Sun Mote Copse First light
All Welcome  February 13, 2019, 11:01 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

The Sovereign woke to the peaceful hush of a fresh winter snow and she just knew. She was with child. There was no longer any question about it. It was like some sort of instinctive knowledge, though as soon as she unfurled from beside @Eljay, she took note of several things. Firstly, her underside was cold and tender, the result of thinning fur and swelling teats. Secondly, her belly looked slightly rounded, as if she'd enjoyed a very large meal. But her stomach's loud snarl declared to the world that it wasn't any kind of food baby; it was a baby baby, likely several.

Thrilled by these obvious signs of her pregnancy, Wildfire struck out a paw to tap Eljay. She froze at the last instant, her face suddenly growing contemplative. In another month or so, the two of them would be welcoming a litter, which they would raise together. This was really, actually happening. She sipped in a breath as the knowledge really sank into the marrow of her bones and she found herself peering down at his sleeping face.

She loved him. She wasn't entirely certain of the nature of that love, especially after spending so many years with another woman. But Wildfire realized that the idea of spending her life by his side, not just as parents but as partners, made her heart feel light. There was more to bond them than simply the pups growing in her womb, though certainly they would be the knot that tied the two of them together. That made Wildfire think of her recent conversation with Colt and how much a stable marriage contributed to her idyll of a family.

Finally, she reached out to him, but not with her paw. She set that back on the ground and bent forward to kiss Eljay awake.

Soundtrack. Set for tomorrow (Feb. 14) because I'm a sap. Tagging @Finley in the hopes it turns her into this:

[Image: giphy.gif]
February 13, 2019, 11:16 AM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
A lot had happened over the past month. Eljay thought he saw some differences in Wiffle: the way her stomach looked, the way she seemed way hungrier than usually, but how could he really be sure those were pups? Weren't they just the changes he wanted to see in her, simply because... well, because he wanted to? And although Eljay had some experience with delivering pups and had helped mommy through one of her pregnancies and deliveries, too, he was a little shy asking Wiffle to see all the 'bits that mattered' when it came to delivering pups. Silly, because he'd never felt that awkward doing check-ups like that before. Eljay had asked for advice, but it all boiled down to the same thing. Tell her. Or build her an altar, but Eljay wasn't sure if Wiffle was the altar type of girl. Maybe Tegan's girls were all more into that sort of thing..? They were probably the kind of hot, lion-like girls, strong and tough, and well... Wiffle was more, uh, tender, he supposed, kind of like himself, but stronger.

All in all, it hadn't lead him to a solution much yet. Eljay, completely unaware of whatever Wiffle even thought of him (other than that she 'liked him', but he didn't know in what way she liked him, still), was having vivid dreams. A lot of them were terrifying: someone else forced him to do the deed with them, too, even though he didn't want to. And then he was actually enjoying it, for some super weird reason because he didn't even enjoy it that much with Wiffle and he actually loved her. And then he saw her standing there! Oh no! Pop.

There was another dream where the pups were all born dead, and another where the pups all hated him. Needless to say, Eljay wasn't having the best sleep that night. There was also a dream where he was sleeping, and Wiffle was staring at him. It was a weird third person sort of experience. Eljay mumbled something in his sleep, but he couldn't even hear what he was mumbling himself. His ears twitched as Wiffle's paw drew closer but then withdrew.

He opened his eyes as he felt a kiss on his nose. His head was still, maybe because Eljay had already expected to be woken up. Thinking he was still dreaming, Eljay smiled, his tail causing a soft thud-thud on the ground. His head remained still on the ground and his soft green eyes searched for Wiffle's. Heya, he said, his voice soft and love-drunk, almost as if he was seeing Wiffle for the first time. The sort of 'heya' you'd give your dream love when they'd kiss you awake after your first night together. Dream-Eljay was a lot more suave than real world Eljay, maybe because in a dream, it didn't matter that much what you said or did. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
February 13, 2019, 11:24 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

His eyes opened slowly and he didn't bother raising his head. At his soft, "Heya," Wildfire quirked a brow and then huffed a quiet laugh. "Hiya," she said in return, noting his sleepy gaze and wondering if he was really awake at all. If not, she thought she had the perfect way to jump start his day.

