Sun Mote Copse then drop on the deck and flop like a fish
All Welcome  September 07, 2019, 08:56 AM
Bat
Approved Members

The trip didn't take as long as expected. Having never traveled this route directly, Bat hadn't realized until now that the copse wasn't nearly as remote from the coast as she'd thought. She crossed the moors and plains, slogged through the slough and found herself in the familiar thicket at the foot of the plateau. Her tail wagged in surprise as she sniffed around its base (rather obliviously), then quickly steered east.

Her demeanor became much more somber as she reached the far western edge of the copse. Her chest hurt and her throat felt tight. Without warning, Bat found herself bursting into tears as she realized her mother wouldn't be here to welcome her. Until today, this reality had been faraway and now she had to truly confront Wildfire's absence from this world.

She took a few minutes to let herself cry, then wiped her at her eyes and nose with a banded foreleg. Once she felt fairly collected, she let out a shaky breath and then howled tremulously for someone from the Firebirds to receive her at the borders. Just in case her voice wasn't familiar, she tacked on her name and then dropped Tegan's as well, promising news.
September 07, 2019, 11:36 AM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
I'm just gonna steal ALL yo threads. You've done a pretty good job at describing what it's like to go home and see that your mom's gone for the first time

With a bitter outlook accompanying her, Niamh patrolled the borders regularly, reinforcing her markings and often bringing one of the pack's children with her so that they could learn how to do so on their own. She didn't like the idea of rushing their childhood, but she felt it was somewhat necessary for them to begin taking on pack roles and learning trades, which were highly valued in the pack. She wanted Bronco to succeed, and the sooner the kids grew up, the sooner they'd be able to pitch in and help keep the pack safe. 

A quivering call caught her attention and she recognized the voice even before the girl introduced herself. Her voice sounded different than what Niamh remembered, but she knew it was Bat. She turned to Bronco, and was going to invite him along- but then she remembered a key fact about Bat. She was Kiwi's sister, and though the two didn't exactly see eye to eye, from what she could recall, there was still some sort of bond between them, and maybe Bat knew something about Kiwi's whereabouts. She dismissed Bronco, sending him packing with a couple nips to reiterate her point that he was not to follow her, before she set off to meet up with their visitor. 

She could tell from a distance that Bat looked distraught, and she could only assume that she'd either found Kiwi's corpse, if she'd died following the fight, or she'd come back here, full of remorse, to beg forgiveness on her sister's behalf. The only reason she didn't immediately attack Bat was because she'd liked the girl- but then again, she'd liked Kiwi too. She'd trained Kiwi. But she knew that her pack wouldn't simply turn a blind eye to having a vicious guardian in their midst, so she gave Bat the benefit of the doubt, and came to a stop, eyeing the female with scrutiny and distaste. Her voice was hoarse and dark when she spoke. "What brings you here?" She demanded.
September 07, 2019, 03:41 PM
Bat
Approved Members

A familiar figure came to greet her and, despite the ache in her chest, Bat began to wiggle her tail. It fell still when Niamh looked at her with open disgust and questioned her in a wooden tone. Her eyes began to water again, unbidden. She was so taken aback that she was speechless, her face crumpling in hurt confusion.

"I came—I came to..." Bat wasn't usually very emotional (thanks to Tristan's influence, probably) and rarely struggled with words. But being met with such coldness at Wildfire's doorstep was as painful as it was unexpected.

I'm so sorry you know what it's like. :(
September 07, 2019, 06:19 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
<3

Niamh's stern gaze softened slightly when she saw the grief written on Bat's features. She'd forgotten completely, of course, that Bat was likely mourning the loss of her mother; Niamh could be oblivious and self-centered from time to time, so naturally, she assumed that Bat's visit had something to do with Kiwi. Bat struggled to state why she'd come, and Niamh hardened again, but told herself not to growl. Bat obviously felt a great deal of remorse, and she couldn't be blamed for what Kiwi had done...Not completely. But it was impossible for Niamh to seperate Kiwi's wrongdoings from what Bat was doing, and not project her past experience with one of her former packmates onto her sister. 

