Broken Antler Fen She hangs her head and cries on my shirt
December 22, 2020, 09:26 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
A soft dusting of snow had fallen, just enough to spread a blanket of white across the Glen where it hadn't melted in the ponds and waterways. His warm pawpads left behind a perfect set of pawprints as he crossed over the borders, leading away from the Glen and out into the wilderness with an aim that would take him just south of where the Caldera rose into the horizon, blurred somewhat by low-lying clouds. It was a fair afternoon, with the temperature hovering just above the freezing mark. He wouldn't be surprised if some of the snow had melted by the time he reached the Glen again. 

But by the time he'd reached the Fen, it had begun to snow again, and it fell in large, soft clumps, something that only happened when the temperature settled near freezing. Just cold enough to create snow, but the snow that fell was thick and sticky, and collected in beautiful, snow-globe clusters before falling lazily to the ground. There were fresh pawprints in the area, and he knew he'd come to the borders, which were fairly well established already. Despite having some misgivings, considering how their last meeting had gone, Bronco knew it was likely best to seek forgiveness; and so, swallowing his pride, he tilted his head back and called out for @Wraen

Of course, mid-howl, one of the large snowflakes managed to evade the soft, warm steam of breath and land right in his mouth, causing him to choke and splutter in surprise. How elegant.
December 22, 2020, 09:43 PM
Maia
Brecheliant
Raven
Now THAT was a familiar voice calling!  And while it... wasn't exactly calling for her, Maia wasn't about to let it go without a chance to at least say hello and catch up with a very old, very long-neglected friend!  She jogged towards Bronco immediately, and likely arrived at the tail end of his splutter fit.  She was beaming as she did though, tail high and eyes shining.

Bronco, hey!!!!  What the heck, it's been forever!  How are you?!  Maia asked, wriggling happily as her tail set to going.  Then she laughed.  Sorry, I know you wanted Wraen, but I couldn't resist!  I'm sure she'll be here.  He was still adorable as ever, and Maia could still appreciate the heck out of that, though her manner had definitely shifted.  Even more than with Illidan, she found herself oddly at ease now compared to her previous constant self-consciousness around her.  She was beginning to... really appreciate how different things felt now that everything with Eljay was in the open and determined.  Well, most everything anyway.
December 22, 2020, 11:25 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He hadn't quite regained his composure by the time Maia bounded into view, so he did his best to lick the spittle from his chin and tidy himself up, straightening his posture a bit only to find his proposed guardian posture being pulled into a loose, relaxed trot as he closed the distance between them, tail swinging in slow, wide circles behind him. It was like a magnet being drawn toward a piece of metal; inevitably his tough-guy exterior shattered and he fell back into being friendly, kindly Bronco again in the presence of someone he had known for so long. "Hey, pretty thing," He said, recalling (albeit with a bit of an inward grimace at how unabashedly daring he'd been with his flirtations back then) the way he'd greeted her the first time he'd met her. He reached out to nuzzle her cheek in greeting, before his gaze trailed over her figure, drawn by the memory of being told Maia had been attacked. 

"How're you feeling?" He asked, concern drawing across his features. She'd asked him first, so he shook his head. "I'm fine- and it's good to see you, I heard.." He said, trying to answer her question, and reassure her that he was happy she'd shown up before circling back toward his question. "Jeex, you've been through a lot since I saw you last," He said, trying to cut back some of his own concern with a dry chuckle. "Been too long," He concluded.
December 22, 2020, 11:51 PM
Maia
Brecheliant
Raven
It didn't matter how comfortable she got around anyone, she'd still flush every time she got a compliment.  Some things were likely to never change.  Still, she returned the nuzzle and chuckled, dismissing it with a smile.  It was easier if she accepted it with levity, and it was easy enough to treat it like a casual and affectionate joke.

Oh, right, of course he'd heard.  She'd forgotten, for a moment, how close Bronco still was to the Caldera.  She was so used to the distance being more like the Copse and news taking a while to travel.  Her smile flickered for a moment, but she didn't let it linger.  I'm a-okay now.  Luckily everyone at the Caldera was there and all, so everything turned out fine.  She shifted a little self-consciously.  The wounds had mostly faded at this point, but the welts were still a bit visible through her pelt, and she was really hoping her fur would fill back in seamlessly.  She hated the look of it.

