Better lock it in your pocket

Gus

POSTED: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:23 pm

OOC: Eeeee.

IC:
The sun was sinking, spreading bloody fingers across the sky as Eliza finished up her chores for the day. She was trying to make them last longer, but to no avail. At some point she had to go home and face the darkness and confusion which had been haunting her nightly. It had been going on since Peony had vanished, but the disturbing information which Storm had unknowingly shared with her only seemed to be prolonging her sense of loneliness and edginess. Eliza had thought she'd enjoyed keeping secrets, seeing it as some sort of challenge to her mouthy personality, until this one had been thrust upon her.

Even as she rose and started to take weary steps towards her elder brother's home, the dog was torn. She knew Storm wouldn't want her sharing what she had seen and heard with anyone, but she couldn't shake the memory of the fear in his eyes, or the frantic gestures where usually they were steady.

But Liz could ask questions – even if she felt like a traitor doing it. She was afraid to be curious about what seemed to be a dark past, but curious all the same. She told herself she could understand her adopted brother better if she knew what he had endured before the Cormiers had found him. Perhaps she could finally explain away the strange discomfort which had always seemed to exist between them; the not-quite-acceptance of each other as brother and sister.

Liz padded through tufts of grass until she felt them give way to stretches of sand – a sure sign that she was nearing the Krokaran leaders' home. Her eyes were on the sky, trying to draw inspiration from the flares of bloody orange. As casual as she knew she could force herself to be in order to find answers, she had a feeling this conversation would weigh on her. It might solve nothing at all; she might still be left confused, but at least she would have tried to gain some insight. Neither brother could fault her for that, could they?

For once, instead of bursting in, Eliza knocked quietly, clearing her throat before calling for Gus. “It's me,” she murmured to the doorway, pressing her forehead to the back of her hand briefly before conjuring a thin smile. “Need to ask ya somethin'.”

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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:22 pm

OOC: WC: 395

The brindle Captain felt pretty helpless when it came to the matters of caring for his younger adoptive brother. Some dark spectre or maybe it was the will of the Goddess that had seemed to infect Storm’s mind as of late and there wasn’t much else Gus could do other than offer his company when the wolf was more in the right frame of mind. Just the other day he’d entered his brother’s dark and dingy cabin, only to have some inanimate object thrown directly at his head and hateful gestures casted his way. It seemed Storm had reverted back to a time and place when Gus had “recently” found him along the storm battered coast and took him in as his own charge. Storm had hated him in those days for reasons unbeknownst then to the wiry haired dog, but Gus strangely possessed an endless pool of patience for the stubborn creature.

He called upon those same roots of tolerance when Storm greeted him in such a nasty way, having to actually put the younger wolf in a headlock so he’d not hurt himself or the Captain any further. When he’d finally come to, it was if the episode hadn’t even happened and Storm was rather put off by the physical restraint Gus had managed to fold and manhandle him into, but seeing there was no need to explain, the brindle mutt had brushed it off and simply called it horseplay, as he felt there was no reason to cause Storm any further distress.

Gus avoided the cabin for a couple of days, not wanting to inflict anymore unnecessary force on his younger brother, but he asked about his condition often, querying the ears that also made a point of checking in on the Greenhorn on a daily basis. He was working up a bit of nerve to finally walk on over to Storm’s place when a knock came at the door. The voice belonging to the wrapped knuckles however, surprised him.

Liz? His brow quirked as his freckled sister rarely announced herself, she was more of the barging in type of breed. Hey, he greeted, a question still creating the furrow between his eyes as he let the girl in. Ask away sis, what’s this’about?

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POSTED: Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:48 pm

Eliza didn't have to wait long before she heard Gus' gruff voice. Her smile was fixed as the door opened and a perplexed-looking older brother greeted her. Liz would normally have guffawed at the confusion clouding Gus' eyes, but now all she did was smirk. And swallow.

