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[ PM ] Observed Future
#1

TAKA RAIDEN

Since meeting the lovely Miss Asya at the Cascades --lovely? was that what he thought of her?-- they'd decided to take on the life of adventure together, at least for the time being. He didn't know how long the arrangement would last but he hoped it would expire no time soon. He genuinely enjoyed the company of Nastasya, a kindred spirit in a world that seemed sorely lacking in wolves that were interested in all the little curiosities of life. Here was a woman he could speculate with and find enjoyment in the things around him. Since setting out from the Cascades their travel had not been quiet but filled with interesting conversation about this and that as they wandered along, he in the front with Nastasya within easy conversing distance.

He lead because it was easy enough to do. Hia was known to him like the back of his paw. The Hidden Forest was where he grew up but the rest of his land had been his oyster. After the crisp cold of the Cascades he figured a visit to the springs was in order. Perhaps they'd even get lucky and see the monkeys that the springs were known for... from far away, of course. He knew better than to test their patience... that was another visit and one that he'd barely escaped with all his body parts in tact.

The mists were what he came across first and soon they had the spring. It appeared that no one else had come here today so they'd be alone to relax as they pleased.

Carefully he lowered himself down onto his belly with his forepaws stretched into the water. He shivered with delight at the feeling of the warmth on his pads while his eyes eased closed with a content sigh. “Ah, Miss Asya, this is absolutely wonderful. Do you have a hypothesis on why these particular waters are so warm all the time?” He figured it had something to do with the lava or the volcano but he was curious on what the older wolf had to say.

“I am speaking”

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#2



The medium marigold pelted woman trailed along behind the male of opposite colors, watching it sway endlessly with each step they took in a mild daze of sorts. Ever since she was blessed by his presence, her eyes seemed to be unable to look away for long, as though afraid if they drifted from the rusts and ebony that they would disappear forever. It was childish, she knew but she just couldn't help feeling like she was still walking inside a dream that she would wake from any second. It wasn't as though she hadn't had traveling companions before but the depth of connection she felt to this one in particular was what drew her in all the more, wanting to pluck his brain in so many ways and see how much more they had in common or if the initial interactions had been merely a coincidence. There were other things she thought about when it came to him but they were a little more on the over caring side that she had been suppressing a little, knowing some didn't take well to it, especially her touchy feely things she had a habit of doing.

She still wasn't fully sure what he wanted her to teach him, come to think of it, he never really went in depth on that, not the specifics at least. It was only her assumption that he meant to teach him of places and creatures he might not have encountered before and she figured that she could do without too many problems, more so if it was a plant as it was more her specialty. So with that in her mind, she was more so curious about why they headed to a place he seemed to know well enough about but did not bother to question it. Maybe he just wanted to warm up from the northern chill or observe the monkeys, likely discuss them since he was a chatterbox on the subject of how and why certain things did what.

Slipping into the mists that blocked their vision just a little, she sped up her steps so not to lose any sight of him, knowing one wrong move here could lead to a troop of hot spring dwelling macaques that would tear one limb from limb. She personally had never experienced it but she had healed wounds from those with less luck than herself, though her rule was to never go alone in the first place. Slowing for a moment, looking behind her to trace the swirling fog to make sure she did not see any prying eyes from the creatures, she was relieved to see none. With that, she pranced ahead and nearly crashed into her more masculine companion, skidding to a halt as he had slowed in his advancement on a vat of water.

A sound of relief caught her attention as the image of the other shrank into the waters but not deep enough to submerge himself fully in. Her ears pricked as his voice broke the silence, swiveling for a moment before focusing solely on him. Of course what he was to say was of wanting to understand something that was not something any wolf could truly know, only speculate. If she was being frank, she never really thought about why the hot springs were the way they were, so no answer swiftly came to her. Treading only a little further away, she glanced over the different structures of rock and observed all of her surroundings for an answer that wasn't the easiest one she could muster. "I can only guess from the volcanic rock that lays claim here, it has to do with molten rock below the surface. The bubbling in some pools could be from tunnels full of heated air but I cannot say for sure. Most would just rant that it is the stars that made this place..." she laughed uncomfortably toward the end, having always had issues with the concept of the Stars but did not fully cast them aside.

