Sun Mote Copse We are legion
All Welcome  April 17, 2019, 01:30 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Aside from the everyday miracle of raising two kids, life was unremarkable lately—just how Wildfire wanted it, honestly. Now that the pups were eating more meat and less milk, it freed her to resume more of her usual responsibilities. She left them in @Eljay's capable hands for a while today to do a full patrol of the copse, enjoying the springtime splendor and the momentary solitude. Motherhood was wonderful but it was also very, very demanding, and she appreciated these moments to herself.

She began to maker her way back toward the den, thinking about how she could begin taking little @Elfie and @Weejay along with her on brief forays soon. Perhaps one of their first outings would be to see @Finley's or @Niamh's litters once they gave birth. That thought made Wildfire pause, the April sunshine dappling her red coat through the leafing trees. Before she returned home, perhaps she should seek out one or both of them to see how their pregnancies were coming along.

Wildfire pivoted and decided to purse the scent she struck first, which happened to be the Tradesman's.
April 17, 2019, 02:20 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Niamh wasn’t sure why she felt this way- but she’d caught sight of two mallards on the river while she was patrolling and it made her cry. Not just simple, happy tears but ugly, choking sobs. The mallards were a pair, a male and a female, and she imagined that soon they’d have ducklings. But the male never strayed from the female’s side, and something about that upset Niamh, who let the ducks be, as they paddled on the cool, open waters, and continued to trudge along the borders, sniffling and crying as she went.

At the forefront of her mind was her upcoming litter, and the fact that she wouldn’t know which surname to give them. Colt hadn’t proposed to her (again) yet, and she didn’t want to push things so she’d refrained from doing so on multiple occasions when the impulse had struck. But she knew she’d been ready to officially be his mate as soon as she’d joined the pack- but that he hadn’t been. Insecurity- an unfamiliar feeling for the golden female- made her doubt herself, and question how much he wanted her, filling her mind with outlandish thoughts. Would he ever want her to be his official mate again? Was he only sticking with her because he knew how much she wanted kids? And after they were born, would he love them more than her? While she knew that Colt loved her, the change in hormones played the culprit and made her hyper-sensitive and emotional. She walked along slowly, still checking the borders and reinforcing markings, but couldn’t stop the tears that trickled down her cheeks, renewed with each completely ridiculous doubt that came to mind. Her vision blurred, she didn’t notice that Wildfire had begun to catch up and follow her tracks, so she simply kept forging her way ahead, audibly weeping as she went.
April 17, 2019, 03:53 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

It didn't take the seasoned tracker very long to catch up with Niamh. She announced her presence with a woof as she approached from the rear, gliding forward to flank the Tradesman. Wildfire's chestnut gaze lingered on the other woman's midsection before tracing up to her face, at which point the smile blossoming on her own face immediately wilted. Oh, hon, she thought, her inner voice sounding almost exactly like her old friend, @Portia.

"Is something the matter? Or just hormones?" Wildfire asked gently, wetting her lips. She caught Niamh's eye and observed the glisten there, as well as the dampness on her cheeks. Despite the fact she had clearly been crying, the Sovereign felt an unexpected dip and swoop in her belly. She blinked, caught more than a little off guard by her own reaction.
April 17, 2019, 06:25 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Pouting, Niamh turned her head to see Wildfire approaching her after she’d caught the weary girl’s attention with a bark. She sniffed and rubbed her muzzle along one slender forearm, brushing away the tears off her cheeks so she might look a bit better. She didn’t however, change the doleful expression of her face and when Wildfire spoke, her lower lip trembled.

”H’it’s. Not just hormones,” Complained the very much incorrect wretch. She hiccoughed, and then a sob caught in her throat as she began to cry again, plonking her bottom down on the ground dramatically. She made an ugly face. ”Everything’s just....Guhhh,” She wailed bitterly.
April 18, 2019, 07:50 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Niamh insisted it wasn't the hormones and Wildfire felt a pulse of mild alarm. If not hormones, then what was the matter? Pushing aside her strange feelings for now, she tried to focus on the Tradesman in the hope of sussing out the problem and hopefully helping to mend it.

"Everything's just...?" she pressed, voice still gentle. "Talk to me, Niamh. What's going on? How can I help?" The Sovereign liked to think she would've felt this earnestly invested in any one of her pack mates, though she felt another pull of—she couldn't deny it—magnetism. She'd always thought Niamh pretty, though for many reasons, she'd stopped short of developing a crush on her. Or had she?
April 19, 2019, 06:18 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Fortunately for Niamh, Wildfire didn’t seem to take offense to her complaint, or the fact that she was a mess. Her concern was genuine and sweet, and allowed Niamh to feel comfortable resuming the bawl-and-snot show she’d been putting on before Wildfire showed up. She did try to refrain from the ugly cry, and kept wiping the tears from her cheeks with one of her forelegs. She started to hiccough when posed a question. 

