what once has been

POSTED: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:56 pm

He lifted a bough from the tree and began to walk towards Thornbury with it on his shoulder, but his heart wasn't truly in it. Ever since he had come to Cercatori d'Arte with his mother, he had been less talkative, more subdued, and hadn't really felt himself. He had been glad to find that his birth mother had found him - he had always known that Inferni was not his true birthplace, although he had never known where to look for his true mother. In fact, she had found him - one day when he was only a year and a half old, she had appeared on the Inferni borders looking for trade... when he had greeted the creamy and red leader on the borders, it took only a few minutes for them to realize who they were speaking to.

It had been a somewhat miraculous day... he finally knew where he had come from, and why he had been lost for so long. It was true that he had been raised in Inferni, and he knew that they were like his home, but he was curious about his other home - the place that he had come from. The scents and the sounds had been somewhat familiar when he arrived; he had had faint memories of dense trees and colorful areas and forest and clay scents before, and them existing in that place at that time only reassured him that those dreams were not merely dreams. They were memories.

He had been curious, yes, and he had followed Skye into her home. He had been quickly given the rank of Soldier, and set to work immediately. He had always liked working, so that did not change, but he did notice a larger importance placed on work - each member had his or her duty, and they had better do it, or they would be slacking. Nathaniel himself didn't have this problem, and he hauled the wood into Thornbury with ease.

Although he had been in Cercatori d'Arte only a short time, he had still made some friends. He liked the white healer Taliesin, even if he was a bit soft-spoken; he also liked Honrin, another white male, but who shared Nathaniel's tireless work ethic. He didn't truly get along with the male, however - he was far too serious for Nathaniel, who liked to laugh and have fun when he wasn't working.

As much as he thought it was interesting in the artisan pack, he was still far more subdued than usual. No one else really noticed; after all, even Skye herself didn't really know Nathaniel, and therefore wouldn't be able to truly tell if anything were wrong at all. The only ones who would have noticed would be Vesper... Myrika... his friends back in Inferni. He looked at the town of Thornbury and then thought of the mansion, and felt a small pang in his heart that wouldn't go away.

au where nate chose to go to cda with skye488 words

by Miyu!

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Luperci
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living in the s u n l i g ht

POSTED: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:33 pm

Not much send Skye into a state of almost overjoy, but finding her son was one of them. She had thought that she had lost him forever, and now that she knew that she hadn't, that he wasn't just alive but well and grown into an adult, was wondrous. It was nothing short of a miracle. She knew that they were not as close as they could be, and she knew that it would take time for him to trust her and come to like her, or even think of her as a mother - but that was alright. She didn't mind. She was only glad that she had found her son, her last remaining link to Bangle, and that he was willing to travel with her to Cercatori d'Arte... her home.

She walked along Thornbury's streets, in higher spirits than usual. She could scent her sons and daughters, walking along the same streets that she did... she had found her son, and that had helped her more than anything to lift her mood. She could smell him nearby - it was fresh. She turned the corner and saw him, carrying a large tree branch, his face somewhat stoic. He reminded her of Honrin now, his face concentrated on his work. She supposed that that was simply how he was, how he lived; it wasn't a surprise to her. After all, Skye herself considered work extremely important, and took it very seriously.

She walked forward as he lay the wood down near a building and began to walk away, back into the forest - presumably to gather more wood. She fell into pace beside him, walking as he did into the woods. She looked at him; he turned and gave her a small smile, a shadow of Bangle's goofy face echoed into his own. It made her feel bittersweet, but she washed it away, focusing instead on her son, who was there now.

"How are you, Nathaniel?" she asked him. She wanted to know everything - how he thought of her pack, if he liked the people there, but she decided to take it more slowly. He still had to adjust.

357 words

by the amazing Alaine!

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Luperci Mate to Jazper
crown of clay
My Sunny One

POSTED: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:44 pm

He scented her before he saw her, and as she appeared next to him, matching his gait, he turned to smile at her a little. He did like Skye. She had the same work ethic as he did, and she seemed to have the same values that he held in his heart. However, she was very serious - another quality within her that a lot of the pack seemed to share. It almost seemed like Cercatori d'Arte had secrets, secrets that made its inhabitants sour and bitter and stone-faced, keeping their secrets closely guarded to their chests. Even the pack itself seemed to have secrets, hidden in its roots and in its trees.

"I'm doin' good," he said when she asked how he was doing. "I guess..." He stopped for a moment, looking at the wide expanse of trees before him. It was nothing like the open moors of Inferni, where one could run for hours on end and never see another tree or obstacle. Here, the sky was covered by a canopy of trees. It caused a beautiful light show on the forest floor, but it blocked the view of the blue expanse above; Inferni never had that. In his Clan, one could always see the sky, no matter where you were...

