'Souls RPG

Full Version: [M] My Own Worst Enemy
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Leon Bloodmane




“…Vesper?”

There was an eerie silence that followed the Hybrids question, as both he and his company worked within one of the many archery stands that lined the eastern border of Inferni’s land. The occasional arrow that vesper slid out of a quiver meant for the one’s who’d being using them to defend the territory were seemingly tossed aside into a pile, possibly being deemed to warped by the wet weather, or too dull to pierce even the thinnest of flesh. The woman glanced to the side toward her clan mate, simultaneously pulling out another arrow to inspect.

“Yes Leon?”

Leon swallowed, his eyes averting to the ground as he placed the bow he was restringing to the side. “I’ve been meaning to… talk to you, about…” He went silent once more as he tried to realign the words in his head so they wouldn’t come out wrong when he started.

“Abooouuuuut?...” Vesper tried to help along, her attention fully focused on the Dark-furred male, her raised eyebrow already showing her peaked interest as she placed one of the good arrows inside another quiver.

“I… know how awkward it must have been… the last time we spoke… How long has it been? Two months?”

“Three… just about” Vesper corrected. Returning her attention back to her work, though kept an ear perked up to hear what Leon had to say.

“Well… I didn’t mean to lay something like that on you, especially given what you’ve been through with your…” Leon stopped himself before he said family. He didn’t need to put Vesper in a mood.

Leon closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath before letting it out in an exhausted sigh. “What I really meant to tell you that day was that… I owe you my life… in more ways than one, I think” Leon swallowed, this one feeling a bit more forced then the last. “When we first met, I fully expected you to try and kill me, like every other canine I came across. You are honestly the first one outside my birth pack to not try and bite me, or stab me with a spear, or burn me alive because of the markings I wear” He took another deep breathe, knowing how his birth pack was one of the most hated groups back in the lands they reside. Being a Bloodmane, was a death sentence itself.

He held his breathe for a few, then let it out again. He wiped away a tear that escaped from his closed eyes and let the silence envelope them both for a time.

“I was tired… tired of running, tired of eating, tired of sleeping… tired of living… and… if you did try to kill me that day… I don’t think I would have tried to stop you…”

A longer silence followed, as Leon waited for Vesper to say something.

And waited…

And waited…

“…Vesper?” Leon voiced as he opened his eyes and started to turn his head towards her
“UGLUKHAA!” specks of red hit Leon’s face as a sickening gurgling cough turned his blood to ice, and his coat turned to a lighter shade.

In the corner of the archery stand, Vesper desperately held her hands to her neck as blood poured from her torn throat. Her expression a look of surprise as her eyes started to glaze over. Behind her stood a dark entity, its mouth full of flesh and fur that all the while grinned, it’s smile seeming to stretch all the way up to its ears, adorned with blood-stained and still sparkly white teeth.

Leon couldn’t speak, nor breathe as he found himself automatically moving himself over to Vesper, fumbling like he were drunk, and falling more than a few times. He finally fell to his knees in front of his dying Leader.

“Na-na…no” he finally said. Then the scene before him finally clicked into his brain like a final piece to a jigsaw puzzle.

“Ve-VESPERR!” Leon shouted through a pained voice and tears that started to flow from his eyes. He moved his trembling hands out toward her, not sure of what to do, though he knew full well he could do nothing, no matter how much he denied it.

Unconsciously, Leon pressed his hands against Vesper’s throat, trying to help stem the flow of crimson blood, though all it accomplished was another sickening cough, and more specks of red decorating Leon’s fur.

“Vesper, Vesper please” Leon choked out, shaking his head slowly from side to side. “Not before me, you can’t die before me” he said through a whispering tone

“No worries little brother” Leon looked up to where the dark entity was once standing. In its place was a female Hybrid with a white and silver black coat. A red and almost oversized scarf adorned her neck, covering her mouth. Her yellow eyes rimmed with crimson like Leon’s, and with only a few tears to compliment below them. Lehava, or “Luna” smiled as she got her brother’s attention. “You’ll be joining us soon” And with those last words, Lehava pulled back her leg, and with a swift kick, hit the side of Vesper’s snout, causing it to rapidly snap to the side with a sickening crack. From under Leon’s hands, Vesper’s own went limp, and her body became suddenly cold.

