[P] Mend and make do
#1
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Word Count → +300 :: Dated after Veri has given birth; let me know if you want anything changed! <3

Everett raked hands through his dishevelled hair. His breath escaped tightly held jaws in low, dry breaths. The male was sat hunched upon his bed, covers and furs piled about his lower body. The scholar blinked bleary, red-rimmed eyes as glanced about his room - papers, books, writing utensils and melted wax cluttered his personal space. The bliss of sleep had eluded him that night, thanks to a multitude of aches and pains. Ink-stained hands scrubbed at his eyes and face, and with a rattling sigh, the male heaved himself upright.

The male bent down to retrieve stacks of parchment, and hissed at the dull ache in his hinds. Everett grunted, and hastily arranged his belongings in a semblance of order; as much as his joints would allow, at least. He padded over to the chest of drawers, and gently pulled them open. Glass containers and jewellery clinked against each other Everett fumbled through the contents. The gentleman's private stockpile of herbs had run painfully low, and with a low growl he realised he had drunk the last of his chamomile teas.

Armed with this knowledge and the tell-tale thump of a headache, Everett retreated from his room and headed downstairs. When he was hale and hearty, it had not proven difficult to locate the Medico office by scent alone. Healing, herbal scents permeated the rooms, but to a canine with diminished senses the aromas were faint. Fortunately for the male, routine had allowed the office's location to be worn into his memory. The door had been left ajar, and whilst he knew packmates were free to enter and leave the space, his own sense of propriety would not permit him to do so.

Everett rapped softly on the door as he announced himself, "Hello? It's Everett, may I come in?"

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Avatar by Lin <3
#2
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You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

If someone had asked the healer just a few days ago whether she was alright, her answer would have probably been an honest no. Most members of the pack could have guessed why rather easily. The death of the ice queen was still a heavy burden on her mind, despite having gotten her motivation back to be better. Iorek had been a helping hand in that, patiently letting Veri beat the crap out of him to practice a style of fighting that used pressure points.

Now, however, she stood in the Medic Office grinding at some herbs in a mortar and pestle to prepare them for a salve. Her son, Alaric, laid on the table beside where she worked, warmly wrapped in a blanket as he napped. He was still small, at a week and a half old, but was definitely larger than the other three pups that'd recently been born. They were quickly catching up to him though, and she wondered how big Alaric would be when fully grown.

A rap at the door announced the presence of another, a raspy voice betraying the reason they had come. Immediately Veri turned to address them, mixed blue eyes sweeping up and down the light grey form of Everett. She'd been made aware of his sickness by Iorek, who'd been quite worried about the pale pelted male. "Of course you may enter, those who need healing services are never turned away." she assured him kindly, gesturing for him to come in and seat himself.

"I take it that this visit means you are not getting better yet." she mused aloud before a sound from the bundle on the counter had her turning to momentarily check on Alaric. The tiny pup was snuffling in his sleep and stretching out his forepaws, but he quickly settled back down in his cocoon of warmth. She stroked his head with a finger and then refocused her attention on Everett, concern etched into her expression. "Alright, what do you need my dear? Iorek has told me what's going on mostly, but I like to hear from the horses mouth." it was an illness, that much she could tell, even from the smell alone.

Since the spar with Iorek, Veri had scoured through the library for every single book that had to do with herbal remedies, searching for those that helped with sickness. She hadn't found much new information; she'd read through those books several times already. But there was a handful of things that she'd skipped over, in favor of the more physical remedies that some herbs had. She wouldn't fail a pack mate again.

ooc Sorry this took so long! | [wc — ??]
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#3
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Word Count → +400 ::

Silver ears tipped forward at the noises that drifted beyond the doorway. Stone scraped on stone in the tell-tale rhythm of a herbalist at work. Everett’s thoughts turned to the heaviness that rested in his mind and body at the passing of their queen. The pack had come together in their collective grief and remembrance for Lyris, and yet, the scholar had felt something disquieting upon the air. To consider that the healers could be regarded with scrutiny or even distrust at the matriarch’s loss seemed unthinkable. Yet, the hearts and minds of those lost to grief were often strange and dark places.

Veri called pleasantly from the inside, and as he entered she waved a hand to the empty chairs, which he settled into. His gaze swept the office, only to linger at a mixture on a shelf or a jar on the table. Everett laid his hands upon his lap, and turned them over to reveal the pale flesh of his pads.

