Redhawk Caldera call me a spaceman
Loner
175 Posts
Ooc — Kat
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#1
All Welcome 
She camped beside Big Salmon Lake, taking frequent baths by day and huddling in the nearby woods each night. Nobody came looking for her. Perhaps they’d believed her version of events. They were likely too busy burying Raveon to send anyone after Frolic.

The yearling sat beside the calm waters this morning, staring down at her black paws. They stung from the latest scrubbing. They were bloodless, though Frolic could still smell its stink. She balled them into fists before letting her forepaws drift to the ground. That stench would follow her for the rest of her life, she thought.

But it was time to move on with it, if she could. Frolic stood, feet feeling heavy as she plodded south through Bramblepoint, past the place where she had slept these past few weeks. Long before the forest gave way, she could see glimpses of the caldera over and through the treetops. Her heart jumped into her throat.

Frolic was not the same spirited adventurer she had been the last time she’d set foot on Brecheliant grounds. She was more like a shadow of that person now. That’s what felt like lurked inside her: a shade, like a darker version of herself. It must’ve been there her whole life, dormant until just the right—or wrong—moment.

All the same, she missed her family dearly. After taking a few moments to collect herself at the foot of the old stack, the prodigal daughter pointed her dark muzzle skyward and called out to them.
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Brecheliant
Family
a hundred mini dreams and a healing scar ♥
2,140 Posts
Ooc — Iris
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#2
Eljay was with @Chickadee and the pups when he heard the call. At first he lifted his head, curious what sort of visitor they might be getting, but then a sudden wave of realisation washed over his face and his eyes widened, his head raised and ears perked up. He looked at Chickadee and said softly, I need to go, and — uncharacteristically without even waiting to see if it was okay — he got up, briefly stretched his stiff limbs, and then started making his way to the borders at his — by now — normal, slowed pace. He trotted stiffly, a light limp in his step, stretching his muscles the furthest they would go in order to make it to the borders in time.

Relief washed over him when he saw Frolic's shape materialise in the distance, glad that she hadn't thought no one was coming, or had changed her mind and continued her travels. The dark thoughts were banished immediately when he saw her, when he closed in on her, and a warm smile spread across his face like wildfire.

Frolic! he called out as he drew nearer, and he trotted towards her as fast he could, a limp in his step, so that he could embrace his daughter.
Loner
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Ooc — Kat
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#3
She worried that reuniting with her loved ones would make her emotional, that they would then realize she was so very different now. They would want to know why. Frolic would just have to put on a brave face, like she had with Seal. Nobody could know what she’d done, what she was capable of. Otherwise, they might never let her come home.

Frolic hoped @Ceridwen would be the first to come. She could feed off her older sister’s cavalier attitude toward the world. But it was actually her father who appeared, bustling slowly toward her. Tears sprung to her eyes at the sight of him. Part of her wanted to run into his arms, while another shrank from him. If anyone might smell the blood on her, it would be the wise, old healer.

Brave face, remember? she said, grounding her teeth and forcing her lips into a smile. It wasn’t entirely forced—she truly was happy to see her papa—but it took every ounce of Frolic’s willpower not to bury her face in his neck and begin crying when his strong arms wrapped around her. She hugged him tightly in return, trying to ignore the guilt that welled up inside her. She was just glad that such a display was entirely appropriate for a reunion.

Papa, she said, sliding out of his hold only after she trusted herself to keep her composure. I’ve missed you! How are you? How’s everyone? And everything?

Inevitably, Eljay would ask her about her adventures. Frolic had a lot of stories she could tell him and the rest of the family, all the tales from before she’d gone to the dark side. Before she’d done the unthinkable, particularly in the eyes of a man who’d dedicated his life to healing others. A lump formed in Frolic’s throat at the thought, though she swallowed it, shining eyes clinging to her dad’s face.
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. :)
Brecheliant
Family
a hundred mini dreams and a healing scar ♥
2,140 Posts
Ooc — Iris
Master Medic
Master Midwife
Master Sitter
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#4
Perhaps it was that Frolic had indeed cleaned herself well, or perhaps it was that Eljay was too happy just to see his daughter to notice anything — he did not think of anything being off, instead losing himself in the embrace for a moment. Grateful that he got to see Frolic.

It did not take long for anxiety to set in — was she going to stay here? Or was she just dropping in for a visit? Would it be unfair to ask her which it was? Having learned that 'I missed you' might only push them further away, instead he chose different words. It's so good to see you, he murmured into her fur instead, just before Frolic unwrapped herself from his hug. She asked all the questions, and Eljay answered quickly with the biggest highlight: Chickadee had pups. They're beautiful, and healthy, and — everything is wonderful. Eljay smiled warmly as he thought of his grandchildren. Then he thought of Teya's departure, casting a dark rim around the mood. He said with a frown, Teya left, to go exploring, and — and what, exactly? — maybe — possibly — probably live elsewhere. It hurt to say it out loud, and he couldn't fully admit it to even himself that she was probably not coming back.

Are you staying? It would push her away.

Do you want to see them? he tried instead, thinking maybe he could entice her to stay with the sight of her nieces and nephew. Eljay and Maia had just discussed recently how they hoped everyone was okay, out there, and he had thought it's fine this way. It was fine that they had their own lives, and, well, it was... But seeing Frolic again made him long to have her back here, all the same. He knew he couldn't say it, thought. He knew she needed to live her own life.
Loner
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Ooc — Kat
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#5
Frolic knew she should’ve felt excitement at the news of her sister’s children, particularly because of the way Eljay spoke about them. She wondered if she would’ve felt this ambivalent before she’d done what she’d done. Then she remembered that she’d been this person all along, a thought that sat like a stone in the pit of her stomach.

