Heron Lake Plateau And ain't it always the way
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All Welcome 
Through the night following her demotion, Niamh hardly slept a wink. She was exhausted, and she did sleep- but her mind was running so quickly the whole night, and her dreams so realistic, that she ended up getting next to no rest. At one point, she slid from slumber and into wakefulness- but her body didn't. Overtired as she was, her brain wasn't ready to allow her to drift off into peaceful dreams and instead she ran through the scenario over and over again, though it warped and changed into something very unreal and haunting, so when she realized she was awake, but that she couldn't move, she felt terror grip her. It wasn't just the fact that she couldn't move that filled her with fear- it was the fact that she could see something else in her den. 

She couldn't make out what it was, but it was there. She wasn't even sure if her eyes were open or not, but she knew she was awake- at least, awake enough to have conscious thought- and she was very aware of a dark shape inside her den. It made a low, scowling sort of sound, which she recognized as the sound a cougar made when it was pissed off. She wasn't quite conscious enough to be able to tell herself that a cougar wouldn't fit in her den, and too terrified for rational thought anyway. It drew closer, and had sort of the vague outline of a large cat, but she couldn't see any of its features...Only...Only it had shining golden fur about its shoulders, and when its eyes did come into focus, they were cornflower blue. 

She tried to scream, but could only wheeze for quite some time. The cougar- or whatever it was- seemed to take an eternity to get closer to her, and she continued to try and scream out the whole time, but couldn't make her vocal chords work. It was only when the dark thing slowly, deliberately, bit down onto her upper foreleg and she felt searing pain that she was able to vocalize at all- but nothing left her lips except for a high pitched whimper. She continued to try and scream, but all she could make was the same soft, haunting hooooo......Hoooo.....Hooooo... Over and over. 

Eventually, she would fall back asleep as the presence of the dark thing lingered for what felt like hours, and eventually she relaxed and the pain her brain had manifested went away. When she came to, feeling even more tired than she'd been when she'd gone to sleep, all memory of the entire incident was gone. 

She only remembered having some sort of bad dream when she later left her den and wandered to a stream to get a drink, hoping it might either wake her up, or the weight of something in her belly might help her go back for a better nap. Something had been haunting her and made her shudder- but for the life of her, as she drank, she couldn't remember what it had been- not even the fact that its fur had matched Ambrose's. She drank, her vague gaze cast out over the glittering water, deciding that once she was done, she'd likely just slink back to her den and try to go back to sleep.
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nightmares plagued the plateau. 

niamh drank from the stream, making groggy plans to trudge back to her den to try to get some more sleep. enter, tegan, a striking young male with pretty mint eyes and a sad expression. wait? did i write sad-- ah fuck. i wrote sad. i meant tired, tegan was tired. homeboy didn't get sad. nah, nah, fuck that noise. 

his expression was tired, and fell across his pale features as if it were weighing it down. he didn't get any sleep that night, and whether or not it was because he didn't want to feel like a burden upon bat (who now knew his secret) was unclear. but tegan had slept alone, and so his mind had wandered. 

he didn't see niamh until he was meters away from her, gaze flashing up to something more alert as he regarded her. he knew about the demotion (partially because it took his own rank), but he hadn't found her to talk about it. actually, tegan hadn't really spoken to niamh in a while. they sort of butted heads a lot, so he tended to ignore her. but it seemed their paths crossed now. 

his tail waved slowly... as amiably as he could make it. he was just so exhausted and fuckin angry at himself for being a babyface... ugh. but it didn't show too much. tegan was good at wearing masks. "wassup, niamh... how you livin?" he questioned her casually, dipping his grey head to take a few laps from the stream. cool, cool, cool. casual as ever.

(lmao i wrote that niamh took his rank but they both have the same rank so whoops idk what to say about that anymore)
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Niamh spotted Tegan making his way toward the stream and her tail waved at the sight of him. She hadn't seen him much since he'd returned- though she knew he was being taken care of. Apparently Rory had become his guardian as he recovered from his concussion and she knew well enough to leave the two alone. She remembered how she'd felt about having visitors while Screech had been in her care, but she also privately hoped that something might blossom between Rory and Tegan in their alone time together- and she wasn't going to get in the middle of that. As she'd promised, Niamh had kept her lips tightly sealed on that matter- what Rory had confessed to her would stay with her. 