"Apologize?" She asked, as the tears began to prickle in her own eyes. She did her best not to move her eyes or her eyelids, so they didn't spill down her cheeks, so she stared straight ahead, even though she could see nothing through the watery mess hovering at the end of her eyelashes. "Well it's too late for that. Colt's dead," She said, her voice becoming thick but hollow. "An' I dunno if you've seen Kiwi since, but if I find her..." She said and trailed off. She couldn't voice her real threat, knowing it would probably upset Bat further. She clenched her jaws together, bracing herself for any pleas Bat might then try to make for her sister's sake.
September 07, 2019, 09:32 PM
Bat
Approved Members

"Apologize?" Niamh suggested and Bat mentally scrambled to think of why she might owe such an apology. She drew a blank. She had never known Niamh particularly well, though the few times they'd spoken, they'd built up a decent rapport. A much younger Bat had even confided in the golden she-wolf. She continued wracking her brain, though she only had a few seconds to feel bewildered before Niamh filled in some of the blanks.

Except none of what she said made any sense to Bat. She felt an awful lurch at the news of Colt's death, despite not knowing him well at all, and when Niamh said Kiwi's name, Bat felt like there was a cold stone in the pit of her stomach. She had no idea what Niamh was talking about and wasn't particularly sure she wanted to know.

Her own eyes shimmering with tears, Bat saw that Niamh's were too. "I'm sorry," she said, a sort of knee-jerk response, unthinkingly supplying the apology Niamh wanted but which Bat didn't owe. "What are you talking about? What happened to Colt?" And only because it seemed rather pertinent, she said quietly, "I haven't seen Kiwi in..." Well, she couldn't even be sure; it'd been that long. "Months," she finished.
September 07, 2019, 10:22 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Bat looked hurt and confused when Niamh spoke, as though her suggestion that Bat apologize was the farthest thing from what she'd come to do. Why else would she show up at the borders so sad? Having not experienced exactly what Bat was going through, she couldn't quite see the fact that it was simply the fact that Wildfire had lived here, and had founded this pack, that was enough to bring her to tears. Seeing an echo of something her mother used to have, knowing that within these woods she'd once lived, watched the dawn, and had created life. But Niamh couldn't see that at first. What she saw was someone she assumed was coming to beg for mercy for her sister. 

But given the fact that she clearly had no idea about what had happened, she saw what the real situation was. This was yet another one of Wildfire's daughters, showing up at the borders of what was once her mother's home, in a state of agony...And Niamh had every right to be on edge; the previous visitor had killed her husband. Bat didn't deserve the judgement passed on her. She apologized- but it was very clear it wasn't for Kiwi's actions, but because she herself was so bewildered. Niamh stalked forward a few paces, drawing herself into a threatening pose with her ears perked and tail raised- a means of building herself up so that Bat might not try to pull the same horrible trick Kiwi had on Colt. When she spoke, it was through gritted teeth. 

"Kiwi killed him." She said. Knowing she'd be met with disbelief, she continued. "Yes, I'm sure. And she may be dead as well; he didn't let her get away without wounds that could easily kill her too." Niamh said. She let it sink in for a few moments, knowing it was hard news- but she was suffering too, and selfishly didn't feel like sparing Bat any grief on account of what her sister had done.
September 07, 2019, 10:38 PM
Bat
Approved Members

When Niamh moved toward her aggressively, Bat backed up hastily, her tail drooping behind her. Her huge ears twisted backward as Niamh explained that Kiwi had killed Colt. The yearling's mouth fell ajar, then proceeded to open and close uselessly like a fish out of water. She no longer felt like there was a stone sitting in her stomach, it instead felt like someone had punched her in the gut.

She hadn't had anything to do with any of it, of course, considering she barely even had a relationship with Kiwi. But Niamh seemed to be placing the blame on her. It was entirely unfair, yet Bat didn't feel indignant about it. She just felt upset. Between the reality of her mother's death and being snapped at for her disenfranchised sister's actions, Bat didn't have any idea how to respond.

