Dawnlark Plains isbjørn
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#1
All Welcome 
Hopin' for @Aditya
The weather had been warming, but there was still snow on the plains. Grayday savored it, not knowing whether it would soon be taken away from him. When he'd come this way in the past (meeting Lotte along the way), the ground had certainly been covered, but he couldn't remember what season it had been. Perhaps the plains were perpetually chilled - that would suit him just fine.

While the temperature dropped, Grayday lounged in the open fields, rolling around without a care in the world. They'd have to hunt soon, of course, but for the moment, his time was blissfully free.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#2
henlo i am here

besides the hostility at grimnismal's borders, the trip to undersea had gone successfully. aditya would miss the sea--and some, well, one of those who lived along the shore--but he was happy to be back home and in the swing of things, patrolling the borders and making sure the plains' newest residents were happy and healthy.

aditya wandered the plains today looking for kieran, hoping to question him about engel's side of the story. it wasn't as if he questioned the official narrative--it fit right in with engel's character, really--but it would be good to bolster it with more facts, and if sorrel had spoken to anyone, it would be kieran's ear she whispered into. the streiters were honest; adi had no reason to believe kieran would lead him astray.

but it was not kieran he stumbled upon but grayday, rolling contentedly in the snowy grass. with a bark of greeting--he was right in view of the alpha, but he wasn't sure how much sight grayday had left to him--aditya trotted over, tail wagging in joy and mouth cracked wide in a grin.

"enjoying yourself?" he asked kindly, shaking a bit of excess frost from his hind paws. unlike his father-in-law, aditya was not excited at the prospect of year-round ice: one of the many reasons why he preferred the maplewood to this desolate place.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#3
Grayday rolled to his paws with a little shrug and said, "The weather's been nice," by way of explanation - once again failing to remember Aditya's discomfort with the cold. For Grayday, it was postively balmly; he was surprised the snow had not begun to melt, but grateful for its continued presence all the same. "How are you doing?" he asked, at least concerned about the other male's wellbeing enough to think of asking.

It had been some time since their last good talk. Grayday remembered that he had a question for the younger male, but held his tongue until pleasantries were out of the way.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#4
aditya let out an amused snort at grayday's response. "'nice' isn't quite the word i'd use," he responded lightly. "other than the cold, i'm fine. i feel better than i have in a while." he peered curiously at the leader, assessing him a brief moment. he looked fine himself, besides, you know, the whole "missing an eye" thing.

"how are you? how was the visit to the pack on the cliffs?" he hoped that it had gone much better than his own most recent try at ambassadorship. he smiled at the thought of easy extending a metaphorical olive branch, knowing the girl had more of a mouth on her than sorrel ever would.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#5
The male grimaced in concern at Aditya's admission. "Lord, I'd forgotten - does it bother you much? Here I was thinking we'd found a good place..." If it stayed as cool here as the frost seemed to hint, would Adi even survive it? "I knew you'd been keeping to the woods, but... I didn't think. I'm sorry, Adi."

Would they have to move again? Grayday wasn't sure he had it in him to uproot again so soon. Cat was going to whelp here - she needed to - but after that, perhaps they could find warmer pastures...

"Will you be alright until this next litter is old enough to travel?" he asked.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#6
he shook his head, smiling and feeling a little bad. "you don't have to be sorry," aditya said warmly. "we picked a great place. and the weather's getting warmer, anyway." his golden orbs strayed toward the maplewood, lingering there for a moment, before he spoke again. "and we have the maplewood."

shaking his head once more, he looked back to grayday. "we don't have to move again on my account," he insisted. "we can stay here. i keep warm by keeping busy, anyway." busy he had kept, trotting along the borders each day, eyes and ears pricked for movement, friend and foe alike. it was a territory that required considerably more border work than the plateau, and he relished in it.

"does it suit you, here?" he asked, voice slightly anxious. he had hoped the lack of trees would be a comfort to grayday and his failing sight.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#7
Grayday nodded, craning his head to cast a glance toward the Maplewood. It was a fine stand of trees, of course, and he would once have loved to live underneath his boughs, but it just wasn't for him anymore. He needed to be out in the open, where he could be of more use to his family.

