Heron Lake Plateau Chocolate outline
All Welcome  June 11, 2018, 03:20 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
Why am I writing a post at 1am, I should edit this tomorrow.

Quixote was feeling a lot better now.  Maybe not all the way, but close enough that he considered himself back to normal.  At least as he'd started to get better he'd been able to do something productive, and now there was a partially completed den nestled away for use in a few weeks, constructed under Raven's watchful eye.  Probably still needed a bit more fussing with before it was ready, but they weren't out of time yet.

Today, though?  It was a cooler day so he was out and about, wandering around, not really knowing what to do.  Maybe he'd find another random fawn that would walk its way into his mouth.  Or something.  If not, at least he could go out on a patrol or something -- it was a nice day to run along, either way.  He wormed his way around the lakeside and ended up along the river's shore, sniffing around to see if anything interesting had crossed over to their side.  No unfamiliar wolves, at least.
June 16, 2018, 01:59 AM
Niamh
Redhawks
Gamma
Niamh's stomach was still rumbling fiercely as she abandoned her original plan to go fishing in favour of seeking Quixote. Her brush with Ceara had been ridiculous- and the more that she thought about it, the more she found the fiery woman to be slightly touched. She tried to tell Niamh that she wasn't doing her duty, when in fact she was still performing her duties, plus keeping a packmate alive. It made no sense. Sure Ceara was butthurt because Niamh had chased her out of her den- but why should she feel bad for refusing company when she was taking care of her dying friend? The way Niamh saw it, she'd done no wrong. Ceara was the one who needed to be knocked down a peg or two. 

She tracked Quixote down, and remembered how sore he'd been the last time she'd seen him. Her ears flicked back, hoping that he was feeling better and at least he moved with a bit more ease as he tracked along the lake's edge. She felt a bit silly as she approached him, not knowing exacly how to talk to him, or how to explain everything that had happened without just...word-vomiting on him. 

"Uh, hey." She said, moving forward to brush his cheek with her muzzle, perhaps an unusually respectful gesture that was done somewhat sheepishly- already implying that she wanted some of his time. "Can I, uh...Can I tell you something?" She asked. "It's about Ceara," She said, with a frown touching her lips.
June 16, 2018, 02:32 AM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
Yeah, it was A Day.  That was all he could figure out.  Nothing good seemed to be coming to mind.  Maybe he should go check out what was across the river, just in case the coming seasons were too awful in the Land of No Cover.  Just as he'd about decided to do so, a flicker of movement caught his eye.  Oh, it was Niamh, who was still babysitting the slightly-less-corpse-like Screech as far as he knew.  At least if he was awake maybe she'd be less touchy about stuff.  Being able to pick the right words to make everyone happy wasn't his thing.

One of the things he still wasn't used to was physical shows of respect that were that personal or however one wanted to describe it -- not the more ceremonial 'Wow I really messed up, plz forgive' level of things or something done at a distance.  He was used to his space and nobody coming in to it except Raven.  Yeah sure, a shoulder bump or something was one thing, but that was casual and didn't have meaning.  Since his promotion, he'd spent more time off on his own than he had with his subordinates, so it still caught him a little off-guard, but at least his only visible reaction was a slight twitch of his ears.  Still a lot of crud to get used to as a leader.

Honestly, he had no idea what might have gone down.  Quixote probably got more gossip secondhand from Raven than anything, not that he'd made himself the most available to do so, Uh.  Yeah.  What's up?
June 17, 2018, 03:41 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Gamma
Niamh didn't exactly notice if Quixote had stiffened from her touch, as she was still too distracted by her current situation to pick up on his body language. He answered, and seemed like he was willing to listen to her, but she did catch on to the fact that he was...Well, maybe a bit awkward about it. Had he always been this stiff, or had she just been too dense to notice? She felt plenty familiar with him, but then again, she was usually quick to warm up to strangers. Quixote probably just regarded her like an acquaintance, and she found herself wondering if she wouldn't have been better off talking to Raven. 