He didn't seem to notice her until he was right there, though, which was a bit odd- especially for a scout. Considering his condition, though, she understood. She was happy to see him out and about, and he looked pretty much the same as he always did, though he did seem a bit hesitant, and didn't greet her as enthusiastically as she'd expected him to. Then again, what reasons had she given him to be excited to see her? She hadn't put much faith in his abilities...And she still wasn't sure where she stood, after he'd run off to Blackfeather to try and find Ceara. Business and pack roles aside, though, he was a sight for sore eyes. 

His tone was fairly casual, but Niamh- in her mild paranoia and self-doubt, inferred something else, and her ears turned back. Maybe he was the wolf she was supposed to talk to- she wasn't sure. Quixote wanted her to talk to someone, but she assumed by that, he meant to go and talk to Raven. She wasn't convinced- Raven would automatically be on his side, and she wanted more wolves in her corner. She nodded and grimaced slightly. "Not great, Tegan," She answered honestly. "Had a weird....Sleep last night, and just..." She said, trailing off, and shook her head. She missed Colt, and she didn't feel at home with Quixote at the helm. She looked over at Tegan, her gaze soft. "How've you been?" She asked gently. She knew earnesty wasn't generally used in their conversations- less so on his part than on hers, but she didn't feel like using cool lingo or acting as though everything was fine- because it wasn't. And if she could admit it, she hoped he would at least tell her how he was really feeling, post-concussion. It concerned her greatly- as one concussion had pretty much altered the course of their pack permanently.
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when niamh replied, tegan raised his head to look at her with a generous amount of concern-- and confusion-- written across his features. his pale gaze rested on her, ears pressed forwards as his tongue swiped out across his muzzle. not a good sleep? tegan wondered, suddenly, if she knew... if she was insinuating that she knew. but the thought only lingered for a mere second, and tegan reminded himself not to be such a fuckin dumbass. 

"no?" he questioned, trying to press more of an answer out of her, "do you wanna talk about it?" but, then again, it was a question. and she didn't have to answer if she didn't want to.

and then he shrugged, unwilling to share his own inner turmoil. he'd told bat, he didn't have to tell niamh. it'd probably make her question his judgement anyway-- like he was too fucked up to be making decisions or something. "i'm all good. i'm all cleared to be in the field again," he shared with a small flash of a smile. but, for some reason, tegan added, "i didn't sleep too well either." maybe he thought it'd make her feel better. i dunno.
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Did she want to talk about it...Well, she knew that it was either her or Quixote who would be explaining things to the rest of the pack and she didn't want him to put his own spin on the story...But then again, she also didn't necessarily know how Tegan would respond to it, and wanted to avoid the topic altogether. According to what Quixote had informed the pack, in general, she had chosen to step down. But had Colt's absence been noticed yet? And what would happen when they came to her and asked where he'd gone? She would have to face the truth someday- but at least this time, she was being asked by a close friend, not one of the pack's newbies. 

"Not really," She responded, but then she shrugged. "I'm assuming you heard Quixote say that I..." Stepped down? Not really. She wasn't willing to admit that- because she hadn't agreed to step down. He'd made the decision, though she would likely feel, once she got her ducks in a row, that it was for the best, she simply couldn't see that yet. "Well. You heard." She said, a tinge of spite in her voice, though she tried to keep it to a minimum so she didn't have to explain. If she did, eventually, her view of things would get back to Quixote and surely, she'd get in shit again. She'd leave it at that for now, unless he asked more. She was willing to talk- but the conversation couldn't all be about her and her bad day. 

Apparently, though he'd been cleared for duty, Tegan admitted in a rare show of vulnerability that he too hadn't been sleeping well. Her ears flattened, and she regarded him with sympathy. "Did you...Did you like....Freeze?" She asked, and shook her head. "In your sleep...But like...I dunno. I was awake, but dreaming...And I couldn't move. Did that happen to you?" She asked, having never experienced that particular phenomenon before. She felt odd, talking about it, and it made her wonder if this was natural, or if maybe there was something else going on with her mind. It had shaken her, though, to experience what sleep paralysis was like, likely brought on by her exhaustion- and having never heard of it before, it made her feel like there was something really wrong with her.
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he bit his tongue to stop himself from saying something insensitive. not like, to be mean, but tegan's best coping mechanism was humor, so he wanted desperately to be like 'stooped down to my level?' or something stupid. in essence, he was just saying yeah, i know, but with an attempt to lighten the mood. truthfully, he was unsure if it would actually do that in this situation-- especially since he was feeling fairly frazzled this morning. so he just nodded with a tight-lipped expression. "i heard," he returned gently, lacking the crude edge his voice usually had. ~*soft*~ tegan was not very common, at least in niamh's presence. 

