[P] [M] The Tangled Web We Weave
#1
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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.
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

Baelish had basically not returned home for a week. His shame was paramount, and it seemed like the jagged tear that had formed between Zuri and himself was something that could not be mended. He had no one to blame but himself, it was his fault all this was happening; it had been his fault that night and it had been his every day since.

What was worse was that he knew Zuri would be fine without him; she could move on with her life easily; her beauty had not faded since their union, if anything it had blossomed with motherhood. Finding a new mate, a better mate, would be easy for her.

It was his children that would suffer, and for that he could not forgive himself. Better that he stay away so they could not see what a disappointment and a failure their father was; absence was the best choice, as much as Zuri’s gaze stabbed him with disappointment. He could not face them anymore, and so, had moved in with Willam.

The boy had changed a lot physically since he had joined the Vale; his once ragged and sea-salt crusted hair was now long and soft, he kept it in a high knot. His body had also gone a metamorphosis from gangly first-shift to young man, all strong and sinewy muscles that were honed from physical labor. In contrast, Baelish still found it difficult to keep weight on, and he has basically withered away to a wisp of his former self.

The fish-monger's son allowed his sponsor to stay, though he did not agree with his reasons why. It was easier for Willam to challenge Baelish’s decisions now that the D’Angelo was so weak of body and mind, but he also remained silent a lot of the time when he saw how much Baelish suffered.

Today, the two of them were taking it easy; both sat on the newly mended roof of Willam’s home, smoking; Baelish a cigarette and Willam a pipe. They sat in silence, enjoying the warmth of the sun on their backsides.


Forward dated to after August 26th
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#2
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2+

It had been Zuri that had sought the Ursarchon out, not Baelish himself. The Hawkesond had confided in Saga that she had become increasingly worried about her mate, about the distance he’d put between themselves. The constant arguing had taken its toll on the little family of four, and besides Zuri herself, the pale woman could think of no one better to ask than Saga. The dappled woman had been all too happy to oblige, even though she had her own problems to sort out. She herself had been worried about her middle brother, though her own lonesomeness had made it harder for her to gauge just how much her Baelish was hurting.

Zuri had told her where to find him, up at the house that Baelish’s “sponsor” had claimed for himself. Apparently driven out by the constant conflict between husband and wife, Baelish had left for the boy’s house and had been sequestering himself there for some time. Saga wondered if Willam knew why her brother was acting so strangely, though she figured if he did, Zuri would of asked him first.

The Ursarchon found them eventually, sitting up on the roof sharing a smoke. From far down below, further on four mismatched paws, she let out a commanding bark to draw their attention.
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#3
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

Baelish had been mixing marijuana in with his tobacco as of late, it helped calm his nerves and let his mind drift away from his responsibilities. Sometimes it would even allow him the chance to get a good night’s rest or appetite enough to eat a full meal. On the other side of the coin, it made him quite lazy and slow. Willam was happy to just enjoy some tobacco; the pipe he smoked from had delicate carvings of fish on the side, it was one of the few things he had brought with him from Portland.

Lifting his muzzle, Baelish let out a long and thick trail of smoke. Willam then made a sound in the back of his throat and leaned forward, “Your sister is here.” He said, standing.

Baelish peered through the smoke and over the edge of the roof just as Saga trotted up and gave a clearly demanding bark. Bae’s ears flattened, and Willam was quickly down the latter leaned up against the side of the home to greet the Ursaschon properly. Willam always wanted to have the best manners and show the speckled leader the proper respect, and somehow he felt as if he was interloping into a family problem by harboring Baelish.

The Elkenfrey himself made his way off the roof-top at a leisurely place, and flicked his mostly spent cigarette to the side before walking over to Saga, Guten tag, Schwester. he said, and then licked the edges of his cotton filled mouth.


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#4
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2+

It didn’t take him too long to climb down from the roof, or from Willam to do so too, an uncertain look on his young face. If Saga hadn’t known better, she would have thought that Baelish was in good spirits as he drew in deep on the joint and exhaled fragrant plumes of smoke. Still, she watched him with wary eyes, the vibrant green orbs narrowed in the waning sunlight. There was a delay before she even thought to greet Willam, and even when she did, it was only with a silent incline of her head before she turned to face her brother again.

