"Oh it's so tiny! Are you sure this is a good idea Anders, shouldn't we wait another few days at least?"
Danny watched worried at the little grey kitten curled up on top of their kitchen table. He had next to no experience with kittens this small and cats in general, Ginger had been almost four months old when she'd arrived and Stormy and his siblings at least twice the age of this one.
"He'll be fine love, trust me - he's almost four weeks old now, this is the perfect time for him to learn. Just watch," Anders crouched at the opposite end of the table, coaxing the kitten to him.
Danny bit his lip in anxious anticipation as he watched the kitten rise up on four very shaky legs and promptly fall back down again. But the little animal was amazingly resilient - it got right back up again and Danny thought he could see a determined crunch to its tiny nose as a wobbly paw took a hesitant step forward, then another. They'd put a cloth on the table to give the animal's paws some purchase, that seemed to work as it made its way slowly but with determination towards Anders.
Danny thought back to how he'd found the kitten curled up under the floorboards of a burned-down house, it had been only a couple of days old then and it had taken all of Anders's skill and many sleepless nights before Danny could be sure it would live.
And here it was, learning to walk! Danny felt his heart swell in his chest at the sight, is this what people felt like when their children did these things? He didn't have children - never would - but he had a family, and the joy he found in them was more than comparable.
"There...that's a good little boy, well done little one! Come here, that's enough from you today, we'll have another go tomorrow shall we?"
Anders scooped up the kitten and stood up, handing it to Danny with a smile.
"Here you go darling, think he needs your particular kind of magic now more than mine," Anders brushed his fingers lightly against his love's cheek and watched the kitten curl up against Danny's chest.
Danny felt the tiny body tremble in his hands and the little heart racing with effort. He channeled the tiniest trickle of warmth into the kitten and felt it relax.
This felt so perfect, so right.
This was family.