Heron Lake Plateau It’s a shame- it’s a crying shame them’s the brakes
Private  December 08, 2018, 02:55 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
@Quixote

Niamh had been scarce- not knowing how to handle how she’d handled the situation. She’d tracked Colt and Maegi through the floodplains but no further than that. She’d circled through the neutral territories that girdled the plateau but by the time she made her way back to the floodplains, there was no sign of them whatsoever. It was possible they’d slipped off her map when they’d crossed the river, and if they’d either gone Northeast toward the mountain or Northwest aling the beach, it would be pointless to track while being this far behind.

Having lost them, she returned home for the second time. She’d only been just beyond arm’s reach, but far enough she knew, for those few days, that her absence would be noticed. Quixote already knew that she’d run off-  but he didn’t know where she’d run. Foolishly, she assumed he’d understood her jibberish story and knew why she’d run off. Still, she knew she was in for a tongue-lashing. 


First, though, she hoped to find Towhee to see how she was doing so she found her friend’s scent and began to track her, trying to hold herself together as she had yet to explain to her Person just what she’d done. She needed someone to tell her that everything would be alright- but it was tough going.
December 08, 2018, 06:20 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
He had to decide just how long he was going to let Niamh be kind of a loser before he put his foot down.  It seemed like she'd come back briefly once at least since the event at the border -- or at least clearly came back, past the edges of the territory -- but he hadn't been able to catch her.  He wasn't sure if she was going out of the way to avoid his normal haunts and places he'd expect to find her or what, but it was definitely another thing grating on his nerves.  Colt, though, seemed to be gone entirely, and even though they really hadn't talked at all recently, if he had to pick between the two, Quixote would choose his friend every time.

Maybe if she stayed gone for another few days he'd just decide she'd basically abandoned the pack, maybe howl it at her to let her know that was the decision made.  It'd make things much easier because he wouldn't have to deal with her continuing to overreact (that's what she was going to do, right?).  Unfortunately for her, Quixote's wandering path dropped him right across Niamh's recent trail, though he didn't notice Towhee's scent beneath it.  His mind was fairly narrowly focused at the moment and he didn't even think about it, just spun in that direction and headed quickly after her to not miss this chance.

It didn't take long for him to spot her up ahead, slowing slightly as he closed the distance.  If she thought he was kind of standoffish before, then this wasn't exactly a side of him she'd want to be dealing with at all.  To say the least, his displeasure was obvious, a scowl was carved into his brow and there was a certain edge to his movements that made him seem far less casual than he ordinarily was.  Sure, he wasn't bristling full of anger, but he was very disappointed in her choices, Where do you think you're going?  She left without answering a whole bunch of questions, then created more.  Whatever she was doing wasn't as important as coming to speak with him.
Yesterday, 01:46 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Niamh’s plans to quietly check up on Towhee without attracting any unwanted attention were foiled as soon as she caught sight of Quixote in the distance. For a moment she silently begged for his frame to curve and take him in a different direction- but instead, he stalked directly toward her in a way that made her feel belittled and unwelcome. Her current aversion to his attitude was amplified; it seemed like nothing she could do could please him, and she flattened her ears, knowing that yet again she’d somehow become the thorn in his side...And he wouldn’t get it- she firmly believed he wouldn’t understand her motives, and she had a very definitive feeling why he might not understand or agree with her.

She halted when she was addressed and though she was on the verge of breaking yet again- what with her mate- or ex-mate, she still wasn’t sure- gone away without any sign of returning, and she had yet to figure out how she felt about everything. Had she made the right call? She was likely about to find out where Quixote stood on all of it but she also knew that at this point, she didn’t care. He might’ve been Raven’s mate, but in Niamh’s opinion, that was all he cared about. Who else did he even like? And who else actually liked him? Did they not just all follow him because he’d happened to be dropped into that position?

As much as she wanted to voice that opinion which surged through her mind- especially when his first question smacked of a detestable amount of patronizing ire, she nodded to him quietly, and her answer molded her expression into one of concern. ”I’m going to check in on Towhee...Is she OK?” She asked. She was aware he night think that she should have gone to him first- but he was much lower down on ber priority list than Towhee was. Towhee, as ber oldest and closest friend in the pack, had absolutely earned every bit of Niamh’s love and trust. Towhee would always have Niamh’s loyalty, which was why she was Niamh’s top focus upon her return, rather than seeking Quixote out. She wondered if he hated that fact- that he didn’t automatically come first because he was alpha. Had she been given an order by each of them, in contrast with the other, she knew whose command she would follow. Presently, it didn’t make her a traitor...But it did make her disloyal to the alpha of the pack.
Yesterday, 02:11 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
He'd been given plenty of time to stew about it.  It took a certain amount of effort to not just machine-gun question her, but the question asked on her end definitely opened the door for him to be bitter about it.  He continued to keep his cool, even if his words were sharp, Oh, now you care?  Sure didn't seem like it when you dumped her and bailed the hell out of there before I could figure out what happened.  Didn't seem like it when you didn't call Raven directly in the first place. -- Yeah, she happens to be fine, but what the hell were you thinking? Were you thinking?  What even happened, for real?  In his eyes her actions had even been a great betrayal to a friend, along with just plain stupid.  You didn't leave a friend like that.  You made sure they were actually taken care of, that all relevant information had been clearly transferred before you headed back to the battlefield.  If those were her actions to whatever occurred, he did not want her at his side in a fight.  He'd just end up dead.  Even though Towhee was more of an instigator than he preferred, at least she seemed to have her head on her shoulders most of the time -- he trusted her to be logical.

