Heron Lake Plateau Speak of the not devil.
All Welcome  May 14, 2018, 09:21 AM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Out of all the recent changes, the most uncomfortable and downright weirdest one was the lack of contact with her godparents. Towhee had avoided them since Finley's bomb drop, giving all three of them space to digest. It was the longest she'd gone without talking to them since birth, she was pretty sure, and it felt wrong.

Although it probably wasn't going to be pleasant, she decided she needed to reach out today. The Beta dropped off a bundle of greens with @Raven, then proceeded toward the Blackthorns' den. Towhee couldn't guess how she'd be received. She didn't even know how to feel. She owned her decision, especially now that the dust had begun to settle, but Finley's disappointment still ate at her like acid. And, truthfully, she was a little bitter about the way her aunt had handled the entire thing, though in the same vein, could she even blame her?

Feeling a little sheepish about it, Towhee tried her uncle first. "Uncle @Elwood?" she called out after stopping a few feet from the den. She then pulled herself up by her bootstraps and added, a bit more loudly, "Aunt @Finley? You around?"

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

May 15, 2018, 05:15 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Fin was highly inclined to call back a No, she's out!" when she heard Towhee's summons. If only she'd had a daughter this time around, though she supposed if she pitched it just right, her voice could potentially sound little boy-ish like Cinder's or Tywyll's. It was amazing that after all this time, she still caught herself thinking and doing completely idiotic things like that. What good was masking your voice for a deaf wolf, I ask you.

With a sigh, the former beta crept out of the den to face the music. She was no longer angry about what had happened, but that didn't mean she had come to approve of the rank shuffle that had transpired. And technically, as a PM at the time of the shuffle, I shoulda had the right to veto. So there. Only that's just me channeling my inner Fin again, and Fin would most definitely have vetoed quite passionately. But anyway, the negativity she held still towards this made her reluctant to face her god daughter, especially knowing how apt she was to sticking all four feet in her mouth at once.

She didn't speak as she settled her gaze upon Towhee, but gave a silent nod instead. Cinder crept eagerly out after her, but Fin gave him a look that sent him scuttling backwards into the darkness. She'd keep that card in her back pocket until she needed a nice buffer. For now, the Blackthorn was willing to hear this out. Let's all just pray Elwood makes it to the thread this time.
May 16, 2018, 01:29 PM
Elwood
Approved Members

Elwood had certainly shared in Finley's disappointment regarding the situation with Towhee. He hadn't quite experienced the same level of anger and frustration, however; he was naturally hard to piss off, but he also hadn't been there in the heat of the moment. He could fully understand why Finley was upset, and though she had cooled to a simmer some time ago, his ears still pricked with wariness when he heard Towhee calling for them outside of their den.

Fin was the first to exit, but Elwood wasn't far behind her. He came to stand alongside his mate, forming a united front -- not one that was opposed to the changes that had occurred, but one that hadn't quite enjoyed the way things had transpired. His expression was not unkind as he looked at Towhee, waiting for her to speak up and planning to allow Finley to take point in the conversation; after all, she had been there when the proverbial shit had hit the fan.
May 16, 2018, 03:21 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Congrats on 2,000, Kim! :)

Maybe, Towhee thought as both godparents emerged, I should've thought about what I want to say... Somehow, simply blurting out, "I never wanted to be Alpha," didn't seem like the right thing. Truthfully, she didn't even want to discuss the source of their recent disenfranchisement. What good would it do, at this point? Mostly, she just wanted to make sure they were okay so they could all get back to normal and move on with their lives.

But did either of them want to hash it out? Her orange eyes panned between aunt and uncle, waiting to see if they would say anything first, before saying, "I just wanted to see if... we're okay," with a rather strained and meek look on her face.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

May 18, 2018, 04:50 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Finley was completely lost on how to respond to the comment her goddaughter made. Were they okay? Honestly? No. She was still pissed off and frustrated with the situation. And for Towhee to just drop by and ask if they were okay without doing anything to try to make it okay was even more icing on a cake that was pretty much just frosting. She glanced sidelong at Elwood, wordlessly asking him to be the one to respond. She could think of nothing but the sting, and the hurt drove only bitter sarcasm to her tongue.
May 21, 2018, 12:06 PM
Elwood
Approved Members

Towhee's feelings about the situation were clear on her face, even if they weren't evident in the tone of her voice. She looked timid, which wasn't a typical expression for her. Although Finley remained stonily quiet next to him, Elwood's heart went out to his goddaughter; it was obvious that the situation had impacted Towhee negatively, as well. It likely wouldn't be an easy fix, but he recognized that it was something they needed to start working on.

