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[ P ] The Only Exception
Ilios

rank: Agelai

gender: Female

age: 1

posts: 155

LunarSolstice

Stardust: 980✪
#11
Sif

As she sipped away some of the blood from his facial features, she stiffened at what he had to say in response, ears pinning and a heat pulsating in her cheeks. This time it wasn't from rage but embarrassment to hear him repeat her comment, then to tease her only made her more uncertain of what to do or say. It wasn't like she went around telling others she barely knew that she tolerated them, let alone somewhat kind of liked them but she had and she dug her own grave with it. He could toss dirt overtop and bury her. Part of her wanted to go back to the anger and shut him out, however, she grimaced as a more friendly smile came to form on his muzzle. "Probably because I don't make a habit of showing or telling others I do. Guess that makes you an exception," she let out a flustered huff in his face, sending a wave of heated air out of her nostrils that would make the fur along his forehead move around like that of wheat fields before she had pulled away entirely once his paw was off her.

She didn't know what else to say, taking it back would be dishonest and ineffective, she was certain breaking her morals would just cause more teasing anyway. She was confused about everything that was going on around him to be fair; making physical contact of her own accord to blundering things carelessly that she would normally refrain from. Ears flicked as she glanced toward the south as she wondered if it was because she was so far away from the caves that she was being too at ease compared to normal, defenses only half up or she was growing too soft. She didn't want to believe he was having any effect on her. Exasperated, she sighed and flopped down to start chewing on the carcass he had caught for her, apparently. Having already heavily dissected it, she couldn't just play around with the body anymore and was stuck actually eating it, much to her dissatisfaction.

At least it wasn't fish.

An ear curved back as she glanced toward his direction as he started to answer the question, instantly feeling uncertainty as he spoke of the forest and of Nassar. She was supposed to be taking all of the summer heat to think about whether she was joining or not and honestly, she was learning more toward Ilios but she wasn't set on anything. She paused before ripping a big chuck of meat up from the rabbit's exposed flesh, trying to prolong having to give any of her two sense on the matter, waiting to see if he would say anything further. What he had to say last had her head turn all the way around to look at him, a slab of meat hanging from her mouth, cheeks puffed out as she was like a hamster stuffing her cheeks, mostly to prevent speech from being possible. Why would he follow her any further if he could go back to his pack? Obviously he had to be worth something to the matriarch else she wouldn't keep him, at least that was what she understood from the whole not being a charity thing. There was something she probably shouldn't withhold from him anymore if he insisted on bringing her there, she felt he wasn't going to leave her alone even if she told him to fuck off with that last comment.

Reluctantly, she chewed for what felt like forever before she managed to choke down the rabbit, swallow a bit of fur in the process. That was unpleasant and her stomach felt like a brick now, it appeared to even make her stomach look more filled out and in turn her less wiry. "Nassar Tiamat...offered me a life in Ilios before the pack formed, she'll be expecting an answer. I don't know if I have one," she murmured. One thing hung on her mind more than anything else as she focused on him with uncertainty, eyes searching for answers.

"Why would she want me to surpass her own sister's children?" she asked about the only thing that seemed to be in the terms of service for joining, besides loyalty, something she felt the matriarch didn't answer outright. When confronted, she had changed it to equal or surpass but something just seemed off for her to say the first thing to begin with. She wasn't their blood or even from some side addition that served the family. It just seemed odd the she-wolf would want a complete stranger to rise to some greatness above her own.


___

@Khepri | notes


"No amount of sleep in the world could cure the tiredness I feel."


Manip © Lunicea, Coding © Plymouth

[Image: dcuf83u-2f82e0dd-0268-4c84-b7a4-25c925beed43.png]
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Ilios

rank: Scout

gender: Male

age: 3

posts: 60

Essie

Stardust: 385✪
#12

The man smiled, happy to hear that he was the exception to anything. He'd never really been such. "Well, I guess I'm pretty lucky," he mused, even as she huffed in his face. Eventually she settled to eat the tattered mess of a rabbit she'd left behind and he was glad to see her do so. He really wished he could have provided her with more, but knowing now what he did he wasn't sure she'd even eat that much. She seemed uncomfortable just downing the small bits of meat she had now. He hadn't noticed before, but she was skinnier than she should be and this worried him, though he didn't say anything else about it.

