Firefly Glen meet in the middle,
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the bonecracker
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#1
All Welcome 
attn: @Revui tho !
 

Soon. She felt it; she knew it in her belly. Soon. She had warmed, was growing warmer by the day—she would become a woman on fire again. And what had transpired last year? It would not be had. No—never again. 

Hydra stared out into the Glen, features dark and stern as she considered all that had occurred this past year. Lessons learned, and lessons given—it was time to see if the latter had been heeded, she supposed. At all other times in which Hydra had needed him, his family had needed him, he had not been there—but she had told him what she had expected. And she had given him time to ruminate. 

And now, she needed those teeth. 

Shifting her weight, she called to her wayward brother.
I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
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#2
How could she know of his return? Her eyes were everywhere; the duality of sisters, maybe. Or Hydra's power had grown to encompass dominion over the shadows too. Her call rose. The waiting boy heard it, absorbed it, and a few moments after there came a return call: deep, proud, clear, but distant.

It would take some time for Revui to work his way north to the glen.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#3
The truth of it was Hydra had not known he had left; for all of this time, she had thought he remained with the Nightwalkers. That was all well and good, given they were allies—and with how they had left things last, she truly did not expect him to come here of his own volition for some time. But Hydra had need of him, and they were family; her disappointments were not forgotten, but blurred in a warm, pink fog that coloured her world in a faint, familiar rose-gold.

His howl had come from a direction she did not expect, but as he sang back Hydra settled to her haunches, gaze holding fast to the horizon. Behind her, Moonspear cut its impressive shape that looked rather like draconian wings with the range at her back in a dark silhouette as the sun began its descent. She waited, patient and in Queenly repose—but her attention was distributed to her surroundings, one ear swiveling right to indicate as much.
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#4
He came to her momentarily, having spent an hour or so hiking from the southern territories until the grove beckoned. As Revui swaggered between the trees he sought out the strong scent of Hydra, slowing to a halt just shy of where she was poised. His head lowered for a rare display of piety to her - the words of their last meeting had gone stale in his mind but now, they resurfaced in flashes of memory juxtaposed poorly with the past month's various exploits.

As his head raised again and he turned his gaze upon her, he reached out and nosed at her chin, catching it with his teeth affectionately; another rare moment. Then he withdrew, coiling back in to himself.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#5
When he came into view, she marveled at her own emotions. 

Her hormones heightened everything, though this she was not all too keenly aware of then and there. The days following this one would be one long blur, one that blended into the next, though this particular day would be remembered well by her. These hours, she would still have her head—but her heart, for these same hours, would dictate the encounter to be had it seemed. 

Hydra had missed him. Her resentment once doubled due to this, but no longer did. He hopefully by now understood her grievance had been his leaving without a word more than his leaving at all; but in knowing he was alive, and well, she at the very least had the opportunity to forgive him. And that he could be granted, given he had listened and not ran from her call for him. His reticent approach warmed Hydra's heart further, somehow; likely because one surefire way to her heart was to cater to her pride. 

His show of affection, brief but heartfelt and rare, was met by the matriarch sweeping to her feet to nose him in turn. Hydra would not have him think she hated him; she did not. Disappointed in his actions? Certainly. But he, as family, would be forgiven quicker than most. Than any, really—Hydra was not a forgiving creature, and less inclined to do so when hurt. The loss of Charon and Amekaze had matured Hydra in at least one way, though: for those that had made honest mistakes of her family, well... she could try and work at looking past them. Give them one more chance. She had done so with Arcturus, and was glad for it. 

She elected to have some faith in her brother, and her gaze was warmer upon him. 

Her tail swayed some as she regarded him. A cursory sniff revealed no sign of the Nightwalkers upon him, which was interesting... where had he gone off to, then? What sort of things had he discovered? Brother, she greeted, verbal at last so he could know for certain she had not removed him from their family tree as she had the [late] Korei Julia—who, as it so happened, she had managed to eliminate entirely—and also, to reveal she was in no foul mood. I am going into my season any day now. There will be new males beyond that might pursue me for my scent; I ask that you protect the Wilderness surrounding Moonspear to keep them away, she requested in a low hum. Oh, to be sure this was a task Dirge could and would handle himself... and that went without saying—but she tasked Revui with this as well, as a way for him to again work toward restoring her faith in him.
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#6
He did not entwine himself with her for long; soon enough Revui bled away from her, gathering himself, settling before her on his haunches with his eyes downcast. He was not sure what he felt, and was too distracted by the tumult in his heart to look upon her. He did not see the shifting of emotions as they worked through her. These were private moments, and the boy had never been very good with any such display, so it was obvious that he would become like stone while the shadow shifted before him.

