Heron Lake Plateau awaiting your mistake
Private  May 09, 2018, 01:30 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛


He'd been laying low since his encounter with Finley, partly through his own choice and also because his one ally (Niamh) had been disinterested in him following the sudden encounter. If this was what it felt like to be back among his family, Screech wondered if he'd be better off cutting ties and chasing after his friend Redshank - the other boy seemed to have a good idea when he'd booked it for the coast. Alas, Screech wasn't ready to do that. He didn't want to lose, and most of all, he was adamant that the Blackthorn kids (plus his own sister) didn't聽win, in the sense that they'd be driving him out. This was his plateau and one day they'd see that.

But he was tired of hiding. Most of all, he was tired of being treated like a lesser being because of events outside of his own control; he wanted to have his say, speak his piece, and be given the chance the thought he deserved. The fact that his聽stepmom聽more or less had given up on him had been a sharp blow to his ego, one that he wouldn't let slide even if he had wanted to. Perhaps it had been the final nail in the coffin of his relationship with the Blackthorns 鈥 they had never been family, he told himself as he paced the plateau and followed the curve of the lake 鈥 so it wasn't Finley's ear he wanted.

It was @Raven that he sought out. Despite the way he felt about her (halfway between聽skin shiverring denial聽about what had happened and聽a deep, greedy need for a mother聽which was weirdly oedipal in its own right), Screech needed to see her and to clear the air. They could talk, or they could sit in awkward silence, but he needed to be there - so he was hunting for her scent and found a path, but as soon as he did the boy's pace slowed to a nervous crawl.

May 09, 2018, 01:43 AM
Raven
Approved Members

Do you want to stay as PPC or would you like to be moved back into the ranks? :)

So much had happened in the past two weeks that Raven had been overwhelmed by it all, to put it lightly. But no matter how crazy things seemed to spin out of control around her, Titmouse had never been far from her thoughts. What had transpired between them lingered on her mind, casting a weird, dark shadow over...everything. It was a gigantic metaphorical elephant in the room between them, and while Raven knew they needed to talk it over, she had wanted to give him time and space to figure things out on his end. Her brother, after all, had never been the type to respond well to pressure or to being forced to confront an issue he wasn't yet ready to address.

She lay in the gentle sunlight that beamed down between scattered, puffy clouds, listening to the sounds of the springtime and watching the birds cavort on the lake. The sun was warm on her glossy black fur, and she was very near dozing when she heard soft footfalls not far from where she sprawled. Lifting her head, ears perked forward, she glanced around until she caught sight of none other than Titmouse himself, meandering along the lakeside. Her tail thumped the ground softly and a wide smile spread across her face as she gave a soft bark to catch his attention. Despite everything that had happened last time they saw one another, she was actually happy to see him. She didn't think anything could ever change that.
May 09, 2018, 01:54 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
If its ok, I'd like to leave him PPC until next week at the earliest; I just really wanted a thread with them!! I should be sleepin but oh wellllll.



He came upon her and froze. She was a dark pit, sprawling from point to point beneath the sun, her fur glossy and her face beaming with a smile 鈥 and for a split second he didn't see his mother figure, but his friend Cass, the thorn in his side Sorina, that blackie聽jerk聽Terrance. Without a word he sauntered closer and then roosted nearby; the soft sound of his body lowering to contact the grass was the only indication that Screech had decided to linger. He wasn't about to speak first; just being here had him feeling antsy and聽weird, and... Well, how the聽fuck聽do you broach the subject of "oops we had sex and you're my sister?"聽so, he remained silent.聽

Maybe he'd finally learned how to silence his wagging tongue. All at once he felt聽stifled, like the spring air was too humid and the clouds above were pressing down - or like the air was condensing, and it was a little bit harder to breathe just聽being here, and the boy had half a mind to stand up and walk out (away from Raven, away from the entire family and just say聽fuckit,) and then he glanced at her stupid, beautiful smile and sighed a dull, hey.


May 09, 2018, 02:03 AM
Raven
Approved Members

No problem-o! Just hit me up whenever you're ready and I'll hook ya up. :D

...Man, was this ever awkward.

She missed the easy companionship they had shared before. When silences weren't loaded and uncomfortable. She watched him approach and she knew without a doubt that he really wanted to run screaming in the other direction yet forced himself not to. "Hi," she said softly, her demeanor still open and friendly, her body language relaxed. Yes, there was a total clusterfuck of shit they needed to unravel, and it had her every bit as uncomfortable as it did him, but she didn't want to make it worse than it already was. Somehow she felt that if she acted like it wasn't a big deal, then it wouldn't seem like...such a big deal.

