Brother, where art thou?

Storm

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:58 am

Liz had barely seen Storm since he had been taken ill, but she reasoned that she had made up for it in worry for her adoptive brother. Knowing it would pain her to see him in the grip of the fever, she had waited until he was out of the woods before making an appearance. The rest of the family were probably getting irritated with her relentless questioning by this point. Despite her resistance to the idea of actually looking after anyone, Eliza still felt she had to contribute somehow to helping Storm recover, and this contribution came in the form of bossing her relatives around.

Finally, Liz knew that she could put it off no longer: apart from annoying the rest of the family, she didn't want to risk hurting Storm with a conspicuous absence. It would be difficult to see him ill – but not half as difficult as the idea of him thinking she didn't care.

The ginger-haired dog dawdled a little on the way to Storm's house, twisting a few strands of her coarse mane around her index finger. When she reached the door she almost took a step back; her sensitive nose had picked up the smell of illness from inside and an irrational fear kept her from entering for a good few moments. When Eliza did make it across the threshold her liver nose wrinkled and that same unfounded fear flashed in her eyes.

At first she was grateful that Storm didn't appear to be present to witness her fear, but after a moment's thought and a quick search of the room, worry creased Liz's brow. “Storm?” she called, her fingers brushing the walls as she trailed back towards the door. Rounding the side of her brother's home, Liz sucked in a deep breath. She could still smell him, or rather the remnants of the fever, but it wasn't until her gaze fell upon a set of tracks that she had an inkling of which direction to head in.

Eliza was puffing by the time she spotted Storm, busy with his hands but shaken by a cough at frequent intervals. Her eyes narrowed and she crossed her arms, moving to face him with deliberate steps and peering up into his storm cloud eyes. “Shouldn't you be resting or hopped up on herbs or sommat more befitting of a sick little brother? Was all my worrying for nothing?”

[400+]

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Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:45 am

OOC: 509 words

Storm’s body ached. The smallest task left him falling asleep wherever he happened to be. It was frustrating, and the longer it lasted, the harder he pushed and the more he slept. The young Cormier had lost his appetite almost completely and had picked at food. The foul tasting herbs didn’t help, and he was convinced they’d made the sleeping problem worse. Rest was another issue, sometimes it would be dreamless and other times, he’d wake up in a cold sweat, with a sore throat and only a vague memory of what it had all been about. Family had been crawling around the house. Storm hadn’t seen them all, but their scents were all over the place, and the winter storm eyed male felt comforted and embarrassed that word had spread. He could only imagine what people thought. Storm, in trouble again, helpless Storm, unable to take care of himself. It was frustrating and humiliating, so when lucidity had started sticking around more than not, Storm had grabbed some stuff and walked out.

The day was gorgeous, but Storm still found it to bright, and despite the heat form the sun, and his thick wolf’s pelt, Storm had felt cold. He spent around a minute just coughing as the fresh air went down his throat, but pig-headed determination had driven him on. His path had taken him away from the lake, he was sure that’s where people would look for him first, and right now he wanted to just brood quietly. Of course, he’d clearly not wagered on his sister’s nose or her own stubbornness. Still, Eliza hadn’t been to see him so far, so he hadn’t expected her to come.

When she appeared in front of him, he raised a hand to shade his eyes and looked up. His fur was dry, unusual to start with, but it was neglected, dusty and generally in a sorry state. It didn’t help of course that he was still shedding. His summer coat revealed how gaunt he’d become, his lack of appetite had stripped what little fat he’d had on him, away. His eyes were still bright from fever, but at least they didn’t look hot enough to fry an egg on anymore. For a moment, as Storm looked at his sister, his eyes were unfocused and there was no recognition, or perhaps there was, but it was as though someone utterly different stood before him. It lasted only a moment though, after a few blinks he seemed to snap back.

I’ve been lying down enough his hands and gestures said as he put down the net and tugged the warming skin higher around his shoulders.

and you can- his hands and body stopped speaking as a little cough ran through him, which grew until his body shook. It was over quickly enough though. Storm raised a water skin to his lips and took a long drink. Finally he continued you can save your worrying, I’ve already had everyone fussing. How do we know it’s not infectious? You should keep away.”

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:13 am

Liz hadn't truly noticed the state of her usually well-conditioned brother until she was standing right in front of him and already chiding him. His skin appeared loose, his bones begging for more meat to cover them, and his eyes were too bright. It was unnerving to see him like this, scary that illness could ravage a healthy young wolf in such a short amount of time. Eliza had to swallow back fear as well as guilt as her hands dropped to her hips, but she still stood defiantly, brown eyes narrowed to slits as she stared up at him.

