in fun and sexy ways, but I did assume that your parents explained at least the basics to you when you fledged."
"What are you doing with an egg, Eames." He paused before tilting his head, "If I find out you've been--"
Eames ruffled his feathers and twitched his wings, "Not in a million years, and you know better." He sighed and stretched his neck out to gently nudge a few of Arthur's chest feathers, "You're the only one for me, you know that."
Arthur sighed and lowered his head to return the preening, nibbling Eames' crest back into alignment. After a moment, both satisfied the other looked presentable, and no homicides would be required upon the persons of a cheating mate, Arthur twitched his wings again. "Really, Eames. What's with the egg?"
Eames stood up and stepped to the side of their carefully created mound of mud and feathers and grass, letting Arthur edge forward to examine more closely the new addition to their nest. "I know you wanted offspring. And, sadly, that's one thing I can't provide you with, love. But while wandering around, I did spot a set of new parents who were clearly derelict in their duties and...saw a solution to our problems."
"So you stole someone else's egg?" Arthur's voice had a slight frown in it, but he didn't seem overly shocked.
"Saved it. It was rolling towards the water! If I hadn't been watching, it'd have been over and done with in a matter of seconds." Eames rustled his feathers, torn between dramatic indignation in his storytelling, and honest frustration at witnessing the endangerment of an egg. Arthur paced around the nest, examining the egg from as many angles as he could, before gently reaching out to tap it with his beak. It was hard, but not brittle, a healthy looking shell, he had to admit.
"Honestly, Arthur. They were more interested in the fish than their egg. That blue heron asshole was hanging around, and it was rolling away. One way or another, that egg was about to meet a sadly quick end if I hadn't stepped in and taken over its care."
Arthur finally gave one last look to the egg, then to his mate, and then let out a long breath again and nodded. "Alright. It does happen. Some birds are just too young or stupid to raise their own. And..." he paused, "And I do think we'd do fairly well."
Eames' beak gaped in a grin, "Teach the chick up right! How to find the best water, how to find the tastiest food, how to escape the exhibit and make right fools out of the most idiotic of the zookeepers..." Eames settled back onto the nest, his legs folded neatly beneath him, tucking his feathers in close around the precious egg.
Arthur chuckled and settled in beside Eames and began the never ending process of trying to get the feathers between his wings to lay flat, but then paused, "Fish?"
"What?" Eames looked up from where he'd settled into a happy doze in the sun.
"You said, they were too busy going after the fish. We don't eat fish."
Eames would never be so sloppy as to be caught openly embarrassed, though he did rustle his feathers, upsetting Arthur's hard work. "Well..."
"Just where did you say you got that egg, Eames?"
"Oh, around. I was just exploring the zoo and--"
Eames coughed, "The Humboldt exhibit. Up near the west gate."
Arthur blinked hard several times. "The Humboldts."
"You stole us...a penguin egg?"
"Well," Eames beamed at him, "I do know how much you admire a well preened bird, darling. I thought you'd be proud of a chick with his own suit."