Leon slowly turned his gaze back onto Vesper, his expression that of horror and shock, too much for him too take. He let out a scream that seemed to shake the very boundaries of his vision, till everything turned to black.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“~AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!~” Leon continued to scream as he thrashed about upon his raised rock of a bed, the bear pelt that was laid down upon it was tossed across the cavern room as Leon found his footing upon it. He launched himself from his bed, and started to run, only to be greeted by the hard rock wall that encompassed his dwelling. The blunt force he charged the wall with easily stopped the frantic Hybrid in his tracks, making him slump to the ground with a painfully voiced “ACK!” Leon laid motionless on the floor as he swore the room was spinning, though he couldn’t tell given his eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness of his home yet. He felt something warm start to seep from his forehead which had taken the brunt of the charge, though he couldn’t tell what it was given more than half of his bodily senses were still trying to wake up.

“Leon!?” the frightened hiss of an owl called down and echoed into the Hybrid’s chamber. If Leon heard it, he gave no indication he did as he blankly stared at the wall with sullen glazed over eyes. A long silence followed before bird outside spoke again “Leon, I’m coming down” the avian said once more, before the soft beat of wings were funneled into Leon’s ear by the echoing walls. The large oval-like form of a raptor descended, and landed swiftly on two claws in front of the Hybrid. The outline of the owls white and black speckled feathers didn’t make it easy nor hard for Leon to identify his companion in the pitch blackness. Her pure black eyes were all but invisible.

“Inila?... Is that you?” Leon asked, his head swaying back in forth just a tad bit as he tried to focus on the creature before him, His voice nothing more than a ragged whisper.

“... You’re bleeding” the avian said bluntly, not sparing any nonsense. Even with all the drastic time she and Leon spent together after her return from mating season, she still had that cold edge when speaking. Perhaps it was just an owl thing…

“I am?…” Leon hesitated for a moment before trying to sample the air around him. He could defiantly smell a familiar coppery scent. Leon then felt a bit of the warm substance from his forward start to drip over his eye, instinctively forcing him to close it. Another moment of silence stretched.

“Was it…” Inila hopped a bit closer. “It was another bad dream wasn’t it…” A bit of worry laced into the normally cold-hearted owls words. While the winter-raptor was downright insulting to the other canines around her, she had grown to accept, and actually care for the one big lug of a Hybrid who was the only one who could actually put up with her attitude. ‘big lug’ was a bit of an exaggeration as Leon was still no bigger than an average sized wolf, though that still put him atop of her in the food-chain when it came to size compared to HER.

Leon closed his eyes tight, and slowly nodded. He whimpered as tears slowly started to force their way out of his closed eye lids. Inila was quick to close the distance between the two as she nuzzled herself against the side of Leon’s face. She was almost tempted to place a wing over his head protectively, but decided against it as Leon’s forehead was still bleeding from the impact with the wall.

Leon felt no bigger than a newborn pup at that very moment. All his protective barriers, all the emotional suppressive conditioning his father put him through all those years ago broke down once again as tears started to soak the fur on his cheeks. He let out uncontrollable whimpers and sniffles as he let his head fall limply onto his forepaws, and his ears hung loosely to the side.

Inila snuggled closer, knowing she was unable to give the comfort a full grown canine could, but tried nonetheless. If this was going to be like the last two months when she returned, she knew she was going to be here for a while, and Leon was going to need all the support she could give him.

*An hour later*

“Inila?” Leon asked, his voice somewhat back to its calm demeanor, though a bit monotone. His eyes were puffy and red, dried of tears long since gone. Likewise, his forehead also dried of the blood that was previously bleeding from his forehead wound, though it had slowed to a trickle, and an almost unbearable stinging and sore sensation. He kept his position like before, still unwilling to move.

“Hmm?” The avian voiced through a cooed hoot, continuing to preen one of Leon’s ears from her nuzzling position. Even though preening was meant for feathers, Leon felt it oddly soothing as he felt Inila’s beak lightly nibble and com the edges of his ears.

“Is… is everyone-“

“Everyone is fine” Inila calmly interrupted. “Myrika is tending to her beasts, I believe Vesper was out hunting for her breakfast, Delilah was hitting her fists against a tree at the mansion, Sparrow was holding a stick over the water at the lake, and blah-blah-blah everyone is fine” She relayed the last part with a little irritation but continued her work.

Leon tilted his head to the side a bit, but was forced to re-align it when the throbbing pain of a head-ache hit him again like it did a half an hour ago. He winced, but still had the faint expression of confusion on his face. “Breakfast?” He questioned. He could swear on his sixth sense that it was the middle of the night.

“It was late morning when I heard you scream, it’s possibly noon right now” Inila said before squawking in surprise as her companion lifted himself off the ground abruptly. “Le-LEON!”

