[P] I Wanna Ruin Our Friendship
Date thread!!!
Backdated for September 6th.

It would have been better to have waited until all the foliage had been shed for winter. Smokecloud's fur and clothes were damp from the morning dew. Her arms especially wet, thanks to her reaching into the leaves and plants to get to the soil underneath. The pass was overgrown, but a trail had been worn in places along the still present metal tracks.

Smokecloud enjoyed peering underneath the leaves and grass. Insects and small creatures called that underbrush land home. Each reach was another glimpse of that tiny land. Sometimes she'd spy rodents nibbling on shed antler, or creepy crawlies inhabiting a decaying bone. Other times she'd see relics of old, many and most of which long since rusted away to brown dust.

"Hokori, could you lift that log there for me?" The ironpaw asked, glancing back at her friend. Smokecloud had asked the woman to assist her in finding scrap for making things at the forge. There was one thing in particular that she wanted from the pass; those strange nails that only seemed to be found by the tracks. She wasn't sure what they were called but she had guessed they were used to secure wood in place along the tracks.

Once the log was lifted and pushed aside, Smokecloud scoured for her quarry, and only after a minute of pulling apart grass and picking at other things, she found the giant rail nail she hoped for. It was rusted, but had yet to decay. It would work. "Thank you, I found what I was looking for," she said with a smile, quickly tucking the spike into a bag before Hokori could get a good look at it.

The ironpaw took a moment to admire her friend. So strong and tall, criminally beautiful. She was perfect in every way in Smokecloud's eyes. "Say, I've been meaning to talk to you about something," she admitted, stepping towards the towering beauty. Smokecloud took her friend's hand in her own and looked Hokori in the eyes for a moment. They were gorgeous, bright and attentive. Smokecloud opened her mouth to speak, but the words didn't come instead she began walking away from the upturned log. "Are you still living with your parents?" She asked, focusing on the ground in front of them as they stepped together.
Why Smokey had wanted to do this when it was still wet outside, Hokori would probably never be able to guess. The dew was fine, but like, surely it would have been nicer if they could stay totally dry? All this soppy plant matter was being mushed and mashed to bits under her feet, weeds reduced to a fine green paste that she would end up tracking into the house and her mom would get mad even as Amal began to scrub it away with a rag. Just a whole lot of rigmarole for a friendly outing they could have been doing at a different time.

But saying all this would be rude and Hoko wasn't very interested in hurting her buddy's feelings. Smokey was nice and gentle and sweet, a sensitive little bean who would probably fall to pieces if confronted with the slightest bit of unkind treatment.

"Yep, I got it."

Any excuse to show off her imposing strength was one that the massive wolf mutt would take gladly. Hoko simply crouched and got a good grip, rotting wood bending under her hands as she huffed and hoisted the log with a mighty grunt of exertion. With it standing on one end it was easy enough to just toss it to the side, the old tree partially crumbling upon being reintroduced to the ground. 

Her friend found her quarry, one of the long nails that were buried in the dirt around her. It was similar to the one that had been forged into a knife and stuck to the Tree, the one that came with a note from some mysterious admiring. It made sense, it was the sort of thing that'd be pretty easy to fashion into a shiv so it wasn't like Smokecloud would be the first to think of it. 

"My parents? Yeah. It's nice to have Amal around to do all my chores for me. Why'd you ask?"
Would you like to spend the rest of your life with me? Smokecloud could have asked, in  any possible way and maybe Hokori would have gotten it. There was a very real attraction Smokey held for the towering beauty, but alas, she had not the nerve to admit it. It was a dance around the fire, never stepping close. Hell she wasn’t even afraid she’d get burned, it was just so hard for her to seek the warmth. Had Hokori been the one wanting to or even just making the advances, things would be different. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Amal did all of her chores? That… wasn’t good. Smokecloud did all of her own, if Hokori was to live with her, she did not want to be the one that cleaned up after the giant. Yes she’d love the woman, but she would not be a maid on top of a Hearward, metalsmith, and an aspiring carpenter. She squeezed her friend’s hand briefly at the thought, and tried believed that the Tanaka girl was capable of being clean alongside being wild. A different wild than what Smokecloud was used to. Hers was less being in tune with the wilderness, and more being boisterous and rowdy. “Do you want to move out of there?” the shy girl asked. She had moved out of her mother’s den very early in her adulthood. It didn’t happen in a good way, but she was happier out on her own.

Perhaps she caught Hokori at the perfect moment. What if she was ready to take the next step to independence, if not freedom. Parents could be a drag, but even if they’re so good and understanding, the feeling of autonomy and actually having a space to one’s self was so incredible. Now it was just a normal thing to her, before it was exhilarating, but a little scary. Smokecloud knew she could take the fear out of that equation for her friend. If they lived together, then maybe it would be easier to share how she felt. Even now, distant from that fire, she still felt antsy about asking. “It’s pretty lonely in my home,” she told Hokori, admitting some real feelings.

She enjoyed having her mother around, for the most part. Her habit of sleeping around wasn’t the greatest, but Smokey realized that Woodsmoke wasn’t hurting her father. There wasn’t really a bond there to begin with. The ironpaw wanted a complete family, something like Hokori had. She knew now that it was impossible… but maybe in the future her friend would be something more, and would like to have a complete family. “It would be nice to have someone there with me,” she explained. “Do you think you’d want to live with me?”
God she loved being able to show off in front of Smokecloud. Her beautiful buddy was big and strong in her own right of course but Hoko was bigger and stronger, something that very much pleased the primal pot stirrer part of her brain. And it wasn't just in a 'haha I can beat my friend up and throw her around and stuff" sort of way. No, the wolf mutt was also very interested in keeping her friend safe. Holding her close when she was hurt, dropping anyone who tried to run up on her like a sack of bricks, ripping those who harmed her limb from limb.

Just the usual good pal sorta things. 

Hokori listened to Smokey's offer and while she kept her expression cheerful she was wincing internally. How to let down her best friend...god that was a tricky one. No meant no and Smokecloud wasn't the sort to push against someone's boundaries but that didn't make Hoko feel like she wasn't somehow the asshole in this situation. "Smokey, I'm touched that you're asking me...but I don't think I'm ready for that sort of thing yet."

She didn't like being put on the backfoot, the question unexpected and uncomfortable. 

"Don't get me wrong, that sounds lovely! It's just...I'm still not really used to be an adult. Living with my parents lets me be a kid still, y'know?

It sounded ridiculous as she said it but it was the truth. Hokori knew she was immature and was scared of being matured, terrified by the idea of growing up. But it would have to happen someday. 

"Later, okay? We can talk about this later."

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