[DND] Sing along, mockingbird, you don't affect me
[all welcome!]
#1
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Backdated Jan 1st! Friends/family can PM if you want a private thread with puppiesss. ;) [731]

Colibri had scarcely left the house since the birth of her litter. Which was to be expected, she supposed; certainly there was no one who would come to question her about her unwillingness to leave the comfort of the Stormbringer household, or try to make her feel guilty about shirking her Sannindi duties. Her waking thoughts, however few they may be, were consumed by maternal instinct and the welfare of her little ones.

She did feel guilt, though, tugging at her whenever she heard a howl at the borders or smelled the outdoor scents rolling off her Vald mate's coat. The moon had already gone a full cycle, and still she remained in her Lupus form, too tired to shift and venture out, or socialize, or do much more than eat, nurse, and sleep. The truth of the matter was that Colibri couldn't seem to shake off the pall of weakness that settled into her body. It was her second litter, but postpartum anemia left her even more drained than her first.

The wolf let out a soft sigh, and settled her chin on her paws in defeat. She had expected exhaustion, of course — last summer she had relied heavily on Lilin and Saul's help, because it had been utterly overwhelming — and yet it seemed the other mothers of Vinátta rebounded much faster in their first few weeks. They were strong, hardy wolves, and they did not struggle to return to normal like Colibri. She was not physically built for motherhood, as much as she clung to the notion that she could improve on her failings. (She would blame her constitution on the others all being young and perky like Shiloh and Palaydrian, but then Tayui's decrepit mug sprang to mind, and Coli made a sour face to herself. Even she wasn't as old as Tayui Aston - there was no excuse for losing that comparison.)

She lay curled on top of the pile of furs that she had nosed into a nest against the corner wall. Three small shapes were tucked against her abdomen, their round bellies rising and falling with gentle snores. Her own health did not concern her compared to theirs — she was just glad they had all made it, after the harrowing circumstances of their birth. If the price she had to pay in exchange was infirmity, she would willingly accept that. She just didn't want to worry Niernan.

Colibri rose on shaky legs and stretched, feeling her bones creak and muscles protest from inactivity. Russano, Ninian, and Fionna merely snuggled closer to each other, and a warm smile spread across Coli's countenance. The four week old puppies were sleeping for longer intervals now that they could totter around with their eyes open and tire themselves out. She didn't want to let them outside in the frigid cold yet, so they were learning to navigate around furniture and chase after cat tails. When they were tuckered out and everyone else was out of the house for the day, then and only then would Coli take a small break.

Quietly the small wolf padded on all fours, her nails lightly clicking against the floorboards. She had lost weight, more than the pregnancy fat, and didn't like for Niernan to notice the arch of her ribs or the jutting angle of her hips. She would return to a healthy weight once the pups were weaned (which she was going to start any day now, as soon as she had the energy to withstand their squeaky cries for milk). She nudged the wooden door open — it had been thoughtfully left unlatched just for her — and immediately shivered as the cold winter air sank through her brittle coat.

After squatting to relieve her bladder in the snow, the bobtail wolf moved gingerly along the trail packed down by other paws coming and going. A short walk in this crisp air would jog her thoughts — everything seemed so hazy when she was in the house, drifting off to nap along with the pups and no longer knowing the difference between night and day. Bleary blue eyes squinted up at the bright sky, confirming that it was afternoon. Coli huffed softly, bothered by the way her heart raced dizzily from the small effort of walking. She could only hope she would be recovered once the land thawed for spring — how else would she garden?

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#2
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hope you don't mind me jumping in :)



The woman crouched in the snow. Nimble fingers picking up the small wooden piece that had fallen in the snow. The square with the rough letter etched into it did not belong just outside her door, it belonged in the pouch with all the rest of the runes Anu studied. She turned it in her palm, so that that sharp cornered U shape with in its proper position as she pondered over it. Uruz, why did it make itself known to her now? The Eljun shook her head lightly before returning it to her house and re-exited the home to continue on her way.


The arm that had been badly hurt at the stables was heeled, whether it was a true break or just a crack in the bone Anu had never been sure. It had taken it's time mending, and she had not lost her patience but waited till it hurt no longer before taking it out of the sling. With her strength returning she took up the small art of setting up snares and traps in the wilderness of Vinatta. It was an easy task for the gray woman, and the clear day and warm sun of the afternoon meant that she did not have to fight the chill either. Thick wintery coat was enough to shield her, her habit could be left along with Uruz and the rest of the fate telling runes.


Rope hung from her hand as she walked, her mind drifting away to some of the perfect spots for her traps. It wasn't until she was almost crossing paths with the lupus formed wolfess that Anu noticed that she wasn't alone. Light in her step she paused quickly, as to not be seen as rude and run over the other Vinattan. Blue eyes looked looked slightly down at the female. Thankful there was distance enough between them that Anu did not feel as if she might be standing over the other. There was no missing the begotten and haggard look of the new mother, thin as if she had not eaten since summer. But the Eljun made no notion of it, rather giving a greeting. Colibri, good day. and a soft smile.



