Lion Head Mesa aluminum
Muat-riya
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#1
All Welcome 
if u have time! <3 maegi tag for ref!

the information burned inside her.

that name.

it was nightfall. presumably everyone was asleep. but it was a palace after all. @Maegi's children had been given to jawahir, the coyote now relegated as wet-nurse. presumably and ironically they suckled the babes in the catacombs.

tavina drifted in that direction, subconsciously hoping to catch the neb. @Gucci was going to be a married man before wintertime, she expected. perhaps even autumn. but in a way he was her only available friend here.
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#2
i usually lack it, but for you i'll always make time <3

how jittery he'd been! ideas of wedding ceremony and married life running wild in his head, some interpretations of wolf ways, others idealised reimaginings of how humans did it.

it only concerned him a bit, that his bride-to-be lacked energy. 

he emerged from his rooms, as small as he (he suspected they were once for storage), and sat in the hallway, daydreaming of a family apartment filled with bright laughter.

he spotted miss tavina coming, and greeted her with a yap, his plumed tail swiping the red dust more intensely.

"th' doctor is in!" he beamed at the dark woman.
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Muat-riya
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#3
<333

gucci was in a fine mood when he came along. and maybe her pulse experienced a quickening along the dewclaw which she studiously ignored. "i am. well. not in a doctorly capacity." a muscle in her cheek jumped. 

"i was wondering if you had a moment?" perhaps now he would hear the strain in her voice, beneath the careful coiffing of her measured tones.

"we can — we can go to my examination room, if you've got time."
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#4
his expression shifted to that of polite concern, and batty ears swiveled to focus solely on the sesh. he was just about to pat the ground next to himself and prepare to hear all her woes - when she suggested they go to her rooms instead.

hm, that bad?

gucci nodded and leapt to his feet, following as near her head as he could keep up. he would try to quiet his traitorous dogtag, thinking this a matter of utmost secrecy.
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Muat-riya
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"sorry. i need to be available in case zakariya or nazli need me." their parentage was never discussed but surely gucci had seen them around. 

the sound of his tag was somehow reassuring. her office as it were was a small and near-sterile space, kept pointedly organized. she motioned the noble in and away from the door.

tavina riffled through a stack of pelts. she rearranged herbs on a shelf. "gucci, ah — do you know who the saints are?"
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ah, were those the names of the second set of pups, the ones he'd seen running 'round? energetic kids, and he'd convinced himself they were the pharaoh's - after all, they did seem to have some wolf in them.

within the examination room, he padded to a spot where he could comfortably seat himself, tail wrapping around paws, gaze away from tavina, to not make it seem he was over-eager to hear what this matter was about.

an ear swiveled before the head did.

"the saints? yea, ah heard. there'd been some conflict 'tween akashingo n them." he pondered his knowledge. "don't know, much 'sides it, but they seem awful warmongery." after all, what reason would any have to war with the serene mesa?
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Muat-riya
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"it's quite a bit more than that, i'm afraid." at last tavina stopped rummaging and finicking and turned her stricken countenance to gucci. he was always regal, she decided, always courtly despite the limitations of his miniscule frame.

"pharaoh used to be a member of the saints. he and satsu came here to make this place. but they lied about why they were going. akashingo was supposed to be an outpost of the saints. when the leader, nyra, arrived, she was told this was free land. and so she mauled one of the fellahin."

had she a cigarette this is where she might have lit it. a long, slow sigh with closed eyes would have to suffice. "maggie died slowly. her face had been all but ripped off her skull. nyra went on to murder some woman elsewhere and that brought their pack here, and eventually akashingo and that man germanicus and the wolves who had lost their mother, they chased the saints out of the mountains."

tavina put a paw to her cheek. "i did not think i would ever hear about them again. but — a while back, i met someone. she —" the sesh quieted, collecting herself. "she's a very gentle person. very kind. she disappeared so i did not believe I would see her again, either. but recently, gucci, she came to visit me, not far from the palace."

