Did fate make this happen?

P. Zetsubou

POSTED: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:12 pm

OOC -Borya is accompanied by Tlamatini who will have POV for most of the thread - Word Count: 2070

I want to take shelter but I'm ready, ready to fight.

Finally, after a few days of taking it slow, Borya had two wishes granted. One, they were heading north, away from Casa, away from Borya's deepest fears. And two, the boy was finally allowed to use his own legs for walking. For a boy who struggled with feeling useless, being carried around like a sack of potatoes by the giant woman so hellbent on keeping his safe for a few days had been a dent against his self-esteem. But after judging how he was walking and how his breathing was improving enough for the boy not to lose his breath every few seconds, Tlamatini was willing to let him carry himself on the trip. She wasn't without strict rules however, if their difference in size wasn't so laughably obvious it would look like they were mother and son the way that Tlama would spend moments of the journey chastising Borya for simple things. Borya didn't argue back much, mostly because all of his breath was spent on breathing normally, so he'd just grumble in a childish fashion and occupy himself by looking around.

Borya was terrible with directions, evident by his erratic journey from Casa to where he was now, but at a point he had an idea of where they were. From the shack, they had travelled down and east, before curving up north just before hitting New Caledonia and then back towards the west. They were avoiding the icy waterways that Tlamatini seemed to consider a high risk, so Borya wasn't going to complain at the length of the journey. He still felt close to Casa, close to being found by his family, and the thought of them finding him made the boy want to cry. Cry from sadness, from frustration, he didn't even know that this point. Part of his reason for wanting to find Tlama's homelands was the truth; he did want to learn more about her culture. But the core reason was simply that Borya saw it as his escape plan. Selfish perhaps, but he was certain Tlamatini was aware of Borya's desperate need to get away, and she'd not spoken up about it yet so Borya assumed she was fine with his intentions.

"Looking a little restless Borya, or having trouble with fleas? I haven't washed my cloak in a while so it wouldn't surprise me if a few jumped over..." Tlamatini announced as they settled down for a break in the middle of the day. Borya snapped to attention, unaware that his thoughts of Casa were drawing him into a fidgeting state. His good hand itched at his side, looking to Tlama with matching yellow eyes to try and tell if she was joking about the fleas. "I'm joking," oh thank the spirits, "but you do look restless, we could use with some wood for a fire. Look for thin branches to easily break off, but stay clear of any open areas." Borya nodded, a small smile on his face. Tlamatini was admirable for many reasons, obviously the number one being saving Borya's life, but he also enjoyed how she didn't treat him like glass. She was realistic about his injuries and sickness and didn't push him, but she also didn't make the assumption that Borya couldn't do anything.

Borya didn't plan on wandering very far. He was overjoyed to get to do something helpful, but he was also mindful that he wasn't at full strength and, he knew he might not be alone in the forest. Sticking close to Tlama meant he could call for her if he needed help. That had been the plan but... Borya couldn't find the right kind of wood. So he pressed a little further out, dread digging at his stomach, wondering if Tlamatini would be disappointed if he returned fruitless. Would she take back her trust in him? Would he be treated like an invalid again? The boy shook his head, looking harder for a good spot. There. A small grove of trees, sitting on a small hill, right in the middle of a huge open area.

Avoid open areas, Tlama had told him. Borya wondered why and frowned, it didn't look particularly dangerous, surely open areas were better for the sake of seeing threats before they happened? Or was Tlamatini afraid Borya's legs would weaken, and he wouldn't have any trees to support him should he fall? The boy huffed, he wasn't that weak. Judging for himself that a trip over the field to the trees wasn't going to make him collapse, Borya began to head over. Thick snow crunched beneath his feet, soft from the earth sitting beneath, and Borya shook his head. He knew it was easy to see him in a weak way, but honestly, walking was the only thing Borya was good at. It felt silly for Tlamatini to assume he couldn't walk over a simple field.

Then Borya slipped, one foot swinging wildly in front of him and his rump landing with a harsh thump against the hard ground. He winced at the sharp pain. Okay, maybe he wasn't completely free from a fall, but it wasn't because he was weak, the ground was just icy. Wait.