Veri asked after his well-being, and the man nodded once in assent. Everett canted his head to one side as he noticed movement on the counter top. The lump issued soft sounds, and its chest rose and fell. Pale orbs softened as he watched the sleeping puppy extend his forelimbs, and with his mother’s gentle touch succumb to slumber. His heart swelled at the charming sight, and he smiled at the healer as she looked at him.

The male studied her expression for a moment, at the way her brows curved upward in interest as she addressed the scholar’s ills. Everett noticed the subtle movement of scar tissue upon her muzzle as she inhaled his scent as she mentioned Iorek’s concerns. His smile expanded as she used a pet name, ‘dear’, that was familiar from home. “I commend Iorek on his persuasive skills. Did you have a hand in teaching him, or is it a facet I had not seen before?”

Everett gazed at the sleeping form of Alaric as he spoke of his own health, his voice low and hoarse. “I am at a loss, if the truth be told. I thought this would pass, this cold. It persists, despite my best efforts. I have tried to use warming teas and mixtures to combat the fatigue upon body and mind.” Pale orbs flickered to Veri’s own sapphire ones as he hesitated, and cleared his throat. “And the nightmares I have… some nights, I do not sleep…”

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Avatar by Lin <3
#4
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You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

A smile broke across her expression and she chuckled, leaning on the counter top and loosely folding her arms across her chest. "I've taught him the way of medicines and defending himself, anything else he's begun to show is all him." she couldn't help but feel a tingle of pride, however, that Iorek had put his foot down and shown that he meant business. Very few canines would argue with a giant as big as the feral Medic, no matter how pacifist he might be.

That being said, the cream furred matriarch listened intently as he described what ailed him. For just a moment, no longer than a couple seconds, there was a flicker of concern through her mind for having Alaric in the same space as Everett, as young and weak as he still was. Just as quickly it was ignored, just in time for a slight frown of concern to tug on the corners of her muzzle in reaction to what the pale pelted male had painted for her. Fatigue, nightmares, a cough...it sounded rather simple. But then again, so had Lyris's illness, and it had taken her life.

Thoughtfully, the sandy gold Medic pushed away from the counter and turned to inspect her supplies, a purse to her lips. "Anything else you can possibly think of? Even if you think it might mean nothing or it seems embarrassing, it could help. Appetite, fever, how well things are passing through and coming out, nausea or vomiting..." she trailed off after giving him some suggestions. She tried to sugarcoat it a little, unsure about how he'd react to such blatant medical terms, but there was little else she could do about that.

ooc Sorry this took so long! | [wc — ??]
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#5
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Word Count → +300 :: No worries! <3

The woman’s maw broke into a wide smile as he mentioned her student, Iorek. “He is a credit to you, Veri.” Everett quirked his lips in response, and turned his pale gaze onto the dozing pup. A heartbeat passed where his throat seized up while he admonished himself for running the risk of infecting Alaric. He gazed upward to see if his panic was shared, but the mother’s face offered little hint at her thoughts on the matter.

Instead, the female seemed more focused on the scholar. Veri drew herself away from the counter-top, and turned her attention to the shelves. As she thumbed her hands over the mass of containers, she listed a number of ailments in an, easy conversational manner. It was enough to quell the sputter he could feel bubbling up his throat. Between dismay or childish laughter, he did not know what was worse.

She gently reminded Everett not to disregard any changes in his health; even if they were small or of a delicate nature. The gentleman cleared his throat, and stared at the length of stones gathered at his wrists. A deep exhalation of air departed his lungs as he tried to organise his thoughts into a semblance of order, his voice hesitant. “I believe some of the symptoms to simply be a cold. The drop in the temperature typically means I will fall sick, and unfortunately I’ve learnt the hard way it takes me a little longer to fight it off.”

Everett tilted his head to catch Veri’s eyes with his own. Taught creases formed at the edges of pink lips as he listened to his heartbeat drum in his chest. “As for the nightmares… I believe I know where the source lies. It is something I try to forget. And yet it festers there, whenever I close my eyes. I do not know… how to overcome it, or even if it can be.”

He was aware he was being cryptic and cringed outwardly at his openness. It could not be unspoken now that the secret was given air. Good riddance, a voice roared from the midst of his mind.

