[P] Won't Be Long Till I Belong
p. Morris

He loathed the chill that came rolling through as the sky grew grayer. It seemed too quickly gone was the autumn, a season colder than what what he was used to back home, but tolerable at least. Summer here lacked the unforgiving bite of Truth or Consequences, but the warmth was a comfort nonetheless.
This winter creeping in, however, was enough already to worry him.

He contemplated for a moment if being reminded of home was really as reassuring as others made it out to be. Just like home to native Ashen a place of familiarity. One was meant to feel comfort when they felt at home, but Joaquin still felt somewhere else.
Perhaps it was his time travelling that distanced him more than just physically from the place he was born. And his short, uneventful time in Del Cenere did little to create a sense of belonging.

There were time he felt Ashen, speaking his mother tongue with others of coyote blood and celebrating the same traditions as those he grew up with. Other times, however, he wondered if others looked on at him still as some outsider.

He hadn't made too much of an effort to get to know anybody else, aside from the only individual he could call a friend that arrived alongside the wayward mongrel. There were faces that could finally be filed alongside names, like Nazario and Jimena, but he knew so little of them and would not be so foolish as to consider them even close acquaintances.

Joaquin had decided before that he was not going to get anywhere hiding in the shadows and longing for comfort. It was something he would have to work for, as nothing was handed out without a price.
Why was it then that he found it so difficult after all this time to settle in?

Nerves played a part in it, for sure. He was apprehensive to get close and found it hard to trust others, but who could blame somebody who had been betrayed by those he knew best? He loathed how their treachery not only left scars on his flesh, hidden by the black poncho pulled tightly around his shoulders, but on his heart as well. Was he weak to let their influence cause him such trouble in his present endeavors?

He scoffed at the thought, tugging the wool garment around himself with clenched fingers. Maldito este frío... He muttered under his breath, seeking warmth among those gathered inside the Ugly Coyote as he stepped through the threshold.
[Image: f1ZFz9O.png]
Caked  in  your  graveyard  dust
↞ I  remain  to  trust ↠
That  your  soul  is  still  awake
The winter was coming, cold air and snow falling. Morris wasn't sure whether to be pleased or not. The last winter...he had been traveling at first, until he reached this pack. Until he had found his best friend and at the time crush. Almost a whole year had gone by now. At least this year he felt more at home as the celebrations were starting, though they were nothing like what he was used to. Then again, Morris was fine with the celebrations being different, he did not truly wish to be reminded of his birth home. Asher of course was getting excited for the celebrations. 

They were a lot closer to what the white coyote was used to after all, and though he had some qualms about his own family and past, the celebrations were a happy thing for his friend. Shaking his head, he returned to his drink, and went back to idly watching those around him in the Ugly Coyote. The merle male wondered if he would feel even more at home here next year...or if he would even still be here. Though he had no reason to leave the pack now, you never really knew what would happen in the future. Being a sailor taught you that rather quickly. 

The door opened, drawing his attention from his thoughts and to the new arrival. It wasn't someone that he was familiar with, but he didn't think that he would truly know every member that resided in these lands. It looked like a younger lad, and Morris raised his brow, curious as to why someone who didn't look old enough to drink what the bar served was there. 

286 words

He'd been here before. As he was restricted still from travelling out of Charmingtown alone, there was limited ways to pass the time. He spent most of his days sitting in his shared room, silent or otherwise singing as he played his broken guitar. Other days he took walks along the border, Parca flying ahead to stretch his wings.
Even fewer days were spent visiting places such as the tavern, but this just so happened to be one of those rarer occasions.

When Joaquin had been here the first time, he was greeted by a kind stranger and a whiskey offered in greeting. Despite his young age, he was handed the glass and sipped at the amber liquid with appreciation.
Though he'd seen the same beverage turn collected individuals into slurring heathens back home, he held no high view of the drink himself; it was interesting enough to taste and feel burn down his throat, and the slight swimming in his head was pleasant in the moment, but he hadn't liked it enough to even finish the entire glass.