Perhaps it was unfair to Storm to be stood here demanding that he do anything, particularly when she hadn't visited until now, but Liz wasn't the coddling type and she suspected that Storm didn't want to be wrapped up in cotton wool in any case – there was evidence enough in the fact that he was out here untangling a net rather than resting indoors. Further evidence came when he told her in gesture that he had already been fussed over enough by the others, but not before a fresh round of coughing shook his now thinner body.

Eliza couldn't help herself. Her hands rose to her slender throat, her hands clasping it and her tongue lolling from her mouth as her eyes rolled up in her head. Her hands dropped again, back to her hips. “Fabulous! I could use the rest. I'll trade ya one raging fever for my sunny disposition and unfailingly positive outlook. How can I possibly keep away when you're being so very charming right now?”

Her gaze finally released its hold on his and fell to the net. Gently, the dog reached out – not to take it, but to assist in untangling the thing. “I was worried,” she said again, more sincerely and without bothering to hide the hurt in her voice. “Who'd I trade secret missions with if you weren't here? Gus and Luce are so responsible. And Peony's - ” Her words ceased abruptly and it was her turn to cough. “Anyway, what are you planning for when you get the all clear? 'Cause I'm pretty sure you're planning something. Or is yer mind busy with other things?”

[300+]

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Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:09 pm

OOC: 395 words

Storm wanted to be. He didn’t want to laugh, he just wanted to brood in peace. Eliza grabbing her throat and pretending to die, forced the corners of his mouth to twitch, and he covered it with a fake cough, which became raking, probably to teach him a lesson.

Your sarcasm doesn’t work on me. I may not be charming, but you’re still here aren’t you? What does that say about you?”

And you can keep quiet as well he gestured to the air beside him. Storm’s bright eyes saw the form of his brother sitting there, not the ghostly silver he normally saw, but full flesh and blood.

The tug on the net brought him back, and the image of his brother vanished. For a moment Storm’s gaze was confused, as though he wasn’t sure where he was or what was happening. The sight of Eliza’s hand on the net seemed to bring him back though. His expression fell as memories came back. It took a moment, but the storm eyed male did his best to cover up his lapse, replaying what his big sister had said in his mind.

Are you saying I’m not responsible? I can be responsible he said, the air of mock hurt worthy of a performer. He should have asked about Peony, Storm could see the expression that flashed across his sister’s face when the name came from her lips, but he filed it away for later, it would at least, be useful to change the subject if nothing else. When Eliza asked him what his plans were for after his recovery, Storm realised he didn’t want to discuss them. Besides, while he didn’t want to show it, he was burning to know if Lucille had told the pack what had happened the day she found him.

I suppose the whole pack knows about what happened? his gestures were just that, but somehow, Storm managed to convey the irritation that was held behind them. The part of Storm that wasn’t affected by the fever, realised he’d seen pain on his sister’s expression at the mention of Peony. He touched her hand, but only briefly, he found that everyone’s skins were still cold to the touch and it made him shiver, but he was sad to see her upset, even if was just for a moment.

What happened to Peony?

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Liz thought she might have seen the flicker of a lip which would indicate amusement, but Storm was soon coughing again. She frowned, but managed to interpret his words through the hacking cough, and snorted, nostrils flaring.

“I guess it says I'm a sucker for a grumpy guts. Ain't leaving ya alone though, if that's what you're aiming for. Sorry.” A dazzling smile was restored to the little female's face as she apologised – but she wasn't really sorry. Most of the time she and Storm got along well enough, and she was determined to make sure he was at least on the road to recovery.

He gestured towards thin air and Liz's gaze slid over to the space beside him as she gently began to occupy her hands with untangling the net, mostly so she didn't throw them up in horror. Storm was still hallucinating, then. Eliza gazed at his too-bright eyes as if on the cusp of asking a question, but let the moment pass. She knew if she were the one seeing things she probably wouldn't want all and sundry bringing it up.

“Hey, don't be offended! It means you're the fun sibling.” Liz considered his next question for a long moment; to her knowledge, only those who had been present and the Cormier brood knew about Storm's strange fever-riddled appearance, but Liz hadn't exactly been partaking in gossip as much as she usually would. “Normally it would fall to me to spread the gossip, but I've been busy.” She waved her hand, still gripping the net with the other.

The touch to her hand was too warm and clammy, but Liz smiled again. It was a pained smile – forced. “Guess she up and left, didn't she? Oh well.” That, too, was forced, and Eliza quickly grasped for a new subject.