She wondered, too, for just a moment, if perhaps he was being a bit awkward because he thought she knew something, but wasn't telling him...But now wasn't the time for that. She sat down and sighed, brow knit and lips pursed. What was she supposed to say? She'd already opened the bag, so she might as well just let the cat out, right? The trouble was that she had a few cats in that bag- and they were arguing over which should be let out first, but in the end, she chose to go with the problem she'd already started talking about. 

"It's kind of stupid." She began, and turned her ears back. "It's really stupid." Why had she even bothered going to tell him? It wasn't like it was a problem Raven and Quixote should be expected to solve- she and Ceara were adults. If she tracked Ceara down, and she'd cooled down enough, Niamh probably could have sorted the whole issue out on her own...There were things she needed to explain, in order for Ceara to really understand why she'd lashed out. 

"So...The day Screech woke up, Ceara barged into my den without asking, and I kicked her out. I was just...Overwhelmed that he'd actually like...Not died, and I took that out on her. I mean, I don't like people barging into my den, especially when I got a half-dead Screech in there. I didn't trust her, because she told me she fed him like...Bad apples or something and made him get sort of like, sick, or something, so she was the last person I wanted around him." She said. Of course, she had other reasons to be overprotective of Screech and hostile toward Ceara- but she didn't even like to admit those reasons to herself. "I felt I had a right to protect Screech, an' kick an unwanted visitor out of my den, that she just...Well she just barged in without even a 'hello,' or asking if she could come in. I don't like having strangers in my den. I don't like having strangers poking around at Screech, either. It was rude, and I was overtired and overstressed and she just poked the wrong bear." She said. In her opinion, of course, Ceara had been asking for it. 

"I kind of figured it'd just be that. I wasn't gonna bring it up, 'cause I figured she'd come to her senses and realized that she'd done wrong by going into my den like that; I didn't think she'd hold a grudge against me for kicking her out of my own den." She said. It simply didn't make sense- if anything, she'd expected an apology, but she certainly hadn't got that. "So when I saw her today, I just wanted to see what she was up to, 'cause I'd let the whole thing slide, y'know, it was a mistake she made and it was over. But she just...snapped at me. And I didn't provoke her- she just got right angry and sassy with me, like...She was really unpredictable and disrespectful. That's the second time she's disrespected me now, an' I think she's got it out for my rank or something, I dunno, 'cause she went on a tangent about how I've apparently been doing nothing for the pack but taking care of Screech and she's been doing everything herself. She was like...saying that I don't deserve my rank, and that I've been too busy taking care of Screech to have my rank. Which is bullshit- who would let another packmate die just so they could like scout and stuff?" She said, and frowned. "I know I've been busy with him...He can't get water or hunt for himself- but I do still patrol, and I'm freaking'...Hunting for two, and it's tough. I mean, you know what it's like, trying to feed another adult and yourself, and I have to bring him water, too. And I'm still afraid, he'll...If he goes back to sleep-"

She choked on her words, then. She gritted her teeth and did her best to control her emotions. She was still overtired, overstressed, and starving. She should have been taking better care of herself- but it wasn't exactly easy, when caring for a wolf who was more or less an invalid. The thought of Screech going to sleep and not waking up again terrified her. It kept her awake- and it took all the strength she had not to poke and prod him and wake him up every now and again just to make sure he would wake up. 

"She challenged me, and I told her to stand down." She said. "Not like...outright challenged me, but she just...She wouldn't stop. She was just accusing me of doing nothing, and said stupid shit about me not letting his family see him, which is bullshit. Raven's been in and out every damn day, bless her," She said. "But Ceara...I dunno, she's just...Something's off about her, and I don't want her around Screech, not while he's like this. I don't trust her." She said. "And now, seeing how unpredictable she is, I just...I dunno. I tried to get her to stand down but she wouldn't. She was asking for a fight, but I'm like...I dunno, I see no reason in packmates fighting for rank. But she shouldn't have been so sassy and rude, picked a fight and then refused to stand down. I don't trust her, Quixote," She admitted, with a tired but nervous tone to her voice. "She's a loose cannon." 