"I wanted to show you something," she said in the next breath, pulling back and swinging her lithe red body so that she was broadside to him, her undercarriage hovering almost directly over his nose. "Look," she breathed, wondering how quickly Eljay would notice the sparser fur, more obvious teats and the very slight swelling of her tummy.
February 14, 2019, 05:31 AM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Only in a dream he would be kissed awake, of course. Eljay smiled dreamily at Wiffle as she returned his greeting, and then she suddenly mentioned wanting to show him something. Eljay contemplated briefly how he would sway Wiffle into his arms, or if maybe he should outright tell her that he liked her because she had just kissed him after all. There was a nagging doubt that things might turn sour in this dream if he did something so bold, but then again, it was only a dream and, again, she had just kissed him.

Soon this dream was turning into more of a nightmare when she very abruptly swung her body towards him. Eljay would've been red as a beet if he didn't have his fur to protect him, his eyes widened. He felt super awkward being so close to Wiffle's body after the stuff they did and the feelings he had for her, like, wow, how even to respond? Therefore he didn't instantly see when she said 'look', just blindly trying to look everywhere but what she was trying to show him. Eljay just hoped it was time to wake up soon, as he was about ready to be rescued from this pleasant-dream-turned-nightmare.

But as it was very hard to look away, considering she basically shoved her teats in his face, in a flash as he tried to avert his gaze left and right, and passed Wiffle's belly right in the middle, he suddenly realised the swelling of her stomach. He'd seen it before, but Eljay didn't really want to insinuate that Wiffle might just be fat if she turned out to not be pregnant, so he hadn't had the stomach to tell her until now. His tail began to sway and he said with a smile, Wow! as he suddenly started to realise what, exactly, all of this meant. He was going to be a dad! And Wiffle was going to be the mother of his children!
February 14, 2019, 10:43 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Several seconds ticked past before Eljay seemed to cotton onto what she was trying to show him. Wildfire grinned at his exclamatory, "Wow!" and then sidestepped again to take a seat facing him. "This is it," she said a little breathlessly, "it's officially official. We're going to have babies!"

This proclamation was followed instantly by a moment of sheer surreality (that's not a word? It is now). Wildfire flew back in time to her previous pregnancies, revisiting all the various emotions they'd entailed before snapping back to the present in the space of a blink. In the wake of this flashback, she felt extremely overwhelmed.

Apropos of nothing, Wildfire began to cry, though she smiled through her tears. "We're gonna have babies," she repeated in a low-pitched, marveling voice. Why did she have to have so many feelings, all at once? They seemed to amalgamate in her core, prompting her to declare, "I want to make this official too," and frantically wrung her paw back and forth between the two of them.
February 14, 2019, 11:28 AM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Only then did Eljay realise he wasn't actually dreaming. Well, he thought he wasn't dreaming. He was pretty sure of it. There were some odds he was still dreaming, but usually dreams were all bad or all good instead of this rollercoaster that he'd gotten so used to when living with Wiffle. So he was about 90% sure that it was all real now. And it was officially official. They were going to have BABIES. Yay! Eljay brought out happily, although this was a vast understatement of his actual feelings in that moment. He wasn't even sure how to begin describing how he felt.

Right about at the same time that Wiffle started to cry, so did Eljay, who just didn't even know how to express his feelings right now. He was just so crazy happy, even with the sliver of doubt that still lingered because he wasn't really sure what was going on between him and Wiffle still.

