Sun Mote Copse I usually break the things that I love
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#1
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Finally, she made it. Fennec heaved a weary sigh of relief as her sister’s scent became apparent, and she took a moment to settle comfortably on her haunches before sending up a call to @Meerkat. There were a number of directions she could have gone when she’d turned up at Moonspear to ask for directions, but in the end, she’d chosen to ask about her sister’s whereabouts first.

It surprised even Fennec, but shouldn’t have. Killdeer was undoubtedly with his father. She would stop by to check in with her son soon, but there was no way in hell she’d stay. And as amazing as her mom and dad might be, they were woven into so many children’s’ lives that keeping up was a nightmare. She didn’t want to trail along or rely on them to settle in one spot. It had never worked out for long before.

So she was on Meerkat’s doorstep instead. Fennec was grateful that Moonspear was in the loop on the new pack that she was kicking off; the wolf who had informed her had been able to direct her to the area. Once there, all she had needed to do was wander until she hit a scent trail or a border.

Fuck, she was tired. And hungry. Unless Meerkat had gotten some kind of personality transplant since last time Fennec spoke to her, she didn’t think she needed to worry about approval. Still, she kept her ears alert as she waited, just in case her sister wasn’t the first wolf to respond.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#2
She was curled up in The Taigh, fast asleep, when a soft kick awoke her. Meerkat’s eyes fluttered open and she groaned as she stretched. She made no effort to rise, instead letting out a happy little sigh as her head drifted to rest on her outstretched forelegs. The culprit kept stirring, though, and eventually her bladder protested.

Chuckling under her breath, she pushed into a sit, pointing her nose at the ceiling as she stretched her neck and shoulders. Meerkat then stood, giving herself a little shake before stepping toward the door. Her eyes slitted against the glare. It was an overcast morning, though the sky and the ground were both a wash of cottony white.

After relieving herself, Meerkat deliberated the merits of ducking back into The Taigh or perhaps going for a brief stroll. She decided on the latter, keeping an eye out for Njord, Stingray or Nyssa. Birds sang from the bare treetops, a sign that spring wasn’t far away, along with the soft movements in her middle.

She was getting nearer the border when someone called. Meerkat would ordinarily ignore a caller in her current condition, unless she happened to recognize the voice. In this case, she did. Her whole face brightened as she suddenly picked up the pace. When was the last time she’d seen her sister?

Fennec! Meerkat called out as soon as she set eyes on that familiar figure on her doorstep.
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Well, she sounded happy to see Fennec at the very least.  Hey.  Her response was friendly, if a little tired, but she smiled as she heard Meerkat drawing closer.

I heard you and Njord were over here, so I thought I’d check it out.  Not a lie, definitely not the truth.  She’d need to get into it at some point, at least partially, but not right out the gate.

@Penn was where he was needed right now, helping Liffey, but when she’d insisted on coming anyway she knew he would follow eventually.  He knew it too.  Hell, he’d followed her even when she didn’t want him to, when he’d had zero reason to bother.  When she brought up the fact that he’d join her here at some point, she knew the other questions would come.

How’s it going?  She asked instead, both to delay and out of curiosity.  She trusted Meerkat, but Figment’s words echoed in her mind.  She couldn’t handle a repeat right now.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#4
Fennec’s opener made her wonder if her sister had unwittingly followed in Stingray’s footsteps, returning to Moonspear just to be redirected. Poor Sialuk et al must be tired of pointing the way, Meerkat thought with a wave of her tail as she sidled up beside Fen and pressed her nose to her shoulder before skimming it up to her cheek.

We’ve been here a while now but it’s been a slow burn, Meerkat replied. We’re starting to catch fire a bit now, though, she added, maneuvering so her side lined up with Fennec’s, gently pressing the slight swell of her flank against her sister’s. We’ve got these guys incoming in a few weeks, plus Ray’s here. A lovely lady named Nyssa too.

And maybe Fennec now too, though of course she wouldn’t jump to conclusions. It was much more likely she was only here for a visit, which begged the question…

What about you, Fen? Where’ve you been and what’ve you been up to?
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Fennec felt Meerkat’s flank against hers and immediately knew, the clarification just cementing it. Congratulations. She said with a smile, giving Meerkat an affectionate brush on the shoulder with her cheek. She’d figured that Meerkat and Njord would have kids on the way, and been prepared for it. Mostly happiness mixed with just a tinge of melancholy. It really was getting easier, then.

We were with Penn’s family, for a while. He’s still there, but I imagine he’ll follow eventually. Liffey needed him after Rannoch died. She’d not met the guy, or been around him much, so it was hard to be entirely understanding. She did understand brothers though.

