Broken Boulder there’s an old voice in my head that’s holding me back
Private  March 05, 2018, 12:06 AM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
backdated to before this thread @Lily <3
The boy had been restless lately. He took to marking the borders of their new territory, making their presence known. Ali didn't think they really had any neighbors, but, that was what packs did, right?
It wasn't as if he knew from experience. That fact alone frustrated him, made him feel inadequate for his position. Only Lennon's presence at his side gave him any certainty regarding his role as a leader. The boy stopped and marked a tree along the outer edges of the pack's claim, glancing skyward. It was getting dark now, but he wasn't done with the borders yet.
Part of him wished for company. He thought of Korei, of Lanawyn-- of Lennon. The boy's heart clenched a little. There were too many feelings, with all of them. Too much going on for him to think straight. Lennon was... he wasn't okay, whatever was happening to him. Lanawyn was distant. And Korei needed as much sheltering as always, something Ali found himself unable to handle as well as he normally could. So he avoided them all, no matter how lonely he got. It was best for everyone that way, he thought.
March 05, 2018, 12:12 AM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
She emerged from the shadows, a sudden, stark figure on the landscape, as her dark fur had blended well before. Her eyes caught the trim figure of Alarian standing close ahead, and she gave a low, hearty chuff in greeting, trotting over to meet him with a wag of her tail. She was pleased to see him; she hadn't seen much of her recruiter, these past few days.

"All right, then?" Lily said warmly, smiling as she drew alongside him. Their pack's scent was starting to grow strong along the border, and soon, they'd have an claim clad in iron on the land. "Mind if I join you?" He could hardly say no.

The days were growing longer, and with them, Lily's boredom. The girl had yet to find a true purpose, a calling, in this life. Perhaps she would have been more steadily guided down a path if she had remained home; as it was, she was adrift. Nothing had begged her attention as of yet. Hunting was not much her forte--perhaps scouting would be more to her liking.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
March 05, 2018, 12:53 AM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
Alarian tried not to show his surprise at the girl's sudden appearance. Had it been anyone else, his heart might have dropped into his stomach then-- but it was Lily. She had no complicated feelings attached to her, and she was friendly. Nice. He liked her, though they had not spoken so much lately. He supposed that was his fault.
The boy dipped his head in greeting, tail wagging. Yeah. I don't mind.
He gestured forward with his muzzle and led her on, stopping to mark here and there. It wasn't long before he spoke up again, though. How are you? Are things-- is it better now that we have a home?
March 05, 2018, 01:05 AM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
Lily smiled as he accepted his invitation, moving along happily with him as they marked the border. Joy rose in her heart as she caught wind of the many mingled scents along the line. Lennon, Lanawyn, Lainie. . .then there was Korei, and Xahi, too. . .so many wolves so dear to her. She missed her family dreadfully, especially these last few days, but when she thought about the bond she had forged with this ragtag group, the weight on her heart eased, if only a little bit.

Her ears pricked at Ali's question, and she gave a shrug, the smile staying on her face but fading a little from her eyes. "I dunno," she said uncertainly. "It feels. . .different. I don't see anyone much anymore, these days. I'm bored. And lonely." She felt a little guilty for voicing all that, but perhaps that was what needed to be said.

"What about you?" Lily asked, looking over at Alarian. "Are you happy here?" How could he not be? He had it all. . .most of all Lennon, whom Lily coveted more than anything in the entire world.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
March 10, 2018, 04:52 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
The answer wasn't exactly what he had been hoping for-- but in a way, Ali had expected it. Perhaps it had all been too much; the lack of a home, the stressful events of late. Lennon and Alarian had both withdrawn. Lanawyn was never quite an extrovert to begin with, and-- well, the boy didn't know enough about Lainie to explain her absence.
He let out a soft sigh. I should be. We all should be.
The boy glanced out across the borders they were setting now, to the world outside what seemed like a sanctuary, tucked between the stretching arms of the Bracken Woods. It was safe here. Comfortable. But things were so... quiet.
A lot happened even before you joined. And then Korei and I got lost-- and Lennon, and that thing on his neck. Maybe everyone just... needs some time right now. Before things can be normal. He paused a beat. Or maybe not normal, just better.
March 12, 2018, 12:35 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
So he wasn't happy. The corners of her mouth tugged down in a disappointed frown, feeling both envy and loneliness engulf her in one big wave. That he could have all the friends in the world, and multiple lovers, to boot, and still be in misery was a mystery to her, and she almost resented him for it. Almost.

"Normal is us being together," Lily responded, forcing a smile. "We just don't spend enough time together. Perhaps we need to call a meeting. Go for a hunt, play a game. . .I don't know. Something that will bring us all together again."

She had been so focused on giving advice that something he'd said had flown right over her head, but in the silence that followed her statement, it came to her again, and she looked at him in alarm. "Wait, what thing?" Lily asked, eyes flashing with fear. "God, is Lennon hurt? What happened?" She hadn't seen the man in so long that if something were amiss, she would have no earthly idea.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
March 20, 2018, 03:09 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
srry for smol post
You're right... The boy murmured, but the rest of his thoughts were cut off by Lily's shocked inquiry. He took a step back, ears flattening as he realized he would be forced to recount Lennon's troubles, and his own fears for his lover.
He-- he disappeared for a day and then he came back with... something around his neck, and he was wounded. Badly. I think he said another wolf did that... but something else put that thing on his neck. I've hardly seen him. I can never find him, and he doesn't come to me anymore. Alarian grew more distressed with each word he spoke, until his words were choked into a whisper at the end. No one does, really.
March 20, 2018, 03:42 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
She blinked, absolutely flummoxed, as Alarian let her in on what had happened. It seemed something from a scary story, told in the depths of a winter's night--except those tales always ended in jest. This one did not. Lennon was injured and missing. . .and for the first time in her life, Lily didn't know what to say, instead gaping at Ali, mouth hanging open.

