Lost Creek Hollow As we roll down this unfamiliar road
All Welcome  March 06, 2019, 07:57 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

for whenever you want to and have time!

It had been a while, but Gannet was off and hoping to find his good buddy @Liffey. He carried with him another mouthful of mint - it had gone over well with Mona when she was feeling sick, so when he found a sprig of it (somehow, semirealism) he reasoned that maybe Liffey might enjoy it too. Now that Mona had had her pup(s?) she seemed ok and likely didn't need it.

He trotted pleasantly up to where he thought she and Rannoch stayed, though he wasn't completely one hundred percent sure. He kept his ears up, though, looking for any sign - if she was around maybe he'd hear her, because he couldn't really call out while he was carrying leaves.
March 09, 2019, 08:14 AM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

She was definitely going to burst any day now. She could feel it in her bones. And in her stomach, which was massive. And in her appetite, which was even more massive. She could also most definitely feel it in this incessant need she had to dig holes and gather soft detris and make herself a nest in which to expel these little beasts from her womb.

Their den wasn't good enough. Liffey was so painfully aware of that fact, she wanted to cry. The fervor of her drive to perfect it kept the tears at bay, luckily, but I can't say this obsession was an improvement. She didn't hear her best friend as he approached for she was deep in her whelping den, in the ground beneath the roots of a large, gnarled tree. But the racket she was making and the dirt she was pitching out her front door would certainly draw him near.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
March 10, 2019, 10:45 AM
Gannet
Approved Members

The racket was hard to miss, and Gannet made a beeline straight for it. It ended at a den, one that seemed to be expelling dirt and muffled exclamations. Liffey? I brought... he trailed off, and nosed the leaves to the side. That could probably wait yeah?

Is something wrong? He couldn't see if she was upset but she was digging really fast, and he flinched back as some of the dirt came flying near his face. Maybe he could help her out like he had Mona?
March 13, 2019, 07:15 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

It wasn't until Gannet was right outside the door, calling to her, that she realized anyone was there at all. She jumped in surprise and glanced back over her shoulder, spying a patch of his white fur near the opening. Liffey considered sending him away so she could continue her very important work, but she was tired. Maybe a break was a good idea.

She turned and crept out of the den, giving herself a good shake before turning to engage with her friend. She offered him a weak, fretful smile. "Hey, I'm okay, just..." Liffey glanced back into the den and her smile crumpled, "I'm not happy with our den and I can't seem to fix it, no matter how much I work at it. Though to be fair, I don't even know what's wrong with it. There's probably nothing wrong with it. I'm just..."

She paused to suck in a deep breath and steady herself. She looked at him again after she opened her eyes and this time she did smile. "You know what? I'm just pregnant and if I'm not mistaken, I'll probably be giving birth in a few days," she told him.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
March 15, 2019, 01:14 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

Gannet listened with confusion as Liffey started to talk, looking at the den. It seemed fine to him, but if it needed something he could definitely see about doing it. It seemed not though. So why was she digging?

He was flummoxed, and it showed, as he offered. I can dig? He didn't know what being pregnant had to do with any of this but if that was why she couldn't then he was more than happy to!

That's soon. He added, somewhat surprised. He hadn't thought he guessed any would be here so soon, but Mona had hers, so now was the time!
March 21, 2019, 06:39 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Gannet was obviously rather bewildered by her words. She felt a twinge of guilt over that. She was just so used to everyone understanding what women went through when they were pregnant. And by that, she meant Rannoch. And Terance and Wraen. You know, her only friends and the only ones she actually spoke to. She thought she ought to try and explain better, but Gannet seemed to shrug it off and instead of questioning, offered to help.

Good ol' Gannet.

"Thanks, but I think I'll leave it for a while and come back to it later. Maybe I just need to clear my head a bit," she said with a smile, "I get really emotional during my pregnancy, and it gets worse at the very end. That's how I know it's almost time." She paused, glancing briefly at her figure before adding, "Well, that and I feel like I'm about to burst if these kids get any bigger inside of me."

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
March 25, 2019, 08:36 AM
Gannet
Approved Members

It wasn't right, but she didn't want it fixed, or didn't want his help in doing it. He was still mightily confused that she was blaming her digging on her pregnancy (he hadn't had much experience with women around that time) but he dropped it when she did.

Her next statement was even more alarming, and Gannet's eyes widened slightly as he looked at her. You don't burst. Right? With how round she looked, and how dangerous he'd heard pregnancy was, it might be true. That sounded horrible.
March 28, 2019, 06:21 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Liffey couldn't help but smile at her friend. He was clearly still bewildered by her commentary, but she wasn't sure how exactly to explain any better. Pregnancy was a crazy time in a woman's life, especially for her. She really didn't know how to make someone understand who hadn't personally gone through it. Maybe she could have Rannoch talk to him and explain it from a compassionate outsider's perspective.

His question made her laugh. "No, no, not at all," she said, looking apologetic, "I'm just being hyperbolic. I just mean they're about as big as they're going to get inside of me and there's no room left for them to get any bigger. Which means, it's time to come out and start growing out here."

