Broken Boulder cause I'm still breathing on my own
Private  April 15, 2018, 09:01 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
@Lily set for 4/17
The boy traveled relentlessly to reach his home, eager to be done with strange encounters and his inevitable failure. He knew by now Lennon would never come back to him. But, somehow-- somehow it was okay.
Kind of. Alarian knew it would be true in time, at least, and that counted, right? It still hurt now, though. He tried to ignore that part, instead wanting to tell Lily of his encounters. That would be easier, no doubt.
As the young Governor stepped across the borders of his home, he howled to announce his presence. However, he beelined for his den-- a space barely large enough for two tucked on the outskirts of the rocky terrain behind the creek. He appreciated many things about the den he had found; mainly that a small tunnel extended from the back of it to the center of the territory, winding and cramped but leading ultimately to the main entrance of the tunnels and caverns. That the entrance to his den, angled into the ground, faced the borders was an added bonus.
April 15, 2018, 11:36 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
tags for reference

Lily had done her best to look after things in Alarian's absence, relying on @Lanawyn to help her keep order. Not that it was hard--the wolves of Broken Boulder kept to themselves, for the most part, and they were a peaceful lot as well. She'd whittled the days away with hunting lessons and looking at the stars with @Korei Julia, and it had been a pleasant time.

But she'd missed Alarian, and when his howl rang out, she moved quickly to find him, coming across the dusty-pelted wolf just outside his den. "Ali!" she exclaimed, racing toward the Governor and giving him a gentle nudge to his shoulder. "Good to have you back! How--"

She fell abruptly silent as she noted his expression, and the lack of a companion at his side. Her face fell. He had not found Lennon: the mission had been a failure. Lily felt a pang at the thought of the handsome man's disappearance; surely he must be dead or in some peril, or else why wouldn't he have come back?

Lennon wouldn't have abandoned them. . .right?

"How was, erm, your trip?" Lily continued meekly, giving Alarian a sympathetic look.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
April 16, 2018, 03:28 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
Alarian had expected to collapse into his den and sleep off the journey-- it had worn on him more than he realized.
He wasn't disappointed to find his packmate had other plans; the boy was quite pleased, in fact, when Lily rushed to greet him. But when he opened his mouth to greet her, nothing came for a moment but a wave of dizziness. When had he last slept? He settled for a chuff, taking a moment to regain himself as she spoke.
Her abrupt stop, the sudden change in direction didn't slip by him, but he couldn't handle it just then-- so he ignored it altogether.
Lily. Ali moved to give her a friendly lick on the cheek, tail wagging furiously. He felt warm in her presence, almost forgetting his exhaustion now that the wave had passed. I was just thinking about you. My trip was... eventful. I'll tell you all about it. How were things here, though?
April 16, 2018, 09:39 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
She laughed, giving a slight roll of her eyes in response. "You didn't miss anything at all," Lily assured him. "Trust me. Everyone is fine." Well, fine was maybe stretching it. After all, so many of the Bracken wolves kept to themselves--she barely even saw Lainie anymore, and hoped she hadn't hurt her feelings by silently rebuffing the obvious affection the girl had for her.

Ali looked tired--rightfully so--and she motioned for him to sit, settling down on her haunches and stifling a yawn. She'd been up late last night peering at the sky; Korei really had given her an appetite for the spangled night sky, and she was slowly starting to figure out the different constellations.

There was the matter of Lennon's absence that cast them in deep shadow, despite Alarian's obvious happiness to be home and Lily's obvious happiness to have him back. Better to get it out in the open now, rather than letting the wound fester. She sighed, looking first at the ground beneath her paws, then back at Alarian, her sunset eyes frank and open.

"You didn't find Lennon," she murmured, mouth taut with suppressed emotion. She pressed her muzzle to the side of his face, pulling back to look at her friend. "I'm so sorry, Ali. I know how much you cared--care--about him."

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
April 27, 2018, 12:49 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
He was relieved to hear that everything was fine, but it pricked at him a bit to hear he hadn't missed anything. Of course he hadn't— nothing ever happened. But he was too tired, then, to think about that. The hurt he had felt leaving also escaped him in these moments of exhaustion, but that was perhaps for the best. Vulnerable as he was, it would have brought nothing but conflict.
Then she brought up Lennon. He tensed, remembering her (and Lanawyn's) initial reactions to his search, and took a step back. Bitterness rose in his throat despite her kind words. Yeah. Look, I know it was stupid to try to find him. I know you're all upset with me or whatever. I just thought— I thought I was special. I thought he was special. Things like that don't happen to me, not normally. I wanted to... keep it.
Alarian looked away from his friend, still full of acid and black bile. I didn't ask for this. Lennon made me leader and then left. Running is— it's supposed to be my thing. But it can't be anymore. He paused. It didn't feel like being trapped until I realized— he left a stain on everything I have here.
April 27, 2018, 02:37 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
same tho?? tho not with lily she is sensible

She was taken aback by Alarian's outburst, flinching as he hurled a torrent of words at her. There was no use trying to get a word in edgewise, so she waited until he was done--or at least, she thought he was done--before responding.

