Redhawk Caldera The old red hills of home
May 04, 2021, 03:18 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
For when you have time <3

While he hadn't exactly noticed any of her symptoms, Bronco had- for one reason or another- decided to spruce up their current living place, while @Fennec was out. They'd been spending time together that was a mix of content complacency, mixed with bursts of honeymoon-esque passion, so he figured that it wasn't a bad idea to make their little household a bit more comfortable for the both of them. He'd been planning it for a while, and had stashed a couple things here and there so that he could amass the things he wanted secretly, and put everything into place while she went out on her own to hunt, patrol, or do whatever it was that she wanted to do when she went off on her own. He knew better than to chase after her and dog her every motion; she was independent, and needed some time on her own, and he allowed her to have it.聽

So when she left, he waited for her to disappear from sight before he hastily scrambled into action. He had no idea how long she'd be- if she was going off to patrol, or just to raid a cache before coming back, so he wanted to have things in place before she returned. He'd stashed things here and there so that he collect them and bring them to their little nook to surprise her with when she came back. He'd stashed聽two rabbit pelts and two muskrat pelts, which he had prepared as well as he could, trying to remember what he'd seen Kukutux do. His fumbling lack of experience made him wonder if the pelts would be useful at all, but they'd dried out alright, and he'd done his best to clean as much of the fat and tissue off the skin so that they wouldn't smell. The fur was still soft even though the skin had hardened a bit. He laid them upon the floor and frowned slightly. It wasn't exactly much of a bed- and would really only be enough for one wolf, but it was better than doing nothing, he thought. But he wasn't too upset about that; he knew that Fennec didn't really like gifts, so anything luxurious or extravagant might've made her feel uncomfortable. The way he saw it, this was a treat for both of them...Even if they couldn't both fit on the soft bedding he'd supplied. It was a slight improvement- but something, at least. Enough, he thought, to satisfy his need to make her life as good as possible without making her feel uncomfortable.聽

And he wasn't exactly going to make a big fuss about it either. He'd dug up a rabbit he'd stashed that didn't exactly have a soft or desirable pelt (it'd been a scraggly creature at best in its prime) and decided he'd snack away on that, laying completely across the new pelts he'd brought in, as he waited for her to come home. While the new mat he'd made was relatively humble, he could at least warm it up for her.
May 05, 2021, 02:04 AM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
<3

It was getting harder and harder for Fennec to live in denial. Which was saying something for a wolf who had previously practically embodied it at times. She didn't know what to do and therefore hadn't spoken a word to anyone about any of it.

She couldn't hide it forever and that terrified her. Fuck, what would mom say? Fig and dad were gone, Penn was nowhere to be found (thank fuck), and Bronco... shit.

Things were good right now. And they definitely wouldn't stay that way once he knew, because this was going to change everything. He'd either think this was her plan all along, trapping him here (hah, as if), freak out and leave her to deal with it (most likely), or freak out and go all responsible on her. Which was also likely, and wasn't something she really wanted to deal with right now. She didn't want any of it... not now.

Fennec lifted her head out of the water with a gasp, then twitched her ears, sending droplets scattering. It was getting hot and she was freaking out enough to feel nauseous, which meant dunking her head in a nice stream on her way home. She'd gone out for air and to 'patrol' but hadn't made much of a round out of it. Instead she'd gotten sidetracked, found lunch, managed about a third of it, and couldn't even drag the other two thirds home because the smell of it abruptly decided to go garbage on her.

And now she wanted.... frog? When was the last time she'd had that?

She slipped quietly back towards the place she and Bronco shared now, hesitating only momentarily to take a breath before automatically navigating the entrance. Weeks of practice meant she'd memorized every inch of this place, even more than the rest of the caldera.