She didn't know how to start – should she recount her visit to Storm, either partially or in full? Should she let Gus see how worried she was, how worn out? Liz decided against the latter for now – she didn't want Gus to know just how much the memory of Storm's fear had shaken her. She was meant to be the peace keeper; she liked to think of herself as the linchpin of the family (although she suspected that Gus, Fin and Ty all did, as well). And she probably shouldn't have been so easily disturbed.

She cleared her throat again and wrapped her arms around herself, then let them fall to her sides. Liz knew she had to speak, and with haste, lest Gus work out just how troubled she was. So she blurted:

“Paid Storm a visit the other day. He's gettin' better, I think.”

Liz's gaze swept across the darkening room before she sought her brother's eyes, half lost in a mess of light and darker greys, just as her own eyes were half buried beneath a fiery beard. “Tried gettin' him to rest – fat lot of good that did.” One hand reached for the Greenhorn's ponytail, and she snaked a coarse, gingery strand around her finger. Now would be the time to spill her guts, but she held back, afraid of hurting Storm; afraid of being afraid.

“Gus, who's Will?” Liz almost clapped a hand to her mouth but instead it clenched into a fist a few inches from her muzzle and she let it fall back to her side. A frown deep as a trench sat between her eyes. “He called me Will. He wasn' there – he wasn' here, he was somewhere else. Some time else.” She tilted her head down, waves of fire falling over her eyes. Liz wanted to understand – but chances were she would want to fix things for Storm, too, and that might be impossible. Eliza and impossibilities had never gotten along.

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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:58 pm

OOC: WC: 475

A smirk rarely accompanied something good on a Cormier member’s face, and witnessing the visible strength it took for his sister to swallow down an invisible knot only piqued the Captain’s interest further, pushing it into the reserves used for anxiety and worry. Something definitely wasn’t right, but instead of outright grabbing her arms and shaking the truth out of her, the brindle mutt released a low sigh and stepped back to allow her entry. Well...come on in then, he murmured, indicating one of the seats Gavin had carved them up before taking his own on the opposite side of the table Faolan had gifted he and his mate with.

Stalling. This for sure wasn’t good, especially when it came to Liz, but he kept his eyes occupied on the knots and whorls throughout the surface of the table, knowing she’d speak up when her voice and mind were good and ready. She was stealing herself, fortifying for whatever delivery she was about to give, and the moment she breathed in before the words left her lips was when Gus glanced back.

Okay, he hadn’t expected that, and from reading her face, Gus knew that really wasn’t what she wanted to say. Ah yeah? Good of ya to check in on ’im, the Captain automatically replied. Yeah, he’s a stubborn git that one, a forced laugh here, but Gus was patient, she’d come around in time. Then it happened, the loaded question, and the Cormier male continued to do a lot of blinking while listening to her revelation.

He’d argue that it wasn’t his story to tell, but Eliza had come to him for a good reason. Storm obviously didn’t remember this occurrence, no less than he could recall attacking Gus a few days ago. They were keeping these secrets to themselves for Storm’s own good, or so they’d continue to convince themselves of this...and maybe it was better that way.

Liz... his eyes implored her not to push, but maybe Eliza deserved to know, keeping hush would only create more curiosity after all. The Captain let out an exasperated sigh this time as a hand raked through his hair, but gone was the silent plea from his gaze, he’d tell her. S’okay, he comforted her first, letting her know that he wasn’t angry that she’d come to him. Storm had a life an’ fam’ly ‘afore us, he continued, Will--well, I’ve come’ta learn that he was Storm's flesh ’n blood brother. When I found Storm...he was grippin’ to ‘im--Will, all mad-like...thing is, the poor soul was already dead ‘n gone. Gus had only told this story to Lucille, but now Liz was privy to the truth.

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POSTED: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:26 pm

Eliza didn't usually beat around the bush, especially when talking to a family member. Gus knew Liz too well to believe that she had simply come round to make small talk, or even to check up on how Storm had been doing – but he gave her enough time to build the courage to ask her question. And then it came tumbling out and she grimaced, wondering if she should reword it or snatch it back from the still air within the room.

