[AW] Bad Day
It had been a while since Everard had joined New Caledonia, he had enjoyed his time there, making several new friends, he liked his new home quite a lot. He had spent time among them, wandering the territory, exploring his new home and becoming acclimated to the new environment. Wandering was something that he did quite often, given his case of restless legs, he couldn't sit still for any period of time before he just became uncomfortable, anxious, he just couldn't stay still, he had wandered all over the packs territory, and quite a ways out of it, though he had only ever met a single member of another pack in the region.

Over the last few days he had started to get into his own head, thoughts growing dark as memories of his past, of the loss of his parents boiled to the surface, causing him to slowly sink into a minor fit of depression. The last few days he had been relatively idle, sitting in his home for prolonged periods of time, just not being as mobile as he usually was. Sure his life hadn't been especially rough besides his parents death, he had lived fairly well off wandering over the years before he finally made it to his new home. 

The problems he faced now were simply reverberating around in his own head, the volume blocking out the sounds of the outside world as his own depression fed on itself and he became more and more withdrawn, stagnant. He knew for a fact that the issues he faced were in his head, but he could do little to assuage his own feelings and fears. He couldn't help but dwell on the negative, fearing that he would lose his new home, his new friends and family, that they would leave him somehow, or he would lose them the same way he had lost his parents.

This particular day he found himself sitting under the chime tower, watching the sun slowly sink below the horizon as he stared blankly ahead, tears slowly rolling down his face as he silently cried to himself. He had even left his satchel at home as he had just wandered off from Town Square, silently making his way anywhere he had quickly found himself at the tower, and simply decided to sit down and try to come to terms with his inner demons. From a distance he could be seen sitting cross-legged beneath the tower, staring off into the sky, but should one come closer enough, they would see the tears, the dark face he wore, they would be able to see that something was wrong with the typically happy and outgoing Luperci. 

He stared at the sunset, wandering what the future would bring as tears continued to slowly stream down his face as he sat in silence, the light of the setting sun shown off his light grey pelt, his hands shaking ever so slightly, his tail laying limp on the ground behind him, his ears flat against his head.
Let me know if you want to take this in any particular direction...
Ingvildr crossed the town square with a pair of bloody rabbits swinging in her hand, her bow over her shoulder. It had been a good day. She was beginning to feel as if she were really making progress with her archery. She couldn’t wait to get home, clean up her arrows and return to working on the knife handles she had been carving. Her tail swung from side to side in time to her optimistic gait, and she was humming.

At least she was humming until she saw Everard’s expression. She wasn’t one for crying, whimpering or whining and had no real experience in comforting anyone who was in the midst of upsetting emotions. She knew, instinctively that she ought to do something, she couldn’t just walk past pretending that she hadn’t seen the light grey wolf. That much she knew would be rude.

“Umm,” she began awkwardly, approaching the large male with hesitation. “Everard? Did something happen?” She wasn’t entirely sure what would make a grown adult cry, but she had some vague notion. “Have you lost something?” Did someone break your heart? No, she couldn’t say that.

Seeing the wolf in obvious distress had done something to her. Her tail became still, her posture which had been so spirited a moment before, became one of cautious apprehension. She was pretty sure she didn’t have the skill set to handle this, but there didn’t seem to be anyone else here to help.
Seeing the female approaching Everard quickly wiped his eyes with the back of his forearm, blinking away whatever remained, he didn't want anyone to see him that way, but it was obviously too late when she asked him if he was alright. He sniffed once and shook his head, trying in vain to shake off the depressive aura he was no doubt putting off. He was the happy giant, thats what he wanted to be, he wanted to be the big friendly Luperci that people would come to and be able to unwind with, he wanted to be the person that helped people going through hard times, just like he had tried to comfort Woodsmoke the other night.

