Firefly Glen exxus
spear of the sun
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#1
All Welcome 

The dark yearling stepped from his den and into the morning sunlight, squinting. His mind had been filled with many thoughts since their move to the glen. He still was not used to the environment. Atlas would never have admitted it, but he felt rather sheltered by his life on the mountain. He'd been the son of leadership, how much could he truly know about the world? After all a prince was not worth much more than his title. The shade couldn't help but feel that he had not yet earned his keep as a man of the world. 

Not a day passed that he did not look to his brother with envy. There was pride there too. Not all feelings were comprised of just one thing. Still, as the inkwell prowled toward the borders of the glen to check the markings, he wondered if he had simply never been born to be as great as those around him. Perhaps Atlas was just the normal guy.
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#2
Osiris hadn't sensed Atlas's resentment—especially since they had founded Firefly Glen. What he had noticed was their unexpected estrangement; they hadn't been able to hang out as much as they had at Moonspear. Osiris wanted to rectify their separation and followed the scent-trail that Atlas had left. Eventually, he spotted his sibling's silhouette in the distance. Motivated, he picked up his pace in an attempt to catch up. 

"Atlas," Osiris called, bringing up the patrol's rear. "Mind if I join?" he asked, once he walked alongside his brother.
spear of the sun
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#3
As though he had been manifested by his very thoughts, the sound of Osiris’ voice startled the dark patroller. Atlas swung his head around and locked his gaze on the approaching figure, admiring the ease in which his brother seemed to command the air around him. Ever since they had settled the glen and claimed it as their own, the inkwell yearling had noticed the change in his sibling. It was not for the worse, of course. It was simply easy to tell that Osiris was thriving in this environment. It was where he was meant to be, it seemed.
 
“Of course I don’t mind, brother,” the dark wolf commented with a small smile and a bow of his head.
 
Atlas continued on an easy path, falling in step with the golden frame of his sibling. It was familiar to him, and it was not until he had stepped beside Osiris that he noticed just how much he had missed their patrols and hunts together. Perhaps his envy had driven him further away from the green-eyed Ostrega. He knew immediately that this would need to be rectified.
 
“I’ve been trying to keep the borders marked as often as possible. We’ve got quite a bit of land here.”
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#4
"Thanks," he replied once he was alongside his brother, slowing to a leisurely stroll. 

Preoccupied with the sights and smells around them, Osiris focused on the path ahead until Atlast spoke. "I've noticed," he stated with a grin, "I'm very thankful for all the work you've put in so far." 

"Have your paws been hurting as much as mine?" Osiris mused next, wondering if Atlas felt similarily. "I feel like it'll take a while to get used to walking so much."
spear of the sun
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#5
Yes, of course he would have noticed… fool.
 
Atlas offered a small smile to his sibling and a bob of his head. Almost every time he had gone to the borders, Osiris’ scent had already been there. The inkwell was merely touching up on a job that had already been completed.
 
The comment of gratitude stung in the back of Atlas’ throat. He did not like that he felt envious of Osiris; his brother was good and he was strong. The mixture of pride, love, and resentment that he felt for the green-eyed sibling was a hard pill to keep down. It was made harder still by Osiris’ consistent shows of comradery and trust. The words of the girl Fennec still gnawed at him.
 
“Hmm, I spent a good amount of time climbing the mountain back home. Down here it’s… strange. It’s like it’s easier to breathe,” Atlas offered in response, not wanting to admit that his legs did not feel half as weary as his heart did.
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#6
While living at Moonspear, Osiris had favored patrolling over mountain climbing. "You really did," he remarked in good-nature, "You were always much better at climbing than I was." This wasn't to say that Osiris never scaled the range. Atlas just frequented the slopes more often than he had. 

As oddly as the next remark came across, he couldn't help but agree. "I think I know what you mean," Osiris didn't know what Atlas meant. "I like all the space that we have out here—it feels less cramped."
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#7
Atlas exhaled a small sighing laugh from his nose. Osiris was kind to think that was true, but the dark yearling was not certain that he was better in anything when compared directly with the glen’s leader. Some days this bothered him, and others made it seem less threatening. No matter the jealousy that fluttered through his chest on broken wings, Atlas admired his brother. He hoped that this pride would never be stricken from his heart. He did not know what would happen if that envy enveloped him entirely.
 
“You did a fine job… picking this place,” the shade commented softly.
 
The glen was a peaceful home. It was near enough to the mountain that they did not have to feel as though they had abandoned their roots. Moreover, with Moonspear right beside them they did not have to fear the threats of the outsiders beyond their individual claims.
 
“The girl who came with you, uh – Leta – how long have you known her?”
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#8
Osiris was humbled by Atlas' compliment.  "I didn't pick it," he assured his brother, looking away uneasily. "Grandfather did," Osiris wouldn't dare take Charon's credit; their claim had been predetermined before they had even been born. 