It was too late for that.

Liz thought Gus might argue, might tell her that it was Storm's question to answer, or worse, that it was none of her business. She supposed it wasn't, and she hated that her acceptance of Storm as a Cormier had somehow evolved into curiosity about his past. Things would be easier if she didn't care to know – but Eliza had always cared with her whole heart, had always had to know every detail of everything. It was a double edged sword, and usually one she wore proudly.

Gus spoke her name and, for once, Liz looked ashamed of herself, but she knew as well as he did that the questions rolling around her mind wouldn't be silenced even if her big brother stayed silent. Storm, though he didn't know it, had brought Eliza to a point of no return.

She appreciated Gus' assurance that it was okay, but she knew that Storm wouldn't see it that way. Lips pursed, she remained rooted to the spot as she listened to the tale. Will had been Storm's brother, his true brother – on some level she'd known that – but the rest was as disturbing as the look that had been on the wolf's face when he'd been talking to Will.

After Gus revealed what he had seen the night he'd found Storm, there was a silence which Liz didn't want to break. She might have been able to cope with this revelation had she not seen Storm's fear come out as he'd addressed his brother – his dead brother. He had loved Will enough to cling to his corpse, yet Eliza felt none of her usual jealousy. She only wished this was all she knew.

The smaller of the two dogs let out a long sigh, frowning deeply. “Does he not trust us? Or is this some stupid boy pride thing?” she wondered aloud before shaking her head, smiling sadly. As much as she doted on every one of her male relatives, the lone female of the litter would never quite understand them. It seemed irrelevant that they likely understood her just as little.

“What about.. d'you know anythin' else about his life before?” This was the question which had really burned at Eliza over the last week or so - because if her suspicions were right, then Storm had had a very real reason to fear his father. And if his father was still out there, then that reason could become real to each and every one of them.

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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:22 pm

OOC: WC: 360

Gus thought he might feel a little guilty explaining things to Eliza, but the words had come easily, although slowly to fall from his bearded lips. He allowed her a moment to absorb the truth of Storm’s actual kin, giving her the time she needed to process this information and to try and picture why those first few days turned to weeks with the mute wolf had been so hard and gosh darn confusing.

Storm had hated Gus, thinking he was the reason why his brother was dead, why Will was missing when he finally came to. And there was no explaining the fact that the brindled mutt had needed to pry their hands apart or Storm would’ve surely drowned himself. It hadn’t been a glorious and majestic rescue, it had been nitty, gritty, and all kinds of terrible as the waves crashed against the coast. Nothing about that day had been pretty, as the shoreline was dotted with all the wreckage; flesh and fur strewn amongst the bracken and wood.

Her response wasn’t one he’d been expecting, Gus glanced across the table at his sister, a quizzical expression filling his face. Nothin’ ta do with pride, the Captain assured her, having his own closet of demons he occasionally wrestled with, but he understood where the outburst had come from. Eliza couldn’t help but feel hurt that Storm hadn’t shared more with her, that they all didn’t know more about the boy who’d come into their lives.

Nah, jus that a fight had broken out on the boat they were werkin’ on, that be the reason he washed up to us an’ all, he continued, a more thoughtful expression taking over his features this time. What is it Liz? He say somethin’? The mutt asked in exchange, ever curious of Storm’s life before them, but patient enough not to ask. The only other thin’ I know is that Will sometimes appears to ‘im, like a ghost or maybe guidin’ angel, he shrugged slightly, unsure how to proceed until his sister revealed more.

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POSTED: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:31 am

Eliza dreaded to imagine what it would be like if she lost any of her brothers. More than her friends and childhood playmates, they were her protectors. From what Storm had unwittingly imparted to her that day when the fever had still rolled in waves over him, she wondered if Will had been his protector, too – but she had an inkling as to what, or who, Storm had needed protection from, and it filled her with nausea. The greatest losses Eliza had faced thus far in life were her parents. They had been generous with their love, and Liz wished Storm could have met them. Just so he could see that what he'd gone through wasn't the usual way of the world. But would that just punctuate his pain?

