Blackfoot Forest how am I gonna be an optimist about this?;;
Private  January 13, 2018, 02:17 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
 
Despite their weakness and gaping wounds, Alarian and Lennon had come to the decision that they would keep going. If they could reach help somehow, it would be a better outcome than laying around in the hollow waiting for another cougar to finish the job. To this end, Ali had kept quiet about his various aches and pains-- and about most other things, too.
The boy had a lot to think about during the journey. The sting of the wounds clouded his thoughts, lingering in the undercurrents and intensifying his sense of vulnerability. He was, to put it simply, incredibly sad. In light of his recent undesirable encounter (he tried not to think about it for too long, fearing he would break himself with the memory) Ali had been seeking comfort, a sense of importance and belonging.

And now he couldn't stop thinking about how Lennon had run to Korei first.
The thought made him feel ugly and small, not least because he knew how selfish he was being; they had known each other first, he told himself over and over, and it was a reasonable reaction. But he still couldn't shake the memory of laying on the cold ground, bleeding and waiting to be remembered again.
He had risked his life when he didn't have to, and--
No, no, no. He stopped himself there. Alarian would not be that person, he would not demand to be cared about, nor use his own actions to leverage it out of anyone. Even if the alternative ached so deeply.

These thoughts had consumed the boy in an endless loop since the journey had resumed. So much that he did not notice as something took root deep in one of the wounds in his side until it was too late. The wound was festering when he had last looked at it, red and inflamed and oozing in colors it should not.
That had been earlier in the day, and though he had slipped off to clean it away in the nearest water source it got no better. The passing hours had brought first a headache, and it threatened to blind even his racing, angst-ridden thoughts. He didn't think anything was actually wrong-- a hitch in the healing process, perhaps-- so he kept it to himself.

When he collapsed, it was without warning. He fell to the ground heavily, limbs weak and not working the way he wanted. A slight yelp escaped him at the impact, but fortunately he had twisted to land on his good side. Immediately the boy began to pull himself to his feet, but he could only drag his front half up-- his body suddenly felt too heavy for his legs to hold.
He gave up after a minute of struggling with a plaintive whine.
I... don't think I can go any further.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 02:37 PM
Korei Julia
Bracken Sanctuary
Diviner
Korei had a lot on her mind. Such as how she had almost lost her closest friends to a big cat, and she had done nothing but watch. She could have helped Lennon and Alarian, but fear had made her choose to not fight, and instead cower. She dared not look at them, fearing she would see disappointment and pain. 

But she did turn when she heard someone yelp, and turned to find Alarian on the ground. "Alarian!" She rushed to his side, trying to lift him up with her nose. Then to his words, she snapped, "No! No, we can't leave you here...I won't!"

She looked to Lennon desperately, and despite his own wounds, she still asked him for help. "Lennon, we have to get him up! Please!"
January 13, 2018, 02:58 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

Walking was more difficult than he anticipated, with every step his shoulder stretched only making the cuts grew slowly, new blood matting his fur. Occasionally he would accidentally apply pressure to his back leg, causing the ripped muscle to scream in pain. He would clench his jaw, keeping his yelps of pain trapped in his throat. Even his songs weren’t enough to distract him from the soreness of every part of his body. 

The only thing to rip him from his pain-filled thoughts was Alarian dropping to the ground. He was instantly on guard, and for some reason his legs began to shake. Though ceased once the wolf spoke, he rushed over without hesitation causing his back leg to push him forward. A loud cry finally pushed out of his mouth, forcing him to bite his tongue. ”It’s alright I’ll...” his mind began to panic, he couldn’t leave them here alone. Hell, he couldn’t even run if he attempted too, but lying around is a definite death sentence.  

His eyes farted around the woods, as if he could find a tangible answer. He knew somewhat of the small wolf’s struggle, and if he couldn’t get up Lennon believed him with full confidence. ”I’ll just have to go, I can’t send you out on your own,” He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, preparing mentally to at least jog out and find help.
January 13, 2018, 03:06 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
Lennon's cry of pain startled Alarian, but he had known the other wolf was hurt. At his words, Ali huffed.
You can't go on by yourself. You're hurt too-- and I can't protect Korei. Not like this. He still felt obligated to make sure the girl was safe-- more so after the events with the cougar.
She had not helped, that was true, but he preferred it that way. In no universe would Alarian have scolded her for not pitting herself against the creature-- he might have scolded her if she had done it, actually. It was what she had done after that warmed his heart, made him feel less undesired; she had run to him, she had cared.
We can't be far from another pack... just go without me, both of you. His eyes were dull and tired as he spoke. I'll be alright until you get back. That was a lie, but Ali couldn't even acknowledge it in his own head.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 03:14 PM
Korei Julia
Bracken Sanctuary
Diviner
Lennon spoke up, saying he could go, and Alarian said that he could stay here. Amidst their talking, she couldn't take it. With tear-filled eyes, she shouted at both of them, "NO!" She looked between them both, being sure she had their attention. "You are both being stubborn! I will go, I will get help, and neither...you just stay alive."

She paused for a moment, before nuzzling against them both. "I won't let either of you die...you're all I have left."
January 13, 2018, 03:23 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

”There’s no way I’m leaving you alo-Lennon was shocked with Korei’s sudden burst - he’d never seen anything like that come out of her before. For a moment her confidence convinced him but he was quick to change his mind, ”No, you can’t go by yourself Korei.” He began to think of everything that could go wrong, another cougar, she get lost - she can’t even hunt yet! 