He turned back to Skye. Her face was happy, hopeful even - but he knew she had secrets, too. He could see them, hidden in her eyes and etched in her face. He could see her carrying the weight of secrets and lies and darker pasts, shaped by those who formed her and the way she was. He could see her carrying the secrets of the pack as well, lying to her friends and herself. It was the nature of that pack, it seemed - it wasn't upfront about it, but it was there, lying hidden beneath the art and the beauty.

Inferni wasn't like that. Each member had their own secrets, yes, and the pack itself had a longer, bloodier, and darker history than any of the other packs. Somehow, though, it was... different. The coyotes didn't try to hide behind their beauty or their innocence; the coyotes didn't allow the secrets to accumulate in the midst of the pack, allowing it to fester like fungus. Nathaniel was biased, he knew, and he knew he was not judging Cercatori d'Arte as fairly as it should have been judged... but he couldn't help the way he felt. He missed Inferni - it was his home.

414 words

by Miyu!

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Sunny
Luperci
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living in the s u n l i g ht

POSTED: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:00 pm

She heard the hesitation in his voice, and saw the wistfulness in his eyes; she knew what he was thinking, and she knew that he wasn't "good", as much as he tried to say that he was. It didn't take a genius to figure it out, no, but perhaps Skye had known it all along. There was one single value that she treasured above all else - loyalty. That loyalty was what she was seeing now in Nathaniel, but not to her - it was loyalty to Inferni, to his home that he had left to see what life with her would be like. She had failed.

Her other children had gone the way of Bangle. Erzulie had gone first; she was unable to resist the wanderlust that accompanied her genes, just as Bangle himself had wandered off one day without a word or a note. Erzulie, at least, had been kind enough to let her mother know that she was leaving. Skye still remembered her words - "I have to see the world. I have to explore." She had to - not that she wanted to, or that she felt like she should do it, but that she had to. It was an uncontrollable urge, and Skye supposed that she knew where that came from. Not only was Bangle a gypsy and a wanderer, but when Skye was young, her only reason for emerging from her house to the peninsula was to explore.

She had wanted to see the world, the other packs, live the lives she read in her books. Now, she was grounded. She was never leaving Cercatori d'Arte, not for anything, and although a younger her may have gawked and blanched at the thought, it truly didn't trouble her at all. She was loyal to her pack, and she never would leave it. Perhaps Nathaniel felt the same way about Inferni, now - she knew that she would feel off and strange if she did leave d'Arte, as if her purpose had been sucked out of her. Perhaps Nathaniel was feeling that way now - realizing that he had made the wrong decision.

She stopped too when he stopped, and stared into his yellow eyes. They were distracted, thinking of another place, perhaps another time. She reached out hesitantly, but then firmly put her hand on his shoulder; he snapped to her attention and looked at her, a little lost.

"Do you want to go back?" she asked. Her voice didn't contain sadness, but it wasn't happy, either; it was somewhere in between. She knew that she'd understand if he did. She usually understood when they left, even if she didn't like it. She never liked the abandonment, the leaving, the feeling of disloyalty... but then again, this was a special case. It was almost like he had never truly left his home.

471 words

by the amazing Alaine!

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Sunny
Luperci Mate to Jazper
crown of clay
My Sunny One

POSTED: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:19 pm

Inferni was where he learned to talk properly, and where he learned to fight, and where he hunted his first deer, and where he played with his siblings, and where his father Hybrid had died to protect him...

It was there that he had met his family, his siblings, Wraith and Valkyrie and those who cared about him and scouted beside him. They helped him when he was learning how to be a good member of the Clan, when he was learning how to truly fight and scout out the borders. Before he took the war path, he had been in the scouting tier with Wraith - they were both good at it, even if Wraith was far superior than he was at the subject. But she had taken the time to help him, to teach him, to help him track scents and watch for trespassers... she had been his family.

Hybrid, too... how could he have forgotten Hybrid? The one he called father even after he realized that he was not his biological father after all. The one who had taught him the importance of family and the Clan itself, had taught him the history of it, why it was special, what made them what and who they were. Hybrid, who had even sacrificed himself to save the pups of Inferni... loyal to the end.

His countenance grew more and more miserable by the minute as he realized each thing he had left behind when he had left Inferni. Vesper, the one he looked up to most of all and respected the most - her and Myrika's leadership had grounded him, had kept him in his position in the Clan, and had kept Inferni what it was. Skye reminded him of Vesper, but she wasn't the same as the mottle-furred leader that he had pledged himself to protect.

He looked to her as she asked if he wanted to leave and go back to Inferni. He was torn. He missed his family so, so much - had felt like he failed them. But at the same time.. wasn't this his family? Wasn't Skye his family, and her children that she had here? Hadn't he been a pup here, and he just couldn't remember it clearly? Weren't these his roots? He had grown to like Skye, and he knew that they could have a good relationship given time, and he realized that she filled the role of a mother that he had never had. But at the same time... he didn't know.

