[DND] [m] a country house, a liar and a louse live there
#1

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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1093Set at Charon's Landing. This is marked mature for f-bombs and emotional/physical abuse and reference to past sexual abuse.

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Look, Sparrow! I found this old nest. D'ya think Skel would like it?

Messiah smiled and held the dusty bowl of twigs and grass up for the slim, mottled coyote to see. He was always careful to include the woman's little raven friend when he looked for gifts for her. It was kindly, he thought, and the least he could do to reward her for taking him out on such a nice walk. The last one had been in Amherst, and he thought she was mad at him after that.

The older coyote's smile was small and distracted and off, though she took the thing from his hands and turned it over with dexterous fingers. Maybe, she replied, lightly. She discarded it a moment later; Messiah frowned at her.

You don't want it? Come on, I spent ages looking for that for you! he yapped. Her ears wilted a moment, and her yellow eyes began to dart to the mess of dust and sticks now jumbled in the dirt along the stone building, but her gaze snapped up a moment later. It was too sharp and quick, and Messiah lifted his hands. Sorry. Don't get pissy at me.

I am not, Sparrow said. Her voice was small and even, but not as small as it usually was. She did look down at the nest now, her brow lightly furrowed, thoughtful and very, very pretty. Not as pretty as Olivia, but still.

It's fine, he breathed, and trotted away from the home. A sheep bleated at him from the grass and old equipment -- more and more cleared away each year, by the sounds of it, but still rusty and scattered -- and the sunlight sparkled on the bay. He smiled, and smiled still when he heard the soft step of the Quintus beside him. He reached to grab for her hand, then glanced at her as she jerked her fingers away.

You know I'd never hurt you, Sparrow, the coyote insisted. I'm your friend, okay? I'm not like your dad.

Sparrow bristled, but Messiah didn't look at her face long enough to read the emotions there: regret, shame, and something growing steadily now.

She had confided in him one time, a blossoming friendship with a small coyote, eager to be a soldier. It had been cute, then. Less so the several times she humored him -- and then when he would twist the knife, bit by bit, and Sparrow remembered. The voice had been slurring and handsome rather than sharp and high, and the scent had been powerful and wolfish, and the touch too heavy and too lingering.

Messiah, the woman said, and looked at him. She pretended, for a moment, that she was her sister. I am not an idiot.

The ginger wolf gawked at her and grinned. I didn't say you were. You're smart and --

She swished dark bangs from her eyes with a small incline of her head, and frowned at him. No. I started keeping track. I believed you, then I remembered, and you are just like my father. She fiddled with her hands at her sides but held his gaze, took in the sight of his blank and confused features. You've called me an idiot several times, Messiah. And -- and you don't let me do things, you make me come with you on every -- every stupid walk, every --

Her resolve did not die, but her voice did, and Messiah burst through that window of silence with a sharp bark. You've never said no! I thought you were my friend, Sparrow! Y-you know about what the others said about me, how they look at me.

Maybe because you deserve it, Sparrow said -- then yelped as he lashed at her, a wild smack that only stung the fur of her arm. It sent her stepping back, her ears pulled down but her claws unsheathed now. What are you doing? she demanded, her voice trembling. My sister is --

Messiah laughed at her. You're gonna tell your sister? Wait until I'm there, I wanna see. He ended his laugh with a small snort, his hands wrapped around his sides as he peered across at the wilted coyote. He mimicked her voice as he heard it, high and whimpering. Sissy! A kid was mean to me! Just like Dad! I fell for it again!

Shut up! Sparrow bared her teeth, but her throat stung now. I fell for it again, I fell for it again -- her voice echoed in her mind along with his. She remembered when Dartmouth attacked Vesper, all the times she was a coward, too afraid to even show support. Why would Vesper bother to help her in this?

I fell for it again, she thought, but balled fists and snarled at him. Through sobs in her throat, she snarled, because she couldn't believe herself, she couldn't believe that the look on Vesper's face would be one of twisted disgust like she could swear it would be --

Your sister doesn't want to hear your shit, Messiah said, brows knit in frustration that he had to explain this to her. You said it yourself, you feel like a stranger in the village. You told me this stuff. I listened to you. Listened to you just whine about all of it.