Borya's yellow eyes widened just as he heard a gut-stabbing snap beneath him. He dared a glance down. Hidden beneath the snow was ice, a thin layer of frozen water, covering the dark abyss beneath it. It was cracked. Borya's breath left him like a bird frantically escaping a cage, and the boy found it hard to catch it once it was free. He sat there for a long time, the deathly silence around him only filled by the rapid beats of his heart and the rattle of his hyperventilating chest. Eventually, after both boy and ice hadn't made a move, Borya decided he had to take his chance to get from the dark void underneath him. But gods, he could barely move. He willed his arm to rest on the ice, holding his weight for a moment as he curled his legs under him to stand on legs that felt as flimsy as the crusty leaves of autumn. He didn't breath, pulling himself up to his full height over the ice, unable to peel his eyes from the taunting and massive cracks under his feet. Borya waited, the cracks didn't move. He took a breath of relief. The ice collapsed beneath him.

A cry, the vertigo of the fall, ice slamming against his chin as his head hit the edge of the hole just before plummeting into the water along with the rest of his fragile body. All of the warmth Tlamatini had shared with him over the last few days was gone in an instant, and Borya was left in a cold embrace so deathly he could do nothing against it but shudder his rib cage. Bubbles rose from Borya's opened mouth, lost air and crimson blood coming from the tongue he'd bitten during the descent and rising to the surface. They beckoned Borya to follow, to fight, but the water was not the kind to show mercy. Not to a little bug like Borya. It happened fast, pathetically fast. With no survival instincts left, Borya swallowed the icy water around him, feeling it coat his insides with the chill of death and sink into his blood. He couldn't move, whatever flails he attempted ceased, leaving the boy to float lifeless to the surface. One last bubble of air left his innocent mouth, his last breath, and Borya watched it rise just as his vision faded into nothing.


Tlamatini tapped her claws on her club, mindlessly feeling fingers against the carvings she'd tattooed into the wooden weapon's skin over the years. The look on Borya's face when she suggested for him to help find firewood remained in her mind. He looked so hopeful, so grateful to be given a task. This boy, his heart and mind begged to be used, to help, but his body had obviously brought him down in the past. He was considered weak by his peers, and it had clearly made him believe that title belonged to him now. Tlamatini didn't want Borya to feel that way, he had the soul of an eagle, something wise and powerful, traits she saw deep in Borya's heart. Perhaps his body wasn't very strong, but the willpower that pumped through his blood was surely enough to make up for his disability.

Tlamatini clung onto that image of Borya's joyful expression as she waited for her ward to return. Even as the hour dragged on, a soft snow falling over Tlama's cloak, some tickling her nose, she remained hopeful that he'd return just fine. The woman found it hard to swallow as an hour finally passed and there was no sign of him. She needed to act. Even if Borya was fine, even if the boy would feel betrayed by the woman's need to make sure he was alright, Tlamatini couldn't stop the nagging in her heart that told her something was wrong. The boy was easy to track, if Tlamatini was truly the predator she wore over her back, the small boy would be an easy meal to find, his footsteps left lengthy holes in the snow. Fortunately she wasn't, but she carried the maternal instincts of one, and right now they screamed at her that the boy needed help.

The tracks brought her to a sight from a nightmare. A vast open area. To the unassuming, it was just a snow covered field, fit with a grove of trees in the centre. To those who knew the lands, it was a trap. Between the grove and the treeline where Tlama stood, the snow collapsed into itself, exposing a hole in the ice beneath. There wasn't just water in the hole. Tlamatini grasped her cloak, pulling the bear fur aggressively off and onto the ground, not caring where it landed as she surged towards the hole. She focused on her feet, the moment the snow felt less soft, Tlama slowed, lowering herself so she crawled over the thick layers towards the broken ice. The cold wet snow clumped around Tlamatini's thick fur, but she didn't care, nothing around her mattered but the body floating in the water. She reached the hole in a matter of seconds, too slow in Tlama's mind, and grabbed at the body. She didn't care what she held onto, she just needed to get him out of the water. Tlama ended up holding Borya's scruff, shuffling back until the boy was free from the accursed water. A glance down at the soaking body told Tlama what she needed to know, Borya wasn't breathing, his body was cold and dead to the exposed air. She'd seen this before, falls through ice had happened back in Huallayahualoa, what happened next was crucial to decide if the soul of the drowned returned to Tezcatlipoca or not.

Dragging Borya back to the safety of the tree line, Tlama set him down on his back. He was so small, his eyes sunken and closed, his mouth open from no will of his own, his small body limp and wet. Something like Tlamatini, born so large and strong, could break this fragile child with a single move. But, she needed to cross a line similar to that to help him now. The chest moved when one breathed. When it was too weak to do so, then someone could move it themselves. Tlamatini held her large hands over Borya's chest, and pushed down until she could hear the gurgling of a breath leaving him. As she pulled away, Borya was forced to take in air. It was all she could do, with the pressure on his ribs, most likely they'd break, but Tlamatini weighed broken bones below coming back to life. "Please, Tezcatlipoca, I thought it was alright for him to live..." Tlama muttered, her voice catching in her throat as she watched Borya's unmoving face for signs of revival.