Might be a little easier now, though!  Not being as long, I mean.  We decided to stick around and claim our own little piece of enchanted forest.  What do you think?  Maia stepped back and sideways, as though presenting the place to him, and bounced on her toes.  Probably she should have let Wraen do the honors but hey, she couldn't help it!  (Besides, Wraen was the one who told Eljay, right?  So there!)  Thinking of Eljay... that was a bit of news to share, though she'd wait, see what he thought before she gushed literally everything out.
December 26, 2020, 04:14 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
When you imagine friendship that has lasted for decades (or years in wolf sense), you think that you've reached such a level of mutual understanding that nothing will ever come between you. But then silly arguments happen - usually start with something small and end up with both of you feeling flustered and thinking that the other party is an idiot. What's worse - you realize that this stuff could be avoided altogether, by letting the other party vent (because often, what pisses them off is not the obvious thing, but something in the background) and not be provoked yourself. It comes a little as a shock in the beginning and it takes two three times to realize, which subjects you should never discuss at all, because of differing opinions. 

Wraen often looked back, trying to dissect, how exactly her last meeting with Bronco had gone from amiable to sour, and she had come to a conclusion that: first, she had overstepped boundaries and poked, which had been no business of hers. Second - she had grown tired of being everyone's empathic "shoulder to cry on" over the years. Rather than listening to a lengthy prelude of all that had gone wrong in the other person's life, she wanted to get the business done as swiftly at possible. She had been sick, tired and worried about Maia's well-being and the recent events surrounding Arcturus. Bronco had invited her into his problems, not once asking, how she herself had been doing at the time. She would not have minded the latter, had he not insulted her first. So - in her mind all was even. And she had come to a healthy conclusion of never meddling in other people's business again. For her own sake and sanity. 

When she heard his voice calling for her from the borders, she had hesitated a little to join him there right away. In part, because she did not know, what to expect now - had he come to set things straight? Tell something more, of what she did not know about herself already? Unload more problems on her? It was ironic really, that, while he had not presented himself in person, she had forgiven him in her mind. Brushed everything off as a mature adult should have. Now, however, when she was invited to meet him, that resentment sparked up anew. Her petty self was not sure, if it wished to mend things again, though in the grand scheme of things losing a friend over a stupid argument, when neither had been in their right mind, seemed stupid. Therefore - unwillingly - she went and upon nearing the meeting place, she was glad that Maia had intercepted him first. Started off on a good note. Because she really did not know, what to tell him.

 She let them chat for a bit, while remaining unseen herself, then, when it felt right and she ready, Wraen came into the view, offered Maia a fond look, then her gaze met with Bronco's, few degrees colder. "You're not a face we've seen in a while," she remarked idly. "Life's treating you well, I hope?" she asked.
December 30, 2020, 03:57 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
With winter haunting the wolves, he hoped that the Saints might recede into survival mode, and stop picking on loners, for fear they might inevitably invite attention that would finally do them some harm. Part of Bronco wondered why they hadn't mobilized an attack already- but the thought simmered at the back of his mind, still heated and broiling when he saw how self-conscious Maia was. Whoever it was that had hurt her, he wanted them to feel her pain tenfold. He wasn't sure anyone had managed to track down her attacker yet, but he also was not opposed to the idea of blaming it on the Saints, simply so that they could finally make a move and chase them away once and for all. 

The Fen was close to the Caldera, and with Moonspear and the Glen only a stone's throw away, he felt certain that any wolves choosing to pass through the valley between one duo and the next that stirred trouble would easily find themselves cornered. He hoped, also, that it meant they were all safe to roam those lands, and to hunt without worrying about an attack. "I'm glad to have you nearby," He said, taking a moment to glance around the forest. They'd be sheltered, and would likely find the fen suitable for hunting as well. "And so close to the Caldera too," He continued, and might have elaborated had he not caught sight of Wraen padding toward them. The shift in Wraen's gaze did not go missed by the young man, who immediately felt his cheeks burn warm with shame. He'd been very impolite the last time he'd seen Wraen- but at the same time, he felt she'd treated his problems as though they were the simple misgivings of a child. She'd assumed too much, and had made him feel as though the seriousness of his situation was something to be dismissed with jokes spoken with a patronizing tone. 

