Dragoncrest Cliffs i’m brimming over,
Private  December 19, 2018, 12:04 AM

ayy boo just making this lil lighthearted thing since all this conflict atm is making me run out of steam (“8 have a sleepy whiny aure!!
Setting DCC / Redwood Forest, nighty night 
Summary Takes place hours after this but before shit hits the fan w AS doggos

She’d arrived at the shore of Hougeda’s lake some time ago, stumbling there on aching, drowsy muscles and grumbling through a haze of sleep. A shiver ruffled itself through her as her paws hit the wintery freshwater. Between Verx’s last lesson and charting for her trade, her thoughts had become bleary and wandering, like motes leftover from these new stars she sought to wrest into her understanding.

Her time spent awake was even more so, like now; ears and lashes drooping, wavering in place as she nearly fell asleep at the very rocks beneath her. In her groggy state, she snarled meekly into the waters; daring them to try to make her list, despite her standing all the same.

She would’ve blamed Heda’s guardian—if there’d been anything to blame him for. Aside from a bruised hip and a choice nip she’d like to put on his muzzle, he was patient; a forethinking mentor. Given that she’d had none prior in so long.

It was with a huff and hobble, then, that she made to turn and return to the dense, shrouded foliage of the redwoods; murmuring to herself in soft anticipation to return to sleep. But still... she grumped, groggy and all, at herself to the point of almost pouting. Something felt unfair about all of this; too vaguely so that she hadn’t her wits to even put into words.
December 19, 2018, 10:31 PM
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He came across Aure during his restless patrolling, pale, slender, and undoubtedly exhausted. He brightened considerably when he saw her and trotted her way, a smile stretching his broad face. Hey, sweet thing! he called out, voice ringing off the redwoods' thick trunks. You know you can sleep here, right? You don't need to stay awake?

Vercingetorix jested, obviously, but there was a touch of concern in his voice. He knew it was tense between them and the wolves in the sound, but jeez, she'd just gotten here. Was she already cracking under the pressure?
December 19, 2018, 10:58 PM

Her ears pricked at the sound of his voice, and she came up short as she blearily looked to see oh-look-who-it-is swaggering for her. “Berx,” Squinting up at him through her own silvery-blue gaze, she brushed on by him—purposefully shouldering at his side as she went. “Why did I have to arribe when all this about to happen?”

“I should have let that coyote starve me. A war is about to unleash isself on ze cliffs, I cannod sleep, sir,” she gripes back at him, a pout in full effect now and her ears lax and awry. There’s a slight lisp to her voice, and her accent does nothing to help.

Rather suddenly, she whirled back to him, blinking and a bit unsteady as she scrunched her pink nose up at him. “I don’t even know the borders, Berx. I haven’t even patroleld. I wanna see fhem, Berx.” She raised her brows at him, trying her best to be the image of command and grace—and utterly failing.
December 19, 2018, 11:11 PM
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Ugh, she was way too cute. He couldn't stand it. He laughed, shaking his head. The border? he asked incredulously. Babe, you're dead on your paws. How in hell. . . He breathed in, deep, through his nostrils, turning away for a moment.

Okay, fine, Verx decided, looking back at her. Let's go. We'll see how far you get before dyin' on me. He began to pad off, summoning her to follow. If anything, it was a chance to get to know a beautiful lady. Sleepy or otherwise, there was no denying her appeal.

He went north first, steering clear of the view of the sound--for now. It was clear that the impending conflict was wearing her thin, and she deserved a break from it, at least for a little while. They all did.
December 20, 2018, 12:58 AM

For a few moments, she stayed where she was, blinking tiredly after him. But all it took from the Guard was a cordial beckoning and with that, she was hobbling after him, whining softly. Weren't there more borders? Different ones? Where was he going? Had she known his doting thoughts just then, she would've woken promptly--and then tossed herself off the nearest cliff. Or into the jaws of the wolves now occupying the sound.

"If I died, you could carry me?" Falling instead alongside him, stepping into a light, groggy trot to compensate for his longer, much darker legs. "You really could, you know. Die me," a disgruntled noise to correct herself, "C-carry me, obviously."

Scars, old and scarlet like redwoods, curled as she wrinkled her muzzle at him again, scrutinizing. If it wasn't for the predawn light, she'd had have lost him back at the lake most likely. "I don't think you know your own strength. You..." slurring lightly, she stumbled into him, entirely uncoordinated and trying to come up with something that'd do some damage: "You made my body hurt, a lot, you... W-why did you have to hurt me?

