Does he ever look past you on the street?

POSTED: Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:15 pm

Foothills of Mt. Oromocto.

There was much to be done -- patrolling and marking the territory, tending to the animals that had just arrived, and helping construct the main village. Octavius helped where he could but was also aware he was not always needed -- others had already taken care of an aggressive trespasser, while the Captains’ friends had valuable skillsets. He was good for wrestling and hauling things -- little else.

He did not feel down about it, though. Judas’ death and the reunion with the small leader who’d sought him had made him somber for months -- but proximity with friendly Luperci and steady work had cheered him again.

He even whistled as he walked, a low airy sound, as he wandered the woodlands between the river camps and the isthmus. Red eyes sought points of interest as the elevation changed, and he paused in his wandering to crane his neck and see the bald stone of a mountain miles beyond the forest he wandered in. The elevation shifted, though he’d no dreams of scaling this mountain.

At best, maybe he’d find some goats. He wondered if they got along with caribou.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:41 pm

To say she had been looking for him was an understatement: Farina had been hunting. In exchange for a moment of his grief she had promised him a sculpture, and a sculpture it was. As always, if one squinted and tilted their head just so, one could maybe make out a difference in carving for the raccoon's mask and the rings of its tail. Added effort had been made on the fist-sized white rock, completed in half the time than average with gratitude to attempted diligence. She wanted him to like it, and she wanted to be sure she had it the next chance the two met.

There had never been a doubt they would. Yet when it was not fast enough, Farina began to hunt for him. Octavius had mentioned a collective of friendly stragglers to the north, and since then Farina found unknown scents to be suddenly prominent in parts. She did not like it. She did not like loners so near to her home, very likely plotting against her innocent viking kin as so many others had done.

When she came upon the Angelo's scent, such things were forgotten. They didn't matter.

"Octavius!" called the vin Haki at a jog, one arm raised, the other slouched and digging into her satchel for the little rock figurine. She did not ask why he was there, why he smelled different—that would come later. Instead, Farina thrust the small raccoon out at him, beaming with pride, panting. "I, I finished it. I tried to make it - guh - to make it small enough for you to wear around your neck, but the head broke off so I had to make a second one normal-sized."

There were no apologies in her grin.

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:25 pm

*saves best for last in Octy replies today* also idk he is writing himself right now so >> pffft.

He was admiring an outcropping of stone that looked, if one was generous, like a duck, when a voice hailed him. His grin was immediate, his booming voice shouting down the mountainside soon after: Farina!

He'd made acquaintance with a handful of his pack mates, but despite general friendliness and appreciation of each other, he couldn't say he'd made a friend since her. His tail wagged in great, sweeping motions behind him that might have wiggled his hips if he was a slighter canine, and he planted both fists on his hips with broad chest pressed out as he happily admired the sight of the woman jogging up the mountain path toward him. He looked like a surveyor, manly and jovial, though in reality he was restraining himself from greeting her with more physical affection -- like the urge to clothesline her and knock her to the ground to hug.

She stopped before him, and his desire for friendly physical contact was pushed aside as she revealed a white rock. He grinned in unconditional acceptance of this gift until she mentioned "finishing it," and immediately he cocked his head and realized what it was. Well, I'd have taken the headless one too. It's all white and it looks like a ghost raccoon, he said, and took it from her palm to stare at it. This one at least had a head and tail, and maybe scratched-in eyes or a mask. It was perfect.

Thanks, the man said, genuine, and reached over to clap her on the shoulder. He didn't let go. How have you been?

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:37 pm

octy uuuuuuuuu so cute

"A ghost?" The vin Haki scoffed, jestingly slapping aside the great winter hand that had clapped onto her shoulder. "We went over this, remember? No point in believing in demons, or ghosts, or any of that."

She grinned, tilting her head with the little stone in her sights. "It's just a... white raccoon. White like you, that's all. Heh, do you always resort to paranormal stuff for answers?"

Her tail as rapid in turns as his, Farina resisted a strange and short impulse to embrace the man—no, not embrace. Of course not. Her smile widened, deciding the impulse was to throw a punch to see if he could dodge it, if only as reference to their spar that busied the mass of their last meeting. Just the same, she resisted it. What if she caught him off guard and hurt him, after all?

"Fine, I guess. Got promoted. My stepfather tried to make nice a week or two ago... that went well." Tone swept from positive to negative and back again in a matter of words. With a pull at his upper arm, she motioned for him to walk with her. "How about you? Your straggler friends behaving?"

