Whitefish River and here we go, life's waiting to begin
March 29, 2020, 03:45 PM
Winterbourne
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At some point, he starts to detach himself from the situation. He hears what's being said, but it doesn't seem to register; like he's not really there, instead watching from a distance as this strange, sad scene that he isn't quite part of unfolds. And then, just like that, it's over and Evergreen is turning to him with tear-filled eyes. He knows he should feel something other than numb. He doesn't.
But he moves forward anyway as his mate breaks, driven by the unshakable urge to comfort and protect the one he loves the most. He can't protect him from this, he can't even protect himself from this though he'd only been on the sidelines, but he can be here. He presses his nose to Evergreen's cheek, then leans in to press his muzzle alongside his neck, encouraging him to return the embrace. It's the best he can do right now, faced with the reality that maybe this was never going to work; maybe it was wrong to try.
March 30, 2020, 12:02 AM
Evergreen
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        The silence speaks volumes. No matter the touch attempting to comfort and soothe, he feels the cold. Nonetheless, he returns the embrace the best he can. Evergreen sobs, weeping, yet forces himself to be collected. His cries fade to sniffles, until silence reigns and he, too, wants to run.
March 30, 2020, 12:13 AM
Winterbourne
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As Evergreen's sobs fade, the silence bleeds in until it becomes all-consuming, and so too do the emotions Winterbourne is trying so hard to control. As his mates tears cease, his own sting his eyes, and he thinks about all that was said. You... He pulls away enough to look at Eve, voice tremulous. You deserve something normal. Maybe... Ira could give you that. I don't want to hold you back since — since you didn't know you could have had that, when you decided to be with me. I just wanted to make you happy, not... cause this. And then his own tears really start, and unlike Evergreen, he can't seem to collect himself.
March 30, 2020, 12:22 AM
Evergreen
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        ... Normal? Wintebourne likes to talk as if they aren't normal, maybe they aren't. Maybe Evergreen just needs to accept he is different again, he's gotten too cocky. I... I meant what I said. Why are you'acting like it's your fault?' It's not your fault, and you do make me happy.
March 30, 2020, 11:47 PM
Winterbourne
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Though Evergreen seems to have caught on to Winterbourne's obsession with normalcy, he hasn't quite gotten the full picture; it goes beyond the fact that they aren't husband and wife, tied deeply with his ideas about who he is and who Evergreen is. In his mind, he's still a broken boy; a scraggly, awkward teenager in the shoes of a grown man, oversized suit stained and rumpled, eyes dark and sunken from all the overtime spent trying to perform a role he was never prepared for. Not quite a child anymore, but not fully adult, not on the same level as those like Evergreen and Ira who can do things like create stability and lead others. Compared to them, he feels like he is a child; or at the very least, rather immature.
Ira is normal, He says after a long moment, voice defeated. What if you would be happier with her? That means I'm in the way, so it is my fault.
April 01, 2020, 07:42 PM
Evergreen
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        He doesn’t understand where this is all coming from—sure, he expected that Winterbourne would be upset to learn someone’s feelings for Evergreen, hell, Eve is off his rocker right now. But…
        Remember what we said before we became official? I told you that out of everything I wanted you to be happy and comfortable, he says, trying his best to collect himself despite the unsteady stutters in his voice. I feel happy and comfortable with you. I don’t want this… “normal” you keep forcing on me. If… If I don’t make you happy or comfortable anymore, then just say so.
        Instead of using this all as an excuse, it’d be so much easier to rip the bandaid off and tell the bear what he’s always known; that he’ll fuck up no matter what, that he doesn’t deserve to be with anyone, and so forth. He gave this relationship thing a shot, and he tried really hard. He swears. And he’ll promise he’ll… he’ll try not to have hard feelings over it either.

yay a sad post for eve's 500th!
April 01, 2020, 08:19 PM
Winterbourne
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He realizes his mistake as Evergreen speaks, and his heart sinks slowly into his stomach. In all his panicked worrying, he'd forgotten to consider that his mate knows his own wants and feelings better than anyone — that he hadn't just agreed to their relationship out of the kindness of his heart. This is what Evergreen wants, normal or not. It's easier to forget than it should be; Winterbourne has never been given much by others, and what he can remember receiving was given out of generosity, maybe a hint of pity. But he has to remember that this relationship isn't a thing that was given to him; it's an agreement between them, a mutual effort, a bond built on trust. He can't help but wonder why it's so hard for him to do that right now — to trust.
That... isn't what I meant. You've always made me happy and comfortable. I'm sorry, I — His own voice breaks, and he fights the urge to reach out again to comfort Evergreen. I got overwhelmed and I thought — I thought maybe Ira could make you happier — and you wouldn't have to be so hurt — I'm sorry. I love you, and I trust you. So if you're saying I make you happy... I'll trust that.
April 01, 2020, 08:30 PM
Evergreen
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        In theory, if Evergreen had wanted to, he could have run after Ira—left Winterbourne in the dust a long time ago, could have been the knight that swept the supposed princess off her feet and gone into the sunset. It has never been his true desire to do so, sure he had a crush, he’d thought Ira attractive and having her charms in ways—but that is long gone, had been minuscule compared to the bloom in his chest for the man who stands with him now.
        At one point, he even found himself making heart eyes at Greyback, how funny that’d been when he’d also been equally terrified of the man.
        There’s no one that he wanted to be with more than he’s wanted to be with Winterbourne—no one that he actually considered to try for. He’s always been too scared, and those fears were never worth going outside his box for. Yet for him? He’d been worth it and more. So it breaks his heart, rips it asunder to hear that Winterbourne thinks it may have been better for Eve to be with Ira—that he’s somehow keeping him from being happy, when Winterbourne is the reason Eve’s gotten a spark back in his life, a reason that he can be happy after all that’s happened to him.
        I’m… I’m not hurt because I want to be with her, he whispers, I’m hurt because I’m an asshole for suggesting and hurting a friend I care about. It’s… It’s not your fault, and it doesn’t mean I would be happier with Ira. You’re… You’re who I want to be with, I trie— I tried this all because you’re my favorite person to be around, and I want… I want to make you happy, I want us to be happy.
        He doesn’t know if he can trust Winterbourne’s words either—that he trusts him, because if he did, it may not have been a situation in the first place. Yet Eve takes a deep breath in, and decides he wants to believe it, even if it’s an uncertainty. Maybe it’s foolish for him to do so, yet again an escapism act because it is what he wants versus the reality of it.
        But once more, he’ll learn if it gets there.
        I love you, too, and I… I’m sorry that happened. Thank you… for being here though.
        Emotional exhaustion hits them both—so much has happened in the short span that it leaves the bear feeling broken and patched together. His heart bruised, brain battered. They’re both numb from it, but they remain standing together. Winterbourne comforts him the best he can, and Evergreen gives those comforts back. Eventually, the two retire to their den, deciding that cuddling may resolve the rest of the feelings that linger.