What she said next surprised him. Khepri's brow rose as Sif mentioned Nassar had offered her a place in Ilios, but she did not know whether she wanted to join or not. but then she went on to mention Sinai's children, and something about surpassing them. maybe nassar thought it would be more of a challenge for the 'lesser' tiamats to have outside influence as well. or maybe things had changed since they had last spoken, because he was not sure on their relationship anymore. to him, the pack seemed on edge with one another, but tolerant. At the meeting, Nassar had forgiving Sinai essentially.

That wouldn't erase years of tradition in the blink of an eye, however. He saw the way they all looked at each other, the way they sometimes spoke to each other. The man sighed, wishing they could just accept each other as family and move on. "I don't think anyone can answer that but Nassar..." he paused a moment, thinking about Sif joining Ilios. it would be nice to have a friend there with him.

But he couldn't push her to do something that might not be right for her.

"I, for one, would love to have you in Ilios... it would be nice to have a friend around, but you need to do what's best for you. what about your pack?"

"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶ claerie
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Ilios

rank: Agelai

gender: Female

age: 1

posts: 155

LunarSolstice

Stardust: 980✪
#13
Sif

She disregarded his comment about being lucky, not really thinking so since last she recalled most didn't find her all that pleasant to be around, not that it matter. Creating, forming bonds always had brought nothing but the plague, turning her heart into a smaller and smaller void though it had expanded a little, possibly even taking some shape. She couldn't deny that she had been making some connections with members of Astaria but they were still few and far between, even the one she could called family was becoming more and more vacant as she felt their feelings rested on the lines of empathy verse genuine love. Love. Something Nassar had said her family gained their strength to protect and here she was lacking it, even more so if she joined them. A blank slate. A new start. Well for the most part, she already upset one member without even trying by telling him to not foreign concern. She didn't understand why she was starting to get the urge to apologize when she still didn't get what the problem was to begin with.

Slowly she started to smear the blood of the rabbit onto her legs, listening to what he had to say about her straight foreword question about her placement. The iron slipped from her muzzle, leaving behind a pink stain while adding a red dampness on her legs, resembling that of gel as it clumped her short furs together into patches. It was kind of gross to look at but she cleaned it up with precise rasps, trying to keep the amount of times she flicked her tongue out to a minimum. "Already asked, she just told me she'd kick me out if I failed to at least match them," she grumbled, indifferent. "I have no desire to prove myself to anyone in your pack or anyone in this land. Being able to live up to the name given to me is all that matters to me," she mumbled as she chewed a little on her own leg. What could make her mother proud, that was all she wanted and matriarch had brought back memories she thought she lost of the woman long ago. Maybe, inadvertently she wanted to show her worth to the woman of flames without realizing it, out of some childish need.

Head turned to him as she noticed her had gone silent for a moment in thought before he said something that caught her off guard, her brow furrowing. He said a list of things that caused her emotions to fluctuate, from wanting her there to saying things that made him sound like Blalckfoot, with the whole what is best for you bit. Initially she found it insulting when the blue woman had said it but perhaps it was simply how they said it that had her so annoyed and unwanted but maybe now that she heard it from yet another's mouth, it was a sign of caring to some degree. That's the only thing Khepri had been doing since they met was taking care of her, making sure she was safe, not allowing her to become loney and trying to make her smile. It was infuriating yet she found herself drawn to it since there was no possible strings attached to others she knew.

Taking in a deep breath, she pushed herself up and started to move away from him, not wanting to deal with the twisting in her gut and storm in her head. Where she wanted to leave or at least that is what she told herself, she slowly started to turn around and move back toward the male much to her frustration. Slowing, she finally came to a stop once she made it to being a couple steps away from his side, glaring at him from the corner of her flame like eyes. "Never said we were friends," she stated in monotone. Carefully she maneuvered, turning around and while moving closer to him at the same time, looking like an accident at first until she flopped down and knocked her shoulder into his roughly but not enough to hurt him, at least she wouldn't think so. "Don't decide such things on your own," she finished quietly, looking off to the side so he couldn't see her face. She didn't want to admit she was kind of happy, her expression was an odd twist of serene, content and expecting the world to fall on her head.

Such a long way since she ignored Nanna's friend request a few months back.


___

@Khepri | notes


"No amount of sleep in the world could cure the tiredness I feel."


Manip © Lunicea, Coding © Plymouth

[Image: dcuf83u-2f82e0dd-0268-4c84-b7a4-25c925beed43.png]
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Ilios

rank: Scout

gender: Male

age: 3

posts: 60

Essie

Stardust: 385✪
#14

Khepri nodded, now understanding a bit more. "Maybe she was referring to Agoge... it is custom in our pack that our young prove themselves and if they are unable, they are exiled," he said. Sure, Sif could be allowed into Ilios, but she could also be exiled just as easily. "It could be a way to prove things to yourself, too..." he added with a soft smile. It wasn't just about proving your worth to the pack, to others, at least not in his eyes.

