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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: alcohol use.
Nathan usually stayed close enough to the little band of miscreant teenagers, so the foray out into the wild the past few days was an exception. Reckless though he was, several months on the road gave him some valuable insight that simply didn't exist in the before-times. Being alone all the time was dangerous, especilaly in a world he didn't know all that well. 

But the seasons were turning warmer again, slow though it was, and that made something under Nathan's skin come alive again. And so he'd packed up his skins - fewer, absolutely, but still enough to barter and trade - and slung them over his back before striding off to who-knew-where. He still had most of a dusty bottle of dark brown, incredibly spicy liquor he'd spicked up from a trader a few weeks back, and Nathan intended to have himself a nice time somewhere new

He'd ended up on the banks of a large lake just before evening truly set in. It was unseasonably warm, and Nathan was relieved to see the water. Shedding his crudely made gator-and-sheepskin clothes and carefully tucking them into his rucksack, Nathan waded into the water. It bit at him, icy and cold and still recovering from winter, but - just like this adventure - it made him feel a little more alive. A little more like he was actually doing something with his time, rather than existing in some kind of limbo waiting for Nazir to join him. 

In the back of his mind, Nathan wondered if Nazir would be the same Nazir he'd left. Nathan himself hadn't changed all too much - perhaps a little bit quieter, a little less willing to throw a punch without thinking through the consequences - but the Bayou was an unforgiving place. Nazir had taken the brunt of Landry's death and its fallout. 

Regardless of who Nazir would be, Nathan knew in his bones that there was nothing that could make his brother a stranger. They were cut from the same cloth, even more than most littermates. The same side of the same coin. 

Nathan couldn't stay in the water long - nobody could - but, even as he emerged from its icy depths, he could not bring himself to dress again. Not when the sun was out, and was just warm enough to dry (if he sat directly under its buttery light, which was quickly dying.) But the spot was good enough, and Nathan, now gripping his dusty bottle, sprawled out with a contented sigh. Perhaps he could finish this thing off, get himself nice and drunk, and watch the sun go down. Make a fire at some point, be all cozy. 

Nazir would like it here.
[x] // AW for one! Nate's getting drunk. Can be goofy or serious! 
[Image: uMScYSd.png?1]BLAISE SADIRA
i watched a change in you

IT'S LIKE YOU NEVER HAD WINGS


Blaise had lingered near the lake for the past couple of days. She had discovered that she had better luck finding food near the water, and in her perpetual hunger she wanted to give herself some time to eat, rest, and recouperate. She lay before the water in the strange evening warmth, the tips of her front paws barely brushing the surface of the lake as the small waves drifted to and fro. How long had she been on her own? She tried to calculate the time that had elapsed since she departed Sinopa, forming mental pictures of the moon as it went through its phases. Four moon cycles had gone by, at least. It was hard for her to believe it had already been so long.


The young she-wolf was definitely thinner than she should have been, but considering her lack of life experience and the number of weeks that had passed, she was in fair condition. Blaise would not soon be able to appreciate just how fortunate she was to have survived. Be it a gift in hunting small game, or the pure and simple luck of encountering prey just when she needed it, the Sadira had done well for herself.

It was a warm evening. The darkness of her coat absorbed the sun's rays, but the breeze playing off the lake's waters brought a comfortable balance to the environment. She pondered letting her head rest between her paws; indeed her eyelids seemed hell-bent on drifting lower and lower. It was the sudden waft of a harsh scent that brought Blaise back to alertness. The smell was mildly unpleasant, but not in an unclean sense as in the odors of mold and of rotting carrion. Getting to her feet, she spent a moment trying to decide whether to simply move away for her nap, or give in to her curiosity.

She chose the latter.