”...M'gonna hurt you.
The she-wolf abruptly, and entirely uncouthly, made to nip his muzzle like she'd been meaning to. But she was clumsy and coltish, and the flame she usually fought with definitely wasn't present; more or less, she was a simmering, meek thing. Harmless.
December 22, 2018, 12:16 AM
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He turned to her as she began to speak, and as it became less and less comprehensible, he stopped, staring at her. His face cracked in a grin. Baby girl, you're cracking like--

And then she made to bite his muzzle, and something primitive took him over. Eyes flashing, he rose himself to his full height and gently, but firmly, clamped his jaws over the bridge of her nose, holding her in place. He looked down at her, gaze burning through her skull, silently establishing his dominance over her.

Verx let go, after a long moment, giving her an inscrutable look. You're gonna hurt, bounkola, he said quietly. Sparring is rigorous shit. But don't forget your place. He nudged her cheek with his nose, briefly, before pulling away and continuing to walk forward.
December 22, 2018, 12:45 AM

Stupid. Thoughtless. That's what she was becoming.

One moment, she'd been leaning on his stolid self, and made for his muzzle-- stupid, stupid! The next, he whirled on her, as dark and as a storm's cloud and as fleet as lightning; already, she'd made to press to the loam and frost, shaken right out of fatigue. But his hold on her kept her from moving as far as a stilted stance, weight thrown into her hocks and tail trembling between them--even more than she was.

Stupid. She didn't deserve to be handled so singularly; he should be towering above her, snarl and fury and all, the weight of it on her shoulders and stinging her neck. But he didn't. Released, she heard his murmured words, and some little epithet tossed in of that ocean language she'd never learned; barely feeling the fleeting press of nose-to-cheek, her gleaming eyes properly averted.

When he finally continued with his guide, she let her shivers break out freely along her pelt, and stayed where she was for a few heartbeats. Only when her fur had settled - (as much as it could) - she continued on, hating the barrier she'd suddenly thrust up between them bonding. Her voice came docile, reverential -- but so painfully quivering, trying to hide it: "Yes, dragă--" No! Stupid, thoughtless! "I--yes, Verx."

She hesitated in trailing after him, at that, but picked up the pace to meekly fall in step with him again. Began to pray to all those gods, if there were any, that she never believed in.

"I-I will be good." Stupid, soft, useless Brana.
December 22, 2018, 01:32 AM
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He felt kind of bad. He never particularly liked to dole out discipline, even when it was needed. But he knew that if she pulled that kind of shit with other wolves in Drageda, it would have ended a lot worse. Lots of warriors didn't have his good nature. This behavior needed to be curbed sooner rather than later.

Verx nodded at her submission, mouth tightening in an awkward frown, and forged ahead, not speaking until they reached the northeast border, on the verge of the river delta. He stared out at the brackish water, and then turned to Aure.

Luckily for us, we've got the sea for a border, so we only really need to watch the edge of the forest, he said absently, looking back at the trees. Not much to it, really. With a muted sigh, he flicked his tail, padding back into the redwoods and signaling for her to follow.
December 22, 2018, 01:54 AM

Of course, her mind wasn't following his clearer train of thought at the moment, but maybe she would reconsile with it later during reflection. Why it bothered her so much was, perhaps beyond her... or not. She kept her eyes pointedly away from Verx's own; although she knew that the terse moment was over, she still took pains even now to be a bit distanced. She listened to his words, more half-heartedly than anything but making sure to tuck the sparing information away for later.

By the time he beckoned her once more, she followed him without much hesitation, careful to not let their pelts brush as they'd done earlier. For a while, they made do with the quiet between them, before she mused softly, "I should be back to myself within a week,"  her tone holding a try at a humorous edge. As she allowed her argent eyes to roam, listless and careful, they caught sight of what she hoped was a yawning entrance to a hollow redwood.

Whether or not he noticed, she'd begun to slow until she wavered next to it, considering; gaze uncertain upon his shadow rather than his face, and feeling rather... modest. And not simply for her overstep. "Would you mind... ah, um... sleeping with me tonight?" - (obviously not realizing the modern innuendo of her words) -  "I...I want to explain myself, um.." Already fidgeting some, peeking at him from under her slim brow. Said this, even as a haze of sleep had begun to creep back into her hesitant eyes.
December 22, 2018, 02:01 AM
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He gave a nod to her words, not paying them much mind. They were all on edge. Only the absence of wolves from the sound would alleviate the tension. But if she felt like she would be better, then. . .well, more power to her. And then she spoke again. Would you mind sleeping with me tonight?

Vercingetorix's head whipped around, and he gaped at her with brows raised nearly to his ears, having bypassed the tree. He opened his mouth to make a bawdy joke, but the sincerity in her voice made it die almost immediately following conception. She was for real. He wasn't gonna fuck with her if she had something important to get off her chest.