Leon ignored Inila as he lazily made his way through the short but curvy entrance to his dwelling, squinting as he saw rays of sunlight blocking his view completely from the outside. He felt his head-ache turn into a migraine, but he trudge on forward, his sense of duty over-riding his need to rest or fall unconscious. When his eyes finally adjusted, he found himself in the middle of the clearing in front of his caves entrance.

Inila silently and effortlessly flew and landed in front of him, giving off a hiss of warning, and stopping Leon from continuing. “Leon! Stop!”

Leon tried to side step his way around Inila, but a flurry of feathers and claws kept him at bay. He then tried to run in a totally different direction, but was again and again met with the same problem as trying to sidestep.

“Inila. Get out of my way!” Leon growled, his lips pulling back to bear his malicious teeth. In turn, Inila hissed, standing her ground and a tense stare down with the larger predator.

“Leon, you are in NO condition to do anything today, especially and ENTIRE run of the border, AGAIN!”

“I am not going to let a bird tell me what I can and cannot do. I feel fine!” He snapped. If Leon had a level head, he probably would have been questioning himself on why he even bothered arguing with a bird in the first place…

“Just look at yourself!” Inila pointed a wing towards Leon. Leon instinctively looked down the length of his lupus form, unsure of what the raptor was pointing out. “You look like you’ve been through a Raven frenzy of the worst kind! And I don’t know about you, you dumb canine, but I didn’t exactly see anything else in your cave that could have done that to you!”

Leon’s growling ceased, replaced with a cold hard stare. “What are you trying to get at?” he said with a lower sounding growl.

Inila calmly folded her wings, seeming to stare into Leon’s very being with large dark soulless eyes. “I think it’s about time you told someone… besides me.”

Leon stifled a laugh as he grinned, thinking this was some kind of joke. “Hehehe. And tell WHO, exactly. More than half of Inferni doesn’t even know me.” His smile turned into a frown as the reality of what he just said actually sunk in. He then continued to glare at Inila to push his point across.

“And the ones who do?” Inila shot back, not missing a heartbeat.

Leon’s eyes were suddenly shadowed over as he looked to the ground. “None of them need to know anything about me. I don’t think any of them wants some… ‘Broken soldier’ telling them he has been watching them die almost every night for the past three months and beyond that. How… how would I even tell them?...”

“You’ve been telling ME for the last three months without a problem” Inila spoke.

Leon’s eyes shot back onto the poultry in front of him with anger. “You’re a bird! Your less likely to try and snap a set of jaws around my neck because you think I’m a threat. And that’s possibly what everyone else would do if I told them that I killed my own si-“ Leon stopped himself before he would go any further. His eyes shadowed over once more as he lowered his glare. “I’m already paying for my mistake Inila, and the nightmares are less then what I deserve. I know I’m digging my own grave here, but I don’t think anyone here actually cares enough about me for me to lay my problems out before them. The best I can do is just suck it up.”

“Yea, seems like that’s going well for you” Inila scoffed, taking another glance at Leon’s dried and blood-matted fur on and around his forehead. “Still, I think at least Vesper deserves to-“

“Especially not Vesper!” It was Leon’s turn to hiss. “I may… care for her, like family. But that doesn’t mean the feelings mutual. I wouldn’t be surprised if her first instinct would be to try and kill me o-or run me out” both ideas were basically the same thing at this point in Leon’s mind.

OOC: I know Inila is a bird, but before you bombard me with realism issues, I only gave her a clear accent just so the conversation between the two flowed more smoothly. Kinda easy to get lost in an arguement like this when the one making it actually speaks broken up english. Btw, she is speaking high speech, so Vesper should understand her... to a degree X3



((ooc))
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Why would I run you out? Vesper asked.


She had heard little of the conversation, only hoot-accented shouts and the growls from Leon, at times inaudible. It was enough for her to know that something was up, though she hadn't spent as much time with Leon as she used to since the incident in winter. She wasn't necessarily purposefully avoiding him or mad at him, but there was enough on her plate with several new members (some of dubious sanity) and the revelation about Helotes. She hadn't had the energy.


Even now, she looked tired. No more than usual, not run ragged, but with thinned pelt and heaving sides after her chase—a dead rabbit at her paws the prize—she appeared to be someone who coudl use some rest.


That wasn't half as bad as Leon looked, though.


The hell happened to you? she asked, a soft tone belying the crudeness of her words.



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Leon Bloodmane




Leon froze immediately, his hostile expression falling only to be replaced with an expression that of wide eyed shock and a hint of fear. His ears pressed tight against his head as he turned his head to look at the last female he was expecting to see today.

