Sun Mote Copse Coheed and Cambria
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#1
Joining 
Please let Figment post first. <3

The road to recovery had not been an easy or short one. Phox's rough tumble from the top of the landslide had left him with a broken leg, a massive concussion, and blindness in his left eye. The headaches were still there, but they'd become less frequent and less intense. Raven had told him they would never really go away, and they could get worse the future. Phox now walked with a visible limp in his right foreleg.

@Figment had been there every step of the way. Phox had known how much his son wanted to return to the Firebirds, to his mother and sister, so it was even more generous of him to stick by his father's side. As they came to the borders of the Firebirds, Phox slowed. Towhee's scent was unmistakeable, along with that of Wraen's and Fennec's. (His daughter was here! She was safe!) Elwood and Finley were still here. All those familiar smells made his heart swell.

He glanced briefly at Figment, then he sent out the call for @Towhee, @Fennec, and @Wraen (in that order). They were home.
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Figment had been watchful and wary during this journey. His father was the strongest he'd been in weeks, yet the boy was still concerned for him. He had always been protective since the first few minutes of his life and growing older had not altered that part of his nature. His growth had simply made him more capable when it came to keeping his loved ones safe.

His time with the Frosthawks had helped a great deal in that department as well. While Phox had healed under Raven's care, Fig had flourished under Rannoch's tutelage. The Frostfur had been a hero to him--kind and wise, offering the perfect distraction when the boy's concern for his father and for the mother and sister that were lost to him had grown too heavy for his young shoulders. Leaving the pack behind had been difficult, though when it came down to it there had been no contest between staying to learn or leaving to seek his mother and sister again. Figment knew where he belonged, and he knew who he belonged with.

The Redhawk was relieved when at last, they had made it to the borders of the Firebirds territory. Like Phox, he had immediately recognized some of the scents that patterned the area as unbelievable as it was that they could both be here. His heart felt fit to burst as his father called to them, so much that he couldn't trust his own voice to sing out the call for fear he'd end up choking on his emotion. So, he stood silently, his face beaming and tail wagging in eager anticipation.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Fenn is welcome at all times and will in fact make me sad if she doesn't show up.
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#3
When Fennec heard those two voices sound, it was unmistakeable.  She knew them better than most... and yet for second she wondered if for the first time her ears might have failed her.  They were gone.

Her ribs still felt bruised from her recent fight with the coyote, and she hadn't ventured out since.  Whether Wraen had ratted her out to Towhee had yet to be determined (y'all sort that out) but she suddenly wished that she was far away.  Her throat closed up and she took one step... then another... 

When she approached it was mechanical, almost, and extremely tentative.  Likely she trailed behind Towhee, and stopped a ways behind.  She wasn't ready to meet them quite yet.  She didn't really know what she was right now.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
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Totally willing for Phox to get an injury for his trespassing, but he wouldn't just stand there!

Things at the Frosthawks had not been bad for them. Figment had learned a lot from Rannoch, and Phox had gotten the care he needed from Raven. Still, he was as eager as ever to get away from Quixote. Something about that guy just didn't sit right with Phox. He was just so milque toast. Phox smiled at the phrase, remembering the first time Towhee had used it to describe him (and Colt).

Figment stood by his side, his voice not lifting with his own for reasons Phox could only speculate.

It wasn't until he saw Fennec that Phox really lost it. For the first time in his life, he disregarded the pack scent markers and sped across them to meet his daughter. Fennec, he half-sobbed. You're okay!
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It seemed to Fig that ages passed in the time it took for their family to arrive. He felt his eyes widen to the point of popping out of his skull when his sister appeared. Her scent had been all over the borders, but he still had scarcely been able to believe what his senses had told him. She'd gone missing long before the pass had collapsed and he'd never managed to forgive himself for it, in spite of how often the adults had told him it wasn't his fault. And now, here she was. Just like that. Like she'd never been gone at all.

But... that wasn't true, was it? Fig too had been compelled to rush to her side and sweep her into an embrace, but unlike his father, he'd stilled after lifting only a single paw from the ground. He saw the way she held back, stayed away. He saw her hesitance, her... mistrust? He wilted, that old familiar guilt overwhelming him. He dropped his paw back to the ground and waited.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Fenn is welcome at all times and will in fact make me sad if she doesn't show up.
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She'd assumed Towhee was there, but it seemed she wasn't quite yet.  Instead Fennec became the main focus as Phox rushed to embrace her, and she pulled back, instinctively withdrawing.  