So it would be business between them, it seemed, given how formally she greeted him in comparison to how she might have once met him. He didn't want to tell her too much, or to gripe about anything because she'd made it clear, the last time, that his problems weren't legitimate. He yeared to bound toward her and nip at her cheek, to remind her that she was not a hag because surely, at some point, she'd call herself that but...Maybe there had been a time and place for that, and maybe those were both gone. So he put on a smile and nodded. "All seems to be well, for now at least," He said. "We lost Fennec for a bit, but Meerkat found her and took her to the Caldera to heal up." He said. It was really about all the news that he had, and spoken with a fairly demure tone. "Found enough rascals like Maia here to band together and form a pack?" He asked, curious to know who else Wraen might have added to her throng of comrades.
December 31, 2020, 12:42 AM
Maia
Brecheliant
Raven
Maia didn't know what had happened between Bronco and Wraen, and while she detected a shift in her sister's tone, she dismissed it immediately as her hearing things.  Why would she assume anything different, after all?  Yeah!  It's really great to have so many so close.  The Caldera especially.  She listened as Bronco filled them in on what was going on nearby, bringing up Fennec.  Which wasn't actually news about him?  But it applied, she guessed.  Her news had been about her and Wraen, after all!

I've been by, mostly to see Eljay.  But, yeah.  She'd been real rough last time Maia was there, but they admittedly hadn't hung out long.  She'd stolen Eljay away for a time; there wasn't much he could do anyway, from the look of it.  She was happy to let that subject die, though she smiled a little as she remembered her and his last visit.  She should probably stop in again soon, actually!  She'd been here tightening up borders, but before too much snow settled down, she wanted to take advantage of the good travel weather.

Bronco's next question was directed more to Wraen than herself, so she settled back and allowed the two to catch up.  She'd slip away if they really got into it, beg off to do some hunting or something.  But she did want to hear if Bronco had anything to say about his actual self!
January 01, 2021, 04:00 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
When all potential arguments are played in mind's eye, they are epic - with a dramatic music in the background, emotional speech that digs the other party in the ground, makes them regret their wrong-doing and then you exit the situation feeling victorious. Beautiful fantasy, but hardly ever true in the real life (if at all). The longer Wraen watched Bronco, the more she realized that she did not wish to return, where they had left off, did not want to blame him for, what had happened. And yet make him somehow see that the reason she felt sad and reluctant to mend things was not so much about the ugly words he had said to her, but how very off the timing had been. That not only had he shown no interest in her comings and goings, he had abandoned her, when she had been the most vulnerable. Sick, exhausted, emotionally shaken - she had been an easy target for anyone out there.

She understood that all people, her included, are selfish and blind in their grief and pain, moreso in anger, but she had expected more from her friend. The moment he had caught a glimpse of Wraen not being that always good and supportive Fairy Godmother-type that he had conjured up in is imagination, but simply a wolf just like everyone else, who does the best she can, and fails just as often as the next person, who is neither invincible, nor always right - he had got annoyed and repulsed. That's, where the seed of disappointment had found a good ground to spread its roots and grow. He liked to argue that Wraen was no hag and yet, what he did not realize, was that unlike fairies and angels hags lived the life they had, took it for, what it was, could do good, but did not shy away from the fact that they may be bad as well. They owned, who they were, they were bluntly honest. 

She wanted to tell him all of this, but the setting was not appropriate. She had considered sending Maia away, but then decided that she should stay. "Quite," she replied, then looked at her sister. "Let's not keep an old friend on the borders, let's show him around," she suggested, stepping aside to formally allow the fellow to trespass.
January 03, 2021, 08:57 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He nodded when Maia mentioned visiting to see Eljay- and simply assumed that she was visiting him in particular both due to friendship and due to needing checkups to make sure she was healing properly, but he'd be damned if he hadn't caught just a tinge of a sparkle that came into her eyes when she mentioned his name. But, given the fact that he wasn't terribly quick to form proper conclusions- he'd probably revisit the thought halfway home- he passed it off as simply Maia being Maia. She was an enthusiastic story-teller, who was naturally quite expressive when she spoke. It wasn't out of character for her at all to look so pleased when speaking about a friend, the same way she might look excited when telling a story about Starchaser or Hawketh. 

It was actually kind of interesting to think that Wraen and Maia might've found more like-minded wolves to form a pack with. There would be talk a-plenty about hags and bards and squires, he was sure, and he was quick to assume that their forming pack would be an excellent place to raise children. They would certainly be kept entertained, and well-loved if all the wolves were anything like the Redleaf-DiSarinno sisters. "Thank you," He said gratefully, as he was invited to see their claimed lands, having never explored this part of the valley North of the Barrier Mountains before. 