”No, you can’t.” He looked at her with fear again. The idea of losing Korei was terrifying, especially knowing he could prevent it.

short post is short
January 13, 2018, 03:31 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
The boy could only blink in surprise for a moment, but when he heard Lennon's immediate denial he felt inclined to speak up. Korei... if you're sure you can take care of yourself... then I trust you.
Perhaps they had not been giving the girl enough credit. More time spent with her had made Alarian realize she was older than she seemed, and he also knew she was not quick to volunteer for things she could not do. If she felt she could do this-- who was he to tell her she couldn't? Especially when it seemed their only hope.
If we die there won't be anyone to protect Korei. That would be worse. He was looking at Lennon now, eyes soft but serious. And we need to trust her. She trusts us.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 03:36 PM
Korei Julia
Bracken Sanctuary
Diviner
Korei glared at Lennon, perhaps for the first time in a while. "Lennon...remember when you saved me from the river? I could have fought back when you grabbed me" she said. And admittedly, she almost had. "But I trusted you...so trust me." She nuzzled against both of them one last time, befor she started to turn away and then run to get help.
January 13, 2018, 03:49 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

”Stay safe!” Lennon exclaimed as she began to run off, his gaze didn’t break off Korei until she was no longer in sight. His chest began to feel heavy, and instantly his mind filled with worry. He sighed before dropping to the ground next to Alarian, obviously rather distraught. ”How do you feel?” He asked, trying to ignore the lingering idea of him getting sick from an infection. 

”I’m sorry, for all this.” He really felt guilty, for not doing enough. Alarian was so hurt he couldn’t even walk, if only he just tried harder it wouldn’t have happened. If he just forced Korei to run when they had the chance, if he just wasn’t constantly talking he would’ve noticed the cat before.
January 13, 2018, 04:00 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
As he watched Korei go, the boy couldn't help but murmur almost inaudibly: Be safe, Korei. I won't forgive myself if you aren't.

And just like that, Alarian was left alone with Lennon. Not that he minded, but he had been sulking in the other male's general direction for a time, so it was slightly awkward.
I'm fine. The lie was automatic, so much that he didn't even think about the question. But Lennon's next words caused his breath to hitch. It's not your fault. It really isn't. I shouldn't have left...
He swallowed, and more words fell from him, unbidden but unstoppable. But I wouldn't have been much use anyway, would I? I'm not a fighter; I'm not strong. Even when I try, I'm-- I'm nothing.

His ears flattened and he was suddenly embarrassed. Why did he keep pouring his feelings out like this to Lennon, spilling his hurt and insecurity everywhere like a sloppy child? I'm sorry.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 04:10 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

Lennon was surprised, how could Alarian possibly think that after what he’d done? He inched himself closer to his friend, locking his gaze with Ali’s. ”I would’ve died if you didn’t push it off me- Korei would’ve been next, you are far beyond something.” His tone was oddly serious to be coming out of his mouth. After the attack anytime he spoke sounded alien, his upbeat chirpy voice was completely gone. 

”Maybe we’re all just blaming ourselves for something we couldn’t prevent.” He gave a weak laugh, before laying his head on his paws. They were quiet for a moment, he’s noticed how different Alarian’s been and worried how long it would last. ”I know you’re lying, no ones fine after being attacked by a cougar.”
January 13, 2018, 04:20 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
The boy couldn't help a slight shiver when Lennon moved closer to him-- despite everything, his heart still fluttered when he met the other wolf's eyes. He pressed his uninjured side gently to Lennon, making sure not to lean against any of his wounds. Ali could feel the icy bitterness he had held onto since the attack melt away as he listened to Lennon speak, but it simultaneously intensified his own self-loathing.
He smiled gently at the other's next words. Maybe you're right.

Alarian leaned his head against Lennon, not moving even when the other pointed out his obvious lie. I have to be fine. He explained softly. So I am.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 04:31 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

Lennon laid his head over Alarian’s nape, avoiding any wounds and making sure to be gentle. ”Why do you have to be fine?” He asked, knowing very well that he wasn’t even attempting to be fine. He was filled with too much worry for Korei and Alarian, if anything else were to happen. 

He finally closed his eyes, stinging slightly as he attempted to calm himself down. His heart beat quickly ever since his friend had left, but now was he chance to relax as much as possible.
January 13, 2018, 04:38 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
Alarian was quite comfortable curled up with Lennon; though he wasn't likely to say it, he wished they could do it more often. And not just when they were hurt.
He thought for a moment before answering the question, deciding to be honest about it. Bad things happen a lot. To me, anyway. I can't let myself not be fine-- you've seen why. The explanation was gentle but his tone was one of fact. Besides... I'm not alone anymore.
The boy smiled as he said it, though Lennon couldn't see it. I'd jump on a cougar again to see you both safe. It was only after he said it that he realized it was true.

does this change how you feel
about everything?
January 13, 2018, 07:38 PM
Lennon
Approved Members

Lennon gave Ali a quick lick on his cheek, he admired Alarian's morals. A lingering gloominess surrounded his words, causing his heart heavy. "I'll do whatever I can to keep bad things from happening to you," he promised. Their time being in each other's lives was short, but he couldn't deny his strong compassion toward the wolf. 

His connection with their small group was undeniable, his breaths finally slowed down. Alarian had the soothing effect of a stuffed animal for a child on Lennon. His presence appeasing - as long as he wasn't having a panic attack.
January 13, 2018, 07:46 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
The lick caused a heat to spread through Alarian's cheeks, and he was glad that his fur concealed the flush. His heart went from fluttering to skipping beats altogether when Lennon made his promise, and he pressed closer to him.
Thank you. The boy murmured, and then he spoke no more-- he had drifted off to sleep.

does this change how you feel
about everything?