The scent brought her several yards down the shoreline and away from her original spot, The wolfdog peered through the reeds and cattails with bright periwinkle eyes and thus found the source of the aroma. It seemed to emanate from the opened bottle clutched in the hand of a Luperci man who lounged along the shore much as she had done moments before. He lay unclothed by a bundle of very strange-looking hides, his merle fur glistening as it dried in the  waning sunlight. Blaise poked her snout through the reeds and gave a cautious chuff. Relaxed though the male seemed, he was still a stranger, and Blaise did not dare get too close in case she needed to dart away quickly.  


Lupus form. Hi!
Word Count: 435
Table by Silverfrost



WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: alcohol use.
It was nice, lying here under the sun. Nathan had been there for a while, swigging and pondering and occassionally wishing that his fiddle could simply appear in his arms. But the quiet was nice, and it reminded him of home - maybe this was why the old men crouched on the stoops underneath rusted structures and drank from dusk until dawn. 

He passed the time in the in-between, drifting from sleep to waking when it best suited him. Nathan's thoughts drifted from place to place, from memory to memory; it was nice and non-commital, and exactly what he needed. He'd spent so much time simply trying to survive - it was nice to relax, to be quiet, to simply just be

Lazily, Nathan reached towards his backpack, intending to take out the journal and perhaps try to puzzle out the words for a bit. He'd been looking at them more and more - maybe he could parse the symbols into words, understand a bit about where he came from. But before he could his nose twitched with an unfamiliar scent on the wind, and Nathan whipped his head around -- there was someone there. The world spun around him, and so Nathan narrowed his eyes a bit -- where was this person? 

He followed the scent lazily throught e wind to the reeds, and there it was - a nose sticking out. The scent smelled vaguely femine, and so those nose seemed as well, so Nathan grinned. "Ay girl, what'chu pokin' dat nose out dere for?" he hollered, perhaps louder than he would have been on a normal day. "Come o'r here 'n say hi like y'got some home trainin'." 
[x] // AW for one! Nate's getting drunk. Can be goofy or serious! 
BLAISE SADIRA
i watched a change in you
IT'S LIKE YOU NEVER HAD WINGS


Blaise noticed the book he held, and she squinted at it to try and determine what was scrawled on the pages, but before she could come to any conclusions, the man acknowledged her presence. His manner was much friendlier than she had anticipated. Caught off guard by the rousing quality of his voice, she flinched, ducking into the reeds with her ears lowered. The initial shock wore off quickly, however, and she followed his command to show herself by taking a few tentative steps towards him.

Now that at least her front half had emerged from hiding, Blaise tried to process the entire scene: the man, the scent, the strange way his words blurred together as he called her on her lack of "home trainin'." It was immediately clear to her that he was very different from her, perhaps coming from a more humanized background, and certainly a more social one. 

"Hi," she began in her soft breathy voice, as if the only place she knew to start was by heeding his request for a proper greeting. Her periwinkle gaze was rather shifty, bouncing from the book to the bottle to his two-toned eyes. "My name's Blaise. Wh-who are you?" The girl scooted forward another few steps, now fully visible, and lowered her haunches to the ground. She was close enough to carry on a conversation, but it could be assumed by the distance she still maintained that she would need more evidence that she could trust him not to hurt her before she committed to this encounter. 

"What's that you're drinking?" she added suddenly, wrinkling her snout ever so slightly. 


Lupus form. Hi!
Word Count: 270
Table by Silverfrost


Even though Nathan's vision curved around the edges just a bit, he could tell the girl approached him with great trepidation. She moved slowly out of the underbrush, slinking forward on all fours in a way that Nathan couldn't recall doing in quite some time. Shifting downward had its benefits, he supposed, especially during long travel (and he had done so in the winter, during his long journey north), but it had never come particularly easily to Nathan. Perhaps this was born from his lack of patience, or maybe it was genetic, but regardless of the reason - he'd spent most of his time on two feet rather than four since settling in the strange and wild north. 

