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A lot of sorrow and hurt eventually turned into a lot of frustration, and when a noisy coyote crossed his path late in the night, Antares did not hesitate in chasing the thing down, away from the glen. There was even a rush of satisfaction when beneath a bare sliver of moonlight, he found a feisty foe, and spared little expense in making sure the wandering canine regretted it wholly. Antares reveled in the distraction, despite everything.

Now, it was getting close to dawn and he had come ghosting back to the heart of the glen without a word. His fur was more tousled than usual, with a few new nicks and bruises to compliment, he couldn't say for sure--it was too soon to bother taking stock on them and ultimately, he was not bothered. Instead he chose to enjoy the eerie silence of first light's slow creep in.

His path wove him towards a lookout spot he assumed a lot more lately, one not far from where he knew Keyni and Ravaryn often were. There seemed to be some comfort in the motion, and he found himself too tired to care much past that. Finally, perhaps. He circled around near the base of a tree and made himself a spot to curl up on, then planted himself there--though his navy eyes were still wide.
pre... *gestures at the big thing*
OOC: Assumed to be set after Howl's joining thread. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Edit: Thread 1 of 5 for counselor trade.
With the business at the borders behind her, and Ravaryn and Howl re-united again, Keyni breathed a sigh of relief. But there was another matter on her mind that nearly canceled out the positivity of the days events. Lunaria and that she was nowhere to be found, still hung heavily on her. Tactfully, she had elected not to bring it up at the borders, so as not to fracture the good mood.

Following the trail of dead coyote and a very much alive Antares, the tundrian's pale earthy form slipped noiselessly under cover of darkness. Dawn was not far off, yet sleep could wait. She was too restless as of late to catch a good nights rest anyways. The scent of the Ostrega who had become Alpha by default, guided her towards the base of a tree not far from where she and Ravaryn often hung out.

His inky body may have well of been invisible, save for his out of place fur and deep navy eyes. Calling softly to him, Keyni noticed he looked starved of sleep, but would always be eluded by it. Padding up to his spot under the tree, she gazed down at his curled form. "Hey." She began informally. "Do...you have a minute? I'd like to talk."
A little shifting here and there, and he was able to ease into something pretty comfortable--given his choice of spot, and what he had to work with. Turns out it suited him just fine. At least his paws appreciated being newly stationary, finally, even if his mind refused to stop running along with the rest of him. He sighed, committed to this task of unwinding, though still able to notice someone's approach. When he recognized first the familiarity in it, and then who, he opted to stay put, not bothered enough to do otherwise.

When she came to him beneath the tree, his ears were tall, and body tucked up neatly. Truthfully, Antares felt a little out of place there for a heartbeat, usually casting a different shadow among the glen wolves. I do, he bypassed a more detailed greeting, and replied steadily. Keyni had effectively sparked his interest in that while he had nowhere else to be. Maybe she knew what he had been up to before here, or it was something else. There were a lot of options lately and he wouldn't give himself time to mull them over; best to get right to the point on this one. I don't plan on going anywhere, he added alongside a soft nod to say she was free to join him here if she wanted--though without knowing what weighed on her mind, he couldn't exactly guarantee comfort.

But he would definitely listen.
Confirming that he was not in the least bit busy, and in no rush to head off any place, Keyni gave a soft nod to Antares. She accepted his little invite by settling down to curl up neatly under the tree next to him. Facing him full on, to keep his attention as best she could. She was silent for but several seconds, jade eyes locked on navy, before dropping.

"When I bumped into Howl while I was out, I was really trying to track down Lunaria. Had been, for several days. Her scent has faded, and I have come to the conclusion that she is missing." The disappointment in her voice was clear. "I can only hope, wherever she might be, she is safe." She fell quiet again, to let him process the news. She couldn't be sure how he'd take it, the loss of another long standing member. "I didn't want to ruin the mood earlier, which is why I wanted to tell you privately." She looked towards through the trees, where the warm hues of the morning sunrise would color the sky. "She's one of the reasons I joined this pack...but...I'm sorry. I know it is not easy for any of us after what you have been through."
His silence gave him the space to listen, after she did accept his half-hearted offer for a spot, which something in him was thankful for. He kept his expression schooled to impassivity though as she explained, details coming forward, and only his ears shifted, a careful indication of his thoughts as he sorted through them. Lunaria, missing. It was a cold confirmation to another suspicion he had harbored, and one he had been miserably sidestepping lately thanks to graver misfortunes. I worried about that, he sighed quietly. Trace of her seemed to be getting scarce here. He stared into the trees, too. He had been pulled in too many other directions lately to have pursued Lunaria's trail specifically, which he hated that too..

