And a Song Someone Sings

Johanna, backdated to the move

POSTED: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:04 pm

The crisp air of autumn had given way quite recently to the biting cold of winter that Orion remembered from when he was just a small pup. He wasn't the gawky teenager that he had been in the summer, he was coming into his own. Four long legs carried the wolf over the thin layer of snow that blanketed the earth, his tracks laying out single file behind him as his coat billowed around him, whipped and buffeted by the wind. There was an exhilarating sense of freedom offered to the young wolf in being out on his own like this, no cloak to weigh down his shoulders and stick his pelt to him, no barrier to keep the biting cold off his pelt, no fire to warm his whiskers and toes by, he didn't want any of that.

Coming to a stop by the border of his packs territory, the dark furred boy sat and bellowed and bayed at the flakes that fell all around him and turned his world white. He loved the white snow, the patches where dark pine needles and tree bark peaked out in spots, it all reminded him of the girl he only remembered in his dreams now, for all he knew maybe she had only ever been a dream, but she was still beautiful to him and that was all that he knew for sure.

There weren't too many things that the wolf found beautiful, but running on four legs, the wind that whipped through the trees and through his fur, the stars, the sun glancing off the glassy surface of deep waters, and the girl. He didn't know her, he didn't pine and ponder and yearn for her presence, but he did think about her often. He didn't grieve for her absence like a love struck pup, but still he wondered if he would ever get to see her again.

The sound of crunching pad-falls off to one side of him had the dark wolf ducking behind some snow covered brush, but it was of no use, sticking out as he did like a dark smudge against the snow, but still, he smelled a few Cavaliers, and a couple outsiders alike. Curiosity got the better of the wolf and he did not respectfully stay out of their path as another wolf might have done, but instead came closer to see who it was. He indeed recognized a few of them, having seen them around the pack. This group was all silver and white, perhaps they were related, a family, but green-gold eyes widened as he actually registered who all was standing there. Apart from the ones he'd recognized as members of Casa, or perhaps now past members, there stood the girl from a distant memory.

"красота..." He couldn't help but murmur.

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POSTED: Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:57 am

Well, their family was all back together again now, so that was something to be happy about. It was good seeing Nomos and Seira again, now that they were so much bigger than she remembered them. Then again, she had grown now too, and wasn't the child they knew anymore. Her brothers, whom she only met on trips to Casa and whenever they came to visit, seemed to be kind and sweet towards her, if not a bit distant. One more so than the other, she thought as she furrowed her brow, anxious that they were holding something back that might bubble up. Maybe she was just looking into things, but the small clan was in a tenuous situation at best.

Her frame began to droop, holding her arm by the joint as she huffed, so confused and concerned for the future. What were they gonna do now? Her parents said again and again that they have it all under control, but to Johanna it felt like they were just going to head out into the wilds and wander around. Well, she supposed that is what wolves would typically do, but there was just something about having a place to roost. And then of course, there was, him. The Einar man had been despondent when she told him she was leaving, but for him to turn around and say such things.. It was a strange feeling. One that she couldn't shake, with as much excitement as trepidation. Looking down to her legs as she crunched through the snow on two feet, she couldn't help but feel like the dress was getting smaller on her, bit by bit. Or maybe, she was outgrowing it. Her life was running away from her faster than she could catch it, and it felt like the only thing to do now was hope that she made the right choice when it came.

Her father in the lead began to slow, causing a chain reaction as all of her relatives to follow suit. Not entirely able to see over their broad shoulders, Johanna peeked and pried around the pack before she wriggled her way through to see what caused the convoy to halt. Something was probably blocking the road, of course, and the youngest of the group was curious as to what block-headed creature it was. The first thing she thought when she saw what was going on was Oh, it's that one goof. Her next thought was some sort of confused expletive, as he spouted more nonsense at them.