"We weren't upset with you, Ali," Lily said firmly, narrowing her eyes. "I just thought it was stupid to waste time finding Lennon when clearly, he didn't want to be here anymore." While she'd considered the possibility of death or injury befalling the man, she'd ruled it out. They would have found a body, by now. . .and the Lennon she knew would have done his best to come back, if injured.

No, Lennon had changed--and not for the better. Good riddance, she thought.

"Look, you are special," she continued, more gently. "He was not. I know you loved him, but Ali, he left. He left us. And there's nothing we can do about it, except move on." She touched the tip of her nose to his cheek briefly, pulling back and blinking at him. "All of us, we love you, too. And we're still here.

"I know it's hard to be a leader, but we can help you. I want to help you,"
Lily added, smiling.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
April 30, 2018, 12:58 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
A heavy, painful lump formed in his throat when Lily did not respond with anger. That was what she was supposed to do. Suddenly he felt exposed and ugly; a strangely icy agitation was bubbling quickly within his chest. She had given him no justification, no reason to continue, but he still wanted to. His ire needed a target.
Not Lily, he tried to tell himself, unable to look at her even as she spoke tenderly, not anyone. Because ultimately, none of them deserved his anger— but especially not the dark girl who had tried so hard to be supportive. She was right anyway; it was stupid to look. Lennon had abandoned them, and the time to let go had already passed.
In his self-loathing, he dared not let himself think too hard on her assurance that he was special— that she, they loved him even now. Alarian knew he didn't deserve it; he had been too focused on the love he thought he deserved, needed— but it had been a lie, and he hadn't seen it until his lover was gone, and his promises with him. It had never been real, and still he chased it. He knew that he would not have stopped if he had only himself to sacrifice.
I'm sorry, The words came out choked. I shouldn't have— I'm sorry.
The Governor turned slowly back to his friend, hollow-eyed and raw deep in his chest. Tentative and gentle, he moved to press his face into her shoulder if she would allow it. It crossed his mind, then, that he didn't give his friend enough credit; he would have to change that, soon.
May 01, 2018, 09:29 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
She accepted his touch, letting him come as close as he was comfortable, a soothing croon caught in her throat. It felt strange, to be in this position. She felt, in this moment, like her mother. She had always run to her mother, in times of crisis--and God knows there were plenty of small crises, however insignificant--and the regal she-wolf had always been there.

But now, she must be the rock, holding everything down. It was time for her to be strong.

"It's okay," Lily murmured, muzzle by his ear. "It's all right, Ali. We're just glad you're back home." And safe. With or without Lennon--that didn't matter to her. All she wanted was this--a stable life with her new friends, a group that had quickly morphed into a second family to her. And bollocks to Lennon.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
May 20, 2018, 10:28 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
He was still, throat aching and eyes hot with unshed tears— he would not cry now. Later— when he was alone, and could forget the ugly words he had spilled. There was no forgetting now. Running is supposed to be my thing, his mind whispered mockingly, tormenting him with the thinly-veiled confession. Alarian never told anyone before he ran— he just did. He left, and he didn't look back.
But he had said it now, and for perhaps the dozenth time he realized he was well and truly stuck. It bothered him less, now— the weight had not fully lifted from his chest, but Lily's soft words had eased the burden. Thank you, The Governor managed, voice still tight. For being here— for staying.
The boy pressed a little closer to his friend, drawing in a shaky breath. I'm glad I'm home, too.
May 21, 2018, 02:53 PM
Lily
Bracken Sanctuary
Advocate
She nuzzled him back, shaking her head as he spoke. "I wouldn't leave, not ever," she whispered fervently against his cheek. She pulled back slightly to look at him, her eyes brimming with a mix of laughter and melancholy. "Where would I go, anyway? I don't know anyone else. I don't really have any sort of. . .skills. But I found you, and you were nice to me. You're my family, now."

Lily cocked her head toward Ali's den, smiling. "You should get some rest. You look dead on your paws." She stifled a yawn herself, instead stretching slightly and rolling her shoulders in a half-shrug. "I'll see if I can find you something to eat from the caches."

He would probably benefit more from some fresh, barely dead food, but that all depended on if she could catch something or not. This was Lily, after all--not Chef Boyardee.

she's a killer queen
gunpowder, gelatine
dynamite with a laser beam
guaranteed to blow your mind
anytime
May 21, 2018, 04:34 PM
Alarian
Bracken Sanctuary
Governor
You have skills, He insisted automatically. Like... people skills. I don't have those. The Governor's last few words were lighthearted, but he meant it. Lily had an easy charm about her that he envied— and a good head on her shoulders. He envied that, too. I think you could make it, somewhere else— but we're lucky to have you here.
It did make her a valuable packmate in times like these— and an even more valuable friend. Emotion swelled heavily in his chest again. We'll always be family. The boy murmured, so low it was almost inaudible. He was sure nothing could separate him from his friends but death, now.
At her next words, Alarian offered a weary but grateful smile. Thanks. He bumped his nose gently against Lily's cheek, thinking he was lucky to have her here. Eager to pass out for 14 hours, probably rest for awhile, he turned to collapse in his den, not entirely certain he'd still be awake when his friend came back.