[P] [M] am i losing hope

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.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: drinking, etc.

the hills have eyes

It was easy to fall back into bad habits.

Viridian had been doing so well — or as well as anyone could have expected out of her — climbing the ranks, not pissing anyone off, all that good pack... stuff. But when shit hit the fan, she was reeling back along with the rest of them, scrounging around for answers, wondering what the hell the word "safe" even meant anymore.

She increased her patrols like any good Guardsman would've, given the circumstances; but so, too, did she increase her consumption of booze and smokes. The shakes and the headaches seemed to grow worse after she was poisoned at the feast, probably because she couldn't quietly scratch the itch when she was bed-ridden and throwing up everywhere.

Maybe the barkeeps that rotated out in the Five Shields wouldn't rat her out to anyone. Viridian was a regular, whether she wanted to admit it or not. A few months ago she would've been disgusted by this; now, she just shrugged it off, letting the chips fall as they may, even if she deliberately threw them down in a very particular, very familiar fashion.

It was fine. She was fine. Rand wasn't here to fuck it all up this time, at least.

Just the mere thought of him got her hot under the collar, and the Officer tossed back the rest of her drink, ignoring the distinct way it burned her throat as she waved her hand for another. It was strange how little it took to get her drunk nowadays when, back in the Realm, she needed four or five to do the work of one or two.

for Alaric! very slightly backdated :>

sig by Raze
WC: 232

Bad habits were usually learned. Whether from watching a parent or from trying it for the first time, habits were generally not an instinct. Alaric had learned this particular habit from his father before him. It had been reinforced by his brother in law as well as his older adoptive sister. It was an easy habit. It was a dangerous one.

Slipping into the tavern, he smiled at the barkeep and sidled onto the bar next to a somewhat familiar figure. He glanced at her from the corner of his eye before calling out for a drink. She was a newer member. She'd been around for a while, but Alaric's life had been turned upside down several times over since her arrival and he had never made a point to introduce himself.

He wasn't about to now. Not sober anyway.

Three drinks later and he leaned over to her with an outstretched hand and half-lidded eyes. "Evening, my lady, my name is Alaric Ivanov and I don't believe we've been properly acquainted yet. I've been... preoccupied."

Perhaps she had heard of his child begotten from a one night stand with the unpleasant Starlight Hushhowl. Perhaps she had heard of his mother's untimely death. Or perhaps she'd heard that his own daughter had followed shortly after. Maybe she knew nothing of him at all and he was simply a strange, annoying passerby.
the hills have eyes

Viridian was used to drinking alone — it was a nightly ritual often undertaken in the privacy of her room at the Courthouse just before passing out — but it was worlds more interesting with others. Sometimes dangerous, but most times harmless. Surely here, she had less to worry about; too many people to hold her accountable if things went south.

Her pale eyes, a little more dilated and unfocused on account of the stiff drink, rolled over to him, and she gave the man a lazy smile.

She knew less about Alaric than she had any right to. Months into her stay with the Cavaliers and she still only knew about half the pack, if even; but the death of his mother hadn't escaped her, even if she didn't immediately make the connection between the two.

"Evening, yourself," she replied in kind, slapping her paw into his for a mighty shake. She could tell a lot about a person just from how they shook her hand, after all.

"Viridian Soul, First Officer, if you care about that sorta thing — preoccupied how?" she asked, dropping her cheek onto her palm, finding herself glancing from his blue eye to his gray one and back again. It was hard to focus when they were different colors, she found.

"With all this poisoning bullshit, I can't blame you."

She shook her head, almost jumping back when her glass, thankfully refilled, was placed back in front of her.


sig by Raze
WC: 240

Her hand shake was hearty and he found himself squeezing competitively as he had with his brother when he was younger. Her champagne gold eyes trailed between the two of his in a familiar manner. Though there were many bi-colored eyes in the pack, many still found it a little tricky. "Just pick one, darling."

