[P] [M]Collide in Snowflakes
For Eros.

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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Neptune eyes glared in frustration as she paced around the medical bay, she didn't want to go home but she also was looking to avoid, well pretty much everyone.  The Firebringer had already had a rough day at the clinic and was looking forward to a relaxing night out with Theo, how had it turned out so badly? He had been a gentleman up until this evening, she guessed he finally felt relaxed enough to show his true colors. Or maybe she was finally able to see him for who he was because of her own foul mood and tiredness...or maybe it was just her...

But now, now her heart pounded furiously, and every tired bone in her body was fueled by that Stormbringer blood. Stubborn and refusing to give in she placed her medical bag that usually hung across her body in a drawer and began to shift down to her feral form. If anything could make her feel better, maybe running as the snow fell would calm her.

It wasn't a heavy snow, but it was coming down well enough for it to leave a layer of snowflakes across her back as she ran out of the Fort and out into the blanket covered land of Casa di Cavalieri. Yrsa ran as fast as she could, her heart pounding in her ears and her paws punched through the ice crystal layers and deep into the snow. Panting her breath made a puff cloud in the air as she ran, she refused to stop and look back, she needed to run away from the day.

Now deep into the territory and far away from the Fort she began to feel better , she lifted her muzzle to the sky and let out a howl. The howl was cut short as a sharp pain ran up her front leg causing a yip to escape as she stumbled forward and planting facedown in the powdery snow eventually sliding to a stop. After a few seconds she shook her head back and forth, before bright hues looked around to see what she had tripped over.

  [355] // Ooc Here//
Eros was at peace.  Floating weightless in a place where there was no pain, no anger, no expectations.  The world was silent, and his mind was quieted.  The fiery pelted Damaichu wasn’t weighed down by anything.  He could feel his mind expanding, passing beyond the physical and the need for his flesh prison.  In this moment, in this place, there was peace.  Eros couldn’t say how long he drifted, but he was very aware of when it ended.  His rapture was slammed to a halt by a kick to the side, which pulled him from his meditations, his body flooding with adrenaline to deal with the potential attacker. 

The fiery pelted Damaichu exploded from the snow, flurries and drifts swirling around him, creating an opaque mist which drifted towards Yrsa, turning their surroundings into an unrecognisable mirk.  Eros was in his lupus form, his hackles raised, his tail flagging threats and establishing his strength and dominance.  He leapt at Yrsa’s prone form, teeth glistening with saliva and his eyes unfocused by the drugs.  As he huffed out a breath, a wave of narcotics stink wafted over the prone form, but slowly recognition dawned on Eros’s face. 

His hackles settled down, and his head move around ponderously, taking n his surroundings and trying to remember where he was, but still gripped firmly in the care of his drugs.  Finally, Eros’s eyes once again turned to Yrsa’s form.  She had rejected him, that had stung more than Eros had allowed himself to admit, and seeing her there now, it felt like a mocking taunt.

”What the fuck do you want?  Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”

As he spoke, his back legs gave way, and Eros, with a total lack of grace, crumpled to the ground, the adrenaline his body had lent him to deal with the threat, evaporating faster than booze over a fire.  Once again, his body felt heavy, and didn’t really seem to be responding as it should do, but Eros was only half aware as the narcotics played pictures for him across his vision.  If only he’d managed to have made it to his den, he could have been alone and undisturbed, but clearly the drugs had kicked in far more quickly than he’d expected. 

With, what must have been, herculean-like will, Eros rose again, looked at Yrsa silently, before taking a few more steps in the direction of the den, and then collapsing like a marionette which has had its strings cut.  After that second attempt, Eros didn’t move.

Before she could really focus on her surroundings and  what had happened, a flurry a snow surrounded her, along with the sounds of growling.  Immediately her hackles bristled and she tried to scramble to her four paws, that's when she noticed it, those deep golden hues with large dilated pupils and the smell of narcotics. Now she knew exactly what, or rather, who she had tripped over and the flame kissed feral form of Eros came into view.  Yrsa should have known that she wouldn't be able to escape from the man forever, so many times she had stitched him up or cared for his wounds when she was a loner. Personal feelings aside, it was obvious that the scout needed help, even if he didn't want to admit it himself.