"We do have that," he agreed. "I'll ask you and Dawn to take care of it, though. I won't be of much use in the shade." He offered Aditya a crinkly-eyed look, glad that he could assign his children this task and rest easy in the knowledge that it would be done according to his will. Most probably, he did not even have to ask.

And, mentioning the shade - or lack thereof - Grayday laid back in the snow once more, basking the in weak sunlight that the first reaching fingers of spring afforded them. "The trip to Drageda went well enough, although Easy was as incorrgible as ever. I'm afraid there's no future in dipolomacy for that girl, but she made a fine guard." He'd have to see if Sylvas would teach her to fight - she and Dauntless could be the bruisers sent along with regular scouting missions. "How was your journey?" He'd heard all about it from Catori, of course, but it was polite to ask.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#8
"i'm always there--might as well," aditya said agreeably, grinning. he did love the maplewood so, and any excuse to be within it more often. . .well, he would take it. his tail wagged as grayday described his trip to drageda, laughing a little at his description of easy. adi hadn't spoken much to her since things had gone sour and they had moved; he ought to rectify that, and soon.

if she would accept his olive branch, that is. he knew he had done her an enormous slight--or enormous at least in her eyes--so it would take some legwork to make things better.

"mixed, i'd say. part of it was good. it was nice to see coelacanth and her group down on the isle." his heart thudded a little as he voiced her name, and he swallowed, continuing with some reluctance. "the other pack wants nothing to do with us. not the friendliest lot--keep to themselves." adi's mouth twisted in a wry smile. "not necessarily bad, but they're not wolves we'd want to cross."
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#9
"Mixed, you say?" Grayday repeated, struck by an odd feeling all of the sudden. He went to brush the hair out of his face before continuing to type his reply before halting the odd, mechanical motion - what was he doing, again? Shaking the queer urge away, he grappled with his too-long tongue, trying to fit words back into his mouth. "I mean - whoa. Weird feeling. It's passing," he stood once more to give a full-body shake before offering Aditya a sheepish grin. "Anyway - I'm glad everything went well. Forget about the other pack - as long as they don't come out way, we'll be fine. And if they do, we'll deal with it then. No point in borrowing trouble from tomorrow when we have plenty enough for today."

His thoughts, for once, aligned somewhat with Aditya's. He, too, was thinking about what had happen to Easy on the journey. Only, Grayday had no idea what that could have been. Only that, "Hey, I've been wanting to ask you about something. Easy's been a bit different since the trip - did something happen? Or do you think she's just growing up?"
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#10
aditya let out a laugh, wholly not his own, as if it came from someone somewhere buried within him. weird.

shaking himself as well--the writer within cracking her knuckles--he gave grayday a strange look before nodding, taking his father-in-law's advice with quiet acquiescence. he was right--no need to stir the pot more by trying to make nice. grimnismal and morningside could coexist peacefully, even if it wasn't in friendship.

grayday's question caught him off guard, and he blinked owlishly at the leader, scrambling for a moment what to say. he often wondered whether grayday was a mind-reader, whether his near-blindness had enhanced his other senses and more. he certainly was quite good at reading people, probably better than aditya himself.

"it's a little bit of both," adi finally admitted, lowering his gaze with a sigh. staring at his forepaws, he continued, "dawn and i had an argument, when we were out. it caused a little bit of strain. and easy, she. . .well, she is growing up, learning to see things as an adult. but she's still a child in some ways, as well. it's a tough time--i don't need to tell you that," he added, looking back at grayday, father of five and father-to-be of who knew how many, with a chuckle.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#11
Grayday tilted his head curiously when Aditya mentioned an argument. He'd noticed that things were a bit tense when the trio arrived back at the plateau, but it had since receded, and thus, Grayday had not looked into it overmuch. He wondered, though, if it was Dawn's failure to come into her heat. The father'd had an inkling that she might be too young, but it was still sad to see their love denied its natural fruits.

His words about Easy were similarly difficult to puzzle out. Grayday got the feeling that he was missing something, but whatever the case, Easy seemed fine. Quieter, but just fine.