She took a breath then, and shook her head. "None of this is your problem, though. And I don't really know why I came to tell you...Knowing her, which I...I don't, really, but I'd assume right now she's gone to cry to Raven. I dunno what she's telling her, but it's not going to make me look pretty..." She said, and shrugged. Who would Raven believe more, the newcomer or Niamh? "I'd told her, when she accused me of slacking in my duties, that if you and Raven didn't think I was doing my job, you woulda demoted me. I don't...I dunno how much she trusts your judgement. And if she's telling me to my face she thinks I'm a slackass, she's probably telling others, too. I just...I'm doing my best. I'm doing everything I can." She said, and pursed her lips together. She glanced up at Quixote again, with doleful, exhausted eyes. 

"Like I said. It's all really stupid."
June 17, 2018, 04:49 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
He frowned.  Quixote might not be the one with the answer she wanted to hear.  Like if this had just happened, why hadn't she tried to put out the created fires on her own?  Pack mates were allowed to not like each other.  So what was all this all really over?  Rank?  Did Niamh think Screech was somehow the most eligible bachelor despite his not-great behavior and the fact he was currently the least useful member of the pack?  Was this how Towhee vs Colt would have gone if Towhee didn't have the rank to back up her words?  Huh, maybe.  In case you didn't notice, damn near everyone here with a stripe is a loose cannon in one way or another.  Colt versus Towhee's disability, Finley freaking out when they were promoted, all of Finley's crazy kids...

What sounded 'off' to him wasn't Ceara, but Niamh's weird obsession over Screech, which she'd sort of hinted at in their last conversation.  Like what had that guy ever done to deserve that dedication?  Quixote was also relatively blind to the fact that he would probably be even worse if he'd been in that position and it was someone he cared about -- since it was Screech, he'd pretty much stayed away from the whole thing, as he wasn't much help in the first place.  Screech isn't just your responsibility.  Maybe it was wrong that we let you keep him in your den if it's making you feel that way.  Last I checked he wasn't your mate, son, brother, or even distant family -- she might be closer to that than you, technically since they're all adopted kind of or whatever, hell if I know.  Yeah, sure, Screech hasn't earned himself a ton of fans, but you've still got a whole pack to pick from who could help you.  Not that Quixote had taken his own advice until forced to, or even liked the idea, but even when he was trying hard, he wasn't too close to burning out.  Yet.

You ever think maybe she popped in because she wanted to help?  Ceara's been everywhere helping out, so I wouldn't put it past her.  That's why she's shot up the ranks -- not fighting for them, but seems like she's been trying to be the most useful wolf around.  He gave her a somewhat critical look at that.  Did she see how she was acting or was it too close to her own nose? You say you maybe overreacted.  Maybe she took it personally?  Not that it excuses her, but it probably didn't help if you were both freaking out.
June 17, 2018, 05:16 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Gamma
Niamh's ears lifted slightly when Quixote made a generalized statement about wolves with a stripe...Of course, that meant Finley, Clover, Fiadh...And Niamh's eyes widened. "No way...She's a Blackthorn too?" She breathed, hardly believing what she was hearing. Ceara hadn't told Niamh her surname, and she certainly didn't look like Finley, or any of the others- not with that striking of a pelt. But while the physical resemblance was lacking, the personality one was certainly there. The male Blackthorns seemed pretty decent, as far as Niamh could tell. Elwood- though he was included simply by marriage- was a sweetheart, Tegan was a laugh and a half and Colt was pretty damn cool. But the women-folk of the Blackthorns...They were something else. Now it all made sense. Had she known who she was dealing with, she definitely would have reconsidered chasing Ceara out of her den. "Shit." She murmured. Yep. She'd screwed up. 