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Art by Nat

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Avatar by Lin <3
#6
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You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

For just a moment the sandy gold Medic allowed herself to preen under Eve's praise, a pleased expression overtaking the smile she'd worn at the first mention of Iorek. Although her thoughts of pride were overshadowed by momentary concern for her son, she did not allow it to go any further than the thoughts in her mind. There was no immediate danger. Afterall, Lyris's illness had stayed centralized on the ice queen, somehow, despite how often the two Medics and their Lune had been around the fallen Stryder Matriarch. Perhaps her immune system had been strengthened by the sickness that had swept the territory a few months past.

As she made her point about sharing any knowledge he might know about his welfare, her attention was on the shelves, so she did not see how he might have reacted to her nonchalant list of ailments. The way he cleared his throat shortly after gave her pause, blue orbs swiveling with her head to find his seated figure. For a moment he said nothing, and then a deep sigh was expelled and he began to speak. Veri listened patiently, her expression a mixture of concern and interest as he explained that a cold, for him, was quite natural, and tended to take longer than most to shake off.

His head tilted to deliberately catch her gaze. The movement brought her ears fully rotated forward on her head, to make sure he knew he had her complete attention now. The tension she saw in his face made her motherly instincts want to take him in her embrace and soothe them away. Her expression deepened with concern as he went on, prompting her to close the distance between them and sit in the chair beside him. For a few seconds she remained silent, in thought, and then she leaned back in her seat and looked at him full in the face, her blue orbs soft and achingly kind.

"It sounds like you think you deserve this sickness whenever it ails you. Your subconscious is extremely powerful. If it thinks you deserve punishment for something from the past, it will do it's best to conjure up the best option available to it." her gaze stayed on his for several solid seconds until she blinked and seemed to realize how personal this might be. She leaned back even further and rubbed her newly acquired scar out of habit, a smile of chagrin tugging at her lips. "Please, forgive me if I'm being too forward, or if I'm wrong completely. I don't want to assume anything." she said hastily.

Veri bit her lip and dropped her arm back into her lap, searching his expression with only genuine concern in her own. "But if I'm right...it could be the cause of the nightmares too. Or part of it. I can give you remedies for the physical ills, but if your mind is holding onto something from your past, dwelling on it, grieving, piling up with regret or shame...all of these emotions can affect your physical body if they are bottled for too long."

ooc here | [wc — ??]
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#7
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Word Count → +400 ::

The golden woman focused on Everett as his gaze touched hers. Veri’s ears tilted forward, whilst his folded back. The scholar pressed on with his response to her questions, and watched as her expression flickered from worry to gentleness. Glacial orbs drifted down, as he rubbed his hands together persistently. The stones at his wrist clinked together with the motion, a quiet yet steady rhythm to his words. Veri’s footsteps on the floor brought the scholar’s attention toward his surroundings; the medic had come to sit beside him.

He turned his body slowly towards hers as he studied the silent figure. The wolf relaxed into the chair and inclined her face towards Everett as she explained her theory; from what the male could gather, he was wounding himself from the inside. The problems he fought against were a complex beast, and dwelt within the layers of his own mind. “It is an interesting thought,” he said at last, as he scratched his chin. “Do you think so? That I, or my thoughts may be the cause of my pain?”

It was a theory he had mused on before. In the darkness of the night, and the shadows of his psyche, something stirred. Perhaps he had become accustomed to the daemon that settled within the corners of his mind that it had not occurred to him to question its existence. Everett nodded and smiled faintly as Veri traced a finger along a healing scar. “Not at all. You wish to help me and I want to be better. I can only achieve this through your assistance.”

The silver male folded his arms across his chest while his tongue flicked outward to smooth his muzzle. He nodded slowly as she mentioned herbal remedies to soothe his physical ails. Everett’s ears perked forward as the woman clarified the source of his distress, and gave her reasons for why he continued to struggle with nightly terrors. His jaws parted as he sighed, and appeared to crumble where he sat; his spine sagged forward as his pads held the side of his face. His gaze stared through the comfortable healer’s office into the middle distance, and his voice was faint as he asked aloud, “Why have I been so blind?”

“I think I understand, Veri.” The scholar glanced about him, his eyes trailed to the sleeping boy. “There are memories of things I have seen or done, that I either did not understand or did not wish to contemplate. What was I to do? I was hurt and confused. In my heart of hearts, I am a coward. I am not proud of that fact, but nor will I deny it.”

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Art by Nat

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Avatar by Lin <3
#8
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You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

Everett's calm reaction to her theory helped to relax the tension that'd abruptly built in her shoulders. Not many would take the idea that their ailment was their own doing as well as he just had.