"I'm assuming Arcturus is with you?" He mentioned, still curious to know who they'd managed to wrangle to join their ranks. "Anyone else I might know- or should know about?" He asked. If there were strangers in their midst, it would be handy to know their names, should they ever come to visit the Glen.
January 03, 2021, 10:57 PM
Maia
Brecheliant
Raven
Maia hesitated, but Wraen openly invited her along, and nothing seemed off about her being there as well.  So presumably she was welcome to stay.  She nodded, following Wraen's lead and moving aside to flank Bronco on the other side.  Not so much as a guard... moreso as accompaniment.  As far as Maia was concerned, Bronco was welcome to wander freely here as anyone else.

Yeah!  Ibis and Akavir and their kids, and Penn too!  And... umm... well.  I'm kinda seeing Eljay, but we haven't figured out how that's going to work yet.  She said a little shyly.  She hadn't exactly talked with Wraen about that much either, so bringing it up was an impulse, but the news had been on her mind and she couldn't help sharing it.  It was still so new, and the outcome of that conversation would determine if Eljay would join them here or vice versa.  I wasn't anything decided or set right now, though, and it wasn't like they had to decide anytime too soon.

She looked over at Wraen, wondering if she'd missed anyone.  Those were the only names she was aware of!  But Wraen might have met one or two she'd failed to be introduced to just yet, and in that case, she'd need to add them to her list!
January 10, 2021, 11:07 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Now, now, Maia, don't spill all the beans to our friend here. Leave some room for mystery - life would be boring without it," Wraen remarked smilingly nudging the other's shoulder. "Besides he is a member of a rival pack," she grinned and let this half-truth/half-joke hang in the air for a bit, while she surveyed the area, trying to decide the most harmless area to take Bronco to. It was not meant as an insult, just an observation. They reported to two different captain's, so to say. It did not mean they could not be friends, but it did mean that not all secrets should be shared freely. "If we had trained war-bears here and a bunch of fire-breathing wyverns - would not want that to go past our borders, would we?" she winked at Maia, not saying a word about their dragon cradle and intended kindergarten.

"Arcturus is here," she acknowledged. "If you want to meet him too - I can call for him. He's usually not far off," she suggested.
January 10, 2021, 03:34 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Bronco was surprised to hear Maia begin with a list that indicated to them they were already collecting a few wolves he'd never heard of. A family, he assumed- when she mentioned a couple having kids. But he halted in his tracks for just a moment when she happily tacked Penn's name onto the list. He went to make a comment but before he could, Maia admitted that she was seeing Eljay, which made his ears tilt forward in surprise. "Woah-" He objected, but Wren intervened, and caught him off-guard by insisting that they keep at least some of their recent events secret as he was a rival. To be smacked by three very different, surprising statements in such rapid succession left him bewildered. 

They'd taken in Penn? That lousy bastard...Would he tell Fennec that Penn was now settling so close by?
And Maia was seeing Eljay! When had that happened?! How did he even feel about that?
And he was also being called a rival? 

While Wraen might have meant it as a joke, Bronco was thrown off enough by the other news that he failed to notice that perhaps Wraen was only being silly...As such, he couldn't help but feel as though the argument they'd had had potentially spoiled their relationship. He wasn't used to Wraen setting limits with him- but now, all of a sudden, she was pushing him away and keeping him at a distance, and it felt...Wrong. He'd always felt as though she'd seen his choice to move to Moonspear as a personal slight, but...He couldn't understand why she might still express some form of judgement. 

"No, that's okay," He said. Arcturus was fine- but he didn't want to bother him. He acually felt a bit overwhelmed, with all the news, and part of him wanted to dodge out of this reunion altogether. In mentioning war-bears and fire-breathing-wyverns, Bronco interpreted that Wraen was handing him a warning, and it didn't sit well. He closed his mouth, and became fairly disinterested in whatever it was they were showing him, but he'd follow them around and take their tour as at least a show of some sort of comraderie.
January 10, 2021, 03:48 PM
Maia
Brecheliant
Raven
She guessed that Bronco knew Penn, and thought she'd remembered that they were family, and Ibis's family she was just pretty excited about.  But the second bit of news had been something she'd been itching to spill the entire time, and the reaction she got to it was a little confusing?

She figured Wraen was joking, and smiled, but there was just enough truth to it to make it hang a little awkwardly too.  The Glen was a rival pack, moreso than the caldera.  Maia was more than content to forget that for Bronco's sake, but was Wraen subtly reminding her?

The war bear and dragon continuation soothed her, and her smile got more genuine when she met Wraen's wink.  Okay, so it had been just a joke.

Except that Bronco seemed off after that.  He shut down a little.  Maia was hoping he'd have something to say to her news, maybe a congrats? Maybe it just wasn't that important.  She suddenly felt a little silly, for sharing it like it was and being nervous on top of that.  He didn't care about that, right? And aside from that, he was here to see Wraen.