The mention of Leta caused his heart to flutter, and his gaze returned to his brother. "A few months now," he answered. "I met her here, actually. She was on her way to visit Aunt Alya, and I helped her the rest of the way... we got distracted, though, and watched the stars for a while," he recalled fondly. "She knew Aunt Alya and Nikai from when they lived at Moonspear," he added for reference.
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#9
The comment about their grandfather settled strangely inside of him. What Atlas wouldn’t have given to know the man that had inspired their kingdom. To know their grandmother too would have been a great honor; the world seemed to be a much darker place in their absence. The young shadow only hoped that he would bring pride to them and their family name. Until that point, Osiris had been doing all the heavy lifting for their whole litter.
 
The way that his brother spoke about Leta was sweet; it seemed as though he had found a connection with the girl. What a warm twist of fate it was that she had already been familiar with other members in the Ostrega line and that they were strong enough that she would visit willingly. He could only hope that the young girl would bring happiness to his brother and that they would be able to have children of their own. Osiris would surely make a wonderful father.
 
“Do you think you’ll take her as a mate?”
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#10
"Do you think you'll take her as a mate?" Atlas asked.

[Image: giphy.gif]

"What?! Where had that come from?!" his internal monologue fretted instantaneously. 

"Uh!" was all that Osiris could manage at first in his scatterbrained state. His nerves were all-consuming and had gotten the better of him, and he couldn't think straight. "Well, I mean," he couldn't lie to his brother—it wasn't in character. "It's complicated?" No, that didn't sound right! Osiris gawked, realizing he hadn't come off properly. "I mean, it isn't! But, like, even if I did want her to be my mate, that doesn't mean that she wants to be mine..." this thought was something he considered at length; was he just another friend, like Charles and Jackalope? 

This is the most unnerved that Osiris had ever felt. 

The sound of his beating heart flooded his ears, and his entire body grew hot as he paused their trek to get a hold of himself. He couldn't lie; quickly, he glanced around to see if she somehow had materialized out of thin air. 

When the coast was clear, Osiris confirmed, "In a perfect world, I would in a heartbeat." He knew their world wasn't perfect. "But, I'm not sure she feels the same way I do," he added, his voice suddenly quiet. It wasn't often that Osiris was as vulnerable as he was now, and he didn't like it. He felt small and helpless, rendered useless by an innocent question.
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#11
The reaction from his brother was surprising. 

Atlas had not anticipated that Osiris would become so bashful. Had he not spent a fair amount of time with the girl? The mention of their evening watching the darkness together had struck him as having a considerable amount of weight. Then again, he could have been reading too far into it. It might just have been a close friendship that had been formed between the two of them. Still, they were young and strong. It made sense that those thoughts would arrive at the start of their strongest years. 

The green-eyed boy went on to express some doubts, skirting around the question of whether or not he would ask the girl at all. The shade watched from the corner of his eyes with an unbroken expression. He didn't want to interrupt his brother during a moment of sharing. When Osiris ended his remarks with an uncertain statement about whether or not Leta felt the same way that he did, Atlas could not help but smile. He never thought he'd see his brother in such a soft state. 

She must feel some kind of way to have followed you here and to stay here, he offered with a small shrug of his shoulders and a quick lick of his chops. Why don't you just ask? he then inquired rather bluntly.
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#12
"You have a point," Osiris replied, feeling somewhat reassured. Leta hadn't followed Jackalope or Charles—but she had followed him. He took a deep breath then, steadying his nerves as he mulled over Atlas's next question. 

"Is that how it works?" Osiris asked. He had been taught the birds and the bees, but he'd never gotten a lesson about proposing to somebody. "That seems... too easy," he drawled, already overthinking it.
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#13
It felt good to know that he could help ease his brother’s troubles with only a few words. The dark yearling wished that it was that easy to do so for himself. Most of the time he felt that his anxieties were difficult to silence; he had tried on numerous occasions to mute the fears that inhabited his mind. If only he could aim his logic and focus to clear those things away.
 
‘Is that how it works?’
 
The inkwell yearling furrowed his brow and frowned thoughtfully. The truth of the matter was that he did not know, and he couldn’t pretend to understand how those types of courtships were navigated. He had only just come into the idea that he might have been touched by feelings for the young Meerkat. As far as he was concerned, Osiris had leagues more experience than he did. What could he offer to his brother that the green-eyed Ostrega couldn’t discover for himself?
 
“Well, it’s worth a try. At least you won’t be wondering, right? No matter the answer… it’s an answer still.”
 
That seemed sound.
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#14
Osiris shrugged, recognizing that Atlas had a point. "I guess you're right," he replied. There wasn't anything else he could do— except mull in his spirits until he worked up the courage to ask. With his stomach in knots, Osiris fell into a contemplative silence as they continued patrolling. They strolled in relative silence, making small-talk every so often, and then parted ways. 

"What now?" he couldn't help but think; it was obvious what needed to be done. Osiris just wasn't sure if he was ready to know how Leta really felt about him.