but, hang on, that's another thing! something tegan hadn't fully wrapped his mind around. why the hell was he being so emotionally vulnerable? especially in bat's presence-- was it just bat? did she just have some sort of like big fluffy aura that demanded softness? tegan was always being super open to bat. and for why? for what? ugh. or maybe she was just around him the most, so she got the buff of his own trauma... which made him be more vulnerable towards her. ugh. whatever. we don't have time to psychoanalyze it-- tegan's hardly even aware of it. 

niamh's sudden... not happy, no, tegan couldn't describe that as happy... but eager? maybe? it seemed as soon as tegan admitted to relating, niamh got all eager to hear if she and her were having the same problem... or... something. tegan didn't know what to say at first, and it accidentally came off as a little stunned. he'd gone to respond but his mouth just parted and hung there for a moment, ears pinning back. he didn't want to be like 'no i can't relate wtf', but that was kind of how he felt. was she like... paralyzed in her sleep? was he feeling incredibly concerned for her? the answer? uh, yeah. 

"no... not... not in that way," he said finally, shaking his head to drown out all the words flooding his brain, "did that happen to you??" but he realized he felt like he sounded like he was judging her. ugh! but he couldn't leave her hanging? why'd she have to ask?? why couldn't she had just accepted that he hadn't slept well that night!! never mind the last like... since he'd returned from the blackfeather woods... ugh. he had to clarify. "but i had a nightmare," he said sort of feebly-- looking like a god damn pussy, "when i fought screech in the blackfeather woods i hit my head and had this vision of me like... dying... like, it was me and then suddenly i was just above my body watching myself die..." the last part trailed off sort of sadly. pussy. 

ugh! he hated himself even more just saying it out loud. STOP. THINKING. ABOUT. IT. you pussy. tegan gave her a weak smile, trying to stop her from worrying, if she even was. "i have that vision every night," he shared, relating it back to why he was here now. and then, added (again sort of meekly), "that's why i asked bat to sleep in my den." 

MOVE TOPIC. AWAY FROM. YOURSELF. PLEASE. "i'm okay, though, i think it's something to do with the whole fire and screech and... i dunno. i'm okay... are... you okay?"
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Immediately following her story about the experience she'd had, she felt idiotic for telling Tegan. The expression on his face- while priceless- served to convince her a little bit more that what she'd experienced was completely abnormal, and that she might actually have something wrong with her. She worried, wondering if she should go to Raven- but she didn't want to...Not if Raven would then go to Quixote and tell him that there was potentially something wrong with her brain. Did they have any other medics? Or would she have to go seek one out elsewhere so she could get information without having anyone else in the pack- aside from Tegan- know? 

She stared at the ground, ears flattened when he asked if it'd happened to her. She shrugged, and slowly looked up at him. She didn't want to admit it- but obviously, there was no denying it at this point. "Last night. First time." She said quietly. She hoped he'd keep his trap shut about it- and was about to pass a mild threat by him when he spoke again. He admitted to having had a nightmare, which didn't trouble her too much- until he described it. Her expression went blank when he mentioned Screech, and eventually, she frowned. How had he managed to screw up their lives so well? She didn't like the fact that Tegan was having recurring nightmares about Screech- but it did make her feel slightly better to know that she wasn't the only one being haunted by him. 

"That sounds horrible, Tegan," She said. Part of her totally squee'd when he mentioned having Rory stay with him- but she kept her expression plain, for Rory's sake. "Does it help?" She asked, then. Naturally, that might have been an alternative for her, too- but she'd just exiled her mate from the pack, so there was no possibility she'd be able to do the same. He insisted that he was fine, which made her believe that he really wasn't handling it all that well. She moved forward then, as an answer to his question, and pressed her chest against his, laying her muzzle down on his shoulder. "Some day," She murmured softly. Maybe it would reassure him too- that it was alright to not be OK, but still have hope that they'd get there.
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last night. first time. tegan was glad this wasn't the first time this happened... i mean, no he didn't enjoy that it was a continuous thing, but it was familiar now. as much as it sucked, tegan at least understood it. niamh was probably way confused, and that made tegan feel bad. he didn't know how to help.