She gave a dip of her muzzle as he asked for reconfirmation. "It's certainly possible. From what I know of the history of medicine from the time of humans, even they didn't understand how the mind worked. Not fully."

The pale furred Scholar had been swift to reassure that her aid was appreciated, punctuating that she only genuinely wished to help and his best bet to get better was through her. The Medic's muzzle turned up at the corners, pleased but tinged with an embarrassed humility.

Veri's ears turned back once more as he reacted to her next statement, his posture crumpling in his seat as he bent forward to hold his head between his hands. She reached out a hand to his shoulder, only to catch herself and pause before her fingertips came into contact. Still, it hovered there between them, an extension of her concern.

Everett glanced about then, and she allowed the hand to slowly fall back into her lap while quietly listening. His gaze had found the sleeping bundle of her son whilst speaking. Her expression softened throughout his vague explanation, her posture subconsciously leaning forward in an effort to show him some form of comfort.

"Perhaps...it would be beneficial to...attempt...reevaluating what occurred in your past that causes such distress to you, but from a third, neutral party. And if you can't, then, perhaps finding a trustworthy friend to confide in might be an idea to consider." a few quiet squeaks had her attention perking in her son's direction.

The sandy gold Medic stood to close the distance between herself at the blanketed pup. He'd woken, his form wriggling a little in its soft confines. Carefully she picked up her precious cargo and carried Alaric back with her to the chair she'd vacated, cradling the nest to her torso while she ever so gently rubbed a few fingers down his spine. Content now that he was close to her, she shifted her gaze back to Eve.

"The reason I suggest this, as distasteful as either option might be, it might open you to a different set of mind in regards to whatever situation you have trapped in your thoughts. Cowardice is in the eye of the beholder, after all, and we tend to be our own worst enemies when it comes to such things."

Soon after she'd finished speaking, Alaric deemed it time to lift his head from its perch and spread his tiny muzzle wide in a yawn. A squeak punctuated the end, where he placed his head back down and squirmed a moment to get more comfortable, his paws stretching outward before going lax. Veri smiled warmly down at the tiny ball of fluff.

ooc here | [wc — 500]
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#9
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Word Count → +500 ::

Everett focused on Veri while she explained that he workings of the mind proved to be enigmatic to the humans. That fact was hardly comforting; the hairless ancestors had created and believed such wonderful, terrible and puzzling things. It seemed reasonable that even they lacked knowledge of such things. They had not escaped whatever it was that befell the world and laid it to decay for the Luperci to populate. This train of thought made the scholar’s eyelids heavy, as he brought his attention back to the present.

The blonde medic turned a bashful smile towards the male, and he mused if something he had said had prompted the expression. The flicker of movement was not lost to him, despite the way his gaze lingered on Alaric. An ear rotated minutely in Veri’s direction, but otherwise his features maintained a blank mask as he had practised. Her gesture and its meaning were unfathomable, did she mean to touch him? To comfort him?

The moment was gone, as Everett straightened from his uncomfortable declining position, and met her eyes. Her hands were folded across her lap as she inclined her body forward to listen. The corners of the man’s lips quirked in a smile, the gesture coupled with her warmth felt reassuring. Physical contact was something that all canines needed, it was a vital component that connected them to each in other in a family or a pack. The outcast had been purposefully starved of it, and saw the act of giving and receiving affection as something he was not worthy of. The medic likely did not realise what her kindness meant to Everett, but he would hold it close to his heart always.

Veri’s voice faltered as she offered her patient advice. To openly confess the aspects of his past and hold them to the light. It was a terrifying concept for the gentleman to consider; the medicine woman noted that he need not speak to her of it, that a friend would suffice. Everett nodded slowly, as both the adult’s turned their heads at a series of squeaks from the waking child. A smile touched his face as he watched the boy wriggling beneath the blankets, or the mother who appeared to visibly relax as she retrieved her son and returned to sit down with him cradled against her. The pup quieted as Veri traced slender fingers along his spine, and glanced at the silvery male.

He was relieved to find that the woman seemed to understand his private nature, as she spoke apologetically about her suggestion to confide in another. Veri gently reminded him that often what one thought about themselves could do far more harm than one realised. His response was interrupted by Alaric’s open-mouthed yawn. Everett continued to watch as the boy shuffled into a more comfortable spot and stretched. His own gaze settled on the babe at the moment that the sapphire-eyed woman did. “I did not get the opportunity to congratulate you properly before, but I would like to extend my felicitations to both you and Rurik. Alaric is beautiful.”