More awkward silence.

"Soooo..." she began uncertainly. How's life? Great weather we're having today! The thought of idle small-talk was preposterous. Forget it. She sighed, looking at him almost apologetically, and continued, "There's an elephant in the room that we should probably deal with." Might as well rip the band-aid off all at once, she'd decided.
May 09, 2018, 02:15 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛

This was awful. This was worse than any screaming match with Sorina; in fact, Screech found himself wishing for the company of the foul girl rather than Raven right this second. He would rather endure the screeching of聽ten Sorinas聽than try and sit peacefully through this burdensome silence.

He was thankful when Raven broke the silence, for all of three seconds.

The boy shifted and adjusted, then shifted around again, clearly uncomfortable but doing his very best to listen and be okay with.. Everything. Then he found himself speaking without thinking - a flurry of words he hadn't asked for began to spill out of his mouth in true Screech聽fashion, but it felt like someone else was talking: I didn't mean it, it shouldn't have -- I was just trying to understand something, but -- I mean the same thing happened with Sorina too, she said it was bad and I told her it was bad to make her feel bad because it made聽me feel bad, that she didn't... That... But, you felt bad too and that makes sense, it shouldn't -- we didn't -- it wasn't right, right? Right. It went too far, I always go too far with everything, I -- I -- oh, crap, by now he'd been ranting for a good little bit and wasn't breathing and might've turned a little blue if wolves did that (do they do that??) and things felt like they were聽heavy聽again and --聽shit聽was he hyperventilating?

May 09, 2018, 02:26 AM
Raven
Approved Members

Her words were the pinprick that pierced the canker sore and allowed the infection to come out -- as soon as she broke the silence, Titmouse gave voice to all the jumbled-up mess and confusion inside him. She felt a lot of things as he spoke, but most of all, she felt terrible for him. She was a fully-grown adult and, while she'd never considered herself the brightest crayon in the box, she ought to have known better than to hang around him while she was in heat.

She had put him in that position, and now he had to live with what he'd done forever.

When he finally halted mid-sentence, Raven looked at him with so much compassion in her eyes, a sad smile on her face. "It wasn't your fault, Screech," she said softly, shaking her head. "You didn't do anything wrong. It was my fault. I never should have put you in that situation." He was only doing what nature had programmed him to do. It was biology, and he was still too young yet to know how to control it. As broken and misguided as her little brother was, it pained her that she had directly played a part in making him even more lost and fucked-up. She was supposed to protect and nurture him, and she had never failed more spectacularly at anything else in her life than she had at that.
May 09, 2018, 02:54 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛


No --聽no,
聽he gasped and countered with refusals, denials, finding her apology and blame-taking to be completely聽wrong聽in the face of what they'd done together. In his mind, he had been in full control of himself - with her, and with Sorina - and the fact that both women reacted so negatively was because聽it was wrong. He should've known better. He should've聽stopped. To hear Raven claim this as something聽she聽had done made his gut twist and Screech just shook his head, shutting out anything else she said.

I'm not an idiot. I know everyone thinks I'm this giant聽fucking moron, and that I've done bad things and I shouldn't be here, but I should have known better than to do -- do that. Whatever that was. I know it was bad and I know it shouldn't have happened and I'm -- I'm so聽sorry.聽Somehow he'd gotten up again and was pacing, and unable to look at her as he ranted, and then it was like he realized how loud he was being (heck, the whole pack could've heard him for all he knew!) and he snapped his mouth shut after that. Screech stood there shuddering, wanting to say more but knowing that if聽anyone found out聽then -- well -- fuck he didn't know what would happen. But if it got Raven in trouble, if she had to live the way聽he did聽(or worse, be thrown from the family because of something he'd done to her), Screech wouldn't be able to handle it.

Clamming up seemed to do the trick; he managed to breathe a little bit, pause and get a handle on some of the thoughts rampaging in his head. It's over, it's done. I understand if you don't -- don't trust me, or think I'm disgusting... Or something. Everyone hates me here, I should just leave anyways. But it wasn't your fault. You're not the problem, I am. Everyone knew that.