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POSTED: Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:15 pm

Del Cenere had been... Interesting at best.

There was a lot to digest about the visit, about the two men he'd run into mostly, and how that was all going to really pan out in the end.

That would be something to think about for another time. At the moment, he'd realized he'd realized he'd forgotten something down the road, and worried that it was left in the snow on the path and lost for good. He patted his pockets, threw his cloak about, and generally looked like a loon when he'd noticed it was missing. Rather than make a scene about it, he just offered the rest of them to go on and he'd double back and see if he could find it.

To which, a way on down the road back to Del Cenere, the familiar feeling of his bag's straps across his chest met him frozen in his gait and with wide eyes. He couldn't feel the bag on him because it was empty now. Hanging his head, he let a deep breath out. They were waiting on him now, for no reason at all, "You dumb-," He muttered to himself, under his breath.

Lifting his head with pursed lips, he groaned a bit at himself and turned back down the road to head for the Avalon. He partly wanted to cover his face from shame, and partly wanted to gallivant back toward the boat and meet up with them, claiming he'd found what he'd been after, rather than exposing his mistake. Humble as it may seem, he wasn't one to be omit from making mistakes, and he wasn't much of a liar, either. Too many lessons learned on that front to try and be anyone other than who he truly was.

As he fiddled about with the bag as he walked, inspecting the empty container and shaking the dust out into the snow, something caught his ear.

A brow lifted curiously as his ears spun aside, taking in the tone of a voice to find direction to it. The ethereal sounds of ringing ice, and some sort of snow muffled movement was going on. Crookedly, he pressed his teeth into his lower lip as his eyes danced between the path and the shore, deciding what was the best thing to do.

He wasn't incapable of getting back on his own if the boat did leave, this he was sure of. There were other Cavaliers that had stopped in Mistfell Vale, too, so if he needed to send word of himself or maybe even get a return trip home in a few days without having to cross Salsola with wide girth, then so be it. Hopping to a heavy jog, he made his way through the brush off the beaten path and down through to the wide expanse that reached beyond.

For a moment, he thought he'd lost his mind. He was sure he'd heard something. It wasn't until his mismatched gaze found the shuffling of something further up the shore, that he got back to his feet. As he neared, the scene was clear. Whoever it was on the ground had fallen into the ice, the snow disturbed and wet as it lead out onto the snow blanketed ice. It wouldn't hurt to offer a helping hand. He was a Cavalier, now, after all.

Just a few yards away from the unfolding scene, his stomach twisted.

That scent.

His heart fell into his feet and he took off running,” Hey! Hey, You!” He yelled, the baritone of his voice reaching over the noise of the natural world with hysterical urgency. Now, the image of everything was clear as day. Borya, lay beneath a stranger, and his body had been pulled from the water, and this woman was fussing over him,” Hey, that's,” A hard swallow came as he piled himself in the snow beside her, no matter how she might protest it,” He's my son, he's my son! What happened? Is he okay?” Zetsubou wasn't able to pull his eyes away as he watched her work her hands on his chest,” Borya? Borya!?”

Every part of him was pins and needles, his hackles raised, but his eyes wrought with worry. His pants and cloak were frosted in snow, the violet drape hiding the most of him from sight as he hunched as close as he could to his son, while this stranger did something to summon the burbling waters from his throat.

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POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:51 pm

OOC -Borya is accompanied by Tlamatini who will have POV for most of the thread - Word Count: 1042

I want to take shelter but I'm ready, ready to fight.

Tlamatini hadn't really understood why she was required to leave her home lands. Need to grow, to experience the world, gain the wisdom befitting of the souls residing within her. A journey of discovery, but Tlama was one of the brightest back in Huallayahualoa, in fact she would have made for an easy high priest. And yet, rather than put the girl's talent to use, her tribe sent her away. Follow the winds as an eagle would, protect the land as a great bear. Until this moment, Tlamatini didn't feel like she'd gained much from her journey. She'd seen things, she'd fed that urge to explore, but the woman felt like she was less learning and more passing on what she knew to others. For a moment, Tlamatini thought her purpose might be to guide a new soul to the Ancaran people, perhaps the elders wanted Tlama to bring the likes of Borya into their family. It seemed right, after the vision in the fire told Tlama that she and Borya shared a soul she'd assumed that was what she was meant to do. Her fate.