The male thumbed a ring as he replied to the mother’s advice. “To return to the point we were discussing, I agree with your suggestion. I would not hold it against you if you do not wish to hear what I have to say. Could I share my story with you, Veri? I trust you, and your skills to aid me in this task.”

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Art by Nat

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Avatar by Lin <3
#10
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You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

Everett's face, during her possibly unwelcome advice, seemed unchanging as he listened, save for a minute twitch of his ear in her direction, but why this movement was made she hadn't any idea. Veri noted the soft quirk to his lips and took it as a good sign, that he might be receptive to the idea of divulging the darkness of his mind in the hopes of tapping into what might be ailing him.

He made no attempts to speak between the end to her spiel and when she'd stood to retrieve her son. Only once she'd settled in her seat once again did the scholar finally bring himself to open his muzzle, but his words were of a different subject entirely; Alaric, of all things.

Nonetheless, Veri smiled and dipped her head in acknowledgement of his words. "Thank you, that means a lot to me. Rurik is still kind of unsure what to do with a pup of his own, honestly. He's slowly getting used to the idea though." she shared a commiserating smile with Eve. "He never thought the domestic 'family' thing would happen for him."

After that, however, he returned to the original point they'd been discussing, surprising her by forging further than she'd hoped. Her smile softened as she lifted it to his gaze, mixed blue orbs gleaming with the sort of quiet pride only a mother seemed capable of exuding. "Of course you may share with me, Everett. Before we begin, however, let me just make sure we won't be interrupted. If you intended to start now, that is."

If the scholars answer turned out to be yes, the Medic would stand, turning for just a moment to place Alaric's blanket nest on the seat she'd just abandoned in favor of walking to the door of the room and peeking out. Morty had arrived some time during the conversation, so she kindly asked the older healer to make sure no one disturbed this room unless the circumstances were dire.

The grizzled woman would make many grumbles but agreed, waving Veri back into the room with a huff, where she would then close the door and return to her vacated seat to pick up her son before sitting herself down once more.

ooc here | [wc — 500]
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#11
[html]

Word Count → +600 ::

There was considerable risk in what Everett asked of her, he knew. To dive deep into one’s inner workings and bring the rot to the surface could reach a poor conclusion; things you did not wish to see let alone have another see you at your most vulnerable. Such intimacies had existed for the gentleman once, between his former servant, Olivia. There was little need for words and explanations between the two, for they had lived through the events that festered in his being. She is gone, he reminded himself bitterly. I remain, I am the sole keeper of that life. How fortunate of me.

Veri dipped her head gratefully as she thanked him for his kindness. The male chuckled good-naturedly as she spoke about her mate, Rurik, and his experiences of fatherhood. Everett nodded companionably to the woman as he let his mind ponder the situation. How would he react to the news of learning he was a father? The scholar had some inkling as he had blissfully opened his heart to a boisterous child, for whilst he could not comprehend the bond between a parent and child, he could not love her more deeply despite the lack of shared blood between them. He smiled gently as he added, “I hope that Rurik takes well to his new life. It is not an the easiest of responsibilities to take on, I am lead to believe.”

The pale medic lifted her eyes to meet his, and Everett noticed the change in her face. The softness, and perhaps pride evident in Veri’s gentle expression surprised him. She did not turn away from him and reject his proposal as he had feared, and seemed genuine in her wish to help him. The scholar had been fortunate enough to have met many with generous hearts and yet his instincts were to run and hide. Veri would acquiesce his request, and as he watched her pad towards the door, he affirmed to himself he could do this. If he were to defend himself against the oncoming storm, he would need to familiarise himself with his enemy. Strike it down in whatever form it took, as Valdis, Jace and Casa di Cavalieri would want.

With their encouragement, Everett believed he could be better. He would journey into the dark, unafraid and with the guidance of another. He would carve out this brave new life for himself. The scholar did not comprehend the murmurs from the other side of the door as Veri conversed with another as he cleared his mind and sharpened his focus on the pain. He could gather the inky threads of his past in cold, graceful fingers and hold them up against his vision.

Forms would materialise from the murky insides of his cranium, faces and memories summoned by scent and sound. The scream of seabirds overhead and the coarse texture of sea-salt on his fur surfaced to the forefront of his mind. “I had a friend who travelled with me,” Everett began slowly, when Veri was seated, “Her name is… Was Olivia. She was once a slave.” His pale gaze lingered on hers to gauge her reaction. “I freed her once we were away from my homeland. And yet she chose to follow me. We met with another group of canines who hoped to trade and told us they knew of several locations.”

