Northstar Vale can't talk, got a beat in my headphones
Epoch
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#1
All Welcome 
AW but she's looking for @Towhee

The sun gave way nothing in the autumn sky—not a cloud blemished it but Meadow found the chill in the air discouraging, at best. She had stockpiled the best she could for the colder weather that would soon come on them, and with Keyni’s youngest rebounding in health, the silver she-wolf found herself with slightly more time.

And so she sought out another of her charges—this one a little more rambunctious than the pup, it seemed, despite her injuries. Towhee was up and ongoing, and Meadow, of course, was worried for the Redhawk. Not so long ago she had the run in with the cat… and then a tree. And Meadow had caught wind of the eager she-wolf preparing to train others in battle.

She huffed, eyes scanning the horizon as she neared Towhee’s usual resting place, hoping at least to catch the woman resting, despite her rising schedules.
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#2
Despite relocating to Epoch to slow down a little, Towhee didn’t really know the meaning of the word “rest.” She actually enjoyed patrolling and sparring even more now that they weren’t demanded of her. She saved the latter mostly for her Saturday morning classes, though she found herself doing the former twice daily out of pure habit.

She wrapped up a long, leisurely morning patrol and headed into the valley’s interior to rustle up some grub for lunch. The Redhawk foursome hadn’t really established a permanent den site, though sometimes she used the cave in the heart of the maple forest. Other times, she and @Maxim stayed near Lotus Spring. As she moseyed in that direction now, she pondered the merits of making a proper homestead. She missed their home in Mereo and they would hopefully need a whelping den in spring.

She cut a diagonal path through the vale, passing through the red trees she liked so much, and found Meadow there. She reminded Towhee of Aquene, mostly because of their shared profession. She would love to get to know the other woman a bit better, though like Mereo’s medicus, she always seemed so busy. At the moment, however, she was standing still. There was a searching look on her face, yet she appeared relaxed.

Hey, Meadow, Towhee greeted, tail twitching as she prowled nearer. Looking for something? Or someone?
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Epoch
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#3
Her name causes her honeyed eyes to snap up, gaze taking over Towhee with assessment, despite the warm smile that pulled at the corners of her lips. You, she replied, ensuring Towhee could see her speak. I wanted to make sure you haven’t overworked yourself.

It was good to see the dark woman on her feet and happier—Meadow was learning quite quickly that the Redhawk was a firecracker at best, and she could only imagine how she had felt being bedridden.

She looked closer, gaze shifting to Towhee’s back before she gave a nod to the woman. How are you feeling?
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#4
At Meadow’s, “You,” Towhee touched a paw to her chest in an unmistakable, Who, me? gesture. She set it back on the ground with a flickering smile, sidling a little bit closer before reclining to her haunches with a small grunt.

I’m feeling fine. I made sure to stay off my feet for the first week I was here. I’ve been moving around a lot since then, though I’m taking it relatively easy. I keep telling myself I can, like, stop and smell the roses now, Towhee quipped.

She didn’t require any of the woman’s medical expertise right now, though Towhee still wanted to steal a bit of her time today, especially now that they were here. They were pack mates now, so of course she wanted to learn all she could about the auburn she-wolf.

So, are you pretty good friends with Sunshine—uh, Reyson? Towhee asked with an impish glint in her eye.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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#5
Towhee's words drew an amused sigh from the healer, particularly at the mention of only resting for a week. She bit her tongue for the moment—bemusement in her eyes as they trailed from the woman’s back to her eyes, now looking at her with something that seemed akin to her own amusement. 

Youre not a stop and smell the roses kind of girl, are you? She was going to be a handful somehow—Meadow could feel it. 

Instead, Towhee seemed all too eager to change the subject to Reyson. Her heart murmured at the thought—Reyson, who was probably in Akashingo now. Doing who knew what. With who knew who… and all the what’s and who’s. And with all of this uncertainty, she certainly didn’t want to draw any attention to their relationship. 

But Meadow wore her heart on her sleeve and her poker face was practically non-existent when she tried to deadpan a response, as if forgetting Towhee wouldn’t hear the change in tone. 