Well, it seemed Wiffle was eager to fix that, too. Eljay sniffed loudly in an attempt to banish the last tears when she said she wanted to make 'this' official and said: What? He probably should've said something like, 'I like you a lot', or 'What does that mean? Do you like me, too, like the way I like you?' Or at this point, even a frantic 'I love you' would've probably been better. But instead he blinked away some tears and dumb-foundedly stared at Wiffle while he waited with bated breath for what would come next, still terrified of rejection even though she had given off a lot of hints that she liked him too. Such as having his babies in the first place.
February 14, 2019, 11:34 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

He began to weep too. Everything felt surreal again. None of her former lovers, least of all Thuringwethil, would have empathized with her like this. Wildfire's tears, whether borne of gladness or sadness, had only ever seemed to flummox her former mate. There was something deeply moving about being able to share such vulnerability and raw joy with her partner.

As reality slowly reasserted itself, Wildfire found herself leaving butterfly kisses all over Eljay's face, kissing away his tears even as hers dripped onto his face. She should've been embarrassed for the two of them but there was nothing like that living in her heart right now. She was brimming with all sorts of emotions, none of them in the least negative.

"What?" Eljay asked, apparently not understanding what she meant, which was fair enough considering she hadn't actually said. "You and me. I want us to be mates. If that's something you want too."
February 14, 2019, 11:39 AM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
The kisses planted on his face to take away the tears were met with ticklish chuckles. Wiffle then brazenly explained what she meant, exactly. Eljay had, of course, perfectly understood what Wiffle had meant the first time and that was the problem. He just couldn't really believe that she would like him like that at all, really, so Eljay was beginning to wonder if he was wrong about the whole dream-thing. But everything felt so real, including the mixed feeling in his stomach because he just loved Wiffle so much and he was terrified to find out that she might not quite like him in the same way.

But then she said it. That she wanted to be mates with him, officially and all that. He blinked in utter surprise and confusion. With me? he asked to double-check, even though there was obviously no one else there (but Elfie and Weejay) that she could be talking to. Then after the initial confusion, he happily said -- Yes! -- only for the fear of rejection to settle in again. Eljay carefully asked: Are you sure that's what you want? I mean, I don't want you to be mates with me just because you think we have to, for the pups, or, or because of what others might think otherwise. Eljay looked earnestly at Wiffle then. He wanted to say, I want you to be mates with me because you love me the way that I love you, but he just couldn't manage the words to actually come out of his throat.
February 14, 2019, 11:49 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Wildfire snorted unattractively at his, "With me?" It caused a bubble of snot to form in her nostril, which bloomed and burst rapidly. "Yes, Eljay," she answered, voice thick, "with you." His exuberant, "Yes!" had her crying harder and laughing all at once.

Of course, he wouldn't be Eljay if he didn't second-guess everything. Wildfire had grown used to it, so it didn't bother her, although she couldn't resist rolling her watery eyes in that affectionate way she'd adapted since becoming involved with him in the first place. Patiently, she drew back to look him in the face, waiting until their eyes locked.

"Yes, I'm sure it's what I want. I love you, Eljay, and I want to continue building this life with you," Wildfire said, voice wavering only a little. They'd begun this adventure quite unexpectedly, with nary a thought or plan. Despite its impromptu beginnings, it felt surer than nearly anything else in her life ever had, save perhaps for her unconditional love for her children (unborn included).
February 14, 2019, 01:20 PM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
With him! Eljay waited breathlessly for her elaboration. Could it really be true? She was still crying and Eljay was at this point mostly still stifling sobs because of Wiffle crying. It was impossible not to cry, too. Then when Wiffle not only elaborated, but said the magic words he'd hoped to hear, it remained hard to keep the tears from coming. Eljay's tail wagged in a mixture of happiness and 'I can't believe this' as he looked at Wiffle's beautiful soft eyes.