Lukos' eyes narrowed in recollection, knowing the dark figure as the kid that butted into Johanna and himself when they were out training on hunting. He seemed a little off balance back then, and even now the veteran could tell that the boy wasn't interested in the gathering as a whole... Tracing the lines and connecting the dots, something sparked behind his yellowed eyes, and wrapped around two long arms around as much of his family as he could fit. "You know what, I thought I saw something interesting over in this direction.." The wolf, with much of a nefarious grin, gave a glint of a look to his mate before pushing the clan off in another direction, abandoning the ashen haired daughter with eyes that could both murder and plead.

Dismayed and confused that her entire family had just suddenly abandoned her, Johanna creaked her limbs back to face the cavalier that stood in their path before, giving him a very uneasy glance with a poorly concealing smile. "... So, uhhh..." she hummed, still trying to figure out what just happened. "What uh... brings you here?" she asked, gaze darting around with a frenzy. For a moment she debated running after her dad and dive-bombing them for ditching her, but the thought of it brought a twinge of guilt towards this guy that can't even talk right. Maybe at the first sign of stupid she could break off and make a run for it. Yeah, that would work.

POSTED: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:22 pm

The large dark furred lupus form sat back on his haunches in the snow as he looked up at the ashen snow girl, her tumbles of grey hair blowing about her shoulders in the breeze. It was only after the word had left his maw that the male had remembered that it had irritated this girl last time he'd uttered the word to her. "I-I'm sorry, I uh, I live here..." The wolf gave an awkward start to the conversation as he replied to her question, his ears seemingly unable to settle between a back or forward position atop his skull as he looked at her and watched the rest of her family swiftly take their leave, leaving the two youngest alone together.

"Russian... I ah... The word I said to you before, it's another language that my grandpa spoke around the den when he was alive..." He muttered, hoping that she wouldn't get mad again like his father did whenever the lad slipped back into his other tongue around him. "S..Sorry.." He murmured, tail laying limp in the snow, but his ears finally settling on a pricked forward position. Conveniently, the male failed to tell her what it was that he actually said to her, and he hoped she didn't ask if he was being honest.

"So ah, um, what are you doing with the twins? Are they your family? Where did your family go just now?" He asked, thinking that perhaps if he could fill the silence just a bit, she might be more interested in him in return, she might have a fond impression of him, unlike the last time they'd met when the youngsters reaction to their chance encounter had nearly cost them each a hunt. Restless paws shuffled in the fresh snow, dark claws revealing the dark earth beneath them as he waited for her answer, waited to see if anything could become of this chance second encounter.
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POSTED: Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:33 pm

The awkward teen watched the other more awkward teen as he rested on his hind end, not sure whether to be uncomfortable or slightly annoyed with the situation. To the dark male's defense however, it wasn't his fault directly that she was ditched so that her father could play whatever mind games he wanted to. It seemed that the first stupid drawn was from her though, as the Cavalier pointed out the obvious that they were standing in Cavalier territory. Cringing from the lack of foresight, she laughed nervously and glanced off in the direction of her family, weakly adding "Haha, yeah, that's right.." before drawing her muzzle into a thin smile.

Oh. Great. And now it comes out that she insulted his dead grandfather. Spectacular. Half blocking her vision of the dark wolf, she coughed in an embarrassed tone, feeling more and more like she was being the idiot out of the two of them. "I um, I'm sorry, to hear that." she said, thinking that she got the condolences part right. She had only dealt with death at most once before, and that occasion wasn't exactly a remorseful event, although somber. "It's fine, honestly." she assured him, not wanting to upset the male. If that's something that he had to remember his grandpa by, it wasn't her place to discourage him. She honestly felt the urge to crack a joke about how at least she knew it wasn't gibberish now, but shame and fear of further embarrassing both of them told her it'd be better to stop before things got worse.

The Cavalier provided an alternate topic, possibly for himself or for her, but Johanna jumped on the chance. "Yeah, they're my older brothers, apparently. Mom and Dad wanted to get the family back together, supposedly we're heading north. And where they went, I'd love to know." she replied, conveniently leaving out her own explanation for the reason she was told they were leaving. Wasn't really something to tell every passing stranger, and not like it mattered why or where they were headed. It was just away, is all.