So many times she'd gotten her hopes up and then crushed.  First she'd arrived here only to find them trapped, cut off from her and maybe even lost.  Then she'd regained Towhee, but they'd remained apart.  Finally, when she and Towhee had searched the open pass, only to find them already gone.  She couldn't handle this again.

Where were you?! she asked, and while she didn't mean for it to come out as an accusation, it did anyway.  There was a sharp hurt to it, and she took another step back.  If they had any sort of reaction to this she wouldn't see it... the relief in Phox's voice, and the emotion, were clear enough.  She was simply too rocked to let it appease her quite yet.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
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Instead of joy, enthusiasm, and acknowledgement, he found something else in Fennec's response. She withdrew, hardened herself, pulled away from him. It nearly broke his heart, but he had been through this before. Towhee had been this way before, and he had earned her back. This time, though, his absence had not been his cowardliness. It had been his bravery that had led him down this path. Was nothing the right path to take?

He remembered that she couldn't see him, which meant she couldn't see his limp. How could she? It was just how he always forgot that Towhee couldn't hear (which made calling for her a moot point, now that he thought about it).

I was hurt, he said, steeling himself against all the emotions that were boiling up under the surface. I had to go to Aunt Raven to get help. I wanted so much to come back, to find you. Figment did, too. But we couldn't until I could travel again. I missed you so much Fennec. He missed her, he missed Towhee, he missed all of Asterism Grove. It had been such a good thing, but it had collapsed without leaders.
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As Fig had anticipated, Fenn lashed out. He winced as he saw her pull away from their father, his ears flattening at her outcry. He was silent and miserable as Phox tried to explain to her--words and reasons that he was uncertain she would accept. Fig could've been angry over that. After all, she had been the first to disappear. Where had she been?

But the thought never even occurred to the young Redhawk. Her disappearance had been his fault, as was the time she'd spent here worrying and wondering about them. There was always something more he could've done, that he should've done. And it was Fennec who had suffered because of his inaction.

Fig was tempted to keep quiet, but he sensed that his father now needed help. So, softly, he added what little he could to the conversation with a quiet, "Fenny?"
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Fenn is welcome at all times and will in fact make me sad if she doesn't show up.
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It made sense to her to seek out Sundance next, after working with Dorea. She wanted to catch up with him, as well as get in some sparring practice. Maybe she should locate one of the other young males after him, work her way through the rest of the youth ranks before moving on to the adults. They were the most vulnerable and least experienced members of the pack, so it made sense to her.

But before she went looking for anyone, she needed to finish this midday patrol. There was just one stretch of border left and Towhee was so bored, she very nearly cut it short. But then she remembered that she didn't cut corners, not when it came to pack safety and especially not when she was being called upon to flex her mercenary skills. She kept plodding.

She stopped short when she saw some figures in the distance: two dark, one light. Towhee recognized Fen immediately, the two others a heartbeat later. Her breath caught in her throat and her stomach somersaulted. On legs that suddenly felt a lot like jelly, she began walking again, then jogging, then running full speed ahead. A wild cry escaped her when Towhee realized she was looking at her family, once more made whole, and she dove at the little group like she was the bowling ball to their pins with a second, louder whoop:

[Image: source.gif]
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

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Fennec listened as he explained, her breathing quickening more and more as emotion bubbled up.  He said he was hurt, that he hadn't been able to come.  All her fears came surging up, but it wasn't until she heard Fig that she broke.

I - I didn't mean to-  she sobbed quietly, but whatever she was going to finish with was cut off by Towhee's holler.  She pushed back when Towhee  slammed between them, startled by her abrupt appearance and already fighting between flight and staying.

She didn't want to do this now and here.  She ran.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
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We can probably do rounds if that's easier on people! I'll leave it up to y'all.

Towhee arrived, Fennec fled, but Phox chalked it up to her being overwhelmed. Shit, he was overwhelmed. He had expected to find Towhee here, but Fennec was a whole different ballgame. Somehow, she had survived on her own... at least long enough to find the Firebirds and seek shelter here. As he had always predicted, she was stronger than he ever could have imagined. Any wisecracks about her inability to see could eat dirt.

And Towhee! She was here! He had predicted that, and he was oh-so-glad he had been right. This reunion contrasted their previous one to the hundredth power, and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Some part of him expected to feel bad about the loss of the grove, but all he had ever wanted was a safe place for Fig and Fenn, and now here it was, sitting right in front of him.

