Heron Lake Plateau she's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true
2,311 Posts
Ooc — Stevie
Master Coach
Fin watched her goddaughter with steel in her eyes as the girl spoke. Her own bitter words had been meant to let out some of the steam of her anger, but the pot apparently had only just begun to boil. It took everything in her not to react until Towhee was finished, and then to remain silent and still for a few moments longer while she gathered her thoughts. She wanted to explode, but Elwood had taught her something of the value of remaining silent and giving herself time to think things through before speaking. He might have been proud if her if he were there. But probably not for much longer.

For as honest and maybe slightly sensible as Towhee’s reasons were, it wasn’t good enough for Fin. After everything they had gone through, this was the result. She had lead the pack to war with their neighbors to secure the Caldera for the Redhawks, only for Towhee to walk away from it. She had defended her against multiple wolves who didn’t think her good enough, including herself, only for Towhee to prove them all right. Possibly worst of all, and certainly the most recent wound, was that Fin said good bye to her own brother just to give Towhee a better chance at winning over her followers, and she was making that, and all of it, a complete waste.

Fin didn’t speak for a long time until finally she turned to Raven. ”Congrats,” she said in a quiet voice that did not mask the disappointment or the hurt, ”You’ll be needing a new beta though.”

With that, Fin turned and walked away. She didn’t trust herself to stay, nor could she trust herself to actually explain why she had decided now was the time to step down for good. It had been something she suspected would come in the next few months or year, likely when one of her own children rose to be a better candidate for the rank than her. But if nothing else, this proved to Finley that her time leading this pack was over. It was another generation’s turn - and they clearly did not value her guidance any longer.
3,776 Posts
Ooc — Kat
Master Guardian
Master Warrior
What struck Towhee like a slap wasn't Finley's abrupt resignation or even her departure, it was the fact that she didn't acknowledge, much less accept, her goddaughter's sincere apology. That lodged a lump right in the yearling's throat. She tried to swallow several times as her orange eyes watched Finley's figure recede into the distance. There was, of course, the fleeting and almost irresistible impulse to go after her and make things right. But Towhee stood stock still.

This was right. Although Finley's reaction hurt her, Towhee knew it in her bones. Slowly, she turned to Raven. "Don't worry about her. I'll take care of it," she said, her lip giving another wobble. She bit it to keep it still. "You deserve this honor. And this isn't—ideal—whatever," Towhee continued, struggling to find her words, "but I'm really happy for you and Quixote and your future puppies. This is a celebratory moment, damn it, and now it's about you, not me."

Usually it was Finley's arms she rushed into during emotional moments like this. But Finley had walked away from Towhee. She moved deliberately toward Raven instead, pressing her forehead against her sister's neck and then sliding her muzzle to bump it gently beneath the caregiver's chin to concede her new status.

"I'll be right here to support you," she breathed against the new Alpha's neck, knowing the inference didn't need to be spoken. If Finley was really going to vacate her second-in-command position, Towhee would step into it in her stead so that Raven wasn't left hanging.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Mereo are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!
1,002 Posts
Ooc — Houkie
Master Medic
Sorry for the hold-up! Took me a bit to think about how Raven would react to this.

Raven was so insulted by Finley's response -- or lack thereof -- that she was left numb and speechless in the wake of her aunt's sudden departure. The empty, indifferent "congrats" given by the Blackthorn woman Raven had always idolized felt more like a middle finger than anything else. Raven just stood there, stunned, watching her aunt walk away and barely registering anything that Towhee said beside her.

She wanted to be happy for her first chance at romance. The fact that she might be carrying her first litter of pups should have filled her with joy, but at that moment, it felt like a curse. The budding relationship between her and Quixote felt wrong somehow. She had always thought that when this moment in her life came, her aunt would be there to guide her and mentor her through her first pregnancy. Finley knew how badly Raven had wanted a mate and a family of her own, so she had to know how horribly she'd just gutted the young medic.

And to just quit her position like that...why? It was understandable that she'd be angry with Towhee, but why take it out on Raven like that? Did she really think so little of Raven and her potential as a leader? Granted, Raven didn't think much of herself in the role at that moment either, but...damn. Bitterness rose in her as she realized that maybe she just wasn't Finley's favorite Redhawk kid. Everything had been shiny when Towhee was alpha, but now that weird little Raven had stepped into the position, Finley was disgusted and wanted nothing to do with it.

The stunned shock began a slow simmer toward wounded anger. Something cold came into her eyes as Finley disappeared into the distance and her ears flattened back on her head. Fine, she thought to herself. I see how it is. Suddenly she felt Towhee's forehead pressed to her neck and her earlier ire with her sister was almost completely forgotten. As Towhee bumped her chin, Raven smiled weakly and tried to relax. Her sister's promise of support heartened her. "I'm going to need it," she said, her dry voice barely above a whisper. "But on the bright side, it looks like I already have a new beta."