Wolf RPG

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for @Valette <3
backdated to before valette left to find taktuq
set for late evening

A lot had changed lately—something that made his chest tighten with anxiety. He had never been very good with change because the only kind he had ever experienced was the bad kind. So the death of Valette's husband only followed that trend. It shook the foundation of Easthollow, and affected every member, but it was a kind of tragedy he was all too familiar with. 

He was still a rather quiet boy, even as he grew closer to adulthood. Life just felt overwhelming most of the time, and remaining in the background, keeping his opinions to himself felt safe.

As he often did, he found himself at the stones. More specifically, he found himself in front of his mother's stone. Her absence had become a thing he was used to living with, but he still missed her every day. He wondered what advice she would have for him now with his childhood coming to an end. He certainly had no idea what to do to be an adult; he still felt as much like a kid as he always had. 

He sighed and looked up at the sky, remembering what his dad had told him about mom liking to look at the stars.
Valette came upon the circle. It was only recently that they buried Greyback by the father stone. The matriarch climbed the hill quietly intending to mourn her late husband. However, as she reached the top she had not expected anyone to be there. Surprise as evident on her face as she saw the young man by his mother's stone, the gateway. However, he was not looking at the stones but up to the stars. She never understood her sister's obsession with the stars, nor Leta's. But who was she to talk. Since she asked advise from stones.

"Kallik, I didn't think you would be here," she spoke, and offered him a soft smile. She approached him and gave him a motherly lick on top of his head. He was so much bigger now. She doubted that he would be fully fit under her if he would try to hide now, like he would when he was little. She looked at the father stone with longing in her eyes. Longing for her mate to be by her side again. Instead she sat down by Kallik's side. "Are you alright?," she asked him. Always wanting to put her children before her own needs.
Valette's arrival pulled his focus from the sky to rest solely on her. He noticed the longing and sadness in her gaze after she greeted him with an affectionate lick to his head. He leaned against her and nuzzled her shoulder in attempt to comfort her. He knew what it was like to lose someone—it was something he learned at a young age, even if he hadn't really been able to understand it fully. He definitely felt his mother's absence now. He answered her question with a nod of his head. He was as alright as he could be—as he ever was.

He released a soft sigh. Do you know what mom's favorite star was? he asked quietly, resting his head against her shoulder and glancing back up at the sky. Dad had not been able to answer his question, but he wondered if Valette would know. Still, he searched for anything that would let him know his mother more.
Valette thought about it. She had heard her sister mentioning something about that. It was around the time Polaris joined. She remembered now, and nodded. "Yes, I do. It is the North Star, it is called Polaris," she explained. "So the wolf we know as Polaris is named after that star," she hummed. It felt good to have her attention be focussed on something else. Kallik would always be her favorite out of Nanook's children. With her own children she would never allow herself to have a favorite but with her sister's children...\

It could be that she was just closer with Kallik than the others. She turned to the skies. "I assume it can be seen North. That way. Though I don't have knowledge on how it looks exactly," she admitted. She had never been much into stars and astrological stuff. She just focussed on bison and other wildlife. Much more exciting.
It is the North Star, it is called Polaris.

Finally he had an answer to his question, but it left him wanting to know more. Most especially, he wanted to know which of the bright lights in the sky was the North Star. Not only that, but he wanted to know more about the other stars too. He felt like it would somehow bring him closer to his mom. Thanks, he said softly. I like knowing things about her.

He was silent a few moments while he went over this new information but eventually, he moved his soft green gaze from the sky to rest on Valette's face. He frowned a little before asking: Why are you out here? He knew she came out from time to time, like he did. He couldn't help but wonder if she had some other reason for being here now, given everything that had happened. Maybe she needed someone to talk to? He was never very wordy, but he could listen.
Valette smiled at the young boy and nodded. "I understand that. Leta, also knows a lot about the stars. Perhaps when she returns here one day you can ask her about it," she offered to him. "I'm sorry I have not more knowledge on the stars," she excused. She smiled softly at the young boy, glad that he seemed to find things he liked about this world, because gosh he would need that.

"I wanted to sit by Greyback's stone and just remember him. I miss him a lot," she told Kallik. He, no doubt, knew what it was like to miss someone. "The only thing that makes me happy is that he was old, and just passed in his sleep. No pain or trauma. He had a good life. But it is still hard to be without him," she spoke, admitting to him that she was hurting. Then again, it wasn't so crazy that she was sad about her mate's death.