Instead of trying to sound smart or elaborate further, a flicker of her eyes to a pool of water not far away from them caught her attention far more. Since she could remember, she had always adored anything water, from snow and the oceans to storms that raged loudly in the sky. No matter how chaotic the water could be, it was still water, still pure, gave life and it brought her a odd sense of comfort. Unlike him, whom was slow in his approach, she was far more chaotic like water itself. Without much thought, she merrily charged forward before gracefully springing up high into the air and then plunging into the water below. It didn't come without casualties as the water was shot up and flung in all directions, including her more gentle companion. She did not emerge right away, in true bliss as the warm water chased away every chill in her body, wishing to stay under for far longer but the urge to breath forced her to stand up to push her head back above the surface. She might not be able to swim well in a crashing ocean current, a still pool on the other paws was far more tame and bent to her will.

As her head reconnected with the now slightly chiller than before, moist air above, she took in a few breaths before giggling softly from joy. Her ears were waterlogged but she made no attempts to clear them from being muffled, swimming over toward where she had left Raiden alone, the water shallow enough to walk but she preferred being mostly engulfed by the heat. It was like being in a never ending hug, which did make her think of the warmth that had been exchanged for the brief time she had tackled him into one on impulse before. "Stop thinking for a moment and just enjoy yourself, sweetie. You'll turn grey before I do," she mused, unaware if he had been hit by her splash or not.



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"Speaking"

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#3

TAKA RAIDEN

He could just see the faint motions of her ears in the fog. They were wide and very rounded, a trait not often seen but one that he found to be cute, especially when they radared around. Such a thing was kept to himself, even as her attention shifted to him and she waded out to the water. It was a moment before she answered but one that he did not mind. Patiently he waited with eyes half-lidded while he allowed the waters to soak into his pads. He wasn't completely unaware of his surroundings for he knew that the monkeys were around and an ever-present threat but so far so good.

Her words in reply to his question caused his eyes to open a fraction of an inch while he pricked his ears towards her, listening with rapt attention. The volcanic rock, basically the same thoughts as his own and he nodded his head in agreement. He last sentence caused him to flinch just slightly as he remembered his mother. She was one such wolf that would rant and rave about it... He remembered those lectures all too well. Lectures about the stars.

Lectures about how those born under the Bear were unholy and should beg forgiveness from the stars.

“When I see remnants of stardust below then I might be more inclined to believe such things.” The words could be taken as jest but the way he ran his tongue over his nose would show his nervousness. He did not truly believe but he also did not truly not believe either. Did her views align with his in this too?

Was she also a Bear? Did she have family that condemned her for such things? Did her family even believe the gods as stars? Believe the same things his mother did? What if--

Splash!

Raiden yelped as a spray of water jolted him out of his thoughts. Fortunatley it wasn't cold but it was still surprising to be thinking one moment and the next be shaken away from --pessimistic-- thoughts. Nastasya came over to him, grinning and teasing.

The dark male pouted at her, as if her words and the splash had sent his mood spiraling down... but then...

He let out a loud laugh and shook himself viciously, dislodging the water on his fur and hopefully spraying her with it. He knew how to have fun. Most of his life might have been filled with lessons and his own self-imposed studying but he'd had loving brothers and knew how to play. “You're asking a lot, Miss Asya... but if you insist...” He leaped into the water not far from Nastasya and landed with a flop that sent up waves of water to splash over them both.

He looked back at her with a cheeky grin, “Oops.”

“I am speaking”

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#4



Her head tilted only a small degree as her brows furrowed some at his response about the stars, it felt like she could feel a hatred burning bright in him, steaming away all waters around them with the spite it held. She knew not everyone thought they were real or liked them, some straight out fearing them altogether but the words he toted were not just that of someone that didn't believe. No. It was of someone that may have been hurt by them or believed and lost that faith. Thinking about it, she once was a little more open to faith in the stars being of something forgiving and benevolent to those that followed them with an open heart but it had eroded upon her parents being killed and the damage that befell the once kind Kassian in both mind and body. She found it hard to think them kind beings when they let such damage crash down onto her only blood, leaving her alone, scared and physically unscathed as a yearling. Sometimes she wondered if her brother resented her for not falling like he had, to the point she blamed herself for everything that happened instead but never saying so aloud.

