The Heartwood i'm faithless now though we win
Private  August 27, 2018, 11:01 PM
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it was worse today.

terance felt a round of deja vu in the heart of sunspire today-- a strangely familiar sensation. perhaps it was the way he walked, or a sharp twinge in his shoulder in a particular location. he couldn't place it, he didn't know why-- but suddenly, despite his best efforts and collection exterior-- terance lost his mind.

he made himself an arts and crafts project-- held together by scotch tape and gluesticks-- and as soon as the sensation waved over him he was in a million pieces. a wracking breath shook his chest and he was suddenly tearing through the territory. seabreeze had gone for not even a month, and terance had been handling himself... well... but today it all came crashing down. 

he ran for days, literally, not taking even a moment to look back. he couldn't do this-- he couldn't bare to be in that territory any longer. if every stone would remind him of seabreeze and ibis and okeanos-- then he needed to be gone. rannoch would understand. he wasn't returning, he refused to do it. he would wander the wilds by his lonesome for the rest of his life. he lacked the emotional strength to remain any longer.

he reached the heartwood-- he knew this place well enough-- realizing only now how long he'd been running. and leaned against a tree, pressing his crown against the dark bark. taking in a sharp, shaky breath.
August 27, 2018, 11:14 PM
Hydra ranged from home to explore the Glen, as she sometimes would. It was only when she neared the Lake that she was given pause, scenting a myriad of scents there... one she imagined was more familiar than the rest. She was not certain; she wanted to investigate it more. In the cover of the night, the woman drifted, giving the territory berth. Intermittently that familiar scent would niggle at her mind, but it was not one that lingered or had her thinking, here and now, it took residence here. 

The thought caused her plume to stir, swaying idly near her hocks, before she entered the cover of the forest. 

No scent was present here that revealed anything she sought, but she darted only along its fringes to see if her eyes could catch anything familiar. One ear swiveled backward as she heard the sharp inhalation that betrayed there was another here, though she could not yet see them. Hydra was mute as she approached, determined to keep herself out of sight until she knew who it was she would be dealing with this evening. 

What, or who, she discovered was not at all what she expected, and had nothing to do with any of the scents that had captured her interest to begin with. She looked beyond him with a sharp gaze, assessing if there had been something he had fled from. But there was nothing, no one. A sharp sniff of her own indicated there was no blood on his person, and so she was confounded as she looked upon him. What is it? she asked then, not asking to understand but to know for certain there was no imminent threat.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
August 27, 2018, 11:30 PM
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pulled into a trance of his own exhaustion and stress and grief, terance was entirely unaware of the approach of another wolf-- especially of this specific wolf.

it was always hydra. it was always hydra. 

he looked up, breathing uneven and heavy as he'd done nothing but move for the last few days-- if he'd stopped anywhere he didn't know, terance might've even blacked out for a majority of it. but here he was, and here was hydra-- as she always was. the fucking shadow. 

terance took a moment to turn to look back over his shoulder in case there was something or someone there-- but terance saw nothing. of course, hydra was referring to him, and he knew this, and so he just turned and stared at her. "i left you," he said, voice strained, "i don't want to be your problem." of course, hydra didn't ask how he was doing, or to explain anything-- not truly. he was just... tired, and sad and overwhelmed with emotion that he'd pushed down over the last few weeks. and he realized his answer was absurdly dramatic and emotional-- so he spoke again.

"there's nothing," he said, taking another deep breath before it steadied a bit.
August 27, 2018, 11:51 PM
His first set of words caused her to blink. What? What did that have to do with her asking him what it was he had fled from...? And, at his conclusion, her eyes drifted to look beyond him. She confirmed what he said and what she saw: it was nothing. 

Except Hydra felt she knew otherwise, and her epiphany dawned on her moments later. And it was not his leaving that was her grievance with him, but who he had elected to follow. Two beasts fought within Hydra, each as fierce as the other in their battle. Her pride, versus her desire to know if she was right—in the end, the second won out, as it would inevitably feed her pride, something he had done damage against effortlessly. It was time to retrieve it from him. 

He was terribly thin, now, thinner than the last time—but she had no sympathy. He said it himself: he had left her. 

