Bearclaw Valley been working so hard
Private  June 30, 2018, 12:03 PM
Marten
Approved Members

fleeting memories of reigi was all little marten had left of his real mother. if you were to ask him where his mother was, he would lead you to @Indra, who had stepped in for the absent mother. she'd taken in what was left of reigi's litter and made them her own. in just a short amount of time, marten would completely forget of any motherly figure that wasn't indra. though, to be fair, reigi hadn't been much of a motherly figure to begin with anyway. 

so when he stumbled outside of the den, one ear still flopped down in a way that was endearing to any onlooker. nose twitching, marten stood a few feet from the den entrance, looking around with big eyes and a twitching nose. his tail wagged slowly at his ankles, looking about as sweet and innocent as any puppy could. "mama?" he barked with a generous amount of concern. he smelled her, maybe, was she nearby?
June 30, 2018, 01:11 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
a week had passed since merrick's birth, and indra had still not gotten used to his constant presence, nor had she forgotten the lifeless forms of his siblings. they had never taken their first breath, never experienced loss or pain or heartbreak -- perhaps they were luckier that way to have never known anything but the comfort of the womb.

in that week, indra had not forgotten her charges either -- nunataq and marten, the two displaced children that she had in every way, thoroughly accepted as her own. she had missed them, and hearing marten's gentle call roused her to shaky limbs. peering out from under the hanging fronds of ferns, indra's face softened to see the inquisitive features of xan's pale child. "marten," she murmured softly, before her head disappeared back into the den: "i missed you, cub -- come meet your brother." she felt a pang of guilt, wondering if marten would find the newest introduction threatening the same way indra had, when her father had sired another litter. she hoped selfishly that he would be too young to understand merrick was not a sibling at all, and would strive to every length to ensure that marten and nunataq never felt unwanted.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
June 30, 2018, 03:58 PM
Marten
Approved Members

"maaammaaa," cooed marten as he spotted his mothers features appear from the nearby den, and his little tail picked up speed at her voice. come she had said, marten could follow that command. he waddled over to his mama, curious what she meant by brother. marten had only ever known sister in the form of nunatuq. perhaps if marten had been older he would've found merrick to be threatening, but he was so young and naive that the idea of jealousy hadn't even properly formed in his head. 

his nose twitched as he approached the den, slowly. there was a new scent-- a new wolf. it smelled sort of funny-- and kind of gross. his nose wrinkled initially, but when he got a better look at it he was nothing but intrigued. "whoo dat?" marten asked indra quietly, his tail (previously paused and standing in the air) now moved again in a happy wag at his hocks. "brother?" he then repeated, remembering the word his mother had shared.
June 30, 2018, 04:06 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
there was a dark strain of self-loathing that coursed through indra, who had bitterly realized she had done to nunataq and marten what had been done to her. realizing both of her parents had moved on in more ways than one, had other families -- it had been a defining moment in indra's life.. and a particularly depressing one. she drew a deep sigh as marten's sweet face and stirring tail paused: would he loathe his brother, resent him as indra had done to reek, and his children?

her breath hung baited, and a wash of relief chased out the cold anxiety that seeped through her bones -- marten accepted merrick with the most curious of expressions. she scanned his face hungrily for any sign of betrayal or hurt, and saw none.

gently, the refleaf stepped around merrick's sleeping form and brushed marten with a gentle touch. "that's merrick." it was understandable marten didn't have a good conception of what 'brother' meant. she scrambled for the definition, and settled for "like family - like nunataq and piper and wyatt and lucas, or me and laurel."

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
June 30, 2018, 04:21 PM
Marten
Approved Members

like most things in marten's life, an explanation of what a brother was came quietly. there was not much that marten asked for that he didn't get, especially since he only ever asked for verbal things. and food, marten asked for a lot of food. 