”It’s just everything,” She said melodramatically. ”I just saw two freakin’ ducks and they looked so happy, and they made me hungry but sad, and I feel hungry all the time, and I’m getting fat and my hair’s falling out and my belly’s sagging and -hic-“ She said, and wiped her cheek again. ”Frickin’ ducks.” She muttered quietly. She was quiet for a moment, save for the odd hiccough, before she turned her watery gaze to Wildfire. ”It is just hormones, isn’t it?”
April 23, 2019, 09:56 AM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Now Wildfire wasn't fighting down her inexplicable attraction to Niamh but a hearty laugh instead. Her pack mate being mad at a pair of happy ducks really tickled her funny bone, though she didn't want to make light of the Tradesman's feelings. Wildfire knew very well how tumultuous emotions could be during pregnancy and even postpartum. She would never forgot how much she'd cried after the one litter...

"It's very likely the hormones," the Sovereign agreed, albeit gently, and she omitted the word "just" to avoid minimizing Niamh's experience. "They can be brutal. And there's no controlling them. So you just have to sort of ride it out and know that it'll pass." Wildfire hesitated a beat, then brought up a paw to pat-pat Niamh's shoulder. That struck her as oddly formal so she awkwardly withdrew and just went for it: a friendly, lingering nudge on the blonde's tear-stained cheek.

"If it'd make you feel better, I can go take out those ducks. We'll be rid of them and you'll get a nice meal out of it," Wildfire offered with a smile.
May 01, 2019, 01:11 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Wildfire confirmed Niamh's frustrated suspicions, without downplaying the effect that the hormones were having on her. Niamh uttered an exhasperated growl and shook her head, a sort of apology for being so emotional simply because of hormones. Wildfire's touch was appreciated, and she returned the gesture gratefully by touching her nose to Wildfire's cheek. "I feel like such an idiot," She said, her voice deepened from sadness, but still holding a light chuckle, and again she dipped her head, rubbing her muzzle on one of her forelegs to wipe away the tears from her face. 

Wildfire offered to kill the ducks, but the idea made Niamh feel sad again, and she shook her head. "No. They looked....So happy," She said, the memory triggering once again the emotions she'd felt earlier, considering the fact that she and Colt were not mates. It was, apparently, a sensitive subject presently, even though she didn't really know it. "This all goes away when you give birth, right?" She asked tearfully, turning a sad, desperate gaze to Wildfire.
May 03, 2019, 01:47 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

The brief touch of Niamh's cool nose to her warm cheek made Wildfire's skin tingle. She swallowed thickly and tried to surreptitiously take an actual and metaphorical half a step backward. "Don't," she murmured, the word meaning two totally different things all at once. Hopefully Niamh would interpret it as Wildfire mostly intended: don't feel like an idiot. She offered a reassuring smile, or so she hoped. There was so much going on within that the Sovereign wasn't entirely sure what her face looked like right now and whether it was betraying her.

Niamh didn't want to be rid of the ducks, after all, and she wanted to know if her emotions would settle down after she gave birth. "Most likely," Wildfire fibbed, thinking again of her own crying jags after her second litter. Every little thing had set her off back then, though there had surely been more at play than just wacky hormones. It hadn't happened before or since. "You'll be so focused on your babies, you won't even remember to feel anything other than overjoyed."

And while they were on the subject, the Sovereign figured it would be a good topic to pursue, not just to get Niamh's mind off her plight but also to distract herself. "Have you thought of names yet?"
May 15, 2019, 08:53 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Niamh managed a weak smile- a very faint one at most- when Wildfire encouraged her not to feel so bad about how she was feeling and acting. Wildfire had had kids more than once, she she felt she could trust her Sovereign's advice. She believed Wildfire when she was told that the emotions would fade after she gave birth- something that might come back to bite her later on, but regardless, it settled her nerves for the time being and that was what was important. She was afraid of everything she was going through, though she wasn't really ready to admit it yet. It wouldn't take long for her to figure that out, though; her emotions were such a mishmash and so potent, that it was likely she'd run through the whole gamut in an hour's time. 

