A house is not a home

[P; Clover; D'Neville Mansion; Prompt #3]

POSTED: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:08 pm

407 Words; Prompt: Spring cleaning! With warm weather right around the bend, why not clear out your den?

Jehan had once complained about being a maid but now that was the job that Cartier had been regulated to. Jehan had turned into the provider while Cartier was just some useless git that needed looking after. And this change of events bothered him greatly. He hated being a dependent. He was used to being the one who took care of his family and not the other way around. And while Harosheth had cleared him as being able to do more than to just lay in bed all of the time he still wasn't up to par. In the aftermath of his injury he would never be able to do as he had once done before. He had lost his place among the ranks and had basically been cast as an invalid. He had no idea what to do with himself now, his home had been attacked and he had done nothing to protect it. Could he even call Inferni his home any longer? Vesper had cast him aside at Vicira's insistence. How could he have a home here when his family no longer wanted him?

A recent sprain to his previously fractured ankle had Cartier regulated back to his room once again. He was working his frustrations out by tossing things around in the pretense of cleaning and sorting. He threw old furs outside the door without a care. He had destroyed the nests that he had once so lovingly and carefully built for the pups but now they laid in ruins. They were old enough to shift now and so they no longer needed something so frivolous. Of course it wasn't only the children's beds that he disassembled but his own as well.

He didn't have much in the way of possessions but he did have, namely his bow, he tossed out the door as well. He no longer could be a warrior so what did he need with weapons any longer? The children were grown and no longer needed him. He could no longer fulfill the role of provider for Jehan so there was no reason for the dog to stay with him either. He had absolutely nothing left, or such was how he felt. His old life had been completely and utterly destroyed and he didn't know how to cope with the change. So feeling overwhelmed he dropped to the floor with his head in his hands, his shoulders shook with silent sobs.

Cartier Inferni
fideli certa merces



Inferni
Civilis III
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Jehan Multiple Co-Ranks Level III Immunes
fire on the hillside
sinner

POSTED: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:22 am

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Clover rolled and cracked her neck as she wandered into the mansion, stretching her arms in front of her to ease the strain from another intense spar. Her thick coat (rapidly shedding) ahd protected her from most scrapes and the impact of being pushed into one of the fenceposts by Conrad -- but he'd managed to inflict a small scratch across the bridge of her muzzle where the fur was thinnest, and she gingerly rubbed at this as she walked. It certainly wasn't anything that she would see Harosheth for, but rather something that coaxed a smile to her soot-stained face as she rounded the corner of the hall, caught up in happiness.

The feeling was short-lived. Brown eyes fell upon the bow abandoned in the hall, and she tilted her head in confusion before stepping into the room to ask what was going on -- and then she saw Cartier, slumped on the ground, crying, and at once she rushed in. She fell to her knees beside the coyote and threw her arms around him with a panicked look, nuzzling her head against his cheek and digging fingers into his fur.

Cartier! Cartier, what's wrong? What happened?

Inferni
Outsider (NPC)
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Raze
Brute, Nurse
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:11 pm

300 Words

Cartier quieted himself when he was held. He struggled to pull himself back together. Nothing happened. I was just cleaning up. He said as he rubbed his face against his shoulder before straightening up again. I'm just getting rid of everything that isn't needed any longer. A single shoulder was lifted into a shrug, trying to act as if he wasn't bothered by the changes. Oriole, Magpie, and Serenity are grown so they no longer need nests. Likely they will choose to move out and take up rooms of their own. Who would want to stay with a couple of old people when they don't have to? I can't be a warrior any more. I can't even shift. I can barely get out of bed some mornings. What do I need with weapons when I can't even use them? He stared at the floor and reached down to rub absently at the ankle that he had re-injured with a sprain. You and Jehan are busy with your own things now.

Cartier fell silent for a bit before he spoke again. And when he did it was in a quiet tone of voice. I don't belong here. I'm not needed anymore. I couldn't even help out in the war. Vicira hates me. Vesper isn't speaking to me either. I'm just part of the trash to be thrown away. Cartier had always dealt with moments of self-deprecation but this was a new low even for him. Every other time he would push through and keep going but the way that he was speaking showed that he had pretty much given up.

I don't have a family anymore. I don't have a home anymore. I don't have nothing anymore. I am nothing. The last statement solidified just where his mind frame was at.

Cartier Inferni
fideli certa merces



Inferni
Civilis III
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Jehan Multiple Co-Ranks Level III Immunes
fire on the hillside
sinner

POSTED: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:59 am

00+

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She was frightened by her guardian's state and perhaps trembled more than he did even as she tried to comfort him. Cartier had been a rock for Clover for so long, moreso even than Jehan with his flippant ways, and to see him like this was like seeing a god struck down.