“We travelled with them for months, and a bond formed between us all. Our journey had its difficulties - quarrels amongst ourselves and others happened.” The scholar paused, and rubbed his hands together. At some point during the telling of his tale his palms had numbed. “Such things are par the course as I’m certain you are aware. Bring a group of disparate people together into a situation that requires them to eke out a living and you learn much.”

The man sighed against the heaviness in his throat as he drew nearer to unveiling an image tinged in blood. Everett’s shoulders heaved as he coughed several times, his ears low and hand about his mouth. “Veri, might I have some water please?”

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Avatar by Lin <3
#12
[html]
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

Everett's comment prompted another smile to pull on her lips, accompanied by her own chuckle. Her gaze dropped to the precious cargo she held, the blissfully sleeping pup in her arms. Her expression softened even further for a moment. "No, it's certainly not easy. But I wouldn't trade it for the world." Rurik wouldn't either, if asked.

Outwardly, her mate could be described as stoic when it came to the relationship he had with his son. In private, however, it would be easy to see that Alaric had become the apple of Rurik's eye.

It'd pleased her to witness the bond form between the two, to watch her mate hold the tiny pup in his arms close in an attempt to shield him from all harm.

Her gaze turned onto the scholar once more, having voiced her wish to aid him in his endeavor. And so she carefully placed her son upon the chair and went to close the door for the privacy. After returning, Everett began his tale slowly, every so often glancing in her direction to gauge her reaction.

The mention of his friend, Olivia, being a slave, prompted a twitch to her tail. The motion had been slight, and could be interpreted as a normal movement rather than one of distaste. The scars on her wrists and muzzle gave a tingle for a handful of seconds, but she shrugged the sensation off in favor of listening as a proper audience should.

Veri gave a slight nod when prompted, which morphed into an expression of concern when he then coughed a few times, a hand about his mouth to stifle the sounds and ears held low. His request was met with another nod. "Of course, one moment," that said, she stood and placed Alaric once more on her abandoned seat, quickly moving to the counter where a pale of clean water was kept for needs such as this.

The Medic filled a wooden goblet with the clear liquid and returned with it to Everett, holding it out to him once she'd come close. "Here, drink your fill." she told him soothingly, the instinct of a healer prompting her free hand to reach out and gently pat at his upper back a moment before modifying into a rub of her palm across his back.

"Would you like something to ease that cough of yours? I'm sure it would make sharing your story less of a strain to convey." the Medic had some honey on hand now, generous donated by Honrin and the bees he kept. The addition had been greatly appreciated by all the healers.

ooc here | [wc — 500]
template by hilli
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@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Gabriela|Quando|Montaga|Grand+Hotel|Milonga|Great+Vibes|Lovers+Quarrel|Qwigley|Parisienne|Rouge+Script');
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#13
[html]

Word Count → +300 ::

The male glanced between Veri and the middle distance as he told his story. There was little in her manner that betrayed her thoughts, Everett surmised. She offered him nods of encouragement whenever he seemed to falter, and her face was drawn with worry. He dipped his hand and uttered a hoarse words of gratitude as the golden woman poured water into a mug for him. The scholar massaged his throat with one hand, and smiled at Alaric.

The medic returned and held out a sturdy mug to him as she drew closer. Everett held the vessel in both hands and slowly brought it to his lips, when something prompted him to stop. Her palm touched the male’s tensed back, a gentle motion that soothed him after the initial shock had faded. Veri did not pull away from the scholar’s flinch, and brushed her hand against his shoulders and upper back.

A sole ear tucked against his head, and the man quietened the whimpers that lingered in the back of his throat. “I-I’m sorry. I am not used to being looked after.” Everett held back from admitting that he was unused to being touched - it seem pathetic, and yet it was true. With that thought brushed firmly aside, he closed his eyes and drank his fill of the water. Droplets fell from his chin and dampened his neck in his eagerness to rid his throat of its prickling texture. Once he was finished, he sighed audibly and placed it on the table.

Veri proposed a mixture that would benefit her patient’s cough, and allow him to continue with his tale. Everett smiled warmly at the Secanti woman’s kindness, his tail swished behind him as he said, “That would be marvellous. What do you recommend, dear Veri?” He was in little doubt that he could learn from the medic’s knowledge and techniques to inform his own practise.