Oh, I see how it is, she said, her ears pricking up when she heard him crunching. I leave and you dig out the food, huh? Good thing I didn't bring anything back. She huffed out a breath, half-laugh, and stepped further in, then paused. Something smelled a little different in here, and it wasn't (entirely) the rabbit.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 05, 2021, 12:30 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
His timing turned out to be fairly decent. He was still chewing away on the somewhat stale rabbit when Fennec appeared, heading back toward the den from wherever it was she'd been out for the bit of time that had passed. He still had a good portion of the rabbit's haunches left though considering the size of the rabbit, it wasn't much to speak of- when she came in and joked about him raiding stashes. "Ah, go on," He growled coyly in response. "I saved you the best part," He said. Not completely true- if she'd shown up about five minutes later, he probably would have eaten the whole thing.聽

When she paused, he sat up, and smiled softly. Even without stepping on the four small pelts he'd brought into the den to feel them, she knew something was different. But he wasn't giving it up that easily. "What? Do I smell?" He asked with a light chuckle.
May 07, 2021, 01:57 AM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
Lucky you, I already ate. She had, at least a little, and her generally finicky stomach was on overdrive. In an hour she might be starving... in two, put off by the mere smell of food. She didn't want to risk it.

No more than usual, she cracked with a grin instead, though she did taste the air experimentally. What was that? You find something interesting while I was out, or is this place just more.. what was the word? Dry? Than usual? That wasn't it. There was some other word for the scent and it was totally escaping her right now.

She took a few slow steps forward, more leisurely than obviously cautious, though she didn't want to screw up anything if he had made changes.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 10, 2021, 12:38 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
"Huh, good 'cause uh, there isn't much left," he admitted with a sheepish laugh. The rabbit would have probably been best left to plump up over a few more months, but he'd needed something to chew on mostly just to settle his nerves. It wasn't like he'd made a huge change to the den- and he could always just argue that he wanted something soft in there because he felt that what they already had wasn't soft enough- but he was still slightly nervous about the fact that gifting Fennec things meant treading on ice that might be a bit thin. He wanted to make grand, sweeping gestures- but he'd refrain. Maybe it was something she could eventually get used to- or something he might eventually learn to live without.聽

She commented on the scent and she wasn't far off. He nodded and chuckled. "I brought in a couple pelts, to make the ground a bit softer 'cause, you know," He said, with a shrug. "I'm a big princess and I need something soft to sleep on." Not that the pelts were as soft and flexible as the ones Kukutux made- but he figured they might soften a bit over time. "I'll share if you ask nicely," He teased.
May 10, 2021, 07:56 PM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
Pelts, that's what it was. At first, Fennec didn't think much of it. But something about the way he responded so casually pinged her suspicions, and after a moment, she felt her stomach drop. Why was he making this place more comfortable? Did he know or suspect anything? Was he trying to hint that, make her come clean because he was actually pissed at her for keeping it a secret?

It was insane. But that seemed to be the going mood of her brain of late, and like a switch she went from playful to upset immediately without any control over it. It was even worse than the week that had caused this entire mess and she hadn't thought that possible.

I'm good, she replied a little too quickly, turning away and stepping to the side so she could collect herself for a second. For a moment, all she'd been able to feel was terror that he'd found out and she knew if he saw he'd know instantly. Hopefully he hadn't but she had no way of knowing for sure. She didn't even know for sure how that worked.

He can't. There's no way. She tried to derail the knee-jerk panic silently. It didn't really work all that well, though, because all of this was just a really solid reminder that the longer she didn't tell him, the worse it was going to be. She let the silence hang, awkward now.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 10, 2021, 08:52 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He got a reply he wasn't expecting, and with a stiffness that caused him to tilt his head curiously, his lip fetching up on one of his teeth. He'd practically set her up for one of her trademark sarcastic quips and normally she would've knocked such a thing out of the park- but this reaction seemed to come at him from left field.