The youth wasn't looking to get drunk then and he was no more up for the idea now.
Instead, he marched to the bar and requested only a mug of hot water, something to cool his hands as he placed them against the heated clay surface.
Surely they kept a fire around to warm the crowd, it was a simple request that made sense enough.

Though the bartender gave him a stranger look, the older man eventually turned around to fetch what was requested of him, and the coyjackal male had a seat along the counter.
Finally, he relaxed the grip of his poncho, letting it fall against the build of torso. He'd lost some weight upon arriving to Del Cenere, but he tried to stay hopeful for the winter. He wasn't sure what sort of beasts roamed these parts during the harsher season, but with any luck they were large fatty creatures that could feed the shivering community well.

Joaquin was finally handed his mug, nodding in thanks to the bartender before simply taking the cup and holding it close to his chest. With a heavy sigh, he let his body relax, save for his hold on the water.

Heterochromic eyes glanced around and saw a curious expression locked on his person. Though he hadn't come to the Ugly Coyote with the intention to socialize, he figured it was probably difficult to get out of, in a place as popular as this.
He tried his best at attempting a quick grin, but it turned out strained and flashed too many teeth. He frowned slightly afterward, before lowering his gaze and hoping not to seem suspicious by his awkward actions.
[Image: f1ZFz9O.png]
Caked  in  your  graveyard  dust
↞ I  remain  to  trust ↠
That  your  soul  is  still  awake
Morris relaxed just slightly when it appeared the new arrival had just come for water. An odd choice for sure...when there was a whole lake you could drink from not far away. Then again, some folk preferred to be a bit more refined in their consumption of the clear liquid. ...still, the lad could get a cup and scoop it from the lake if he didn't want to lap it up. The observation and thoughts that went with it halted as the other looked at him, his staring caught. The merle male raised a brow at the smile but didn't move to offer his own just yet. He wasn't like Asher who was so open to greeting strangers. Even if this was a fellow packmate, it took time for Morris to feel comfortable enough to smile...normally. Morris had found a few exceptions since coming here. 

The other male looked away and Morris turned his own gaze to his drink. Normally people didn't notice his watchful gaze. Either he was getting sloppy with it, or the lad was more observant than the common passerby. Sighing softly, he moved and sat closer to the odd lad, with his mug of beer still in his hold. "Hail" he offered and then turned his attention to actually drinking. It didn't truly matter if he got a greeting back, or even if the lad decided to move away. This was him trying to be more social, and if it failed then so be it. 

256 words

The smile, as slight as it was, felt foreign on his face. It wasn't as if he was incapable of putting on the expression, but it proved difficult when feigned. It was too forced, worn like an uncomfortable pair of trousers a couple sizes too small. It felt appropriate for the time, to offer a grin when he caught the other staring, if for no other reason than to not appear to morose and stir suspicion, but now he feared he only made matters worse.

Joaquin felt as if he stuck out like a sore thumb. Ever since he'd joined Del Cenere, crossing into the borderlands alongside another who had eyes glued to them as well, there was something that felt... off about how everybody approached him.
What it so obvious that he felt restless? Or perhaps they knew of his soiled past and he presented his demons more obviously than he thought. Could one look at him and proclaim him a murderer, or was it just a general air of unease?

Before he knew it, the other had moved closer, startling the Unkindled some as he looked up to notice the adjustment. He'd been lost with worry, previously, and wasn't sure if he'd subconsciously done something to signal the company.
He swallowed hard, before frowning some. Despite approaching, the merle Ashen did little to show that he was actively willing to engage in anything; there was a simple greeting, and his attention was swiftly brought back to the beverage in his grasp.

Joaquin let out a soft sigh of relief, less concerned now with having to suffer through small talk and awkward interrogation. A greeting was simple.
Hola. He offered, voice gravely but youthful. Then he sipped silently at his warmed water.
[Image: f1ZFz9O.png]
Caked  in  your  graveyard  dust
↞ I  remain  to  trust ↠
That  your  soul  is  still  awake

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