[P] You asked too much to fix what you had torn
(922) ✦ Lupus

It had started like any other day. The snowfall was consistent but light when the pair woke up in the early hours of dawn. It accumulated in a thin blanket that wasn't too difficult to travel across, their paw prints revealing the brown grass and hidden leaf decay as they circled around a lake. While it was still cold, especially as the sun only began to awaken, it would be prime time to hunt rodents as they foraged for food, or some fowl if they're lucky.

It was usual for them to split up. They covered more ground this way and had less of a chance of disturbing the birds if they moved alone. Goose had been successful so far: she managed to run down a rabbit, barking excitedly and keeping up with its tight turns until she got close enough to sink her teeth, and dispatched it with a few bites. It had tried to run into a narrow hole, and she tried to stick her nose into it and paw at the moist soil to search for any more prey.

A terrible screech made Goose freeze and jerk her head from earth, dirt crumbling from her muzzle. It was a sound she only heard a rare number of times before. Her mother's screams, full of rage and fear. Birds erupted from the trees and joined in the chorus as they fled from the discord.

It happened all in a blur that details became hard to recall later. Goose ran so fast her legs burned, and she was keening sharply as she found Crow trashing and snarling at some unseen enemy. Upturned earth and snow was strewn everywhere, and there was the iron taste of blood in the air.

"What's wrong!" Goose pleaded over Crow's barking, her tail tucked between her and her body shivering with frantic energy. I want to help, I want to help, but she didn't know what was happening.

"It won't let me go!" Crow bellowed. "It's biting me!" And the older female began to gnaw at her own paw. It was then Goose saw the thin wire catch the morning light. A snare, caught in a snare.

Feeding off of Crow's tumultuous anxiety and not thinking clearly, Goose did not calm down and slunk to Crow to help her chew the wire. More than once Crow turned her teeth on Goose, snarling wordlessly, but the warning bites did not cut her skin—they were driven by fear, lashing out at anything in hopes of getting free.

But the hunter's cable was not made to be so easily bitten through. Realizing this as she tasted her own blood, the wire cutting her gums, Goose threw herself on top of Crow. "Stop moving! It hurts more when you move!" Goose had seen animals with luxurious fur, like foxes and beavers, choke on similar traps. The wire was not around Crow's neck, but the way it dug into her paw and cut her made her worry how deep it could go if she struggled.

Crow growled and attempted to nip her daughter as she pressed her weight upon her, but eventually she reluctantly obeyed. Her lips were pulled over her teeth in a displeased smile as she panted heavily. "We need to leave. Someone will come. It belongs to a Luperci."

"I know," Goose whined, letting the pause allow her brain to catch up. She spied on hunters sometimes, from afar. They used their hands to free their quarry. But she recalled that the wires were always tied to something—usually some kind of stick. With another whine and giving Crow a few licks over her ear, Goose got up and pointed her nose at the cable, following it. Crow had pulled it taut so it wasn't too difficult to find the kill pole.

It was a metal stick, and it was bent and dislodged by Crow's struggles. Such a snare wasn't made to trap something as large as a dog. Goose grimaced and began to dig to loosen its hold in the earth even more. It took a few minutes of tearing through hard, cold dirt, but eventually she managed to pull it out and release the tension. She growled lowly, wishing she could destroy it for hurting her mother or at least hide it so the hunter wouldn't find it, but all she could do was turn her back on it.

When Goose returned, Crow was already working on freeing herself again. She was gnawing on a knot in the cable that pinched the loop closed around her. Goose almost demanded that Crow let her do it, that she had seen Luperci mess with the lock before, but it wasn't needed. Managing to situate her teeth just right, the slack on the wire affording her space, Crow managed to loosen the snare enough to pull her paw out.

Goose's tail wagged nervously as she pressed into her mother's personal space to sniff her paw. A red angry circle was around her white wrist, and Goose licked at it with a whine. "I'm sorry."

Crow huffed through her nose, keeping her paw lifted off the ground. "It's fine." Yet, when she limped forward, she did not use it to walk. "Come. We need to leave before..." Crow trailed off as she focused her gaze on something ahead. A low growl began in her throat again and her feathered tail rose stiffly in the air.

