[P] move your feet from hot pavement and into the grass
He knew he lost the bet the moment they walked in.

Not that he would have taken Mosie’s share anyway. She didn’t know what she was betting on. She believed everyone was as caught up in the image they projected as she was, but Landon had never cared about seeming respectable. He knew he wasn’t, and that left the outcome entirely up to him.

But the damned girl was there that night, and she was a better player than him. Better cheater, anyway.

“When I said I hope you lose,” Mosie said, their empty bag swinging at her back. “I didn’t mean actually lose.”

“Can’t win them all.”

Landon kept his expression impassive. He was pissed, truly, and the only part of him that showed was the tension in his brows and the quick puffs at his cigarette. It wouldn’t last the way home.

The trees were all grown in with their verdant dress and budding flowers, and Mosie kicked at the leaf litter as they walked. When they finally came around the bend, the building was dark. They paused at the path leading up to the entrance, and Landon tossed what was left of his smoke at the ground. Their father was likely already passed out, again.

They moved on to their real home.

The water was a welcome sound, a quiet burble against the rushes. They could barely make out the silhouette of their brother at the bridge, but a gentle wind brought his scent along with something different, something familiar and strange.

“There he is,” Mosie grumbled. “Hey, asshole! Thanks for ditching us!”

“Mosie,” Landon said, putting out a hand to stop her. “Hold on.”

After a moment of silence, he went ahead. Little stone steps peeked through the grass, their edges barely illuminated by the crescent moon overhead. Landon didn’t need the light to see them, to know the way down to their hideout.

“Owen,” he said, once he was down on the landing. “You alright?”
(—) | NPCs: Mosie Winsor
For BROTHER <3 Following this thread

OOC: B R O T H E R || WC: --

He had managed to steal it again and made a note to apologize to his father to make up for it – granted, that would be if Griffin were even conscious by the time he could slip in and tuck the scarf right back in its hiding place. Owen tried, desperately, not to make a habit of these little things.

Some days did better than others.

He rubbed the tassels of the faded red cloth between his fingers, fixing it with the utmost care with a gentleness his clumsy hands were not well suited for, bottom lip jutted somewhat as he folded and fussed the fabric into a neat square, paused, and unfolded it before starting anew to try and make it perfect, smoothing the corners of it out before he clutched it a little tighter between his hands and brought it to his face. Her smell was long gone, as was its comfort, but the cloth was still soft against his cheek – still good, all things considered.

It choked him up a little bit, but he stifled it down with a little start as he heard Mosie round the corner, and, flustered, Owen immediately jammed the scarf under his shirt, making him look lumpy and more disheveled with his pink eyes and mussed hair.

”Huh? Uh, huh, yeah, mhmm,” Owen answered numbly, his voice breaking a touch. Poorly, he masked it with a rough sniff, and swiped the edge of his muzzle with his wrist, screwing up his face somewhat to try and compose himself into something infinitely more aloof. All his posturing could not veil how his voice was scratchy and quick, clearly wanting to jump an octave before he quashed it back down to an almost comical bass note. ”Just fine, yeah, how was gambling?”

They could hear Mosie fidgeting at the top of the bank. She hated to be left out, and would push anyone around to make space for herself, but when it came to them she could hold off. Not for long, but that was more than she could give anyone else.

Landon didn’t blame her for her insatiable need to prove herself. Portland made them all feel small.

Owen didn’t seem himself. His lumpy shirt (which clearly hid something), his messy hair, and the tenor of his voice all came together like one of Mosie’s discordant songs. Landon let out a breath he’d been holding, the anxiety of danger now passed. He wasn’t injured, so they wouldn’t have to haul him off to Simo’s place for stitches tonight.

He met his brother’s wobbly deflection with a grim smile. “Nothing new.” Of course, Landon would brood over the games all night, but Owen didn’t need to bother himself with that.

He eyed the shape under his shirt with a lifted brow, but said nothing as he moved on to the unlit candles stacked on an old crate. A few deft taps of his fire starter and the wicks sparked. Landon pocketed the flint and steel so quickly it might’ve seemed like he held nothing at all. When he took his hands out again, he held a couple cigarettes.

“Catch,” he said to Owen, tossing him one. He lit his own over the flame, and when he’d had a pull of the smoke, he waved for Mosie to come join them. She scrambled down the steps, stuck her tongue at the tobacco smell that greeted her at the bottom, and then went to plop down at the edge of the crumbling cement platform. Her trousers cinched at the knees, but she hiked them up a little further before letting her legs extend into the current. She sighed, happy to be home.

“Can I see it,” he nodded to Owen’s lump, now that they were all settled.
(—) | NPCs: Mosie Winsor
Owen right now

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