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Avatar by Lin <3
#14
[html]
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

Veri's expression remained so as one of concern, patiently listening to the tale woven in the space between them. She watched Everett's expression throughout, calmly letting their eyes meet when he would glance in her direction. His plea for water, after a brief coughing fit, had the medic rising to her feet to fetch the requested item.

Once returned to his side and the mug had been offered, her palm came down to gently pat and then rub across his upper back and shoulders. The scholar tensed initially at her touch, almost prompting her to move away, but quickly he relaxed a bit into the contact, pausing to give an explanation as to why he'd frozen up.

A kind smile pulled the corners of her lips up. "It's not a problem. I wasn't either, at one point. You'll become more used to it as time wears on." Veri watched as he downed the entire cup in a few gulps. After the empty vessel had been set aside on the table, her offer came forth, to which the light furred male agreed.

"A warm tea, of course. Keep an eye on Alaric will you? I won't be far, just over by the counter there." she gestured to where the medics kept their inventory of herbal remedies on the wall perpendicular to them. Briskly she returned to the area she'd just motioned to and pulled various jars from the shelf.

"The mixture is fairly simple. Herbs first: Tansy and catnip, for that cough, chamomile, to relax just a touch, dried juniper berries, for any troubled breathing in addition to lending some strength, and finally heather nectar to sweeten it all." each herb was patiently added to a thinly woven cloth bag and tied at the opening to hold them all in. This bag she then placed into a tin cup, before kneeling to place the pail of water she'd used earlier onto a ring of stone that supported a metal grate over a bed of orange coals.

After a few sticks were added as fuel to get the fire crackling again, a couple thicker pieces were pushed in to make sure it would stay going for a while.

Over an open flame, it didn't take long for the water within the pail to boil in readiness. The medic left the bucket where it sat, instead using a ladle to pick up scoopfuls of the liquid into the cup where the makeshift bag of tea had waited until the vessel steamed almost to the brim. "And the last ingredient, a luxury item really; fresh honey, to sweeten and further soothe that throat." Veri took a spoonful of the sweet delicacy and stirred the steeping tea with it, allowing the honey to melt.

Once it had all dissolved she returned to Everett, smiling an apology. "Sorry that took so long. It should be allowed to sit for another moment or two before consumed. This allows it to cool, of course, but also lets the herbs seep more fully into the water, giving you all the benefits they can offer." the cup was placed on the table beside the first he'd used. "While you wait for that, here."

The medic held out a wooden utensil with a sliver of honey stuck to it, still thick from the hive it'd been collected from; that's how fresh it was. "It'll get you some quick relief while the tea steeps."

ooc here | [wc — 500]
template by hilli
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#15
[html]

Word Count → +500 ::

Everett smiled shyly when Veri explained that she had not been used to touch at one point. He did not know the woman all that well yet, and could only guess at the pain behind her soothing tone. With the mug placed aside, the scholar massaged his thumb and fore-finger against his neck. The muscles felt sore; whilst the water had helped to soften the insides of his mouth, a grittiness remained.

The scholar nodded as the medic suggested tea, and gestured towards the shelves. He moved toward Alaric and knelt beside him as the mother busied herself with herbs. The boy’s soft breathing drifted pleasantly in Everett’s ears, and he sighed. Could there be a more peaceful experience than watching the steady rise and fall of a sleeping child? He traced a single digit along Alaric’s spine and rubbed the top of his head softly. His mind was filled with questions that would likely go unanswered. What was it that pups dreamed of?

Veri’s words filtered from across the room. He canted his head to one side as she listed the herbs she needed, and their uses. Everett was familiar with some of the plants’ names, others their appearances. His study of herbalism was self-experimental, and this moment provided a vital opportunity to brush up on his own skills. Her deft fingers sorted the material into separate bags, tied them and placed them into a fresh cup.

“Where did you learn to work with plants?” Everett asked Veri’s back as she stoked the fire. Light and heat steadily filled the room, accompanied by the crackling of burning wood. The male shuffled himself into a seated position on the floor as he waited for the tell-tale gurgling of boiled water. He sighed and stretched his toes as warmth soothed his body; there fire could be destructive, but was also rather calming to the dog.

His ears perched forward as Veri spoke, and smiled as she explained she was using honey. Everett could almost imagine its sweetness on his tongue, and licked his muzzle as he watched as the liquid fell slowly from the spoon. He met Veri’s eyes as she smiled apologetically, as she clarified the next steps in the process. Everett waved a hand in the air at her justification of things taking too long. “Not at all. Perfection cannot be rushed.”