“I might get a stall at the Outpost. Trade for the pack, y'know? Anything ya want, assuming you survive?”

[300+]

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Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:19 pm

OOC: 378 words

Storm would like to have felt relief at the idea his illness hadn’t spread around the entire pack, but the image of him, and the way Storm had acted, kept swimming around his mind.

Well that’s something I guess. he gestured, but the way he did it, was distracted as though it was the equivalent of his thinking out loud.

For a few moments he said nothing, just sat there and untangled the nets with his sister’s help. As he sat there, his humiliation at his own cowardice dulled a little. Eliza had continued to speak after she’d spoken of Peony, and Storm listened, but his mind wandered as his hands moved almost mechanically. He’d lived with his sister long enough to know when she was upset, even in his intermittently feverish state, he could see how she felt. He wanted to say something, but he had no words that would be of any comfort. So instead he reached forwards and touched her hand again. He didn’t pull back at the terrible cold this time. He wanted Eliza to know that he was there for her. She was bossy, gruff and stubborn, and she still couldn’t hide her soft heart. With a final squeeze he took his hand back, feeling a flush of cold blossom through him at how cold her skin was. He clenched his jaw so his teeth wouldn’t rattle, and he tugged the skin around himself tightly. Coughing started him shaking again, and although it didn’t last long, Storm winced, he’d coughed so much his stomach muscles hurt. He felt drained after that, but Storm smiled at Eliza’s news.

Perhaps some honey? The herbs I am fed taste disgusting. I also have some shells that might be worth something in the outpost if you would like them>

His hands paused, and for a moment he looked like he was going to continue. Eliza thought he was fun to be with, which did bring a smile to his lips, but would she like him as much if she knew how he’d reacted? After all this time, and such a wonderful family. How could his past still make him freeze up? The young Cormier had never thought of himself as a coward, it seemed he was wrong.

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:07 am

Liz's eyes were mostly on her hands and the net, now fiddling with it rather than untangling it, but she managed to sneak some furtive glances at Storm's face and hands as he gestured. She could tell that he was putting every effort into being present for their conversation, and she was oddly grateful for that despite worrying that she should be pushing him to rest more – but the recovering wolf still seemed to be partly somewhere else. If Eliza knew Storm at all she knew that he was probably fretting needlessly over the pack's reactions to his illness. She wanted to tell him that he was being an idiot, that his family would accept him no matter what, but even with all the sarcasm and bluntness in her arsenal she couldn't find an acceptable way to do it.

So the two continued to work on the net in silence for a little while. Eliza found this sort of work comforting; she was able to channel her more pessimistic thoughts about her vanished friend into tugs of her fingers against the corded material – perhaps too sharp for her to seem truly serene about things, though.

It was as if Storm read her mind. His hand reached for hers again and this time didn't withdraw instantly. There must have been some cost to that action for her brother, but Liz felt comforted all the same. She offered a light squeeze to the larger hand, glancing again at his face. Words teetered on the tip of her tongue but they didn't fall into the space between them – she could grill him about things later. Right now, her purpose here was to make sure he knew that she cared.

Another shuddering cough ran through the younger canine. Liz wondered if the energy which had brought Storm out here was waning, but she suspected he would ignore any plea for him to rest until this task was completed. Her fingers worked a little quicker to disentangle the net and she nodded enthusiastically.

“Honey it is.” Her face scrunched at the thought of the foul-tasting herbs. "All the more reason for ya to get better sharpish." The female smiled softly at her brother's offer, making sure she caught his gaze to wordlessly impart her gratitude for his offer. "This is nearly done.” Her muzzle jerked towards the net and one eyebrow lifted pointedly. “Ya gonna go back inside and rest after or do I have to drag ya?”

[400+]

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Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:29 pm

OOC: 715 words

At Liza’s attempt at a subtle prod, the winter storm eyed male looked at her with mock exasperation, flicking the net and making it ripple.

Eliza, I came here to be alone and work. I don’t need you to nag, I’ve got Lucille for that. I also have Pepper. Even the name of the healer made Storm wince. Pepper was a formidable character, and certainly was going to cure you if it killed you..

It didn’t take all that much longer to sort out the net, especially with his big sister helping him, and it was only as they finished did he realise how incredibly drained he felt. He wasn’t sure where his energy was going, it was like water going through a sieve. He did his best to stifle a yawn, but it clearly would not be stifled. His jaw popped it was so large. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes waiting for Eliza to say something, but perhaps going home would be a good idea.

As he got to his feet his entire body protested, aches and pains shooting through his entire body and he couldn’t help but shiver with the cold, despite the warmth of the summer’s day. Still, he didn’t want to look like some helpless wimp in front of his sister, so he gritted his teeth and tensed enough to make the shiver stop, he leant down and picked up the net, and as he stood his head swam.