There had been many ways Niamh could have made things look better before Qui finally found her, but she had gravitated towards each of the worst options.  Perhaps if she hadn't been lurking around not-really-in-the-pack these last few days he wouldn't have been bothered by her running off to find Towhee first thing, but since she'd ran-off mid-important-conversation in the first place, Quixote wasn't gonna allow it.  Add this event to her weird behavior when discussing re-promoting Towhee and the much earlier weirdness when she and Ceara got in a fight and both ran to tattle and it was just a little too much.  Why should he trust her when she still acted kind of like a child?  Why should he risk the pack by keeping an overly-emotional, unpredictable wolf in a position of leadership?  Everything said he shouldn't.
Yesterday, 02:38 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
The moment Quixote challenged Niamh’s loyalty to Towhee made her bristle, and her lips quivered as she struggled to keep her teeth covered. How dare he assume she didn’t care? She’d exiled her own mate for Towhee- but as he went on to question her further, it became obvious that he simply didn’t know what she’d done, or why she’d done it. He seemed frustrated beyond belief with her, which made Niamh impatient. Couldn’t the man keep up with what was going on in the pack? Wasn’t that his job? Niamh struggled to keep herself together, and to stop herself from exploding at him. The reason she was able to do so, though, was because he didn’t shout at her. His tone of voice was calm even though his words were cutting. She wouldn’t realize it until later, but Quixote could really deliver as an alpha when it came to holding himself together when faced with a mess. Something she was only beginning to learn. She took a page from his book and began to explain in a low, calm voice- though her features screamed her discontent.

”I-“ No, that wasn’t the place to start. If she started with Colt, she’d lose it. She took a deep breath- he wanted the whole story, and she needed to learn how to tell a whole story in a straightforward way even though her raging emotions made a tangled mess of it.

”That Blackfeather wolf showed up at our borders. She admitted having an association with Ceara’s abduction, but apparently she came to tell us Screech was dead.” She said. Her emotions, of course, had warped her memory slightly. But she delivered her story word for word as though everything was fact. ”I wasn’t aure why she would do that...I assumed she had some other motive; she knew that Ceara had escaped, So having lost her, I thought she might have been trying to lure one of us away, or to gather intel...I didn’t know what to do with her. I wasn’t part of all the Blackfeather stuff- I just know I’m supposed to hate them...But I didn’t want to make any hasty decisions and jeopardize the pack. So I called for Towhee. She went through everything with Blackfeather once. I felt she would know what to do.” She said. All of that was the truth- Maegi had been the first Blackfeather wolf Niamh had ever met.  And she had chosen Towhee for her experience on the matter, rather than Quixote- likely her first mistake, of many. 


”Colt showed up just before Towhee did, so he was there. I  barely got two words out to Towhee when she arrived, that it was a Blackfeather wolf, before she attacked. She went in for another strike and Colt intercepted. He protected the Blackfeather wolf...And Towhee got knocked out, which you know.” She said, breathing a soft sigh as she reassured herself that Quixote had told her that Towhee was alright. But her jaw clenched when she thought of Colt stepping in to protect a Blackfeather wolf, and injuring Towhee in the process. ”The Blackfeather wolf bolted. I was so angry with Colt for hurting Towhee, choosing to protect a Blackfeather wolf- she kidnapped his sister!- that I cast him out. Told him he had to track her down, or not come back.” She said, but her conviction began to weaken. She felt the indecision she’d felt then, having leapt to the conclusion that Colt was a turncoat, and that he’d willingly endangered and hurt his own packmate. 


”I couldn’t lose another friend to that. I saw what happened to Screech...If Towhee ended up the same way I’d never forgive him.” she said quietly. ”I was triggered. I haven’t...I haven’t gotten over that.” She admitted guiltily. She was the one who had given Screech his concussion- and she still did not forgive herself for everything he had done after that. ”But I love him. So once you were there, and Towhee was safe...I had to find him. I couldn’t let another wolf I loved just be whisked away into nothing without trying to look,” She said, referencing Ambrose, then, ”So I bolted. To find him...But I didn’t. So I guess he left, just like I told him...But he was on her trail, so...I’d assume he’s tracking her back to Blackfeather- which is what I’d originally feared she would want.” She said. She’d said a lot- and wasn’t even sure if she’d made any sense, so she fell silent, waiting to see what Quixote would make of the whole mess.
Yesterday, 03:11 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
He'd been expecting her to just go all emotional-bomb again.  So wow, maybe she was growing a little -- just at the rate of a bristlecone pine.  That wasn't exactly fast enough, though.  But at least now he was gonna get the whole story (theoretically) only however many days late.