Messiah, shut up --

It's more than you deserve, the willow coyote said, bristling now and his own claws curled. He swept his tongue over his lips, a nervous gesture, submissive in contrast with a violent and taut body. She'd been so nice to him, and now -- You should be fucking grateful anyone here gives a shit about you, Quintus. You're lucky I fucking bother with you.

He stooped to grab a clump of sod and threw it at her, striking her face and sending her to her knees, where she was caught still between weeping and tearing the skin from his twisted face. Your sister doesn't even bother with you. Your family doesn't love you, why should anyone else?

Unable to stop himself, unable to stop screaming, hurting, he snarled down at her. She tried to growl back, right herself, but her face crumbled as he beat her down with another laugh. Shit, you should've let your daddy fuck you. Should've been grateful for that, too.

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#2
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He hesitated at first when the shouting reached his ears, though not for doubt of whether his input was necessary. Anxiety halted his steps, shrieks within his ears, and the whites of his eyes caught daylight in opposite corners as the granite coyote paused to listen.


Not moments before had Micah closed the second of two jars with fingers stained blue by the last of withered blueberries leftover from summer. The fruit made sparse by age and by the many, many ravens of their clan, what few berries remained were tasteless, wrinkled, and now captured between glass walls to be made into dye. He had been excited; boasting little experience with dyes, Micah had thought it a pleasant activity to learn over the winter months.


But with the jars into his satchel were his daydreams stashed away. Swallowing a lump, Micah prayed another soul might hear the screaming, might interfere—but the abuse persisted. A man and a woman, Micah knew nothing more. This is Inferni, he thought. You always knew it would be dangerous.


But neither could he walk away. Sound nearly muted by the pounding of his heart in his ears, a slow, cautious approach brought into vision first the scrawny and excitable Messiah, vaguely known but scarcely forgotten. They had worked together once, briefly. Micah watched the swing of his arm meet the sky and followed the arc to his target—


And within moments, Micah found himself knelt between them with naught but mortification gaping as features. When had he moved? When had his feet hit the ground? Where had his satchel been left?


"Stop it!" he barked in volumes rarely visited, back to his sobbing friend and arms extended defensively to fill the space. Bewildered and breathing fast, the coward gaped with brows fretting rapidly between anger and terror. "Wh-wh-what the hell i-is, is wrong with you?"

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#3
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I am such an ass, sorry for the wait. Sparrow is a pNPC now, so feel free to control her. We can probably breeze through this pretty quickly and pretend it's been on the DL to account for my inactivity. xD

Messiah knew that she was getting away from him. She would flee, and he'd be left with nothing in Inferni -- just a brother too smart for him, and two siblings too ill in mind or body to be helpful to him. Inferni had begun to change with their strong blood flushing the ranks, despite the wolves hiding under coyote skins, and he'd been hopeful. He would be a warrior and his name would join Hybrid's and Gabriel's and Kaena's in the history books.

He felt it slipping like blood from his hands, try as he might to hold it. Victory was liquid, dripping in his mind: drip, drip, drip.

It was enough to drive a man crazy.

Sparrow huddled in defense of herself, her eyes wide and ears pinned in her boyish-cut hair, her lips wrinkled back in a grimace. He grabbed at more dirt to throw at her, then raised a hand to give her a shove back toward the ground. His vision was flooded with that dripping red in his mind, and he wanted to hurt her so she could never go away again, like everyone else went away in the end.

Micah!

The blur of granite fur halted him, and Messiah stared in bafflement at the wild-haired Lykoi kneeling between him and the woman. He wrinkled his lips back, not certain what he should do, and decided on growling and puffing his fur to make himself as large as possible. None of your fuckin' business, he barked. He tried to look past Micah at Sparrow, who hiccoughed and stared at her savior in bewilderment.

It's between us! Messiah insisted, and clenched fists at his sides. I got a problem with her trying to bully me. He was the victim, of course. It was too late to smile and insist childishly that everything was fine. He was being tormented in his own clan, looked at like he was crazy, and Sparrow was one of them.



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