[P] And for her, he would walk through fire
-p, Sky-
#1
((I'd like to date this forward about a week, if you don't mind?))

He had been staying up late, him and Sumae sitting in the bare living room and chatting about everything and nothing in particular. Somehow, one night, the subject of Sky had come up. Perhaps it had been in relation to Liam, perhaps not. All he knew is that she had looked at him, her tough shell gone, and he had looked back, his walls down. She had told him in her sweet voice that he should try to talk to her, that maybe he could consider reconciling with her. And for her, he would. He saddled his mare and left the next morning. He was just glad he didn't have to see his father's girlfriend- lover, Sophia as he'd prepared for the journey.

The mare rode smoothly, though she was trained for a cart, and he stoked her neck lightly as he slid off her back at the borders. He had brought some herbs with him, but not much else, and for a moment he debated on calling anyone generic to trade instead of Sky. Or calling Colibri, the adopted sister his Poppa spoke of so fondly. Or even just leaving without calling for anyone, and telling Sumae no one answered his call.

He let out a breath. Finally he tightened his grip on the mare's reins and let out his howl, the hybrid sound of fullblood wolf father and wolf dog mother ingrained on his voice. He was dreading this meeting, and by the way Tameri was clinging to his ankles like a damp chilled fog, he knew she knew it. He glanced down at the shadow around his ankles, then back up, waiting for the woman who gave birth to him to appear.
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#2
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OPTIME FORM -- Sky arrives all poker faced. Sorry for the long wait. x: -- 502 WORDS

While normally Sky would've been glad to see her estranged family, certain events prevented her from enjoying it properly. Her cycle was finally over and she'd managed not to give into temptation, but it left her drained and sore- add in the injuries she'd sustained in the battle of Ironside and the wolfdog was hardly looking forward to travel or socializing. It had been a big part of why she'd avoided d'Arte's visit.

She'd retired to her garden, doing the simpler tasks such as watering and weeding. Fella perched above her on the edge of the roof of their little home, watching idly. Shawchert had Samual Dean and Cody out on some father-sons quality time and while normally she'd feel relaxed without their company, a certain call put that notion to a sudden rest.

Myrddin's voice was unmistakable, even at his primed age now. When it came to her, she stopped what she was doing and turned, catching Fella's reaction up on the roof as she did. The bobcat didn't seem pleased. He'd always held resentment towards the estranged brother, same as Cody and Lena had. While Sky hadn't wanted that, she did understand why- when parents fought and broke apart, the children would almost always choose sides.

Sky growled at her adopted son to silence his rumbling and Fella obeyed, settling down and giving her a sulking look. She shook her head and in silent agreement, the cat went back inside to wait. Sky took the gate out of her yard and headed off towards the call, to see what her estranged son wanted.

It didn't take long for her to get there. She arrived wearing her usual leather vest with the fur trim and studded short skirt, hair braided back with brown and black feathers and the new scar over her face finally healed enough not to look ugly. She stood there, tail perked behind her and expression neutral, leaning against a tall pine as she came to a stop some feet away from the boy and his horse.

"...you've come a long way to call my name, Myrddin." She spoke clearly, but her tone was flat and careful. Curiousity was there, but nothing more- she'd been hurt by his decision to disown her and now that he stood on two legs, at a prime age, she could only blame the boy for how long he'd held the grudge. It didn't sit well with her. She'd tried to reunite the family. It had been Taliesin who'd decided to stay in the wrecked pack she'd once called home, then hell.

"Not an unwelcome surprise, mind you. I suspect your father sent you with more news or trade?" She guessed, not at all expecting him to have come of his own will or desire.

Myrddin hated her, after all. Once, she didn't blame him and felt sorry for hurting him. Now, years later, it seemed petty for him to hold the grudge, where even Collins had moved on.

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#3
[[wc 436]]

His heart thudded painfully in his chest. It had been a long time since he had seen the woman who had abandoned him. How would she react? Would she seek a reunion or would she spurn him? Why was he doing this, why was he opening himself to this kind of pain? He closed his eyes to better see the memory of the soft blue and green eyes that belonged to Sumae, the only other female he trusted enough to open up to besides Gemma and Skye. With his eyes closed he could better feel the warmth of her hand on his. He let out a sharp breath, trying to ease the tension, the sick gnawing of his gut.

And then, some sound, some smell, and he opened his eyes. There she stood, the warrior he remembered, the same stern expression on her face as the day she had left them, leaning against a tree. A stillness descended over him, the minute trembling of his hands ceasing in the unconscious desire to look as strong as she seemed to be. He didn't look down as the ghost child surged forward to greet the only mother she remembered, rubbing her head against the woman's ankles. He didn't know if Sky would see the ghost or not. Tameri wasn't why he was here. Sky spoke, and Myr's ears twitched at the sound.

A faint twitch of his lips at her assumption that Poppa had sent him. "Surprisingly, no. Poppa has other things to worry about than whether I go traveling or not. I'm here of my own choice." A small falsehood perhaps, but not too far from the truth. Sumae had set the ball in motion, but Myr had allowed it to happen. Even now he could turn and walk away, but he stood his ground as though a warrior facing an enemy.

