Redhawk Caldera wind in my hair, 'cause I don't care
All Welcome  November 18, 2020, 02:48 PM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
For a long time Eljay had stayed blissfully ignorant of the reasons Wraen didn't want to be close to Moonspear anymore. Now that he knew, though, it would hardly let him be in peace. He couldn't help but think about how decisions had been made; the decision to stay allied to a pack that didn't sit well with some of their own. Why had they let Wraen, Arcturus and Maia walk out on them in favour of sticking to this alliance? None of it made sense to Eljay, and he hoped that he would find @Towhee at some point for a heart to heart about it. It was all just so... unimaginable.

Maybe he was naive, Eljay thought as he absentmindedly wandered the territory. Maybe he should've opened his eyes earlier. Maybe if he'd showed more interest in pack politics he would've had a better grip on everyone's reasoning. He really had to try harder at that. He needed to step up. Coming out of the fog of a few terrible years filled with grief, Eljay decided that he would do better. He'd try, at least.

He trotted on with a thoughtful frown on his face while the sun was starting to set, creating beautiful pink and orange splashes in the skies.
November 18, 2020, 03:05 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Wraen's and Maia's presences here, and all their implications, made Towhee forget all about her internal baby daddy drama for a few days. Now, when she found herself crossing paths with Eljay, she found all her previous discomfiture gone entirely. He was irrevocably off the table as a candidate now, considering his involvement with Maia. And though that stirred some slight feelings of jealousy the Sovereign honestly couldn't pinpoint, they were pretty easy to ignore. She really was happy for them, even if she was also still slightly irritated at some of the particulars of the situation.

Squinting against the glare of the setting sun, Towhee tipped her chin in the air and said, "'Sup, Eljay?" She ranged closer to him, remembering how there was the distinct possibility he would leave to be with Maia at some point. She hoped not but, in the meantime, the Sovereign told herself not to take his presence in her ranks as such a foregone conclusion.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 18, 2020, 03:56 PM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Eljay paused his thoughtful trot when he heard Towhee's voice. Her response to him was casual. It was sorta strange in a way that it was like that. He was so used to the Towhee that he'd known for many years -- who'd thought of it him as a snivelling mess who couldn't defend himself, or so he thought -- that he wasn't really sure how to handle this new Towhee. She'd changed towards him since becoming a mother, and further yet since they moved to the Caldera and the role he'd played in that. Eljay felt like a different wolf, too. He was starting to feel like he was no longer the wallflower, the big man child that everyone pitied, despised or both. Perhaps it was because now he had proof that he was not only allowed in the ranks of this family because his parents were the only ones who didn't see him in aforementioned light; he was here, now, and he was contributing... And they were seeing it. Or maybe... Maybe he was seeing it, himself, really and truly, for the first time in his life. Or maybe it was Maia's love for him and the way she made him feel that made him feel more confident.

... No. It'd started before Maia.

'Sup? Eljay repeated with a somewhat teasing grin. How casual street talk-y of you. Not as eloquently put as intended, but, well. He paused briefly before he said, Actually, I'm doing... I'm good. Eljay looked at Towhee as he said it, smiling lightly. I don't know if you'd heard, but, uh -- well -- Maia and I like each other, so... We don't know where that'll go yet, but it's -- well -- it's going. Eljay smiled softly, clearly feeling all the feels as he spoke of these things and thought of Maia. He contemplated if he should talk about the other thing, but now faced with the actual Towhee he was having second thoughts.
November 18, 2020, 04:02 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
His quick quip made Towhee freeze and blink at him, a beat before she found herself matching his grin. She huffed a laugh, though she pressed her lips together and fell silent as Eljay actually answered her question. He bashfully stumbled through a quick update about his status with Maia. It was so endearing that the last bits of peculiar discontent fizzled away, as if melted by the beautiful sunset haloing them both.

"So I heard. Well." She paused to laugh at her own pun. "I'm happy for you. You're really on an upswing lately. And, I mean, good for you, both of you." Her tail switched to and for a few times. "Now if we could just guilt trip all of them into staying..." Towhee joked in the next breath, shaking her head lightly. She knew it was a lost cause and, really, she understood where Wraen and even Maia were coming from, even if went against her own hopes and wishes in some ways.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 19, 2020, 01:15 PM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Towhee had already heard about his updated relationship status, so it seemed. He really needed to talk to Maia to figure out what they should tell others about that, honestly, but Eljay was a little afraid of chasing her away by going too fast, unaware that Maia herself was totally on the same desired speed and he had no need not to share all of his inner desires. Anyway, he smiled as Towhee said that she was happy for him. Eljay glanced to the side, at the beautiful sunset all around them. It was almost romantic, this picture, with all the pretty colours floating in the air. Kinda funny that he'd be spending it with Towhee.