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#3
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askdjasda <333! [550]

One step in front of the other. Coli had her nose tucked down low to watch her paws, fully focused on the deceptively simple task of not slipping on ice. Her toes splayed, claws digging in for traction as she unsteadily wobbled. The apothecary in her reminded her not to push her flagging body too far – exhaustion would only serve to weaken her further. She did not want to make this situation last any longer than it already had. She knew she should return to the nest of warmth and rest, but as always, she was stubborn, too. She did not want to atrophy away to nothing. Cold air might break the spell.

Movement ahead brought her to a halt. A packmate was there, and for a confused moment she thought it was Saul coming to check up on her. Bleary gaze peered through a haze of snow blindness, as chocolate ears fanned forward with interest. "Ah… Anu…" Coli exhaled, blue eyes impossibly wide. That was the last wolf she expected to stumble into. Her heart sputtered without warning, ears clapping back. Her knees quavered, and she abruptly dropped into a sitting position, hindquarters settling into the snow.

All these seasons, and she still couldn’t curb the knee-jerk reaction to that scent. She hoped it was not too painfully obvious. She couldn’t quite smile in return, though her eyes gleamed with hopefulness as she gazed up at the Optime female. She had grown accustomed to seeing Anu in her Eljun robes, regal and wise like Miskunn, and it was oddly jarring to see her simple timber pelt again with its familiar sand and stone hues. It reminded her that before Frithr pendants and the sacred white walnut tree, there had been apple blossoms and ladyslipper orchids.

The Sannindi tried not to cringe outright at what she must look like to her packmate. She hadn’t really considered what would happen if she ran into anyone during her excursion, and now regretted it. Coli remembered with a wave of embarrassment that the once-Dreamer had seen her similarly weakened in the fall, days after her first litter’s birth. Anu must have the lowest opinion of her. At least she did not seem cold and stern, as some of their past exchanges had been decidedly frosty. "G-g-good day," she stammered, and inclined her head in a bow. "Um… carry on," she added awkwardly. She was not sitting to request an audience; she was just seated because her traitorous legs had given out. Anu was free to continue on her way toward whatever task required the rope in her hands.

Indifference was better than facing disapproval. Perhaps she had managed to keep out of Tayui’s way for long enough to earn neutrality. She had last spoken to Tayui at the lake in autumn, and that conversation had been extraordinarily tense. Colibri had avoided the Aston matriarch since then, with the exception of Carya’s rescue and various pack functions. Of all the women Anu could have taken as mate, it had to be one with a vendetta against Haku’s progeny. Even when Coli tried to make up, it seemed like they got along even worse. As long as Anu was happy in these packlands they shared, she had to be content with the way things were.




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#4
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^^ ... sorry for the wait



Her breath was steady, giving no indication that her heart might be beating irregularly. It was an involuntary reaction, the response of her body that was much unlike anything that she normally felt. But Colibri was no normal face to come across, despite the wishes of the elder woman. Their history would never be erased. Among the family that had once been and now broken, in a mansion that was now abandoned; forever ago with harsh as well as soft memories. And so she took a calm and collected breath, remembering that they were Vináttan and nothing else. Colibri was the Sannindi here and Anu was nothing but a simple figure, sitting aside the other members holding her head no higher then any one else. Nothing else, nothing normal, everything and still nothing.


If there was a flutter or something similar in the Haki woman’s heart then she had a harder time hiding her reaction. It was written on her features, ears falling onto her crown and the rest of her sliding into a rather ungraceful sit. She looked to Anu as she always had, with an averted gaze and a lowered head. The silver woman’s smile faded, and she remained silent, as the words were not eager to rush to her tongue. Anu had seen Colibri gather the pack in celebration, and stand beside Saul in troubled times. And yet the woman still physically submitted to her when they were alone. Anu kept the further judgmental thoughts at bay and the confusion that it brought her as well.


Colibri spoke a few words that were a bit more dismissive then Anu expected. It was surprising, and she remained silent as she gave the woman a nod, a formality more then that of genuine respect, and took a step so that she might round the seated figure and head down the path. Anu exhaled, something was stopping her and she hesitated slightly before stopping so now they were sharing the path side by side. I hope your litter is well. she spoke in her gentle tone.


Anu could not clarify her feelings; she never really had been able to. The two were not the picture of closure. And so Anu focused on the present rather then the past. The younger woman was now mated to the Stormbringer male, not just giving her a new hero but also bringing her into a family that she had never had. Anu had the same. Comfort in a mate, pride in her children, protection within the pack. Coli had that happiness, children and her pack. But each time Anu had come upon her, she seemed stripped of those pleasures. Weakened by something and in need of someone to lift her up beyond her troubles.

Always unable to stand on her own.




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