Baelish greeted her warmly enough, his voice and rich as he spoke the old language of the Mountain. Saga didn’t buy it. “Tag.” she said curtly. She didn’t know what the situation with him was, all she knew was that he’d been shirking his duties as a husband and father, as a member of the Vale altogether and that wasn’t the Baelish the Ursarchon knew.

“Wir müssen reden. Jetzt”. Her voice was clean and clear, there was no way of wriggling out of this. In that moment, she was his leader and not his sister.

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#5
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

She responded curtly that they needed to talk, and Baelish felt his stomach drop. Willam, who didn’t speak a lick of German, could tell that this was to be a private meeting. He bowed out respectfully, entering the home and leaving the two siblings alone.

Baelish watched after him, feeling abandoned, like he had been left to the lions. He crossed his arms and turned back to look at his sister, I have a good idea what you want to talk about. He said, his voice flat, Did Zuri send you after me? I don’t blame her. I’ve been the worst husband to her, I’m sure she planning on leaving me.

And then, fear gripping him, Is… is that why you’re here? Is Zuri wanting to dissolve our mateship? He hadn’t considered this to be an option, but Saga was the Ursarchon after-all, she would have the authority to annul an official relationship.

Baelish sighed, placing his back against the rough stones of the small wall that lead up to Willam’s home. He slid down until he was seated in the dirt, his arms propped limply on his knees, Or are you here to punish me for my recent behavior? Join the club. He said, his brow furrowing, anger threatening to start churning in his chest, It’s really no one’s fucking business. He spat like poison. Baelish usually did not curse, but his thoughts and soul had been so dark as of late… he didn’t even know who he was anymore.


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#6
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uh oh spaghetti-o's 2+

Curt German was followed by a curt nod as Willam, slunk away with as much respect as he could muster given the intensity of the situation. Saga followed his retreat out of the corner of her eye, her gaze centred on her brother. He watched too, his face souring as he turned back to his sister, arms crossed. A quiet sigh resonated in her chest as Baelish began to speak, lips twisting into a pursed frown. 'Zuri didn't send me.' Saga assured patiently, hoping it would assuage his fears. But fear seemed to grip him tighter and his addled mind ran away with itself. Vibrant green eyes narrowed in confusion, 'What? No! No, don't be stupid.' The Ursarchon chided, already fatigued by the conversation.


Those same green eyes rolled, quickly losing patience with her brother as he sunk into the dirt. Saga swallowed hard, diverting her gaze and keeping a deep breath before rounding back on Baelish. 'It is my fucking business.' she countered, unable to keep the frustration out of her voice. 'I lead here, and the comings and goings are entirely my fucking business'. Saga shook her head, "'Not my fucking business..."' she parroted in disbelief. 'Who do you think you are?'

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#7
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

Saga reacted just as she should, incredulous, angry, and she made that very clear. She was the boss now, after-all; just because he was her brother he couldn’t get away with everything. Saga demanded to know exactly who he thought he was to speak to her that way.

Who did he think he was?

Baelish put his head into his hands, raked his claws through his hair, I don’t know… he whispered, I don’t know anything anymore.

Then, suddenly snapping his head up to look at Saga, I’m not the Baelish you knew. The man with swagger who left on the trip to trade… he is not I. The man who walked around Portland like he owned the place, even was confident enough to spend time in the brothels there just to learn from the working girls where the best opportunities to swindle people were. That man was so confident and high and mighty that he could even forgo his former vices to make deals while still remaining faithful to his wife. A strong man, untouchable.

He laughed suddenly, You should have seen it. There was this… woman… a mother-hen in the red-light district. Salena was her name, giant of a Luperci, stood at least two heads above me. Called herself a Great Dane, had a lot of pride in her breeding. She gave me some of my best leads, and for no payment either. I mean, you saw what I brought back, goods to put the Vale on the map, things we’d need in the winter, aren’t you proud. He spat.

Then, suddenly, looking away, That woman… she sure was something. Couldn’t stand that I wouldn’t lay with her, she couldn’t figure me out; what kind of man would come to that kind of establishment without partaking? But like I said… a strong man… a strong… His voice caught his throat and he buried his face in his hands again, his body suddenly shaking, She raped me! He cried, Oh Gods she raped me Saga, what kind of man allows himself to be raped? Baelish’s voice broke, and he began to cry like a child.