What good was berating oneself in front of someone that lost everything, including themselves?

Her jaw clenched before she let out a breath, swishing her head just a little to push away those thoughts when she had jumped into the warm liquid below. In a way, she wanted to confront the topic but did not wish to pry beyond her bounds, nor did she desire to continue thinking about something that was far too late to fix. Impossible to fix. She could only let it go and continue on with her life and for the time being, their lives. She had a purpose to fulfill, a teacher for him and a healer for everyone. She would keep that true until the day she died or she was left all alone in the world.

Looking up as she floated idle in front of his position along the shallower pools, she noticed his pout before she came to view anything else about him, confused to say the least. Just as the rest of him, his lip was of the same dark ebon as the rest of his body, even so the darkness did not hide the rather conflicted emotion of finding his expression cute and worrying. "Are you..." ..okay? she finished the thought in her head, slowly taking notice of the droplets that decorated his face like little gemstones and made him appear somewhat exotic. Her much paler face flushed though still could not be viewed thanks to the mist concealing smaller details, admittedly thinking him rather gorgeous the way the light reflected off both his eyes of lightning and the water that clung gently to his fur, he was like a thunderstorm formed into a wolf.

That daze of observing every inches of his face and failing to apologize for her wrong doings, were broken. Her ears flicked backward at the shift in him going from looking sour to highly entertained, laughing ringing true in the dark slates around them. Her eyes clenched tightly closed as he shook and sprayed off the water she had gotten on him, putting it kindly back onto her from which it came. She could not fully make out what he said, it so murky in her clogged ears as she gave a lopsided grin in response since he at least seemed happy now.

It was not long after she had opened her eyes that she had to shield them yet again from a far bigger splash as he ascended into the waters with her, sending a cascade of water along the top of her. The first thing she would do was snort out any liquid that had the audacity to make a home in her nostrils. Slowly her rubies came back into view as she faintly glared in his direction as she saw that cheeky grin of his, seeing his mouth move just a little in an attempt to elicit a sense that it was an accident but not really remorse. Her pink nose wiggled a little as her pink and liver spotted tongue slid over her nose to lick away the excess water that dripped down over the canals. She wasn't actually angry at him, more so surprise he did what he had in the first place.

Carefully she migrated closer to him, that expression still well plastered on her face, looking like a predator about to take his life away. Her ears went back the more she closed off that distance and slowly slid her paws onto the ground below her to have some leverage in her next action. Coming to his side, she raised above the surface finally, attempting to set one paw onto his back to get tall enough before she playfully tries cuffing his ear with her fangs and tongue, lightly pulling on it as if to gently chide him without words.


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"Speaking"

@Raiden | notes


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#5

TAKA RAIDEN

Oh that expression. How amusing it was to see that little glare on her features, accented with water that dripped down her face. His own maw wrinkled in an amused little grin, roguish in appearance as one corner of his mouth lifted up into a boyish smirk. He knew she couldn't possibly be mad about the splash, that she was only playing it up as he had. Still, the little display she held of glaring at him and sliding ever so slowly over to build tension...

There was a stirring of anticipation in his gut and an excitement as he waited for her to come closer. “Now now, let's be reasonable about this...” He attempted to placate her, playing into the part of hapless victim quite nicely as he slowly began his attempt to slink away from her "wrath". His larger body began to slide closer to the ground while that cheeky grin turned into something more goofy in an attempt to appease her.

All to no avail.

Nastasya grappled with him and in the end cuffed him about the ears with fang and tongue. It tickled and filled him with an unexplained warmth that she wanted to play with him so, that he had a friend after a while of wandering alone. Gently he allowed his head to be pulled back towards her so that he could lick out his tongue in her direction. “Ah! My ear! Please have mercy or you'll rip it off, you red-eyed fiend!” He tried to make it sound as if he were seriously offended at having her atop him but he couldn't hold in the giggles.