"Ah, I'm a First Cadet." Viridian was further ahead in the game of politics than Alaric had ever gotten, but that wasn't something that Alaric was ashamed of. He was a lover rather than a fighter and it showed in his slow progression through the ranks. "I'd rather park my butt in a field and draw than practice combat, personally."

"Oh god the poisoning. It's sad, I almost forgot about it." In a single gulp, he downed his drink and asked for another which the bartender obligingly provided. "Well, ya see. Had a kid and the mom wouldn't let me near her. Then my ma died." Another deep drink was required. "And then my kid died. And then her mother, who couldn't stand my guts, tried to proposition me to make another one." The bartender, who knew everyone involved in this store, humbly lowered his ears and pointedly looked anywhere else in the room. Idle gossip was a part of the job, but this gossip was anything but.

"And then we all got poisoned. So what brought you down to the land of cavaliers?"
the hills have eyes

She grinned, waving a hand and laughing at him, "They're both so pretty, I just can't decide."

Banter, banter. It came much more easily when there was booze to loosen her tongue.

She cocked her head to the side, looking at him from the corner of her eye as she took a swig.

"What do you draw? I can barely write my own name."

Fennore had poured her heart into those lessons, and they were absolutely squandered once she was booted from the Realm.

Viri sipped at her glass some more as he began his spiel, and at first she thought he was telling a really depressing joke. "Holy shit," she chuckled, but it became immediately (and painfully) clear that Alaric was being one hundred percent serious.

"... Holy shit," she echoed, eyes widening a sliver. "That was — was it... Veri?"

It was a name so similar to her own. That was why it stuck in her memory.

"Jesus Christ, I, uh... I'm sorry. I didn't realize you'd really been through it."

Her lip lifted in a throwaway snarl,

"She's a bitch from keeping you from your kid, though, gotta say. Should work on how you pick 'em."

Giving him a sad little smile, she hoped that her joke was received well enough. They needed some brevity after he poured his heart out to her.

"Oh, you know. Just had to get a fresh start and all that. My last pack didn't go so hot."

She wasn't supposed to talk about them. It was a self-enforced rule.

Alcohol circumvented this safeguard entirely.

"And were you"hiccup"born here, or?"


sig by Raze
WC: 341

"Oh I just draw what I can see. I'm not the imaginative sort." Some could just pull art from out of the air. Alaric was not quite that talented. He could draw from sight very well, and less so from memory. He laughed a little, saying, "Oh, my handwriting is... It's bad. I hardly ever do it. I'm not entirely certain I even remember the whole alphabet anymore."

Viridian's chuckle quickly dampened as she realized that Alaric's tale was completely truthful. The barkeep solemnly slid another drink towards the mourning man for he couldn't help but overhear. He nodded confirmation. Of course even Viridian knew of the Chief Cleric's tragic demise. Fewer knew of little Ursa's death, even though that one had been far more devastating for Alaric. He loved his mother dearly, but children were meant to outlive their parents. Never was it supposed to be the other way around.

"Yeah," he chuckled mirthlessly. "It was a mistake on both of our parts. Well, you live and learn, I guess."

Viridian clearly had, moving on from a pack that didn't suit her needs. Alaric had thought about it occasionally himself. He wasn't nearly so combat oriented as his packmates and he had never been a healer like his mother. Instead, he was an artist, but that had never been enough to pull him away from his family. "It's their loss then."

"Yes, I was born here. My father was a founding member actually and mother of course clearly did well for herself." In retrospect, Alaric was clearly a failure in regards to pack advancement compared to his parents. Even this newer member had surpassed the man who had been born and raised here.

"I'm not a particularly good Cavalier I suppose." He smiled a little shamefully at himself and scratched the back of his neck through his blond curls. "But I do like to help out, so if you ever need, I'm something of a handyman."

"Enough of my depressing self, though, you should tell me more about you."
the hills have eyes

Live and learn — it was a good idea, but much harder to put into practice. Viridian sure as hell felt like her life was over when she was kicked out of New Caledonia, but something about being out of that place was freeing, and once again the entire world was at her fingertips, sans one very large pack in the north.