May 09, 2018, 03:02 AM
Raven
Approved Members

Raven probably should have expected the ranting outburst that followed her words, yet it still took her a little by surprise. She remained silent through his tirade, letting him get it all out of his system even though she disagreed with literally every word that came out of his mouth. Arguing with each point he made would get them nowhere -- she knew how he got when he started to spiral like he was right now. He wouldn't listen, couldn't be reasoned with. She sighed, looking out over the water as she considered the mess they'd gotten themselves into. She didn't want her relationship with Titmouse to be ruined, but it was looking a lot like that was where it was heading.

Abruptly, she changed the subject. Eyes still somewhere out over the lake, she asked, "Did you know I'm the alpha now?"
May 09, 2018, 03:22 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛

Each syllable was like a line of fuse leading straight for a bomb: and as he ranted, he got closer and closer to the inevitable explosion. When he was almost at that limit, she cut in with a comment that didn't immediately register 鈥 and then, just like that, the lit fuse was snuffed out. At least, temporarily.

Towhee wasn't the leader anymore.
Towhee couldn't kick him out anymore.
Towhee's opinion of him no longer mattered.

But wait. What the fuck? He blurt in response, the fur of his nape standing on-end as he stopped his pacing and whirled to stare gap-jawed at her. A beat later, You're telling me she聽moved Finley's newborn kids聽across the fuckin'聽wilds, and then stole聽my home away from me, and then just聽quit? He should've been happy. Instead, he was angry.

If you're the Alpha then make everyone leave! Pack up and go back to the Caldera! Get them all out of here so I can live in peace, for fuck's sakes, Raven! Why are you still here? But even as he said this, he knew he'd be heartbroken to see any of them leave - as much as he loathed losing the plateau, Screech knew there was nothing he could do about the situation, plus at least this way he was living where he wanted聽and聽he had a chance to reconcile with everyone.

Even if that took seven hundred years of Blackthorn pranks,聽outright lies, and weird situations with siblings.


May 09, 2018, 03:51 AM
Raven
Approved Members

Raven said nothing in response to his comments about Towhee. If he was angry with the way she had managed the pack, he could take that up with her personally. Raven certainly wasn't about to take sides between brother and sister on the issue. That was a whole can of worms she did not want to open. Towhee had made a few bad calls while she was in charge, but at least she'd had the stones to own up to it, recognize that she wasn't ready for alphaship, and step down. Raven wasn't convinced she'd do a much better job than Tow had, but she'd do her best.

And still Titmouse rattled on, yelling and demanding and frankly, being really shitty. Raven was starting to get fed-up with it and it was all she could do not to roll her eyes. She rose to her feet and glared at him, a hard edge on her voice as she asked, "So you want me to drag Finley's newborn kids back across the fuckin' wilds?" He'd just bitched about Towhee doing that, yet here he sat, demanding she do the same. She huffed out a sigh and sat, ears flattened rearward, and continued in a more neutral tone, "If you want us to leave, we'll leave. I don't even care anymore. I'm tired of squabbling over a damn hill of dirt. But not until Cinder and Tywyll are bigger." The stress was starting to wear her down. She was sick of the tension over this stupid plateau. She was tired of Titmouse yelling at her. Confrontation wasn't something she could really handle, especially when such casual cruelty was being slung in her face by the one pup she'd loved the most.
May 09, 2018, 04:00 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛


Raven was right of course, and it would take a little bit before Screech saw that and understood. He had no idea what it took to be a leader no matter how much he talked big, threw his opinion around, or whatever. Truthfully, he knew deep down he didn't care about the Blackthorn kids; it was just another accusation he could throw at his sister, but soon enough Raven was shoving it right back at him and he had to shut the heck up and listen. And yeah, she was right.

The boy was huffy but at least now he was quiet. The silence was tense, but at least it was lasting. Screech didn't know what else to say - it had been ages since someone had put him in his place like that, being authoritative and familial all at once. Motherly. Maybe that was all he needed.

Then, finally, he murmured: Why did she choose you? He hadn't meant for it to sound negative or accusatory, but was genuinely curious. It would've made sense for Towhee to back off and leave the leadership to the Blackthorns (and really shit on their parent's legacy), but to choose their sister? She wasn't a warrior or a guardian, but she knew each member of the pack and was knowledgable in other regards - maybe that's what they'd needed, then. A big shift. The more he thought about it, the less inclined he was to hear Raven's answer. He felt a weak smile tug at the corners of his mouth and he added, I'm glad. Maybe things will change now - if you guys stay, maybe they'll stop hating me because you could tell them not to.