It was tempting to simply flee, yet she'd come all this way. There were other she hoped to see, messages she wanted to pass along. She wanted to hear news too, and that included finding out more about what'd happened between Colt and Kiwi. She fought down the strong urge to run off and avoid Niamh, instead reminding herself that this woman's grief was as terrible as her own.

Bat's tongue felt thick in her mouth. She wanted to tell Niamh that she knew nothing about Kiwi's actions and couldn't be held accountable or responsible for them. Instead, all she could manage was a quiet, "What happened?"
September 07, 2019, 11:39 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Niamh ran her tongue over her teeth, wetting them in preparation should she need to fight off Bat if she took offense to the accusations. She didn't seem to believe what had happened- but at least she didn't become indignant, or deny that it was possible for Kiwi to have done such a thing. She'd had such a strong interest in learning how to fight, after all, so Niamh supposed she shouldn't have been so surprised. Bat, on the other hand, was more of a scout, like Tegan. She felt she might have less to worry about. 

"She came here, found out that Colt had stepped up after Wildfire passed away and just attacked him with the intention of killing him." She said. "Didn't seem to think he was worthy. She'd left the pack before it'd even happened, so it's not like he was usurping the position from that ungrateful little wretch. An' Colt could've killed her- but he took pity on her an' let her go." She spat. She growled softly. It was clear from her tone that had she been in the area when the whole incident had taken place that she would not have been so merciful. "I've half a mind to punish your sister by taking you down; but that wouldn't be fair, since I don't even know if she's still alive." She hissed. She tried to temper herself a bit. "An' you never done anything wrong. But I ain't gonna forgive Kiwi, not ever," She said bitterly.
September 08, 2019, 12:29 AM
Bat
Approved Members

When Niamh spoke her mother's name, Bat's chest hitched. She listened without interrupting, not really knowing what to think. She believed Niamh, especially because Bat knew about Kiwi's departure, though it was hard to picture her sister returning to fight and kill Colt. Her lips drew into a thin line even as the tears wobbling in her eyes finally fell, streaking down her slate cheeks.

When Niamh threatened her outright, Bat's face pinched. She swiped at her dripping nose and backed up another step, slowly shaking her head. "This has nothing to do with me," she said in a voice thickened with snot and tears. "I've been with Tris—Tegan—for months, living on the coast. I came back here to visit with our—his family." The explanation came out haltingly and Bat swallowed. "I didn't do anything wrong," she echoed feebly, feeling rawer than ever because of Niamh's threats, which Bat knew she didn't deserve.

She really didn't want to flee the scene, not without seeing @Finley or @Elwood, at least. But would Niamh even allow that? She seemed hellbent on blaming Bat—on punishing her—for her sister's crimes. Crying openly but silently now, Bat stared imploringly at Niamh, her insides clenching as she wondered if the she-wolf was about to insist she leave or maybe even chase her away.
September 08, 2019, 12:48 AM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Bat denied having anything to do with what Kiwi'd done, and Niamh shook her head. She knew that- deep down inside, she knew that Bat wasn't necessarily capable of the same things that Kiwi was. There'd always been a bit more of a hungry, angry, and spiteful edge to Kiwi. She'd liked it and had admired it- hell, she'd probably even nurtured it a bit by going coyote hunting with Kiwi. But there was a line between having an occasional, justified savage streak- which Niamh believed was a category that she herself fell into- and then being an outright monster, attacking those who didn't deserve it. Bat was in neither of those categories. 

She remembered the day that Wildfire, Kiwi and Sequoia had come to the plateau, a while after Bat had done so...And the fact that Elwood had stepped forward to vouch for the small family, fondly welcoming them. She knew he would do the same for Bat now, likely, so she couldn't exactly turn her away. Plus, she came with news of Tegan who'd apparently split for the coast after having delivered some angsty message to the firebirds. If she recalled correctly, Kiwi had had something to do with him having his short-and-curlies in a twist. She softened, knowing that if Tegan had found issue with Kiwi, then both he and Bat were probably even safer than she'd imagined. 