Most times even when she was bothered, she'd try to be casual, or shrug things off. But for some reason, she seemed incapable of even mustering indifference- it wasn't often that he thought Fennec聽actually looked like she was talling a lie. He pondered for a moment what might happen if he called her out on it, or if he should let her be. She could explode at him- but she might also resent him later if he chose not to address the elephant in the room.聽

Damned either way, he figured.聽

"You wanna talk about it?" It seemed like a better option than straight up telling her she was lying. Obviously she was not good- not even remotely close. Maybe it had something to do with Towhee announcing recently that she wanted the Redhawks to consider either stepping up or nominating new Regents. Phox was still missing, so of course she had every right to be stressed or worried about him. Whatever the reason for this mood she had, he wanted to help her through it- even if it meant taking on a bit of damage himself.
May 10, 2021, 10:38 PM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
She stiffened a little more when he decided to confront her straight out. No. Her mind practically yelled it and her body language followed suit, sidling towards the exit. Talking about it was the last thing she wanted to do.

Fennec wasn't used to feeling afraid of anything. There was only one other time she'd felt a fear this bad and back then it had put her in a similar mood... and back then, she'd chosen to run from it. Now that this wasn't an option she was entertaining, she was instead stuck in this limbo of denial. But the more she shoved it away and tried to ignore it, the worse she felt, until hanging out with Bronco was a practice in swallowing guilt. It was getting more and more difficult to forget that there was this huge, unsaid thing that she was eventually going to broadside him with, like it or not. Unless he left first. But he didn't seem to be leaving.

This might change that. Fennec felt her pulse begin to pound and as her blood pressure spiked, she rocked back. Luckily she was far enough to be against the earthen wall and leaned against it, letting the rush in her ears die down. She needed to calm down. For a second, she forgot that Bronco was still waiting on an answer. She just leaned and lowered her head, trying to calm her breathing down. She wasn't quite able to forget he was there, which was too bad, because that would have definitely helped.

Just need some... air. Disregarding him if he'd come closer, she pushed her way out and stumbled a ways before sitting down heavily, shaking. At least she wasn't nauseous.

What the fuck was wrong with her? She felt her eyes well up. No. FUCK no.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 11, 2021, 12:16 AM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
While Bronco had no experience working as a medic, he could twll when something was off- and when Fennec moved back to leave, and then seemed to falter in her step, he got to his feet and moved toward her. With her weight sagged against the wall and her head lowered, she had the woebegone, distant look of a carthorse聽that'd been driven to exhaustion.聽

She offered an explanation that made him wonder if she was feeling nauseous, and he came as close as he dared, lowering his muzzle so he could sniff gingerly at her. He wasn't sure he smelled anything off...At least, not the way he'd come to know that sickness smelled like. She sat down suddenly which startled him lightly; his ears flicked back and he licked his lips nervously when he noticed a light termor to her legs and sides.

"Did you eat something that was off?" He asked. "Is there somethin' I can get for you that'll help?" She was the medic here; he assumed she might know roughly some sort of diagnosis for herself, and if she wasn't able to go find whatever herb she needed, he could try and do it for her.
May 11, 2021, 01:16 AM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
Hoping he'd leave her alone was a bit of wishful thinking on her part. She didn't move away though; standing right this moment would be a bad idea. Just as she would with Towhee only a day or two later, Fennec teetered between lying and just... ripping the band-aid off. As much as she loved a good lie, this one she knew had the potential to ruin things between them for good. Whether she told it or not.

If he was going to leave, it was better if he did it now. That was the deciding factor in it for her. She could take the coward's way out and keep him around a while longer but then it'd only be worse if it did happen. She couldn't imagine doing this with or without him at this point; she hadn't even begun to let herself think about it yet. She needed to get this over with (if only so that she could be around him without freaking out like this again).

Unlike with Towhee, she didn't need to look at him when she said it, so she was still staring at the ground when the words tumbled out softly. I'm pregnant. Also unlike with her mom, there was no softened 'I think'. She had no doubts at this point and she wasn't about to bullshit him about it. There was no joy in her tone, only dread, and her expression was flat. She'd managed to control herself at least that much, thank god.