The Firebringer ignored his vulgar questions, and  the fact that her leg was badly bruised from the collision, her sole focus was the feral form of the man before her that couldn't even manage to stand on his own.  Eros may have taken it a little too far this time. 

"Eros." She snapped at him, not yelling but in a firm tone.

Her neptune hues were filled with concern for a packmate and at one time friend? At least acquaintance. Once again the Damaichu man tried to stand and walk away with out much of a word, and failed as he collapsed in the snow once more sending snowflakes dancing around him. Carefully she approached him, ignoring any pain she felt, and focused completely  on Eros.  Even with  his thick coat, without being able to regulate his body temperatures, he'd die alone during the cold snap tonight and they'd find him frozen under a pile of snow the next day if they were lucky.  No that wouldn't do, she needed to help him, no matter how much of an ass he was to her. Taking her muzzle she nuzzled into his scruff trying to get him to move,

"You can't just lie here, you need to get out of the cold. Get up and lean on me for support, lead the way and I'll get you there."

Again she nosed him, burying her nose down into the snow under the man's neck, trying to lift him up and force him to move.  If Eros was in his right mind, she might have to worry about him snapping at her, but Yrsa would have to the speed to move away should the drugged man attack. 

"Do you want to die Eros, cause this is how you do it.  How could you be so stupid?"

The healer wasn't against drinking or an occasional recreational drug, but it needed to be done safely and it was obvious that he had taken too much, whatever it was.  She would find that out later, but right now, the man just needed to move and even if she had to drag him, the coywolf was determined that Eros was not going to die tonight, not on her watch.

  [514] // Ooc Here//
Eros was surrounded by a warming glow.  It was so peaceful here and so restful.  Distantly he heard his name being called, and while his ears twitched in response, he ignored it, willing whoever it was to go away.  The wet nose pressing into his scruff and touching his skin brought a whine of protest, he just wanted to be left alone.  His head rose though, his eyes closed as he nuzzled back affectionately, before his head rested again on the snow.

”Sometimes.” He said in reply to her question, his tone quiet, as though he were speaking in his sleep.  When the nudge came again, more insistent this time, his eyes opened and he looked at her, his eyes a little more focused.  She wanted him to stand up?  Why?  He was happy where he was.  Was there a problem somewhere?  Surely someone else could deal with it.  Yrsa, she’d turned him down, and then gone with Theo.  Had she done that just to piss him off?  Fucking Theo! 

It quickly became clear that Yrsa wasn’t going to leave him alone.  If she’d been anyone else, he’d have bared his teeth and snapped, telling them to get lost, but his fizzing mind had told him it had felt good to have her nuzzle into him.  Digging into the stubborn strength of his, Eros managed to pull his legs beneath him and stood up.  Thankfully he was in his wolf form, because he’d never have been able to balance on only two. 

As he stood there getting his bearings, Eros felt a warm body rub up against him, her rough guard hairs intertwining with his own.  Turning his head, golden eyes looked into sea glass green.  Had he ever been this close to Yrsa before.  As he stared at her, taking in her elegant features, and her light and familiar scent, the befuddlement of the narcotics took a backseat.

”Theo’s a fucking asshole!” Eros blurted hotly. 

Lightly, but deliberately, he touched his nose to hers ”You deserve better than him.” He said with unusual tenderness. 

There was no smirk, and the bravado was too much effort to summon right now.  Clearly having said his peace, Eros began walking, slowly, but in the direction, he knew the den was in.  A couple of times he stumbled, and would have collapsed again, but Yrsa’s support helped him regain his bearings and he continued. 

Moving seemed to help, and as they walked, Eros occasionally bent and took a mouthful of snow, forcing himself to swallow it.  The den was well hidden, but even in his addled stated Eros knew where to find it, and when he saw the mouth of it, he realised how tired he was. 

A few feet from the den he stopped, and keeping his eyes fixed on the entrance Eros spoke again.