You look as though food is your worst enemy, she observed, and yet, you exert yourself to near exhaustion. I do not want your problem to become my problem, she expressed, so tell me: what has you in such a rush? Famine? A plague? she pressed. She did not think it unfair to ask, to be absolutely certain for the sake of her family—but the rush of words was meant to confound, to break open any walls there might be... although she presumed he had not rebuilt as she had, since he seemed ever keen on inspecting her own each encounter they had. It could not be fire, it was a thing without scent, and neither was it sickness, as she felt no aversion toward him other than her typical vexation.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
August 28, 2018, 12:06 AM
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was that a joke? terance might've snorted at it another day. but all he did now was stare blankly. weighing options, weighing words. there was too much to say and hydra didn't deserve to hear any of it-- it was like talking to your ex-girlfriend about how great your new girlfriend was. terance just, stared. 

and finally-- 

"my wife left," he said, teeth gritting, "and she took my son and daughter." he slid into a sitting position and placing his muzzle into his chest. he raised his head to look at hydra, blinking. "but don't worry-- she still loves me," terance snorted, shaking his head. fucking stupid. 

"ironic, right?"
August 28, 2018, 01:37 AM
She was a monster, to feel this amount of immense satisfaction at the turn his life had taken. Hydra felt smug as he recognized the irony present there. Three had left him, just as he had left she and her sisters—

That satisfaction was shortlived. Wife. Children. His burning love for Lyra that had caused him to leave in the first place, where had that gone? He had wanted to move on, though to know that he had in such a way, so quickly... 

Where were her walls? Her mind lagged as she sought to fix the cracks in their formation. She had thought them more solid... but she had not at all been prepared for this sort of assault—

Hydra wanted to hate the woman, and yet, there was a part of her that felt she owed her some thanks for delivering to Terance precisely what he had delivered to her... 

Ironic, she echoed, her voice devoid of emotion as her tongue rolled over her nose and she breathed in the crisp night air. At the end of the day, this was a victory; he had gotten what he had deserved, after what he had done to her, to Lyra, to Alya. If anything had been forgiven, it had certainly not been forgotten. 

But it hadn't been forgiven. 

Her gaze fell back to his features, more alert now. Her voice was aloof, as though she were considering. Did she not want to leave you? she mulled over the words, Sunspire? Did someone else ask her to go? She tilted her head. Was it a hard decision for her to make? Did she promise to visit? Each word was pointed, direct—remnants of his last hours upon the home they once shared. At least she was direct with you. That was what you wanted from your fresh start, was it not? Not knowing—it hurts, came her sharp words, echoes of that day. 

She had gained all she had wanted and more tonight. At the very least he would see through her eyes and know what it was she had felt that day; her love for him could be compared to his love for his children; she had once felt as fiercely protective of him as that, of the Frostfur, too. All of Moonspear was her family, and he had been like blood to her. How perfect, for him to see it: his wife was his Rannoch; his children, himself. 

If she had forgiveness in her, it was not present tonight. Let him feel just a shred of what she had that moment, to see him turn his back on her as he had. She imagined that at the very least, he was not made an enemy of wherever his wife traveled to; Hydra had never had that luxury. And now that he did know, he might understand why it was not such an easy thing to swallow, to let go of. 

Distance is not the answer. It would destroy Rannoch. You are selfish, she snapped at length, understanding, now, what it was he had run from: that which he did not like to see, as it no longer suited his fancy. She did not care for Rannoch, to say as much to him—she simply wanted him to know he had been wrong from the very start in doing as he had done to her, knowing the false, meaningless words he employed then were really so he could go with Rannoch. He just wanted to make himself feel better about leaving, expressing his love, his friendship.

He would likely never be able to convince her of otherwise—maybe this, too, was why she could not forgive him. 

She pictured his wife's words to be just as empty as she spoke them to Terance—now he might understand how difficult, impossible, even, it was to believe them. And on that note, Hydra turned to quit his company, having had quite enough of feeling emotions herself for the night. This time, she did not think he would seek to stop her.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
August 28, 2018, 05:32 PM
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he wished he could've run into anyone else. lyra, even. who he hadn't, for the record, fully gotten over. seabreeze-- yes, he loved-- but the beginning of their relationship was so circumstantial, that's why it happened so fast. poor terance had never meant to fall so quick, neither had seabreeze, he imagined. he wished he could tell her that-- he knew what she was thinking. 

and then she got all soapboxy-- all high and mighty and righteous like she believed justice had been served. the situations aligned in so many ways-- and yet they were so different. hydra and terance were such different wolves-- and terance still firmly believed that his leaving moonspear was justified. and while terance was deteriorating moments before, her words-- so pointed and cruel, drove daggers through his heart, and his despair turned to anger. 