No, Tlamatini wasn't following fate right now. She was fighting it. Tezcatlipoca, the guiding light, the bringer of the blizzard, wanted Borya's soul to return to them. Why else would the poor child be drawn near death twice now? By her teachings, Tlama shouldn't interfere, this was the choice of her god. But she just... couldn't stop herself from fighting back. Large hands pushed down, feeling a fluttering heart beat answer back, telling her that she wasn't wasting her time. Borya was fighting himself, cold and lifeless as he may look his body was still yearning to live. Tlamatini wasn't going to just ignore his efforts. Tears drew to the corners of Tlama's wide eyes, her own heart shuddering in panic, that calm and wise woman exposing a moment of deep emotion in such a dire moment. A voice made Tlamatini's lip stop quivering, her ears up and eyes drying and focused. A desperate tone, perhaps someone in need of help, on any other occasion Tlama would offer her assistance but there was no time to act as a kind stranger in this moment. Borya needed her more, and the woman was about to voice that fact before the panicked individual approached the scene. They dove down to Tlama's side, and the woman snarled. Ah, her maternal instincts were coming back, the bear soul in her igniting with a deep desire to protect the young.

Tlama's hands didn't stop working, pushing down with rhythmic thrusts into the small chest beneath her that couldn't help but yield to her strength. Then the man said words that almost brought Tlamatini out of her focus, wanting nothing more to stare at this man with bewilderment. All she could do was grace him with a glance, seeing next to her what certainly looked like a man who'd passed on his blood to Borya. Tlamatini was not a woman of doubt, so she took the man for his words, wanting to wince as his voice rose in panic over his son's fading life. The bear woman bite the inside of her lip, she'd been so close to breaking down herself before this man appeared, but there was no time for her to look weak now. One thrust down into Borya's chest reverberated with a sickening snap of a rib, and Tlama would have felt sick if the action didn't cause Borya to take a breath of his own. It rattled with water and what else was lodged in Borya's throat, and his chest barely rose, but it was a sign that he wasn't done trying to come back. Tlamatini took a deep breath and started her pushes again, renewed by a sign of life. Against a broken rib, she could only imagine the pain she was inflicting. But, as horrible as it was, perhaps the pain would help keep the boy alive.

"Come on little one, keep trying." Tlamatini muttered. Borya was trying to breath, Tlama could feel the resistance of his lungs pushing against her, but there was no way she could leave him to breath on his own. There was still too much liquid inside his throat and lungs. With each push, Tlama brought the blockage closer to the surface. Eventually, she could see foam and water dribble out of Borya's loose lips. And something dark and crimson. Tlamatini had to stop, frozen by the blood pouring slowly from the boy's mouth. Could the broken rib be cutting into the lung, had Tlama made things worse? The woman moved her hands, opening Borya's jaw and sighing. "He bit his tongue." She said out loud, to reassure herself and the boy's father. If it was just the tongue then that wasn't a risk, but the amount of blood was concerning, blood ran thicker than water after all. Trying to force blood out by pushing on his chest wouldn't work. Borya was trying to breath on his own now, only choking on what clotting blood remained in the way. With large and gentle hands, Tlamatini gripped Borya under his arms and pulled his torso up, head dropping loosely to the side. She turned the boy around, then held his limp form out to his father. "Hold him up, he needs to cough out what remains of the blood and lake water. Hit his back hard if you have to, he might be too weak to cough on his own." The woman instructed, hesitant to leave Borya in the hands of his father whilst she got up.

She had to have hope, Borya was fighting to live and if this man was truly desperate to see his son come out alive then he should be willing to help make it happen. "We need to get him warm, the cold already tried to kill him once, he'll be weaker to it now." Tlamatini explained, moving to collect her heavy bear cloak from where she'd abandoned it by the shore.

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POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:45 pm

A snarl was his greeting, the only reaction to his arrival while her hands remained busy, and to it, he did nothing so much as reveal himself as a foe. In the heat of the moment, in the shock and the horror of his son in the snow, there wasn't room for him to react by any other means than what might afford Borya help. When the words came across of his relation, of how he knew this young man beneath her diligent hands, only a quiet look was offered to him.