”I’m fine from here.  You don’t have to stay, I’m sure someone’s gonna need you at the hut.” Eros never enjoyed appearing vulnerable in front of anyone, but that it was Yrsa made it somehow worse.  Right now though, the narcotics were dulling his sense of embarrassment, and the feel of her against him felt better even than the drugs.  What the hell was wrong with him? It had to be the drugs right?

Some how, some way, Eros had managed to stand up on all four paws, albeit a bit wobbly, but that's what she was there for, to be his crutch so to speak and to get him to safety.  What kind of healer would she be if she just let him freeze to death? Though she had no doubt that there were luperci who would be grateful if she did.  But no, that wasn't her, Yrsa would do everything in her power to help Eros, even though he didn't want it. She steadied his body, letting him borrow the heat from her body to stay warm, and she had to stop herself from laughing at his comment about Theo, practically yelling in her ear.

"Yeah, well you might be right about him…"

The  healer thought about saying more, but now was not the place for this this conversation, maybe at another time if the flame kissed man ever opened up to her again.

When the man stepped so did she, though he was bigger, she was sober and at least that was something going for her at this moment.  Bright seafoam hues looked around, Yrsa needed to get her bearings of exactly where they were so she'd have a sense of a direction home once the man sobered up.  Out in the distance in the night sky she could hear an owls hoot which made her smile before she refocused on the situation at hand and readjusted her stance to give Eros the most stability and warmth, their furs became more entangled with each other and she could feel his slow heartbeat.  Whatever the scout was on, it would take him a while to come up from it. 

After a while of walking in silence the man's feral form stopped, again the woman looked around before looking slightly up at the man and rolled her eyes,

"Sorry, but I can't leave you like this, so you're just gonna have to get use to me sticking around until you come out of this trance you're in.  Cerberus can handle the clinic, right now my concern is keeping you alive.  So come on, into the den with you."

Though his den was well hidden, in his drugged state it was a dead giveaway of where it was because he never took those golden hues off of it.  Leading him slowly, one small step at a time to the entrance she allowed him to go first, before squeezing in behind him.  With just enough room to turn around she curled by his side, letting her tail hook around him and she rested her head on top of his neck. 

"You're gonna need my warmth, even huddled in this den.  So deal with it."

Yrsa knew he didn't want her there, and she wasn't sure she wanted to be there either, but he gave her little choice in the matter.

  [496] // Ooc Here//
The distance to the den felt interminable, and it was a measure of how tired he was, that Eros didn’t argue with Yrsa, he simply slipped in, and barely made himself comfortable before collapsing to the dirt floor. 

The den wasn’t anywhere near as impressive as the ones he’d been born into.  There were no labyrinthine tunnels, or soft footfalls, but it was dry, just large enough to not feel claustrophobic, and the entrance curved slightly so everything except the most severe wind would be a problem. 

As Eros lay there, a blanket was tucked about him.  It was warm, so wonderfully warm, and cosy.  Almost unconsciously, he wriggled to move closer into it, feeling it drape over his neck.  The fiery pelted Damaichu, huffed out a contented sigh, and the tension from the cold, began to relax, his body sagging a little as he did so.  The scent of his blanket was wonderful, and the rhythmic heartbeat was almost irresistible.  Eros’s mind began to drift, and for a while he dozed.

Quin sat across from him, his star mask and quirking grin, very distinctive.  His brother was speaking, but Eros couldn’t quite make out the words ”You left me bro.” Eros mumbled, perhaps unaware that he was speaking aloud ”You never said goodbye Quin.  What the fuck was all that about?”

Again Eros sank into silence, his slurred mumbles becoming unintelligible.  Occasionally he would twitch, or his tongue would flick out to moisten his nose, but otherwise he did not stir.

”I’m sorry.” surfaced from the mumbles, and then ”New Dawn.”.  Fragments of sentences.  Perhaps he was speaking to someone, or maybe, in his sleep, he was monologuing, it was impossible to say.  Tears began to leak from his closed eyes, and his breathing changed, as though in the dream her were wracked with sobs, but only a fraction of that was translated out from the dream. 