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#8
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3+

Nothing could have prepared her for the torrent of new information that Baelish had frantically vomited at her. It took her great stretches of time to digest each sentence as it fell sorrowfully from her brother's mouth. She swallowed hard and closed her eyes, willing her body to suppress the urge to vomit that wasn't just born from her sibling's devastating news. His final words echoed hauntingly off of the stone of the building behind him. All she could hear was, was that word, repeating itself again and again in her mind. Vicious and mocking. Despite being solidly braced on four, strong legs, she found herself wavering slightly and only found the consciousness turn her back on her brother and bring up what remained of her breakfast at the edge of the clearing.


When she found the strength to reopen her eyes and drag herself back over to Baelish, she found her vision leaving her feeling as if she was trapped ina a snowglobe. Flashes of white rained down all over her field of view, and it was a few moments until deep breaths hurried the effect away. Brow furrowed, she wondered the same thing he did. How? How could it happen? If he hadn't like it, how had it happened? Physically it made no sense to her, but she knew that her brother would never act in such a way. Not now at least. Not with a wife and two daughters at home.


She had nothing to say. No words of scorn, no words of comfort. Nothing she could say seemed to be worth saying, and somehow she couldn't will herself to close the distance between the two of them and embrace him as best she could. Instead, all she could do was stand there and sheepishly stared at where her regurgitated breakfast lay soaking into the dirt.


'I'm pregnant.' Again. she announced, louder and with more ill-placed faux confidence than she'd meant, as if to excuse her behaviour as well as her nausea. Only after she said it did she realise how stupidly competitive it sounded.


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#9
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

As horrible as it was to say it out loud, to make it real all over again, Baelish felt a horrible weight lifted from his shoulders. He whimpered like a pup, but more so from the release of it than from the pain.

In his anguish, and in the following ecstasy, he had forgotten who he was speaking to. He looked up to his sister just as her body lurched and she spewed forth food and acrid bile in front of him. Immediately he was concerned; he was not sure what kind of reaction she would have to his confession but that was certainly not it. Saga, are you alright? he managed through quivering words.

The Ursarchon looked up, and announced that she was with child. Baelish’s mind went in two directions at once; the first was to surprised happiness and the second was to betrayal. Did she not even care about what had happened to him? That couldn’t possibly be true. But she was pregnant, maybe her hormones were confusing her.

Baelish reached out and touched her gently on the flank, Oh… that’s... wonderful. Who’s the father? Was it the same man as who had given her Daniel and Caspar? She hadn’t seemed to keen on having their sire be in their life at all, so why bring him in for a third? Or… good Lord, had the same thing that happened to him happened to her? His mind went static with all the possibilities.

Baelish drew his legs up to his chest, curled in on himself, not sure what to say. He didn’t want to think about what had happened to him, and tried to force himself to focus on Saga now and her womb.


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#10
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2+

She should have expected Baelish to react with a question, however, still caught up in the trauma of her brother's revelation logic had escaped her mind. The Ursarchon attempted to explain for a long moment, attempting to delay her own shameful revelation. But the major difference was that her own shame had been brought on by herself and she really had no leg to stand on compared to her brother. Summoning all her strength, she pursed her lips and sighed. 'Boone.' She supposed, hoped too, that that was all she needed to say. Baelish had met with members of the Ashen before, it wasn't far fetched to assume that he knew the name of their Comandante.


She could see the cogs whirring in his mind, trying to connect the dots. Trying to figure out why she'd picked now for the revelation. 'He... He came to discuss trade routes, and he brought drink with him. Samples of what the Ashen could offer...' Green eyes watched Baelish for a while and then decided to join him, to comfort him as best she could. She laughed bitterly to herself. As if she, rocked by her brother's admission, could provide any such comfort. 'I really should stop drinking...' Saga surmised glumly, leaning into her brother's shirking body.


'I'm sorry.' The Ursarchon said after a while. 'You're not... not any less of a man. These things just... happen...'


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#11
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

A name was given, but one he did not immediately recognize. It was familiar, but his mind was so rattled by his confession that he could not quickly connect the dots.

She had explained he had come from the Ashen, and had brought… gifts, tastes of what they had to offer. Baelish despite his depression, could not help but laugh at his sister saying out loud that she should stop drinking. Oh, so a child born of a drunken night then? He could relate… he supposed, at some level. Many of his own exploits, and failures, had been the result of a night of reverie.