She said her name was Blaise, in a quiet, breathy sort of way that made Nathan wonder if she were truly afraid. That would make sense, and would be the healthy thing - Nathan and Nazir had never developed that wariness of strangers that was so innate to self preservation. "Dat's better," he laughed, pulling himself up into a comfortable sitting position (never, of course, forgetting to take his little whisky bottle with him.) "'m Nate O'Dimm, Blaise, good ta meet ya."

His words were soft at the ends of them, even moreso than usual in this harsh and jagged land, so different from the soft slowness of the Bayou. Nathan missed when other folks sounded like him -- but now was not the time for melancholy, at least not when he might have a buddy. "Dis whiskey. Nice 'n smoky after a dip in dat lake. What chu doin' here besides checkin' me out?"

Nathan's crooked grin was cheeky, but it did not fully reach his eyes. He was not a subtle man, and the lurking confused him.
[x] //
BLAISE SADIRA
i watched a change in you
IT'S LIKE YOU NEVER HAD WINGS



Blaise absolutely had a strong sense of self-preservation, borne of both her orgin pack's isolative manner and of her recent solitary wanderings. She was fortunate to have had a mother who hailed from Nova Scotia, and who had experienced some of the evils that the world had to offer; she had spoken of this experience to her children as a means of warning and protection. With each passing moment, though, Blaise was warming to this man's friendly face, his civilized good manners, and, though she was less aware of this, the softening quality his good looks were having on her. 

Her mother had taught her that canines with bad intentions often hid behind such qualities. But simply hearing this lesson from one's mother was one thing; actually putting it to practice was quite another. Blaise did not have enough time on her side to recognize that this was the sort of scenario which might just warrant extreme caution, for a lovely young she-wolf such as herself. 

She blushed under her dark fur at his words. She had probably been staring, without realizing it. His fur did have such an interesting pattern, and his eyes too. Uh-um, it's nice to meet you, too. I've been traveling north for a while now. But I've been resting by the lake for the last couple of days," her periwinkle gaze shifted to the golden water, then returned the Nathan. "It's just, I haven't seen anyone around here yet. And the smell of that stuff..." she wrinkled her nose again. "I followed it to you." she explained. 

"Why would you drink something that smells so... so very bad?" Her eyes were wide with genuine curiosity. The man may have noticed that, while there was little fear left in her expression, Blaise still spoke in a very soft, breathy voice; the quality of her voice wasn't necessarily an indication of fear, but rather it was how she spoke most always.  She lowered her ears, feeling slightly guilty about her blunt outburst. This "whiskey" was something she strongly wanted to know about.




I'm sorry this took me so long! 
Word Count: 345
Table by Silverfrost


Nathan's ears twitched with interest when Blaise mentioned she'd been traveleing north. He listened to her words a little closer, now -- did she speak with the lilt of the South, with the tell-tale curve around the edges that reminded him of home? His ears, though, were soaked with whiskey and sunshine, and he couldn't remember if her voice sounded like everything he'd left behind. "It be a long journey to get up here," Nathan agreed, tugging unconciously at the corded gator skin he kept twisted around his wrist. 

The boy stretched a bit, popping out his joints from their hours of disuse under this buttery sunlight, and studied her further. He was uncharacteristically quiet for a moment and looked as if he were trying to puzzle her out. Truly, Nathan wanted to see if he could remember her; he wanted to suss out if she were somehow from the deep Bayou, a gift and a curse shown up in this frozen land. In another world, another life, Nathan might have been more subtle. But now was certainly not the time, loosened as he was by the whiskey and his own general lack of inhibition. 

"Where you from, girl?" he asked, pushing the whiskey bottle out towards Blaise. Nathan was fixated on this, this sudden and singular mystery, and tossed his next sentence away carelessly (though he'd very rarely spoken with care in his life anyway.) "Try it. Migh' smell like shit, but dat drink'll slap ya like ya mama or ya --" But he paused midway through the sentence, jerkily and in the middle of a thought, as he realized what he should have noticed before. 