and then she said it sounded horrible and blah blah blah. yeah, duh it sounded horrible. tegan hadn't really told bat all the horrific details of it-- niamh had gotten more but not the whole thing... but, there wasn't really anything to be done about it. like, how to fix? i d k. and then he nodded. "yeah... i don't get them when she's there," he said, and then realized how fucking bitchass corny that said and added, "i sleep with mom a lot too." ah fuck, that was waaaayyyy worse. his face screwed up. "don't repeat that or i'll kick your teeth in," he warned, but a stupid-ass smirk crowned his muzzle, "mom doesn't know why, i just told her i'm cold."

niamh moved in for an embrace, something tegan actually hadn't expected at all. maybe she did it more for her than she did for him... but he kind of appreciated it. he needed it. and, unfortunately, tegan felt an familiar heat rise through him-- the same one that he got whenever he looked at that smoking hot babe from moonspear. it was actually kind of shocking-- since it was seriously not the time for this-- and beyond that, he'd never actually felt this kinda thing for niamh. maybe this was the reason he avoided her so heavily, cause secretly he knew and wanted to completely avoid the inevitable. but it was inevitable. and, great, now it was attached to a fuckin vulnerable moment in his life. great! fuck. shit. bitch. tegan repressed the emotion entirely. pressing his nose into her neck as she murmured something about them being okay.

"you can come stay with us," he offered, for some stupid ass reason, "if you ever need to." maybe it'd help her too, regardless of anything else.
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Hearing that having a sleeping buddy helped made Niamh feel even more sorry for herself. This had happened after she'd kicked Colt out- so the two were likely related. She'd had someone to snuggle with all this time- basically, since they'd kicked Screech out- and now, in the first few nights of sleeping alone, she was starting to have sleep paralysis. She was glad that it was working for Tegan...But she'd have to find some way to make something work for herself, whether it meant finding someone else to sleep over (Towhee, maybe?) or finding something to sleep against, to mimic the feeling of having someone else with her. The flitting idea of dragging a dead coyote to her den to sleep with came to her mind and her whiskers twitched. Gross. Why did her brain just put that image into her mind?

She snorted- not when Tegan said that he'd gone to stay with Finley, but when he mentioned that he'd kick her teeth in. She bared them- not in an aggressive way, but in almost a taunting way, and clicked her tongue against them. "Please don't- only got a few left," She said, referencing her missing canine. But as she had with Rory, Niamh would bear that particular secret to the grave- unless, of course, he did something that really pissed her off. "I say nothing. As long as you don't tell anyone about my like...Paralysis," She said tentatively. She was willing to bargain- though it wasn't much of a bargain, considering the fact that she wouldn't exactly get much out of telling others that Tegan occasionally slept in his Momma's den. She wasn't terribly surprised- and she didn't figure anyone else would be, either. Heck, she still assumed that Eljay lived with Finley and Elwood so another Blackthorn boy with an Oedipus complex wouldn't surprise her at all. 

Tegan leaned into her embrace, and she felt better. Part of her wished that it was Colt she was leaning against- and even part of her wished that it was Artaax. With that memory crossing her mind, she absent-mindedly began to groom the fur at his shoulder with a gentleness she couldn't remember ever using when coming into contact with Tegan. She reminded herself of who she was really pressed against, and stopped herself. 

At his invitation, she growled softly- a grateful, crooning note- having forgotten herself again. This wasn't the language she should be using to speak with Tegan...That ought to have been saved for Colt or Artaax, but she was obviously having some trouble, lately, controlling her impulses. She smiled gently, and nudged his shoulder. "I kind of doubt your mom would enjoy having both of us sleep over." She said. She tried to inject a bit more humour by adding "Especially if your Dad's there too. Might make her jealous of me." She said, because let's be honest- Elwood was definitely a Hot Dad, whether Tegan admitted it or not.
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"don't piss me off," quipped tegan, who then quickly added, "nah that'd be so far outta pocket, i wouldn't do that." duh! of course not. tegan did have some sort of moral code. 

and then everything changed. 