So he got out his theoretical toolbox. "I think maybe, if we talk about it, we could be okay," he said encouragingly, looking between Towhee and Finley with brows raised. His gaze then settled on the new Beta. "It all happened really quickly, from what I understand. And there are some things that we don't have any control over--" like Quixote knocking up Raven "--but I think we should talk about why you decided to step down. Maybe if we understand, we can work through it."

He paused, then added, "I know we talked about it before, but it seemed like you wanted to continue as the Alpha. Did something happen to change your mind?" Because it had seemed totally out of the blue, after Elwood and Finley had gone to bat to defend her right to the position.
May 21, 2018, 12:56 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Finley didn't react, which caused both hurt and indignation to flare inside of Towhee. She loved her godmother fiercely, respected her just as much, and it felt almost as though those sentiments weren't reciprocated any longer. Surely she must be wrong about that—her aunt's love wasn't conditional—but her cold shoulder and disapproval hung heavily on Towhee's fallible emotions.

Fortunately, Elwood didn't share in his mate's silent treatment. Towhee hung on his every word as he explained that talking it out would help. Although she hadn't wanted to bother, she nodded, abruptly eager to do whatever it took to clear the air. She couldn't stand the tension but it was more than just that: she couldn't bear feeling as if her relationship with her godparents was in real, actual danger.

"Okay," she agreed verbally, orange eyes flicking between the two of them, "but before I explain anything, I want you both to know I'm really sorry, for disappointing and upsetting you. I know that—" She paused and sat up a little straighter as she gathered her thoughts, blowing out an overly loud breath. "I know it must seem like I shat all over the opportunity you gave me and I just want you to know that that wasn't my intention." She emphasized the point by signing, -I'm really sorry.-

In response to Elwood's question, Towhee took another pause to carefully choose her words. "To tell you the truth, I think I only agreed to stay on to avoid this exact situation: letting you two down. And I guess I really wanted to be the worthy Alpha you guys believed me to be." She swallowed. "But then reality hit, again and again. I realized that I'm not only not cut out for it, I didn't want it. And I didn't expect to become the Beta, though now that I'm in the role, it feels like a better fit." That part was especially awkward to confess, since the only reason she was the Beta was because Finley had rage-quit on the spot. She couldn't bring herself to look at her aunt.

She hurried on to her next point. "When Rave came to me telling me about the pregnancy, it was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back, I guess. Especially since we'd already been discussing the possibility of Quixote as Alpha male, it just clicked in my mind." Towhee very nearly mentioned that she she truly believed they'd do a good job and begged them to trust her judgment, though she was so desperate to avoid rocking the boat any further that she stopped there.

It took a lot of fortitude, though she really had no choice now but to lift her orange eyes and peer beseechingly at her godparents and await their responses.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

May 22, 2018, 05:03 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Thank God for Elwood.

Fin had considered long and hard about what had happened and how they might work their way through it. She did not like this feeling of resentment she held towards her goddaughter. She wanted to let it go, but her mind was clouded by bitterness over it all. Finley had never been great with emotions or introspection. When she got into an emotional pickle, she got angry and she withdrew from the conflict as somewhere in her subconscious, she believed all she ever did was fuck things up. It was defense for herself as much as it was defense against herself for the sake of others. But, it was clearly not the healthy way to resolve things.

And that is why we say things like Thank God for Elwood so often in her threads.

Fin turned her gaze to Towhee expectantly after Elwood laid out the plan and posed the first question. Unlike her mate, she didn't award her any sympathy for how torn up she apparently was over this. It was not a light-hearted matter that they discussed, and it was not an inconsequential decision that Towhee had made. Much as she loved her children with all of her heart, Finley was not the type of mother to allow that to keep her from holding them responsible for their mistakes, and she definitely considered this to be a mistake.