I don't... she began, but trailed off. Fennec knew what she wanted to tell him; that this was a mistake, hers to deal with, and she didn't need him to take it on. She couldn't imagine he'd want to. But she knew Bronco well enough to know that would go over like a load of bricks and, though it was tempting to drive him off like that, she couldn't bring herself to do it. It didn't matter what they were or weren't. She didn't want to do this alone.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 11, 2021, 01:04 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
Her voice was soft, and he wasn't sure if he heard vulnerability or reluctance- but the words she spoke made him freeze on the spot. Had she said what he thought she said? He looked her over in the quiet lull there, sensing there was something else she had to add on to what she'd said and as a fairly unobservant fellow he didn't really notice much of a change about her- but it wasn't like pregnancy showed itself instantaneously. Which was probably a good thing.聽

I don't...

She could have meant anything with those words, trailing off like that.

I don't want them.
I don't think you're the father.
I don't want you to be the father.聽

So while he wrestled with some part of him that felt as though he'd just heard the best news he'd ever heard in his entire聽life, and the other part that felt that Fennec was about to drop some bomb on him that would break his heart- he snuck closer to her. He wanted to celebrate- he wanted to yell and tell everyone in the pack that he was going to be a dad but...Considering Fennec's聽state...It didn't seem appropriate.聽

"Hey," He murmured softly, reaching out to rub his muzzle against her shoulder. "It's OK," He said softly, though it didn't seem as though she felt that way. He at least wanted to reassure her a bit. "Tell me what I can do for you," He offered, and with a soft chuckle, "I'm...Basically going to be your very, very willing slave for the next like...Forever, so." Some of the glee he was trying very hard to contain was struggling to make its way out of him. His tail thumped against the ground, and his heart was fluttering rapidly in his chest.
May 11, 2021, 06:55 PM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
An emotionally mature wolf would have treated what Bronco said with the affection it deserved because his excitement was honestly endearing. They'd have breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that this was going to be a partnership, something the two of them would be doing together. Or, at the very least, they'd have approached this entire thing with at least a bit of understanding.

Unfortunately, Fennec had all the sensitivity of a scalded cougar. She accepted his touch okay, but when he said something about being her willing slave, she bristled and stiffened. This doesn't have to change anything, she responded, jerking away.

If he wanted to stick around and be a dad to this kid, that was his decision. She wasn't going to let him make out like she begged him to or like she'd somehow managed to trap him here with this. Despite the fact that Bronco had made it pretty clear where he stood, she felt pretty backed into a corner by this; she had a hard time recognizing that he might feel completely different.

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 11, 2021, 07:42 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
She pulled away, and closer to the solid wall of the den, shrinking from his touch. Her answer was almost a way to deflect, he thought. Was she trying to say he had a way out because she didn't want him to be a part of raising their children? A frightening thought struck him: his own mother had run off with her unborn children in order to get away from Phox...Would Fennec do the same, if he said that he wanted to be a part of her life? Had he fallen for someone who had the same, dangerous instability as his mother?

But Fennec wasn't Niamh. She was better; he was sure of it.聽

And while he was still a bit nervous that fate might step in and tear yet another one of his loved ones away from him, there was still the overwhelming excitement brewing within him from this news. While he felt as though his heart might burst from nervousness, hos trembling lips smiled. "Of course it's gonna change things," He replied. "But Fenn...I'm...I'm not gonna lie this...This is kind of the best news I've ever heard." He said. He tried to reach out to touch her shoulder with his muzzle, albeit a bit hesitant that while being sort of cornered, she might lash out. "You're gonna be a Momma," He cooed, through smiling teeth.
May 12, 2021, 12:30 AM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
Of course it's going to change things. He was right. There was no way things were going to be the same after this. It took her a moment to realize, though, that he sounded happy about that. About as long as it took for him to kindly point out the fact.

She was clearly stunned by the fact that this was good news to him and didn't bother hiding it. Physically she at least calmed down a little, but the relaxing of her posture came with a cutting loneliness. He wasn't scared at all about this. Why was she?