She hated having Bat stare at her, crocodile tears running down her cheeks. She sighed. "Alright, Bat, alright." She said. She still looked grumpy and defensive, but at least she wasn't accusing Bat of something she hadn't done. She sighed. "I'm sorry. An' I'm sorry about your Mom," She said, albeit somewhat stiffly. It wasn't easy to think about such things when she too was currently grieving. She clenched her jaws together. "And Tegan...He doing alright?" She asked tentatively.
September 08, 2019, 12:58 AM
Bat
Approved Members

It didn't seem like Niamh was going to come at her, though Bat didn't feel very reassured by her stiff words. She wanted to accept and appreciate the apology, as well as answer Niamh's question, but she honestly couldn't find words. Just a moment ago, Niamh had threatened to "take her down." Only now, as those words replayed in her head, did a dim sense of horror take root. Had Niamh planned to kill her? And only reneged because she didn't actually know whether or not Kiwi was alive or dead?

This trip wasn't going according to plan in any sense of the word. Literally unable to speak, to come up with anything to say to Niamh, Bat's mouth opened and closed again. She pressed her lips together and shook her head, only to catch herself and hold still. Her silver eyes roved over Niamh's shoulder, desperately wishing to see a friendlier face appear, but she was officially beginning to second-guess her decision to stick around.

She shuffled backward and began to turn, only to freeze when she remembered she'd come her to see her younger brother and sister too. Feeling extremely distraught and torn, Bat stood and fidgeted, thinking miserably of Tristan back in the grove.
September 08, 2019, 01:15 AM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
She saw then, that she'd caused the innocent creature harm without having any legitimate reason to do so, and regretted her hostility. When Bat turned to leave, Niamh sighed and opened her mouth- but before she could call out to stop her, she froze on her own, and Niamh felt relieved that she wasn't just going to dart off. 

"C'mon. I'll take you to see whoever you wanna see." She said. She shrugged. She knew she'd already screwed things up enough. "Or I can just let you go and find them on your own, if you don't want me around," She continued, somewhat ruefully, though the last thing she deserved was Bat's forgiveness, for the way she'd treated her. She didn't feel completely ashamed of how she'd acted- considering everything Bat's sister had put her through- but she did feel some remorse for having done something mean to someone innocent...Which was exactly what had happened to Colt. She felt bad, perpetuating the hurt that should have ended a long time ago- but Niamh was one who held grudges the way families cling to traditions.
September 09, 2019, 07:07 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Since learning of Blackfeather's apparent proximity, Elwood had begun patrolling the Firebirds' borders once more. It was something he had neglected in the wake of his retirement, but now that there was a threat of danger -- not to mention the fact that their adult numbers were low -- he knew that it was important to protect his family, in spite of his old bones. He heard Bat's call when it came, but was a short distance away, and it took him longer than he would have liked to cover the ground and meet her.

When he arrived, tension and emotion were thick in the air. Niamh was present, and he caught the tail end of her invitation to Bat; nothing seemed out of the ordinary there, but he had missed the interaction that led up to her offer. The fur on Bat's cheeks was tear-streaked, and her posture looked defeated; she was even turned away from the copse, as if preparing to depart. Elwood's ears pricked with kind curiosity as he came to a halt somewhere between Niamh and Bat.

"Bat? Everything okay?" he asked, shifting his gaze between his sister-in-law and niece (because that's what Bat was to him -- his goddaughter's daughter had a place in his heart, even with the conflicting feelings stirred up at the thought of Kiwi).
September 10, 2019, 09:47 AM
Bat
Approved Members

Niamh seemed to realize what she'd done and offered to take Bat into the copse. She shook her head at that. She remained very still at the second offer. Honestly, she did wish Niamh would leave her alone at this point. The woman had cavalierly announced an urge to kill her, after all.