His questions, left unanswered, and his urgency grew as the burbling in Borya's throat siphoned and rattled as she worked on him. Zetsubou had no earthly idea what she was doing to him, but whatever it was, it was doing something inside of his son. The mahogany male all but trusted that this stranger knew what she was doing, timidly placing the warmth of his hand on Borya's forehead, petting him worriedly with his thumb, as the lifeless body shook under her work.

Eyes closed, with a wince, as if it had been his own ivory to break. Teeth clenched, the muscles taught in his temples, as he brought a nervous gaze up to this stranger through ebon strands. This woman that was meant to be a guardian of sorts for his son that had been lost to the wilderness and the wild. That was the sound of a snapped rib, certainly, crisp within the dept of Borya's chest. Breath caught in his throat, he looked back down to the Hushhowl youth. What was she doing to him?

Words found her that were soft, compassionate; it gave Zetusbou some hope within himself that he would have a son to take home to Dusk, rather than a body. He continued to stroke Borya's brow, hoping that something of the sensation would soothe him, while at the same time, he tried to refrain from getting too much in her way. The Cavalier didn't believe in magic and knew the world was a terrible place, but for once, he wanted to believe that she could save him with whatever strangeness she was doing.

When something finally moved from within the boy, it did not come without the wrenching twist that filled Zetsu's chest with encroaching horror.

Brows knitted and eyes narrowed. Sights danced between she and Borya, before catching the stream of ruby rust that dribbled from his son's pale maw. The bridge of Zetsu's nose started to wrinkle as his mind tried to digest what it was that was happening. What she'd done. Had she been meaning to kill him the whole time? Had Zetsu just sat by as this rogue broke what was left of his son?

Silvery maw threatened to rise as he subdued an accusing growl when she opened the boy's mouth to look inside, relief falling over her and relaying that message to him as well. Ashamed of himself, he wiped his face clear of the betrayal that was sinking into him, and nodded obediently to her. He was at her mercy, and so was Borya, and far be it from him to stop her if she knew what she was doing.

When the limp body was pulled up from the ground, Zetsu's body posture came alive on instinct. He wanted to be capable and ready to do anything that needed doing, even if he didn't have a single clue as to what was going on. All that pressing on Borya had worked to get him trying to breathe, and now Borya fought for life a beam of hope marked his father's eye.

She put him in Zetsubou's charge, and he waste no time in following the instruction. Propping Borya up with one of his arms collecting the crook of Borya's own, he brought a flattened hand to his back and tested his own strength against his unconscious son. He could easily do as much damage with less positive result, so he measured each contact with Borya's back from the heel of his palm, making sure the sound of it was strong, but not dangerously so.

Quietly, he nodded to her next decision and glanced in the direction she'd headed, ink tipped ears folded back at the idea that Borya had already succumbed to the cold once. Guilt settled into him as he had enjoyed the Courthouse fireplace and Dusk's company while Borya had been on his own. He should have been out looking, but with that blizzard, there was no way of knowing where he had gone. Should have's and could have's ruled his entire life before now, he needed to shake the thought. He needed to be present for Borya now, while he was here, in his arms, where he belonged.

A fur lay in the snow not far off and it was likely what she was aiming to use, but it was likely just as cold and wet now as Borya was. Zetsu didn't want to seem ungrateful, but at the sake of his son's life, he didn't want to take chances. Returning his determined gaze to Borya, he paddled his back for a moment more before giving him a rest and unhooking the violet cloak that was his honor to have received. One hand easily worked it around Borya, then he positioned himself better to beat on Borya's back.

When she neared again, he parted his lips,” Mine was warm, and dry. To go between them,” He offered her, allowing his hands to work around her when she decided to bundle Borya with the thick fur that she'd returned with,” Besides... He's a Cavalier,” Not knowing why Borya left, or what the reason that had brought him to that decision, there was a certain something that seeing him in the cloak brewed within Zetsu's chest,” No matter how far he wanders. All of us are with him.”

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POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:46 pm

Did it too :P
Cedric Stryder
A Knight is sworn to valor, his blade defends the helpless
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POSTED: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:47 pm

OOC -Borya is accompanied by Tlamatini who will have POV for most of the thread - Word Count: 828

I want to take shelter but I'm ready, ready to fight.