Quixote seemed more preoccupied with the fact that she'd insisted that she take care of Screech, and she frowned deeply. Her heart began to beat against her ribcage, pounding, and sending a heat rising to her cheeks. She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head in denial when Quixote lectured her about how Screech wasn't necessarily her responsibility as he wasn't her family, or her mate...Though she failed to see why that mattered. "No. It's not that...I know I'm not his family, and I'm definitely not his mate, nothing like that." She said. She held her breath for a moment, trying to check herself, and finally found the words she needed to say. "It was my fault. I'm the one he rammed into, so I'm the reason Screech nearly died...So I had to fix him." She admitted. Guilt had been eating away at her for too long now- and it actually relieved a bit of the pressure when she got to admit it. She looked away with a hard stare; it was difficult to confess how she felt. She hadn't felt right since the incident- and she had forgotten completely about the fact that she was concussed too- until that moment. 

She nodded in response to what Quixote said. "I did overreact a bit, but I couldn't have helped myself. I just...short-circuited that day. I couldn't even think straight- and when she just waltzed in, I just...I don't know her. I didn't want a stranger waltzing into my den as if she owned the place. I mean...How would you feel? If some newbie just strolled into your den while Raven was like, giving birth or hurt or something?" She asked. "Even if they meant no harm...There's a sort of etiquette, y'know, where you don't like...Just stroll into someone's den unannounced. You like...Ask first. Unless they obviously have permission to come and go, like how Raven does." She said. "My reaction wasn't good. But she did a stupid thing by barging in and spooking me." She said. 

It felt like she was getting no help from Quixote whatsoever, but it wasn't like she'd expected much, anyway. She probably should have gone to Raven- as she imagined the alpha female might have been more inclined to sympathize. She, too, cared for Screech...And as far as Niamh could tell, Quixote wasn't nearly as concerned or invested in Screech's care. "It's good she's been busy. I get that- and I never told her she was being slack, or anything, so I dunno why she started making all that stupid stuff up about me doing nothing. She must've taken it personally, when I kicked her out, for her to start making up lies behind my back...Maybe this is her means of revenge." She theorized, and shook her head, sighing. "It's stupid. I'd have apologized to her if I could, but she just...She leapt down my throat, started spilling out lies about me not allowing anyone to visit Screech, and that I'm being a complete slackass, and refused to chill out." She said. She glanced at Quixote, who until that point, hadn't looked like he cared one bit about how she was feeling. 

"But it's whatever. I want to find her and get this sussed out, and stop her from making up more stupid lies. I just...I felt I should tell you the truth, from my side, before she got to you and started telling you...Whatever it is she comes up with." She said, and stood up. If Quixote wasn't going to hear her at all, about what a lying idiot Ceara was, then she shouldn't have been bothering him.
June 17, 2018, 06:08 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
Quixote had issues with feelings.  Though he could make an attempt at being an ambassador, he wasn't going to ever try for counselor or whatever.  He was too honest, too blunt, and probably too calloused to throw too much effort into mundane squabbles that could be sorted out if they just talked.  He'd already expressed that he was pretty sure the whole mess wasn't her fault.  It's not your job if it's messing you up that badly.  That's when you need to step away and let someone else do whatever it is so you don't make things worse.  Ask for help.  He'd paused there to give it some weight, as he did actually mean it.

Regarding dens, he didn't think it was quite the same.  If some noob showed up and didn't realize it was the alphas' den and they should be extra polite about it, they needed their head examined.  Hell, even long time members should.  Subordinate to subordinate who didn't have pups to protect, though?  Meh.  Whatever, he'd keep neutral.  His actions weren't the ones in question here.  Then tell her that's what the issue was.  I think she might be a bit of a ditz, so that probably hadn't helped things, after all, she had been a bit slow on realizing he was also an alpha here.  If back wherever Blackthorns came from barging in was the norm, he wouldn't be surprised.  Still, it seemed like Niamh was way too wound up about the whole thing.  If this just happened, I think you just need to relax.  Take a nap, get some food, whatever.  Calm down, think about what happened later when you have a clear head and ask why she might have gone off the deep end and you might be able to find a solution.