POSTED: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:10 pm

[please excuse the short length of this post :>]

Things seemed to be going further down hill by the moment as Orion sat there and the pair of them tried to make small talk, but there was something in the young male that urged him to keep trying, in the very least, to make the situation less awkward if not to leave behind a good impression. "Hey, it's okay. Let's start over." He urged, green gold eyes darting to one side for a moment before he changed the subject to her family and what they were up to.

She seemed relieved that the Cavalier had turned the topic elsewhere, but she was still tense. "Yeah, it was kind of weird how your dad just grabbed everyone and walked away, but uh..." Standing, the wolf began to shift up into his two legged form as quickly as he could.

"Hang on a second..." He muttered as he watched his front digits grow in length, the bones stretching and the muscles changing shape to adapt to their new orientation. Legs lengthened past the length of his arms, and so he pushed off of the ground with his hands and began to straighten his spine, tail falling to his ankles as tumbles of long dark hair spilled over his shoulders.

"Is this better?" He asked now looking down at the ashen snow girl from well above her head, and offering a rough padded hand for her to take in greeting. "I don't know if I introduced myself last time but, I am Orion. The uh, hunt, that was fun, I've wondered if I'd ever run into you again." He offered with earnest eyes and a neutral expression on his face.
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POSTED: Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:17 pm

[It's a wonderful post ^4^]

Once the two of them had thoroughly made things unbearably awkward, the Cavalier was polite enough to start again, which was a refreshing change of pace. "Fine by me." she told him, with a sigh of relief. In the initial phase of the conversation, it was hard to even look him in those golden green eyes at first, but maybe if they started from the beginning it wouldn't feel like pulling fangs. On the changing of topic, her expression soured a bit, not happy about how she was finally at the tail end of one of her father's antics. They had all heard a story or two of when he was young and a trouble-maker, though he always shared such stories with a strange glint in his eyes.

"Dad is the type of person that smiles and laughs if all you call him is 'weird'." she said with a sardonic tone. He had a lot of strange habits, and if the mood was right he would mock anyone who chose to throw down with him then and there. He'd done so a handful of times whenever he personally trained her, always grinning and giggling like a little pup as he taunted her. When it came down to the actual sparring though, at times he was actually scarier than her mom, for different reasons. Sufficiently having been lost in her own thoughts, Johanna returned to the present to notice that the male was halfway through shifting forms. The image in her head clashed with what she was seeing, as the Cavalier steadily grew more and more, taller and taller as he stood up from the ground abruptly, nearly a foot taller than her.

Looking at him now, it seemed to click with the current reality check that he was actually bigger than her when they were both in Lupus form, but having only seen him in said form, she always kind of saw him as small because of it. It was a little daunting actually, that she was so casually chatting with someone that looked even a little taller than her dad. Looking him up and down though, she couldn't help but notice he was a bit on the scrawny side, so intimidation factor was lessened. "Well, it's not as easy to look down on you." she said, with a joking look that would say she'd manage anyhow.

The male reached out a worn hand, now that he had one, and offered to formerly introduce himself. However, the Greyfire girl couldn't help but stifle a spot of laughter, making it more of a snort at the time. "Ah, yes, I was wondering when I'd get the chance to think of you by another name than 'Deer Bait'." she said, gingerly taking his hand as she giggled into a fist. Straightening up, her deep blue eyes locked with his, putting on that formal mask she'd been cultivating. "Johanna Greyfire, of the Greyfire clan, formerly Ashen of the Order." she stated, though with a glimmer of sadness in that last title. Brushing aside the still wounded feelings, she tried to compose herself.

"So, Orion, Cavalier, why wonder if you'd meet me again?" she asked bluntly, probing what was probably the most interesting point laid bare. If they were going to stand here and yak to each other for however long it took for her family to give up the game, she might as well know why this guy had an interest in seeing her again.