"I wonder what would've happened if Dawn and Easy had been born in the same litter," he said to his friend, his heart thudding unevenly at the mere thought of such chaos. "I think I might be dead by now. Heart attacks, you know."
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#12
he felt relieved as grayday let his explanation pass without comment--that was something he really didn't want to get into with his father-in-law at this time. or ever, really. honestly, he wanted to leave the argument behind him for good; they had gotten past it, and the aftershocks had faded away, so it didn't matter anymore.

aditya chuckled at grayday's pondering. "too much spirit in one litter," he agreed, eyes crinkling at the corners as he grinned. "they would have been either the best of friends or bitter rivals."

he gave grayday a level look, face growing serious. "i do think easy looks up to dawn, maybe too much," he murmured. "she wants to be just like her older sister, and i think that maybe stresses her out." this was all supposition, of course. but he saw the way easy looked at dawn. . .and he'd seen the way she'd looked at him, too.

easy wanted to have it all. he remembered the feeling of being young, trapped in a child's body but with the mind of a young adult. she was on the cusp of maturity, but not quite over the edge, and that had a tendency to foster envy, and frustration, too.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#13
Aditya's words struck a chord in the father's mind. Something he didn't quite like to admit bubbled up onto his tongue, and he couldn't keep himself from saying it aloud to his friend. "I favor her - I know I do," he said, shame covering his features. "Not in love, of course. I love them all so much. But perhaps I stand Dawn up in front of them without realizing."

It was not that Dawn was the perfect child. She'd been a thorn in his side when she was young, and even now, was the cause of much worry and consternation for the man. To date, none of the rest of his children had been as frightfully willful as Dawn, even with Sunny's flight of independance in Easthollow. But she was wonderful, and every time he looked at her, he knew that he glowed with pride and satisfaction.

"All my children seem to have trouble believing my pride in them," he said, his dissatisfaction over this state of affairs made clear by his tone.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#14
"she's your oldest," aditya responded, not knowing that sunny, in fact, was born first. his mate seemed much older than her brother, and others her age--one of the reasons he'd been attracted to her in the first place. "she sets the mark for everyone else. of course they'll all look up to her. it's not anything you've done."

he smiled, shaking his head. "they're young, grayday," adi reasoned. "you doubt yourself, when you're young. i'm sure they know you're proud of them." his eyes wandered; he could see the new rendezvous site, and the wolves gathered round it. they looked happy from a distance, at least. "and easy was wonderful to have along on the trip, you should know."

his stomach churned as he thought of easy's clumsy advances in the maplewood, the morning after the fight. now that was something he'd keep his mouth shut about.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#15
Grayday himself did not know which child had been born first. He had not been allowed in the den, and Amber had not told him. He still sometimes thought about the ones that had been lost, but it had been so long since that day that it hardly felt like a loss anymore. Perhaps those spirits had been recycled in the three had had now. Perhaps those young deaths were the Writer's way of saving him from heartache - for if Easy and Dawn had been born together, they would surely have warred twice as hard as Sunny and Dawn had.

Luckily, Easy got on famously with her sisters and brothers. They were a tight-knit group. But... if there were an odd man out, it would be Sunny.

That reminds me," said Grayday, shooting Aditya a hopefully look. "If you meet and pretty young women out there, would you do your best to send them back this way? I think Sunny might need our assistance in meeting them, homebody that he is."
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#16
his eyes creased in a smile as grayday expressed his matchmaking desires, wagging his tail in good humor. "he's still young," adi chuckled, eyes drifting toward the horizon in a wistful fashion. "i didn't find love until my fourth winter." the golden gaze returned to settle on the leader, still brimming with laughter but growing serious as he spoke. "but yes, i'll keep my eyes open."

adi had a hard time seeing sunny with a woman in that fashion. the boy was a big child, in his eyes, and had a lot of growing up to do before settling down. then again, perhaps he hadn't seen the best side of sunny. perhaps he didn't give his brother-in-law enough credit.

the memories of his fight with dawn inexplicably bloomed at the forefront of his mind, and he firmed his mouth, visage growing sour. he looked down suddenly, away from grayday and at his own forepaws. "dawn doubts herself, too," he murmured, his normally round, warm tone quite thin. "and her future, too. she's a deer in the chase, a bird on the wind."

aditya blinked and stared once more at morningside's leader, ears half-pinned back in unease. "i'm not sure if i'm what she wants," adi admitted, feeling quite foolish almost as soon as he'd said it. still, no turning back now. "i don't think she knows what she wants. and sometimes i think it's selfish and stupid of me to hold onto her, if that's the case."
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#17
"He is, but I'm not," said Grayday with a sigh, not really expecting Aditya to understand what had been weighing on his heart. Thus, he did not seek to explain it. He was not really sure that he could. Thus, he gladly latched on to the next point that Aditya brought up - he had thought hard and often about his children's various woes, and had much to say on the topic of his daughter's heart. But not all of it needed to be said to Aditya.

