Heron Lake Plateau I left my pride and stepped inside a bar
May 20, 2018, 01:01 PM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
After his attempt to mend fences with Towhee went south, Colt was pretty damn set to leave it at that and just avoid her for the foreseeable future.  He took it poorly that, in as many conversations, he'd gotten the same ultimatum twice... essentially do things her way or fuck off.  Maybe that wasn't her intention, but it was how he'd read it.

But he wanted this to work, and for all his words, he enjoyed being a part of the Redhawks.  A pack couldn't thrive as well if members were on the outs, and somehow, there had to be a way.  As far as he knew, no one but Towhee had a problem with him.  So far as he knew, others didn't seem to have much of a problem with Towhee.  Why the hell did their conversations always end in her throwing down?

He couldn't talk to Fin or Elwood... he'd already learned they were biased, and besides, we have no clue how that reunion went.  He could talk to Quixote, but this was kinda an important convo, and Towhee's revelation had made Colt wonder if his friend was a bit of a double talker.  That left one wolf who Colt knew so far to be unbiased.  He trusted her advice, and since this wasn't normally a thing he did, he wanted it discreet.  So he sought out @Raven again, hoping maybe a talk with her could help him sort things out.
May 22, 2018, 01:04 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Tagged Jennifer for reference!

Raven's pregnancy was progressing quickly, and already subtle signs of it were beginning to show. Her teats had begun to feel tender and sensitive, and her belly was starting to round ever so slightly. The morning sickness had not abated, unfortunately, and her appetite had ramped up significantly in the past week or so. @Quixote's hunting efforts kept her well fed, but the growing pups inside of her nevertheless kept her feeling hungry and cranky almost all the time. She was careful, however, never to allow her general grumpiness be directed at anyone in particular. Perhaps that would change as her pregnancy progressed, but for now, she had things mostly under control. At least she thought so, anyway.

She was enjoying a walk near the lake, grateful for the light breeze that kept the heat at bay, when she caught sight of Colt nearby. When he spotted her, he moved to intercept her and the little alpha welcomed him with a warm smile and a waving tail. "Hello again!" she greeted brightly, her gladness at seeing him clear in the tone of her voice.

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
May 22, 2018, 09:11 AM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
He found her relatively quickly - seemed if you wanted to chat, the lake was a good place to start.  Better yet, he found her alone.  "Hey Raven!" He returned as he came to a slower pace, pulling in close enough to speak but far enough to leave her some space.  He was bright enough to start with, but then his voice dropped some in volume.

"Can we talk? It's about Towhee."  Better to just put it out there now before he decided this was a waste of time.  He wasn't much of a sharer.... usually he dealt with his own problems.  But she was Raven's sister, and as new leadership, she probably should know what was up with member dynamics.
May 23, 2018, 02:07 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Colt's returned greeting was equal to hers in cheer, but his demeanor shifted quickly as they drew near to one another. Concern knitted her features as she wondered what was up, but she didn't need to wonder for long. Never one to beat around the bush, Colt got straight to the point. It's about Towhee.

"Oh no," she breathed, her ears turning rearward in dismay. "What's she done now?" She knew there was no love lost between her sister and the wayward Blackthorn, but she had hoped that they could mend the rift between them now that Towhee was no longer alpha. Gesturing for Colt to walk with her, she headed toward the other side of the lake, which appeared to be deserted and might offer them a bit more privacy.

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
May 23, 2018, 02:16 PM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
He let her decide where they would go - he was interrupting her walk, after all - and simply followed, trying to word what it was he had wanted to say.

"Nothin too much.  I went and tried to smooth things over, a bit.  Gave her a fox I caught, told her I didn't have a problem and that she shouldn't take anything I say too seriously.  Ended up sayin I had a hard time talking to her."  He frowned.  "She didn't seem to like that much, basically told me to learn how to talk properly or fuck off.  Sorry, in a few more words."  He tended towards paraphrase, not remembering the exact conversation, but he told it as accurately as he could.  The admittance he had issues reading her hadn't been particularly easy to make either, and it made the reaction he had gotten all the worse.