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:21 pm

He'd not noticed his odd choice of wording before Farina smacked his hand aside, admonishing him. He grinned, big and awkward, and scratched the back of his neck while turning the fist-sized stone in his fingers. Well, I've never seen a white raccoon before, he protested. A snow raccoon -- better? He closed his fist around the rock then brought it closer to his chest, then blinked as she recited the recent events of her life.

He stumbled a few steps to get on more of the same ground as she when she tugged him to follow, and walked with occasional glances down at the ring-tailed lump enclosed in white fingers. His ears pricked at news of promotion and an implied argument both, and he frowned. What'd you get promoted to? he asked. Or is it just -- up in the ranks? And your -- uhhh, if you want to talk about any of it with me, he added quickly. He didn't want to offend her or dredge up more bitterness.

Octavius grinned again as she mentioned the "stragglers" and puffed his chest. Actually -- it's a pack now. I'm a Greenhorn of Krokar. He began to talk more animatedly, his speech often hesitant and slurred tumbling from his mouth. It's kind of great, Lucille and Gus seem like nice leaders, and we're doing lots of work to put the village together. And there are -- there are -- caribou, they're like big elk and they're meant to pull stuff. He paused. And I think we're going to build... He stopped, face screwed up with focus, as his mind blanked. The things that go on the water, he said, and made a hand gesture.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:53 pm

"Snow raccoon," she repeated, trying the words in the manner a cook sips at a spoonful of broth near its completion. A grin. "Sure. That means he's hardy, like you."

As she vaguely detailed the events of her recent weeks Farina caught the Aika sneaking glances to the warped white rock in his hands and held close to his chest. His quick attachment to the funny little figurine only pushed further the prideful swell of her chest and deterred the the infuriating emotions that accompanied thoughts of Niernan and her mother. It occurred to her how little she knew of Octavius, despite how quick and simple their friendship was; she knew he had a brother that died and nothing more. She knew he had some difficulty with words and flustered easily.

She knew she liked him. What else there was to learn of his background didn't matter, right?

And how nice it was to have a friend uncomplicated like the rest! How long had it been since she held a conversation so normal and lacking dramatics, especially with a non-Vináttan? "Araedi Ríkr," she answered. "More responsibilities as a guardian, really. I guess my sister thought I did something right."

And at his offer for counseling, Farina snorted. "Don't worry about it. He's an asshole. They're both assholes. They're not worth me getting upset about it all over again, trust me."

She hooked on mention of Krokar, not for her diplomatic duties to Vinátta but out of general interest. If the pack had founded themselves near the vikings, Octavius would not be far. Her tail took up in excitement, hardly minding the slur and stutters in his equally energetic speech. She put given names to memory for sake of her pack, but could not bear to dawdle on them and miss a word of his detailing.

With all the intensity of a toddler throwing up her hand in class she barked, "A boat! Your people know how to build a boat? Damn, I'm—I'm actually sort of jealous."

A measure of humility surfaced. "Krokar sounds really great, Octavius. It's... it's nice to see you in such good spirits. You know, after how we met and all."

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:38 am

Guardian, Octavius tasted on his tongue -- not attempting to speak the real title. He wasn't smart enough to clue in on her mention of "sister" as it related to the privilege of promotion. He smiled approval regardless -- she seemed like she'd make a good guardian. She at least stood up to him; she'd do well against bears and things.

Briefly, he thought of friends with cut faces and bristling at mention of loners, but his face fell at the same time she spoke ill of sister and stepfather both.

He shook his head at her and cuffed her gently on the arm, chin lifted and smile warm with reassurance. You're right, they aren't. Without hesitation, he accepted her side of the story then struggled to keep pace with her along the mountain trail as he spoke on less distressful topics.

Yes that! Octavius exclaimed back, triumphant, and bounced muzzle up and down in a nod. They make -- well, little ones. For the rivers. They fish a lot. I want to try but I think I'd sink or flip it over.

He beamed -- then his face softened with thoughtfulness as she mentioned how he'd been. Y-yeah, he said. He hadn't thought about it too intently -- just as he didn't think too intently about anything -- but recognized a better mood. She'd been the catalyst for much of it, of course -- but steady company and work had helped. It feels good knowing -- knowing I have a purpose still, you know? Like you being a guardian. I've got people of my own to help and guard now, too. And friends, maybe. If they're as cool as you.