"I hope you're right...I'm sure you are," She said, a bit more assertively- not because she didn't want to doubt Wildfire's information, but because she needed to convince herself that she would be alright. "They are awefully cute when they're little spuds," She said. She was well aware of the fact that the cute little squidgie pups would eventually grow their legs out and their teeth would come in, and at that point, they'd be trouble- but until then, when they were helpless and more or less stuck in one place, they were adorable and easier to take care of. 

Or so thought the wolf who had never had to tend for newborns full time. She had a lot to learn. 

Wildfire asked about names and she shrugged- but couldn't hide the secretive grin that spread across her face. "We been talking about a few different ones," She said, and laughed. "Kinda hard to agree on some, though. I kind of want to name one after Colt, but he doesn't really approve of the names I've come up with," She said. She shrugged, pulling an innocent mask over her features. "I think Nag, Mule and Donkey would be fine names," She said in an offhanded tone.
May 16, 2019, 12:53 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Niamh and Colt didn't seem to be in agreement about names, a point which caused Wildfire to cant her head, curious to hear more on the matter. That suddenly made her wonder if they were properly mated again. Maybe all hope was not lost... a thought which Wildfire vehemently rejected as soon as it crossed her mind. She really needed to get a grip.

In fact, maybe it was just best to part ways, though the Sovereign felt it would be rather crass to walk away from Niamh. The emotional crisis seemed to be subsiding somewhat but it was still too early to bounce if she wanted to avoid being rude. And she did. The idea of stranding Niamh was anathema. Wildfire sighed inwardly.

The names her comrade tossed out there caused her to look sharply at the golden woman's face, even though that was the last thing she should do. She tried to read whether Niamh was being serious. All three were... deplorable. Wildfire's lips parted but she remained indecisive and said nothing yet.
May 16, 2019, 05:10 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Niamh wasn't a good actor by any means- and she'd impressed herself with how well she'd been able to feign sincerity when suggesting that she would want to name her children those horrible names. It came to her as a surprise when Wildfire didn't just laugh at her- and she'd been very ready to join in, whole-heartedly, and perhaps suggest some more bad names...Make a game of it. But instead, Wildfire seemed to hold her opinion back, or maybe she was trying to figure out if Niamh was serious or not. So, in light of that possibility, Niamh decided to channel her inner Finley and kept the thoughtful deadpan going for as long as she could. 

"I know," She said, given the fact that Wildfire had made to say something, but had held her tongue. "'Mule' is a bit pretentious." She commented plainly. "Maybe just Horse." She suggested, turning her gaze to Wildfire to see what she had to say about that.
May 16, 2019, 06:12 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

"Pretentious" wasn't the word Wildfire would have used. When Niamh made a fourth suggestion, it took a fair measure of self-control not to wince. Should she be honest and tell her friend that these names were downright horrible? Even as she considered it, she knew that she couldn't. She didn't want to upset Niamh again, plus it was very difficult to entertain the idea of upsetting her crush in any way whatsoever.

"They're definitely unique names," Wildfire eventually commented. "What about Filly, for a little girl?" she thought out loud, wondering if there was any possibility her suggestions would be taken. For the pups' sake, she hoped so.
May 16, 2019, 08:26 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Ever diplomatic, and sensitive to feelings that could've been hurt had she laughed, Wildfire called the names 'unique,' which caused Niamh to blurt out a guffaw of laughter. "I'm just joshin' ya," She said, though her ears perked when Wildfire made a name suggestion she hadn't even considered. "Oh, that one is cute though," She said, earnestly, with a nod, but a grin came over her formerly sullen features again and she shook her head. "I just tell Colt those names 'cause I know he hates them. I particularly like 'Nag-' but it might just be reserved as a nickname, if it suits one of them," She said with a soft chuckle. 

She did consider the name that Wildfire had suggested though, and was surprised that she hadn't though of it herself- nor had Colt volunteered it. "I think we're prossibly stuck on Bronco, for a boy. I dunno if we'd give them both horse-y names....But Filly is actually suuuper cute." She admitted. Now she felt pulled- they'd had other ideas for names, and Colt had groaned at her until she'd whittled her selection down to just one horse-inspired name, but now that she'd heard this suggestion, she was seriously tempted to present it to him and try to get him to allow two equine names.
May 17, 2019, 01:33 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

She felt immeasurably relieved when Niamh told her it was all a joke. When the Tradesman seemed to like the name she'd proposed, Wildfire's tail wagged and her heart filled with disproportionate glee. She caught herself but couldn't quite suppress the inner glow as Niamh told her about an actual name they were considering: Bronco.