The mug was placed before him, and he thanked her with a nod of his head. The scholar rose quietly to his feet and sat down once more, his gaze focused on the medic as she offered something to him. A wooden spoon was extended towards him, golden honey pooled about its centre. It looked and smelled fresh; this was a rare treat, as it was dangerous to harvest and rare to find in winter. He took the utensil carefully from the woman and met her eyes with a genuine smile. “You have my thanks.”

He brought the spoon to his lips and savoured the delicious taste as it dissolved in his mouth. The honey provided further relief for his throat as he cleared the ladle with his tongue and licked his fingers. Whether it was the quality of the produce or the personal attention he had received, Everett felt a greater sense of wellness than before he had stepped inside the office. “Where did you get that from, Veri? It was delicious, and I would like to speak with supplier about attaining more.”

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Avatar by Lin <3
#16
[html]
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around

Had Everett been one of more daunting forbearance, then perhaps Veri would not have been so complacent on letting him so near her newborn son. But the scholar had a quiet demeanor about him that allowed her hackles to remain flat as she heard him scooch closer to Alaric.

That wasn't to say she wasn't still hyper aware of the new proximity, but it wasn't necessarily deemed as a threat by her instincts. She watched from the corner of her eye as the light furred male studied the tiny pup, eventually gaining the courage to ever so gently trace a finger down the little one's spine.

Alaric barely stirred upon the contact, his only response being to stretch once more, briefly pushing his head into Everett's digit. The sight caused a slight smile on her muzzle before returning her attention to the work before her.

Everett's question caught her a bit off guard. She blinked a moment before answering. "My father instigated it, actually. Through his teaching, though, it wasn't a passion, but rather a necessity. I didn't start loving the craft until I came to this land. Casa only served to nurture my passion further." her tone morphed from one slightly off into a chuckle of mirth. "All these warriors, and they'd be hopeless without a healer around to patch them back up after doing something foolhardy. Nowadays, I'm as much a warrior as I am a healer."

Her apology for the length of time it took was waved away by the scholar, softening her smile. The light furred male shifted back into the seat in time for her gift to be observed by his gaze and accepted eagerly. Her head dipped in acknowledgement to his gratitude, pleased at the way he took the honey onto his palate, obviously savoring the flavor of the treat.

She chuckled at his query while settling into her own vacant chair, Alaric once more nestled within her arms. "It's from Honrin, Jace's son. He has his own beehives that he occasionally collects from and gives to the healers for medicinal use. The first time he offered some to me, I was beside myself. It's such a rare, harrowing thing to retrieve, and having a ready supply is, honestly, a gift from Fenris."

The medic made a motion with her muzzle to the cup that steamed beside him. "It should be alright to try now. Be wary, it might still burn your tongue a bit. Blowing a few times should cool it just enough."

ooc here | [wc — 433]
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#17
[html]

Word Count → +300 :: Do you want to wrap this one up? Thanks for threading with me! <3

A smile curled the corners of Everett’s lips as Alaric snuggled closer into his touch. Lightness filled his heart from this simple act, as he brushed the back of his free hand along the little one’s body. It was at moments such as these that he questioned how a parent could ever not love their child. It was something he often wondered in vain, for there seemed to be no answer that satisfied the scholar.

He turned his head to regard Veri as she responded to his inquiry, and he nodded. “I see. The craft was not a passion at first, but a necessity. My own path begun much the same way you know - something to keep the mind busy.” Everett chuckled at the medic’s joke toward the warriors as he added, “Where would we all be without a healer’s hands? It does not bear thinking about.”

Veri returned to her seat and cuddled her son close to her as her patient enjoyed the liquid gold she had provided. His smile widened with pleasant surprise as he learned that the honey belonged to Honrin; he made a mental note to speak with the man on the subject. “Indeed! Casa is truly blessed.”

Pale eyes followed the woman’s pointed gesture toward the mug she had prepared. Steam curled upward still, as Veri cautioned Everett against drinking it immediately. Lest he wanted a burned mouth. As this was not the scholar’s intention, he laced his fingers about the cup and brought it closer to his muzzle and blew over it several times. He dipped a finger experimentally into the tea before lapping up its contents. Everett smiled as he finished, his face flushed from the hot drink as it smoothed his dry throat. “Hmm, that was much more refreshing than I had thought it would be. Not at all unpleasant. You are a gift to us all, dear Veri.”

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