“I am speaking”

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#6



Eyes scanned him invasively, watching every muscle that would flinch or twitch to indicate what he might do or not do, keeping focus as her prowl narrowed in on his larger frame. That unscrupulous grin that egged her becoming more and more beguiling in her wish to playfully punish him for his crime of going past just returning the favor, having the audacity to cover her in liquid more than once. Uneven karma, she had to return the balance of ying and yang. His words barely reached her as he attempted to call her off of her hunt, watching him cower back and move to get away from her but not with nearly enough vigor to succeed. If it wasn't for that expression of his, she might have backed off and gave him back his space out of curtesy for his personal bubble and apologize for upsetting him, if not submit entirely to him from feeling bad.

As her jaws lay claim to the cusp of his ear, she did not pull hard enough to harm him or even a child for that matter, delicately pulling toward her though his head seemed to follow her movements without any restraint. Ruby eyes widened just a little at his rather silly display of a tongue that beckoned further poor behavior as she pulled just a little harder with a small smile to the plead to release him. With the movement, some of the muffling water that lingered deep in her ears had been sloshed out and allowed her to hear the small giggle that escaped her companion.

She couldn't help but huff lightly before letting go of his fragile sheet of skin and tissue, giving a small shake of her head to rid herself of the water, once again being able to hear clearly after a couple quick jerks. Her muzzle rested gingerly against the softer fur behind his ear, letting out some relaxing breaths as her world stilled once more, taking a second to adjust from her senses returning mostly in full. Carefully she scanned the haze around them to make sure no creatures had encroached upon them from how rowdy that had gotten, surprised to see no attention had come upon them, all was calm and peaceful.

"I suppose I can spare you, this time, pretty eyes," she cooed against his ear, giving it a soft lick to clean away the pooled spit from her prior hold. Carefully she removed herself from him, mindful of not allowing herself to be overly clingy out of her own guilty pleasure of contact, not sure how much he actually enjoyed such things. The only thing she could really determine was that he didn't show any signs that he was uncomfortable or off put by her more intimate approach from time to time, that did not mean he welcomed it. With that thought, she made sure to put if only the smallest gap between them, drawing more into the deeper side of water before looking at his form with pure curiosity.

Come to think of it, they talked a lot about the things around them, what purpose they had, how they worked, why things did certain things while others didn't. They did not divulge much about one another, instead they had moved with the flow of the wind and allowed their spirits to guide them to where they were now. She did not know him yet she felt like did but really she didn't. He was a carved piece of wood with a story she did not know, one she wanted to know both the past and future of. It was likely her shyness that made her want to just hope it would come out naturally as time went on, little tidbits coming out because of something they saw or a topic that drew out a memory but she felt herself feeling a little impatient.

"Have you always been like this?" she asked before a nervousness rattled through her every bone, turning her head away from him in embarrassment. "...o-oh no that sounded rude. Sorry! Ermm I m-mean have you always s-seen the world beyond the eyes of instinct, seen it for something more beautiful?" Oh how she wanted to just put her nose under the water and drowned right now, rid herself of the humiliation that lingered in the warm spring air. How was she supposed to fix sounding like a yammering buffoon? The longer she would think about it, the worse it could probably get, she had to stay on her paws or allow herself to sink further into her own self pity.

"I just...I just want to get to know you, Raiden," she started softly, glancing up at him sheepishly before tucking her head back away. "I-I can understand if you don't want to make this arrangement personal...so forget I s-said anything if you don't," she spoke only a little above a whisper, loud enough for him to hear but quiet enough not to disturb the water with her breath. He wanted her as a teacher, she had already crossed that line when she played around with him, she really should focus on being professional. Deep down she wasn't sure she was capable of that.


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"Speaking"

@Raiden | notes


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#7

TAKA RAIDEN

"I suppose I can spare you, this time, pretty eyes." She cooed into his ear after giving it a lick. Pretty eyes? “Much appreciated.” He was pleased that both of them could rough-house together and have such fun. One thing about being alone was that you didn't have anyone to play with or tease or simply enjoy a hot bath with. After splitting with Sanada he swiftly realized that. He knew the adventurer's life could be a hard one that one had to travel by themselves most of the time but he was pleased with the turn of events now.