The words that were on his tongue ever since he'd comforted Wiffle there by the lake were suddenly spoken to him instead. Eljay hadn't been the one to take the risk, like Wiffle had suggested when they spoke about ladies there. But in the end it all ended up well nonetheless. I love you too, Wiffle! Eljay shared, the words sounding a lot like he'd been holding them in for a long time. Ever since the lake! And maybe before that, when he didn't want Wiffle to leave so he followed her here. He might not have realised it right away -- not until Wiffle had suggested them being parents together and had seduced him, when it all fell into place.
February 14, 2019, 03:29 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

It warmed her heart when Eljay quickly reciprocated. Eyes still swimming with happy tears, she gently booped snoots with him (almost as if to seal the deal), her tongue flicking out in a sweet kiss before she withdrew again. Wildfire heaved a lusty sigh as the tears began to ebb and the happy hitch in her chest loosened somewhat.

"The lake?" she wondered once she'd calmed down, sniffling slightly as she gave him a curious look. Before Eljay could even answer, a thought hit her like lightning and she blurted, "Should I take your last name? Or should I hyphenate? Maybe we could both hyphenate? Redhawk-Blackthorn? Or Blackthorn-Redhawk?" Sure she was probably overwhelming him, the Sovereign stopped there to let her new mate(!) get a word in edgewise.
February 14, 2019, 04:58 PM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Oh, the river, I mean, when... It didn't really matter now, and Eljay wasn't sure he wanted to bring it up to Wiffle's memory considering it was such a bad memory for her. He just smiled dreamily and listened to Wiffle half muse over half ask him about her and their last names. He honestly didn't even really care what they would be called. Well, maybe a little.

You can choose whatever feels best for you, Eljay said with a soft smile and he nuzzled Wiffle's face. I think I'll just stick to uhm, Elwood Junior Blackthorn. Because that's who he'd been his whole life. He could totally understand if that meant Wiffle would keep her own name, too, honestly. It would just leave the question what their pups would be called.

He meanwhile wondered about other things. Should we tell everyone..? I mean, obviously they should tell everyone, but what he was really wondering was how, when, all together or separately? He obviously wanted to tell mommy and daddy badly, as well as uncle Colt and Clover... But Wiffle also had Sequoia and Kiwi to worry about, of course.
February 14, 2019, 09:01 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

He corrected himself and Wildfire blinked, still not quite placing the moment in time he was referencing. She let it go for now. Perhaps it would strike her later, though who knew. They'd known one another literally all their lives and, somehow, she could believe that Eljay had quietly fallen in love with her beside a river (or a lake) days, weeks, months or even years ago.

He didn't seem particularly overwhelmed over her musings. Wildfire smiled as he nuzzled her face, the soft leather of his damp nose tickling her cheekbone. Suddenly, she decided, "You know what? I think I'll take Blackthorn too, if that's okay with you. I'd like our kids to be Blackthorns. We can all share a name that way." And it was a lot less complicated sounding that way.

"Yeah," she answered when he asked about breaking the news to their pack, their family. "We should start with your mom and dad. Then we can make the rounds. Show off the baby bump too," Wildfire said, black tail swaying happily.
February 15, 2019, 06:34 AM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Eljay honestly didn't mind which Wiffle chose -- he loved her anyway, so he wanted her to choose what made her happiest. They'd figure out what they would call the pups later on; that, too, didn't seem too difficult to him. It seemed that Wiffle was all about making it even easier though when she chose to take the Blackthorn name too. Really? he said with a smile. He wasn't sure what else he should say -- welcome to the family sounded a little weird, so he ended up just giving her another soft nuzzle.