Blaise currently had no thumbs by which to lift the bottle, and that made Nathan break into peals of laughter (at his own expense, but perhaps a little at hers as well. He'd never learned to filter.)

Between (frankly undignified) giggles, Nathan pulled the bottle back to himself. "Wan' me ta' pour it out in front o' ya, or ya got somethin' bowl like I can put dis in for ya?"
[x] // now I must apologize! almost done with my summer internship
BLAISE SADIRA
i watched a change in you
IT'S LIKE YOU NEVER HAD WINGS


There was a lapse of silence during which the man first adjusted his position with the soft pops of his joints moving into place, before staring at her, his eyes seeming to pour over her. Oddly, Blaise did not feel offended by his gaze - It felt more like he was trying to solve some kind of problem in his head than anything else. His eyes lacked that unsettling hunger that she noticed in some males' eyes when they stared at her.

it was the silence that made her most uncomfortable. She wondered if she needed to say something to break it, but at the moment her thoughts were moving so fast that she could not hope to catch one, and hold onto it long enough to speak it aloud. Fortunately, she didn't have to try, thanks to Nathan's question.

"Not far. Fifty miles or so south of Nova Scotia." Only now did it occur to her that he could be someone who had come from a long distance; much longer than she could probably imagine. Her mother had told her about the canines she met during her time in Nova Scotia, individuals who originated from somewhere hundreds of miles away in any direction -- sometimes thousands of miles, and across entire continents and oceans. Nathan could easily be one of these canines. "What about you?" she reciprocated, her eyes moving down to the bottle that was offered to her. She looked back at his face apologetically, realizing their dilemma at about the same time that he did.

"Oh. No, I'll shift. I'll drink from the bottle... I- I'll be right back." She looked quickly away from him and disappeared behind the wall of lake foliage. A few moments passed, and then Blaise reemerged, this time standing on two legs, smoothing her thick, dark hair down around her shoulders. She returned to her original spot and sat down, then scooted a bit closer to Nathan and held her hand out for the bottle.




I'm sorry this took me so long! 
Word Count: 345
Table by Silverfrost


She wasn't from the South. It wasn't surprising -- even in his inebriated state, Nathan probably would have picked up the twang immediately -- but that didn't stop the brief sting of disappointment. 

It would be a nice thing, he thought, to meet someone from home. Someone who missed the Bayou like he did. Maybe someone who shivered in the cold. But Blaise's fur was thicker than his; of course, then, she was from the North. 

Would he ever stop feeling like an alien here? He should have dragged Nazir with him, fuck the plan, just dragged his brother out of there and then they could have made their way up here and figured it all out and --

Ah, the drink was making him spin. Nathan shook his head a bit to clear his mind; the motion was jerky and slow, evidence of his intoxication. The bottle was nearly half empty, and it had been almost full when he started his little afternoon party with himself. The laughter had died on Nathan's lips, and now he watched as Blaise trotted quickly away -- be right back, she said. 

And be right back she did. Nathan's brows lifted and he grinned, curious and crooked, as Blaise reemerged. She was a lovely thing, he thought to himself; it wasn't something he didn't usually notice, per se, but here she was smoothing her hair over her shoulders. Quite a thing to behold in the setting afternoon sun. Nazir would be proud -- here he was, just minding his own business, and a pretty girl appeared to join him in drink. 

Nathan knocked back another swig of the bottle as she sat down and scooted a bit closer. "How ya learn ta do that so fast, Blaise?" he asked, no more forthright than he would have been sober (though, again, the words came out with a bit more of a slur than usual). "I'd be back dere 'til da sun went down, gettin' back onto all fours."

He passed the bottle into her open hand, grin widening in anticipation of what he hoped was a good time. "Don' you go chokin' on dis now. Drink nice 'n slow, I traded sumtin' good fer dat."

Nathan was drunk enough that he couldn't remember what, exactly, "something good" had been.
[x] // lmao the internship gave me COVID. glad to be back!