"Oh, I like that one a lot," she said genuinely. "Bronco and Filly sound good together, I think. You could always call one Stallion? Mare doesn't have quite the same shine though..." Wildfire tilted her head, wondering if she knew any other equine words. "Mustang?" she thought out loud, not entirely sure she'd recollected the word correctly. If memory served, it was a type of wild horse.
May 20, 2019, 01:06 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Niamh had to agree- Bronco and Filly certainly did sound good. But as it had been discussed, naming two pups after equines might be a bit much...But if they had four or five pups, Niamh figured they could get away with it. "Ouuuuh, 'Stang," She said, the way one might compliment a beautiful Ford Mustang car parked and shining in the summer sun. "I like that one. Didn't think of it." She said. Stallion just seemed a bit over the top to Niamh, who likened the name to 'Stud,' and she did not wish a life of ridicule upon whatever boy she birthed that got the name. 

"I'd been thinking about a few others too. Like...I dunno. Maybe something for my brother, Ambrose. Or bird names, since that's sort of a thing around here. There's...Another name, but I dunno how Colt'd feel about it." She said, but shrugged and went on, hoping to bury the topic. "But say I end up having like....Seven kids, I can just kinda dole out names as I see fit." She said.
May 20, 2019, 01:14 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

It pleased her immensely that Niamh seemed to like her suggestions. How would she feel should the new parents use one of them? Before she could think too deeply on that, Niamh mentioned her brother and then the native tradition of bird names. This earned a smile from Wildfire, who had many relatives named after birds, including more than one of her own children.

When Niamh mentioned seven kids, Wildfire eyeballed her midsection almost warily. There was no way she was carrying that many pups, of that the seasoned mother was almost certain. Returning her attention to the Tradesman's face, she chuffed almost sheepishly, then decided to pick up on the loose thread Niamh had dangled, oblivious to the other woman's desire to move on from it.

"What name?" she pressed.
May 20, 2019, 01:21 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Of course Wildfire wanted more details- and Niamh shouldn't have been surprised. Maybe she'd wanted to talk about it, to say it out loud, as she hadn't told Colt yet that she'd come up with the idea for that name. She shrugged, a bit bashful about bringing it up, but if she really hadn't wanted to share that secret, she wouldn't have brought it up at all, right? Or maybe the pregnancy hormones were just making her more sharing than she intended to be. 

"Nellie." She said. "And it kinda fits, in the 'Woooooah, Nellie!' kind of theme," She said, as though to set a tragectory away from the real inspiration for the name, but she figured that Wildfire was too smart to fall for that. "It's a special name to Colt," She said, as she didn't figure it was her place to tell that story (just in case Colt didn't want anyone else to know,) but she'd have to have some story for the name, and she figured that that would simply have to suffice for an explanation.
May 20, 2019, 01:26 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

The Sovereign's head canted at the joke, not quite following. She liked it though, it was pretty cute. It didn't fit any of the aforementioned themes, though Niamh soon revealed that it had special meaning to her mate (was he her mate? She should ask...). But she did not elaborate.

Still oblivious to Niamh's reluctance to delve too much into the back story, Wildfire prompted again by saying, "Oh yeah?" and then, because it seemed like an appropriate time to segue, she added, "Hey, this is kind of a nosy question but... are you two official again?" Technically, it was her business as their leader, although her interest was entirely personal, if she was being honest with herself.
May 20, 2019, 01:45 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Ohhhh mang. I laughed as soon as I saw what Wildfire asked.


Niamh nodded, a fond smile on her features as she agreed. She hoped that Colt wouldn't be too sensitive to the suggestion, and that he might accept the name as a tribute. She'd never met Nell- and she obviously would never have known Colt this well had Nell now passed away- but she was thankful for the effect that Nell had had on him. The topic switched to Colt again, and Wildfire's question caused Niamh to pause- and recall the same feeling she'd had earlier on that day. The two mallards, happy as could be, swimming together. 

Her lips trembled and her eyes watered, and she felt an overwhelming swoop of sadness cloak her even though she wanted very much to shrug it off. She looked away, hoping to hide some of her sadness, but she pictured the mallards again, and felt utterly devastated. 

"Noooooo," she wailed, and hastily slumped to the ground and covered her eyes with her front paws as she began to sob, keenly aware of how ugly the sounds were that she was making, but she had no power to hold them back.
May 20, 2019, 02:01 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

She had almost forgotten about Niamh's sensitive state, though her heart immediately sank into her stomach when she saw the woman's face contort. She wasn't nearly as bad about putting her foot in her mouth these days, though it still happened from time to time. This was one of those times. She should've known that the subject might be a tripwire.