With a sharp intake of breath, Eros appeared to come round, waking up, at least a little, stirring, but not dislodging Yrsa.  Eros could taste the tears and new he’d been crying in his sleep, but he made no mention of it, nor acknowledge what had happened, just felt the sadness begin to slowly melt for now.

”So, you finally figured out Theo’s a prick.  What’s made you stick around then?  Pretty sure your shop can be fixed up, and a lot of loners gonna be glad to see you back.”

His tone was not unkind, but rather curious, perhaps he was hoping for a specific answer?  Either way, the question wasn’t asked with mockery, but his tone was still slightly slurred from sleep.  Maybe he’d remember this conversation later, maybe he wouldn’t.

Shock and surprise painted the coywolf's face when Eros entered his den without putting up a fight or making some sort of rude comment about her staying with him. Though as high was the flame kissed Damaichu was, she figured the only thing he'd put up a fight to was saving his own life if attacked, and even that was questionable at this point. At least in the den, they were out of the elements, and wrapped tightly around the man with her head resting across his neck, she could keep him warm and feel him breathing, it was the best situation that she could hope for really, well the best out of a bad situation anyway.

Besides their breathing the den was silent, even she felt comfortable enough there, their fur inter mingled, her body heat warmed them both, so relaxing that she could almost fall asleep.  But she fought sleep, Yrsa couldn't keep an eye on her patient if she wasn't conscious.  But the sleepiness rushed from her as she heard Eros' mumbled voice, when the words didn’t make sense, the healer realized the man was sleeping.  Good. But everything that happened in those next few moments made her view the man a little different, she now knew that deep down, he was different than the front he put up.  So she laid there still, keeping him warm and listened to his sleep talk.

Her brows furrowed in worry and sorrow, as she laid her ears back and a whine and whimper escaped her muzzle.  He was crying and it was obvious that whatever Eros had been through had changed him into what he was today, at least what he let everyone see. How Yrsa wanted to comfort him, wake him from his nightmare and tell him that everything would be okay, but she couldn't.  It wasn't her place, and that was a promise that she knew she couldn't keep, not in his line of work.

Luckily, Eros woke on his own, she could feel him shift slightly under her, but not enough to get her to move.  Though he had started to come up from whatever he was on, it would be a long time until he would be safe to be alone.  Part of her wanted to lick his tears away, but the other part of her knew that it was a secret between them that would always remain that, a secret. But Yrsa couldn't help but smile and let out a chuckle when the man she was wrapped around mention Theo and him being a prick.

"Yeah, I figured it out, took me too long, huh?"

But she fell silent, the second part of the question was a little more tricky.  She could have gone back to her own life, living alone, helping loners that came to her bruised and battered from gods only knew what.  The thought had crossed her mind, but at the same time, besides the Theo mistake, she was happy in Casa di Cavalieri.  And if she was honest with herself and the man that asked the question, she was tired of always being alone.

"I…the attack left me for dead, if it wasn't for the kindness of a loner bringing to here for help, I would have died cold and alone.  It made me realize that I didn't want that, that I was tired of being alone. I could help the Cavaliers just as much as any loner that needed it, so it made sense for me to stay, repay my debt and be surrounded by luperci that I cared about and cared for me in return."

She laughed. Maybe too much of an answer for Eros' current state of the mind, but it was the truth.

"What about you Eros? You are more of a loner than anything, you make everyone aware that you prefer to be a loner.  So why do you stay?"

Letting out a deep sigh, she wondered if the secretive man would actually answer her or revert to silence.  Regardless of what he chose, she would remain by his side until he was out of danger, no talking required.

  [706] // Ooc Here//
The feel of Yrsa wrapped around him was good.  She was like a barrier against it all, with a light fragrance that surrounded him.  Her heartbeat was even and calm.  This horrible cliché of intimacy was something Eros would never have endured were it not for the drugs fogging his mind and even out the jagged edges.  He listened to her answer his question, but as she spoke he saw scenes in his life playing out.  Vignettes sped across his mind’s eye, unfolding with a panoply of emotions and sensations.  He saw his first fuck carrying away one of the pups.  The day he gave Sian away, when his brother disappeared.  Eros saw himself walking through the trees and lands that had once been his home.  Damn Yrsa, if she’d not come along, none of this would happen, sweet oblivion would have been his, just for a little while.  Now though, the drugs were steering him in a direction he hated to visit, and her question didn’t help.