"I just wonder.... you and everyone else seem to get along with her just fine.  What gets her tail in a knot so much about me?  Shoot straight, I don't offend easily."  Which was probably the whole issue here - he didn't, Towhee did.  He tended to watch what he said around the kids, but when it came to adults, Colt really had one setting.  Jokes and hard truths.  He was hoping to maybe get a little of that truth from Raven now, if she'd give it.
June 02, 2018, 02:03 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Raven listened without comment while Colt explained what had happened, and she found herself sympathizing with the Blackthorn. It was clear from what he'd said that he was genuinely trying to mend fences with her -- he had even gone so far as to present her with a fresh meal, which was a very kind gesture in Raven's opinion -- and the fact that it had all ended so terribly must have been incredibly frustrating and discouraging for him.

After he finished, there were a few moments of calm silence as Raven pondered the issue. Towhee could be a tough nut to crack if one didn't know how to handle her, and the alpha wondered if that was what was going on here. "She can be really sensitive about her deafness sometimes," she finally said, feeling like that might be the root of the problem. It sounded like things had gone well until he had mentioned she was difficult to communicate with. "All her life, she's pushed herself really hard to overcome it, to keep it from being a thing that defines her. You've been pretty opinionated about her disability for a while now -- and understandably so, as a wolf concerned for his pack should be -- but it's no doubt put her on the defensive, big-time."

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 04, 2018, 07:47 PM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
No kidding, he thought as she mentioned Towhee might be sensitive.  But what did she expect.. for everyone to cater to her about it?  That was the thing about disabilities like that... they did define you, least at first meet.  And in Colt's opinion, it was unfair of Towhee to expect otherwise, and to continually shit on him for not being able to immediately get on her level.

"What do I do, lie to her?" he asked, slightly exasperated.  Then he sighed.  "Nah, I can't.  If defensive is what I'm gonna get, then I guess it's what i'm gonna get.  Less you have some other advice."  Maybe option a was the best one... just avoid her from now on, and make nice with the rest of the pack.  One outta a dozen or so wasn't so bad, right?
June 04, 2018, 11:20 PM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Raven could understand Towhee's side of the situation. She'd been born with a disability that usually spelled death for most normal pups, and she'd wrestled it into submission to become an incredibly strong, high-functioning member of the pack. Her deafness was more of an inconvenience to her, really, than a setback, and it really only took a relatively small amount of accommodation on the part of her packmates to interact with her effectively. Having it repeatedly brought up as a negative had to be frustrating as hell.

A smile tinged with disappointment touched her lips as Colt spoke, and she shook her head. "Soften your heart a little, Colt," she admonished gently, glancing at him with a look in her eyes that almost said come on now, you can do better than that. "I can understand why some thought she wasn't the best fit for alpha, but in everything else that comes with being part of a pack, she's always functioned just as well as the rest of us. Better, actually." Because Towhee had had to work twice as hard as a "normal" wolf did for everything she'd learned and achieved, and Raven felt that meeting her halfway on the communication front wasn't a lot to ask in return. "Communicating with her doesn't have to be hard, though. Has she or anyone else mentioned 'ptero' to you?"

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 05, 2018, 12:11 AM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
He wasn't saying she didn't belong... and frankly he was tired of being made out to be the bad guy here.  That was the problem though.  He couldn't explain it, why he clashed so much with her, and why he felt such distaste at the thought of trying to make nice.  Probably because he got the sense, no matter how incorrect, that she didn't feel like he was worth the time of day getting to know.  So why should he bother trying either?

Soften your heart.  He kept his mouth shut, and his expression neutral, but he felt a flash of frustration.  No.  He'd tried, and she'd shat on it.  If someone was going to try again.... it was going to have to be her.  There was only so many times a wolf could get his nose snapped before he stopped sticking it where it wasn't wanted.