I got a little stir crazy. They were fine, they just weren’t you guys. She smirked, comparing Liffey and Towhee mentally. Meerkat was closer, but as a whole, their families? Entirely different. So I got a head start. Figured I’d see if there something for me to do here.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#6
The names her sister mentioned were familiar, though none she knew very well. Still, she touched her nose to Fennec’s cheek in sympathy at the news of Rannoch’s death. Meerkat quietly wondered about the relationship between Fennec and Penn, then why Liffey needed him, though she didn’t voice any of it.

She only said, When you say ‘here,’ do you mean the copse? You’re welcome to stay here as long as you like. I’m sure we can find something to keep you busy, and wondered if Fen could hear her smile.
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Yeah, here. I need to go check in with Killdeer, but I am sure he’s fine where he’s at. With Bronco. I’m pretty good at finding weird shit to do myself too. She smiled too, glad Meerkat didn’t press too much for a follow-up.

She probably shouldn’t have left Penn where he was, but she knew he understood. She’d talk with Meerkat, or her mom and dad, about it later.

Nice place that you picked out here. Brings back memories. Fennec hasn’t lived here overly long, but this place had been where she’d first gotten to know Penn. She didn’t remember why they’d all left; had Meerkat lived here? Or maybe it was just a coincidence that she’d chosen this spot. Either way it was nice to be back.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#8
When his name came up, Meerkat tried to remember if she knew Killdeer’s current whereabouts. He’d stopped by over the winter but she wasn’t sure where he’d headed after that. Thinking of the circumstances of that visit pulled her lips into a frown. Her son had been tight with him but had Fennec been close with Caracal as well?

She stashed that thought for now, replying to Fen’s comment with, I don’t have many clear memories myself but I’m pretty sure I found the log where mom and I stayed after I was born. It was Njord who really picked this place, though. I brought him here just for fun and I could tell it was love at first sight.

Meerkat held out a forepaw, gently grasping Fennec’s elbow and giving it a slight tug: an invitation to walk with her. She fell into step beside her sister, there to guide her if needed but trusting Fen could find her way forward. Meanwhile, she would give her something of a verbal tour of the present day copse.

I don’t know if you remember it but there’s a tree with a big den underneath it. It reminds me of the Hobbit Hole a bit. Anyway, we call it The Taigh and that’s where we live—as in, every trusted member of the pack is welcome there. Of course everyone’s welcome to keep their own spaces too. I was actually thinking of finding a whelping den of my own but now that we’ve really settled in, I can’t imagine delivering anywhere else.
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#9
Fennec took the guidance willingly and fell gratefully in step alongside her. She could have managed fine but this place wasn’t one she’d been recent enough to be considered “familiar”, and traveling any relatively unknown territory was always taxing. She’d been managing for weeks already; Fennec was more than ready to settle in for a while.

Right… she’d met Bronco here too. And Meerkat had been born here. She really had forgotten how long this place had been home. It was hard to imagine Towhee ever settling long-term outside of the Caldera, despite most of Fennec’s childhood homes being elsewhere.

He has good taste. But we already knew that. She joked, gratified to hear her sister’s personal life was going well. I don’t remember what it was called back then, but I definitely remember it. Maybe the nest? It made sense, what with the family’s bird obsession. She liked the new name, and was curious if it meant anything in particular, but she saved that question. There were more important ones to ask.

How’s it going so far? Carrying them? she asked, letting her side gently brush against Meerkat’s to indicate what she meant. She could look for a place to settle in later, and maybe even start a garden here. Meerkat’s answer would let her know the types of things to prioritize as spring drew nearer.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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That he does. And I think that’s right, Meerkat concurred, laughing. It’s been perfectly textbook. I’ve never been prone to morning sickness, so I haven’t had to worry about that. My feet hurt sometimes and it’s increasingly difficult to get comfortable, though I really can’t complain.

It sounded like Fennec would be around for the birth, after all, and Meerkat grinned to herself. It was always nice having family close, though she imagined Fen would be a little more savvy in midwifery than, say, her son. The idea made her snicker out loud.

To explain the noise, she said, I was just thinking it’ll be nice to have an Auntie Curse on hand when it comes time to deliver. I think you’ll be a bit more prepared than Ray, anyway. I know he’ll be an excellent big brother, but I don’t think he should be present for that. It’ll traumatize us both.
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Auntie Curse. Fennec smirked despite herself. This was what she’d wanted. With the absence of everything else, and the keen loss of her own chance, she just wanted to be something to someone. Something she wouldn’t have been in Liffey’s pack. They just didn’t know her the same way.