She didn't say anything about going out or away before, did she? he asked, though had his doubts she would know more, even as Lunaria's friend. Keyni likely would have mentioned that already, if he had to guess, that is. In the weather, I know the Spear misplaced a few.. and hopefully they are all well enough too, he sighed again. He tried to be hopeful but it didn't translate well. His heart ached for young Ciri, and his aunt Nyx who had presumably gone after her daughter. Now, Lunaria among them. He supposed there was the hope she could still return to them. Without having to mark her a new gravesite, that possibility did remain for all of them.

By then, his ears had splayed, and he was a touch more pensive in his expression too. Thanks, he murmured low when he didn't know what else to say--to her having waited to say, to not having bombarded him all at once when he already run rampant. It was perhaps one of the more gentle setdowns of bad news he had faced lately, so far. If we had more resources to spare on looking for her trail, I would. I will see, though. Mentally he skimmed over his options but it was a tired go of it. And at least you found Howl while you were out, that's something. Something far more than what he had to show for his ranging, and there was no doubt in him that this was great news for Ravaryn, despite all the bad news elsewhere.
The light of a new day had not yet touched the sky. When it did, it would mark a fresh start once again, as always. It was good to look ahead, to the future, but never to forget the past. Worse, was to drown in it, to let it consume oneself. As she closed her eyes in what was a moment of resignation, of acceptance that she would not see her dark friend again anytime soon, Keyni wondered if she was strong enough not to let such happen to her. "She did not." She murmured quietly with a small shake of her head. "Her scent just got fainter and fainter."

Reopening her eyes again, she drew a breath, one which billowed out softly in the cold night air. She looked ahead, instead of directly at him. But it was clear her undivided attention was his. "This winter has been hard for all of us. It was not what I was expecting with my return to the wilds." Life had a way of throwing curveballs at you. She tried to take them in stride. How he was handling them, Keyni was not so sure.

Uttering a soft hum, an ear flicked towards him. "It is the least I could do. I cannot just simply sit back, and I haven't given up entirely, yet." She turned her head towards him. "At least some good, in Howl, came out of it. Like a silver lining." She wanted to smile, but found that she couldn't. Contemplating him a moment, seeing how ragged and worn he looked, she shifted over a single inch. "This is not what you pictured your life to be like in the Glen, is it?" She asked, with nearly a knowing undertone. Osiris and Atlas had been here in the beginning with him. And here when she arrived. Osiris had been destined to lead, and he had. A tragic turn of events beyond their control had ripped what should have been all away.
As he feared, there was not a solid lead to go on, or a good explanation left behind. He nodded softly, though he didn't like having to accept it any, fighting its harsh realities was not his battle right now. Keyni was certainly right in that winter had been cruel to them, hence his tired sigh over that matter. Antares was still constantly reeling, as just when he felt like he started to gain his footing, something new came to knock him back down. It was unlike anything he could have put words to, until now.

Other than a small glance at her, he kept his sights to the forest, even when he could feel her eyes on him. He was at least swift to answer that piece about life in the glen, and how he had once imagined it to be: Oh, not at all. I never once considered life without my brothers, let alone the Glen without them too.. he said outright, grief burning at his throat. The adjustment to this fact as truth was hard on him and all the while, he saw how it hurt his family too. His mother, most of all, suffered and that unnerved him as is. He shifted a bit too, deciding to stop that thought right there, swallowing it down uncomfortably. We went into all of this so.. whole, and strong. It was good, for so many of us it seemed.. and I hoped it was just the beginning then. But, truly.. winter's been unfair to us fireflies, he murmured, the distant look persisting beneath another weighty sigh.
His answer prompted her to give him a single, soft look that seemed to say as I suspected. Her ears flattened in sympathy towards the Ostrega. The grief and pain in his voice stung, but not nearly as deep for her as it must be for him. Keyni recalled the many wolves of his family she had hoped to forge relationships with, but never would. Osiris when she arrived at the borders, the dark shadow of Atlas. Even Hydra, who she had rallied to in the final take down of the bear. She could only hope that those remaining, would stay alive and well.