The news of Teya’s absence stirred more of a feeling, a pang for the mild-mannered widow. Her father didn’t mention her children, so Frolic wondered if they’d gone with their mother. Now that she was older, with a much better understanding of death, she realized how terrible a loss they’d suffered after losing Bronco.

Frolic stiffened at Eljay’s invitation. It wasn’t that she was opposed to meeting her nieces and nephews, she just worried. What if she hurt them? She didn’t want to think she was capable of senseless violence, much less hurting the innocent. But Raveon had been with child when she’d…

Maybe later? she said, voice pitched slightly higher. Clearing her throat and reaching to hold onto one of his paws, Frolic said, I really want to spend time with you and mama, Glee and Badger too if they’re around. And what about Dwin? Is she here?
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. :)
Brecheliant
Family
a hundred mini dreams and a healing scar ♥
2,140 Posts
Ooc — Iris
Master Medic
Master Midwife
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#6
Something seemed off about Frolic. She seemed guarded, almost, as he told her about everything that had happened here. When he invited her, she even stiffened, as if she didn't want anything to do with them. Unable to understand why that would be the case — unless something was terribly wrong — Eljay frowned and weighed his options. He tried not to let his worry show, but it was impossible as always to hide his emotions fully, and he knew that, just like how he knew something was off about Frolic, that she would know something was off about him.

Before he could ask if everything was okay, Frolic instead suggested she wanted to spend time with the rest of the family. Why just the rest of the family? Right, of course, he said, his good mood a little dampened and worry still stirring inside of his gut. She's out exploring — Dwin, he said, But you're welcome to stay here and wait a while. Maybe later. Was there something bad between Frolic and Chickadee that Eljay didn't remember?

He opened his mouth, and after a few seconds of just his greying lip trembling, finally said — Sweetie... Is everything — Are you okay?
Loner
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Ooc — Kat
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#7
Of course Ceridwen was off exploring. Frolic’s lips twitched into a faint, fond smile. Part of her wished to join her elder sister, perhaps, though she was already starting to realize she couldn’t stay with family. She couldn’t put them at risk, either from the ridge’s retribution, should that day come, or from the dark and violent streak that lurked within her.

I’d like to stay a few days, at least, Frolic said quietly, the “but” going unsaid at the moment, particularly at her father’s pointed inquiry. Yes, papa, she quickly lied, pulling out all her bravado as she said, I’m just tired. Dwin might make it look easy but traveling is hard.

In her distraction, she hadn’t realized Eljay hadn’t answered about her litter mates. She thought of them again now, her lips pressing together and her brow knitting ever so slightly. He also hadn’t said anything specifically about her mother, though her expression smoothed a little when she realized he surely would’ve mentioned if anything was amiss with them.

Can we go find mama? she entreated when suddenly the mentions of Chickadee’s pups—and the ghosts of Raveon’s—popped a possibility into her head. Is she gonna have more pups this year…?
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. :)
Brecheliant
Family
a hundred mini dreams and a healing scar ♥
2,140 Posts
Ooc — Iris
Master Medic
Master Midwife
Master Sitter
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#8
Eljay smiled as Frolic said she'd stay a few days. At least he would have an opportunity to pry a little further, try to figure out what it was that was bothering her. At this point, Eljay was convinced that something was wrong, and he wouldn't just give up trying to figure out what it was that was wrong with Frolic. It frustrated him that she wasn't letting him in, when she answered 'yes'. Just tired... Perhaps young Eljay would've believed her, but in his late age, Eljay had learned that he may not be as good at others at everything, but he could trust his emotional instincts. For now, though, he knew that it would risk her running off if he pushed too hard, so he could do nothing with his frustrations and knowledge. He'd try over the course of the next days to get something out of her, but he knew that it was difficult for parents to get children to confide (well, some of them, anyway).

Of course, Eljay said when Frolic asked if they could go and see Maia. He turned away from the borders and led the way into Brecheliant. At Frolic's question, he chuckled, and said: We haven't really talked about it very much, but we are thinking that maybe — he paused a few seconds, wanting to breach the subject delicately, as he didn't want to say we're getting old, — Nature has chosen it to be time for us to enjoy our grandchildren instead. Then, a bit more hasty than he had intended, he added: And children, of course, while sending Frolic a soft smile.
Loner
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Ooc — Kat
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#9
She thought perhaps Maia might be resting someplace, heavily pregnant and preparing for birth. But that wasn’t the case at all, according to papa. Frolic met this information with a look of mild surprise. She didn’t fault them for not wanting more children—before her own melodrama, Frolic had concluded she never wanted them herself—but since when were they grandparents? Somehow, she hadn’t made the connection until Eljay slapped the label on himself. And after a moment’s consideration, she found she didn’t like it. It made them sound old. Frolic refused to think of her parents that way.

She said nothing as she fell into step beside her father, reacquainting herself with the sights, sounds and smells of the caldera as they traversed it. It seemed so much smaller than she remembered, which might’ve been funny to Frolic if she had been in the mood for jokes. But something about it unsettled her. Here was another impression from her childhood being warped by her new reality, her new and dark sense of self. It was troubling, prompting Frolic to drop her gaze to her own forepaws rather that continue looking around.

She would only raise them to look upon her mother’s face once they reached her.

It probably makes sense to fade here?
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. :)