“Vesper!” Leon shifted uncomfortably on all fours, his mental walls still recovering from his mental breakdown earlier to notice he was making himself look as guilty as pup would when they knew they did something wrong, and would be punished for it. The male shook himself, earning himself another full on migraine, though he ignored it to the best of his ability in the hopes his little shake would have gotten the morning cow licks out of his still unkempt pelt which he had forgotten to tend too before making his way outside. “I-I didn’t see you there…” Leon was able to regain some kind of calm demeanor as he spoke, though was cautious and fearful of what he asked after. “Ho… How long were you there?”

“Can you understand now Leon? Your so rundown that even YOU couldn’t notice your own leader, and the sweet smell of a fresh kill behind a couple of bare shrubs! You’re not yourself…” Inila spoke up, shaking her head in disapproval.

Leon shot Inila a death glare. “You set me up!” he hissed at the bird in the owl tongue

Inila innocently shrugged off Leon’s accusation with a ruffle of her feathers. “You never asked where she was hunting for her breakfast, and even if you DID know, I had no part in her conveniently placing herself within perfect earshot of this predicament.”

‘I highly doubt that’ Leon thought to himself, and would have voiced it through the use of his teeth if Vesper were not there. Leon put on a neutral demeanor as he turned back to look at Vesper, though quickly looked away in embarrassment to the Centurions next question. “I… accidently fell out of a tree ealier today” Leon told her, given that was a much more logical reason then telling her he ran head first into a rock wall.

“Yeaaaaa, I’m still surprised you didn’t break your neck when your forehead made the formal greeting with the ground” Inila deadpanned.

Leon ignored her, knowing her high-speech still needed far more practice to understand completely. “I was just about to go get myself cleaned up” Leon gave a short nod/bow towards Vesper before turning around to walk in the general direction of stream not far from where they were. “If you’ll excuse me”

Inila watched Leon with annoyance, weighing her chances of survival if she were to intervene in him leaving again.



((ooc))
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It would probably be best to keep Inila's speech restricted/stunted now that you're safely out of the huge convo territory. xD And—low speech is not written out at all, so his "owl tongue" words wouldn't be typed. :) Just the general message explained -- like "He accused her of setting him up."



Vesper quirked her scarred brow at the dark hybrid's shock, and before she could make a smart (if gentle) retort to his question, the owl stepped in and lectured the male for her—conveying, through her stunted speech, that Leon was not all right to not notice Ves' obvious presence. The worry returned more plainly to the Centurion's icy blue eyes, but Leon ignored her in favor of hissing at the bird.


Thinking of the first time Leon had dropped down from a branch, the coywolf knew that his excuse was a last defense. His feathers metaphorically ruffled more than his avian companion's, he excused himself and began to stalk off.


Hold on there, soldier, Vesper called, and glanced at Inila—with a raven-accented twitter telling the owl she could eat the rabbit. She padded after Leon, nudging her shoulder against his flank then stepping so that she was slightly ahead of him, paws touching softly down on grass that grew wetter where the creek wound through the vegetation. Don't lie to your chief, right? What's really wrong?



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Leon Bloodmane




Inila shot her gaze towards the Inferni Leader, a flicker of intelligence showing in her eyes before turning somewhat predatorial as her gaze settled upon Vesper’s untouched morning prey. Truthfully the easy meal ‘One-Ear’ offered was the only thing that was keeping the Owl from scolding her for using such a disgusting version of the avian language to speak to one such as herself. Unlike the subtle hoots of the night-raptors, the croaked and deformed caw of her black-feathered cousins was something she considered and insult in itself. Nonetheless, Inila took Vespers offer, and took flight, cutting through the trees before flying back around in a dive to snatch up the limp form of the rabbit within her talons. Settling upon a branch overlooking the small clearing, Inila watched after the retreating forms of the two canines before giving off a hoot in farewell, and digging into her midday snack.

--------------------------------------------------------

Leon stopped instinctively at the sound of Vesper’s command… or request. The Hybrid always had trouble telling the difference between the two, or perhaps his father’s conditioning was more absolute then he thought. Even so, Leon jumped a little at the Centurions contact, and then shivered with his eyes reverting to the ground as Vesper kept a little bit of distance ahead of him. Both continued on their way, Leon being dead silent as he focused his eyes slightly ahead of him, though not enough to fully obscure his view of the ground beneath his paws until Vesper spoke.

Leon shivered again, though this one more out of uneasiness then out of surprise. Maybe Inila was right, and something was wrong. He was usually a lot more cunning when it came to lying.