But in any event, Fin listened. The girl responded, but offered an apology first and foremost. It tempered her anger, but not enough to placate it fully. She was attentive as the girl continued to explain her side and her reasoning. All the while, she hoped to find the words that would settle her unrest. The fact that Colt, Sebastian and Andalusia kept popping into her head didn't help at all

They didn't come. Not really, anyway. She didn't know what these proverbial straws were exactly that had gotten thrown at her and broken her proverbial back, but it didn't matter much to her. She wanted Towhee to be strong enough to withstand them. She wanted Towhee to believe in herself the way that she did. She wanted Fox's and Peregrine's daughter to step the hell up and be the alpha her parents would've wanted her to be, just as Fin knew she could be. But she refused, and Finley had no idea how to make her. Insisting that she didn't want it was all well and good, but the Blackthorn knew what it was to make yourself believe something simply because you didn't have faith in the alternative. She'd done it many times in her own life.

But, what could she do? With an inward sigh, Fin dropped this one in the proverbial Failure bucket along with the many, many others in her life. "It is what it is..." Fin said with an outward sigh, "I won't lie and say that I'm not disappointed, but I can't make you believe in yourself. If you truly think that you're not cut out for the job and that you want something else then that's the way that it is. I'm not going to force you to do something that makes you unhappy." But oh, if she could.
May 23, 2018, 12:25 PM
Elwood
Approved Members

Luckily for Elwood, both females seemed willing to give his suggestion a try. He turned his ears first towards Towhee, as she stepped up to explain herself. Her apology was met with appreciation; he nodded slightly to demonstrate his gratitude, but did not interrupt her in order to acknowledge it verbally. As she continued to elaborate, detailing exactly why she had abruptly stepped down and offered the Alpha positions to Raven and Quixote. While he still wished that there had been some planning and discussion ahead of time, he recognized that there was no point in dwelling on what should have been; the best thing for the family at this point was to move forward.

Before replying, he glanced at Finley, gauging her reaction. She didn't seem outwardly angry, but her disappointment was still evident, in her body language as well as her words. Only after she finished speaking did Elwood say, "Thank you for explaining, Towhee. I get it -- and like Fin, I don't want you to be stuck in a position that isn't making you happy. At the end of the day, we're here to support you -- and Raven, too." That was the next relationship that needed to be repaired, and hopefully this conversation with Towhee would be the first step.
May 23, 2018, 01:00 PM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
She'd wanted to avoid this entire conversation at first, though the moment her godparents reacted, Towhee was incredibly glad Elwood had prompted her to explain. It didn't mean everything was hunky dory, though she could see that her explanation helped them better understand her reasoning. Her heart pattered in her chest, hoping this meant their relationship was on the mend.

To her godmother, Towhee said, "I understand. And thank you." Her orange gaze flicked to Elwood. "Thanks," she repeated with as much authenticity as she could muster. She was truly grateful that they'd heard her out, even if they didn't necessarily like the outcome any better. "I can't tell you how much it still means to me, how highly you both think of me. It means everything."

Towhee paused for a moment, though there was something else she wanted them to know. "Nothing's going to change about what I put into this pack. I'm still guarding and patrolling as much as ever—and leading too. But the Beta rank is yours if you'd like it back, of course. I told Raven this and I want you to know too: I could be an Alpha or an Omega and I'd apply myself the very same."

She drew in a breath. That was enough of a speech for now. She smiled crookedly between the retirees. "If there's anything else I can do to make this situation better, please let me know. I love and respect you guys ridiculous amounts. I need us to be okay. I'll do whatever it takes."

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

May 28, 2018, 01:24 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Elwood put a nice little bow on her commentary, wrapping it up succinctly in a way she hadn’t been able. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, affection and appreciation for him written somewhere in her dower expression. She wanted things to be okay again between them all, but it would take her time before the venom in her blood worked it’s way back out. She had said as much to Towhee, who seemed to take it far better than Fin herself ever would have, hypocrite that she was. That was another thing to be thankful for, but she kept that sentiment to herself.