"When a parent abandons one so young, it always leaves a hole," said Grayday, blind eye resting solemnly on Aditya's vague form. "Perhaps you have had time to figure out how to work around it, but I'm sure you remember the heartache of youth. Both of my eldest brood are yet young, Aditya. Perhaps, as she ages, she will figure out how best to be loyal to herself. For now, I think you can expect a bit of uncertainty to that end."

Addie... do you think of me as an uncle?

He turned his face toward the ground, not sure what his expression was doing in that moment. He didn't often think about Adeline, but when he did, it was always with such pain and clarity. All his mistakes seems so obvious in hindsight, and he worried that his own children would suffer from his bad examples, or from wolves like Aditya, who were still learning the same lessons that had been so painful for Grayday himself.

"When you love a younger woman, it isn't your job to hold on," he said after a long pause, still swimming in thoughts of Adeline. "When you hold on, you become a large rock in the roots of a young elm - the tree may grow, but it will grow warped and fragile around the rock. Not tall and strong and well-rooted in the way that trees are meant to grow." His love had changed Adeline into someone he didn't recognize. She'd been younger than Dawn, and he knew that his daughter's relationship would never look like his and Addie's, but he still worried for them. For his little girl. For his friend. "Love is not meant to be a chain that holds you," he said gently, knowing that this could be a very hard truth to hear. "It's the key that frees you from life's worst foes: Fear. Hate. Loneliness. In love, you cannot be the chain or the rock. Be like water - moveable and changeable. Be the stream that feeds the roots, the flow that breaks the dams. And if you ever find yourself trying to stop her from doing something, stop and ask yourself - Am I doing this because I love her, or because I love the life I have?"
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#18
grayday's words floated through his ears like wispy clouds; he took in their meaning, but it all seemed rather abstract. the earth was ripped from his feet, and he found himself in the maplewood again, facing dawn, the doubts and fears a storm brewing in her eyes. how he'd taken too much to heart her insecurities, letting them wound him, turning away from her.

then she'd gone off and gotten hurt, and he felt as if he was to blame. he had been the chain, the rock. trying to wrangle the girl in was trying to stop the wind from blowing; it would blow, always blow, and you'd get knocked over in the process. aditya dipped his head, feeling ashamed.

and there was pain on grayday's face and behind his words; he, too, had evidently faced this dilemma. no wolf spoke so eloquently on experiences they hadn't been given. and for the first time, he felt fear. he knew grayday liked him, respected him. . .but what if he were to hurt his daughter? even by accident? what if dawn decided to cut him loose?

could grayday like and respect him for the wolf that he was, without the girl by his side?

"i understand," adi murmured, though part of him did not. part of him never would again. he was wild himself, but he was mature, firmly rooted in reality and commitment. once upon a time he'd been the wind; now he felt more like the mountains, old and unchanging. "thank you. i. . .thanks." for once, his words were an inadequate picture of how he felt inside. he let them fall to the ground, his face troubled.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#19
Grayday, too, remained staring at the ground, glad for once that he could see nothing but dreary grey. It made it easier to picture his green-eyed girl as he liked to remember her. Perhaps he would never again look into his children's faces and see them, but at least he had this. He had a beautiful girl in his memories.

"I broke a girl," he said quietly, and wasn't it funny that the first and last time he'd confessed this very thing, it had been to Aditya's mate? Perhaps they were an odd pairing. He knew they were troubled. But there was a certain sense of truth and honor they both possessed that seemed to draw confessions and platitudes from the older male in turns. "She was young. Younger than Dawn. Restless just the same. She looked up to me, and she needed me - but I only thought about the way I needed her. When I realized the disservice I was doing her - that I was doing the both of us, really - I tried to make it right. But it was too late, and she left with a broken heart. A broken spirit."