He’s one of the first I met when settling into Epoch, she offered, studying Towhee for a moment. Are you both close?
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Well, that’s sort of weird, Towhee blurted, smiling, isn’t it? Since he doesn’t live here. She didn’t wait for a response before providing one of her own. I wouldn’t call us close but he’s a pretty stand-up guy. He gave me a killer goatskin rug that’s basically my prized possession, ranked just above my man and below my kids…

It was definitely tempting to poke and prod. Even though they barely knew one another, it wasn’t like Towhee to hold back from something like that. But she was genuinely curious about this woman as a whole, not just her potential romantic entanglements and/or their mutuals.

So, how long have you lived here? And what brought you here to begin with? Towhee asked conversationally. Got any advice for an Epoch n00b?
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Epoch
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#7
While Meadow’s intentions were to ensure the well-being of the Redhawk, it seemed the woman had a playbook of her own. 

The east conversation and the myriad of questions drew a hesitant smile from the copper-masked waif, who idly lifted a paw to rub at the inside of her opposite arm, chuffing a small laugh at the questions that came, one fired after another. 

Well, I guess… she paused, her brows knitting together for a moment before she gave a light shrug. I was born in a forest not far from here. There was a fire and my pack and family… scattered, I guess you could say. I was a bit of a charity case I guess as I grew up, ended up moving packs a lot as they always seemed to disband and my family kind of just… left, bit by bit. She paused, quietly loathing her past and the inadequacy she felt from it. I studied medicine over the years and was tutored after by a pair of brothers. A wane smile was given—chest aching as it always did upon the mention of them. They also kind of disappeared and so here I am… Epoch seemed like a nice fresh start and Tamar is amazing.

Blinking, she offered an apologetic smile. Reyson seems to be determined to show me that not everyone just fucks off in life and leaves you, so… I guess we’ll see. The poor orphan girl. A pity project, perhaps. Reyson, if she had learned anything, was a solid soldier and a knight in shining armor. Of course he wanted to save the alleged damsel in distress. 

I think… Epoch is a lot stronger with you and your family. It’s still so fresh and new, and having another established family here will only help forge solid bonds.
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#8
Meadow didn’t hesitate to share about herself, which made Towhee’s tail stir side to side. Her eyes fixed raptly on the woman’s lips, lest she miss a word, and though her eyeballs ached in a way that always made her think of Wraen, she was glad her pack mate opened up to her.

Well, we definitely share a common theme: ‘everybody leaves, what the fucking fuck, y’all?’ Towhee quipped before adding a bit more heavily, Trust me when I say I know how that feels. I’m sorry it’s your overarching life experience too…

Figuring they’d both prefer to focus on lighter things, she tapped her paws on the ground and declared, We’re happy to be here too. And that reminds me of something I’d like to ask of you as a healer. But first! I’m sure Reyson’s a good bet but I’m gonna go ahead and declare my intent to one-up him. I may not be a romantic prospect—she arched a brow curiously—but I can also show you that not everybody just fucks off and leaves. I actually have a nigh magical staying power.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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Epoch
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#9
A wry smirk was given—eyes meeting that of the Theos as she summarized she was familiar with the notion of abandonment and mistrust. “The club no one wants to be a part of,” she agreed mildly, eyes grazing once more to Towhee’s back, a soft russet ear giving an idle flick at the mention of medical advice.

She hadn’t expected the next words though—and found an amusement stirring in the pit of her stomach. It was a familiar feeling—a warmth that remained a warning sign to the little silver wolf, for if she dwelled on it too much—if she got too attached in friendships—the likeliness it would all come crashing down would only mean the bigger the fall would be in the end.

Yet here she was—with Tamar, Reyson and now Towhee, all so eager to bring those protective walls crashing down around her.

She gave an idle laugh at the woman’s words, her eyes lighting in the moment before she gave a teasing shrug. “Like I told Reyson—prove it.”

She truly hoped she would.
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Challenge accepted, Towhee answered simply, shooting Meadow a well-meaning smirk before her expression smoothed into something a little soberer as she added, And on that note, are you up for a bit of a challenge? Do you know much about prenatal care?

Aquene had equipped Towhee with a wealth of knowledge about eclampsia since her bout of milk fever. She knew, for instance, that as much as she loved the idea of it, she could never safely offer herself as a wet nurse again. She also had a list of foods that would help her nutrients stay balanced so that she could at least feed her own children when the time came.