Eljay chuckled half-heartedly at the joke of making them stay. Yeah... he said, and his big smile was replaced with a thoughtful frown. I don't really understand why Wraen wanted to leave in the first place. I mean, I... I understand it. I just think that family and pack should be more important than an alliance. She shouldn't have made the choice for us, I think, we should've all stuck with her -- right? What... What do you think? The question was asked tentatively, much more like the Eljay that Towhee had known throughout her life, as he looked at Towhee again to see what she thought about it all. He was such a virgin when it came to pack politics and it was a lot to process.
November 19, 2020, 01:35 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
His expression swiftly switched to a contemplative frown and Towhee found herself watching his face carefully, intrigued by whatever was on his mind. Eljay didn't make her wait, giving voice to his thoughts. She hadn't expected him to raise this subject and her lips pursed as he spoke. He asked her a pointed question but Towhee didn't answer right away, trying to parse out exactly what he meant and whether or not she should feel defensive about it.

"She didn't feel comfortable being formally allied with Moonspear," the Sovereign said slowly, "which kind of happened by accident. I've been friends with Hydra my whole life but nothing was ever official until Meerkat waved her magic wand of charisma one day." Towhee laughed dryly. "I didn't have any idea it would make Wraen want to leave until after the fact," she continued, brow furrowing, "and I offered to go back to Hydra to discuss the terms of the alliance, anything to get her to reconsider, to stay. But she insisted, something about 'a true friend does not make their closest choose.' She said her decision was final."

Recollecting that kind of hurt, even after their more or less happy reunion. Towhee distinctly remembered getting very emotional about Wraen's imminent departure. She'd cried, if memory served, and literally tried stomping away to Moonspear. She felt a flush under her skin, her orange eyes squinting toward the sunset before wandering to Eljay's face, trying to read his expression and whether she'd answered his question.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 19, 2020, 01:48 PM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Towhee explained that it was Wraen who hadn't been comfortable with the alliance. He could see how maybe it had sort of accidentally happened until Meerkat went there and did her ambassador stuff. All in all, it sounded a lot like a case of Wraen being too stubborn for any of their goods to Eljay. It was ironic that by not wanting to make them choose, she put herself in that position. It was just like he had told Wraen himself; she had too much feeling of responsibility for her own good.

At least Towhee had tried, then, Eljay thought to himself. He just couldn't bear to think that Wraen would never return to them. I don't think that's fair, he murmured, perhaps a little harder to lip-read on that part. He looked up at Towhee again as he added, I think a true friend shouldn't choose for their closest, either. But he had made that perfectly clear to Wraen as well and right now there was little that he could do about it. Eljay sounded a little hurt about it -- and honestly, he was -- and he wished that he had been more present at the time so that he could've been there to stop Wraen from leaving them. Or, well, it was unlikely that he could've stopped Wraen from leaving, but something should've been possible, right?

I just feel that Wraen should've been -- is more important than the alliance, or friends in other packs. I'm glad you feel the same, at least. So much he gathered from Towhee's words, anyway. It just hurts that she doesn't see it the same way... Or wouldn't let herself be that important, anyway. There was no use in breaking up the alliance with Moonspear, he supposed, if Wraen wasn't coming back no matter what anyway, because she didn't want them to make that decision. And he added, a little exasparated, his conclusion to finally answer Towhee's initial question: I don't think we can make them stay. He'd tried to tell Wraen what he was telling Towhee now, after all, and it hadn't helped at all. She was stubborn as ever.
November 19, 2020, 02:00 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
He said something too lowly for Towhee to decipher, though he seemed to realize his error and raised his face, enunciating more clearly. She wasn't entirely sure what he was implying, so her face remained blank. He said a few more things, clarifying matters a bit for her. Eljay didn't seem to find fault with her, rather with Wraen's approach to the entire thing. She let out a breath, eventually nodding in acknowledgement.

"No, we can't," she concurred, pausing and reading him speculatively. "But we can keep trying, even if we're basically bashing our brains against a brick wall. Especially with you and Maia involved now, surely that might change things, for her, at the very least? I'm not saying she should choose you over her sister though," Towhee added, frowning. "Sometimes, I just wish I could force all of them—Wraen, Hydra, Arcturus, even this Cuckoo lady—into a space together, make everyone fuckin' hug it out. But," she sighed, "that's just not how the world works, is it?"

