[RO] Hopeless Wanderer
OOC: This post is as Dynia de la Croix set early Jan 2022 in DCG. WC: 1243

Just as she did most days, Dynia escaped Charmingtown as soon as she could. She hated being there. The amount of activity made her jumpy and no matter how many times she told herself (or that her Dads told her) that the vast majority of the canines there were harmless, she just could not seem to believe it. It was the worst when she did not keep track of everyone and someone was unexpectedly behind her. She had not told her Dads, but she had more than one panic attack because of that, leaving bewildered canines in her wake as she fled the town. Sometimes towards Aunt Ponti's house and sometimes just away, but always deeper into the pack's territory and never towards the border. Apparently even when all she could feel was fright, she managed to do that part right.

It was frustrating. She just wanted to be fine. To be normal. To not have her parents looking at her all the time as though they were just waiting for her to freak out next. She did not think that they knew those expressions were on their faces, but they were there. She did know they were just worried about her, but that was frustrating, too. She did not want them to worry about her like that. Sure parents worried. She had seen other parents like that, too. But this was different because they were her Dads and their worry was directed at her.

Sometimes Dynia tried pretending to be normal, to be the calm, bright daughter they wanted to have, but that just was not her anymore. She felt bad, like she was failing them. They had adopted her, chosen to take her on, to feed her and care for her, and now she was just causing problems for them. She remembered how they looked when they found her at Pirate's camp. The anguish and fear and anger. If it was not for her, they would not have gone through all of that. Their lives would have gone on being normal, collecting themselves like the rest of the pack did after what had gone on. She did not remember too many details of what happened in the pack lands while she was gone. It was as though some were hesitant to tell her. Like she was too delicate. Like it would send her spiraling.

She was on four paws today as she wandered one of the paths that her Dads maintained. Their scent was here but not fresh, so she knew that she would not stumble across them by accident. She wanted to be away from their worried looks for a while. She was not alone, though. Their cat Asel, who used to always stay within Charmingtown, had been following her around wherever she went since her return. She appreciated his company because he was quiet and did not seem worried about her. Except that he followed her. Her Dads had said that Asel missed her while she was gone, but it had been months, so surely he would have stopped by now if that was the case. They did not talk about that, either, though.

It made her feel like she couldn't talk about any of it because she did not want to draw more attention to herself for it. She wanted to talk, though. She wanted to tell people how angry she was that it had happened to her, how afraid she still was now, how she felt like nothing would be normal anymore. But it had been months since she returned. Shouldn't she be fine now? Why was she still feeling like this? Why was it so easy to spook her? No one had made any attempt to grab her since then and yet she still eyed every stranger like they might.

And the nightmares. Sometimes she woke up and still felt like the leash they had her on was still around her neck. When she woke from those, Dynia tried to be as still as possible because she usually slept in a pile with her Dads. It would be easier if she moved to her a separate bed of blankets, but she just could not bring herself to give up the comfort of their warm bodies next to hers. They did not seem to mind, either. They made room for her every night and if she even thought of making her own bed, the longing brought her right over to them. They all knew that she was safe.

Dynia wasn't sure what she was supposed to be doing now. She felt like she should be finding jobs that suited her, and she was trying a lot of things. Some were fun and she enjoyed them, but a lot of the time she felt like she was going through the motions. It was what was expected, so she did it, but she was pretending to be okay. It made her Dads happy to see her doing those things and she wanted them to be happy. She had found a couple of things that she really liked, like sewing. It was kind of frustrating, but she got to do that with both her Dad - Notch - and her Aunt Ponti, which was great. But other jobs, she definitely did not like. Clearing trails like this was one of those jobs. It was fun for a little while to get to go to town destroying parts of plants that were encroaching, but it got old fast.

Maybe... she should just talk to them about how she was feeling. But wouldn't they be disappointed that she was basically lying to them? Or at least pretending? What if they were angry about it. She didn't really think they would be, but there was a chance. Or upset. Her Papa - Auger - would not say so, but it would be easier to read on her Dad. He was always more expressive with his emotions, and she couldn't stand the idea of being the one putting that expression on his face.

"I dunno, Asel," Dynia sighed. He understood a fair amount of High Speech, but did not actively speak it often. "Do you think I should talk to them?" It was not the first time she had asked the question, so she already knew what the response would be.

"Yes," he said in a flat tone and she huffed a quiet laugh. It always seemed like things were far more simple to him. There was never any delay in his response to her when she asked him that. Or, maybe it really was that easy and she was just thinking too much about it.

"Maybe when we get home." Dynia said, not really believing that she would actually do it. At some point she would need to, although that probably would not be tonight. Asel rubbed against her front legs and she lowered her head to bump him gently with her nose in response. He was purring, which was always a comforting sound. She had cuddled with him a lot as a small puppy and he spent a lot of time purring then. "I guess we better start heading back anyway." She stopped and turned to head back towards Charmingtown. "Let me know if you get tired. I'll shift and carry you." Asel meowed in response and continued walking next to her as she headed home.

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