Sky was shorter than he remembered. She stood nearly a foot below him. Perhaps it was his youth that had made her seem like a giant, or perhaps now it was the scars that covered her that made her seem smaller. He didn't know. He didn't know what to think of the scarred warrior in her clothing, the braided hair with the feathers in it. She had given birth to him, and then abandoned him in a pack she swore was unsafe. He wanted to make a barbed comment asking about the conflicts he had heard had happened here recently, if they made it any safer for her here than elsewhere, but he didn't. He didn't know what to say now that he faced Sky.
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#4
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OPTIME FORM -- Sorry for the wait! Sky does what she does best- talks! -- 719 WORDS

It was a mutual feeling, really. A part of Sky wanted to rag him out for being such a sour mind for so long, for hating her despite the times she'd tried to explain herself. Another part of her wanted to wrap her estranged son in a hug and never let go, ever again. Despite the inner battle, she managed a smile to his explanation for being there. His own choice, huh? She doubted that, but it didn't show at all. Instead, she nodded, accepting it as the truth- though with a grain of salt, just in case.

"I've heard good things recently, that d'Arte's found some good luck and peaceful times." She offered a smile. "Y'know... I never really hated the pack. Just the... memories that came with it." She wasn't sure if he'd been thinking along the same lines, but it was about time that she explain it in a way the young man could now understand. He was old enough now that she didn't have to cotton coat it at all.

Like it or not, he'd have to listen. "When I left the first time, to bring Lena away, it was because of her fur color, Myrddin. I knew you and Cody would be safe with your father, but Lena with her black fur... she was in danger." She'd pause, offering him a chance to think about it, before standing straighter and crossing her arms.

"I came back for you, but by that point, everyone had assumed I'd abandoned you. That I'd stolen Cody and Lena away out of spite." Another pause, but this time, it was to slump her shoulders a bit in defeat. "I didn't help the situation with the way I acted. I threatened Skye and insulted her outright, because I was angry. I saw my family divided and at that point, I wanted someone to blame... other than myself."

"So I blamed Skye." She inhaled, then sighed. "Being with Shawchert for that short time had me biased, too. I didn't believe her to be a good leader, even before the chaos started. When she started to make all the changes to the ranks and to our way of life, I became resentful. I wanted Shawchert to be the leader, because that was all I knew... so that played a big part of it, but..." Then, her expression tightened.

"You... probably don't care to listen, though, do you?" She resigned, leaning against the tree and slumping there, still standing but barely. "I did what I thought would be best for all of you... and I guess... I ruined something that could've been great." Her eyes moved away from him, but only for a moment. That blue, half-blind gaze returned to seek eye contact. "But I'll never regret it. You know why?"

Whether he answered or not, she'd tell him. "Because you're alive today. Lena's alive. Cody's alive. You have a life worth living, and that alone is enough. Hate me all you want. I'll never stop loving you. I'll never regret what choices I made and I'll never abandon the hope that someday, maybe, you'll understand. You'll have children someday and you'll know what it's like to be willing to give up everything for them. Even raising them, if it means they'll live."

That pack had been her life, once. Taliesin had been her beloved and their marriage, their union, would never be forgotten. She carried his name not for showing off, but to remember what she'd lost that day, when she'd followed the rogue's lifestyle once more, in hopes of keeping her children alive. It had worked out in the end, though she'd lost more than she could ever hope to get back. If she could change one thing, any one thing, she'd have told Taliesin her plans... and begged him to come, so their family wouldn't have to be apart. She did regret not telling him, but she would never regret saving her Lena or allowing Myrddin the chance to grow up in a pack, with a family, rather than on the road with no one but the wind for company.

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#5
She spoke, and surprisingly the Rhiannon male listened without interrupting. His piercing eyes watched her, studying her movements, each subtle shift in her posture speaking volumes to his searching gaze. He didn't shy away from her gaze, weighing each word she spoke carefully. As she asked, almost to herself, if he didn't care to listen, she slumped against the tree again. Her gaze left his, but his eyes stayed on her. Though his face stayed in a well practiced neutral position, his emotions were roiling turbulently. As she asked if he knew why she wouldn't regret it, her eyes met his again. He didn't answer yet, didn't trust himself to speak. Sky was baring her soul to him, and it was shattering something inside that he wasn't ready to have pulled down yet.

"Hate me all you want. I'll never stop loving you." He flinched as she spoke those words, as though they had physical weight. Did he hate her? He had come here with hatred in his heart, yes. But somewhere between the first sight of her and now, something had shifted inside of him. There was some change in how he thought of her, and he wasn't ready. And yet, when he realized she had stopped speaking, her last words going mostly unheard by himself, his own words came out, in what had the potential to become a catharsis for the childlike man. He hadn't pulled his gaze from her, as though doing so would break the trembling fragile thread that could become a reconciliation of sorts for the estranged mother and son.

"Poppa always said that if you had just told him where you were going, he would have followed. I don't know how you feel about it, but I know he means it. Poppa has never lied to me, not for any reason. But that's neither here nor there." He hesitated for a moment, an unsure expression briefly cracking the carefully composed mask he wore. He never showed weakness, he couldn't let himself, not as a healer, not as a trader; To show weakness would undermine the little authority he could glean in any situation.

"I came here, expecting that things wouldn't change, Sky. I expected to come here, and have you turn me away, or have myself leave still hating you as I did before. I thank you for speaking to me like an adult, and not a wayward child." That flash of insecurity had returned, had settled into his eyes. "I don't know how I feel about you. I know Poppa still idolizes you, even with Sophia in his life." There was a change in his voice when he spoke Sophia's name, a sneer that only existed for the woman who had come from nowhere, for the woman that had made his Poppa whole only to leave him broken again when Tal had told her about his relationship with Gemma.

"You have given me something to think about." He didn't know what else to say. He wasn't going to race to her, begging for a hug and call her Mommy. He had his Etsi, Gemma. He trusted her, she and Skye and Tameri were the only females in his life who hadn't abandoned him. He hoped someday to add Sumae to that list, but that was yet to be seen.
(WC: 556)
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