When she spoke — when she called him brother — he finally looked upon her face. His gaze was like sea glass on most days, but for the briefest of moments his expression was soft, pliant. Boyish. Surprised that she still considered him a brother, maybe. From what he recalled of their last conversation (colored as it was by his doubt, his guilt, and his hurt after learning of Charon and Amekaze) he was not worthy of the mountain - nor the family that it harbored. The wrongness of that assumption caught up to him now. Brother.

And then, a task. The guardianship of the wilderness around her kingdom; that told him, yes, she failed to trust him fully. That he must work his way back in to her heart. His gaze slanted away from her face in that moment, to the trees, to the sounds around them. He breathes steadily of the scents in the breeze - not finding anything amiss with her, yet. But she needs him, and of course anything she asks, he will do.

He nods his head, glancing at the dirt, then at her - and finally accepts.
You will be safe, he pledges.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#7
He was the sort of stone only her savage waters could weather and shape to something other; she saw as much when he regarded her, soft and uncertain. The look reminded her of when he was but a child—it still existed within him, and to know it was there caused Hydra to realize that really, he himself had never meant to hurt them as he had to start with. 

She had always known he was slow. It was no wonder he had not realized what his leaving had caused his family to feel, to fear. 

Revui did now, and he would either prove to her that he had learned or reveal to her that he was incapable of it. His pledge was met with a nod; for now, she trusts him enough to believe that he would. And then Hydra hums, you have missed much; you have three nephews, now, and a niece, she shared, wondering if he might wish to know more about them. I am sure I have missed plenty, too; what have you discovered, out there? She wondered if it was anything of worth. She had always enjoyed Vela's stories.
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#8
The matter is settled. He pushes down the feelings brewing in his heart, swallows them, lets them fester where they can't do any harm. There is no use in dwelling on his failures or on words spoken in the past.

When she speaks of what he's missed, Revui immediately thinks she is about to explain something new and foul that had befallen the mountain; he feels a knot of worry twist his gut as he thinks of Arcturus, and watches Hydra intently. But she speaks of children. Nothing amiss, nobody hurt or dead, this time. He has never thought about children with any seriousness before - unaware that his own body was in its prime for such a misadventure - and so talk of his nieces and nephews registers very little within him.

On the topic of his discoveries he huffs, looking at the dirt.

I killed someone. Revui states. His voice is empty of feeling. There is no regret to his tone, nor to the look in his eyes - distant though, distracted. I was hungry. We hunted together, then they double-crossed me. I had to.

Afterward he had been keen to return to the valley, to flee from this event as if it were a crime - in his own mind, it was not. He pauses and looks to Hydra for a long moment, perhaps to ascertain how she feels without asking aloud, am I terrible? Before she can speak to any of this, he adds: Their pack took me in, put me to work. Then they let me go.

A month, for a wolf, was aeons.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#9
Hydra listened to him with apt interest; there is not an ounce of judgment upon her features as he speaks to her of what had happened in their time apart. That he had killed someone did not so much as make her flinch. How many people had Hydra killed? For her own safety—for her families? They double-crossed you, she drawled, you did what you had to. I would have done the same, she soothed. Hydra was grateful then for all of her lessons taught to him; surely this aided him, as his own tenacity must have. 

She had. Though she had not been double-crossed. A woman, long ago, had trespassed and tried to kill her; Hydra had been very young then. She was conscious then of her notched ear; the final mark that wolf would ever leave on this world. 

Hydra's ears pricked as she turned thoughtful. Arcturus and I have been teaching the children to defend, and to fight—but I would like for you to teach them as well, she hummed. They could learn different things from an adversary such as Revui; he was a great deal bigger than their typical opponents, for one thing. You can tell them of outsiders, and how not all can be trusted. How you were double-crossed, for Hydra's own teachings on outsiders were much the same, but Revui's more recent experience might highlight the truth of it. At the end of the day, Hydra's trust truly rest in those she called family—Moonspear within that realm—and for all others, she maintained a healthy skepticism. 

