[P] I'm more than meets the eye
Charmingtown | Odysseus
#1
The state Willow had been left in since returning to the Ganglands was strangely conducive to hard work despite the mess of emotions he felt deep inside. As such, the construction of The Dark Arrow was coming along well—it had almost become something livable, or so Paninya had joked last time she saw it. The roof remained unfinished, in its place a simple tarp had been drawn over the top of the exterior walls. Summer was winding down now that August had begun, but the temporary shade Willow found a worthy investment considering his darker coat absorbed a heavy amount of sunlight. 

Still, as it was only almost livable, Willow’s free time was not spent admiring his and his packmate’s hard work in Irving. He instead made frequent visits to Charmingtown to check up on the Encenders of the pack like his brother Raeburn. As he had only recently made the transition to the Mid Echelon, he was still getting the hang of having some manner of middling authority. Though from his understanding, it was less that he now had free reign to go barking orders at them, and more so he was to be a role model for what they should aspire to be within their next few months at Del Cenere. A particularly excellent grunt, he was, rather than an overseer.

So, being the good worker he was, Willow stalked the borders every once and a while. On this night, he spotted a loner in the midst of those coming in and out of the Gang that appeared particularly intoxicated. Many frequented the Ugly Coyote at this hour, but this man stood there grumbling to himself—one look at him did not bode well.

“Cut me off, will they? Ssshould burn that damn bar to the ground, it was’h crappy slosh, anyways.”

Immediately, Willow was put on high alert. His ears perked forward, and he made himself stand taller. A growl of warning passed his lips, earning the loner’s attention. The aggressive eye contact might have made Will back down a tad if it had been from anyone big and burly, but the one running his mouth didn’t even have the muscle to back up his words. “You’d better watch yer tongue. Maybe you should move on now, get back to where ya came from.”

“Oh, it’s like that, is it?” The man wiped his lips on his sleeve, letting out a growl of his own. “I don’t see any of your amigos around, you don’t get’s to talk like that, lookin’ so scrawny.”

“I’d say the same of you.”

The oncoming punch was so telegraphed Willow found it laughable. He side stepped it, and without thinking about it he restrained the man into a headlock, snarling. “Fine, I’ll throw yer ass over the border myself, if ya ain’t smart enough to leave on yer own.” He grunted as the dog struggled against his hold, but he kept it firm.

Then the man began to wail: “Ted! Ted, help me!”
(516) | mNPCs: Unpleasant loner (currently unnamed), Ted (unpleasant loner #2)
[Image: unknown.png]
Willow Martel
Say a prayer, but let the good times roll
In case God doesn't show


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#2
Odie was in good spirits — pun certainly intended — after a round of drinks at the (ironically named, he still thought) Ugly Coyote. The raccoon pelt he’d offered had only granted him a small quantity of Alonso’s ambrosia, but it was enough to take off the edge that had been slowly sharpening since he ran out of his own liquor. He’d even been able to strike up a deal with one of the outside street traders for more. The sickening bite of thirst at bay, the hound was full of sunshine.

He was even whistling — an approximation of some sea shanty, one that grew slow with pauses as his large ears pricked. Someone was howling for help.

The man broke out into a lope, a quick-paced trot that hopefully wouldn’t draw too much open suspicion as he headed faster down the road. There he saw the altercation in process: a wriggling, apparently intoxicated loner being grappled by a charcoal-colored coydog that seemed to be of the Gang. Joining them was (apparently) Ted, a hybrid that was as broad-shouldered as he was drunk (which was to say, disgustingly). He lurched forward, aiming a heavy and bearlike swipe at the yote’s head.

Odie’s whistle turned sharp between his teeth. “¡Oye!”

The lumbering loner tried to turn, startled, but followed through with the motion of the swipe and nearly ended up on the ground for it. He staggered around and bared his teeth, hackles rising on his neck.

“Two on one doesn’t seem very fair, does it, señores?” the dog asked, grinning, and drew one of his knives.
---

[Image: odiedodie.gif]
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#3
Will had made a last minute jerk to the side in an attempt to dodge the swipe. This became unexpectedly aided by the whistle that broke through the sounds of the scuffle. The man’s claws barely caught on his fur, but left no blood as Willow made a quick decision to shove the man he was holding to the ground.  He ended up next to the dog who had, apparently, come to aid him rather than join forces with the other loners. Backing off, he held his fists up as Ted came at him again—

“Wait, Ted!” The other called to his friend, seeming fearful now that things had become more fair, but it was too late for that. Willow struck first and punched him hard in the face. Though it had been a proper punch, the young Ashen still felt a formidable sting on his knuckles. He shook the hand he had punched with in the air, resisting the urge to hiss as he formed it back into a ball. He didn’t want to show weakness.

Ted reeled, and like a man possessed, tried to turn on the friendly dog that had come to Willow’s aid—but one look at the knife he had finally made the brute sober enough to stop his lackluster assault.

“L-Let’s get outta here,” with that squeak from the loner that had gotten to his knees, the two made a bumbling escape. Willow let them, folding his arms as he did so, tail straightened and proud. Although taking on drunkards wasn’t all that impressive, he hadn’t had many proper fights in his life despite his training. Every win, or loss, felt like a worthy experience that prepared him for the next.

He turned his attention then to the dog, managing a cheeky grin. “Thanks,” he said. “You’ve done yerself a service to the Ashen. If it please ya and ya ain’t as drunk as those two were, I figure ya earned yerself a drink on me before ya head out.” Will gave him an approving nod before pointing to himself with a thumb, using the same hand that he had punched with. “M’ name’s Will, by the way.” He extended his hand.
(378)
*little Sims-styled positive interaction bubble appears above Will's head*
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Willow Martel
Say a prayer, but let the good times roll
In case God doesn't show


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[Image: songbirdButton.png] [Image: he_him_by_agent_pits-d88i5w6.png] [Image: rtV3ww1.png]
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#4
The drunken loner sprawled in the dirt at Odysseus’ feet, and the dog flashed him a winsome grin, his brows slightly raised. His eager expression, and the dawning realization of their odds, caused the man to flounder and call for his friend as he struggled to get his limbs beneath him.

Odie ignored him, watching the coydog contend with Ted — whistled in appreciation at the quick, sharp punch he landed on Ted’s face — then passed his knife to his other hand with a flourish, placing his feet in a fighting stance as taught. They needn’t know it was one of his dull ones, better used as a spade than a dagger, in truth; introducing a weapon to a bare-knuckle brawl was enough to make anyone reevaluate their chances.

The loners made themselves scarce, and Odysseus chased them a few yards, barking taunts at their tucked tails. Then he laughed, returning to meet the stranger’s grin with a wink of his own. ”De nada,” he said, sheathing his knife and taking the other’s hand in a firm shake. ”I’m Odysseus. You can call me Odie.”

He looked the other man over, appreciating the lighter hues in his soft fur, the green of his eyes. He smelled of herbs, the same way Odie enjoyed rolling in water mint and pine needles. Odie quickly decided he liked the kid.

He also quickly decided that — “A drink sounds great.”

He hadn’t had enough to trade for more of Alonso’s heavenly whiskey, and so he’d intended to leave before the sky grew too dark, but Odysseus was not the type of man who’d pass up free booze. It would have been criminal.

(He hoped the bartender wouldn’t call him out for coming back so soon, but it was fine; he wasn’t as drunk as the loners had been, and he wasn’t a belligerent drunk, anyway. In fact, he felt wonderful, and another cup would make him feel more wonderful.)

“Do you get a lot of capullos like that overstaying their welcome in Charmingtown?” he asked.

[Image: odiedodie.gif]
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