But Towhee wanted Meadow to help her really stay on top of it and prepare, if of course the woman was up to the task.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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#11
There was a potential friendship before her—much like the one she hoped to have with Tamar, and longingly, the silver waif wondered what it would be like, come spring, if the three of them were to have litters close to one another…  a mom club raising the future of the valley together.

Her heart longed for it—it hurt in equal measure. Placing herself at the same hope of two already happily married women.

The dark woman adjusted the topic—sort of. Her gaze quickly drifted to Towhee’s injured spine at the question of the prenatal care, and she found herself considering her words carefully. “If I’m honest, I have more experience in… heat suppression, then actual prenatal care,” she confided. “Mostly because… well, again… everyone tends to just fuck off and leave.” And the only man she had imagined herself with once? Well, his little piece hadn’t needed any prenatal care.

No, she had simply shown up, swollen and glowing with his babies.

She huffed. “I think what we would do right now is ensure you heal and strengthen your back and injury as best you can. Gentle exercises to strengthen your core again. That injury was… It was major, Towhee. I would worry how well you would do during pregnancy and birthing.” She would be honest—ripping open muscle and skin to the bone wasn’t a small feat—but she would also provide hope to the woman. Clearly, family was important to her.

“I’ll find some herbs to help, though, with your health and such, too,” she noted, her eyes sweeping back to study the woman’s features.
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I know, Towhee acknowledged when Meadow reminded her of the severity of her injury and the possible risks. Plus I’m older and I have a history of eclampsia. That’s why I want the best possible care. Aquene was—still is—great but I need someone closer at hand. I already know you’re good at what you do, it’s just a matter of whether you’re up to hand-holding a grumpy old lady, she concluded with another faint, good-natured smirk.

She still remembered how to prevent another bout of milk fever: primarily through her diet. Towhee made a note to start eating more fish and mushrooms. It helped that there were some great waterways to fish here, though she could only hope that smaller fish, like trout, would work nearly as well as salmon. She didn’t think there would be too many of those around here.

Do you know her? Aquene? The healer in Mereo? Towhee found herself wondering out loud. Only your mention of suppressing heats reminds me of some stories she told me about her past. It sounds like you two might have some stuff in common, I mean aside from the obvious. She paused. She actually conceived her sons while on aforementioned ‘birth control,’ you know.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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#13
Her lips thinned even more as Towhee described part of her medical history—only in worry—and she gave a soft chuff, muzzle lifting as she studied the woman more closely. None of it sounded ideal, but they would work through it as best they could. They had a bit of time to prepare.

At the mention of Aquene, her smile widened. “I’ve heard of her—great things. Reyson and Germanicus both speak very fondly of her.” There was a pause then, the thought of failing birth control a possibility. It always was—but she herself had managed quite well, thankfully. Though... there had always been her own wary doubt that perhaps she had managed too well. Perhaps, she was incapable of producing... Never having been in heat even once.

“I mean… Nothing is ever impossible, depending on situations.” She paused, feeling her cheeks redden with a faint blush. “But I’m sure she loves them both very much.” She wouldn’t pry to the other woman’s history or story—just that she knew the outcome of breeding season was, at best, an entirely random beast many times.

“Germanicus offered me some time to train under Aquene,” she began carefully, shifting her weight as she thought of the Imperator and his intense gaze. “If you’re okay with it, I can discuss also with her some of your medical history and treatments? Between her and I, we can try to make all of this as smooth a process as possible.”
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She’s fantastic, Towhee concurred, and yeah, she’s a great mom. She and Kallik were, well, goals… if you’re into super romantic shit, anyway. Aquene can tell you all about their love story whenever you two meet up to train. And yeah, of course, you’re more than welcome to talk about me behind my back as much as you want. Ask her all about my balls, she’s endlessly fascinated by the topic…

Towhee glanced around as if trying to remember what she’d been doing before bumping into the Heiros. Oh, right, she’d been headed to grab some lunch near the spring, where she would hopefully also find her other half. But all of that could wait a little longer.

You mentioned core exercises. Tell me more? Towhee requested, refocusing on Meadow.
-Signing.- | "Speaking." | -"Signing & speaking."- | "Mouthing (inaudible)." | Thoughts.
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