Speaking of Arcturus, I promised him I'd go hunting with him today, she lied, as though she'd forgotten.  Why don't you two go on without me, huh?  It was... really cool to see you, Bronco.  She gave him one last smile, a little apologetic, but without a trace of the disappointment she felt.  Then she gave Wraen that same apologetic glance and turned.  If they didn't stop her, she'd disappear in the direction of the heart of the fen, off to where she really hoped Arcturus would be so she could catch him.

this is my last post prob! <3
January 10, 2021, 04:23 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
Yeah, apparently Wraen no longer knew, how to tell a joke without insulting people, but then, since when had Bronco become so over-the-top sensitive? He seemed put off by her remark or something else or altogether, it pleased her a little to see him like this, but she also had a feeling that this was not right. You did not lose friends over stupid arguments - she was old enough to know it herself. Maia had sensed the change too and now opted to chicken out of it. Same as her older sibling - fled conflict rather than faced it bravely. 

"Sure," she told her. If she needed to go, then so be it. The elephant in the room needed to be released and this was not gonna happen in her presence either. "There were some deer tracks leading along the banks of the lake," she told her. "With any luck they may have chosen to cross the ice - check that out with him, when you find him, okay?" the excuse for her to leave came with such an ease that you would not even spot the lie. "And be careful too," she smiled at her.

She watched her disappear, then locked her gaze with Bronco's and said: "You grew awfully quiet."
January 10, 2021, 05:25 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He felt a bit self-conscious, and had the feeling that his change in sentiment had been noticed by both Wraen and Maia, and the latter excused herself to go hunting. He frowned slightly, disappointed in himself if he'd made her uncomfortable- he hadn't even really acknowledged the news that she'd shared so brightly, about her relationship with Eljay. There was regret, or something of that ilk in her smile as she left, and he felt as though he might've hurt her feelings. "I'll...See you, uh, soon," Came his lacklustre attempt at giving her a normal goodbye. He was left in silence, as she went off, but it was uncomfortable. He could feel Wraen's gaze upon him, the way a falcon might survey from the branches above. 

"Hmm?" He pretened as though he'd been simply distracted for a moment, as he gathered his nerves and lifted his gaze to meet hers with a quiet sort of resignation. "Oh, sorry," He apologized. Maybe he could just shrug this off. It would be much easier if he just told her how overwhelmed he felt- but given how she'd shrugged off the validity of his feelings during their last conversation...He felt as though, perhaps, he ought to be discouraged for leaning on her so much. "Just...A lot of news." He said. "Maia and Eljay, eh?" He asked, hoping at least that would be common ground they could talk about, without things getting too complicated. There were several elephants in the room, proverbially- and he'd chosen the friendliest amongst them as the one he'd actually mention.
January 12, 2021, 10:21 AM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"Surprised?" Wraen asked simply, not really wishing to help Bronco along and out of this awkward moment, but then you could not leave a person to scramble around on their own for too long either. They would decide to flee eventually. That she did not want presently as tempting as it sounded. "If I did not know you better, I would guess that you had your eyes set on her and feel bad about it, but then..." she shrugged and sighed. "What do I know, right, Bronco? And why should I care anyway..." Wraen looked at him, then past, when a sudden movement had caught her attention. But it was just a small heap of snow that had lost its balance and fell from tree branches. 

"Did you fix things with Fennec?" she asked next, just to keep the conversation from dying completely and him leaving none the wiser than he had arrived. She was not going to let him slip through her fingers this time. One way or the other they would face that ugly beast that had come between us and get past it. Now she knew that simply forgetting and moving on was not going to happen.
January 12, 2021, 06:39 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
"A bit, I guess?" He said in response. Not that it was a terribly unlikely pairing, but it wasn't one that he might have guessed would happen, simply because he knew that Eljay was fairly shy, and that grief had made him even more quiet for quite some time. Maia on the other hand was as friendly as a wolf could get, and had a way of making others feel comfortable in her presence, so she'd likely had the sort of effect on Eljay that he'd potentially needed, to be pulled from his grief. 