When she got to Colt, his expression shifted to one that was definitely confused, whispering, You did what, but letting her continue.  While she did, all he could think of was that Colt was likely long gone.  There was no way he'd track that Blackfeather wolf for the good of the Redhawks is his own friggin' mate told him to scram.  That dude was way gone unless somehow they made up, and how would anyone get over that type of betrayal?  Quixote definitely would have noped right out of town.  And it did further cement his opinions of Niamh, but they'd get to that later.  For now, if Colt was following the Blackfeather, then why?

He let it be silent for a moment or two, frowning as he tried to untangle a few things.  You made the right call not believing her, I think.  You say someone's dead to get them off your back, you bring part of the corpse as proof.  Even if she was telling the truth, nobody'll believe that kind of thing without evidence.  But if you wanted information, Towhee was the wrong one to call.  As you found out, she's much more likely to deal in absolutes.  AKA you should have called me, hint hint.  A slight squint to enforce it, but if she wasn't watching closely, maybe she'd miss it.

But if all the completely dumb nonsense boiled down to Colt doing something that made no sense from the information provided, then Quixote would have to figure out the missing piece.  We'll get to the rest in a second -- but first, Colt fought in the war too.  He wouldn't just step in the way like that just for fun. Or at least so Quixote thought -- he was more sure that Colt would step back and just let those more emotionally involved duke it out if needed.  So something was missing there, Just before, what did she say that would've made him do that?  He really hoped she remembered...  And to himself, he wondered how easy it would be to go find his friend and find out what actually  happened.  He just didn't think there was any way to get him back unless Niamh herself left the pack first, and even then it might have been too much for Colt.
Yesterday, 03:25 PM
Niamh
Redhawks
Beta
Before Colt was her friend- or even acquaintance, he’d known Quixote. It was easy for Niamh to forget that Colt had been around much longer than she had, as he had been booted from the pack before, around the time she had joined, only to rejoin later. It was Towhee who had kicked him out though, not Quixote. And being as negligent of details as she was, she couldn’t even remember whether Quixote had joined before or after she had. That time was all a blur to her now, especially with her focus drawn in so many different ways. She knew that her decision to exile Colt would rub Quixote the wrong way- but it had seemed the only option at the time. Sure, he was Quixote’s friend- but he was also her mate. It was a decision too hastily made, and a heavy one at that. She now suffered the consequences too.

She was relieved that Quixote understood why she’d had more suspicions about Maegi and her motives...And exactly how well he understood seriously surprised her. ”Exactly,” She said emphatically, when he mentioned the fact that had she wanted to prove Screech was dead, she ought to have brought a part of him as proof. As much as she didn’t like it, she did agree now that had she called him rather than Towhee, the whole conflict likely could have been avoided...Especially if Quixote had suspected the female of tainted motives the same way she had. She shook her head ruefully. ”You’re right. I just...yeah.” She decided not to go into detail about how she thought Towhee might have reacted had she not been involved at all. Would she have shunned Niamh for not calling her? Niamh knew Towhee wanted Screech dead more than any other, so she’d felt she’d owed it to her friend to call her. 

When Quixote asked what had happened right before Colt stepped in, Niamh shook her head. ”I don’t really remember...Whining about why we wouldn’t trust her and judging her just because she was a Blackfeather,” She recalled groggily. ”She seemed to think she was doing us some mighty favour but...It just wasn’t right. I knew she was lying.” She said.
Yesterday, 03:45 PM
Quixote
Redhawks
Alpha
So he'd gotten through at least a little.  Good.  Some progress.  Again, probably not enough.  The whole thing was still a friggin' disaster and unless Colt had gone off the rails entirely, the first link in the chain of mishaps was built in Niamh's paws.

He shook his head, No, no.. That's not enough.  More likely she was lying, yeah.  But what else did she say?  Was there some new information about Ceara or something  That was about all he could think of for why Colt might stop Towhee barging into a fight -- the fact she might eliminate some answers entirely.  Might explain why he'd follow after the Blackfeather instead of just heading any direction away from the Plateau.  Niamh had been one of the ones who'd actually met Tegan upon his return with the information about Ceara and Screech, so certainly she'd passed that along to her mate, right?  But they'd already known that Ceara had probably escaped... So was there something that Colt had heard that Niamh had glossed over to be nice to him?  There had to be something, it just didn't make sense otherwise.