May 09, 2018, 07:31 PM
Raven
Approved Members

Wow. He...actually shut up, for a change. The sudden silence was so unexpected that it was almost disconcerting, but Raven made no move to break it. The tension lingered as neither sibling said anything for several long beats. When Titmouse finally did speak, it was to ask why Towhee had chosen Raven to lead the pack. And while she still didn't feel she was the best fit for the role, she couldn't argue with Towhee's logic. Particularly now that Finley had made clear that she and Elwood no longer wished to lead. He didn't quite give her a chance to reply, though, as he softened somewhat and went on to admit his feelings on it. The thought had already crossed her mind to address his tenuous position within the pack. She held no grudges against him or his friends, and she had every intention of treating them just as fairly as anyone else who walked this plateau.

She gave him a lukewarm smile, her ire from moments before not entirely dissipated just yet, and replied, "We'll work on that." While he may not have really needed a reply to his original question, she still felt compelled to go on and explain, "Towhee didn't want to lead anymore. Finley and Elwood don't want to either. I was the next highest-ranked female, so it just...made sense, I guess." She paused briefly before adding, "Quixote stepped up to lead alongside me as alpha male, too. Towhee will be beta."
May 10, 2018, 12:56 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛


Towhee was Beta? Things changed so fast - he was kinda happy to hear that. At the same time there were gears turning in his mind, gears which should have ground to a halt when his big sister mentioned some guy named Quixote but they didn't. A thought had pierced his rage and now seemed to take up everything - and while Screech would have voiced his possessive, defensive, familial dislike that Raven was with some weird not-Redhawk guy, the first thing he said was:

Finley was replaced? And Elwood? He sounded neutral as he asked this rhetorical question, and then those gears went click!

He faced his sister now with determination burning inside of himself, that raging fire of his anger transformed. Make me beta too, he half-suggested-half-demanded, I can do everything Towhee can do. I'll always back your play no matter what - and you know that'll be good, because my friends won't follow just anyone. I can keep them in line, and integrate with the pack... and... Its a good idea! Even though it meant working alongside his sister.

Then, suddenly filling with doubt as he tried to plead his case, Screech backpedaled and was overrun by a growing doubt. He tacked on: And if you don't, I can tell everyone what -- what we did. They'll never follow you after that. Screech watched for a reaction like he always did, but there was a steely look to his eyes and a tightness in his clenched jaw which made him look a little too serious. It was a strange threat on the tail of his grand idea - but he wanted this, and wasn't sure how to make it happen.

Plus, heck, this was Screech. He had to say something wrong or it'd be out of character.

May 10, 2018, 07:43 PM
Raven
Approved Members

Screech done fucked up, lol.

Raven had always been the lupine embodiment of sunshine. Sweet, generous, caring, warm, and compassionate, the healer had always given 110% of herself to everyone around her and she'd done it with a smile. It was who she was. She loved to care for others, make them happy, and see them thrive. It was what drove her to be a healer, what inspired her to keep learning and refining her craft. As good folks went, Raven was one of the best.

But here's the thing about good people: they might have an incredibly long fuse, but when they finally blow, people get hurt. Thunder rumbles, lightning crackles in the sky. Children flee in the streets as the earth shakes, volcanoes explode, and entire cities burn down to the ground. And Raven was very near that point when Titmouse finished speaking.

As he spoke, her gaze had become something cold and threatening, drilling into his eyes with all the razor-edged malevolence of a butcher knife. Her hackles had begun to bristle, and when he stopped talking, a moment of silence descended between them in which the only sound to be heard was a soft, low growl that rumbled in her chest. "You'd better be joking," she said in a deceptively calm voice, not taking her eyes off of his. "Or else you can get your ass out of my pack now."

It enraged her that, after everything she'd done for him -- all the times she'd nurtured him, doctored his wounds, been his shoulder when he'd needed one, defended him, and counseled him when he was lost and confused -- he could try to take advantage of her new status and threaten her into something he knew he didn't deserve. Seriously, what was with these damned Redhawk kids and blackmail? Had he not thrown in that last little bit, they might have had a good conversation about the subject. But whatever willingness she might have had to discuss it was quickly squashed beneath the weight of his threat.
May 11, 2018, 10:49 AM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛


The look in her eye was startling (although it should not have been), and reminded him of the way the wolves of Moonspear stared at him - intense and dangerous. Two things that, before now, Screech would have never linked to his passive sister. He knew what he said was crossing an obvious line. As stupid as he seemed, Screech wasn't a total idiot, he was just loud and emotional. Even before she spoke her reply he knew it had been wrong; yet hearing her threaten to kick him out seemed to prove something to the boy - maybe he finally knew his limits.