But he was more surprised when Wraen guessed that he might be disappointed because she was now taken. Had it seemed that way? And if Wraen thought that- had Maia thought the same thing too? They were sisters, after all, and sisters tended to be able to do things like that. "Oh, uh-" He responded. He did think Maia was pretty- and he'd flirted with her shamlessly when they'd first met...But he'd also been little more than a flirtatious colt who took his chances with every pretty creature he met when he'd been younger. And to a certain extent, he still noticed women, and tried to treat them with care. He might have replied to that observation had Wraen not mentioned, a moment later, that she might not even care. Her comment had been somewhat self-deprecative, and he felt that perhaps she was pointing out what he'd said before- about her not knowing everything. He felt ashamed, but he also did not particularly appreciate the fact that it felt as though that had been a passive-aggressive jab. 

So he didn't comment on that matter, as he would neither acknowledge nor enable passive-aggressive behavior if he could help it. But the question she asked about Fennec was harmless enough, though the answer wasn't exactly simple. "I dunno if I can say for a hundred percent sure that I did, but...I'm trying to." He said. "I think we'll be OK." He said, in conclusion. He didn't want to get into too many details, as he felt perhaps he shouldn't just dump all of his personal baggage on Wraen anymore. It wasn't fair to her. "I think that's how things go anyway...Just a cycle of wrecking things, and then fixing them." He said, giving her a somewhat apologetic, sidelong glance.
January 13, 2021, 04:16 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
"I am sorry for stepping on your toes back then," Wraen said suddenly, sensing that she might wait a very long time for Bronco to make the first step towards at least some sort of reconciliation between them. "I should not have pestered you about your personal matters - it's none of my business - and I promise to be more tactful in the future," she said, looking at him now, but this was not all. Rather than feeling relieved or hopeful, there was sadness in her eyes. 

"But you hurt me too. Not the words you said, but that you failed to see someone, who needed help at the time," she went on. "Had you looked, you would have seen that I was sick and exhausted. Had you asked about my troubles, you would have heard that a Moonspear wolf had threatened to kill me few days earlier and that I had just found out that Maia had been attacked. I had witnessed, how your father perished, I knew that everything could go downhill suddenly and quickly. I hardly slept or ate on my journey to Redhawks, praying all the time for her to wait for me to come. That nothing bad would come to her," Wraen reminisced, her voice trembling, overcome with emotion. 

"It pains me to think that I am of value to you as long as I say things you want to hear and which make you feel good. As long as I keep up the image of this good old Wraen that does no wrong and support you, whatever you do," she went on. "The moment I did something that did not fit into that idyllic picture, you got pissed. And you left me on my own, when I was the most vulnerable," she said. "I hurt your pride - I should not have done that and we may argue that everything you could have done for me, but did not, was all my fault. Yeah, it may as well be so... but, if that was just the case, I don't think the disappointment would still be there. Yet it is and I wonder, when we laid foundations to our friendship, what did I do wrong."
January 13, 2021, 06:20 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
She'd apologized sooner than he'd expected, and he had hoped to be able to apologize first, as he did feel as though he'd been inconsiderate. He'd expected too much of her and then had acted like a child with its favourite toy taken away when she'd refused to indulge him. He was a sensitive lad, and had punished himself a great deal for having been so immature- and so, when Wraen began to lecture him, he was easily overwhelmed. 

He didn't say anything, but dropped his gaze and stared away. He could hear the hurt in her voice, and it wounded him to know he was the cause of her pain- but he did not appreciate how much she was unloading on him in that moment, criticizing him over and over for having been inconsiderate once, and for failing to notice things he couldn't possibly have known. She had looked tired- and so he'd settled beside her to give her comfort and warmth, and when he'd shared a glimpse of his heartache with her, she'd mocked him. He felt it was not fair for her to assume that he would pick up on every nuance of hers; not when she shared so little with him in the past.

He'd made a mistake- and he had already admitted that much; but in order to correct someone as gentle as Bronco all that was needed was a nudge. But this felt like a shove and he felt unsettled and insecure. It served to humiliate and belittle him, and distanced him from even wanting to apologize to Wraen. 

Shen then painted a picture of him as being needy and selfish, and that made his cheeks flush with frustration. That couldn't be the case... He thought. Wraen had openly welcomed their conversations, and she had always seemed to enjoy giving him advice. Giving advice and lectures and counsel was something that Wraen excelled at- but now, she was using it in a way that quickly made things very toxic between the two of them. He was completely out of his ballpark now, and had no idea what he could say to fix things. He was also fuming and knew that he had better take some time for himself, or he might let his temper boil over and spill out. Wraen didn't deserve that, at least. 