Before she was chosen as a fire's eye, an Ancaran who used flames to look into the souls of others, Tlamatini wanted to be a healer. She had a natural touch to it, her motherly side had been present even as a pup, and despite her large size the woman was gentle and caring. Longing to see life in others, Tlamatini spent much of her childhood watching the elders perform their healing. Most of the time it was spiritual, but there was intelligence behind it. The earth was the flesh of Tezcatlipoca, what grew from the earth was a gift from their god. Some of the gifts, namely the more mesmerising, were often tricks to test the wisdom of the Ancaran's. Others were for a purpose, the purpose of healing. Tlama had been in awe of what could be done to help souls remain on the earth and not return to Tezcatlipoca too soon, so much so that she wanted nothing more than to heal as well. But what she'd just done... to prevent Borya from travelling back to the great god.

The feeling of bone breaking beneath her hand was still there as the woman collected her cloak. Her ears were pushed back, catching the sounds of Borya's father forcing the boy to cough up what remained in his lungs, listening for each gasp the boy made as the two adults worked to help him live. Borya's body was so weak, whatever recovery he'd made since the blizzard had been destroyed the instant he fell through the ice, and now he not only had to fight the cold but also the water in his chest. The thought tickled the back of Tlama's mind like a persistent demon. Should they just let him go? Tezcatlipoca was sending a clear message that he wanted the boy returned to him. Not a few minutes ago the woman was fighting against the urge to let Borya go, but now that she'd wounded him just so he could breath... was she doing the right thing?

The sound of a hand pounding into Borya's back made Tlamatini remember she wasn't the only one trying to help right now. Thoughts of guilt couldn't stop Tlama from doing her best. A healer, she still had a chance to save lives. Collecting her coat, the large woman returned to see the man placing his own over his son, engulfing him in the violet fabric and fur. Her yellow eyes watched the love in the man's eyes as he helped his son. "Cavalier... I-" The boy between them spluttered. Like the sparks of a fire, all of a sudden Borya came to live. Spittle and blood flew from his mouth as he coughed and gagged on what remained lodged inside. It seemed never ending, what was a few seconds of violent coughing felt like hours of watching Borya gasp, but what energy ran through him burnt as quick as it came. As he finally took in an actual breath, the boy sagged down against the man holding him. Tlamatini sighed, unaware she'd been holding her own breath whilst Borya struggled to find his.

"I'm sorry, Cavalier." Tlamatini announced, finally moving to tuck Borya in her coat as well as the cloak. "He wanted to leave, far from this place, and I was going to take him there. I'd promised him I'd get him there, he never told me the truth about why he wanted to go but I figured it out for myself. He was running away wasn't he?" The woman had all but denied the fact that Borya was running from his home, leaving family behind for some unknown fear. "When I found him during the blizzard I felt an uncontrollable need to protect him and keep him safe, because of that, I ignored how wrong it felt to whisk him away." Tlama put a hand down on Borya's shoulder, watching as his soft yellow eyes opened to see her matched ones.

"T-tla...ma." The boy rasped, looking to the woman with that hope in his eye he'd held since she'd offered to keep him safe. Tlama gave him a soft smile.

"It's alright Borya, we're going now." Tlamatini promised. Her words didn't seem important, the glaze in Borya's eyes told her he wasn't really awake, proven as they closed again as he drifted off. His body moved slightly, the boy's snout pressed against the warm side of the man holding him, falling into unconsciousness as his skin shook from the cold. The large woman sighed, looking up to the man. "I'm Tlamatini, Borya needs to go home with you. I'll help you get him there, he... he won't be happy about it but I know now he won't survive if we do anything else."

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POSTED: Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:42 am

When Borya came to life, Zetsubou all but jumped out of his skin without time gather anything of what she'd tried to say. Quickly, he put up his hand and paddled at Borya's back as he wrenched and choked on the red water that refused to settling in his lungs. His rattled breaths were weak, and short-lived, and while his father didn't want to stifle what Borya needed to choke out, he lovingly hushed a wispy note through the small, front teeth between his canines,” That's it. Good job,” As the Hushhowl finally gasped in air, he'd lost his vigor. They would all be lucky if the boy had this much fight in him still once they were on the water to keep the fluid from settling.

Zetsubou caught him as he fell back and wrapped his arms over his chest, embracing him carefully, offering his warmth and compassion for as limitless as they were for Borya. All of it had been pent up from his time away. His first and only son, broken by his grandfather, thought to be dead, and born of the only woman that had ever seen him for who he was. There was something special there, a bond so strong if even so early in it's stages. It was devastating to know that something so powerful in the young man's heart had thought it best to be away from not only everyone in Casa, but to him as well.

Borya couldn't have known what Zetusbou had risked to come back, and Zetusbou wasn't like Shaamah. He wasn't going to hold a bit of it against him. The best he could do was try to understand once Borya was safe at home and well.

