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Feline Body Language

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The arrangements only made sense. Since they were androids andthe closest thing to a family, Data had a shared living space with Lore (who had taken some convincing to be a productive member of the Enterprise or, at the very least, not a destructive force) and Lal (who had been reactivated once Lore pointedd out a simple, overlooked flaw in her positronic net). It only made sense that they should live as a family unit.

Data, relieved of duty for the night, returned to the quarters he shared with his brother and daughter. Lore always put Data on edge, forcing the younger to keep an eye on the older. Tonight, it seemed, would be no exception.

Silence was almost always tell-tale of Lore scheming something. And, without Lal hurrying to greet him at the door, Data could only suspect the worst.

Stepping into the bedroom, Data relaxed.

Lore and Lal were lying on the floor together, both androids fixated on Spot. The cat was on her side, kittens nursing. Lal reached a hand out to pet Spot, who began purring.

"I was worried," Data said softly, not wishing to disturb anyone.

"I'm surprised you can feel, brother," Lore said, looking up at Data.

"Father," Lal acknowledged, still watching the cat.

Spot looked over at Data, blinking slowly, her acknowledgement of Data.

"I am pleased you two have stayed out of trouble."

Lore huffed. "You don't trust me."

"I do not," Data assured him.

"Father, it is alright. Uncle Lore and I spent most of the evening watching Spot and her kittens. It is . . ." Her brow furrowed as Lal struggled for the right word. "Cute."

"It is cute," Data said.

"May we keep them?" Lal asked.

"Pets will teach her about responsibility," Lore pointed out, scooping up a kitten who, with a full belly, decided to explore. Scratching behind the kitten's ears, Lore offered Data a sly smile.

"You want to teach her about responsibility?"

"She takes after you," Lore said, shrugging. "Emotionless and all that."

Data considered it for a moment before nodding. "Lal, we may keep the kittens, but you must remember to take care of them."

Lal nodded. "I will, Father."