It was Spring, and so Hydra considered before asking: have you found a mate out there? It did not seem so, but she always liked to be certain. Hydra hoped to become an aunt this year—she still held out hope for Alya and Nikai, but they had yet to ask her or Dirge if they even could.
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#10
He had never thought of himself as a teacher or tutor. There was still so much for him to learn - how could he impart any sort of knowledge to anyone himself? The request made him scowl for a moment, then when Hydra moved on to another topic - of mates - he was outright frowning. Such a concept had never occurred to Revui; he shook his head brusquely. It did not fit with the way his world worked. Hydra had her companion, as the queen of the mountain, but Revui was not the king of any such place and as a result he did not have the rights to breed. He did not know if he wanted to, either.

No, he intoned sharply, surprised that she would even ask such a thing of him - and it played in to his voice.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#11
Hydra withheld her amusement. Revui had much to learn even still, and she would be his teacher as their parents could not be. His answer did not surprise her, not in the slightest. Indeed breeding was for Kings and Queens, but it was also for those that the Kings and Queens permitted to. He might not be Moonspear in title, but Revui would always be such no matter how far he roamed. She knew this in the way that he stood here now. 

She had him in mind, then, when considering Ying. There is a she-wolf who searches for one, and she wonders if I can arrange something for her. She seeks to build something as I do, which is of great interest to me, Hydra drawled. She was a warrior at heart, and a tactician too; an army to command was no bad thing. Would you be open to such an arrangement? She inquired, ears cupping as she anticipated his response. Hydra would never force her brothers to do anything they did not desire to, but she hoped this was not the case here.
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#12
It wasn't something he had ever thought about before. To be offered up by his sister to some stranger - he didn't like the idea at all, but without a frame of reference his emotions died within him. He shrugged, silent, indifferent. If doing this appeased his sister and earned him further respect among the family, then of course he would agree - without really understanding what it was he agreed to.

Yes, he answers. Build what..? He murmurs next. Knowing that his sister is the Queen, that she has birthed her own heirs, makes Revui more thoughtful in the moment. Is that what she hopes he will do too? Could he, one day, be a father to cubs the way Charon had been father to them? And what would that make him - a king? Or just a figure-head bowed in service to the great mountain? Too many thoughts burdened his mind where usually there was only silence; he shut them out, focusing on whatever answer Hydra could provide.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#13
An army, Hydra hums with a wan little smile. Ying is young, but can be guided. You, too, are young. There is much for you both to learn still. Father had great ambitions for me—for us all, by proxy, as they were one. He foresaw that I would be able to do what he had always wished to. Take over this Wilderness, she drawled, and protect it from the evils outside of it. This woman does seek a mate, and therefore, a father to her children. Where she seeks to lay claim is near the coast. The resources there are abundant, I am sure; we will have to see for ourselves. Ultimately, in times of war, in times of famine, you would answer to me, she was Queen, after all, but in other affairs—I would listen to you, hear you, as father and mother did with me. Hydra would have several seconds in this way, but also be able to continue to teach, to guide. If children were begotten of their union, the coast would see them fed. 

Perhaps the Bay, Hydra romanticized. They would need to see it, but there was no one she would like to see lay claim to it more than her own family. Protect. And stay yourself too, brother. Do not breed with women not arranged, if you are prepared for this sort of future, she hummed. Where he could lead, and help in the building of an army—their families army, as Ying would ultimately become this.
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#14
Her proposal took ages to register in his brain. Little by little he came to understand. They were on the same wavelength but Revui was always tediously slow when it came to deeper aspects of things, especially in this instance, but he did eventually nod and look pensively to the dirt at his paws. He did not know much about the Bay that Hydra spoke of - except that it was the origin of their father, who had told them of it in tiny increments. He did not recall much of those bedtime stories now, but the fact that Hydra saw it as an asset was enough.

Revui would always do as he was instructed. He did not have much of a mind for independence considering his mental lethargy; if an area required protection he would relish the chance for combat, but beyond that he could not see himself as the leader anywhere. All the same, if it was what Hydra wanted, it was what Hydra would get. Joining two families together would allow their family's strength to grow - and who was Revui to deny them that opportunity?