“I am sorry, Vesper. I did not mean to lie to you. I just simply panicked is all. I’m just not used to being surprised.” Leon spoke with a regretful tone, his head lowering a bit more.

“But I assure you Chief, there is nothing wrong. At least nothing that needs your attention. Once I clean myself up, I’ll go about my daily duties, as always” Leon looked up at Vesper, and was able to pass off a weak smile “Trust me, it is nothing” Though Leon’s footing faltered a bit as he noticed he was walking right into a tree, narrowly and clumsily sidestepping to avoid it as well as almost bumping into Vesper in the process.

Leon lowered his head again and continued to walk, countless sleepless nights showing in his eyes.



((ooc: FIIIIIINE! Be that way! >.< lol Yea I'll dumb down her speech next time. I was just making the most of this opportunity to establish Inila's character... while also having fun with her smart-arse attitude. It felt like a crime just to chop up her speech like that at first glance. But yea, no worries, realism comes first next time. *gives two thumbs up*))
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No worries, just didn't want you to get in trouble or anything! I do like the character Inila has -- and I agree, it's harder to write in choppy sentences! I try to give Stark a personality like that but am not sure how much gets across. xD



The owl took the rabbit and left with a hoot, while Vesper's icy eyes trailed after her with some gratitude. It was odd that often companions less intelligent by canine standards were able to see what canines could not -- Stark had taught her that, and she'd no doubt the bird, older and more experienced, was wiser than she.


Vesper did not glance back over her shoulder at Leon -- perhaps to keep her air of cool about her, to remain composed and greater in the eyes of her subordinate, or perhaps because she was afraid what she might see in his blood-dyed face. She hummed softly in acknowledgement of his apology, a low, singular, buzzing sound -- and did finally stop to glance at him when he nearly collided with her.


Something troubles you, she pointed out. One does not shirk sleep for fun. She stopped, and let her expression turn serious. I know this.


Talk to me, she pleaded -- because he was her subordinate, under her lead and protection, and he was her friend.



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Leon Bloodmane




“I…I wasn’t! I-It’s not!...” Leon clawed at his mind for the rights words to defend himself against Vesper’s accusation before lowering his head once more in order to avert his eyes in another direction. A long silence stretched until both canines reached the river bank. The calm flow of the stream melding in harmony with the songs of evening birds.

Leon looked over once more, again seeing the slightly smaller figure of the Inferni leader beside him, give or take a few paces away. All thoughts of his current situation seemed to disappear as a look of worry replaced his fearful mindset. The Hybrid looked to the water, and waded into one of the shallow parts, being ever so mindful of the darker bottomless middle which would have possibly been up to his neck in his optime form. With all four legs of his submerged, he quickly held his breath, and let his legs give way, plunging his entire form into stream.

Resurfacing, with most of the dried blood from his forehead washed away. Leon snorted out what little water went up his nose, and trudged back onto land where again he saw Vesper’s form patiently waiting for him. The male stared at her for a bit, his eyes unbelieving at what he was seeing before bravely going up to the woman, and gently nudging her shoulder with his nose.

Surprise and shock hit him, and Leon backed away a bit before simultaneously collapsing on the ground. He didn’t bother getting up even as the dirt beneath him clung to his soaked fur, which wouldn’t have been soaked at all if none of this was real.

“Sorry” He said solemnly. “I wanted to make sure you were real”

If not for his earlier session with Inila, Leon would have possibly been on the brink of tears. Instead the Hybrid just looked even more tired than he was before.

“It’s just… the nightmares… they get so real at times that… It’s easier just to stay awake”

Leon curled up and looked out towards the water, part of him hoping he WAS dreaming, given how pathetic he was acting in front of his Chief. Though another part of him hoped that he wasn’t, given his past experiences weren’t gentle on showing the many ways his leader and closest friend he had could die.

“Maybe it’s because you remind me so much about her…” Leon said to no-one in particular.



((ooc: Sorry for the wait))
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His protests bothered her -- though she did not know if she was upset or just irritated. It was hypocritical of her to judge another for hiding their pain -- poorly, in Leon's case -- and constantly fend off attempts to help, she knew; more than once Stark had had to peck her and talk some sense into her, especially after her own disasters. From the outside, she realized how ridiculous and melodramatic it seemed -- but concern ran deeper than that as she silently followed Leon and watched him splash down into a stream. She settled on her haunches on the bank, curling her bushy tail around herself.