Still, it wasn't hopeless, far from it. "Wraen mentioned settling nearby, so there's that. It's not perfect but it could be good enough. Maybe? I'd even—" Towhee cut herself off with a thoughtful hum before continuing. "I'd hate to lose you but I'd understand if you ended up going with them, wherever they end up. But if I had my way, you'd definitely all be staying right here," she concluded, tapping the earth underfoot.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 19, 2020, 03:57 PM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Towhee agreed that they couldn't force them to stay. Disappointing, but realistic. She also suggested they keep trying, and said that maybe him and Maia being involved might make it easier. Honestly, Eljay wished that it would, but like Towhee said, he also didn't want to force her to make a choice between him and her sister. It just wasn't fair.

The next thing puzzled Eljay a bit. Cuckoo lady? he said, blinking in surprise. He hadn't heard about her, though he guessed that she had something to do with Moonspear. But yeah, it would be great if they could make up. Maybe if he knew who it was about, he could talk to her himself. He wasn't sure he could make an impact, but maybe if everyone tried to make a tiny impact, they could all solve things together. It was better than trying nothing, at least.

To his surprise, Towhee brought up Eljay possibly leaving them. Oh, uhm, he said and he looked away, clearly flustered by the thought. He'd contemplated leaving before, when they were still Firebirds, but somehow, now things were different. If he was to have another family some day, he'd want it right here, in the place that meant the most to him. On the other hand, he'd feel so dumb if he played away his chances at getting that family by being too stubborn to leave. Having gathered his thoughts, Eljay looked back up at Towhee and continued, Thanks for saying it. We haven't really discussed anything. I don't want to leave... He frowned again as he contemplated the possibility. He'd hated leaving Redhawk Caldera both times he had done so before — once because of his existential crisis and once because of the war with Blackfeather Woods — and he didn't want to at all. Just the thought made him feel panicked. But what if he lost it all because he was too stubborn to grow up, himself? Should he really risk it? His breathing became more rapid but calmed down again as he tried to gather his thoughts further. I guess we have to talk about it at some point. I'm just so afraid that she'll never want to live here. And I don't want to make her choose between me or Wraen, that's just not fair. If only he wasn't such a big baby and so afraid to travel. It would make things so much easier. He was so afraid to spend a lot of time just pining for Maia at the borders, but he was also terrified to go out and even more terrified to leave the safe haven of his parents' pack.
November 19, 2020, 07:46 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
He asked her about the Cuckoo lady and Towhee just shook her head and said, "Some random woman who threatened Wraen." She didn't deliberately avoid mentioning her ties to Moonspear, though the Sovereign felt it was kind of irrelevant. One bad apple didn't spoil the whole bunch, at least in her mind. She wasn't sure she'd always felt this way—the Blackfeathers flickered darkly in her mind—but that was definitely her take right now.

It heartened her, knowing Eljay didn't want to leave. She supposed she already suspected that, based on how happy he was to be here. But she imagined that this new relationship with Maia really complicated matters. If not for Wraen's opposition to Moonspear, they could all live here together. Hell, they never would've left in the first place and would've come right along for the move. Towhee would probably never quite give it up as a lost cause, though currently she felt there was nothing for it and she didn't have a whole lot else to say.

Well, there was one last thing: "No, neither one of you should be in that position." She exhaled, then glanced off to the side again, the setting sun forcing her to squint. The brief jab of pain reminded her of something and she turned back to Eljay to add, in true non sequitur fashion, "Hey, you don't know of any herbs or medicine that could help with, like, achy eyeballs, do you?"

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 20, 2020, 10:25 AM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Eljay blinked as he mapped the name of "Cuckoo" in his name, though he wasn't entirely sure if it was... a name? Maybe he could try and play peacemaker, even though he'd never visited this pack. Maybe a fresh face could help... somehow. And he needed to go to Moonspear to see Fennec and her teacher, anyway, one of these days. Maybe not while Maia was here, though. He needed to look after his patient, after all, and he enjoyed his time with her way too much anyway.

Towhee said neither of them should be in that position and though she was right, Eljay also thought that regardless, they were both in that situation and that meant that one of them had to compromise beyond reason. He was so afraid to leave this place, but he found himself perhaps even more afraid to lose Maia. He'd considered leaving the Copse to go chase the off chance that Maia would want him nearby. Why was it so much harder now that he lived here, in the Blackthorn den, in Redhawk Caldera? It was as though he'd fallen in love with an old lover and he was hesitating whether to run back to that ex rather than pursue this new love. Why was it even a question? It shouldn't be, right? Was he really going to risk it all for this place?