Eros remained silent, saw Altair’s huge stoic form, with his implacable features, still training him and Quin.  Remember Jazper’s face as the two pups had left inky paw prints throughout the office.  Family…pack…all flung away…discarded, like so much paper on the breeze.  There was anger, there had always been so much anger, and when the shift had come, it felt as though he’d been torn into two separate parts.  Eros kept his secrets, he guarded them jealously.  When he spoke, he talked rubbish, he played down to people’s expectations, allowed himself to be underestimated, or dismissed.  When folk thought you were a fool, it was far easier to manipulate them, far easier to win, and to get what you wanted.  Eros made sure he always won, always got what he wanted. 

”When I was a pup-“ Eros began, his speech still slurred ”I always found it hard to sleep.  Don’t know why, was just always restless.” Eros’s ears twitched and flicked, a distant tone creeping into his slurred voice, as though he were only partly in the den.  ”Dad would wake up, nudge me with his nose and take me outside.” Eros huffed a breath, and fell silent again, for a long while, perhaps giving the impression that he’d fallen asleep again.  At last though, he started again ”We would play together, and when I got tired, he’d lie on the ground and put me on his chest.  He’d talk to me, and I remember feeling the vibrations of his voice through his chest.  It was the sound of his heartbeat though, the regular thud, which would make me fall asleep.  Every time.”

Eros let out a deep sigh, and perhaps for a moment he lost consciousness.  The den grew quiet, the only sound the soft breathing and the faint fall of snow outside their shelter.  With his eyes closed though, the slurred speech continued.

”Loners taught me how important it is to win.  Everyone out there has no team, and I got good at winning.  When I saw Luca and Aldora again after all that time it felt…nice.  So, I promised to protect them and Casa, it let me spend time with what is left of my family.  I stay because, despite being the family fuck up, life is a little less shit when they’re nearby.”

Eros had spent so much time building up a ‘who gives a fuck’ armour around his heart, that he’d not realised how Luca had penetrated it until his uncle had died.  Eros had ignored, but could never forget all the family he’d lost, to disease, to time, but particularly to enemies who’d torn them away too soon.

”Took me too long to learn….” His side heaved with a deep sigh ”My fucking family are the only thing I have that is really worth anything.”

If she was honest with herself, she never thought the flame kissed Damaichu would answer her, much less answer her honestly. Yrsa fully expected him to ignore the question, pass out or pretend to pass out to avoid letting her in and giving her a glance to who he really was.  So when the den fell silent, she didn't push and she let him just be, her body wrapped around him to keep him warm, he head still rested over his neck and scruff.  When he spoke, it almost shocked her enough to raise her head in disbelief, but she remained still, as she was and just listened, sometimes if a luperci remained silent, the other would continue to talk to fill the void of silence.

Though Eros' words were slow and slurred, the Firebringer woman found them to be honest.  As he spoke of his father, the scene played out in her mind, the small pup placed on his dad's chest as he fell asleep. But there was a sadness to it as well and the woman resisted the urge to whine or whimper, something told her there was much more to the story. So the two laid in silence, and the healer paid close attention to the man's breathing and heart beat, a little slow for her liking but strong and steady, it would have to do.

Yrsa's ears perked as the man's slow and slurred words started again, and she listened intently as neptune eyes watched snowflakes fall to the blanket of snow outside of the den. Honestly she was shocked at what she was hearing, the man that put up so many walls around him actually cared about family, and admitted to life being better when those luperci he pretended not to care about were close to him. 