"Well that leaves both of us disappointed; and I'm out of time." He shifted his paws, indicating that he did not intend to stick around much longer. "If I recall, Wraen, you asked for warmth- so I provided that. You wanted a pillow, so I lay at your feet. You then asked me why I was upset- and without even hearing me out, you belittled me and made fun of my heartache." He said. "I am sorry you went through what you were going through, and maybe I didn't pick up on signals I prolly should have seen- but maybe if you hadn't belitted my feelings so quickly, maybe I would've stuck around to hear about yours." He said. He shook his head, and turned to depart, though he would speak a few more words over his shoulder. "Goodbye, Wraen."
January 14, 2021, 05:35 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
The tricky situation Wraen found herself in felt unpleasantly familiar - where no matter, what you said or how you tried to explain yourself, or what words you used, it all came out wrong and got worse the longer this continued. Terance came to her mind and those times she had wondered, how had it happened that once cordial sibling relationship had turned sour over several arguments, until neither recognized each other and they parted ways never to see each other again. Her not really mourning for his death and instead naming a tree after him. A memorial place she did not frequent that often at all. The sibling, who she recalled having good times with, but could not name a single moment that stood out. A fading memory of a person, who she felt a duty not to forget, but who did not really matter anymore. 

She realized, if she let Bronco storm off now, which would be an easy out of this whole mess, the same thing would happen. So many people came and went through the doors of her life, so very few had remained. As she got older, making new friendships got harder, but the number of close friends she had got went down. It was so easy to let people leave, even help them along, but so very difficult, nearly impossible to bring them back and start anew. There was a choice to make - would she allow the same thing happen to her and Bronco what had happend with Terance? In the end, had it been worth it? Had it not been better, if... but her brother was dead, speculations of "what if" were useless. But her friend was still here, angry and frustrated - that's for sure - but so much alive. To think that even his life was just a thread that was easy to break at any moment, to think that they had parted on bad terms yet again... that did not set well with her. 

"We have not yet finished," she told him, cutting off his path to exit. "Bronco, I know it is wrong of me to expect you to notice everything, but the point I am trying to make is - have some some empathy. At the time I had troubles of my own - that does not mean that yours were of any less importance, but people, who are sick, tired and troubled, are not exactly in the right place of feeling patient and understanding. They may be curt and they may choose the wrong words to tell, what they want to tell you. But it does not mean they care any less," she said. "Besides - has it occurred to you that you may have read my words and tone entirely wrong too? When I told you that "for each problem in the world there has been a precedent before", it was not meant to belittle you - what I trie to tell you was that, sharing with someone may help you sooner see an out of the issue. It is no use of letting it eat you, when a solution might be within your reach," Wraen explained. 

"Calling out on your bravery, perhaps, was the least appropriate joke in the situation, but I have learned my lesson and I will be more careful in the future. I won't attempt to either meddle or even attempt to help people, when I am in no shape to do so," she said with a sad smile. The rest of the speech was cut off by an ugly coughing spell that spanned out for a whole minute or so, until she was able to speak again. "Can we call it a truce? I do not want to lose a valuable friend over a..." she wanted to say "petty argument", but thought that she would somehow demean Bronco again. "...misunderstanding."
January 19, 2021, 01:14 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
When she cut him off, it was all he could do not to simply growl at her and shoulder his way past her. He owed her too much respect- especially within her borders- to treat her like that, though, so he stared and a disinterested glower into the woods, wishing he could simply melt into vapour and drift away om the wind, where she wouldn't be able to find him and continue to lecture him. When she insinuated that he didn't have empathy, he did show her a glimpse of her canines in a small sneer- who was she to demand he be empathetic, when she had dismissed his feelings so coldly the last time he had seen her? His ears were turned backward, an indication that he was not listening. He simply repeated a couple phrases to himself over and over in his mind so that he could tune her out. If she'd simply let him go- without trying to step in and school him like a little child, he might have come back to try again at another point but...As it was, she'd lost his interest. 

She seemed to quiet down a bit, but then fell into a coughing spell so sudden and loud that he side-stepped away from her. Was Wraen sick? He regarded her with eyes devoid of trust, now. Or was she simply trying to ham up her pitiful performance, so as to beg some empathy from him? Now she was begging for him to reconsider, and he'd not listened well enough to anything she'd just said to be able to tell whether or not she was sincerely apologizing. "Get some rest. Goodbye, Wraen," Was all he said, as he stepped well clear of her, and bolted off into the woodlands.
January 19, 2021, 04:17 PM
Wraen
Brecheliant
Raven
How had they gone from being friends to Bronco assuming that every word Wraen said was an insult of some sort? It was as if she was talking to a stone wall. Worse even - the more she tried to explain, the angrier he got, until he no longer was that swarthy, thoughtful adult she had grown to love, but that pain-in-the-ass teenager, who she had barely tolerated back in the days. He was unjust to her - she had apologized, she had tried to explain, tried to make him understand in the best way possible, she had pleaded him to get over it and move on - instead he had chosen to cater to his wounded pride, wallow in self-pity that an elder had wronged him, remain so wrapped in his own importance that Wraen no longer saw a point to make any amends. Let him be then.