To complicate matters further, the Sovereign initially felt a sweeping jolt of annoyance at Colt. How could he impregnate Niamh and get this far along in her pregnancy without tying the knot again? Wildfire wasn't even considering it from a leadership point of view but from an entirely personal one. Didn't he realize what a catch he had in Niamh? Didn't he want his children to be legitimate? Wildfire wasn't like her mother—who would've killed bastards and never would've permitted them to breed in the first place—but she felt a whole lot of indignation on Niamh's behalf in that moment.

But she quelled the emotion, like all the others before it, and took in a steadying breath. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you," Wildfire soothed as she crouched down beside the collapsed Niamh. But since she had and the Sovereign couldn't entirely help herself, she dared to ask, "But, why not?"
June 03, 2019, 06:04 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
Niamh shrugged one shoulder hopelessly when Wildfire apologized, though she was aware that she both looked like an immature idiot, and that she should probably dignify her sovereign with a better response than that. But she couldn't choke any words out just yet, and when she was interrogated about why Colt hadn't asked her, she snorted, in a somewhat skeptical manner, and shrugged her shoulders again. 

"I dunno. It's his call. But I wanna be his mate, I wanna be official." She said. "Maybe he's not." She said, sounding more bitter than anything else. She heaved in a deep breath, and took a moment to try and compose herself a little bit. She really ought not be saying such things about Colt behind his back- he'd never been a bit inconsiderate toward her, and the only thing that she was really after was a label. He treated her, in every way, like his wife. "I'm just over-reacting...He treats me like I'm a princess. I just....I just wanna be called his wife." She said with a sorry shrug.
June 04, 2019, 01:17 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Her red brow furrowed. She wasn't sure of the bawdy details of their prior breakup, though it sounded as if Niamh had made a misstep somehow. Why else would she look at it this way? It really ought to be a mutual decision and it didn't bode well that they weren't on the same page. Maybe they could get there though. Wildfire wanted that for Niamh's sake but also to reassure herself she hadn't judged incorrectly when she'd given them permission to breed.

"Have you two talked about this?" It was probably a dumb question but she had to ask. "You know, whatever your titles, you're linked for life now," Wildfire added, eyes falling to Niamh's belly. They couldn't unring that bell. The only question now was would their parents stay together and raise them as a united unit or would their family fall apart? No wonder Niamh was so beside herself today.
June 04, 2019, 02:18 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman II
She was lucky that Wildfire had the calm and patience to put up with her like this- stressing and fuming over something as insignificant as a title. In every way, she and Colt were an official, exclusive couple- but that just didn't seem to do enough for Niamh, who wanted to be called a Blackthorn again. That, of course, could also be blamed on Finley and Elwood, who made being a Blackthorn look so damn cool. She worried what Wildfire thought of her and Colt now, if she thought they were silly and not worthy of being parents- but there wasn't anything she could do to stop that now- aside from casting them both out for being ridiculous, and to avoid having them raise even more ridiculous children. 

She shrugged in response; it'd more or less become her default reaction. "Not really. I think he just wants to wait 'til things are perfect. He's kind of cheesily romantic like that." She said, a soft, slightly bashful smile teasing the corners of her lips. She wondered how Colt would feel if others started learning how much of a shmuck he was- but she didn't care. Wildfire indicated her belly, and her smile remained. "I know...And I know we're gonna be together forever....I just...I just want it to be official. 'Cause it sucks telling people we're not actually mates." She said, reflecting back on the conversation she'd had with Wraen, in which she'd had to confess that they weren't official. Wraen hadn't seemed to judge her at all for this- but Niamh judged herself. "I know it's stupid...But I just...I wanna be a Blackthorn again."
June 04, 2019, 02:26 PM
Wildfire
Lone Wolves

Perfect? No such thing, Wildfire thought, though she didn't say that out loud. What she did say was, "It's totally valid to want what you do. It's not stupid." She wished she could pry for the dirty details but it seemed like a bad idea, given Niamh's delicate state. "It sounds like you want him to make the gesture, though there's nothing wrong with reaching out and touching base, is there? You should talk to him, if it means this much to you."

She reached out a petite red paw and patted Niamh's golden shoulder in a there, there sort of way, which was awkward and sweet. Wildfire then withdrew her foot and said, "I don't mean to change the subject," although she totally did, "but I was going to go see Aunt Flea next. Would you like to come with me?"