He took Nastasya's splitting off towards the deeper waters as their fun for the day having ended. Ah well, he knew it wouldn't last forever but it was fun while it had. The young male lowered himself further into the water, allowing it to come all the way up to his neck while he half-lidded his eyes. Ears and eyes did a cursory scan of their surroundings, just in case any inquisitive monkeys showed up. While they were excellent subjects to look at, he didn't particularly want to get caught off-guard by them. Deadly beasts they were to the unsuspecting wolf.

The sudden question from his companion caught him off-guard as he turned his head towards her. Eyes widening slightly in confusion. Always been like this? Like what? Charming? Inquisitive? Bold? Weird? He blinked blankly at her, obvious at a loss to which adjective she meant. She went on, the nervousness palpable in her stammering... How endearing. He smiled reassuringly, letting her know that he hadn't taken offense to what she said. “You're quite alright, Miss Asya, don't be nervous. It takes a lot to offend me... trust me.” He chuckled quietly as he thought back to his mother and how she had offended him. At least in the beginning. He'd gotten good later on in life at either tuning out her insults or doing things that would bring on her ire less. But he doubted Nastasya would ever say anything to insult him as she did, nor would she know the correct buttons to press to get him into anger like the one who birthed him did.

“I know I said I wanted you as a sort of teacher but I'm hoping that we could, well, be friends as well. Study-partners in this vast array of beauty around us.” He only had said teacher because she seemed to know so much and where his knowledge lacked she could usually be trusted to fill in the blanks and if they both didn't know they could discuss a possible solution together. That's what friends did and he certainly already considered her that after their bit of traveling together. “Towards that end, I'd love to get to know you as well.” He knew from his little bit of experience with her that she seemed fond of touch which he certainly wasn't opposed to. it was a bit more touchy-feely than he was used to but not something that he disliked and was willing to explore it a bit more.

So, crouched in the water still, he scooted a bit closer. Closing the distance but not quite touching her yet. “To answer your previous question, yes, for as long as I can remember. I was constantly getting in trouble by my mother for watching prey and asking questions about why they did 'this or that' instead of hunting or eating. I was also getting into trouble for being a bit too inquisitive about the stars. If there were gods in the stars why did we never see them come down? Or why they would let this wolf live and not that one? Why take away this wolf's mind and not another's? Could it not just be nature itself or... uh, something else...” He trailed off, looking away as if expecting that she would lift her voice in anger, as well, for he was questioning the gods' will. Like a true blasphemer...

Like a true Bear.

“I am speaking”

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#8



It took little time for the other to descend below the surface but they did not appear to dip their head under as they relaxed, catching the glimpse of each wrinkle in their face had smoothed over. With that, the she-wolf felt she had be the one on alert, surveying the landscape and listening to any peculiar sounds that might rise up, stealing away their comforts at a drop of a pin. That did not mean she did not advance into her own little bout of loosening up from her nonstop touring the world, looking through ever nook and cranny for something she missed. Come to remember, if they moved toward the opposite of the volcano that emerged behind her, they could continue on and have a beautiful glimpse of the ocean. Perhaps they could see the narwhals again, with any luck and relive the experience a second time but this time as something more than just curious strangers. The thought slipped away when she realized even if such did flourish in the tides, they would be small from the edge of the cliff, not certain they could rock climb down safety. Last she recalled there were no goat trails to guide them down among the springs, to see over the edge, one would have to removes themselves from the warmth as well.

That tranquil expression the male held was roughed up by her initial question, he looked rather bewildered as far as she could tell but not angry in the time it took for her to hide away her face from his view. So far she had not seem him as anything other than a giant fluff ball, so the chances he would turn into a rampaging dragon felt unlikely but she learned never to read a wolf by their cover alone. Just as the most corrupted wolf could have a heart of gold underneath, the most sweet and innocent wolves could bare the sharpest fangs once pushed far enough. As much as she trusted he was sugar on sugar, she was very much subjective as well, having shaped a small attachment to his company that it was so easy to write off negatives he might possess.