"I always try to remember the good moments. The happy moments. In the beginning they hurt, but you must realize that they hurt so much because you loved that wolf dearly. I've always had to go on after a loved one died. The pack needs me. So I try to channel that hurt in to work and taking care of others and then slowly the pain goes away," she told him.
Knowing there was someone who could teach him more about the stars definitely drew his interest. He made a note to find Leta when she returned and ask if she wouldn't mind telling him what she knew. As for Valette's apology, he shook his head I've wanted to know her favorite star for a long time. There were more feelings there that he wasn't sure how to articulate. Certainly his father had never been one to teach him those things. He could only hope Valette knew him well enough to know what all he meant beyond those words. 

She had come here to visit her deceased mate's stone, and he suddenly felt bad for intruding. But as she continued to speak, he felt glad to be here as someone who could listen and understand her loss. Well, to an extent. There was a lot he still didn't understand. But he loved her like she was his own mother, and he wanted to help in any way he could manage. Even though Greyback had a long, fulfilling life, it was hard on Valette. Death was hard no matter the circumstance it seemed. 

She talked about remembering the good times and how it hurt so much because she loved him. She told him how she channeled her grief into taking care of the pack and tending to her responsibilities, but it left him wondering: But, who takes care of you? He could understand wanting to distract herself from the pain of losing her mate, but what about the times when there were no distractions?
Valette was glad that she was able to help the young male with that question. It warmed her heart. Hopefully she could answer many more for him. She offered him a soft smile. Mostly fueled by pride. The female felt that the while the young male was quiet. He wasn't dumb. He observed and that made him very preceptive of things. His next question was proof of that. Valette swallowed, ready to say 'no one'. But that wasn't true. She had Greyback at the time, and the pack, even though it was an escape it helped.

"Greyback did, before he died," she admitted to him quietly. It was with Greyback she would break down and could just cry or rant about things. He would listen to her and give her the time to do that. Every one of her children had stept in from time to time, but it was different she was still their mother and she wanted to be strong for them. "So perhaps that is why his death, though peaceful, is hard on me. I lost the one that took care of me," she admitted honestly.
He quietly considered her answer, deciding that he didn't much like it. She deserved to be cared for; she did so much of that for everyone else. It didn't seem fair that she lost the one wolf that could take care of her. Life didn't ever seem very fair—a lesson he learned early in life but for some reason, it continued to remind him of that as if he could ever forget. 

He looked at her as a deep frown creased his brow. I can help take care of you, he told her. He could try to in all the ways he was capable. You have taken care of me, and I can do the same for you. He knew it wouldn't be the same as with her mate, but it wasn't acceptable to him that she was left to deal with everything on her own. He was nearing adulthood, and he felt like his loved ones were his responsibility. He wanted to protect them and make sure they were okay.
Valette smiled at him. "That is very sweet of you to offer. Thank you. I like that." She knew that Kallik was young and couldn't be burdened by the things she had to decide as to what to do with Ursus. Or how she would keep this pack active as more and more members left. She hadn't seen Sia in awhile, or new generations like Taktuq left as well. But that was all for her to worry about.

"Losing someone is always tough, though, you must never forget that those loved ones would want you to be happy," she spoke, looking at the stars. "It is hard to be happy without them. But, I know Greyback or your mother would want you to experience all the beauty in this world. Don't forget that, okay?"
His mouth curved, just slightly, into a small smile in return. It felt good to be able to help her after everything she had done for him. He was old enough now that he could pick up some slack, according to him anyway.

What she told him next made his heart tighten with sadness. It was difficult for him to see things that way because he had never really gotten to know his mother. The only memories he had were feelings—warmth, safety, and love. He couldn't even remember what she looked like anymore. He looked at Valette and frowned. How can you be so okay with it? he asked with genuine curiosity. I only feel sad, and I didn't even get to know my mother. How could she be so strong all the time? And he so weak?
Valette offered the pup another soft smile. His question was so innocent. "Well, I guess it is experience. I've had so many loved ones die, or vanish," she admitted. "So I've gotten used to it." It was a sad thought. "It is also something you learn to channel that sadness in something good," she explained to him with soft tones. "Especially if you still have others to care about." It was hard really, to continue.

"It is extremely difficult, so don't blame yourself. But you have to promise me to never take your grief out on anyone. Always be kind to others," she advised. Since that kindness could go a long way.