"Life can be cruel, and we may never make sense of why things happen as they did." She offered. "I felt the sting of loss too, over this winter, though my connections are not nearly as deep." The cold snow beneath their paws couldn't melt soon enough. Maybe spring would bring better days. But Keyni, nor no one else, could predict the future. Sensing he may have so much more bottled up than he had revealed, she let her forepaw bump gently against his in a show of comfort. "You can let it out. I am here to listen."
The winter had been pockmarked with problems, but it was the loss of his brothers that seemed to deliver the worst of blows to him. Always, they were the bonds most important--the motivators in his life, and security at his side. He was never as quite as strong as Atlas, or as charmingly charismatic as Osiris, but it was these differences that honed him, and together he had known they were a force to be terribly proud of. It had always kept him keen in so many ways.. they had been his lifelines, and now without them, he faltered.

Ultimately, he still agreed with her, though he was wary of an offer to say more just because of his nature. He licked his teeth, debating this. Mm, it has been a lot to lose them both so close together--though at least we haven't had to make Atlas a grave, yet, I suppose, he tried to find an edge in this. Not that any part of him expected his dark brother to reappear any time soon. Based on the details he had gathered from Meerkat especially, it sounded bad. Strange to picture my future without them now, suddenly. Rethinking everything was not the plan, he spoke quietly and low, then set his head down on his forelimbs with a soft huff. He was learning how to cope with this still. But it is what it is, in the end. He was here, still forging a path in this life, and they were not.
Beside him, she lay silent for moments that seemed to stretch on. He did not exactly take her up on her offer, but Keyni had never been one to be pushy. "You have my deepest sympathies. I can't even imagine what it is like, to lose two brothers so soon." Her brows pinched. "I was never close with my own family, though." She tacked on, but didn't linger on it.

She kept focused on him, steadily but not harshly. Keyni had a way about her of looking soft yet strong all at the same time. She was young, but exceptionally wise. So she liked to think. There was still plenty more she had yet to experience that would make her grow as an individual. 
"What becomes of you after all this depends entirely on you. Certain things are beyond our control, but we are only ever in control of oneself and our mindset. That, can make the biggest difference of all."
Though he struggled to articulate it, he could take her sympathies for what they were worth. A soft hum to agree, and maybe thank her back too. He didn't say, but.. his ears remained tilted back. It was too bad she had missed out on that type of bond with her family, Antares thought, however recognized it was likely easier in the long run thanks to it. Keyni seemed perfectly whole without such. We were close.. in a very unique way. Oddly symbiotic, I think. It's felt like losing a limb, or worse. Whatever that was that still spared some type of survival. That's what he felt like some days. His hunting comrades, fellow sentries on their borders, sparring partners--even just another warm, hale body to curl up by and ruminate about the day with on the cold nights. Gone.

Anyway, moving on, he let the weight of her words settle properly, and consider them in full. It put into shape what he wanted his heart to believe. It was his future, and his choice to make if he was going to pull himself up into whatever fate threw at him. Antares wondered if he could find his footing in such turbulent seas of life. That was the part he struggled with now, but would time help ease such wounds? It.. makes sense. he said quietly. If anyone was going to have to manage and figure it out, it would have to be him. Thanks. he said after a long pause.
"It must be painful, losing two siblings with which you were so close to." She remarked, with a soft sorrow in her voice. She would never be able to understand his pain, but she could try and offer what comfort she could. "Cope in whatever way you feel works best." She advised him. After he thought on her earlier words of advice, Keyni just nodded. She did not rise from her curled position on the ground under the tree.

"Of course. It is why I'm here." Her ears flicked to acknowledge him, but her eyes remained fixed ahead. "I want you to know, that as your packmate and subordinate, that I am always here to listen if you need to find emotional release." She stated, laying that out in the open without adding any[size=small] unnecessary [/size]layers of sugar coating. She laid her head down and shut her eyes, laying quietly in his company until sunrise.
The topics were ones that he'd rather not discuss, but here in the quiet before dawn after a night spent to his whims, she had eased it out of him; he had finally needed to relent and just let some of it be said. It never felt like enough when it left his lips but maybe, in the aftermath that he considered quietly now, there was a small hint of relief as he nodded--it was painful. Terrible, and gut-wrenching to know that his brothers were gone from his side. Worst ache he had ever known in his entire.. not quite two years--a drop in the grand scheme, he sensed. 

Keyni reminded him, too, to cope in whatever way he needed.. which also seemed good for him to hear. That he mulled over too, but none of the questions he had were able to take full form here and now. He didn't have the effort in him to press it and murmured a soft sort of response, agreeing, roughly. I'll remember that, he replied, meaning much of what she had said, and from there he was more than content to soak up quiet company; it held great weight to him, and with it, he would relax enough to doze off eventually--even if only for a short, light sleep.