She watched him submerge -- ready to leap if he were trying to drown himself or something equally stupid -- then watched him return. His forward touch made her flinch slightly in surprise even as he recoiled, but blue eyes remained soft and concerned.


Nightmares, Vesper echoed. She knew and sympathized, remembered how hard it was to sleep in the days following Dartmouth most recently -- but she'd at least someone else to curl up beside and reassure her. Memory of those bad dreams were wispy as cobwebs now, though; it was hard to reach back and remember them. Often, they scattered from memory even before she fully woke. Why don't... Why don't you see Harosheth? She might have an herb that can help you sleep dreamlessly.


But Leon murmured again, curled up on the bank, and Vesper stared down at him. Your sister, right?



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Leon Bloodmane




Leon didn’t say anything, nor was he really listening when Vesper offered him advice to go see Harosheth. The coyote shaman could have very well had some kind of drug to help him sleep. But Leon knew deep down the nightmares weren’t the real problem. They were just a side effect. A mirroring of the guilt he’s had buried inside him for almost over three years now. What he needed was what he thought he deserved.

Death

Though the idea now was just disgusting, and even more so when he thought about taking his own life. It was downright disgraceful, and he would be no better than Willam la chemin, whose blood was also on his paws. No, he did not want to be remembered like that, he would not take the easy way out.

So he was back where he started. He was between him wanting to die because it would do his sister justice, and him having too much pride to do it himself.

Between a rock and a hard place.

“Your sister? Right?”

Leon snapped out of his momentary stupor, and looked back up at Vesper. Her vigilant pose and almost calm demeanor towards the entire situation was something Leon had to admire for what it was. It was nothing he would have expected from his father, who would have chastised him for being so weak willed. The thought of that made Leon regain his own composure and look Vesper in the eye, though it again quickly fell apart. Any self-respect for himself was evaporated the moment he broke down in front of his leader, though he remained calm.

Leon frowned. “Yes” He looked back out towards the flowing water, his ears still folded in a defeated manner. “Though don’t get the wrong idea, you two are polar opposites. You’d take one look at her and say wolf. She was also very timid” Leon glanced in the opposite direction of Vesper. “… and I killed her”




((ooc: I hate drama with a burning passion, so I tried to make this as sensible as possible... not sure if that makes a difference...))
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Gold eye encircled with red darted to her, and Vesper frowned at him -- pressing, concerned, gentle. She was not certain what ate away at the dark coywolf or whether he would recover from this odd stupor -- but bottling up emotion was dangerous. She preferred he spoke now, got it off his chest, and faced his emotions now rather than wait and explode at a bad moment.

Still -- that did not necessarily prepare her for what Leon had to say.


He stared at the stream then looked away from her -- admitting that he'd murdered someone Vesper reminded him of. Her mangled ear twitched with surprise, and though she did not hide it from her face, her round mouth and wide eyes, she did not jump to conclusions. She spoke her questions, again, calmly, evenly. Why did you kill her? Did you truly kill her or did your neglect cause her death? She thought of Willam -- how she could blame herself for Willam, and did. Why would I remind you of a timid wolf? she asked next, her voice quiet. It was not as important -- but she wanted an answer, wanted to understand just what the sight of her created in Leon.



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Leon Bloodmane




Leon shifted uncomfortable as he curled even tighter in on himself as Vesper asked her first question. He felt his breathing start to become constricted, and had to glance back at his leader once more in order to tell himself to calm down. Looking back out towards the water, but not directly at it as he noticeably shivered as he was caught in a memory.

“Me and my pack were ambushed” For a moment, the tree’s around him and vesper were replaced with tall overgrown pines along with a lot of old rotting tree stumps that looked purposefully chopped down. Howls, and snarls were heard throughout the trees, and the scent of blood and handcrafted metal tools was everywhere. “I was cut off from everyone else, and I was chased into an old human ruin” The next thing Leon noticed was that he was running, being chased by three large white-eyed canines. He saw an opening in the doorway to a human lumber mill, and took one sharp turn into darkness.

“I tried to lose my pursuers amongst the human’s machines, but I ended up getting rammed into a wooden support. The next thing I know, my eyes were stinging, and I couldn’t breathe.” Ancient dust made a thick suffocating cloud within the old wooden structure as part of it collapsed in on itself. Leon’s assailant was effectively buried beneath a second floor never finished, rotted away with the help of mold and termites. The other two canine’s whines and angry roars could be heard a short distance away.