But the former Centurion collected himself and explained that he was cleaning the room, ridding it of useless things -- which, apparently, included the nests and his weaponry. Clover stared in dismay at the pelts where she'd snuggled and made forts of as a child strewn now across the floor, her ears pulled down and her brown eyes wide and vulnerable, and couldn't summon words. Perhaps had she been more involved at home she might have seen this coming, but it was true that she had been busy -- fighting in the war, mostly, and healing the sick and injured.

Now she was aghast at her guardian's state, and ashamed too when he mentioned this. How had she missed the signs? Had she ignored him that much? She recalled catching a worried look on Jehan's face sometimes, but the spitz always joked about things to lighten the mood. He was a conman, after all, and conned her into thinking that everything was okay. Jehan never let Clover see him cry and would have protected Cartier's dignity the same way.

There was no way that she could be blind to this, however -- not when Cartier laid out his feelings, his voice soft and weary, and said with conviction that he was "nothing."

That frightened orphaned girl at heart, Clover burst into tears.

Wh-what do you mean, y-you don't have a family anymore? Wh-what the fuck are we? We're -- we're your family, I am, and Jehan -- ih-ih-if he's not treating you right, if he did something, I'll ruh-rip his junk off! You aren't nuh-nothing, Cartier!

She crawled closer to the torn-apart nest and began to dig through it, pulling out an old sinew hair-tie and putting that on her wrist. This is muh-my nest, she sobbed. You made it for me when I didn't have anything, remember?

Inferni
Outsider (NPC)
User avatar
Raze
Brute, Nurse
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:18 pm

434 Words

Cartier didn't often speak of how he was feeling outside of self-deprecating jokes. Even those jokes didn't begin to touch upon the depths of what he felt, just barely skimmed the surface of it really. So this complete and utter breakdown showed just how much he was weighed down by his thoughts. It was clear that he hadn't expected to be caught in such a weakened state and since he had he had felt compelled to explain. He couldn't just wave this off as he normally would. He knew that Clover wouldn't accept that nothing was wrong though still that had been his default answer to begin with, even if not in those exact terms.

You don't need me anymore. You are more than capable of caring for yourself. You can feed yourself and protect yourself. There is nothing that I do for you anymore. Instead Clover had filled in on those fronts. She had brought food to Cartier and, while he hadn't witnessed it himself, he had heard that she had taken part in the war. I don't know if he even needs it anymore. If he's using it then it isn't with me. Cartier commented when Clover talked about depriving Jehan of his manhood. I don't interest him anymore. He's probably out fucking Versace again. You know she has pups again? He probably had something to contribute to that. Despite the subject of the words his voice wasn't bitter but just sounded as if he was stating a fact.

Slowly Cartier looked up when Clover moved over to the destroyed nest and seemed to be searching for something. I also remember that you didn't like it and thought it was stupid. Though she had quickly warmed up to the idea of the nest though. You are too big for it now, just like Oreo, Maggie, and Ren are too big for theirs. He hadn't expected her to react so emotionally over something like a pile of furs.

It bothered him that he had upset her and it made him feel even worse about himself. We can rebuild it. He offered as he crawled over to where she was. He sought to wrap his arms around her to pull her close and hold her. He settled himself with his legs outstretched so that he could try and pull Clover onto his lap, same as he used to do when she was upset and little, despite how she had grown larger than him. It needed to be made bigger anyways. He tried to lighten the situation. Besides, those stink and smell of dirty puppy.

Cartier Inferni
fideli certa merces



Inferni
Civilis III
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Jehan Multiple Co-Ranks Level III Immunes
fire on the hillside
sinner

POSTED: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:48 pm

"Of course I still need you, I'll always need you," Clover murmured. "Even if you're old and blind and deaf and your fur turns white, I'll need you. You don't... you don't stop needing someone even if you're grown up and capable." She reached out to rub Cartier's arm, her hand shaking. "All you taught me, all that stuff it was, it was in here," she said, moving her hand to his chest before drawing her hand back to her own heart (marked with a sooty pawprint). "How to be good and -- and do the right thing, and how to be loyal and smart. You can always teach me."

She wouldn't have been half the woman she was if not for him. Raised on the streets of her birthplace, she would have turned into the drug-crazed animal her mother was, if she lived that long -- and Jehan wouldn't have ruined her, but she wouldn't have put down roots like this, wouldn't have opened her heart to trust others like Cartier.