He scuffed his paw in the dirt. "I wonder what's become of her," he said aloud, not quite speaking to the younger male. "I caught her scent in a valley to the south. I called to her, and she answered - but I was afraid to see her. And I had to get home."
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#20
aditya listened, slightly slack-jawed in a mix of sadness and horror, as grayday told his story. each word seemed to slice through him like claws; adi didn't often rue his natural empathy, but he did now, as he felt at least some measure of the pain behind his father-in-law's voice. he dipped his head solemnly, waiting for the leader to finish speaking.

"oh, grayday, i am sorry," adi whispered, his voice choked, barely audible above the gentle keening of the early spring wind. he cleared his throat, shaking his head and turning his gaze to grayday's face once more. "i am sorry," he repeated, louder, "for that. all of that. for her, and for you. . ."

he felt sick and ashamed, and shuffled his paws awkwardly as he continued. "i'm afraid i've projected all my heartbreaks onto dawn," he admitted, glancing away fearfully. "put the weight of all my fantasies onto her shoulders. and that's quite a lot of weight," he added, thinking of all the dreams he'd dreamt, the disappointments he'd suffered. "too much weight for anyone, let alone a girl of her age."

everything was slowly coming into focus. their argument, and the way they'd made up. how aditya had treated her so coldly, refusing to bend. he had expected too much of her, too soon.

he didn't want to break dawn the way grayday had broken this girl. perhaps he already had.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#21
Grayday gave a short nod - he was sorry, too. But he hadn't told Aditya this tale for his pity, nor for the self-deprecating that the male spouted next. It twisted the father's already solemn face into an unhappy frown, although he was glad that Aditya was taking this seriously, taking it to heart.

"Dawn is a warrior. She has a strong heart," he said soothingly, moving closer to Aditya and attempting to set his shoulder against the younger man's. "And aside from being older, she's different than Adeline was. There's no need to despair, Adi." It moved Grayday to see how the man cared for his daughter, even if he felt he had made too many mistakes. For his part, Grayday could not be angry. Aditya was trying, and Dawn was... difficult. "I don't think you could break Dawn if you tried. But you can hurt her, and you can certainly confuse her at a time when she's already confused enough.

"And it goes both ways, Adi. You have been hurt as well. I don't mean for you to deny that, or to say that your hurts are less important than hers,"
 he went on, realizing that his speech may have swayed Aditya too far in the other direction. "Don't deny what you feel. Just understand that Dawn is at a different stage in her life, and her feelings might sometimes be confusing to you - but that doesn't make them wrong. And when disagreements come up, don't think about what you can do to fix it right off the bat. Think about why she might be feeling how she is. Think back on how you felt when you were her age. Think about what's best, what's healthiest. Think what does Dawn want? - and hope that she is thinking about you. Because love isn't made by two people, Adi. Love is made up from the choices you make. It's good and natural to want things from Dawn. That's what it is to be mates. But love is one person acting selflessly for another. You must do your best to love Dawn, as Dawn does her best to love you."

He tilted his head, not sure he'd been clear in his explanation. Do you understand? his expression asked.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours
1,128 Posts
Ooc — mercury
Ranger
Master Ambassador
Coach
Offline
#22
he took grayday's weight, comforted by the man's presence and lulled into a state of peace by his words, that came and came, like a bubbling stream. it wasn't as if he wasn't giving grayday his full attention--every word had meaning, to him--but the advice, and the tone in which it was given, was a balm to his troubled soul.

adi met his father-in-law's gaze and nodded, more sure this time. "yes," he said. "i do love her. i'd do anything to make her happy. . .even if it means taking a step back, if needed." he gave the leader a gentle nudge, then sighed, looking once more toward the horizon.

"i'm very proud of her," he admitted, a small smile curving his lips. "she is incredible." the way she moved, the way her eyes shone. everything she was, he adored. he'd desired her from the moment he'd seen her, and now that she was his, life ought to be easy.

but it wasn't. it wouldn't ever be.
The Sword of the Morning
Health - 75% (75/100)
1,744 Posts
Ooc — mixedhearts
Tracker
Therapist
Offline
#23
Grayday gave a hum of agreement, not entirely pleased by Aditya's words, but figuring the male had the tools now to figure things out for himself. It wasn't Grayday's job to micromanage his daughter's relationship, but giving a bit of hard advice to his friend was well within his scope.

But, advice given, Grayday went back to enjoying the weather, as well as the warmth of a good friend at his side.
[Image: CYEyvJP.png?4]
What's Mine is Ours