He started towards home, his mouth open in a gentle pant already, but he didn’t get far before turning back around and looking at the figure standing there

Will? Are you coming back home or not? Are you going to help with this net?” His brother’s form looked a little out of focus, but a couple of blinks brought it back into focus. Tall, lean and oh so familiar, the best and only friend in his life. Will came forward wordlessly and took hold part of the net, easing Storm’s burden and making simpler for him to use his body and hands to speak.

I’m tired, my legs feel like lead, but I don’t want anyone to baby me I… his hands and body stopped, as though he didn’t know how to make the right gestures. Will…I…I saw him…I saw dad. he shot a furtive look at his brother, but his littermate remained silent, just listening. Something nagged at Storm about Will, but it was slippery, hard to pin down, and the effort was too much, so he ignored it and continued talking.

I mean, it wasn’t dad, it was Lucille, just a dream because of being sick….but it was so real. As his gestures continued they became a little frantic, and there was no doubting the fear that crept into Storm’s posture as he spoke of his father.

Despite everything Will, when I thought it was him…I couldn’t move, my legs were like jelly. I ran. the last part of the gesture was muddy and not as crisp as the rest, as though shame had made his fingers sloppy.

After all the Cormier family have done, after everything we’ve been through, he still freezes my blood and has a hand wrapped around my heart. As his body moved and hands gestured, glistening tears streaked slowly down his face. I hate being a coward, I was I was strong like Gus. I don’t want to be scared of him anymore.

The final gesture turned into a hand moving to his mouth to stop the coughing which once again wracked him. For a moment Storm wasn’t able to catch his breath and he thrust out a hand to a nearby tree. Falling to his knees with a thump, he finally gasped in a breath and looked around, confused. He looked down at the untangled net and then back up at the person holding the other part of it. Confusion evaporated as he realised what was happening. He clambered slowly to his feet. He smiled reassuringly, hoping the little stumble wouldn’t send Eliza into nagging mode.

I must have been a little more sleepy than I thought, think I must have drifted off on my sleep. Not far to go.

He bent down and picked up his part of the net.

Ready?

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:58 pm

The way Storm treated Pepper's name made it difficult for Eliza to continue ordering him around – she smirked but stayed silent, now beginning to gather the net up, taking every care over the simple task. It wouldn't do to have got the thing untangled only to create more knots in it as she picked it up.

Triumph glittered in the doggish sibling's eyes when Storm yawned, but only for a moment or two before she cast her eyes down to the rough material which was doing its best to wrap around her fingers. Sometimes nets seemed to have minds of their own, as slippery and difficult to pin down as the fish they caught in them. At times, Eliza wished she could be silver-scaled and slippery, too; it would certainly be easier to avoid questions that way. She had already said too much about Peony – until Storm she had confided in nobody that the golden-furred female had even disappeared.

As her younger brother rose Liz caught the start of a shiver rippling through the gaunt figure; it encouraged her to straighten quickly, gripping her portion of the net in both hands as she set her sights on the house. Just a few yards and she would be free to dwell on those things which she loathed saying aloud.

Storm turned back towards her after a few steps and Eliza frowned, readying herself to be scolded for her bossiness again. The scolding never came. Instead, the wintry-eyed wolf used a name his sister had never seen him use before – Will. She planted her feet, somehow feeling as if she was tethered to the ground. What was Storm going on about? Liz knew that fevers created illusions for the sufferer, but Storm's increasingly frantic gesturing seemed too real, too deeply felt, to be pulled out of thin air. He wasn't imagining this conversation – he was living it.

Liz's mouth dropped open but for once she had been struck dumb. The gestures coming from the younger Luperci were the same as those he had always used, yet they made no sense. Of course Storm had had a family before Gus and Lucille had welcomed him as a Cormier – and of course the loss of any family was painful - but Eliza had never expected to be confronted with them. At least, not yet.

The female took a half step towards him when she noticed the sheen of tears trailing down his cheeks, and for a moment the net swung loose between the two, half forgotten. Storm regained his senses, then, nearly making Eliza jump out of her skin. Her mouth closed again and she nodded, gripping the net more tightly simply because she didn't know what else to do. She wasn't meant to have knowledge like this.

She would try to forget it.

“Ready,” the flop-eared dog confirmed, pushing a smile back onto her face and removing her eyes from the now-present face. “C'mon then, grumpy guts. Put this down, then inside with ya.”

[500+]

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Don't Stop Me Now

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