As quickly as the moment of amusement came, it went, as Saga finally focused on him and said that he was no less of a man for having endured what he had. Baelish’s face darkened as he looked at her, but he remained silent. He knew her words were meant to comfort, but to him, they only diminished the magnitude of it. Had she ever been raped? Taken advantage of? Had her body been used like a toy for someone else’s amusement? Based on her recent mention of why she was now pregnant, he doubted it.

Baelish took a deep breath, and then let it out slowly, She drugged me, I think. I’m not sure. I remember meeting with her girls, there was no funny business. I remember her giving me drink, and whispering sweet words in my ear… and then nothing. He swallowed harshly.

Then, taking another breath, I awoke the next morning. She was naked beside me, her monstrous body sleeping peacefully. I found that… I hurt… in places. He looked down, closing his eyes for a moment, There… there was still something… inside. He could not finish his story.


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#12
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2+

'You don't need to talk about it.' Saga said, swallowing as more nausea threatened to surface. As she said it, she considered why she's said it. Did she really believe that avoidance would make him feel better? Help him forget? Or did she just want to avoid having to hear all the gory details herself? Either way, the entire ordeal made her uncomfortable in ways she couldn't put her finger on, and though she had the deepest sympathies for her brother and didn't think any less of him for his trauma, it still made her mind swirl.


Arguably, both her encounters with Oscar and Boone had been some strange mixture of both parties taking advantage of one another. She couldn't and wouldn't argue that point, even though she could see Baelish wondering if she had ever known what he'd felt like. Thinking quietly, she considered herself to be incredibly lucky that she'd undertook her journey from Portland to Nova Scotia as a four-legged feral child. On two legs she may not have been so fortunate.


'You need to tell Zuri. For the sake of your relationship.' She let silence fall again for a moment before she spoke again, 'I can take the girls for a few nights. Keep them away so you can talk. We'll go on a trip with the boys somewhere...'


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#13
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Everything that I am, under lock and key

Before Baelish had even finished his sentence, Saga cut in to say he really needn’t say anything at all. He clapped his mouth shut and nodded, realizing he was just letting everything poor out, which might not be the best course of action. Best case Saga might just vomit all over him again, worst case… well, he was already damaged enough.

So instead, he took a moment, weaved his fingers together and took a deep breath. His head was buzzing, his skin crawling, but he felt much better now. A spark of his former, calculating mind was seeping into his brain, starting to put it all together into something organized, easy to manage. Of course, the physical and emotional trauma would be something to deal with, but he had been dealing with it, if not poorly. Now that Saga knew, now that someone else knew, he could at least begin to create an exit strategy.

Suddenly his thoughts ran to Zuri; he would have to tell her. She deserved to know why her husband had been absolutely failing at absolutely everything. How would she react? Sickened like his sister, or comforting, or full of rage? Knowing her… rage was the most likely. He hoped she would find something to rage against rather than himself or their daughters.

Saga echoed his thoughts by stating he had to tell her, and he nodded very slowly, as she offered to take his children for a time to allow he and the bat-girl to talk things out, Yes…. He said, guarded, That might be a good idea.

Then, with flattened ears and tucked tail, I’m very sorry for all this, Saga. It should be a happy time with your new pup on the way… I… I’m sorry. He really didn’t know what to say beside that. He would make this up to her, to Zuri, to himself. He had to, there was no other way if he wanted to keep on living.


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#14
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2+

'It's not your fault, don't apologise.' The Ursarchon said, as if brushing some irrelevant sidenote under the carpet. 'You didn't ask for this.' she added after a long pause, her voice sombre and apologetic in its own right. Though her apology was far more necessary than her brother's. Although it had been accidental, a way to excuse her strange reaction, her announcement had taken some of the glean from her brother's trauma. The dappled woman would have liked to think she did it subconsciously to distract Baelish, though in truth she doubted it.


With a sigh, she nosed his shoulder gently, resting her nose against his neck. She'd never been particularly good at comforting people, she'd been too self-absorbed as a child and too busy as a young woman to learn the skill. The arrival of Caspar and Daniel had taught her a great deal, though more often than not with the boy's she been hoping that a few bumps and grazes would teach them common sense better than she ever could.


'Just speak to her.' Saga ordered softly, meekly almost. 'She's concerned, that's all. The girls miss you too.'


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