But he couldn't really leave this conversation, not when he'd started it, and not with keeping in at least Raven's good graces.  So he shook his head, and would let her finish at least.  "No, what is it?"
June 05, 2018, 01:11 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Her powers of observation were ridiculously keen, and despite his stony-faced stoicism she could sense a current of frustration in him. She didn't blame him at all -- Towhee was a challenging riddle to figure out. But she wanted to help him, not only because she wanted peace within her ranks but also because she knew without a doubt that Towhee's friendship was absolutely worth the effort it might cost to get it. When he asked about ptero, she answered, "It's a set of signs and gestures we came up with when Towhee was little that help her better understand what you're saying to her. It's not hard to learn. I'd be happy to teach you if you'd like." She got the impression that he was a pretty smart wolf, so she thought he'd pick it up fairly quickly. Grinning warmly at him, she added, "Taking the time to learn how to communicate on her level would probably say a lot more to her than any words you could speak."

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 05, 2018, 01:20 AM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
As she explained what this ptero stuff was, things slowly began to click into place for Colt.  He'd gotten the feeling, that day with Tegan, and likely on a few other occasions, that there had been something there going on he hadn't been privy to.  The gestures had been odd, but until now, he hadn't guessed they might be a language.  Obviously he'd been right.

Colt sighed, then looked at Raven somewhat ruefully. "I'll learn them.  I can't say I'll use em with her.... I still think she needs to decide when she's ready to talk to me.  But it'll be good to know... in case."  He shrugged, but did smile.  "If your still willin to teach me, that is."

He wasn't about to reach out again so soon, not when his last genuine effort had been met with what he saw as pretty unwarranted hostility.  He didn't want to risk making things worse instead of better. But if there was a language the pack was speaking, he should probably know it, and if it made the conversation better if she did decide to come around? Well, all the better.  He just hoped her offer wasn't conditional on him making that jump.
June 05, 2018, 02:50 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Her smile widened as he agreed to give it a try, and she couldn't help wagging her tail as well. Progress, she thought. Some folks didn't take Raven seriously as an alpha because she was so soft and passive, but she felt that more often than not, people responded better to a light touch than they did a fist. "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar", goes one of Houkie's favorite sayings.

She nodded and replied, "Of course I'm still willing. I'd be delighted to teach you." Of course her offer wasn't conditional on him immediately reaching back out to Towhee. If anything, she thought that might do more harm than good. She pondered for a moment, then added, "It'll take some time for you to learn. I would give Towhee some space for a while, let things between you two cool off. Then when you do talk to her again, you'll be able to understand each other better." They would also have to work on his sensitivity with regards to the matter of her deafness. Raven felt like that might be the steepest part of this whole uphill climb, but...one thing at a time.

☆ Replies may occasionally be slow -- I am in college and also work full-time! Adulting sucks. :(
☆  RH peeps are welcome to lightly PP Raven or have her make cameo appearances in their threads (even if I'm not a participant).  Just tag me for reference!
June 06, 2018, 10:03 AM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
He chuckled a bit when Raven proceeded to repeat the exact same sentiment back to him he'd expressed to her, but assumed she was probably just covering her bases.  He wouldn't be talking to her again until she came to him.

"Alright, well... if you have a minute, where do we start?"  He wouldn't mind getting the basics now, but if she was busy, he could find her later.
June 07, 2018, 10:15 PM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
Note: -"This formatting indicates simultaneous speech + signing."-

Of course Raven had a minute -- she had all the minutes in the world for him if it would help improve his relationship with Towhee, so she grinned and got right to work. "Okay, so the basic gist is that while you're speaking to her, you also sign to help make it clearer to her what you're trying to say. Most of the signs are really straight-forward. Like this:" She used a forepaw to point at her chest, then gestured to her mouth, and then pointed at him, all while saying, -"I'm talking to you."- She showed him a few more basic signs, explaining what each one meant and demonstrating how to incorporate them into his speech. She showed him the sign for Towhee's name, as well as the signs for a few others in the pack (Finley, Elwood, Quixote, and even her own name). She paused and mentioned, "We can come up with a sign for your name as well, or you can make up your own." Putting a few of them together, she signed and spoke at the same time, -"Raven is teaching you how to talk to Towhee."-

She paused after that and asked, "Make sense?"