This time she couldn't help herself, and a soft whimper escaped her muzzle, and instinct took over as she lifted her head slightly to lick the man a few times behind the ear before replacing her head across his warm body.  There had always been something about Eros that stirred something deep down in the woman, they had known each other for years, back when she was a loner and she thought him to be one as well.  Yrsa always saw him with a different luperci and even when she thought he might actually talk to her, he was easily distracted.  In a way she had put up a wall too, to guard herself from Eros, she wanted nothing to do with a man that only cared about himself and wasn't interested in family. But now…now that wall was steadily crumbling down and there was a battle raging within between her mind and heart. In any other situation she would have separated herself from the situation so she could think, but there was no way in hell she could leave him like this.  Chances are he wouldn't remember it anyway, that tomorrow he'd be back to himself like tonight had never happened.

Sighing, she remained quiet for a few moments as she tried to process everything, there were so many thoughts running through her mind. Tonight the Damaichu had shown her a side not many knew, in fact she might be the only one that was privy to such a mind shattering display and she wasn't quite sure how to feel about it.  So she focused on being a healer and making sure he survived this bitter, cold winter night.  Tomorrow she would tackle the other questions, but for now, now she would just lay with him,

"You have worth too Eros, you should let others see it more often…"

Yrsa adjusted briefly, re-wrapping her tail around him and nuzzling into his scruff as she kept her head on top of his neck.  Survive the night and worry about the rest tomorrow is all she kept thinking.

  [661] // Ooc Here//
Eros had planned to seek respite in oblivion, even if was only for a few hours.  The fiery pelted Damaichu was secure in the knowledge that the world could give a fuck if was off his face, dead or actually working for the pack.  Of course, like he always seemed to, Theo fucked up Eros’s plans by screwing up on his date.  Now, his mind fizzing and bubbling, Eros burbled mindlessly.  Fuck Theo, and fuck Yrsa for coming along and seeing him like this.  No one should have seen him like this!  No one should have heard what he’d said, and it was only the narcotics that muted the outrage, still Eros felt his hackles rise as Yrsa licked his ear and muttered her kind words.  Eros remained where he was, didn’t bark or snap, but the fur along his spine would have stood on end had it not been for Yrsa pressed against him. 

”I don’t need the approval of others to do my job, and I don’t need them to ‘see my worth’” he retorted, a hint of the usual sarcasm creeping into his slurred tone.

A blur of faceless partners flitted across his mind’s eye.  He saw his brother Quin, arm tossed casually behind his head, silently laughing at a joke Eros couldn’t hear.  The fiery pelted Damaichu grunted as the pain in his chest tried to choke him.  Quin had been gone for years and Eros still missed him, but everyday he’d managed to get through without it bugging him too much.  One bad batch of drugs, and he was ready to spill his guts all over the floor?  Worse of all, there was actually someone here to watch him?  Eros was brilliant with an audience, but only on his terms, and when he was able to tell them what he wanted them to hear.  Now though, he was clinging on, but that barrier was weaker than usual.

”What’s wrong with your family then?” Eros began, not able to dwell on the welling sadness inside of him, it threatened to consume him.  Eros was sure it was just the drugs.  He’d seen it before, loners blubbing into their drinks, and he wasn’t that pathetic, wasn’t so desperate. 

”You decided you didn’t want to be alone, but you made the choice not to go back to your family, but to stay here instead.  Don’t tell me that was because of Theo, or I might puke all over this den.”

”Was it because of our handsome leader Luca?” Eros blinked.  His last statement hadn’t sounded right, and slowly it dawned on him ”…I mean Cedric.” He finished lamely.  He felt as though someone had knocked his legs out from under him.  Pain exploded inside of Eros again.  For a moment, a fraction of an instant, Luca had been alive, and in that confusion there was comfort.  It was oh so fleeting though, and as it ended, the loss was as fresh and raw as it had been when Eros had seen his uncle’s carcass.  Sometimes Eros chased those moments though, and not just with Luca but with other moments.  Eros chased them, because for however short a time, however fleeting it all was, there was a contented peace, and those moments were worth all the grief and anger that washed over him afterwards.

”I’m awake now, and in the den.  You can leave.” Eros said, his tone thoughtful, almost wistful.  The drugs were warping his mind.  In the morning it would be better, but right now he was at risk of whining like some pup to his mum of how unfair it all was.

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