He watched her as she got up and started walking away and he wondered if she had finally gotten fed up enough to leave. Khepri looked down, but noticed out of the corner of his eye that she was coming back. He lifted his gaze again at the sound of her voice, chastising him for calling them friends. The delicate smile still stayed on his face as she dropped down beside him, bumping him roughly. He rested his head against her smaller shoulder. "My bad," he apologized. It seemed she couldn't make up her mind, but he couldn't fault her for that. They were still essentially strangers to one another. He would not keep her with him if she wanted to go, it was entirely up to her where they went. "Why don't you get some rest, we have a long way to go," he said. Whether they went back or kept going when she woke didn't matter, it was still quite the journey.

"we're all young and naive still"
table ▶▶ claerie


Exit Khepri
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Ilios

rank: Agelai

gender: Female

age: 1

posts: 155

LunarSolstice

Stardust: 980✪
#15
Sif

"Agoge?" the word was foriegn on her tongue, just as a few other things she had been told about Ilios. Her eyes honed in on him and her ears flicked as he explained before she could even ask anything beyond the word itself. It lined up to other things that had been spoken and she simply nodded, affirming that was what she had already been told by the matriarch herself but she had to admit it made little sense to her. Not in regard to them kicking her, rather the concept of them exiling their own kin if they failed as well, making her wonder how he was staying afloat. If he could make it, surely she would have no problems providing a proper display like a peacock spider attempting a mating dance. She just needed to learn. Learn more than hunting for a change, feeling the only way she could impress the masses was with the virtue of fighting, such as warriors were known for. Relying simply on her own analysis of combat, she couldn't hope to achieve anything without someone to actually fight her in return.

But what if she blacked out again and attacked without any intent on doing so? That was her biggest fear as she would be torn to shreds by the pack for certain, not being one of them. There was the scar on her nape to always remind her of it, tight where the scar tissue was still fresh, having yet to gaint he flexiblity of an old mark. "Then maybe it is the place I need to go..." she breathed, her eyes shifting away and dancing along the top of the flowers that lined the hollows.

As she settled into her place against his side, her head slowly shot over to where pressure was being placed on her to see a mug resting along her shoulder, resulting in a heat that took over her body and slightly her mind. It was a feeling she was familiar with yet there was something different about it she couldn't put her paw on to save her life, confusing her all the more as she looked at him for a while as he got rather comfortable and apologized. There was nothing really to actually apologize for, her little tantrum more to make her feel like she could potentially remain in control of her emotions.

Firefly decorated eyes blinked a couple times more rapidly as he went on about getting some sleep, that was not exactly what she expected to hear next, causing her to look around the area subconciously as if looking for something. Perhaps it was mere instinct making her want to make sure nothing was around that could cause her harm before she would get any form of rest, knowing such an open area was a death scentence. Though her mind slipped to wondering how much she could trust him, when admittedly she knew nothing about him as a whole, only his personality rang clear. On that alone, she felt she had nothing to fear. Whom he really was, his story was left undiscovered. Maybe in their following travels she could start getting to know him a bit better, learn what made him tick but for now she would do as he suggested. So, silently she adjusted herself to be more comfortable, though not once leaving the spot or forcing him off her. Instead, she tucked herself closer to him, sliding her small skull over his foreleg and nuzzling her face into his thick chest fur, blocking the sun from bothering her eyes. It was a pose that left her vulnerable to him, he could snap her neck between his jaws, leaving her dead in the bluebells if he so chose. She knew this.

"Thank you, Khepri," she said barely above a whisper with a warmth rarely heard from her, though she didn't address why. There was a chance she didn't even know which thing she was thanking him for. Being here, helping her, caring about her, caring for her, being her friend, something else? All of the above? The list was long. Her ears fell lopsided after flicking a couple more times, taking in one more breath before allowing her body to relax into his and drift into her dreams. Dreams hopefully not influenced by his perfume, heartbeat, skinship and breathing that flooded her senses.

-Exit-

___

@Khepri | notes


"No amount of sleep in the world could cure the tiredness I feel."


Manip © Lunicea, Coding © Plymouth

[Image: dcuf83u-2f82e0dd-0268-4c84-b7a4-25c925beed43.png]
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