Aside from Towhee and a small handful of others, Raven was perhaps the most ptero-fluent wolf in the pack. She had, after all, helped Towhee develop the language as a child. But it had been a long time since she'd taught it to anyone else, so she hoped she was explaining it in a way that he could follow.
June 08, 2018, 02:43 PM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
It was ok that she assumed he was doing this for Towhee.... but he really wasn't.  Remembering the way she'd come at him had almost discouraged him from agreeing, honestly... but others of the pack obviously communicated this way, and he wasn't willing to be out of the loop.  

But he didnt bother correcting, not wanting to seem ungrateful for the help, because maybe a part of him did hope eventually he could get along with Raven's sister.  He watched closely as she displayed some words, attempting to follow.

A lot of it clicked.  He couldn't remember it all, of course... it would take practice for the movements and recall to be as smooth as her own.  But when she finished, he nodded, and repeated a few of the ones he'd remembered back.  "Like this? Raven is talking to me.". He made the leap to assume a point at himself meant me, like I had raven gesturing to herself.  He couldn't imagine the nuance it would take to form some more conceptual words... but he was enjoying it so far.

Then she brought up a name sign, and he shrugged.  "What isn't taken?  Is there a sign for Colt?"  His name was a creature after all, but likely not one they saw around here.  He didn't want to label himself something they used elsewise though, and didn't much mind how he was referred to.
June 08, 2018, 05:53 PM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
"Yes!" she replied brightly as he demonstrated back to her, thrilled that he seemed to be picking it up so far. It really wasn't difficult, it just took time, a little creativity, and lots of practice to really get it down. A good majority of the pack had various degrees of experience with the language, so there would be plenty of opportunities for him to practice with others and improve his proficiency. -"You're doing awesome!"- she commented, signing as she spoke.

When he asked about his name, she thought for a moment. Coming up with a unique sign for someone could be really straightforward or it could be complicated. "It's really up to you," she said, chewing her lip as she thought. "Niamh recently came up with her own name sign. It goes like this," and she demonstrated it to him, moving her paw from up by her ear and down her jawline, sort of like a cat does when it's cleaning its face. "You're pretty well-known for speaking your mind -- what if we used something like this for your name?" She moved her paw in a circle around her muzzle, and finished by touching her lips and then moving her paw out in front of her face a few inches. It placed an emphasis on speech, while being unique enough that it could easily be used to indicate a specific individual.
June 09, 2018, 12:18 PM
Colt
Redhawks
Delta
He was one hundred percent willing to defer to her on that.  He didn't want to pick something that meant something else, and definitely not something that meant something.... not great.  Maybe if he was more well versed in the gestures he'd have some idea, but for now, what she did looked as good as any he would have found.

"Perfect," he said, making the gesture and smiling.  He did like it, and he took her comment on his forwardness as a massive compliment, intended or not.  

He'd stick around for a bit longer, and learn as much as he could in the time she had to give before parting.  After he would come other days, hoping to gain some fluency in the talk.

We can prob wrap this one up unless you wanna keep it up!
June 13, 2018, 03:06 AM
Raven
Redhawks
Respected
She grinned, clearly pleased at his acceptance of her name sign for him, and over the next few hours, she schooled him on the signs and gestures for all sorts of different words and phrases. She taught him the name signs of everyone in the pack who had one, as well as the signs for different landmarks around their territory. By the time they parted later that day, she felt pretty good about his progress and thought that he could handle himself reasonably well enough in a conversation with another ptero-speaker. She would still continue to tutor him from time to time thereafter, of course.

Enjoyed it! I love Colt. <3