oh! it was too much! the blackfur got up to pace. long strides of her shadowmade limbs carried her back and forth in front of gucci. "we made plans to meet again deeper into summer and — she's a saint! she's so ... unlike them. i don't think she could hurt anything if she wanted to. and it's... it's so clear she doesn't know or else she wouldn't come back."

tavina stopped, her purple eyes flickering toward the neb. "i like her. i really do. but my responsibility is to akashingo. i simply ... i think pharaoh should know. but i do not think i will want to do whatever he asks me to do."
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#8
gucci strived to maintain a calm, neutral countenance as the information came, and succeed in it. 

somewhat.

by how his eyes would slightly widen or narrow, his ears turn or pin, one could read his reactions as clear as letters on paper.

he'd never thought of the history of akashingo. raised in the human world where things like it usually had great longevity, gucci had always assumed generations of pharaohs had ruled the mesa before ramesses the second, maintaining it as idyllic as it appeared to him.

this was a revelation. an annoying smudge on the mental image of the pack - the kingdom - he'd carried in his mind, assuring himself akashingo had lasted long in its peaceful ways, and would shine on perfect so many years more.

something about the mien of miss tavina made him wish he had a lighter on paw to offer.

gruesome. horrific. the thoughts went through his mind as the actions of the deplorable leader of the saints were described (albeit a bit too graphically to not make his lunch churn within him).

as far as he was concerned, the barbarians had wholly deserved to have the might of three factions hail upon their heads.

and now a seemingly irrelevant person was brought up - but that's how they getcha! he leaned forward slightly, ready for this kind, gentle she to be revealed as naught more than charismatic spy or undercover assassin.

his friend rose, distraught, and gucci was building up anger to unleash once the likeable stranger turned out to be a persona.

but the dilemma turned out far more insidious than that. a, if the sesh had judged right, completely innocent soul trapped within a brutish war cult. gucci saw the conflict and desperate honesty in those violet eyes.

he inhaled, deeply.

then exhaled.

oh, christ on a cracker.

"a'ight." he nodded as he reviewed all the information just received, repurposed the righteous anger. "okay." he would've pinched the bridge of his muzzle had he the digits for it. "so. one who's, by definition, nemesis t' th' 'shingo, 's a victim o' the saints 'swell." jesus doin' jumpin' jacks.

"we could'a gone th' route o' sympathy, but if she's been wi' 'em so long, she'd be seen as, as someone wi' information. or value. ah... dread wha' our mournful pharaoh'd do t' such a person."

"then, we could lie. but a lie gets more complex th' more folk're involved. your honesty ahv yet t' see tested, but ah know mah shakes n ears show more than a cow's ass. this woman's word'd be disbelieved in any case."

"third option's outside help." now he was pacing too. tinktinktink. "ah don't leave lionshead much. you ah know go out, but not fo' sake o' diplomacy. so we could-" the chihuahua slowed, then speed up. "th' princess! one fram breh-chel-ee-ain't! ah could ask her a favour, ask 'em t' house a friend's friend. but that's if we can get th' woman out."

his heard turned sharply towards tavina. "we need t' git somethin' clear. season's 'bout passed. gimme your diagnosis; ya think she ain't leavin' coz she got kids there?"

my post're either two paragraphs, or *gestures upwards* that
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Muat-riya
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#9
im about it

his face changed several times. tavina could hardly blame him, though by the end of it her shoulders had curved into a resigned slump. he was correct, wasn't he? pharaoh could only twist this. and perhaps nala very much was in danger with the saints, and in need of rescue.

but innocent as nala was, tavina knew she was no blushing debutante. she had come all this way, from gods knew where, simply to see the sesh again. "no," she said with a breathless, shocked little laugh at gucci's directness. "i'd be surprised if she'd ever —" well. it was not time for speculation. 

"i mean to say, no, i don't believe children are involved." she got up and started her pacing once more, tail switching at her hips. his suggestion about lilitu was a good one, but — "i imagine the princess might be a little distracted at present."

a rolling sigh broke from tavina. truly it was the only evidence she suffered far more than she let on. but the swell of her ribcage said more than she could. "i am worried that pharaoh will suggest i do something rash and cruel, such as seduce her for knowledge of the saints! i would decline but the fact he might say anything like that at all — well, i'm here, aren't i? here and not there in his throne room, right now."

she looked at gucci. "we've set a meeting for lake rodney, to the west. between akashingo and brecheliant. maybe i can — persuade her to visit. pharaoh would kill me if i brought her inside, however." her lips curved into a humorless smile.
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#10
he nodded, still organising every bit of information provided.