"mrik," he repeated confidently, taking a few steps closer. he eyed indra cautiously, a question of 'is this okay?' before taking a few more steps to see his brother better. he looked sort of boring, kind of fat and lumpy. he had no true opinions on the matter. "many family," he commented casually, gaze leaving the puppy and focusing solely on his mom, smile on his face.
June 30, 2018, 04:44 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
indra smiled to herself to hear marten repeat merrick's name with the confidence only a child could carry. she was still so relieved that he had not hated merrick the second he fastened eyes upon him; in that moment indra was so full of gratitude for marten's benevolent disposition.

she didn't mind marten being so close to merrick - as far as she saw it, he was family same as merrick, and would be treated like family. the sooner that all of them met merrick (and accepted merrick) the happier indra would be -- though she did still wrestle intensely with her own self-loathing, and her own demons surrounding merrick's birth.

she remembered that mona had dropped off a duck earlier - it had only been half-eaten, and indra stepped towards it. "are you hungry?" she placed a paw on the tattered carcass and ripped the wing from its breast, offering it towards marten with affection still simmering in her gaze. merrick was still asleep, and the long hours in which she spent alone in that cave while he was asleep were daunting -- in truth, indra needed marten now more than he needed her.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
June 30, 2018, 05:00 PM
Marten
Approved Members

"yes," marten said without hesitation or second thought. of course he wanted food, what a silly question. meat was an entirely new concept to marten-- something he was still getting used to. he preferred milk, since milk meant indra, but this was a good second. it would eventually surpass the desire for milk anyhow, and marten would grow very fond of it. of course, he was a wolf, after all. 

he toddled over, leaning himself against indra's leg as they overlooked the carcass. his nose twitched. "what is dat?" he asked her, head falling to one side.
July 03, 2018, 06:39 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
lmao i still cant even get over my goof

indra presented the tattered wing, which flopped dejectedly in her mouth as marten's mismatched gaze poured over it. she hoped he would see it as food, and not a plaything -- but in truth, having forgot most of her own nursing and weaning experience, indra had no idea how to entice the boy to more carnal meals. it was a good thing in hindsight that merrick had been the only surviving child -- had she needed to support more than the three of them, indra would have been frankly in trouble.

she dangled the wing and then dragged it along the ground, where its feathers fanned out and snagged against the stone. "it's what mama eats," she murmured, dropping it and then nudging it towards the small boy. to lead by example she hoisted the rest of the duck between her paws and wrenched into it with a mighty tug of her teeth, masticating in an exaggerated fashion so that marten might be encouraged by seeing her eat it as well.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."
July 06, 2018, 12:56 PM
Marten
Approved Members

the little mashed-potato ball knew that, but what was it? "deer?" he inquired with a head tilt so dramatic it might've fallen off his neck. whatever it was, mama was eating it, so it was exciting. marten was not hard to please.

he toddled over to the redhead and plopped his butt down, staring at indra with a bright gaze. he studied her for a moment before deciding that it seemed easy enough, and bent over to tear off a piece of meat-- not without some struggle, anyway. he was still a baby and lacked any and all strength! but he did it, it just took a little extra effort. slowly, he chewed on the thing with a thoughtful expression before deciding it was good, no surprise there, marten liked everything. "did you get?" he asked her curiously.
July 06, 2018, 02:20 PM
Indra
Bearclaw Valley
β
oops, he had meant literally -- indra forced back a blushed smile, pulling the wing across her slender forearm. she watched martin's intrepid expression, appreciating the keenness in which he chewed on the meat. meat that, for the rest of his life, would nourish him. "it's duck," she responded, stifling a light laugh that the two could be confused. she supposed the fault was not with marten - no wolf was born knowing the names of their prey.

she settled her chin down on her paws, watching as marten's expression turned into approval. "mona brought it for us. she got it. a duck is small, with wings. a deer looks like us, kind of, bigger. sometimes they have antlers too, if they're a boy. antlers look like big sticks on their head, i suppose." she considered how ridiculous that must have sounded, but shrugged. he would catch sight of one eventually and understand.

"he knows that it's impossible to tell a wolf
from a man if
he keeps his chin up
and his teeth clean."