It was more than just about Lennon, too. The burly male, though in title he commanded with Alarian, was their leader. No wonder things had been falling apart! Without his strong, friendly presence around, the Bracken wolves were set adrift.

And now it seemed that Lennon would never be back to his normal self. Should she just turn tail and go back home?

"No," she said aloud to herself, mouth closing and firming in a determined look. Lily cast Alarian a remorseful glance, sweeping her tail against his shoulder in a comforting fashion. "Ali, I'm sorry for what's happened," she said solemnly. Her eyes wandered toward the path to the dens. "But if Lennon's gone--or going to be--we need to be strong. To move on."

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
March 20, 2018, 04:31 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
The boy resisted the urge to flinch at the assumption that Lennon would be leaving. He would never-- would he?
Lennon isn't going anywhere. Ali blurted too quickly, and hot shame rose in his face as he realized how uncertain he sounded. His own gaze drifted, too, but skyward rather than to their home. He's... I don't know if he's going to get better, though.
As far as Alarian knew, things like this were never quite fixed. He had been raised on this certainty, on fear of it-- and now it weighed on him painfully. It was truth, to him-- sharp-edged and heavy, cutting into him brutally and deliberately. The onset of grief was agonizingly sedated for this reason; Lennon's descent illustrated the most painful fact of life.
There were things worse than death.
So I guess we have to move on either way. He swallowed hard after saying it, at once feeling too callous, too casual about it. I won't abandon what we've made here. Or any of you.
March 21, 2018, 12:23 AM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
Lily looked abashed at Alarian's exclamation, gazing suddenly down at her toes. His admittance broke her heart, and she mumbled, "Is there any way we can help him get better? I mean, what can we do if he's withdrawn from us?" She stopped to mark a thicket with her scent, then moved on, mouth twisting in a troubled fashion.

"I just-- I know you love him, Ali. But we do need you. You're our leader," Lily said, a small smile coming to her face as she gave him a glance filled with faith, and hope. "You found me, gave me a home. I'm forever grateful for that." Her sunset eyes stared across the border, to the plains beyond the woods. "We can give others a home, here, too. That's good."

It was quiet and sheltered, here by the broken boulder, nestled into the forest. While the relationships she'd forged seemed to have crumbled a little since leaving the mountains, she had hardly felt as peaceful as she did here. This was her place of zen. . .and she wanted to make it so for others, as well.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
March 29, 2018, 10:37 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
I'm not sure. Ali couldn't bring himself to look at her.
Instead he moved to add his own scent to the borders, silent now as he let her continue. The smallest smile tugged at his mouth when she mentioned that he had given her a home-- that she thought of it that way brought a rising warmth to his chest. It was home.
He nudged her shoulder with his nose. You're good at this, Lily. And you're right, too. I think... it'll take some time, and some effort, but we can do this. As long as we're all together.
There was new affection in his tone; the dark girl's unique combination of bluntness and optimism had cheered Alarian more than he showed. If he had to go through this, if he was forced to stay through all that hit the small group-- well, at least he had friends like Lily to get him through it.
I'm glad I found you. It was abrupt, a little awkward, but Ali was as genuine as ever with the statement. He looked in Lily's direction, but not quite at her. Things are hard right now, but you're still here-- I think that makes you a really good friend.
After a few beats, he added with a grin: That and you're fun.
March 29, 2018, 11:01 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
awwww i went to shuffle Lily's playlist on spotify and it landed on "With a Little Help From My Friends" first <3

The girl beamed at his encouraging words, and beamed further still at his compliment. She accepted his nudge with a gracious grin, giving him one of her own. "I'm glad you found me, too," Lily responded, wagging her tail in delight. "Who knows who I'd have ended with if you hadn't."

Certainly not a group as interesting or fun as theirs. Though times had been a little strained, she knew that once they bounced back, they'd do so with something a little extra. All it was going to take was bringing Lennon's mind back to them, and soothing the worries of his frazzled partner.

She laughed aloud, thinking about Lennon. How she'd been so in love with him. But as she stared at Alarian, his eyes so full of worry for the burly man, she almost forgot all about it. It simply wasn't worth it, to pine after someone whose heart was held in someone else's paws.

And maybe she only liked him for his looks. In this moment, she found Alarian infinitely more charming.

"Come on," she said jovially, giving the boy another nudge. "Let's keep going. I want to get all the way around the territory before the sun goes down."
March 30, 2018, 01:01 AM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
awwww omg <3
Weirdos. He decided playfully in response to Lily's speculation, turning back to mark one last time at this point before they moved on. The boy was more than happy with her suggestion-- it would be nice to stretch his legs and spend some more time with a friend. When it got dark, he decided, he would venture out into the Bracken Woods again.
Ali chuffed in agreement, tail swishing behind him, and moved forward to find another place to leave his scent. Soon, they would be a real pack.