Coming to Casa had been her fresh start, full of people that didn't know anything about her past. The same could not be said for Alaric, who had to remain in a home where his mom had been violently wrenched from his grasp and presumably where his dead kid was buried in the ground somewhere.

She tried to smile, "I'm not, either. I'm a good fighter, but I'm a pretty shit knight, if that makes sense."

The former required no regard for anything other than one's self; the latter had a code of honor that Viridian still struggled to make sense of.

"A handyman, huh?" Viridian fought the urge to say that yes, she rather liked handsy men every now and again, but the teasing tone in her voice gave away her thoughts well enough when she spoke.

"There's not much to tell," she said, swishing around her drink in the glass as she spoke, "I like to think I'm interesting, but then when I try to think of reasons why, the well runs dry."

But, thankfully, the drinks hadn't yet. Viridian took another swallow and set her cup on the bar.

"I think the most exciting thing that happened in a while was me puking my fuckin' guts out after the Feast, now that I think about it."


sig by Raze
WC: 295

"Oh, but you see," the drink was bringing out the debonair smile he so rarely got to show these days. His blonde curls bounced over his blue and gray eyes and he tossed his head to move them out of his line of sight. "That means that you've already one upped me. I am not only a bad knight, I am also a bad fighter. It's tragic, really"

Except, it really wasn't. Alaric had never been drawn to the fight even once in his life. He supposed that perhaps one day he would find something worth picking up a blade, but even Ursa and Starlight had never driven him to that. He thought though that if he could have, he would have fought his way to save his daughter.

Alaric's eyes didn't waver from Viridian's at her teasing tone. Instead, he took a long drink from his cup without ever looking away. It felt nice to flirt again. It had been far too long. "Hmm, what about it? Got something against handymen? Jacks of all trades, masters of none?"

"That's just a shame. Just sitting here I can tell you loads of things are interesting about you." He lifted a hand to point at her face. "Each scar of yours has its own story. That's interesting. You left one pack for another. That's interesting, too. Then, of course, you're a beautiful lady. And beautiful ladies are always interesting. Even when they're not." He winked his silver eye at her, leaving only the blue open for an instance before settling back into his uneven mismatch of hues.

His face twisted when the conversation took a turn for the gross and he whistled low and finished his drink once more. "Yeah, I don't regret missing that one."
the hills have eyes

Her eyes lit up with mischief.

"Well, if you ever need someone to practice with — y'know, wrestling, getting down and dirty, whatever you wanna call it," she tested the waters, "just lemme know."

Viridian was never one for subtlety, and this was made exponentially more apparent when she was drunk off of her ass.

"I got nothing against them," she yipped, "it's good to be well-rounded."

It was hard to tell if she was being vague or just spouting nonsense at this point, however.

"I got even more scars under all this," she informed him, gesturing down to her clothes, "plenty of stories. Maybe one day you'll get to hear 'em, too."

There was always a weird disconnect in her mind, when someone called her that. Beautiful.

It was a word she thought was reserved for the likes of Fennore, a perfect doll of alabaster and fire, chiseled straight from a marble slab by a master sculptor. In comparison, Viridian felt hulking yet gangly, cut up by ugly slashes of pink against a dirty pelt of sickly purple and cream. Being blonde, on top of all that, was further insult.

She wondered if Alaric was just being nice because she was willingly getting shitfaced and just about had a big, blinking sign over her head that advertised just how available she was. Or maybe he was just nice, and that was it.

The mutt made it easier for herself by finishing off the rest of her drink and just not thinking about it anymore.

Slouching further against the bar, Viri was having a hard time keeping her eyes open now, even when she felt like she could stare into that pretty blue one for hours and hours.

"You got any plans after this?" she blurted out, despite herself, despite better sense. "Maybe you can show me how you draw..."

Why did she do this every time when she knew what it inevitably led to?


sig by Raze

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