it was short lived, but niamh began preening softly at the fur along his shoulders. now, tegan didn't really know that much about romantic gestures or whatever, but he knew this much. and he knew how it made him feel. was... niamh... making a move? on him? of course, he didn't have much time to process it because she was quickly back to normal. but then! holy shit then! niamh made the most... actually tegan didn't have a good descriptor for the word. hot, was about as close as he could come to properly describing it. that was fucking hot as hell. and so was tegan, in this moment, who accidentally returned the same note-- though his was deeper. he actually hadn't meant to, it was totally on impulse. but it felt so right.

also entirely weird and wrong since it was niamh. but... she started this! 

and then the mood shifted again, leaving tegan a little frazzled because he wanted to keep figuring out what was just going on. "not with my mom!" he exclaimed rather heatedly. no one fuckin touch finley!! NO ONE. she was all his >:( maybe elwood's. but that's beyond the point. "i meant with me, in my den," he clarified, more gently and not so defensive this time. after having pulled apart, even after she nudged his shoulder, tegan tried to bring the mood back to what it was seconds before... cause he was into that. he reached forwards to touch her cheek with his nose. he was trying to be reassuring, or something. he added, "we can help each other out." or maybe that wasn't reassuring at all. tegan tried.
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Being this close to someone made Niamh lose her bearings, like a compass taunted by a magnet held too close to its needle. It didn't seem to matter to her that this was Tegan- her friend, but also someone that she generally teased and kept at a safe sort of distance. He'd never been this soft or comforting, and she felt something wash over her, raising the hairs along the nape of her neck when he uttered a low, endearing note to her. She felt a slight break in...Whatever it was that was going on when he spoke about his mother, which caused her to chuckle- a dry, airy sound. When he pulled away, the cold air seeped in between them, and she found herself, too, wanting for more. 

He touched her cheek and she exhaled softly, closing her eyes as though seized by some kind of rapture she hadn't expected. His words were kind and gentle, and with her eyes closed, he could have been anyone. Of course, he sounded like Tegan- but at the same time, he didn't sound like Tegan. And he didn't feel like Tegan either. He simply felt like a warm, enticing being, and she found herself wanting more from him. She nuzzled his cheek in return, and leaned her temple into the crook of his neck, pressing her shoulder against his chest gently. It might not exactly have been what he'd meant, by taking care of each other, but it certainly felt good in the meantime.
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holy shit-- are you guys reading this rn??? like do you see what the fuck is happening? because tegan does NOT. i mean, he does, he's fuckin living it! but he cannot believe the shit that's going on rn. 

for a second he wonders if he should back off. i mean, clearly niamh isn't and he's totally into that-- but colt is his uncle and they're both in a weird, emotionally vulnerable state... like, maybe this isn't the right time for this? but, on the other hand, it was niamh who started all this and tegan had no qualms with it. not truly, not unless he started overthinking... and he wasn't really thinking with his head right now, if you know what i'm sayin.

she pressed herself into him, in multiple different ways. with her temple and her nose and her shoulder. tegan was like, bitch why the fuck u tryna be clip into me or something this isn't a video game, but he was also like super into it. this was weird! was this how it always went? he had no idea! but he was, again, super into it. 

she didn't speak again, so tegan kept his big ass mouth shut. instead, as she pressed into him, tegan took the opportunity to nip gently at the bulb at the base of her ear, pressing back into her. he used his teeth to preen down her jawline towards her neck. cause, that felt natural? he was pretty sure that's what he was supposed to be doing. it kind of just... i dunno. he was relying entirely on instinct and weird, scientific explanations he'd been givin from towhee in the past.
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She felt him begin to tease his teeth through the fur at the base of her ear and trail along her jaw, so she tilted her head back, in a display of trust and affection, and allowed him to groom the side of her neck where she was vulnerable. It was Tegan- he would never hurt her...She opened one honey eye slightly to see him, and doing so made her realize that she was doing something that she probably ought not be doing. She couldn't tell exactly why she wanted this so bad- and why she wanted it from Tegan of all wolves, but she knew in her heart that it was wrong. Still, he was so warm...How could she ever pull herself away from him?

She rumbled an affectionate note, but toward the end, she tightened her throat and bared her teeth. She pulled herself away from him abruptly, flicking her tongue over her teeth almost in an irritated fashion, but refused to make eye contact with him. The cold filled in the air between them, brushing against her fur and seeping toward her skin in a way that made her want to move against him again, but she couldn't do it. She hardened her gaze and uttered a small, frustrated growl. Her posture stiffened, warning him not to reach out for her again. She felt angry for no reason, but told herself to cool it. If she went off on Tegan, she'd definitely get punished for it- and it was her fault, for even starting something like that. 