Their savior's voice split the harrowing sounds of Borya's rugged attempts at breathing, Zetsubou's hand patting on the top of his son's chest in what was half urging the coughing, and mostly loving. Intent eyes lifted from the tired boy in his arms as he found the sturdy built hybrid's golden gaze. Ears folded back into the tousled black locks tied at his occiput as the curtain of dark bangs fell over his shoulder. He watched and listened as she too covered Borya, a frown painting his features as she divulged what would have become of his son had he not found them here and now.

Zetsubou nodded at her inquiry and swallowed a lump down his throat. It hit him in the pit of himself, shattered like glass, and shook him. The worst of it was, he didn't know why.

Odd eyes continued to watch the small moment between them. The word he spoke was with love, the smile she returned was one of deep fondness. In Borya's time away from his home, he'd find a diamond in the rough, and the mahogany jackwolf felt the pull of what that might mean to his son. A friend? A guardian? How here in the wilds? There would be hope for the world in him, yet, and if he was anything like Zetsubou when he was given a second chance, a new understanding of what life really was about and what it mean to be living.

He allowed their moment to carry on uninterrupted, and eventually Borya's head fell slack against his chest, and Zetsu's hand found his forehead so as to hold him there, close and warm, to fend off his shivering in any way he could,” Thank you,” Where the first, baritone words to meet her after she had finished,” Tlamatini, I'm Zetsubou. There is a ship, the Avalon, waiting for me on the north shore of the Loch, South of here, to take us back to Casa di Cavalieri. I-” He clenched his teeth as he looked down to the restlessly bedraggled boy in his arms,” I owe you more than my life, and the least I can do is ask you to stay with us, if only for a little while. For yourself and for him.”

Adjusting himself, he moved to kneel behind Borya, ensuring that the youngest of the Hushhowl brood didn't fall or jar too much,” But, I understand,” He couldn't have expected Borya to be enthused at all about returning home, especially if he had planned to be stolen away to some other place, likely where he'd never be found by his family,” I can bare many awful things, but losing him is not one of them,” To his soul he knew what that felt like, and he was in no way of wanting to be helpless to it, again.

Gathering himself to his feet, he leaned over and gathered Borya in his arms. There was no way he was going to walk after all that, much less be expected to last a small journey, and his father wasn't going to have Tlama do any more work than she already had done. She'd save his life and he owed her, at least, that,” The path is just this way. They won't wait forever, so we should move quickly.”

Zetsubou had never been a believer in such things as fate, but more or less the consistent lack of luck that burdened him over his own life. Now, however, at the expense of an empty duffle bag, he'd found his son in a world that tried to eat him. It's hunger was stopped only by the brave and able hands of this wolfdog. Had he been any later? Had he seen the duffle strap over his chest or felt it's weight on his back, Borya would be lost for an eternity.

The black stripes on silvery foot paws stepped over the last mound of snow before the path, and he turned to face south, the cold reaching into the depth of his own furs. It was welcome, knowing that Borya donned his proper colors, again,” You said that the cold had taken him once...” Quietly, the question slipped from him. He wanted to know every waking moment about what had happened while his son was gone, as if some semblance of it could make sense of everything that had happened,” How did you find him?”

Casa di Cavalieri
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POSTED: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:06 pm

OOC -Borya is accompanied by Tlamatini who will have POV for most of the thread - Word Count: 1250

I want to take shelter but I'm ready, ready to fight.

A moment between father and son shone with a light that hit Tlama's heart. It wasn't just the motherly instinct in her that drew her to feelings of family. Back in the clan, she had her own blood kin. Younger brothers, she would mother them more than their own mother did, and they would see the world in their giant, older sister. And her parents, elders of the clan by their title and experience in the ways of the Ancaran people. Her father gave her his stubbornness, her mother gave her a kind heart. And yet, in Tlamatini's journey across mountains, through storms and new lands, she didn't feel the weight of their distance. But now, after all the stress pulling strings in her heart over this precious child she deemed worthy to protect, Tlama only wished she had her own father present to comfort her in the ways this man did for Borya. How weak the woman felt, she wasn't a child, she shouldn't need swaddling up in a hug and have soothing whispers dripped into her ears. This entire journey from Huallayahualoa to now, Tlama had managed to remain the calm and wise Ancaran she was expected to be, now that mask was faltering in the face of a near failure.