The last remark was attempted smoothly yet with all the finesse of a flirting yearling -- maybe not accidentally, as his grin became huge again, eyes wrinkling with amusement toward himself.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:22 am

The Aika approved of her title, it seemed, and allowed her wishes against discussion of her idiotic family. Following his compliance, however, Farina regretted it; if she was to withhold information on her troubles and family life, what motive had Octavius to exchange that of his own? He was a quirky, humble individual, especially for his size. He was unique, and she wondered what had shaped him so.

A brother was involved, one way or another, but in that lay a sensitive subject Farina knew not to tread upon again anytime soon.

"So sink it, then," said the vin Haki, shrugging, scoffing. "Then they'll know they have to build it better next time. Better you fall in and swim than a stupid kid jumping around. Besides, how many opportunities does someone ever get to go out in a boat?" She herself could think of not a one.

Farina absorbed the compliment as she absorbed punches and most anything else, save for insults: without awareness and with a thick and unknowing skin. She grinned and laughed a hearty, booming sound. "'Cool'? Gods, Octavius, I wish you'd tell some of the people back home how cool I am. There are so many people and nobody to talk to."

"Like this, I mean," Farina added. "Like friends. Like someone who actually gives a shit about how I feel, not just the stuff I have to do."

Unconsciously the woman turned the frithr necklace in cream-tipped fingers, then turned to him inkwell eyes filled with sincerity. "People can be so, so," for once she was the one between them to forget the word she needed, "so stuck on themselves. Y'know what I mean?"

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Luperci Falconer + Diplomat

POSTED: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:43 am

Octavius widened his eyes at her suggestion and imagined a rampage of sinking canoes and fleeing from consequences -- but laughed when he understood. Krokar will have to have the biggest, strongest little river-boats around, he agreed. He hoped to be able to help construct them and perhaps have one of his own, once he got the hang of paddling and fishing and traveling downstream. It wouldn't be too hard, he thought; he learned extremely quickly and would be able to reproduce results through instruction and memory, if not actual knowledge of theory. Judas had always been better at theory.

Farina laughed, and his chuckles started as the first warning sirens for a burst of amusement -- but when she continued, her words were those of bitterness and complaint, however frank they were and without malice directed at him. He quieted and blinked at her, and frowned then at the ground. He wanted to clench fists and help but he was afraid of breaking the raccoon and didn't have anything to do.

He was not a talker, not one to comfort with well-crafted reassurances or anything that wasn't a really, really big hug and childish devotion.

He considered the first, decided they were too close to a precipice to risk it -- not that he was terrified that she might get upset from the contact and not like him anymore -- and instead stared at her, ears twisted downward in heartfelt sympathy. You can... come live with me. With us. Not a lot of people but at least one person to talk to. We'd -- appreciate you.

Or! he exploded, nervously, and fought to recover with a wry grin and puffed chest. Or I can go to Vinátta, and just howl at everyone and march in like: Come be friends with Farina, she is really cool, I mean it.

i’ve got a fever and a childish wish for snow

POSTED: Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:38 pm

The longer she talked, the longer she realized her own negativity, the black frowning mirror to his white and smiling one. She thought herself as much an asshole as she thought Niernan or her mother or her sister in that moment and as stuck on herself as she had just accused her packmates the same.

Strange, that he still thought her... "cool."

Determined to shake off the negativity but retain the sincerity, she avoided his blood-red eyes when they glanced her way, not in rejection of his sympathy but in shame. "I don't know," she replied. Krokar was fresh and new and attractive but she had only the intuition of Octavius to judge by. It was not faulty, but it was not her own. "I mean, I was born in Vinátta—it's part of my name. I grew up there."

And she thought of Andira, of Carya, of her friends forgotten in the midst of starting rage not minutes prior. She had friends; they cared. The niche was small, but in it Farina had made herself a place to belong. And with Solieri still missing, and her knew little siblings—as much as she did not want to see them...

She left the offer unconfirmed, then, and focused instead on what he erupted with next. Farina absorbed his energy as if mimicking it might help him not to notice her failure to commit an answer. "Yeah, do that, they'll like that a lot." The laugh was genuine. "And I'll go to Krokar and yell, 'Hey everybody, look at Octavius, he's so full of muscles that I bet he could lift an elk with just his eyeballs,' and then everyone will be all over you."

She laughed. She didn't know what that last bit even meant, or that her chuckle might have been a little awkward. "Plenty of new buddies that way. But, I mean, it's not like you joined all by yourself or anything, right?"

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