Now that all his emotional and mental thoughts were out of the way, which really only took a few seconds, he was free to slobber all over his sister and Figment. He would catch up with Fennec later. Right now, he was just so happy that she was safe and sound.
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Fig whined when he saw her anger break. He stood to go to her then, but Towhee's arrival distracted him. His whine reached a higher pitch as he pressed forward to get swept up into her arms. He'd worked so hard to grow stronger. He was a guardian now, not a silly little kid that couldn't do anything to help when his family disappeared or got hurt. But then, there was Towhee, and he wasn't a guardian anymore. He was just a silly little kid, snuggling into the comforting arms of his parents.

But where was Fenn? His eyes popped open just in time to see her disappear into the trees. "Fenn!" he called out, shifting to escape from the joyful reunion. He made it only a few paces before he stopped, uncertain. Should he follow? Was he even permitted? This wasn't his territory, though the other half of his family was here. He wilted and looked back and Phox and Towhee, silently asking them what to do. How could he make things right? How could he save her from whatever hurt she felt that had made her flee? Rannoch hadn't taught him this part of what it meant to be a guardian. How could he protect them from being sad?
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Fenn is welcome at all times and will in fact make me sad if she doesn't show up.
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She enjoyed one moment of bliss, some part of her body in contact with each of her three dearest loved ones. Towhee felt like she could cry; in fact, she let out a noise halfway between a joyous laugh and an overcome sob. She clutched at each of them, only for Fen to move out of reach, then flee entirely. Towhee could only hiccup in total surprise and stare, orange eyes watery, as her little family broke apart once more.

"Fen!" she croaked at the same time as Fig (not that she knew it). Towhee made a movement to follow her, then caught herself and turned to Phox and Fig. With another emotive noise, she flung herself at them, one foreleg wrapping about each of their necks, tugging the three of them into a group hug. There were a thousand questions swarming her head and a million different things she could say right now, though Towhee only managed a shaky, "I'm so happy you're here."

After holding them tightly for several beats, she reluctantly let go of them and slipped back to look into their faces. "Let's give her a minute," Towhee said, "then we'll go find her." All her questions could wait until later, as could the conversation about whether they were staying (of course they were; she wouldn't let them go now!). Right now, the only thing that mattered was making her family whole again, once and for all.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!

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#14
Making myself carsick writing this post lmao.

Figment was, understandably, confused about how to proceed. Phox gave him an understanding look, then nodded along with what Towhee said. -Towhee's right. Just give her some time. You and I had time to prepare ourselves for this, but she had no idea we were coming back.- Somehow, being in the presence of Towhee always reverted him back to signing along with speaking. It just made it easier for him to make sure she was catching everything. Just because they had time to prepare didn't make the reunion any less emotional, but Phox had been somewhat ready for it. He couldn't imagine how overwhelmed Fennec must have felt.

-I didn't expect to find Fennec here,- he said to Towhee. -I tried to follow you over the landslide, but I fell. Hard. Figment managed to help me get to the Frosthawks, and Raven helped me recover. I came back the minute I was able to walk for more than twenty minutes without crumpling.- The limp in his right front leg would never go away, his older sister had told him. The headaches could get better, or worse, or stay the same. His left eye was useless to him now, but that wasn't visible from the outside.
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Skipping with permission to wrap this! :)

While Fig gazed off in the direction Fen had gone (exercising hell'a self-control, surely), Towhee tuned in to Phox's signing. It hadn't even occurred to her that he hadn't known he would find Fennec safe and sound here in the copse. Even she hadn't been a sure bet, though surely it hadn't been hard to guess that Towhee would immediately go to their sister pack.

She cringed when her brother explained the nature of his injuries and how he'd gotten them. She had been utterly foolish to climb the pass and had apparently set a horrible example. Towhee's orange gaze flicked to Fig, glad at least that their son hadn't been the one to attempt it. And he'd been there for Phox, as had Raven and the Frosthawks. Of course, none of that was surprising. Despite her guilt over the whole matter, Towhee smiled fondly.

-"I knew you guys would never leave willingly,"- Towhee said, -"and look at us, proving that even if life throws its hardest wrenches, we'll always find our way back to each other. Fuck you, Mother Nature, am I right?"- She smirked, then went in for another loose group hug (yanking an unsuspecting Fig in by the neck) before ushering them into the copse.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Redhawk Caldera are welcome to power-play Towhee (excepting injury or death) for cohesion and continuity, whether or not she's an active participant in a thread. Just tag me!