Fortunately for them both, someone else arrived to break up the tension. Bat visibly sagged with relief at the sight of Elwood's face, a croaked, "Hey," escaping her. She blinked in Niamh's direction, then padded slowly toward the grizzled Honoree. She didn't answer his question right away, instead drawing close to him and slipping her muzzle against his chin in a respectful greeting.

"I just found out about what happened with Kiwi and Colt," Bat said haltingly. "I had no idea." She let out a breath. "I had no idea she was capable of something like that." She swallowed. "But that's not why I came," obviously, since she hadn't known, but Bat didn't catch her own faux pas. "I came to tell you 'hello' from Tegan, tell you what we've been up to. And maybe see, um, Elfie and Whisky Jack," she concluded, all the while pointedly not looking at Niamh.
September 13, 2019, 06:39 PM
Niamh
Firebirds
Tradesman I
Bat's desires were fairly obvious to Niamh. She'd come in too hot and had likely lost Bat's trust and possibly her friendship as well by accusing and threatening her. It was still too soon for Niamh to feel a lot of remorse, as the grudges she held tended to stick around for longer than they needed to. It was obvious Bat just wanted her to leave, so she shrugged her shoulders at the silence that hovered between them, only to be broken by Elwood's arrival. Now she'd get it- she'd probably get disapproval for intimidating one of their former packmates at the borders, especially when Niamh knew that Elwood cared for Wildfire and all of her children. 

She turned to leave, but left one ear turned back enough just so that she could hear a bit of what Bat had to say. She mentioned Tegan, so Niamh figured she might be able to ask Elwood later what the actual details about his situation were. She'd leave them be for now, though- knowing she'd already fouled up Bat's day enough already.
September 15, 2019, 08:16 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Relief was written clearly on Bat's face as she greeted Elwood, and she stepped close to bump her crown against the underside of his chin. As she retreated and began to speak, Elwood's gaze drifted to Niamh in the background and things clicked into place. Bat mentioned that she had just been filled in on what had happened between Colt and Kiwi, and he was able to intuit that Niamh had been the one to tell her. He suspected that she might not have been particularly kind in her retelling of the story, which would explain the uncomfortable air that surrounded them even now as Niamh lingered in the background before departing.

Bat spoke briefly of her sister and the Firebirds' deceased leader, then mentioned Tegan and commented that she wanted to visit with Elfie and Weejay while she was here. Elwood addressed each topic as he replied. "None of us expected it," he said with a frown and a shake of his head, but refrained from speaking further on the subject; Bat had moved on quickly, and if she circled back around to it he would be happy to talk with her, but he wouldn't force it. Instead, he gestured for her to follow him and cross the borders. "We can see if we can find @Elfie and @Weejay. How's Tegan? We miss him," he said.
September 16, 2019, 02:27 PM
Bat
Approved Members

Niamh slipped away silently, leaving a much relieved Bat alone with Elwood. His manner was so unlike the other's. He was open and inviting, even welcoming the yearling to join him on a stroll through the copse. It meant a lot, especially after Niamh's harsh greeting.

"He's good!" Bat said. She hesitated for a beat before telling him, "He goes by Tristan now. The two of us have been together a while now. We traveled some but we've been staying on the coast for a little bit. We're actually starting our own pack. Well, it's his, I'm just support staff." She smiled, a little tremulously at first, though Bat was quickly recovering from the unpleasantness at the borders.

"He said to tell you—and Finley—'hello.' I'm sure he'd love to hear all about what's been going on with you guys," Bat said in the next breath, hoping there was some good news sprinkled in with the bad.
September 22, 2019, 12:37 PM
Weejay
Firebirds
Youth II
Weejay was nearby, but had no idea her grandfather was holding council with a stranger that was, oddly enough, her sibling. Weejay didn't remember Bat -- she had been far too young when Bat (if?) had been part of their pack. (Major assumption incoming, please tell me if it needs to be changed) At some point, someone had told her that she had (many) older siblings besides Kiwi, but Weejay didn't really recall what they looked like, or their names.