Wiffle then agreed that they should tell others about it, starting with mommy and daddy. Eljay was eager to tell them, because he'd been confused for a while now and he really wanted to let them know about, well, everything. And now he finally could. Yay! Let's go! Eljay said eagerly, his heart bursting with all sorts of feelings and eager to shout at the world about his love for Wiffle now that it was official. He got to his feet and bounded out into the fresh snow, feeling happy like a child.
February 15, 2019, 03:10 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Pleased by his heartwarming enthusiasm, Wildfire began to trot in the direction of The Roost before remembering herself and pausing to say to him, "Let's head to the rendezvous site, then call for them. We should probably also call Kiwi and Seq too. Is there anyone else we should hit up directly?" Her lips quirked into a little grin as she spoke, tail still bobbing to and fro.
February 15, 2019, 06:04 PM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Eager like a babe Eljay dashed through the snow, occasionally stopping to dash back to Wiffle and then forward again until they eventually reached the rendezvous site. At her question he said, Uncle Colt, and Clover, uhm... Wraen, and, hmm.. maybe... Maybe Wraen and the rest of the pack after telling the family. That was probably a better idea, as to not clutter everything up. He wanted everyone to get the time to process the news.
February 19, 2019, 09:48 AM
Wildfire
Approved Members

Her eyes widened and she snorted. "We may as well call a pack meeting," Wildfire mused even as they reached the pack's designated rendezvous site. It was intended as the Firebirds' gathering place, so it would be the perfect venue for this announcement and whatever assembly occurred afterward.

She trotted halfway across it before stopping and pausing to regard Eljay. "So," she began, "do we want to just howl the news and invite them all to come celebrate with us? Or do we want to call them here without mentioning why, so it can be a surprise?"
February 22, 2019, 04:44 PM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Eljay chuckled awkwardly as Wiffle said they may as well call a meeting then. But.. maybe? He wasn't so sure whether they should call everyone or just one by one. Maybe it would be better to get it over with soon. This was a huge deal to Eljay and he was pretty sure that mommy and daddy were going to be pretty blown up about it too but who else would even mind..? He supposed it was a pretty regular part of other wolves' lives, even if it was such a rarity for him.

As for the question about whether to tell them right away, hmm... I guess we can let them know in the howl..? Then everyone knows, and uhm, everyone who wants to come can, so nobody feels left out. If they'd just call for their family Eljay'd feel pretty bad if others that he was friends with might feel bad about not being mentioned. And now they could just come if they wanted to.
February 24, 2019, 03:58 PM
Wildfire
Approved Members

As soon as he mentioned his preference, Wildfire nodded her assent. "Well," she replied verbally, "let's do the thing." Her lips twitched into a smile. She bumped her nose against his cheek, then threw her muzzle skyward. She paused for a beat, watching him from the corner of her eye, then unleashed a soft howl that announced the good news: "We're officially mates!" And then, after a quick inhale, "And we're expecting a litter in spring!" The Sovereign drew in a third, final breath before inviting, "Come to The Roost to celebrate!"

@Kiwi @Finley @Elwood @Sequoia @Wraen @Niamh @Colt @Maia @Epic @Clover
February 24, 2019, 06:20 PM
Colt RIP
Approved Members

Lucky for me, both Kiwi and Maia were gone at this point.  Colt, however, was around, and while he already knew part of the news from his conversation with Wildfire previously, the other came as a surprise.  They were mated?  Eljay liked Wildfire, and vice versa?  Honestly the relationship between their two families was too hard to follow, but he went to congratulate his nephew in person.

He showed up first presumably and didn't hesitate to go forward and give Eljay a hearty nudge.  Hey, congrats kid.  All of Fin's kids would always be 'kid', even if Eljay did now technically rest higher on the ladder then him.  And you too.  Both of you.  He smiled at Wildfire, genuine happiness for them the only thing on display here.
February 24, 2019, 08:57 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Niamh had been trailing along behind Colt hoping to catch up with him and interest him in a hunt when the call came- and as his course changed, so did hers and she knew she’d be able to follow his tracks right to where Wildfire was, and Eljay too. She wasn’t sure how she felt about any part of their packland being called the Roost- simply because there was a Roost in the plateau, and that was where they’d buried Orca. She doubted Towhee would approve- but oddly enough, Niamh wasn’t about to try and rock the boat and insist that it be changed. I know. Shocking.