Um, sure, he responded, sounding a little hesitant, but definitely willing. His eyes wandered toward the tree. It would be perhaps a little cramped, but he was fine with close quarters, particularly in this circumstance. In there?
December 22, 2018, 02:17 AM

For a moment, her simplicity of such statements had broken through her uneasy facade: her own brows furrowed where his had almost flown from his skull. Lashes fluttering unassumingly, she cast the hollowed redwood a more inspective look, "Yes, but I am very little. I don't think I'll give you mush torubel," her nightly lisp beginning to peek out through her voice. Either she didn't notice that, either, or didn't care, before throwing him an entirely mirthful look - like a flash of moon between heavy clouds - before making her way in first.

She circled about on sodden, paper-thin leaves and loam, ruffling her arctic coat for more warmth, and then settled down a little off to one side; waiting and blinking up heavy-lidded and owlishly back at him; the sincere, bright eyes a bit watery. Either with fatigue or otherwise; and if she was being honest, a little impatient for him  some warmth.

Whenever he'd managed to settle his own self, too, she began simply:  "On ze way to ze Wilds, I... lost my brother. And myself." She paused, her jaw attempting to work for words, fixing her gaze into the dimly-like gloam beyond, eyes tracking the light flurry of flakes. "I think we lost each other, in a way, even before that moment. Before we were even yearlings." 
December 22, 2018, 02:25 AM
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He laughed softly, a little puff of air from his nostrils, before nodding, letting her go in first. A bit unsure of himself, he was slow to follow, adjusting himself to the dim light and the cramped quarters. The brute settled at a distance far enough to be respectful but close enough to hear her murmured words, bi-colored eyes glowing in the shade. At any rate, there was no far; he ended up pressed against her, anyways.

Which wasn't altogether a bad thing, really.

Verx's face grew long and sympathetic as she spoke, his gaze gently fixed upon her. I'm sorry, bounkola, he responded when she had finished, shaking his head. It's always hard to lose someone close to your heart. No one should have to go through that pain, and yet, everyone does. He blinked, taking a deep breath in. Tell me more.
December 22, 2018, 02:49 AM

Her gaze, glittering like his, only gave a slow, sidelong glance to where he was cradled near her in the hollow; she'd chosen well. There would be nobody else to hear what she wanted to confess--to him. Her ears tilted toward his words, and her throat closed at the empathy in his voice; she brought her gaze away, hoping he hadn't seen the sheen in them or heard the faint, rasp of a hitch in her breath. She needed to steel herself. Tried to. Faltered.

Where to begin? Or continue, for that matter? Aure crossed her snowshoe paws in thought, sparing a flick of the ear his way as she wandered through everything that had happened in her earlier life. Her gaze, at it always had, went to the stars—or where she knew they were, veiled behind curtains of moonlight and night’s foliage. "Once, I would have given anything to search for him. I'd have given mountains cause to kneel, or molded ze winds themselves to carry me, with naught but ze stars to guide me. Stars... whom I owe so much."

First, she told him, lowly and without fail, of her northern haven, her brother, and the false tenant who they had tended to there -- Dennan. His name felt thick and abrasive on her tongue, like the scars he'd given her; she almost bit it out; but she recalled his invitation to the children, drawing them out with such hymns on some gods-day. How it had turned, instead, into some frenzied baptism of some dastardly sect. "Whenever I awoke, it felt as if I had slept an eternity. Waiting for my hanar to breathe so naturally was..." The sentence tapered off, and she shook her head. "His breaths were ze most precious things I had ever heard. Ze stars had been ze only ones to keep me company since then. As I waited, I... we... both died, in a way. Twice. In ze waters, and in repose."

"Because I lost him, months ago, I suppose I feel obliged to repay ze cosmos in some way, for all of their guidings." She bloomed for the Guard, but in a different way, as much as she had to tell.
December 22, 2018, 03:17 AM
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She was difficult to understand, not only because of her accent, but due to the subject matter, as well. Vercingetorix didn't know shit about the stars. He placed no faith in their relevance beyond light or navigation. He would never be an astrologer.

But they were important to her, and so he listened and tried to understand.

How would you repay the stars? he asked, his tone genuine. He wanted, needed to understand. He was too invested in her story now to stumble blindly along with her.
December 22, 2018, 03:37 AM

As she took a few moments to compose herself, and drudge up the rest of what she had to say, she situated herself more on elbow and side. In her reminiscing, she'd forgotten how much proximity they truly shared; ivory-pale fur, heady for the winter, flickered just along his own. Her back, broad and svelte at the same time, pressed along his shoulder, his flank. And her head, if she'd wanted to lean back, would've held just in breadth of his jawline.

She kept herself absolutely still; holding her breath, just in case he was still a bit terse with her from before. But then, she heard the inquiry of his, and turned her mind, almost reluctantly, from the swath of warmth that was him. It gave her no time to focus on the intimacy--at least, of the body. Or the way her heart ached, holding its own breath, at the heartfelt curiosity in his voice.