Towhee ripped Eljay violently from his downward-spiral-thoughts and he looked up at her at her question and just blinked. Herbs for... eyeballs? Achy eyeballs? After a few seconds of stunned silence, Eljay said, ... Why are they achy?
November 21, 2020, 04:01 PM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
Almost as if she'd cued herself, Towhee formed a fist with one of her paws and rubbed it at her eye socket. They weren't bothering her too much just now, though they were twinging more lately. After that extremely long conversation with Wraen, she'd developed a particularly bad ache. She knew she'd been signing a little less lately, for no particular reason, and so were those around her. Maybe she should work on changing that, get them back in the habit of signing more so all the lipreading wouldn't render her blind.

In the meantime, she huffed a laugh and explained, "Lipreading takes its toll on them. They get sore of achy and sore, sometimes it develops into a full-blown headache. It's not to different from sinus pressure, if you've ever had that."

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 23, 2020, 03:36 AM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
It surprised Eljay to hear that Towhee had such trouble with her eyes from lipreading. He honestly often forgot that she was deaf at all (hence his awkward not-taking-her-into-account a lot of the time) but this was another reminder that Towhee's life wasn't as easy as that of others. Eljay had never heard of this problem before, to be honest, so he didn't have an answer straight away. He seemed to contemplate for a bit before he said, I'm going to think about this. I've never really heard about this problem.

He had definitely also never heard of sinus pressure. After a short moment of silence he added, I could give you something against pain for the worst of the headaches, though. There's some left from what Fenn brought for Maia. Eljay was certain that they wouldn't need it all, as she had brought plenty. It was impressive, actually, what she'd brought on over.
November 23, 2020, 11:30 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
She didn't mean to but she laughed right in his face at his likely unintended pun. "How many deaf, lipreading wolves do you know?" Towhee asked teasingly, throwing a playful elbow in his direction. "I'd appreciate that. I don't need anything right now but if I could set something aside for when Wraen visits..." The Sovereign chuckled, a warmth blooming in her chest at the mere mention of Fennec and her accomplishment. "Thanks, Eljay."

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 24, 2020, 08:02 AM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Eljay definitely didn't intend for any punnage, and he blinked in surprise when Towhee laughed. However, when she explained he too chuckled a little. That made sense; he definitely didn't know any other deaf wolves. Towhee was the only one. Hmm, that's very true. Towhee went on to say she didn't need anything, but that maybe he could set something aside. For when Wraen visited? Did she intend to say that Wraen talked a lot, he couldn't help but wonder? He supposed she did enjoy talking, though he hadn't given it much thought himself.

No problem, I'll set something apart for you, Eljay said with a nod. He hoped they wouldn't need it again very soon, anyway. With what Maia had gone through, they had their fair share of problems. Speaking of which, Eljay asked, So uhm — did you ever catch the guy who hurt Maia? You think he's still around? He hoped that Towhee had either checked out the woods and saw that no one was there anymore, or that she'd chased him off.
November 24, 2020, 11:30 AM
Towhee
Redhawk Caldera
Sovereign*
He agreed with her and Towhee's chuckles slowly subsided. Suddenly, a yawn wrenched her jaws apart and she turned aside so as not to do it directly in Eljay's face. She almost missed his question, though thankfully it began with some "umm"ing that allowed her to catch the gist of it.

Shaking off the yawn, Towhee told him, "I did look. Hydra and I spent an entire afternoon scouring Haunted Wood. We didn't find anything." Her right forepaw curled into a fist, clenching at the dirt underfoot. "He's very likely in the wind, which is a good thing." But she gave him a knowing look, understanding he would want to avenge Maia and eliminate the threat for good.

Trapping a sigh in her throat, she admitted, "I'm pretty wiped, so I think I'm gonna head up to the rendezvous site to catch some zees. I'll see you later?" There was always the chance he might want to accompany her, though Towhee imagined Eljay's next stop would be the den where Maia was staying.

-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
Members of Firebirds 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!

November 25, 2020, 05:20 AM
Eljay
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Eljay nodded when Towhee said that she and Hydra had searched for him in the Haunted Wood, but that they hadn't found anything. It made sense, really, if it was just some loner. Would be a fool to stick around so close to a pack after wounding someone so close to it. Yeah, I figured. Thanks for looking, he said with a nod.

Then as Towhee said she was going to head out and rest, Eljay nodded again and said, Catch you later, Towhee! He then headed back to the Blackthorn den and Maia, just like Towhee expected.