POSTED: Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:48 pm

The air between them seemed to grow slightly easier as they moved past a terribly awkward first greeting and the ice, if not entirely broken yet, had been chipped at and thinned to a degree. "Psh, I wish my dad was more like that, I think he's got a stick up his tail with how stiff he is." The dark furred Cavalier noted, flicking his torn ear and scratching the back of his neck. Her next line, a joking jab about how it as less easy to look down on him, drew an easy grin to the boys face, his smile sheepish and with good humor about the situation. "I'm sure you can find a way."

As she announced the nickname she'd thought up for him, the wolf scoffed with a dramatic expression, clutching his chest with his free hand as he held hers for a brief moment. "I'm hurt, I'd like to think I played a better role than deer bait!" The wolf jokingly protested, but with proper introductions underway, the act was put away for a later time. "Ashen, huh? That sounds like a fitting title." He pondered; the wolf was interested to hear what she had to say to him.

That was, until she actually said what was interesting her. With that, the wolf's expression changed and he stiffened, turning his face up and to the side as his eyes followed suit, his arms crossing over his chest. "Oh, you know, no reason." He lied, attempting to play it off as though it as nothing at all, but he was a bad liar, his ears drew back as he eyed her again, his tail tucked against his leg. "I-I ah, I just.. um.. well.. I thought, you were... (pretty)" He mumbled the last word in such a way that it was almost inaudible, unable to be made out, before he sprang up and backed away a couple paces. "WOULD YOU LOOK AT THE SUN, IT'S GONNA SET SOON, MUST BE GETTING LATE, EHEHEH." He tried to blurt out some excuse to flee, but his feet wouldn't carry him away, he merely stood there stiff as a board, golden green eyes darting between her and the surrounding scenery.
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POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:23 pm

[WORDS]: 750
The two eventually managed to get on the topic of their fathers, and it sounded like their respective dads couldn't be more different than each other. With a snort, Johanna folded her arms for comfort, giving a grin as she looked off to the side. "Dad can be stubborn, but I've never known him to be stuck up. Maybe your dad should learn to take a breath?" she said, with a smirk. The smile faltered though, as her brow furrowed and she glanced at the Cavalier. "Well, not that I really got to know him, during that one time." She thought maybe she shouldn't have said anything now, she didn't want to seem like a snotty brat that made snap judgements about people.

The tall wolf seemed to take her comment rather lightheartedly, giving a dorky smile and saying something similar to her own thoughts. It made her laugh a little, hearing him say what was on her mind. A curious thing to be sure, and maybe that's why it felt funny to hear. His acting was funny as well, if not a bit over dramatic. She smirked as he exclaimed greater valor than just being deer bait, giving a glint to Johanna's eyes. "Oh yes, you also spooked the deer well enough before we started hunting." she teased with a smile, before catching the feeling that he was growing serious again when introductions were given. He noted the nature of her title, which deepened the bittersweet taste in the air, halfheartedly shrugging at his comment. "Yeah, I guess." she mumbled, twirling a lock of grey in her fingers before letting it fall down. "It fit in line with the family theme, at least. Always fire, fire, fire. Guess mine's supposed to mean what comes after or something." she said with a scrunched brow, throwing her hands in the air. "I never really learned if my name was just about my looks or if there was more to it, though sometimes I wonder if they put any thought into it at all, and thought it'd just fit in with the others." she said, crossing her arms and shifting her weight, the dress swishing around her legs.

"But what about you then?" she said, hastily changing the subject. "Is it just Orion, or do you have any fancy titles as well?" she said, leaning more towards him with curiosity. "Actually, what does Orion even mean? Any significance?" she asked with the tilt of her head. The silver Greyfire was pretty sure Johanna just meant Johanna, but she knew that sometimes people had a story behind their names. Maybe it would be interesting? Though what was certainly interesting was his response to her other question. Just about his entire body told her that the boy was lying, from his prone ears to his ashamed tail. "Come on, there had to be some reason." she said, crossing her arms once more, dominantly this time as she angled her side over to him. The cavalier mumbled something out, with snowy ears rotating to try and hear him better before he suddenly sprang back to life as well as a foot away.