“When I got back up, I didn’t think twice. I just saw an outline and… and…” When Leon came back to reality, he noticed he was physically trembling, and tears corralled down his already soaked cheeks. His expression looked pained yet calm at the same time as he didn’t let out single whimper as he continued to look on at the stream. “...I didn’t stop until I noticed my brothers… just staring at me…”

A considerable amount of time passed before Leon answered the next question, and when he did, it was like he wasn’t even there. “The feeling I get when I’m around you reminds me of how I felt when I was around her.” Leon looked down at his paws, and started to roll a rock around in the dirt with a single paw. “Back when I was born, and my Father had yet to become Alpha. My Grandfather had a certain rule in place. For every litter born, the youngest of the litter was to be the AwanyankA; the bodyguard to the rest. Two weeks after birth, training begins, and they are thrown into water deep enough for them to drown in. They are rescued of course before anything actually happens, and this goes on twice a week until they experience their first transformation.”

By now, Leon’s trembling had stopped, and his tears were less then noticeable. Though there was still the occasional jitter. “After some time, the pup is purposefully drowned, and it is left to his or her siblings to revive them. It’s… how my father conditioned me…” By now, Leon’s focus was completely on the rock as he rolled it back in forth between both his paws. He took in a long but silent breathe, then let it out. “Long story short, my sister saved my life. Ever since then, Whenever I knew she was safe, I felt safe, and whenever I thought otherwise, I would feel like I was… drowning all over again.”

The rock fumbled out of Leon’s reach, and he looked down for a few more moments before looking back up at Vesper. “When I first saw Inferni’s border, it reminded me a lot about the packs back home” Leon let out a humorless snicker. “And then I met you, and I may not have been thinking it at the time… but I was waiting for you to kill me…” Leon looked back down “… but you didn’t. Then I met you again, and I remember being able to breathe just fine.”

Leon looked back out towards the water. “I was able to breathe just fine… knowing you were alright…”




((ooc))
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Leon was silent, perhaps still fighting to convince himself of his reality -- then looked out past the water and was in another time.

Settled on her haunches, Vesper watched his shivering, dark form and listened. It was difficult for him, she could tell, and so she schooled her expression into that of gentle patience until his eyes focused again. The outline took shape -- one that was odd to Vesper, wolfish yet feminine, colored with the same dark slate hues as her companion's. She murmured a short I'm sorry, Leon, before the tale lulled into silence. She did not prompt him for an answer, only wondered at her own guilt -- if she had killed Sparrow, rather than failing to save her as she had. How much worse would it be? How much worse would she have been?

A canine did not suffer scars and remain unchanged.

She could not imagine a world where adults cast puppies into the water to drown. The dangerous land Leon had spoken of did, indeed, seem to be a place that made Inferni look far more friendly, far more gentle. She hadn't quite believed him back then, couldn't believe a place like that would exist without immediate revolt -- but Leon spoke of it in an almost matter-of-fact way, of the drowning.

Of being able to breathe now.

Vesper did not understand what he was saying for a minute -- then looked at him, eyes hooded with the same tender friendliness, protectiveness, as before. She slowly stretched out her forelimbs to lie on her belly, reaching out to nuzzle along his scruff. I'm all right, Leon, she murmured. She rested her chin against his shoulder, blue eyes glancing to the waters -- trying to imagine a dark pup standing over another, yelling, prodding, until one took breath. I feel safe with you. I know what you've done for Myrika, what you were willing to do for me.

She pressed her chin down into his shoulder harder, until it would hurt, then sought to connect their eyes. But you -- you're the one I worry about. How can I convince you to sleep -- to take care of yourself? Whatever nightmares you have -- they won't come true. Because of you, because of all the warriors in Inferni -- it won't come true.

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Leon Bloodmane




Leon flinched at the contact as Vesper nuzzled his scruff. His eyes widened for a moment before finally he started to feel his tense body ease a bit. His ears splayed backwards and he closed his eyes, savoring the gentle pressure the Centurion applied to the back of his neck. This was the last thing the Hybrid ever expected out of his leader, but for the moment, he didn’t care. For these few moments, he just needed something to stop his heart from bursting from all the paranoia he had built up over these few long months. Leon took a deep breath, letting it out as he felt his heart slowly descend into a normal rhythm.

Leon’s eyes slowly opened back up as Vesper began to speak. More calm then he was merely seconds ago, he listened with one perked ear, then felt his heart warm at hearing he was doing his job. If Vesper felt safe, then so was he. Leon felt a generous amount of bricks suddenly swiped away from the pile on his chest. Then he lowered his head, simply enjoying Vesper’s presence on his shoulder.