He looked up at her and shook his head again, only a bit more subdued this time, he hated the fact that he was worrying a member of his new pack, a member of his new family. "No, just some old demons coming back up." He said, still sniffing slightly as more tears started to form in the corners of his eyes. He just couldn't shake off the thoughts that roiled through his head, the fear, the sadness and hate, he would do anything do get rid of these feelings, but there was nothing he could do, he felt trapped by the emotions that surged through his mind and heart.
Ingvildr saw Everard’s attempts to hide his obvious distress, and she didn’t understand his actions. How was anyone supposed to help when you pretended everything was fine when obviously it wasn’t?

Ingvildr was still young, and she took Everard’s explanation quite literally.

His problem wasn’t romantic, he hadn’t lost anything, no Everard’s problem was some sort of crisis with the spirits. Ingvildr didn’t know much about demons, but she was pretty sure there were things that could be done about them. She assumed it involved chanting and incense, but she wasn’t entirely sure. Maybe, she thought, it depended on the type of demon one had. Old demons sounded particularly troublesome.

“I don’t know much about these things,” she admitted, honestly. “But I’m sure we could find someone who could help… Someone who knows more about spirits and what makes them–“ her vocabulary was limited on this topic “–do whatever spirits do. Make you upset.”

Ingvildr had some understanding of grief and of loss. Her father had grieved heavily for the loss of his partner, her mother. But Ingvildr hadn’t herself experienced any great loss. She had never known her mother or the sister who had died not long after birth.

The Knight girl unhooked her bow from her shoulder and sat down beside the other wolf, because she felt rather silly awkwardly standing in front of him, but she also felt rather awkward sat beside him. It was a conundrum. She wasn’t sure what to say or what to do. She hesitated, unsure if she should look directly at him as if she were really listening or pretend not to have noticed his eyes. She was pretty sure her sister would have handled the situation better.
Everard let out a chuckle as she mentioned spirits, he wasn't sure if she was being serious, or if this was some attempt at humor to make him feel better. He had never really been a religious person, or spiritual really, always just taking things as they came and dealing with life the only way he could, through essentially brute force and stubbornness. He had spent years of his life alone, wandering the wilderness of the Northern US, spending fleeting times with various packs, travelling with random strangers every once and a while.

He looked over at the Ingvildr, he hadn't met her before but she seemed nice enough, trying to help him through his distress. "Not literal demons, just some bad memories and emotions." He clarified, wanting to make things clear as he sniffed once more, wiping his eyes again. He couldn't tell what the female was thinking, was she taking pity on him, trying to honestly help him, he hadn't a clue, any other time he went through one of these depressions he was always alone, except for the single time when he had been staying with a pack, back then another female, an elder of the pack had taken pity on him, gave him a hug and helped him sort through his feelings.

His feelings were always just under the surface, just under a façade of happy cheerfulness, he tried so hard to maintain the positive appearance, to keep looking like there was nothing wrong, but these terrible feelings were always there, gnawing at his insides. He swallowed as he looked back into the sky, at the sun that was just finishing its descent behind the horizon, the beauty of nature was sometimes enough to let him get through these episodes, the solitude gave him time to clear his thoughts, but now he was a member of a pack, he had other people that cared about him, who would try to help him, and he still found this just a smallest bit strange, so used to being by himself.
Ingvildr’s confusion was apparent in the expression she wore on her face. She didn’t understand what was funny about what she had said.

“You mean like, metaphorical demons?” Ingvildr asked rather out of her comfort zone but determined to get to the bottom of this mystery Everard was presenting. She knew who he was, it was hard not to notice the large wolf who had only a short while ago joined the pack, but other than knowing that he was more or less as tall as her dad, she didn’t know much about him. It hadn’t occurred to her to pity him, and she hadn’t intended to be humorous, but the ethics of looking after each other which were essential to the cohesion of a pack, were deeply embedded within her.

“I don’t know what you can do about bad memories,” she added, “and I think emotions are just confusing. One minute they’re one thing, the next they’re something completely different. But if you’re hungry, I have rabbit.”

