Otter Creek just a reflex
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All Welcome 
The young medic traveled along the creek bed, nose the ground, searching for the source of the unmistakable aroma. Chervil was one of the few medicinal herbs that bloomed this late in autumn, making it refreshingly easy to sniff out at a time when most other herbs were dormant and hidden. 

Bingo.

The yearling darted the remaining wolflengths to the chervil patch. She began to dig at the edge of the patch, careful to do as minimal damage as possible to the exposed leaves and root system. It was a practice that had been drilled into her since she was old enough to harvest.
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@Anabelle is always welcome in Han's threads but it's not necessary for her to post!

After leaving the fairies on an impromptu decision to find a new home with his sister, Valium took on a new name to leave that old-new life behind him and find a new path. So far, this seemed to be some kind of pattern of his, something he was slowly starting to like - maybe he will keep doing this, both he and Lithium, who now goes by Anabelle as she took decided to change her name to fit his. Perhaps this is just their life now too. To start over in a new place, under new names, and just live their lives together as the only family they have left. The only 'pack' they can trust.

The twins crossed the mountains and nothing. It was a no-mans land of no packs to be found, and so they continued to wander... a few small meals here and there, at least they were two so they were able to work together in keeping their bellies full. They were growing bigger too, and stronger with their travels, and so, he felt safer now too. 

It wasn't until the sight of some strange individual digging in the ground did strut up, nose in the air as he looked down on the dirty woman in the dirt. Lip twisting in mild disgust as if whatever she was doing, was strange and uncivil in his eyes. And what the hell are you doing?
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Lane’s head jerked up when the man spoke. Curious eyes turned instantly weary as she took in the man's- no, the boy’s— tone, his pose, his swagger. Wow, rude. He was pretty arrogant for such a youngster… had he even seen a winter yet? Lane thought not.

Was Rude Boy trying to pick a fight, then? Provoke her? Lane was already exhausted of him.

“Digging,” Lane replied, blinking slowly. A few sprinkles of dirt fell from her chin as she spoke. If she knew anything about kids at all, it was that their attention spans were practically nonexistent. Maybe if she acted just as boring as she possibly could, he would leave her be and continue on his way.  

Her eyes darted to the small pile of chervil roots she had unearthed. Anyone who had ever been treated with chervil root, or even set foot in a medicine den, should have recognized the strong scent instantly. What the hell she was doing should have been obvious to the boy, despite his limited life experience. Did the wolves out here not have medicine?
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Alas, the young boy was nowhere near any medicine dens and he didn't pay much attention whenever medicine was applied after his encounter with the witch - also he was just too young to remember much of it anyway if he did recall any smell from medicine to treat his wounds. The fairies were also way too peaceful and so, he had no injuries that really needed treating since his joining them. He was as clueless as a newborn whelp. 

Whatever it was, he could smell it now. She dug and his nose scrunched. It stunk, at least to him. It didn't smell like any flowers he knew, so it wasn't sweet... it didn't smell very edible either, earthy really, he didn't like it. Why though? He frowned at the root-thing, trying to figure it out. Did you leave meat there or something? Like as a cache, that much he knew.
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The boy lingered, pressing Lane with more questions. Even at her most boring, apparently Lane was still the most entertaining thing he could find. Despite herself, Lane felt her resolve softening. The boy seemed genuinely curious.

“Mmm.. no..” Lane murmured, answering his last question first. “I wouldn’t store meat here, it’s not defensible..” Her brow furrowed. Honestly, she wasn’t really in a position to be leaving a meal behind, but that was a little too embarrassing to admit to a stranger.

“It’s medicine,” she explained. To demonstrate, she bit into the leafy green part of the plant and pulled, detaching it from the ground. She chewed and swallowed, then raised a brow at the boy. Would he try it? For some kids, curiosity knew no bounds.
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Honestly, it wasn't something that came to his mind about "defensible" until she mentioned it. He had always been within pack borders until now, and so, it was a thought he would have to ponder over. Would they have to eat as much as fucking possible before moving on or would he and his sister be stuck babysitting whatever prey they had before moving onto new land? Both seemed promising... one making their trip take longer, but then again, leaving any scraps behind seemed wasteful of both hard-earned food and energy in obtaining it. 

It was a new conundrum that came to mind and he didn't like it. He especially didn't like that the answer wasn't clear right off the bat to him either. 

Suspiciously his eyes narrowed onto her as she chewed on the disgusting looking plant. Then she turned to offer him some too! With a frown and unadulterated revulsion, he stared at the thing, and then eventually his eyes rose to meet hers again. You eat it? It took a moment, but eventually with some bravery on his side - and complete loathing, he took the smallest bite he could with only his incisors, keeping his lips and tongue far from it as possible.

[Image: tenor.gif]

Holding it, the texture was strange... he hated it, and was apprehensive about putting it in his mouth completely despite being the woman already swallowing it before.
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xDD that gif though. i'm dying.