"I'm sorry, Teg...I'm...In a weird place right now," She said, shaking her head. She still refused to look at him, wary of the fact that if she did- and if he looked at her the way he had a few moments ago, she might not be able to keep herself away from him.
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ah god damn it. well, not really. actually, tegan was surprised he'd made it this far... surprised it'd even happened. it kind of stung, just a bit, tegan realized, as she got so heated and suddenly defensive. he might've pressed her had she not calmed down a bit-- but she explained herself quickly (or, well, kinda did) and left tegan standing sort of dumbly across from her. 

"i get it," he said quietly, instead, not bothering to hold back the hurt in his voice-- which he regretted moments later. he kind of knew now that he might've harbored feelings for the sandy girl... and this sort of proved to him a second time it wasn't ever gonna work. that kinda hurt-- outside of the whole scenario that she had totally given him blue balls. that wasn't why he was upset... but maybe she wouldn't pick up on that.

 his gaze still fell upon her, trying to read her features, though she was hiding them so well tegan eventually gave up, looking away from her as well. damn it dude, don't be so awkward. "well, here," he began, looking back towards her again, "blame this lil incident on me-- we all know i'm just too good looking for everyones good. and forget about it, okay? i'll still be here whenever you need me." ha ha. he hoped she'd take him seriously, even with the dumbass joke. "my place is always open, seriously." and he meant it, offering niamh an amiable smile and a few waves of his tail.
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Tegan apparently understood, but she doubted that he did...Still, she didn't want to have to explain herself, because it might make her admit something that she didn't want to admit, or hurt his feelings. The easiest explanation likely would have wounded his pride- for him to know that at that point, she was just about ready to throw herself at anything with four legs and a pair of nards...And it likely would have made him feel worse to know that he wasn't even the first wolf she'd come across and tried to seduce. She was just doing what her body was trying to tell her, but had no idea that it was definitely going to get worse. For the time being, at least, she was able to control herself...More or less. 

He softened, though, which was why she didn't want to explain things to him. He'd been kind to her, and she'd latched onto his generosity perhaps a bit too hard and fast, and to burst his bubble would have been very ungrateful of her. She smiled weakly when he mentioned something about his own looks, even though she knew that it was him looking like him- like Tegan- that had stopped her from going too far. Not that he was unattractive- but just that he was who he was, and despite the fact that he was a great hang, she didn't feel that way about him. Her reproductive parts might have- but her heart didn't. "That's pretty much it," She agreed, choosing instead to go with his little side story, though when she lifted her gaze to meet his it was full of appreciative warmth- and perhaps just a bit more than that, simply because she couldn't help it. Her tone was velvety and quiet when she spoke again. "Thanks, Tegan," She said, but a slight sadness in her eyes expressed her true sentiment. Because of what had happened- or what had nearly happened, his offer was no longer valid, just in case she wasn't able to stop herself the next time.
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yeah, replied tegan easily, of course... I’m sure bat wouldn’t mind the company either. oof. just now tegan remembered how he was pretty sure bat had a thing for him. but maybe not? jurys out on that one. he wouldn’t bring it up to her. 

tegan shook his fur out. alright I‚Äôm gonna... uh, go. got hoodrat shit to do,¬†he said with a wry smile, and then began off in the opposite direction‚ÄĒ mentally kicking himself for thinking he could‚Äôve had a chance with niamh. fucker. stay in your god damn lane.
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#17
Bat. Rory. Oh shit. And there she'd been, tucking herself against Tegan like her life had depending on it and she was supposed to be cheering Rory on from the sidelines. She hoped, then, that Tegan truly would bear that secret to the grave. Nothing had happened, so there was no foul, right? She felt guilty, and could do nothing but hope desperately that Tegan would keep his trap shut- and that that would be the only time he'd even consider getting that close to her. 

Hoodrat shit? She laughed weakly. She nodded as he turned to go, and though she wanted to give him a thump on the shoulder or something- she refrained. "Thanks Teg," She called after him, and once he was gone, she promptly dropped her muzzle into the stream and screamed until she was out of breath. She withdrew her muzzle, dripping wet, and shook her head. The cold was alarming, but she hoped it'd help her at least keep her mind out of the gutter for the next little while. Perhaps best if she simply slunk back to her den- and stayed there until spring.