"B-by learning fhem," she breathed, stumbling over a word; carefully keeping herself perched up on an elbow. Her finely-shaped head was turned, pointedly gazing out into winter's gloom, but enough so that the pink of her nose and unacknowledged flush of her cheeks were visible. "Charting them in my mind. When I arrived to Teekon, I admit they... almost turned me North again."  Her ears flattened in slight humility, but she went on. "Unfortunately, they turned me South, too. Until I hear even a whisper of him, I have to become a part of them; to see them as they see me.”

“Ahm... but I was able to let them lead me to ze seas. Vonnaruil has always wanted to see ze shores, for we have never been able to before." 
Then, ever-so carefully turning her head a smidgen, just to eye up at him, "It is why I came here. On a hope of some memory, at least. Ze last thing I expected was a dead coyote and a pack to join."

She was more than certain that Drageda hadn’t expected her, either... but she hoped it was at least in some appreciative way. Almost hoped, sometimes.

And she paused again, keeping the one shy, sleepy eye on Verx, allowing him to process it all before she delved into the last segment--to really explain herself for tonight. Allowed her minute form to remain so faintly pressing along his; ready to flinch away the moment any negative disfavor showed.
December 22, 2018, 03:50 PM
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The proximity was almost too much to bear. He wanted--needed--to be a gentleman, but it wasn't his nature. He held back as she spoke, but as silence fell between them, he began to preen at the fur at the base of her ears, her neck, the teeth so imposing before now gentle as a comb.

Maybe it's all part of some great plan, Verx murmured, breath warm against her pelt. He drew closer, one foreleg slowly, lazily pulling her into his embrace. If she showed any signs of discomfort, he would stop--but for now, he couldn't resist. The stars, the coyote. Like you were meant to be here.

He scoffed softly, shaking his head. Fuck if I know, he mumbled, taking a deep draw of her scent. Glad you're here, though. Even if things aren't as peaceful as maybe you expected. Peace was overrated, though. Vercingetorix thrived in conflict.
December 22, 2018, 04:27 PM

His teeth, once more, kept her completely still—but rather than harm, they instead skimmed through her fur to comfort. And then he was speaking, a heavy foreleg coaxing her closer. A shiver rattled up her spine, her nerves brimming with oversensitivity; and she couldn’t help the soft, keening whimper, weak and halting, that followed as his name, “V-Verx,” and knowing it had absolutely nothing to support it. No authority or command in her tone to make him stop.

She wasn’t sure she wanted him to stop. Aure felt unfocused, flushed; bashful and... somehow alive at the same time. She didn’t know what it was—why her heart kept aching more and more for him, or why his touch was simmering, but at the same time relaxing. Whatever she’d wanted to reply with had completely abandoned the frazzled nest of her mind.

And she was so sleepy.

Whatever those hesitant, heated, anxious emotions she’d felt were over-whelmed by fatigue. Where she didn’t understand them, she understood how tired she was. Despite feeling taut and tender all at once, she finally — finally — allowed herself to melt back into him. Her head rested along the strong column of his neck, just shy of his jawline.

Heavy-lidded and still trying to wrestle against the gentle bliss of his preening, her words became thick and slurred and softly petulant, “Bverx, I... n’wanna finish.... explain, I’m m’not d-done,” and still trying to mumble her way into apologizing. Even as her lashes began to flutter while her moon-pale head began to nod down his warm chest, a light crease between her brows. “Don’t wantto dleep, s-sir.... Not.. my fate to ssleep...dragâ..”
December 22, 2018, 04:39 PM
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Oh. He didn't catch the nerves in her whisper, only the way it lifted the hairs along his spine. He pressed his full length against her, curving around her like a dark sickle, planting soft but insistent kisses along the graceful arc of her neck. Mmm, she tasted sweet, as if someone were to squeeze the moon out into a pool and bathe her in its liquid light. The moon, and the stars. . .

And then she spoke, and things became suddenly different. He felt exhaustion pulling at his lids as well, warring with arousal, and he sighed, fighting--failing--against sleep himself.

It's all right, Vercingetorix whispered, sensing the darkness crashing in around them and losing himself to it. You can tell me the rest of the story tomorrow. Hosh daun, bounkola. Sleep. His words became more and more slurred as he went on, the Trigedasleng barely audible against her downy pelt.
December 22, 2018, 04:56 PM

(ᴗ ͜ʖ ᴗ) lmao
wanna archive this??

In her mind, dimly, somehow and somewhere within, she knew he was right. She’d be able to tell him tomorrow, as she still felt so fleet around him; even now.

But sleep, she did; by the time the weight of his neck pressed her into the cradle of his free foreleg, and his clicking language guttural in her ears. An immense swath of abysmal gloom curled around her, as Verx had done.

For once, she found herself not as lost amongst the stars as she had always been.