She paused as a thought struck her, one she didn't hesitate sharing. "Have you ever thought of having a family?" she asked, "Kids and a mate, I mean?"

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
March 30, 2019, 08:32 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

Okay, good, because that had sounded distressing. He had obvious relief on his face as she laughed it off, and smiled.

Her question didn't bother him, but he didn't have a lot of hesitation either. No. he replied, with a small shrug. He liked kids, but he couldn't imagine doing what she did. He didn't understand what it was that turned she and Rannoch's friendship into pups, and he didn't understand what mateship was. It just didn't really... compute.

But kids. I have some. He said, recalling as his smile widened into a grin. I told Mona I would.
March 31, 2019, 08:21 AM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Whatever Liffey had expected him to say, what he did say was so not it. She had lifted a hind leg to scratch at an itch behind her ear, but stopped mid-reach to stare at him in shock. He had kids? With Mona? What the damn hell?

"You... what?" she asked, dropped her foot back to the ground and straightening. She couldn't even begin to articulate the rest of what was happening in her chaotic thoughts over this revelation. They weren't great, though. They were actually a little confusing. They were actually really confusing. Again we say, what the damn hell?

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 01, 2019, 10:27 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

She didn't seem excited, but since Gannet couldn't sort out a single reason why his news would be bad (or badly taken) he continued calmly, reiterating what he said before. This time before he did, though, he thought a moment on how he could do better.

Mona was upset that they wouldn't have a father. So I said I would. He finally replied, wondering if maybe she was confused on how the subject came up. I wanted to help. He gave a hop, then ducked down, his tail lifted high. It was obvious he was super excited about the whole thing.
April 03, 2019, 06:40 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Liffey stared at her friend, clearly bewildered when he explained just how he had become a father to Mona's children. Or... Sort of. Mona's kids didn't have a father, so Gannet had said he "would". Would what? That's not how you even respond to that statement.

The wanting to help part was entirely Gannet, though. Liffey sagged, watching him with concern and a little something else in her eyes. "So, you're what--you're mates now?" Liffey asked, heavily disliking the words on her tongue, "Do you even know her?"

She didn't personally know Mona, but after what the pack had gone through last year with Olive's and Seabreeze's surprise litters. They'd told the pack that it would not be permitted in the future. They'd told everyone that slutty moms (I can't think of what else to call them lol) would have to go and take their bastards with them. Yet, here was Mona and her illigitimate son, taking resources that should've gone to hers and Rannoch's children.

Not that that was the reason Liffey disliked this situation.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 04, 2019, 11:59 AM
Gannet
Approved Members

Now it was Gannet's turn for confusion. No. He hadn't thought of that, but he guessed usually parents were mates. Even if he didn't fully understand what that meant exactly. Do we have to be? He wasn't opposed. If a mate was someone who helped with kids and protected then he could do that easily enough, and he enjoyed spending time with Mona. Did she want him to be a mate?

She needs help, he responded with a slight shrug and a smile. We're family. He was a little surprised by Liffey's questions so far, but not bothered. Sometimes he didn't understand things at first either.
April 06, 2019, 10:20 AM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Liffey wasn't entirely sure which of her questions Gannet was saying 'no' to, but her mind went immediately to the assumption that he was confessing that he did not, in fact, even know Mona. How was it even possible that her friend could be so naive? It was like Moonspear all over again - he just trusted and volunteered and put himself in awful situations without even thinking of the consequences.

"Well, yeah. I mean, kids need stability. They need a mother and a father who are as committed to each other as they are to their kids. You can't just manufacture that kind of devotion because you want to help her out," Liffey explained, wanting to impress on him that this little contract he'd entered or whatever couldn't be as casual a thing as he seemed like he was making it out to be.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 06, 2019, 12:12 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

Gannet deflated quite a bit as she explained what she meant. She thought that because he did not understand the bond she and Rannoch shared, and because he couldn't therefore have that with Mona, he couldn't be a good father. And that meant he likely never would be able to.

Manufacture. No, she was wrong. For the first time in a very long time, Gannet felt himself get a little mad. Defensive at least.

It isn't manufactured. I don't have to be her mate to teach him. He said firmly. Just because it wasn't like she and Rannoch had didn't make it wrong. She asked me, and I want to. His silver eyes were intense, with none of the playfulness they usually had. He wanted this more than he had wanted anything in a long time, and it hurt a lot that she thought he couldn't do it.
April 12, 2019, 12:15 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Gannet wasn't getting it, but he was getting irritated. Liffey bit her lip anxiously. She didn't want to upset him, but he was being so stupid and so reckless. She had known for such a long time that her friend was incredibly naive. If Moonspear had taught her nothing else, it was that Gannet had just about zero inclination towards self-preservation. While that appeared to have turned out okay for him, it didn't mean that everything else would.

"Okay, but what happens if Mona does find a mate?" Liffey said, trying to keep her tone gentle, "What if she finds a guy in another pack and takes her kid and goes, leaving you behind? What happens when she takes this pup away from you? She's his mother, she can do that. You're his... what?"