Holding in her jaws the bright-tipped firewheel, Weejay wanted to show her findings to Eljay, and it was then she came across her grandfather and the stranger. She spared Elwood the polite wag of her tail, but didn't really linger -- she had learned not to interrupt adults while they talked, so fully planned to walk on by unless hailed down.

so hold nice and close the ones who get to your soul,
so that when it is cold, you wont feel so alone
September 25, 2019, 11:56 AM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Elwood's brows raised when Bat informed him of Tegan's name change. It would be difficult to call him by a new moniker; he was and would always be Tegan, which was funny since he was actually Taoiseach. But he had become Tegan and it just seemed to fit him. Tristan didn't, in Elwood's mind, but it was Tegan -- er, Tristan's choice, so he would do his best to remember. More importantly, Bat shared that she and Te-Tristan had started their own pack together.

"Wow, your own pack?" he said, swelling with pride. It sounded like Tegan -- Tristan had managed to find his place in the world, which had been what he was in search of when he left. "Tell me about it -- what's the territory like?" he asked, but his voice faded when he caught sight of Weejay. She was holding a flower with yellow-tipped petals, and while she acknowledged Elwood with a quick wiggle of her tail, she seemed to be heading elsewhere. He called out to stop her. "Hey, Weejay! Come here for a minute," he beckoned even as he came to a standstill.
September 26, 2019, 12:59 PM
Bat
Approved Members

But Elwood wanted to hear more about them, so Bat happily obliged him. "It's called Margaritaville," she said with a bit of a sheepish grin, "and we're based out of a coconut grove right on the coast. It's such a beautiful place, it's paradi—" Her voice cut off when a small figure stumbled across their path.

Based on coloring alone, Bat wondered if this was one of the latest Blackthorns. She hadn't seen her younger siblings since they were very wee, after all. But when Elwood said Weejay's name, Bat's heart began galloping in her chest. This was her little sister! She stared at her avidly, including the bright flower in her mouth, and wondered if Weejay was into gardening.

"Hi, Weejay," Bat found herself saying right after Elwood asked her to come over. "I'm Bat." She paused and smiled almost uncertainly, the altercation with Niamh still in the back of her mind. "Your older sister."

Oct. 1: I think I'm going to deactivate Bat now that I've snackrificed her to the BWP. Would you two like to fade this? I'm fine with any and all inferences.
October 02, 2019, 02:28 PM
Weejay
Firebirds
Youth II
ofc <3

Weejay had planned to bring this flower to Eljay, but as she heard her grandfather's voice she knew it was not to be so. Dutifully, the girl pulled alongside Elwood, flanking him and delivering the stranger a bashful stare.

She hadn't much an appetite for conversation, feeling grossly out of sorts among adults, but Elwood's friend introduced herself and it was then Weejay's ears flopped forward - Bat! Her sister! Many times her parents had told her of her other siblings, and Weejay had always hoped she could meet them one day. Her heart skipped a beat and she wagged her tail, excitedly forgetting the flower in her mouth as she mumbled "Hmhi mBaht! M'I'hm Hwheejay!" She dropped the flower and then slyly looked up, having a new idea in mind; in an almost tentative gesture she proffered the flower to Bat and spoke softly. "This is one of my favorite flowers. It reminds me of Mom.." She paused, eyes downcast and suddenly filled with sadness. "I wanted to bring it to daddy, but I want you to have it."

so hold nice and close the ones who get to your soul,
so that when it is cold, you wont feel so alone
October 02, 2019, 08:09 PM
Elwood
Firebirds
Honoree
Once Bat introduced herself to Weejay, there was a noticeable change in the younger girl's demeanor. They both seemed equally excited to meet each other, and Elwood's heart swelled as Weejay offered the flower to her sister. Bat seemed especially touched by the gesture.

Elwood happily slipped into the background as he allowed the two to get to know each other, participating in the conversation whenever either one of them drew him in but also allowing them to guide the interaction themselves. When it was time for Bat to go, he escorted her to the borders and bid her farewell; he was sad to see her go, but glad to know she was heading back to be with Tegan.