Lane nodded in response to his incredulous question. ”You don’t have to swallow it, just chew it up and spit it out if you want. It’ll work the same.” Although it clearly pained him, the boy followed suit and took the tiniest of bites. It seemed that what the boy lacked in courtesy, he made up for in bravery and sheer force of will.  He was growing on her, and she smiled knowingly seeing his strong reaction.

“Chervil,” Lane supplied the name of the herb, on the remote off-chance that the boy would care or remember. “It’ll take care of belly pain if you eat something rank. Supposedly fights infection, too.” To be honest, Lane was a bit skeptical about the infection-fighting properties of an oral medication. For infection she preferred an antiseptic herb poultice that could be applied directly to the wound.
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LOL! I had to! And omg thank you for the Kudos!

The root hung from his teeth, lips still pulled back in an awkward grimace as if he was afraid of just touching it, recoiling back as far as possible which gave him a wry smile of sorts. His glare fell to something less than impressed, he wasn't going to swallow it regardless of what she said - the simple idea of chewing on the fucking thing was horrid enough for him to even think of.

What the hell, lets goooo!

After a while, he finally threw it into his mouth. Chewing the thing all the heck while his tongue worked and desired to push it out by wriggling to and fro between every dry and wood-like texture bite. It reminded him briefly of the pinecone he use to chew on as a whelp, but that thing's texture was more solid, more amusing ot bite into than whatever the fuck this shit was. 

Spitting it out as soon as he could, he corrected her after she gave the name of the plant. Dis-gus-tang. His tone was accusatory and in a way "matter of fact". Half listening to her brief explanation of the root's properties, maybe helping belly aches was worth remembering... but with how gross it was. Are you sure it's not the cause of your stomach aches?! Honestly, who's the bright idea was it to shove this crap into their mouths thinking it would heal anything? He was certain now she just poisoned them both, doomed the little Nightwalker prince to a lifetime of stomach issues. 

I'm coming after you if I shit piss tomorrow morning.
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“Dis-gus-tang.” He gave his assessment, and Lane couldn’t disagree.

”Yep.” He had been pretty brave trying one of the roots, after Lane had demonstrated with a leaf. The roots tasted fucking awful, but they stored better than the leaves, which would wither up after a couple days. Watching the boy muscle through one of the tough, chewy, dirt-covered roots made Lane wince.

“Are you sure it's not the cause of your stomach aches?!”

A bark of laughter escaped Lane. ”Pretty sure.” She stepped over to the creek to take a drink, and hopefully wash away that taste. It was not a taste you ever really got used to.

He finished off with a threat, to which Lane responded, “Fine by me. Just do me a favor and keep your tail tucked. I don’t want to have to smell your shitty ass.” Lane smirked, her tone teasing and playful.
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Oh! Water, yes water was good! Something to eat would probably help take the taste away better than this, but hell, it was better than nothing. As the woman went for a drink, elegant, all adult-like and stuff - Valium instead shoved his face right in the water after jumping in completely. Filling his mouth up with water, he gargled and swished the liquid in a messy desperate attempt to get his mouth free of the vile taste that plagued him so.

Spitting out the vile water, his mouth felt a little better, just mildly cleaner. Though he was still certain his ass would be hurting tomorrow. I think I'll come and wipe myself on you instead. Sticking out his tongue, the growing lad turned to lift his tail and flat out moon the woman by lifting his tail high enough to show off his asshole. Seriously, the boy had zero shame in himself. If he could flip her the finger he would have done that too.
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The boy responded in kind, even one-upping Lane with his wolf-version of a mooning. Lane scoffed and turned away.

“You could try,” she bantered back. Sweeping a paw over the surface of the water, she sent a spray of icy water toward the boy, intending to soak the ass he was so proudly presenting.

After months on her own, struggling for her life every single day, Lane had almost forgotten what it was like to just be a kid. Daring each other to eat gross things, bad language and immature behavior, splashing and threatening each other… in a way, it was exactly what the yearling had been craving.
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Normally everyone seemed to hate him, hate the way he talks, the way he holds himself, the things he did - he was downright despised by most individuals he had crossed. Even the fairies didn't seem to like him very much, and though he was aware of it, it didn't bother the prince - because he was so used to it by now. Only his mother showed even a little bit of care when she was around, and even those memories were fading with age. You'll see! He called back, cut off by the water being splashed his way.

Despite the frown, and the little growl, the boy was having fun. He couldn't tell what this woman was thinking, but he enjoyed her so far. She didn't just brush him off, insult him and his family, treat him like a child - she just, even if she did treat him like a child the way she normally would, it felt natural. 