Puzzled, she knew that she could barely make out the sentence, but that last bit she couldn't catch. If he had actually opened his mouth more and stopped trying to seem all small for someone so large she might've made it out. But of course immediately after he started blurting some nonsense, making the loner girl flinch from how loud he suddenly became, as she twisted away from him. Suspicion and annoyance were plastered all over her features, as she raised an eyebrow at him. "Yeah, it kinda does that every day." she said, eyeing the odd male. "Listen, if you didn't want to tell me, then don't hurt yourself trying, okay?" she said with a huff, he looked like he was about to trip over himself or something. He kept looking at something or some things, behind her, as he glanced to her and then away. Her head listed back and forth over her shoulders, and gave Orion another quizzical look. "Is there something behind me? I can't really see anything, but you look like there's a bear just behind the next shrub." Gods, whenever she meets this guy he's always acting like this. He's a completely different vibe than from him, that's for sure.

POSTED: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:16 pm

[Word Count: 632]

Orion thought it was funny, charming in a strange way, how his female counterpart would keep saying her mind, and then back tracking for fear of offending him. She wasn't as standoffish as she would have him believe, she cared what he thought of her in a way, and how her words affected him, despite her outwardly snarky attitude. "Oh, be glad that you don't know him, he takes plenty of breaths, but they all come with scoldings attached." The dark wolf admitted with a roll of his golden green eyes. "You must have seen it the one time you did meet him." He smiled sheepishly and tangled his fingers through his dark dust colored mane, raking the long hairs back out of his eyes as best he could.

There was a fierce light to her eyes as they began to joke back and forth, a small banter developing between the two yearlings, her comment about how he spooked the deer would be met with his own snappy comeback. "If I recall, you spoke loud enough to get the whole herds attention too." He offered with a wink and a grin.

They exchanged greetings and formal introductions, the banter having been put on the back burner for the time being, but his tail swayed easily behind him as they spoke, the tension from earlier seeming to have dissipated for the most part as far as he could tell. He was on cloud nine, finally being able to talk to and get to know the wolf who'd been on his mind, at least for a brief few moments until her family returned for her or she left t catch up with them. On the topic of names and titles as far as their introductions went, he couldn't tell precisely, but it seemed as though she wasn't quite fond of her former title, or perhaps it was something else. He listened intently as she spoke about it, his notched ears tipping forward to show her that he was listening. "Well, we're all given names in the beginning, because no one knows who we are then, or who we're gonna become, right?" He started, scratching an arm and looking off to the side for a moment before his eyes caught hers again. "Maybe it was because of your looks, like ash and snow, but it's up to you to figure out what title and what role fit you now if that one doesn't anymore."

"Me? I'm Orion Knight, Second Cadet of Casa di Cavalieri, but, you don't need to be so formal." He gave her a shy smile with his words, "It's Knight like the soldier, but my mothers name is Night, and so me and my sister have names of stars, at least I was told it has something to do with stars. And my rank is a low one in the pack." He said a bit sheepishly, but the next marker in the conversation had his entire countenance shifting to one of panic and avoidance.

He made a spectacle of himself, and once again, things between the pair were as awkward as ever. "I-i-i-it's, w-well, I just, um, it's not that I, don't, want to tell you it's just that, um, I just..." His start was as graceful as ever as he pulled his hand down over his muzzle in shame and exasperation for his own inability to get the words out. "I, no, it's just that, I.." He kept stammering, until at last his gaze hit the ground and a sheepish look took over his features as he took a deep shuddering breath and loud exhale. "It's because you're pretty... and... I wondered what it would be like to get to know you better..." He mumbled, but more audibly this time. "Eheh..."
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POSTED: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:14 pm

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The cavalier didn't seem to take offense to her comment about his father, which was good. Her own family taught her the value of your relations, so she couldn't be too careful when it came to unknown territory about familial bonds. The dark giant seemed all to eager to share her sentiments however, as he came back with his own remark about the older cavalier. She smiled and nodded sagely, as if she had any idea what that was like. Truth be told, the most that her parents ever scolded her was when she talked back to them, or during a particularly painful training session.