"i get it, hydra," he said through gritted teeth. how dare she use his own words against him-- to hurt him. she spoke to hurt him. and so terance did what he tended to do nowadays when he grew tense-- he got defensive. "i'm not leaving," he returned sharply. though it was a lie, he wanted to make himself look a little better-- better than he did the day he'd left moonspear. "rannoch knows i'm gone." 

he realized almost immediately that she was right, holding his tongue. he'd return. he'd get over himself. god-- he was just such a coward. 

he remained on edge, flipping conversation away from himself. "why can't you drop this? why does it even matter that i left anymore. it's been six months, hydra. are you so self-conscious you can't forgive someone for not putting you and your family on a pedestal if it meant they suffered every day of their lives?" because, in terance's eyes, he suffered every day he was near lyra. 

and he realized only now, after he'd said it, how cruel it sounded. but terance was stubborn, and terance was hurting, so he did not take it back.
August 28, 2018, 08:09 PM
Hydra snorted loudly to his first response, the testament to her faith in those words. Would he have ran with such fearful passion, if not for fear of some repercussion to finally accepting that life did not always go his way? As she was walking away, her ears cupped backward to catch his words. He knew enough about her to cause her to look over her shoulder and acknowledge what it was she thought of that: 

When you can understand it is not your leaving that I cannot forgive, perhaps then, we can talk, she began, words slow and ears pressed over her brow. If Lyra made him suffer so, she had already expressed once she did not fault him for his going. But she would not waste her breath upon a man who never listened. Never cared. I see you suffering now. It has found where you fled to. And it had ravaged him; in this light, she could not tell for certain, but she imagined she saw the outline of a rib... his fur, it had lost its sheen from lack of nutrients, and he stood before her bedraggled. Exhausted. Left behind.

For a moment, Hydra could not help but think as her father did—the stars, the moon, they must favor her for such a twist. And to see it, hear it! Some karmic justice had struck him, far harder than she ever could. She was appeased, and her ears pricked. 

Her pride flared as she acknowledged, perhaps foolishly, what grated her nerves the most: Self-conscious? Oh, no... That is not the right word... what is, though... ah! I know: and her eyes were sharp as she reminded him: Betrayed. Hydra bristled. Is Moonspear considered a friend, or a foe, to your pack? she tested then, and continued without waiting for an answer: And if I were to come and visit you upon your founding, and it was not you who answered my call first, how would I be received? Hydra knew precisely how, but at the very least, the hurt she felt had faded and was not so raw as to cause her tone to quiver or shake. Liffey had made her an enemy with bedroom eyes and whispered words of unfounded fear. Rannoch had made that perfectly clear to her. But they were cowards, the lot of them—they ran from fear.  

She, however, faced it; tore it asunder until it was an unrecognizable, dead thing when she could. Hydra did not mince words, did not lie, and when wounded she reacted not with flight but with fight. The bitch was inexhaustible, tireless, and her body language expressed just that. It was her pity for his own sagging body that caused her to turn to depart his company again—this horse was dead, and she would beat it no longer. With an exhale, Hydra let go... and she dropped it, as he wished. There were but five words that would stop her in her tracks, but she doubted Terance knew how to pronounce 'I'm sorry, I was wrong'. 

It could not have been done without having heard his life going full circle, however. Hydra had him to thank for, at the very least, letting go of her own anger. Did she forgive? Did she forget? No. Never.

I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
September 03, 2018, 06:57 PM
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terance's expression was sour, because he was swallowing truths that he was too stubborn to admit out loud. 

one day he would be done grieving. and he was greet hydra with long overdue apologies-- but today, like all their past meetings, he would not be mature enough to admit it. "i am a friend!" terance yelled after her, unable to understand why she wouldn't step past his allegiance to rannoch. it was not liffey, his allegiance was not with her-- it was rannoch. and, in terance's eyes, rannoch was not traitor to hydra. terance was not sunspire, he was terance. but, of course, such was not black and white. 

terance was hurting. his heart and soul felt torn into a million pieces-- his mind screaming so loudly he could hardly decipher what he was actually thinking. 

and after watching her figure disappear over the horizon, because bitterly he could not tare his gaze from her, terance left. 

because he had nothing left to do. and rannoch needed him.