He looked back to the forest. This place was so nostalgically familiar, and it had a draw to him that he could not ignore. It was why he had come with her in the first place; something in the way she spoke and the way she smelled made him want to be a part of that life, made him want to seek it. The secrets were there, the seriousness, the jaded cynicism that she had, but also there were those smells, those sounds, the things that made him remember something different, and want to feel it again...

He thought back to Inferni, and then to this place. The reasons that he had come for seemed to fall short of his expectations. It wasn't like he imagined, where he would come and instantly find what he was missing after all; it wasn't an instant fix for that strange feeling in the pit of his chest. And yet now there was another one, much larger, much deeper, much more painful... a longing for Inferni. Whatever it was that made him want to be in Cercatori d'Arte, that strange pull from deep within his childhood and deep within his soul, didn't compare to the hole that Inferni left. He looked at Skye apologetically, and without another word, he nodded.

645 words

by Miyu!

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Luperci
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POSTED: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:01 am

She saw him nod, as she thought that he would. She wasn't surprised. She had hoped that it would work - she had even allowed herself to believe it for a few days, much to her chagrin now. But then, it wasn't Nathaniel's fault, not really. She had walked into his life as quickly as she had left it before. Many told her before that it wasn't her fault - that it could have happened to anyone - that she wasn't to blame. She knew she was, though. If she had never taken them out that day, if she had never even fallen asleep while she was watching them... then Nathaniel would not have been raised in the militaristic coyote pack, but raised there, with her. She wondered what that would have been like, what he would have grown to be.

He would most likely be the same. People rarely changed in the course of their lives - not from the core that the originally were. She didn't think that she could see Nathaniel being anything except who he was - a funny, feral, loyal coywolf who would always stand by a friend's side and would never turn down a meal, good or not. That was who he was at his core, really; what he was made of. But other things would have been different. She would have been his mother - he would not have been raised by just one parent this time, by a strange man who went by the name of Hybrid and who seemed, from the stories, to be very volatile indeed. He would have been raised by herself and Bangle - together, they would have raised him, side by side, like it should have been.

Robert and Erzulie wouldn't have been traumatized by his disappearance. For months after he had gone to Inferni, Skye had desperately searched and asked Bangle to search, high and low, for their child. They didn't neglect their other chldren by any means, but it was no doubt upsetting for the young pups. Pups knew very little about their surroundings, but they were surprisingly smart when ti came to feeling emotions and especially how the family felt. The negative emotions and tensions that had been running high had had an impact on them, Skye knew... but that could have been averted if she had just stayed awake.

Skye tried to snap out of it. There was truly no use in wondering what could have been, after all - what was was, and what was done was done forever. Life had no rewind switch, and even if they had, it wouildn't be a force to be messed with. Things happened as they happened, and there was no changing it. It was the way things were. Skye liked it that way, truth be told - thigs stayed true as they went on, and nothing from the past changed. She supposed that there just had to be some sacrifices along the way, even tragic ones, for that to remain true.

She nodded at him, and they didn't speak another word. She knew that they didn't have to; she understood him, even if he didn't understand her at that time. She understood his need to return to where he had come from - where he had truly come from, Inferni. Where his roots were lain and his friends were made and his loyalties were lain down. Those were his rules, and she knew that it would not be fair of her to ask him to discard them for her sake and for the sake of a pack he had never truly been a part of in the first place.

She dipped her head to him, indicating that he follow her. She thought that she should at least bring him to the border. She was not going to allow him to go without a send-off a second time. She was not about to let him wander off into the woods to find his own way again. She had done that once, albeit on accident, and she had promised herself that it would never happen again. Not to any of her children, not to her packmates, and certainly not to Nathaniel, not ever again.

They walked for what seemed like hours, although it was only several minutes before they were in front of the borders. Skye turned to wards her son, looking at him fondly for one last time before she would let him go. She knew she had to let him go now - not accidentally like before, but this time on purpose, to send him off. Skye didn't want it. She didn't want to let go of the son she ahd just found again, and after all this time. She didn't want to lose him again, not after all the time she had spent looking for him, after all the broken hearted nights staying up until the crack of dawn, wondering if her puppy was out there and alone. Thinking that he was dead. She couldn't take it before...

...but now she was grown, and so was he. She knew that he could handle himself out there, and she knew that he would make it back to Inferni safe. They would take care of him, and she began to realize that he took care of them too. He was a fighter, not a craftsman or an artist, and he belonged where his family was - and that wasn't there with her.

"Goodbye, Nathaniel," Skye said, a small bittersweet smile lingering on her face. She had been able to say it, now, those words that she was unable to say all that time ago when she thought that he was dead. It was what she could now say to let him go - not his memories, but at least the pain of losing him and the sharp nights and the nightmares. Those were gone now, and she could say goodbye to him and not hurt.

1013 words

by the amazing Alaine!

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Sunny
Luperci Mate to Jazper
crown of clay
My Sunny One

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