Her nerves were still in shambles as he insisted nothing she said was offensive to him, that she should calm down in kinder more soothing words. That did relieve her a little but it also increased her anxieties as to what he might say next, so used to others saying one thing and changing their mind the next or even doing so with actions. Her ears flitted as he continued on after a brief pause and her heart popped a little against her ribs at the sound of his voice cutting the stillness and her head tucked deeper against her shoulder for a moment, quite ready for him to tell her off. That did not come, his voice never once rose with hostility or distain toward her and instead things far more pleasant met her ears. Be friends? Study-partners? These particular words brought her out of hiding herself away in her own fur and the fog that hung heavy in the air. So stuck on teacher and protégé, she didn't really bother to think past those options of what they could be otherwise and she still didn't really think on it, mind buzzing as he did not give her much time to think before he stated something that made her smile like an idiot. Towards that end, I'd love to get to know you as well. They were such simple words but ones that lifted her heart and made her far less nervous, at least in the way she had been before. There was still an uneasiness but she wasn't so sure why.

Yet again, before she could fully think out everything, he had gone to his next purpose, one that threw her off any stick she had left to stand on as he moved closer to her but did not move so close that they touched. She figured he didn't want to speak while there was a distance she had put between them on purpose and let it drip off her back, not thinking too far into it. However, as he answered her question from moments prior, that is where she looked at him like a deer in headlights for a moment as he droned on, it seemed his chatter was not impeded in any way just yet, that was a good sign. Despite the subject that it slowly turned into, she slowly found herself giggling at how stupid she had been and how he did not change in the slightest from her less than graceful tumble of words. It was short lived, however, as she noticed this time he had turned his head away from her. This made her backtrack in her thoughts on everything he had said, mostly on the subject of the stars being something he had troubles believing in and in that she could not deny she was surprised but at the same time she was not, thinking back to when she had joked about them before and his words had gotten gloomy quite quickly.

Taking in a breath, she thought for a moment of how to go about this and she knew the best way was to speak of her own standing with stars and why. She knew it would painful to speak of it but she figured if he so easily shared with her a fragment of his childhood, she should do the same. "When I was still a pup, I believed in the stars as peaceful and enlightened beings, beings that guided us through life and made sure everything was balanced and happy. I'd be lying to you if I said I still believed that. I still see them as something that exists, at the very least," she started before glancing at him, knowing the hardest part for her to speak of was next.

"For me, it wasn't until everyone was taken away from me, by the time I was a yearling, that all trust in them guiding us tumbled into dust. My parents were free spirits that never did anyone harm, in fact they helped others with no wish for anything in return. They were slaughtered out of sport by a pack, my mother right before my own eyes...I also saw them take away sight of one eye from my brother when he tried to stop them. At first I questioned why the stars allowed such things to happen but by the end of the night, I realized they have no hold on what we do. We only believe they do because we do not want to take ownership of our own wrong doings," she breathed, keeping the rest of the incident to herself and not incriminating her brother either. If they ever encountered him together, she did not want him instantly trying to do something they bother might regret.

"Though I suppose if I am wrong and they do control our lives; I should take the hint that I don't deserve a family," she laughed at her own expense, trying to lighten the mood.

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"Speaking"

@Raiden | notes


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#9

TAKA RAIDEN

His golden eyes found her form as she began to speak along with what he'd said. He wasn't completely sure if he could agree with her childhood beliefs... With what he was raised to belief he wasn't sure if he'd ever thought of them as peaceful and enlightened. How was it enlightening to believe that some wolves were better than others just because of the stars they were born under? To believe that these were more pure than those because of the constellations. It didn't seem fair. Not to mention a constellation didn't make or break a wolf's personality. He couldn't disagree, however, with the stars being real things. They were up in the sky every night. How could would deny their existence? Perhaps that's why he hadn't completely written off the gods as possibly being alive.

Then, she spoke of her childhood. Of what had happened to her family. It was exactly as he just said... How could benevolent beings allow such a thing to happen? Especially to someone as kind as Nastasya? He felt a stirring deep down inside of him... Something protective. A want to make her feel better if this was still weighing heavily on her heart.