He wanted to play it off as a casual bluff and for the most part that was easy, he just sighed and broke eye contact with her, shrugging but deferring with the shift of his vision to the dirt like a scolded child (not far off base with that). He murmured, Obviously I'm not serious. Nobody would believe me. But even Screech didn't know what he was capable of. He just wanted to be treated the same as everyone else - and prove he was just as capable as his handicapped sister, if not more so. Clearly the adversity in Towhee's life had strengthened her while the turmoil of Screech's various adventures had the opposite effect.

Finally he turned to watch her, but couldn't match her gaze, letting his ears stay flat against his head and curling his tail across his paws. I... I want to be better. Maybe I can't be, and maybe... Maybe I should just give up and fuck off. I don't belong -- anywhere He didn't expect her to commiserate with him or offer any comfort. This time he was speaking plainly, from the heart, and making it clear that he was just a fucked up kid with nowhere to go. What was he supposed to do? Work hard and earn the trust of people he didn't care about? Stick around a family that still thought he was a living dumpster fire of a person? But he was quiet now, his eyes glistening, and looked at her as if for a final verdict.

May 11, 2018, 05:52 PM
Raven
Approved Members

Ugh, phone posting.

She arched a brow as he spoke, her expression and body language becoming more neutral. She loved him and wanted to believe what he said, but was he just telling her what he thought she wanted to hear to backpedal out of the doo-doo he鈥檇 just stepped in? She wasn鈥檛 oblivious to his remarkable ability to be a chameleon when circumstances demanded it, and while her default response had always been to trust him, his sudden attempt to twist the situation to his advantage put her on her guard.

Nevertheless, she opted to give him the benefit of the doubt and shook her head to his final comments 鈥漎ou do belong here. And I want you to stay. I don鈥檛 know how things were with you and Towhee, but I鈥檓 willing to give you a fair chance to prove yourself and climb the ranks. I want to help you find a home here.鈥 She looked at him with eyes full of yearning as she spoke. She could see it so clearly in her mind: her younger brother finally finding peace among his family, making a place for himself in the pack of his birth, and finding purpose in his life. The kid had had a hard life and she really just wanted to see him happy. 鈥漈owhee鈥檚 a leader because she earned the right to be. I鈥檇 love to make you beta someday, but you have to do the same. Without the blackmail.鈥 She grinned a little at that last bit just to try and ease some of the tension, although deep down inside she was still troubled and a little upset.
May 14, 2018, 12:49 PM
Mou
Yu猫l贸ng
Zh脿nsh矛
Can fade here if you want!


He heard her, but he also didn't. Screech was falling in to an emotional pit within himself and only gave small shrugs or grunts when he was expected to respond. It bothered him to no end that his sister was so well respected and that he had been thrown under the proverbial bus over and over, but then he wasn't really helping the situation either. His behavior made him one of the worst of the worst, and he couldn't hear Raven's urging (that he belonged) without wanting to roll his eyes and call her a dumbass; this time he kept himself in check, but there was a flash of something in his eyes as he blinked away the gathering tears before they fell, and then he was stagnant. Emotionally blank.

Whatever, he finally murmured when he could talk clearly, I know I don't deserve it. I know I'm just a piece of shit, and -- Whatever. He was shaking his head as he paced, and finally just聽took off,聽before Raven could do anything else. He didn't deserve to be consoled for his lot in life, not when he'd partially manufactured it and was to blame. If things were going to change then聽he聽would have to change - but the fear was, what if he couldn't?

May 14, 2018, 02:00 PM
Raven
Approved Members

Raven had hoped her words would encourage and hearten the boy, but she ought to have known better. He accepted her pep talk in his usual fashion: with unrelenting pessimism, self-pity, and a big dose of the signature Titmouse victim act, followed immediately by a sudden fleet-footed departure. As she watched him disappear into the low foliage near the plateau鈥檚 edge, a sense of bitterness filled her. Where had they gone so wrong with this boy?

She wanted to empathize for him but, quite frankly, she was running out of patience for his shit. At some point, one had to grow up and deal with the choices they鈥檇 made. Some part of Raven wanted to go after him, to make him stop and listen to her...but that was a part of her that was shrinking faster and faster with every situation in which he pulled this crap and trampled all over her patience. It was getting easier to just shrug it off and walk away. 鈥漅ight,鈥 she said sourly, glaring in the direction in which he鈥檇 disappeared as she turned to leave. 鈥漌hatever.鈥