I’ll be here. I haven’t been there for many, but I think I can handle it. Definitely better than the alternative. Killdeer might be her only child but she wouldn’t be forgetting the experience anytime soon. Stingray would need strong nerves (and a strong stomach) to want to stand in instead.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#12
Meerkat wondered if it would be in poor taste to joke that Fennec wouldn’t be able to see anything disturbing, versus her poor sighted son. She erred on the side of caution, instead slowing to a stop and gently reaching out to nudge her sister to pause.

Just ahead is Ray’s Beach, so we’ll be crossing some water. But that’s not why I stopped you. Mercy’s Garden is off to our right. Would you like to check it out? There’s not much to it yet…
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The flash of annoyance wasn’t fair. She knew and hid it well. Honestly, I’d rather take a break before I explore too much. Fennec responded, allowing a touch of weariness into her tone.

A garden, already? Whose? Half of the fun had always been in finding a location, but she supposed it made sense that this place was mapped out in its entirety. Mereo had been partially hers. So had her failed attempts before it. No part of Sun Mote Copse was hers to claim. It was surprising, to say the least, how much the realization dinged her pride.

Maybe later? She’d check it out in time, she just needed rest. Maybe a meal would help too.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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Sure, Meerkat replied easily, would you like me to take you to The Taigh or did you want to find somewhere on your own? I should’ve pointed out my bourie when we passed, it’s a great place for a nap, she mused aloud.

She touched her nose to her sister’s shoulder, patiently waiting for Fennec to decide. Her tail swayed, hoping she would choose their little cottage but sensing that Fen would probably appreciate a space of her own.
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Wherever works best. She was too tapped to have a strong opinion on it, and at this point all she wanted was to settle in and let her mind rest for a while. She could always find a spot for herself later, especially given the fact that she’d never really met her sister’s husband formally. Well… if he took issue to her presence, he could give her a new spot to stay. For now she’d take what she could.

Apparently there were more lingering emotions than she thought. All of them purely Fennec’s bullshit to deal with, and deal with them she would. She wasn’t expecting to be so starkly reminded of Mereo, and what had almost been. Suddenly she missed Killdeer more than ever, and she knew that before she did much of anything, she’d need to go check in with him.

Thanks, Meerkat. She didn’t want her lack of immediate energy to come off as ungrateful, and returned the touch with a soft nudge of her own. She needed to stop looking backwards. There was nothing left for her there.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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#16
Of course. To The Taigh, then, Meerkat decided aloud as she began to move again.

It wasn’t long before the pair drew up in front of the misshapen doorway of the earthen cottage. She glanced at the gnarled roots that formed part of its frame, just glad Fennec wouldn’t have to navigate them. The pathway leading inside was clear, worn by the passage of paws.

There’s a few roots dangling from the ceiling, she cautioned Fen as she stepped inside.

Meerkat padded to the space she and Njord shared. She eased down onto their skins, eyeing the small larder of dried meat they kept near at hand to satisfy Meerkat’s hearty appetite. She wondered if Fen might want some bison jerky.

This is where Njord and I sleep, she said, knowing Fen would locate her position by the sound of her voice. There’s plenty of room. Feel your way around. Make yourself comfortable. I have some snacks once you’re settled in.
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Fennec heeded the warning and ducked inside, immediately feeling like an intruder the moment she did. It had been a long time since she’d stayed in a proper den and her sister’s setup was so domestic. Her younger woman was expecting children and here she was, effectively a grown spinster, moving in. She’d find a spot of her own in the next day or two.

For now she found a spot along the side, opposite theirs and out of the way. The space felt spacious, but Fennec couldn’t shake the unease. Who’s to say Njord would be as welcoming?

Thanks. She repeated, this time a tad quieter. So far none of this had felt the way she’d expected, and for not the first time, she wondered if leaving Penn behind had been a massive mistake. If it was, it was one she’d have to live with for now.
Fenn is blind, and as she's older, will take all of her character insight from tone.  If you are ever uncomfortable with an assumption she makes, please let me know!
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Meerkat nodded, momentarily forgetting Fennec wouldn’t see it. Now that her sister was comfortable, she selected a few choice strips of meat and pushed them toward her with a forepaw. She trusted that Fen would hear the scrape of her pad against the dirt, not to mention smell the meat now right underneath her nose.

I’m so glad you’re here, Fen, Meerkat said, biting off her own chunk of jerky, or should I say Auntie Curse?

She chuckled, spraying meaty crumbs on her forelegs. Meerkat rolled her eyes at herself and flicked them away, then closed her mouth and chewed in contented, companionable silence.
I archive threads if my partner goes inactive and/or there are no new replies for several weeks. I'm more than happy to continue an archived thread if you're interested. Just revive it (via maintenance) and tag me in your next reply. :)