She was silent on the matter of her first guardian, however. Jehan was an enigma to her, but she knew that when things got rough, he tended to run away from his problems. All she'd seen was that every day he made sure Cartier had all he could get, and overheard him trying to coax a smile or other things out of the man -- but she'd also seen him alone in the woods, too, or disappeared for days at a time. She'd never smelled another man or woman on him, but she had smelled drink.

She buried her face in one of the old furs that made up her nest, and looked up with watery eyes when Cartier said they'd remake it. She let herself be pulled into his lap and leaned her head against his shoulder, feeling like a little girl again despite how the seasons had changed them.

The dog remained silent at his jokes, but spoke up after a little while. "How can I help you feel better, Cartier? How can I make you believe me when I say that you've still got family?"
Inferni
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Raze
Brute, Nurse
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:23 pm

308 Words

What use would I be then if I was blind and death? It would be best to put me out of my misery when I can no longer do for myself. Which spoke volumes as to how he felt about the situation at hand. He didn't like to depend on anyone else. He didn't ask for help. He was the one that did for others, not having others do for him. He didn't know how to let go and accept that it was okay to need someone else. That is didn't make him any less of a man, any weaker, to admit that there were now things that he couldn't do by himself. That it wasn't the end of the world to depend on someone else.

What more is there to teach you? You already know everything. And what she didn't know she didn't necessarily have to pick up from him. You know how to make a nest. That is the most important thing. Again he was trying to joke and again it came out flat.

He held Clover close when she settled into his lap. It had been a great while since he had cradled her like this. He smoothed his hand over her back, rubbing it in an attempt to soothe her as he used to do when she had been smaller. I don't know. He admitted quietly. Things were different, they had changed, and he simply didn't know how to cope.

Why do you stay? I can't protect you any longer. I no longer have the ability to force everyone to accept you. If something happened to Clover or Jehan there was nothing that he could do about it. He couldn't dole out punishment to those who chose to act out against his family. You don't have to stay. You can go anywhere you want.

Cartier Inferni
fideli certa merces



Inferni
Civilis III
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Jehan Multiple Co-Ranks Level III Immunes
fire on the hillside
sinner

POSTED: Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:55 pm

"There's still plenty to teach me," Clover said. "There's still so much I don't know, and not everybody has all the same answers." She could always go to Jehan or Vesper for advice, but she trusted Cartier's honesty first and foremost, even if he was protective of his children's innocence sometimes. She was not innocent in many things, but in others she would have no idea what to do. She didn't need Cartier to teach her how to fight -- but how to love, and how to treat others? And make nests...

She tried to smile but this was flat as his joke, and she nuzzled into his shoulder, her fluffy ears pricked at the murmur of his voice. "I am being accepted by my own merit now," she said, lifting her head. "I love Inferni. I love my friends here, and my mentors, and you... I wouldn't dream of leaving. I'm not disloyal." Maybe it was just another sign that she didn't need him anymore, but he was one of the coyotes she vowed to keep safe and fed.

"It's important to me that I can take care of you, too," she said. "We'll have to find something that you can teach me so it doesn't feel one-sided. And fix Jehan's attitude if he's still being an ass." She had no doubt that the spitz was trying, but sometimes he went too far in escaping his problems.
Inferni
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User avatar
Raze
Brute, Nurse
unconditional loyalty

POSTED: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:42 pm

301 Words

There is still a lot I don't know either. You know more about the world than I do. Cartier had never seen a cause for learning about the world outside of Inferni. He rarely ever went too far out past the borders, even when he had been more mobile. He had only ever taken a few long trips and they had been with a certain purpose in mind. He didn't just go out to explore or anything like that. He had always had anything that he had needed within the Clan. The most he had been out was when he would sneak off to see Jehan.

I never said you were disloyal. I guess I just never expected you to see this place as home since you weren't born here. He shrugged, not really knowing how to explain what it was that he had meant. It's just... Jehan had never really wanted to settle down. He didn't like being tied to a single place but he didn't like the idea of just dropping you off somewhere either. I guess I just sort of thought you might miss that lifestyle. It wasn't one that Cartier could understand but he knew it had made Jehan happy. That was all that he had ever really needed to know.

He shook his head. Don't worry about Jehan. I knew what he was like from the start. He's probably bored. Routine never really seemed to be his thing. Whereas Cartier had always lived by a schedule. There were so many differences between them that it was a wonder they had even managed to make it work in the first place. I just want him to be happy. Cartier said and rested his head against Clover's shoulder. Even if that isn't here, if it isn't with me.

Cartier Inferni
fideli certa merces



Inferni
Civilis III
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Jehan Multiple Co-Ranks Level III Immunes
fire on the hillside
sinner

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