Tlamatini's warm yellow eyes were on the boy, staring at him just like she stared into the flames that she would read, just like she'd done during those days of recovery after the blizzard. Each sign of life was a blessing, each breath was a reason to pray and thank Tezcatlipoca for letting the boy keep living. At this point, Tlamatini had no doubt in her mind that her god was giving her Borya's life as a gift, surely there was no way the fragile child had survived this long without divine intervention. "Tlasohkamati, teotl-tlatoani." The woman muttered in Ancaran, feeling the words carry on the cold wind and up into the stars, into the hands of Tezcatlipoca. She hoped the guiding god would understand her gratitude and know she didn't take their loving nature for granted.

To her apology, the woman was given thanks, which made Tlama frown towards the man, Zetsubou. He saw her deeds in good faith, for despite the fact that Tlamatini had allowed Borya to run, she'd also kept him alive twice. The woman could see past the feeling of breaking bones in her hands to see where his unwavering gratitude came from, and offered a small smile. "Your life is your own, Zetsubou, I would never ask for something so precious. Life is... worth protecting, watching Borya breath is enough proof of that. But..." Tlama's gaze looked away, reality hitting her for a moment. Zetsubou had his son now, and Tlamatini wasn't about to pry the boy from him for her own selfish need to keep the child safe. But the Cavalier would take Borya home, to a pack, a home. Tlamatini already had a home, distant as it was, her connection to Huallayahualoa was still beating within her heart. She couldn't devote herself to somewhere else. But Tlamatini longed to be with Borya, the mother bear in her soul needed to know he was safe, the eagle within her wanted to stay with her kin.

"But I have a journey I am devoted to. I can't ignore fate." Despite the fact that up until this point she'd been fighting ruthlessly against fate in order to keep Borya alive. Perhaps Tlamatini was just relying on excuses try and convince herself to not stay. "I'll follow you back to your ship however, I'd rather not leave Borya again until I know he's going to be safe at home." She added, getting up after Zetsubou, offering the man some help loading his son into his arms. Borya sighed against the warm chest of his father, their matching fur blending together in a harmony Tlamatini could only hope the boy cherished.

Zetsubou's pry into their history was a welcome distraction for Tlama, allowing her to forget her conflict of stay or go and think of when she met the boy. "The first time I saw Borya was in your pack, back during the falling of leaves and orange skies. Deer were plentiful, and I'd hunted one for myself only to realise I'd stepped on the Cavalier's lands to do so. I left the deer for them, but as I was leaving, Borya saw me. That small glance remained in my mind when I saw him next." Tlamatini explained, thinking of Borya in the storm. "The blizzard... it is the kind of event that claims many lives. To my people, such events are considered 'days of recollection'. They're a balance in life, as those terrible events claim lives, they leave room for new ones to flourish. Life should always be allowed to move on and return to the stars... tampering with life and death is something my people avoid doing. But when I saw Borya slowly dying on his feet, crying in fear, I couldn't stop myself from going against the rules."

"I brought Borya to shelter, and nursed him back to health whilst the storm calmed down. He was still very weak, but mouthy enough to all but demand me to help him get moving again." Tlama explained, giving the sleeping boy a fond smile. "He had trouble breathing even then, some of the blizzard's cold was still stuck in his chest I believe, and it was hard to shake. During his rest, he told me about your pack, Casa di Cavalieri. He explained how he saw everyone there being so strong and brave, but he himself was weak and terrified... I could see the fear in his eyes even as he tried to hide it from me, explaining instead that he simply felt unfit to be in such a place. Borya explained how much of a burden he was, so he'd decided to leave to lessen that burden, and seemed adamant that his family wouldn't miss him." Tlamatini paused, giving Zetsubou a look between sadness and regret.

"Borya hid his desperate need to run away beneath a request to visit my people. Even though I knew he was just looking for an excuse, I couldn't help but agree. Deep down, I wanted to take him away I think, it might have been selfish of me. But Zetsubou, any time your son mentioned the Cavalier pack... the look in his eyes, he was terrified. The same look I've seen in prey begging at the last moment of their life. Something about his home, your home, scares Borya so much that he'd rather battle a storm than return home. I thought by bringing him to my clan he'd lose that scared look, but this is where that belief got me. And now I've met you, the love you have for the child is enough for me to have faith that his home isn't as terrifying as his eyes made me believe." Tlamatini paused, focused for a moment on her feet and then back to Borya. If she went to Casa, perhaps she could uncover what scared Borya so much about his home, and she could help him recover.

"Maybe I will come to the Cavalier pack, to see for myself."

Casa di Cavalieri
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