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 15, 2019, 10:21 AM
Gannet
Approved Members

This was disheartening. He didn't understand what she saw in this that could be bad, unless she felt he wasn't going to do a good job helping. It hurt that he imagined she felt that way.

We'll both be there. Unless she doesn't want me to be. He replied, then his voice softened. I don't know. This just feels right. He'd been so happy, but the things she was saying were true. If Mona left and decided to let someone else be father, it would hurt, but he would accept it. He couldn't very well do anything else. She won't. He couldn't imagine it.

I'm his father. Until he or she doesn't want it. Despite still being soft, Gannet's tone was resolved. She might not like it and that was upsetting, but he had promised and he wasn't going to go back on it.
April 20, 2019, 09:38 AM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

He just didn't understand. Liffey found she couldn't entirely fault him his naivete either, considering he'd never truly known what it was to be a parent. That became even more apparent to her with his last--a comment that broke her heart even as her reaction to his news was breaking his.

"That's the thing, Gannet," she said softly, "You never stop being a parent. Even when your kids leave you, you never stop. It hurts when they decide to go in a way that I can't explain, in a way I can only imagine would be ten times worse if its them being taken from you by someone you trusted."

She let the statement linger for a moment before she shook her head. Liffey knew there was no way to actually change his mind. Once her friend set his intentions, there was no convincing him of taking another path. Moonspear had taught her that much, at least. "I just don't want to see you hurt," she said finally, sighing, "You need to know what you're getting yourself into, the risk you're taking with yourself. The chance you're taking on her."

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 23, 2019, 06:50 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

Now he was extremely confused. Why do you have kids? he asked, not accusingly, just... openly wondering. If having them meant getting hurt and if their leaving was bad, then why did she think her having them was different than him? In his eyes, she and Rannoch's arrangement was no different. It did not stop them from leaving, nor did it stop Liffey from going. Friends left; they'd left him before, and yes it hurt. But that was how things were.

He wanted to argue with her and tell her she was wrong, that he wasn't stupid and she didn't need to protect him in whatever strange way she was trying. But, frustratingly, he couldn't find the words. She wasn't there when he asked. Mona wouldn't have said yes if she hadn't wanted him to help, and his time with Ashlar so far had already been well worth it. No going back now.

So he stayed silent, and waited for an answer to the only question he'd found the way to ask.
April 27, 2019, 07:31 AM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

Liffey's brows raised slightly at the question Gannet asked. Not because she didn't have an answer or was at all flustered by it, but because it seemed to come out of no where. It also seemed irrelevant to their conversation, but that just goes to show how utterly not on the same page she was with her friend.

"Because I wanted to make Rannoch a father," she answered promptly, frowning a little to show the slight confusion she felt over being asked this, "He's my world, and I wanted to have his kids."

Liffey didn't quite realize what image this might've painted of her. But to be honest, it was an accurate one. She hadn't particularly cared about being a mother when her first litter had come around. It wasn't until after they were born that she'd realized just how much joy children would bring her. She'd gone into it for Rannoch, and now we're all just thankful that hadn't ended poorly. Mostly because I hate playing sad characters and man would she have been a mess if she'd bailed on her family omg.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~
April 30, 2019, 05:30 PM
Gannet
Approved Members

He didn't know why he needed her to understand, but he did. He wanted her to be happy, because she was one of his oldest friends and she meant a lot to him. She was the last bit of home from before he had... but he couldn't make her be happy about it. And he could tell, now, that he was upsetting her too.

I want it too, he said quietly, frowning but feeling the truth of it. He had always loved kids, and while he'd never had the desire to take a mate, he loved the idea of a child of his own. To be called father. To have a pup look at him like the ones at Moonspear had turned to Charon, or Liffey's turned to Rannoch. He felt there wasn't much more important than that.

I'll see you later, he added, still quiet, and turned to go. He didn't like leaving things like this, but he didn't want to upset her, and he wanted to think on this.
May 01, 2019, 07:25 PM
Liffey
Lone Wolves

It didn't occur to her that by saying what she did, she might be hurting him. Not until he spoke that confession--that it wasn't just that he was doing his Gannet thing and helping out because someone had asked him to, but that he actually wanted to be a father. Her heart ached for him then, but she couldn't find it in herself to relent and be okay with this arrangement he'd made. She could relent and let him go without continuing the argument, but she simply could not be okay with him trying to be a father to a child that wasn't his for a woman that didn't love him.

Liffey looked at her paws as he said good bye. She let him go without saying a word, feeling terribly upset herself. There were tears in her eyes when she turned to her den again and went back to work. She would try to distract herself with preparations, but she would play the conversation in her head over and over and over again, agonizing over what she should've said that would've made him understand that he deserved better than to go be a stand-in in someone else's life. He deserved one of his own, a mate of his own and children he had created himself. Children with his eyes and his black stockings. Children that could never be taken away because they were his just as much as hers.

All kinds of things that she would likely never say, but would always feel she should have.

if I knew where I was going, I'd lose my way.
~•~