She didn't know, but clearly they were on two very different pages with this entire situation. Her ears twitched back when he finished with an affectionate dubbing of her new status. She might have retreated into silence if that hadn't annoyed her enough to elicit a reaction.

This isn't good news. Her tail lashed. So just... don't. Okay? She was skewing sideways from annoyed into emotional territory and her throat tightened in response to it. Some unreasonable part of her had wanted to drive him out of this conversation by kicking it off stating she didn't need him. And that same part, right now, wanted nothing more than to smash the smile she heard behind his words off his face.

It wasn't even that she didn't want kids. She just hadn't wanted them like this, without any planning or guarantees. She'd been there as her mom did the exact same thing twice over and known, deep down, she'd never be capable of the same. Yet here she was.

I have to figure out what I'm going to tell mom. Fennec turned towards him. Despite her flat tone, there was a hint of remorse. I can't deal with happy right now. I can't. And now seemed good a time as any to try and make a quick

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)
May 12, 2021, 01:05 PM
Bronco
Redhawk Caldera
Master
He wilted at her proclation, as her words stung him like nettles. It struck him then that she was very stressed out over this...Why, though, he wasn't sure. They grew up in a family pack, and each year there had been more pups around- so it wasn't like she didn't like kids...There was the possibility that perhaps what made her the most upset was the fact that he was the father. He tried not to dwell on that possibility- she didn't want to talk about it right now, and he didn't want to push her. She was, after all, carrying their children. He wanted her to be happy, healthy- and stressing her out would only make things worse.聽

"Okay," He answered, trying to make his voice sound a bit lighter so she might not know how reluctant he was to just let her stew. But it was what she wanted- and he wanted the best for her. But he didn't pull away. She might've wanted to drive him away, but he didn't want for her to have to chase him off whenever she wanted space. Lashing out and blocking him out was a sort of language that was unhealthy. "Hey...Any time you want some space, or when I annoy the fuck out of you...You can tell me to take a hike I'd...Get tired of me too, all the time. I won't take any offense. An' I'll always come back later. Just...Tell聽me, okay? I can't read your brain. An' we both know you're the brains of this operation." He said. Perhaps he should have dropped it earlier, but he felt at least she should know that she had some control over how things happened. Giving her space was a part of being her willing slave.聽

She turned toward him then, and mentioned her mother. Even though they hadn't asked for permission, and that in some places that would merit demotion or even exile, he had the feeling that Towhee would probably lean more toward being excited. Towhee loved kids- she loved her kids, so she would probably adore having grandchildren. So telling Towhee didn't seem like too much of a hurdle. "I can help if you want. But if you wanna talk to her alone, that's alright too." He said. Then he remembered something. "I'm just paying my debt, you know," He said. "I've owed you my firstborn child for like...A year now? About time I paid up anyway."
May 12, 2021, 01:52 PM
Fennec
Redhawk Caldera
Regent*
Well, she'd succeeded in killing the mood. He sounded deflated, which she'd been going for. And now absolutely felt guilty about. He was annoying the shit out of her, but there wasn't a single iota in her that thought her annoyance was reasonable. She knew she had no right to make him feel as upset about this as she did, yet that didn't stop her.

She didn't understand how he could take her shit like that and respond the way he did. Hopefully one day she would, but for now, his failure to rise at her prompting took a lot of the wind out of her anger. It left her feeling even more unreasonable than before, and even rarer - ashamed.

I don't get tired of you, she replied, quieter. She didn't know how to explain what it was she did get. It didn't make much sense to her either. I just didn't want it like this. That wasn't particularly helpful, but she was completely unwilling to go further than that. I should talk to her.

She completely ignored his last joke and pushed past, this time actually leaving unless he followed. It was probably just an attempt at humor, but it nailed home what she already had heavy doubts about. It wasn't supposed to happen like this.. And now she was stuck wondering.

Is it the kids, or is it me?

Last for me, most likely! <3

Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.聽 If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
Fig is always welcome (as if she has a choice <3)