"lake rodney's near ally land, right? breh-chel-ee-ain't. i'd say th' foreign exchange princess is in exact state t' be persuaded. have a somebody-" a pointed look. "-sent there wi' her word tha' a poor hapless stranger 's in need'a bed n food. ya leave ya woman there t' wash away th' scent o' th' cult, relax a lil', n in some week or months we could sneak her in as another offerin' fram our neighbors. the pharaoh likes gifts."

the chihuahua groaned. "that's if we can if nawt persuade her, then trick 'er inta stayin' there. how would- would ya say she's attached t' th' saints? or held hostage? or somethin'?"
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Muat-riya
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tavina smiled though nothing called for it. "remember when i said that you'd make a great advisor? well." she left off with a chuff and a shake of her head. "i think it works in two ways. first it protects her and then it shows the princess the good she can do from akashingo."

something inside her felt more relieved. more determined, with a plan. she gave gucci a soft look. "she creates her own music but lives among warriors who don't appreciate it." that was the barest essence of nala, wasn't it? kindness. gentleness. how she had ever become a saint escaped tavina.
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gucci smiled back, although it was a tired curl of the lips. they'll discuss politics and promotions at another time.

this woman... seemed a soul trapped by own morals, amidst people who'd tear them down. he felt a pang of sympathy, going beyond the want to help a friend he knew.

now he wished he were bigger, as when he came nearer tavina and put two paws on one of hers, he so wished he could offer greater comfort.
 
"we'll get 'er out." the man said with all confidence and determination he could muster. "strive t' do good, n you'll feel th' very world offerin' support."
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Muat-riya
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#13
omgggggggggGGG ur AVATAR, a PRINCE

tavina smiled a little but she truly did not know if it would work. nala did not appear to be a hostage of any sort, and now she worried that playing the gallant rescuer and bringing the entire word of a princess might seem rather odd. arrogant, even. 

she wanted to swoop nala up and put her in a little alcove somewhere, perhaps — in a room draped with green things and glowing not beneath the palace but above it, as if they could live in a little apartment made of sun somewhere outside the reach of akashingo.

goodness.

"you always make me feel so —" careful "— well, cared for. heard. understood. thank you for that, gucci." 

again, the sad little curve to her mouth that wanted so badly to be a smile. "what is your favorite color?" his nuptials were upcoming. she was thinking of a gift.
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#14
get the exact same reaction reading tavina's posts asdfhh <33

his tail, limp for awhile now, managed a few wags of appreciation. it made him feel warm within, to have someone be grateful for his diminutive existence.

what is your favorite color?

gucci blinked. it took his brain an embarrassing string of seconds to figure out what relation his favourite color had with their rescue mission.

"oh!" nothing at all.

"um, well, thang is..." he stumbled back from tavina's paw, certainly no longer holding the mien of a confident and protective friend. "ah like deep, warm colors, like, like burgundy o-or amber or gold."

"um, but, ya don- ya really don't gotta bother much wi' a present for me, miss tavinah." he laughed and smiled in an awkward way. "-sides mine n maggie's'll be a side-show t' th' royal wedding, n poor woman n her kids need more gifts than me.
a-ah mean, didja know, ah been livin' in a storage closet all these moons, and ah thought it a luxurious apartment!" 
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Muat-riya
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#15
<3 :D

"don't you worry about my plans," she laughed in a tone that tried its level best to be amused. "gold and burgundy and amber are great colors for a summer's end or fall's beginning ceremony. you have a taste for it."

nala thrummed in her mind. suppose she invited the woman as a guest? would this even be possible?

"when you and maegi are married, i imagine you will be making a move to even more spacious dwellings, you and the children." perhaps she'd overheard a murmur from their architect, or gossip carried from ramesses' quarters. "are you ready for that?"