She sidled up alongside Colt and regarded Eljay and Wildfire warmly. ”Well, congratulations! Both of you!” She said. She was still surprised by the matching of Eljay and Wildfire- but if they were happy, then what else was she to say? ”’Bout time your two families tied the knot somewhere,” She said with a laugh, and sat beside Colt, leaning her shoulder against his gently.
February 25, 2019, 12:52 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
After the awkward half-discussion when they first arrived, Elwood had known it would only be a matter of time before Wildfire and Eljay made things official. Of course, his suspicions could have been wrong, but when he heard the howl go up, he was glad that he wasn't incorrect. What had once been just an idea in Finley's head had somehow magically taken shape in real life, and it seemed to be strangely perfect.

Following Wildfire's instructions to join them for a celebration, Elwood made his way to the Roost. Finley probably wouldn't be too far behind him to embarrass their eldest son, but for now, he simply greeted the pair with a nudge to each of their cheeks and a wave of his tail. "Congratulations, you two," he said, yellow eyes dancing with excitement at the prospect of becoming a grandfather all over again.
March 02, 2019, 03:42 PM
Sequoia
Approved Members

Neither of the two announcements were a surprise to Sequoia, but she bounded to The Roost just as excited as if this were the first time she were hearing about Wildfire and Eljay's new venture together. True, they had not said anything ~official~ about staying together, but Sequoia had thought it only a matter of time before they made things "legit," so to speak.

She arrived just after Elwood, giving each of the other wolves a smile before bouncing right up to Wildfire to give her a quick lick on the nose. She did the same to Eljay, then hopped back to give them room.
March 02, 2019, 05:15 PM
Eljay
Firebirds
Honoree
Wiffle made the call when they arrived at the rendezvous site. Eljay beamed her an excited but nervous smile and he waited, feeling both giddy and incredibly nervous. What if someone showed up who didn't agree with them getting together? He felt his stomach turn uncomfortably and waited. Uncle Colt was first to arrive and Eljay smiled at him, glad that someone was here to take his nerves away and be positive about the thing. Thanks, uncle Colt, Eljay said softly. He still didn't feel he knew his uncle that well, but maybe it was just that they were so very different that made him feel that way. Niamh showed up soon after and Eljay grinned somewhat awkwardly when she said it was about time their families got together. He'd never thought of it that way, really.

Thanks, Niamh, he said with a wag of his tail and Eljay couldn't help but sneak in a quick snuggle to Wiffle's cheek. Daddy showed up next and he looked positively excited, too. Eljay smiled broadly and said, Thanks, dad! He'd gotten pretty trained not to say mommy and daddy but be mature and say mom and dad instead. Honestly, Eljay'd expected mommy to be here by now, but maybe she wasn't around right now. Sequoia was actually next to show up and looked very happy too. Eljay beamed her a happy smile that said 'thanks' -- he was so relieved that Sequoia approved of this coupling; after all, Eljay had seen from up close how very much not worthy he was as a Drageda wolf -- and he stretched his neck to nuzzle her nose briefly after she gave the lick on the nose.
March 09, 2019, 09:11 AM
Finley
Firebirds
Honoree
Fin was too far away to get to them and actually be present in this thread. She was wandering back home after visiting the Redhawks and the kids she'd left there. She was not so far, however, that she didn't hear the call. She stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes widening and her ears lifting high upon her head. They were mated. They were pregnant.

SHE KNEW IT!!!!!!!!!

While she wouldn't actually arrive to congratulate them (more like shower them in hugs and kisses and tears and incessant jabbering about how she'd totally called it) for some time still, her voice at least would be present as Wildfire and Eljay were greeted and praised by the rest of the pack. There would be no actual message to her howl, but there would certainly be a discernable, underlying emotion of pure joy.

It would go something like

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AAHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HHHH
HHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!"


And it would be no less obnoxious than she would be once she arrived in person.