I will do it. He proclaims in the next breath, nodding sharply as if he has made a great decision. It was an immense responsibility, one he had never been granted before, and the weight of this decision did not yet settle upon him. For you, and for us.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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Hydra was glad to hear that he was willing, but she wanted to be sure of it. He was her brother, and Hydra wanted what was best for him. But she wanted him, too, to be happy with it. So Hydra stepped forward to nose his shoulder in their comradely way. I will not rush you to come to this decision. I want your happiness, too, brother. And I would not take your choice from you, she drawled. Not in that, in any case. It was his future; he ought to have some consideration in it. 

I do ask, though, she drawled, that you not impregnate any with that other sword of yours. Moonspear women have already been forced out of heat, but do not complicate your life for a stranger—or do anything to make me cross with you, she teased, though she paused for a moment, considering. She had spoken with Arcturus on this matter... she knew she must with him, too. Mother and father—did they share with you how children are made? She asked, voice heavy. Her children, her parents children... who else?
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#16
Revui did not want to appear ignorant before his sister. He huffed, turning a slanted look her way as her question hit his ears. He sharply confirmed. Of course! Except, it was obvious by the bluster and dramatic flair of that same statement that he was lying. He stomped a little bit in place, clearly a bit embarrassed, and could not hold his attention upon her after. Revui felt like a young idiot, a child, and coveted what knowledge his siblings carried - or rather, excelled in, which he often felt dwarfed by - and knew he was too prideful to ask for such lessons. So he would feign his knowledge for as long as Hydra would allow him. Steel his pride against the scrutiny of his betters.

Before she could elucidate upon the various biological processes of sex, he boldly loosed his voice.

I will keep the... sword -- to myself. He wasn't a creature of nuance, and struggled to connect the meaning behind what she had said, but held on to that single word as if it were the rosetta stone; whatever his sword was, he would keep it away from any women. It certainly had not been brandished for combat with anyone - unless Moonspear's poor saplings counted.

Honestly at this point he just wanted to run for the hills.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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Hydra withheld her grin once again, though it was difficult. Keeping her expression flat and void of anything was natural to her, but this level of amusement was quite difficult to come by these days. Still, if it was at her brothers expense Hydra refused to let it surface. This was too serious a topic with too severe a consequence to laugh in the face of. His blustering made it evident enough they had not, and Hydra licked her chops. Well, I will remind you of the lesson, then, just as I have done for Arcturus and Yama, she drawled; he need not feel alone in his lack of knowing, or any uncertainty there. More than that, Hydra would never leave him in the dark.

There are scents on the wind that perhaps call to your attention more than others. The closer you become, the more prominent your attention to it is. It is the scent of a woman in heat. When a woman has that scent upon her, she can become with child—though not alone. She needs a male, who will find that scent perhaps impossible to resist. And some can even tempt the male to do what he otherwise would not with this scent, as Speedy had, she hummed, to make him see how strong this scent could effect a man, because the male is essential in the making of children. If you give in to compulsion and do what instinct makes seem impossible to refuse, then children could be yielded from it. I have yet to see when children did not result from the event, Hydra revealed, thinking back some while she regarded her brother. She was silent now, awaiting any questions he might have.
I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal
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Many of the details went over his head. Whether he wanted to pay attention or not, there were too many words and too much exposition for him to focus upon; but he did his best, and in the end when Hydra fell silent Revui appeared focused and attentive. He wasn't. At all. Details about scent and needing a male did sink in, slowly, but they registered enough to leave a lasting impression.

With a grunt he nods as if understanding came easy - and then he murmurs, I will get to work. The awkwardness within him was gone, replaced by an antsy, impatient energy.
The woods have always been filled with these soft doe-eyed things;
with hearts beating for the arrow, the bullet, the lance.

I have always been the huntsman.

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#19
Hydra nods to him when he expresses he would get to work. Good, she thought. He knew where she would be; Hydra would keep to Moonspear and remain with Dirge to ensure that next year, they might have more sons and daughters to occupy the mountain. The thought thrilled her. Be safe, Hydra hummed, before turning to head to the upper reaches of her claim.

fade!
I'll find that you'll find that I'm lethal