No, she was not the ideal canine to be comforting an older pack-mate, but she was certainly going to do what she could.

She tried to think about her own emotions and bad memories. She had more good memories than bad, and most of her bad memories involved arguing with her sister, but that had been when she was a pup, when she hadn’t known any better. She thought about the fear she’d felt when she’d twisted her ankle in the forest. Ierian had come to help, and he’d made her feel better, but she wasn’t sure how he had done it – other than reducing the swelling in her ankle by bathing it in a stream. She didn’t think that the same thing would work with Everard.

“What normally makes you feel better?” she asked, not knowing what else to try. He was a grown-up sort of man, he had to have some idea.
He nodded at her mention of metaphorical demons, that seemed about right, his metaphorical demons would always come to visit from time to time, bringing with them fresh waves of fear and depression. He usually tried to brute strength his way through the issues and just get over it, which sometimes did, and sometimes didn't work. This was the only way he had ever known to do things, his parents died when he was still in their care, so he hadn't quite learned how to deal with emotions to the extent that a fully grown adult should be able to, on the inside he was essentially just a big puppy. "Metaphorical demons......... that sounds about right." He said.

Her comment on emotions being confusing made him smile slightly, in his strange grimace like way, as he nodded along with her words. Emotions could indeed be quite strange, as sometimes he truly felt happy, and sometimes this happiness would be as fleeting as the wind, to be replaced by pain and sadness, he knew these emotions didn't only stem from the loss of his parents, but were instead something wrong going on in his own head, but besides alcohol, which he had only tried once and got wasted on, he didn't know how to drown out the inner turmoil that raged in his head and heart, food for sure was one of the last things on his mind, but it made his smile a little more genuine knowing that she was trying her best to make him feel better.

When it came to her question for what usually made him feel better, he stared up into the sky, not towards the sunset, but straight up, his head all the way back as he stared at the stars that were slowly popping into existence in the great nether of space. He didn't know what made him feel better, he usually just fought through it, and eventually the worst of the negative feelings would go away, which was what he had been planning on doing before his packmate had showed up, but her presence could have been a benefit, allowing him to talk it out, or at least just having someone to talk to in general. "I don't know what makes me feel better, I usually just try to deal with as best I can, and carry on with whatever I happen to be doing at the time, or I just try to let it pass given time." He said, his voice oddly steady for someone who had the occasional tear rolling down his cheeks.
He didn’t seem as upset as when she had initially taken a seat beside him, and this was reassuring to Ingvildr. She felt that whatever else, she at least wasn’t making the situation any worse. Hat had to count for something. Metaphorical demons though were as far out of her understanding as any demonic being, but she stuck with Everard. He hadn’t been in the pack that long, perhaps he was just getting used to the change of scenery.

His tears were a disquieting presence, but he didn’t seem in any physical pain, so Ingvildr let them be, focusing her efforts instead on doing what she could to understand his words. But all she could conclude was that Everard had about as much understanding of how to improve the situation as she did.

“Maybe you need to speak to someone who knows about what to do with bad memories.” She thought about the recent Songthorn burial and surmised that Ierian must know about putting memories to rest. Especially bad ones. “You could ask Ierian, he has bad memories, I mean, it must make a bad memory to be burnt, or-–“ she contemplated here that Ierian was quite an intimidating fellow to strike up a conversation with “–or one of the elders.”

She was pretty sure though that sitting here being miserable wasn’t going to help. You couldn’t just sit and wait for things to sort themselves out, that was silly.
But then she thought of her ankle, and how she’d had to rest it instead of using it. If Everard’s metaphorical demons, his bad memories and emotions, were in need of rest, then maybe sitting still wasn’t such a bad idea. Ingvildr’s young mind was filled with doubt. 
Everard wasn't sure how he felt, he was happy to have someone to talk to, someone who was trying to help, but at the same time the ever present invasive thoughts of loss and regret continued to dog mind. His mind was always reeling with these emotions, but recently they had seemed to be getting worse, as fear of losing his new home chipped away at his physique. Having someone to talk to though helped him ease his thoughts, and she had a point, he should likely try to find someone who could help him, his habit of just letting his feelings sort themselves out was likely negatively affecting him.