”I know what you’ve done for Myrika”

Leon’s thoughts suddenly turned to the face of a female. A wolf Leon effortlessly killed without a second thought. A Wolf he killed in the defense of the soon to be mother of three. Leon mulled over the memory for a bit before deciding that he would be the destruction of an entire pack before he’d allow but a single hair on Myrika to come to harm. She was important to Vesper, and If she was important to Vesper, she was important to Leon as well.

Leon slowly came to realize that his shoulder, if anything, started to Bruise, and he looked beside him, only to be met with a familiar set of blue eyes. Leon grew a frown as the Centurion continued to speak, and when she finished, Leon’s ears were again splaying back, though his expression was saddened.

Then promise me… He said with an even tone, giving Vesper an even look.

Promise me… that I won’t ever have to look down at you or Myrika’s grave. Promise me that you and her will live long lives! Promise me tha-“ Leon’s voice got caught in his throat, and he had to force down a swallow. “Promise me that you won’t die before I do…”

He kept his eyes locked with Vesper’s, his expression that the definition of serious. He stayed like that for a long bit before tearing his eyes away and looking down at the ground in front of him.

“Seeing my sister-” Leon forced down another swallow “… It was the worst feeling I ever had to experience. N-Not just emotionally, but physically. And If I had to choose…” Leon fought back tears as he ground his teeth together to the point of cracking them. When he again spoke, his voice seemed angry

“I’d rather be dead, then have to go through it a second time”

The air was tense for several seconds before Leon lost his strength to keep his blood pointlessly boiling. When his muscles finally relaxed again, he felt he was on the verge of losing consciousness. His tone was soft and defeated.

“Promise me that, and I promise I’ll take better care of myself.” In his head, Leon knew he must have sounded crazy. But in his heart, he was silently wishing Vesper would just say yes. He didn’t need cuddling, or pity. He just needed reassurance. Reassurance that couldn’t be assured, but even so, he needed something to cling onto. Even if he knew it was a lie. Even if what he thought was just a false string of hope…





((Leon's gonna go ZZZZzzzzz soon.))
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Awwww. Guess we can end this since is crusty; my last post. <3 Was an interesting thread!

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He tensed, then eased -- and Vesper wondered how many knots he'd worked his muscles into, how much was weariness and how much was sheer paranoia coursing through him. She knew in her worst moods she'd patrol until her legs rivaled a trembling fawn's, and she was only thankful that he'd not wasted away into nothing -- yet.

Leon shifted when she pushed on his shoulder for attention, glancing at her with his hawk-gold eyes. He urged her to promise him -- and her smile was a bit lopsided and awkward, very small and out-of-place. I can't promise that, she thought. She did not know what she would do if Myrika died -- only knew she would not allow such a thing to happen if it was within her power. But herself? She was more at risk, a warrior after she was a scout and leader. She had almost died before -- stabbed near to death in the woods, drowned in the river.

I promise, Vesper said, because it was kind. Neither of us will let the other be a widow. And I have faith in my warriors -- I have faith in you. But only if you keep yourself strong and safe and don't worry pointlessly. She gave his ear a friendly lick then stood, glancing at the water, the trees, before her blue gaze fell on him again. Sleep, Leon.

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Leon Bloodmane




Hearing the deluded promise was all he wanted. All he needed. And when he finally started to make sense of what Vesper just said, he looked up at her, eyes wary, yet full of hope. His ears instinctively flicked at the Centurions kind gesture, and he looked back out towards the water with her.

His leader, his Chief, his savior, his friend

Leon lowered his head until his forelegs and paws made a comforting pillow, the bit of stubborn strength keeping his eyes open giving way as he let the creeping darkness of sleep slowly close in. It terrified him. Not the darkness or the shadow, but what awaited beyond.

‘Yet… all they are, and all they ever will be, are fears’ he thought, looking out into the dark abyss. Already figures started taking shape in the forms of threats and nightmares. Out of all of them though, he eyed someone specific. A Hybrid with dark fur blending into gray. His red eye-lined tattoos and tears, as well as his yellow eyes made Leon bear his teeth menacingly. This figure had been the bane of many peaceful nights, yet no longer. Leon looked upon an exact duplicate of himself, the blood dripping from his maw telling of dark deeds long since passed. The graves once so warm suddenly growing cold.

‘And fears can be prevented’ Leon’s tomahawk materialized within his right hand. And with a swift movement, he moved in for the kill, a new fire of resolve burning in his heart. And with the last glimpses of reality flickering, he mumbled one last thing.

“Thank you… Vesper”





((Sorry for Revival, but I really needed to end this thread properly))
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