Goose, alarmed, turned to face what her mother was looking at. Or rather, who.
Harley had been taking her sweet time exploring the forest, looking for Priscilla whenever the sounds of snarls and growls and plain ruckus. It was a fearful one, though, and it echoed through the rooftops, causing Harley's head to prick upwards and look toward the east where the birds flew from the tree tops.

She thought about ignoring the calls, staying in her lane, and meandering back toward the densite. However, something gnawed at her innards, a weighted feeling, as though she needed to enter the field and announce her presence. It took her a few seconds before she felt her feet moving toward the area in which the screams were heard. Had she been smart, Harley would have found Pris first, at least a fisher was better than having just herself.

Yet, as soon as she was met with two other creatures- Lupreci no doubt- who were a duo pair, she felt a bite in her hide. The tinge of blood in the air made her senses become heightened. Harley's ears prick right up and she stared at the female who growled, it was an immediate response, that she also, growled. It was a guttural sound, lips peeled back from her milky white fangs, and her hackles rose alongside her spine.

It was a natural instinct to want to help, but her fight or flight took place, and she stood her ground. Though if both females decided to attack she would let out a howl, hopefully escaping before she died. At least the children would be safe, and Oberyn could avenge her.

"I was only checking to see if things were okay....You're hurt." She said, flickering her eyes to her injured paw, and then letting the lips remain peeled, but no longer growling, nor shifting her posture from less threatening. Hopefully, there would be no anger or fight, but Harley would be protective as long as she could. This unknown female was hostile, so Harley would meet her that same way.
(241) ✦ Lupus

Goose blinked rapidly at the burly doggish figure entering the scene. The stranger was unusually large, even for a Secui form, and she was baring her teeth and growling. Keening a whine, Goose's large ears flopped against her head and her curled wagged stiffly as she lowered herself towards the ground—I don't want a fight, I yield. But she stood in front of her mother, almost protectively, if it wasn't for how she cowered like she wanted to hide between her legs like a puppy.

Crow, hovering over Goose, pulled her lips taut in return and whet her teeth with her tongue. Despite the lingering fear-scent in the air, her wounded foot still held aloft, and the stark size difference between them, the collie dog showed a brave face.

"It's a scrap," Crow dryly bluffed. Goose knew her mother did not want to appear weak. So the younger female swallowed and peered her eyes upwards towards the shifter.

"Why check?" Goose probed, though her voice shook and lacked the force of her mother's. Was this a kind stranger? Or someone who lived nearby…? Goose's brows furrowed in apprehension as a thought crossed her mind, and some of the anger returned. It helped distract her fear and make her words quiver less.

"Was this your trap?"

It wasn't a direct accusation, and the uncertainty in Goose's voice showed she wasn't sure. She stared at the stranger, wary… yet there was a puzzled curiosity.
Their stance felt mechanic, one was protecting their cub, the other, well - maybe he dignity. Otherwise, Harley's eyes flickered toward the cowering child, and her immediate response was to release her posture. Oberyn often told her she could appear brash at first, even if not a little misguided, so perhaps this introduction had been... off.

Wetting her lips with her tongue, Harley couldn't help but scoff at the elder female's comment.

"Ha! No. I do not shift." They appeared to be on their four-legs, and either it was for a reason, or they were bluffing. Harley continued without missing a beat, her words anything but kind, "I only offer help, I live near here with my family, I'm a healer." Harley's eye roll was apparent, as if it wasn't obvious what she was. "Suit yourself, with that paw, I simply heard noises on a perimeter check."

Drill Sargent Hrley, reporting for duty. Her ears flattened and she let an irritated growl escape her maw. "Follow me, or don't. It's your foot." And with that her tail flagged as much as it could as she began to walk away from the duo. She would need some bark and ginger root to help with the infection. Luckily she began to stockpile up on herbs in her own little "den". Whatever their decision, Harley didn't care anymore. If she died, she died, it would be two less mouths to worry about competing with.

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