He looked back at her and nodded his head, she definitely had a point, maybe he would seek out one of elders, or someone else experienced with these things, it couldn't really hurt the situation any. The occasional tear continued to drip from his eyes, but he was starting to feel a little better, even just having someone to talk to. He was hesitant to seek out help though, as he had been dealing with his own issues for so long it seemed strange to him to seek help from someone else, even though he had stayed with various packs and groups throughout his travels, he had never tried to have someone else him with these thoughts and feelings.

"You might be right, I'll try to find some help." He was telling the truth, he would try to find help, reluctant as he was, he still new it was likely the best choice. Though he had been in the pack for a good month or so now, he was still hesitant to rely on the others, especially when it came to matters of the mind, though he knew it would have to be done eventually, if he was ever going to be able to get over these feelings, to find closure with his demons. He looked back into the skies as he sighed, the tears finally starting to slow and come to an end.
The whole experience was proving quite challenging to Ingvildr. She would ask her dad what she should have done when she got home because she wasn’t convinced her tactics were the best ones. She was just following her instincts, endeavouring to stop this invisible pain of these invisible metaphorical demons that plagued Everard.

“I’m sure there are plenty who would be more than happy to help,” Ingvildr said, relieved that Everard seemed to agree with her. She tried to rearrange her long limbs in a fashion that was more comfortable and ended up bringing her knees up to her chest.

She remembered something her dad had said to her about family. Well, she and Everard weren’t family by blood, but they were a family as in pack-mates. The pack was like an extended family where everyone looked after each other. That was why she was here, wasn’t it, the adult responsibility of being present for her packmate in a time of need.

“And if you’re feeling sad, you can always come over to ours. Dad can cheer anyone up, he’d make you laugh. And Sóli…” she thought a moment, “Everyone likes Sóli. She’s super nice.” That was the best way to describe her sister. She paused for a moment, reflecting on how lucky it was to have a family. She hadn’t thought much about it before, but she was lucky to have her sister and dad.

“’Cause you know, a pack is like a big family.” Her tail thumped softly against the ground as if willing her positive thoughts to be absorbed by Everard beside her.
He sighed deeply, he understood that there was now people who would be willing to help him with his issues, people who cared about him in some form or another, even just people who considered him family. It was still strange to Everard to be able to rely on others, but he would try his best to come to terms with both his emotions, and his new living situation. He looked over at her and smiled his lopsided grimace of a smile. "Thank you." He said honestly, it was different to have people to talk to, but Everard was happy to be a member of this big family, and he looked forward to growing closer with each and every member of the pack.

Her offer for him to come to her home and meet her family to try and cheer him up made his smile grow a little more genuine. He appreciated the offer, but he was already starting to feel better, just having someone to talk to during his little emotional breakdown was enough to cheer him up slightly. The feelings were still there, but her just being there and talking to him was enough to force those emotions and memories down a little bit, to allow him to peak through the clouds that were roiling through his heart.

"Maybe I'll take you up on that offer someday, but just having you to talk to is enough to make me feel better." He said truthfully, it was lucky that she had wandered by when she had, otherwise he probably would have been sitting out here for another hour, but right now he looked back up to the stars, the light of the night sky just enough to cast the territory in a pale light as he slowly climbed to his feet, stretching his arms to the sky and bending backwards slightly, the silence of the night suddenly was interrupted with the sound of his back popping several times.

He looked over and down at her, the smile still on his face as he offered his hand to help her up. "Seriously, thank you for taking time to sit and chat." He said, his eyes looked a bit watery, but this time is was more happy tears than sad, as Everard finally understood that he finally had a family to belong to.

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