I don't think either of us, meaning himself and Raven, would be making any rash decisions based on just one side of the story anyway.  If Ceara shows up and does lie, I'd hope you'd trust us enough to be able to tell that's what they were.  And if she is starting a habit of causing trouble, then she'll be dealt with.  But then again, he still thought Niamh was the one acting out of the norm about all of this -- Ceara was probably just being your average Blackthorn, for better or worse.
June 17, 2018, 06:18 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Gamma
Quixote wasn't the only one who seemed to insist that she shouldn't be the only one to take care of Screech. And Raven was helping, and Elwood had offered as well, and she had accepted their help as well. But there was only so much each of them could do, as Raven was a pregnant alpha and Elwood was retired with young children. She didn't feel like there was much else to be done that she couldn't handle herself...And guilt still forced her to want to take care of him all by herself...But Quixote was right. "I need help with hunting. I'm getting too tired, and am missing out on my kills." She admitted. 

It did cheer her up to hear that Quixote thought Ceara was a ditz. She hoped he firmly believed that, and she nodded in response to his suggestion. "I'm going to do that. But if she gets out of hand or explodes at me again...I dunno. I just...Won't have any time for her if that's how she is." She said. Ceara was a trespasser and a liar, as far as Niamh was concerned- and if she couldn't apologize for being rude and butting into her den when she wasn't welcome, then Niamh knew she'd have to do something else to get through to her. 

He spoke about Raven, and Niamh sighed, nodding again, appreciatively. "Of course I trust you guys. You're my alphas. and Raven...She's been so awesome helping take care of Screech," She said, voice softening. "I'm gonna repay her as much as I can, once Screech gets better. You can both count on me," She pledged.
June 17, 2018, 07:05 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
He didn't take too long to think about it.  I'll bring over part of what I next catch, giving away what would have been his share every once and a while wasn't going to be the end of the world, and if it made her calm down, all the better. Besides that, though I think Towhee's been keeping to herself recently, if you can run into her, I'm sure she'd be willing to help.  There's the other sister too -- uh, Orca.  Eljay might be another one to ask -- he said he's good at hunting big things, so maybe the pair of you could pick off one of this year's fawns while they're still pretty small.  He's a sitter too, so if you just want a day off to not worry and recharge I'm sure he'd be able to take care of Screech for that time.  There were other options too, but he didn't want to completely bury her in basically saying "Yeah you can ask like half the pack."

It happens.  People aren't obligated to get along, you just get to try and see what happens.  Shrug.  Towhee and Colt existed in the same pack, and if there was another pair here that'd end up with lingering animosity it wasn't the end of the world as long as they weren't causing trouble due to it.  Just don't forget to take care of yourself.  You aren't gonna be able to take care of or repay anyone if you're wasting away in the process.  Sure, he'd slimmed down a little himself over the weeks, but that was him becoming more fit from all the hunting, so he was still fully able to keep at it as long as he didn't roll off more cliffs.
June 17, 2018, 07:31 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Gamma
Niamh listened as Quixote listed off wolves who would likely be willing to help out, and she made particular note of the name Eljay. If he was trained to take care of pups, sure he could help take care of Screech, who was like a very docile infant. He had to be fed in a particular way, of course, and he needed lots of water, but maybe Eljay would be able to help her out. She didn't see him around too much, and all she could tell was that he was fairly tied to home and very shy as well, but kind enough for sure. "I'll try and find him, maybe. Thanks." She said, allowing her tail to sway at her hocks. 

She was exhausted. Quixote hadn't quite made her feel as secure as she'd hoped, but at least he had listened- and she felt he could see that she was the level one, and was simply still concussed and a bit boggled. Her ears turned back, and she gestured toward him, eyes skimming his frame. "You feeling better, Quixote?" She asked, ever the worrier. "You look like you're moving a bit better," She commented.