The space between them was swiftly decreased and was eliminated altogether as Raiden came over to her side and brushed his sodden pelt with hers. His head he draped over the back of her neck in a sort of hug, one that was meant to be reassuring. Touch, it was what she liked and what he wanted to give freely to her now. “The gods don't control us, we all make our own decisions in life. Good or bad.” If the gods controlled everything would the Eldritch have burned? Would there be any conflict? Or would this world be completely untouched by Outsiders? Ultimately they were masters of their own fate and no stars in the sky could change that. “Everyone deserves a family... well, the non-murdery sort of wolves do, anyway.” He grinned through the fluff on her nape, hoping to lighten the mood even more.

“And I'm sorry for what happened, though I'm sure that means little now... You and your family did not deserve that.”
“I am speaking”

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#10



There was tranquility and as much as it normally drove her crazy, it was slightly welcomed from the chatter that was constantly going on between the two, a much needed silence that even the water did not disturb. No matter how hard it was to talk about her past, it wasn't something she ever really dwelled on for long, she did not have that luxury to mourn those that she did nothing to stop from dying, not that she could have saved her father. She never saw his body and could only take her brother's word for whatever happened to him as he had been killed far from her view and her knowledge, perhaps she could allow herself to cry over his death but she did not, she could not. There was a numbness and it had been there for so many years that she could easily turn a blind eye to it and move on without a second thought.

The steady undulation of water caught her attention only a little, head tilted down and away from the one causing them, thinking he was separating himself and possibly even headed to leave the water they lounged in. Perhaps she had been too open and careless in what she said, it might have been a topic he did not wish to hear or had become uncomfortable by and she was about to apologize for doing so. That was, until she felt a gentle pressure on her side, rubies widened just a little as her brain didn't seem to work for a moment. That same fizz out in her brain occurred a second time as a neck shrouded her own in a way she had not felt since she was far younger, when a loved one would protect the neck of another in their sleep. In this case, it was not out of trying to protect a vulnerable spot but seemed more meant for solace, it sending a warmth in her heart as it sped up just a little before relaxing back down to a calm. With minor hesitation, mostly in thought it was just an overly real daydream, she leaned into the dark rusted pelt that clung slightly to her from the dampness. It felt so strange not to be the one that initiated a hug first and she relished it.

An ear gave a thoughtful twitch as he went on about the gods, letting out a very faint humored breath from her nose, starting to wonder if he had met someone of the Fairfolk at some point to be so weighted by the subject. She chose not to bring them up in expectation of an evenbigger rant from him and she didn't feel like sitting around for her ear being chewed off when she was the one that wanted the relaxation in the first place. Not that she couldn't drown him out but that would be rude. So instead she entertained what he had said directly. "I just wish most of those choices everyone made were good. You are one of very few I have met that are as sweet as sugarcane, if only there were more of you," she cooed toward the end, allowing herself to sink further against him and tilting her head to rest her cheek along his neck.

The non-murdery sort of wolves do, anyway. This made her stiffen just a little, an urge to defend some of the wolves she had met that had murdered others of their kind but she could not chide him for something that was for the most part true, even she could not pretend it was not bad to kill each other no matter how much she had dismissed that in others that seemed willing to turn over a new leaf. There were so very few things that she could not condone and smile past, murdering just to murder was not something she could think was okay but if there was a reason behind it, was it just as bad? It did not end there as he continued on with an apology for what she went through and this got her to relax a little back to normal. "It is in our blood to kill, otherwise we would not do so to eat and live like deer but even deer will fight to the death for a mate," she tried to keep it lite, ending it with a slightly gruesome joke that was not a lie either, she had seen a few bucks fall from a scuffle.

Taking in a breath, she decided it best to leave it at that and not try to cause either a rant nor argument about her view on things, though she would not hate if he went on to discuss the habits of a deer, at least it would be better than discussing dead wolves. "And you do not need to apologize, you have no part in it and it is wrong of me to make you feel bad for me, that was not my intent. The sentiment is appreciated all the same and I do hope what you say is true, I would love to have a family of my own," she whispered, keeping her voice down so not to possibly draw negative attention from the primates they had yet to see.

------------
"Speaking"

@Raiden | notes


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