While all wet, instead of splashing back like any normal idiot would do - Valium decided to leap back out of the water and try to tackle the woman. Sharing the moisture on his pelt instead of giving her her own, and risking her just avoiding the splashes by walking away. This way, he could dry himself off a little by using her like a towel (just like how he promised to use her to clean his dirty ass earlier as well, a little preview I suppose).
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The boy made a sudden movement, and Lane tucked her face, assuming that it was going to be a retaliatory splash. When no water came, she peeked up. The boy was soaring toward her. Her eyes widened, and she released a strangled yelp as he made contact.

Lane teetered backwards, and the pair hit the ground. Lane was on the bottom, her shoulder hitting first and hitting hard. “Fucking—ow!" she wheezed out. “Fuck! You’re soaking wet!” His pelt was completely waterlogged and it was really, really cold!

From her position beneath the boy, Lane was becoming just as wet as he was very quickly.  She squirmed, and her hind limbs pumped as she scrabbled for purchase against his fur, hoping to kick him off or destabilize him enough to roll them both to the side. The boy still had some growing to do to catch up to the yearling in size, so with luck this tactic would work.
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Success!! He hummed and growled happily as he rubbed himself all over her, flopping and rubbing himself from cheek to shoulder, wiggling his bum and flicking his tail to try and guarantee to get the lady as wet as possible before she could get him off of her. Yeah that's the fucking point lady! He shrilled with glee like any child who was having a blast. 

As she pushed and shoved to make him move, the boy simply ragdolled and became dead weight. It was always harder to move something that was just so malleable, and with his still liquid and flexible spine, it should make it that much harder to get him to move as he howled in impish laughter in her dismay of getting soaked under his looming presence. Had enough yet?! If she couldn't fight him off now, how could she do it if he had a shitty bum to wipe on her later?

Sucked to suck he supposed.
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With every passing moment, more water seeped into Lane's pelt; a creeping, frigid sensation that chilled her to the bone. Lane scrabbled harder against the icy weight on top of her, twisting herself from side to side with all the force she could muster.  

The boy was shrieking with delight, because of course, this had been exactly what he intended. It was a pretty singificant escalation from the light splashing Lane had given him, leaving Lane with the impression that the kid might just be a teeny bit unstable. 

"Lane," she corrected him through gritted teeth. Like hell she was going to let him keep calling her lady. Like she was some old person. "My name's Lane." As soon as the boy went limp, so did Lane. The cold had sucked what little fight she had left right out of her.  

"Goddamnit, you're fat!" she growled with frustration. She was not a fantastic wrestler even when she was warm and well-fed, and needless to say she had no formal fight training. Like it or not, she was pinned.
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The boy was an absolute gremlin. Grinning a wild, sharp, toothy smile as his tongue just lolled around, flapping in the wind with every shift in his body. Anyone else would have bitten him half to death by now and yet here they were, actually somewhat enjoying themselves (well he was). It's been so damn long since he had anything like this before. Whatever this was. It wasn't quite something like a mom or a friend... he didn't linger on it for much longer, it didn't really matter anyway to him. 

Awkwardly they both laid there now, him just completely dropped over her with legs sprawled out with his belly exposed to the sky. Lane, Lady Lane. He mimicked, this was a name he would remember even if it was just to bug her even more by adding the honorific.

Lane cried out about his weight, and for a moment he was insulted. Insulted to be called fat instead of heavy with muscle and manly fibers, because obviously, that is why he was heavy. It's muscle! He correctly quickly while sliding off of the woman and wiggling himself up to a stand. Well... he still had puppy fat on him so she wasn't completely wrong in the accusation. You're just weak! Better hope I don't need to wipe my ass tomorrow, dunno how you could stop me. He teased with a questioning look, rising of brows as his silver and red eyes mockingly searched the skies for an answer.
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"Okay, Muscle Man," Lane mimicked, in exactly the same way he had said Lady Lane. The edge of her mouth curled up in a knowing half-smile. It was clear she had hit a nerve with the kid.

Her smile dropped away when he accused her of being weak. That hit a nerve with her, actually. She WAS weak, it was true. Being raised by pacifists will do that to you. 

Lane stood up as well, stretched her muscles out, and shook off. She took her time answering.

"Oh, I dunno," she drawled, giving her ruff a few offhanded swipes with her tongue. "I'll probably just outrun you. Should be easy, since you have all that muscle to drag around. And I'll smell your shitty ass coming a mile away." 

Lane bent down to pick up the tangled mass of chervil roots. "Prove me wrong," she challenged, words slightly garbled by the rootball in her jaws. With that, she turned and ran. 

Lane wouldn't chance looking back to see if the boy was following her. She needed to run for a bit, to get her blood pumping and warm her bones after that soaking. In a few bounds, Lane would be nothing more than a blur, flying along the riverbank.

Fade here? If Han follows her, feel free to start a new thread for them in one of the territories up or downstream.
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He laughed loudly one single tone at Melaine returning the mocking nickname. The older girl issued a challenge and she was off - with him quickly on her tail. He wouldn't let her get away, even if she was faster than him! He was young, and still so damn full of energy! He will catch her, that was for certain!

fade!
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