When her goddaughter continued, Fin realized for the first time that she really hadn’t explained her desire to step down in... any way shape or form. Now that the opportunity to do so had arisen, she grabbed it. ”No, you keep your rank,” she replied, wanting to be upfront about squashing that notion, ”I didn’t step down for us because I was upset, much as I’m sure it seemed that way. It’s been a long time coming and this whole ordeal kind of opened my eyes that it’s time to completely let go of the reins and let someone else drive. It feels like our time is better spent on other priorities now.”

Fin decided to leave out her perception of the evidence that had lead her to the conclusion. It seemed like it’d just be throwing salt into a wound that she too wanted to heal. Bitterness wanted her I believe it would help somehow to make her feel better, but she wasn’t fool enough to believe it. Man was it tempting though...
June 01, 2018, 12:27 PM
Elwood
Approved Members

When Towhee suggested that she would be willing to give the Beta position back to her godparents, Elwood shook his head quickly. Finley answered swiftly, explaining the real reason behind their abrupt retirement. It might not have been executed particularly gracefully, but it had been done for a reason -- and while Elwood hadn't been there when the decision was made, he did agree with it.

His shaking head shifted to a nod as he showed his support of Finley's words. "We've been helping to lead this pack for a long time -- and part of the reason we made you Alpha in the first place was so that we could pass it on to the next set of capable paws. You might not have been cut out to be an Alpha, but you'll be a great Beta, and we know that you -- and Raven and Quixote -- will take care of the Redhawks," he said. He smiled slightly. "It's something that we've talked about, and it was time for us to step down," he added.
June 04, 2018, 10:59 AM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Towhee carefully controlled the eyebrow that wanted to arch in response to Finley's insistence that she hadn't actually rage-quit. Although she didn't quite believe it was true, she listened carefully and nodded when either godparent took the time to explain that it was time for them to retire.

Although her heart ached a little at the notion that it was time for the next generation to take over—the implication that her aunt and uncle were aging did not sit well with her—Towhee absolutely respected them and their decision... regardless of its melodramatic execution.

"Yes, we will," she concurred with Elwood's words, orange eyes skimming to Finley. "You two deserve a break. You can count on us. We won't let you down again," she added with a quiet, "Heh," there at the end.

Feeling like it was time to get out of their hair (so they could focus on their new priorities), Towhee's tail waved and she said, "Well, I'll leave you be. Thanks for the talk." She offered a crooked smile, then bowed her head to the retirees and made to depart.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

June 04, 2018, 08:27 PM
Finley
Approved Members

Elwood continued her commentary, filling in any gaps that she had left, as he usually did. She found a spot on the terrain to focus on as the words were interchanged, her own thoughts going down wayward paths in her head. She was confident in their decision to step down, but it didn't make her confident in the answers to the unasked questions in her head - what would happen next? Would the new regime be able to lead them to the future she hoped for? Would the Blackthorn x Redhawk alliance continue to serve them as well as it had in the past? It was all yet to be seen, and Fin simply had to find a way to be confident, ,and optimistic, in the outlook. Somehow. No matter how deep her msigivings now ran.

She turned though, as she recognized the dismissal in Towhee's tone. Fin made a motion forward with her muzzle, attempting to garner attention before her goddaughter left, though without her abandoning her position. "You know we love you," she said, almost abruptly. It had seemed like a question in her mind before she'd said it, but as the words had spilled forth, she had known it to be a statement. Of course Towhee would know that. It being any other way was impossible.
June 05, 2018, 11:58 AM
Elwood
Approved Members

Towhee expressed her understanding, and seemed ready to move on, both physically and emotionally. Elwood lowered his head slightly, prepared to offer a "Thanks, Towhee" in response, but Finley shifted next to him and he paused. "You know we love you," she called after their goddaughter, and Elwood's face softened into a smile.

He didn't feel the need to repeat what his mate had said; his agreement was evident in his expression as he gazed at Towhee.
June 06, 2018, 08:59 AM
Towhee
Firebirds
Regent*
Before she could turn away fully, Finley made a movement that Towhee caught out of the corner of one orange eye. She paused, then swung to face her godparents. Her lips twitched at her aunt's words. Having already expressed a similar sentiment, she didn't say anything. But she dipped her head in a nonverbal, "I know," and waved her tail before facing forward and padding off to attend her duties.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!