Had she been younger and more explosive in her emotions, she would have yelled something nasty after him, just to make him hurt more. Or maybe something dramatic - leave now and never show your face here again! But that would be waste of words. At the moment she was very sure that it would be long before Bronco howled on this borders again. If ever. Had she been younger, she would have felt guilty for every failed relationship, she would have gone through every word she had said, every action to analyze, what had gone wrong and why, what she could have done differently. Up until this very moment she had blamed herself for the fallout with Terance, but now she realized that it takes two to mess up relationships. And that sometimes - inevitably - people grow apart and people choose to leave and you cannot keep them from doing that. That would explain, while instead of feeling devastated and heartbroken about losing yet another friend, she was eerily calm. Numb even. 

Wraen sighed and began to walk through the plot, where she was building her new and, hopefully, final home. She was searching for something. And, while she did this, her mind processed the most recent loss. The death of a friendship. She had not attended any funerals, because none of her loved ones had left this Earth for her to be present for the occasion. Of all the wealth of stories she knew, Wraen realized that among them weren't any eulogies, songs or rites. Nothing. Just a bundle of faded memories, regrets of what could have been and no proper closure. She knew that, if she was to survive this and move on, she had to put this sorrow to rest, before her imagination enhanced it, made it grow and eventually devour her whole. She promised herself here and now that she would cry about this exactly once and, when the next day would greet her, she would leave the past to rest in its grave and move on. She would shed no more tears about it, she wouldn't feel remorse for things that she could not change. She would no longer mourn people, who did not fight, but chose to leave. 

It occurred to her suddenly - and here she laughed to herself humourlessly - that inspired by memorials she and Maia had created for their parents and siblings, she was, in fact, looking for a memorial for a person that was still alive. Had she been more superstitious, she would have chosen another way of dealing with her grief. But a spiteful part of her, the exact same, prideful one, wanted a retaliation. A cruel joke that only she would know. Because - let's be honest - Bronco, who she had known, loved so dearly and taught, had died. Whether it was today or several weeks ago - did not matter. He was gone. Gone, gone, gone, gone... she repeated this to herself over and over again, each time more bitter anger swelling in her heart. Wraen began to run, no longer searching, just wishing to get to the furthest corner of the fen, so no one would see her break down. That kind of embarrassment she did not wish to endure. Pity and compassion from others - even less. 

The right monument of the failed friendship presented itself, when Wraen, oblivious of, where she had been going, had walked half-way through over the frozen lake, had slipped and fallen. And, when she raised herself again, there it was. A small lonely island, far from the shore. She was almost sure that this little patch of ground flooded in the spring and did not emerge from water until the summer. Some grass, a patch of small trees and bushes. That was it. It was perfect. There in the snow she made a little comfy burrow and finally let the grief take over. All the memories - good and bad - came in waves, once enlivened by her imagination, were finally sealed with tears and let go. One by one, until the shelf that held Bronco's name was empty, not even a speck of dust left. The last thing to do was to rip off the label and let the empty space fill in with different memories. New meaningful relationships. Because life did not just take away, it also gave. 

The sun was setting and blinking against the bright golden light, Wraen was facing the island for the last time. She intended to hold true to her promise. Cry only once. And it felt as if the figurative funeral she had held for Niamh's son had helped her. Of course, she would not be okay for a very long time, but she had made the first big step on a new path. The last thing left to do was to say some final words. After some deliberation she uttered a quiet: "Here you shall rest in peace and will never haunt me again!" Then she turned and did not look back, just as she had not tried to stop Bronco and see him leave. Wraen did not feel like hero at first - she felt absolutely miserable, her cheeks were still wet and there were moments, when she would teeter on the edge of sobbing again. But then she thought about her mother and grandmother. Proud women, who would not have cried over spilled milk. And to whom proving that she was not a weepy mess, suddenly felt more important than anything else. She lifted her head, she straightened herself and put more confidence in her stride. 

Life was shit now, but tomorrow would be another day.

Tomorrow... things were going to be better. 

Wraen would survive.

She always had.

Always will.