She felt rather indignant at his own jab at her pride, though she supposed it was all in good fun since she drew first blood. Heavily rolling her eyes at Orion, Johanna folded her arms in and cocked her hips in an indignant manner, smirking all the while. "Hey, using a different form of language means you could've been saying anything, I'm supposed to just let it slide?" she taunted him, sticking her tongue out playfully.

But then surprisingly, when she became a little despondent the other wolf started getting all poetic on her. Jo's expression scrunched up a bit at his words, but gave him a gentle smile for his kind words. "No, I'm sure it fits me plenty. Guess I was just wondering about the meaning of it all. But, thank you, I suppose." she told him sincerely, since he at least gave her something to think about. She couldn't help but raise her brow at his own formal introduction, with the corners of her mouth turning upwards. "Knight, huh? Kind of a fitting last name for the pack, don'tcha think? Who started the name I wonder?" she mused, finding it kind of funny that a family named Knight lived in a pack full of warrior horsemen. That couldn't be a coincidence, could it? The naming conventions for his given name, however, that was interesting as well. She wondered how many stars there were out there with names that could be given to kids.

He seemed a bit embarrassed when it came to his rank, and maybe given his recent kindness, she felt a little bad for him. Unsure of how to console him for a moment, she swished her skirt to feel the fabric brush up against her before she had a thought. Clasping her arm behind her back, Johanna swayed a bit slower as she began to read it out in her head, before looking directly at Orion. "Cadet huh? Well, you're still pretty young, and you seem like a good and brave person. If you stick with it, I'm sure you could get promoted and have a fancier title in no time, so, just do your best." she told him, trying to sound however people sounded when they were being sweet.

But still, bringing up what he said in that other tongue seemed to hit a nerve, and then pressuring him out of annoyance seemed to fluster the poor thing even further. She couldn't really keep a smirk off her face when it was for sure that he was spiraling out of control over her questions, even going so far as to stutter worse than her mama did. The Knight started and stopped himself more than once, and at this point Jo was beginning to lean in his direction in anticipation of what he was going to say. What came out of his mouth though, was far from expected.

Johanna stood still for a moment, staring at this relative stranger, before she started laughing to the point she was clutching her gut. It just kinda, sprung up out of her, she couldn't help it or anything. She ended up doubling over, trying to breathe through her nose and stop long enough to catch her breath. Aware that without context, this looked really bad, so she raised a struggling hand to wave away his concerns. "Hehehe, nononono, hehe, wait, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, hhehehehe, ahahahaha!" she said, beginning to calm down from the heaves in her chest, wiping away tears from her eyes.

"It's, it's just, ahaha, I wasn't expecting you to think I'm pretty, is all." she told him hastily, before he got the wrong impression. She didn't really know what to make of the cavalier, it was only her second time meeting him, but the last thing she wanted was to tear him down when he already seemed so awkward. Trying to perform deep breaths to steady herself, Johanna looked at him with a bit of embarrassment, for both her reaction and her thoughts. "I um, don't really consider myself pretty. I mean, I'm not, ugly, but I'm kind of just, me, ya know? It's not really a consideration, even when I don't feel.." She lingered for a moment, slowly getting more crestfallen. Why is she saying this to someone she barely knew? It's not like it mattered, anyways.

Quickly wanting to change the subject, ocean blue eyes glanced back up to Orion, as she cleared her throat and weakly smiled again before a small giggle escaped. "I don't want to be mean, not right after that awful display, but I um... I kind of thought of another nickname for you." she hummed, twisting her hands behind her dress, not really sure if she was making things better or worse. Despite the awkwardness and the rough start, for the first time in a hot minute, she was kind of enjoying herself, talking to this guy. Now that she was actually kinda having fun, the last thing she wanted was to make him feel so bad that he ended up walking out. It was pretty funny though, to her at least.

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