The liver-coated dog shook her head, eyes shadowed by a deep furrow in her brow as she stared at the table. Without realising it, she had put out a hand to rest against the grain, and although she weighed nothing compared to Gus she was worried that the wood might creak and betray how heavily she was leaning on it.

Nothing to do with pride, Gus said, as he looked her in the eye, and Eliza nodded slowly, but the set of her lips said that she was still uncertain about that. The Cormiers – Gus more than the rest of them – had shared everything with Storm. Eliza had tried her best to be part of that, but there was a dull ache in knowing that Storm, for reasons known only to himself, had never shared much of himself with her. She was jealous – had always been jealous – of his closeness to Gus, and that bitter sensation in the back of her throat somehow emerged despite knowing that what they had shared the night Storm had been found had been horrible, and tragic, and bloody.

So a fight had broken out. Liz nodded again. She had never been a fighter, no more than rough play with her siblings, but she couldn't see Storm in the midst of a brawl either. Perhaps it was his muteness which made her think he was a troubled yet gentle soul. Evidently more troubled than even Gus knew. Haunted, not just by the memory of his brother.

Liz's fingers drummed against the tabletop, beating out an erratic rhythm which matched the beats of her heart. This was her opportunity to tell Gus about Storm's father, even though she knew very little – but she remained tight lipped and shook her head briskly. "He'd hate me." Something within the petite dog was preventing her from divulging this secret to anyone, even the brother she trusted to the ends of the earth. She hoped and suspected that Gus wouldn't push, in spite of the fact that she had nudged him for answers about Storm's past.

“Think I should talk t'him? Or would that just make it worse?” Her lower lip jutted out, her eyes scrunching shut for a moment in a childish display of distaste. Eliza truly despised this uncertainty which Storm seemed to have planted in her.

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Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:34 pm

OOC: WC: 424

Nah, Gus started, already waving the very notion off. Storm could ne’re hate you Liz, he finished assuredly, his bearded head bobbing for a second before his eyes could continue searching her face. For Eliza Cormier to button up her lips and not spill the beans on something--a rarity indeed-- meant that whatever she was holding back at the moment, was probably far more serious than Gus had even imagined. His brow was creased in the middle, eyes willing for her to go on, but taking in all her nervous mannerisms, the Captain decided to drop it. With a sigh, his own coffee eyes returned to the worn table top, a frown forming at the corner of his mouth, but the words never made it to his tongue. She was staying quiet for a good reason if she truly felt Storm would get so worked up to hate her.

Another sigh was what it took for the Captain to let it go, though he could’ve sworn on his one and a half ears that he could almost hear the pounding organ inside his sister’s chest. Something...maybe even someone had put the ghost of fear into her, and he didn’t like it one bit, but for now he’d have to wait and bide his time for when Eliza was more comfortable in telling the whole truth.

She picked up their thread of conversation before the air could get awkward, asking Gus what the next right move would be, and if there even was one at this point. The mutt turned the question over a few times in his head, trying to play out a few different possibilities even though he wasn’t really sure what his sister would be asking their adopted sibling. Lissen, he began, feeling that there was only one good answer here.

Storm loves us, we’re all he’s got now, an’ if you can’t talk ta fam’ly, then ya can’t talk to no one, he concluded. Do it Liz. You’ll feel better if’n ya do. Maybe even get some’o those answers huh? Gus chuckled softly then, reaching across the table to squeeze one of her idle hands. An’ if he gives ya shit, his eyes had trained back onto Eliza’s freckled face, --then ya send im my way an’ Ah’ll straighten im out real quick like, he winked at her, giving her one more assuring clench.

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POSTED: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:01 am

Eliza was no stranger to exaggeration but in this instance she truly did feel that the wolf who had become her brother would hate her for what she knew. It wasn't right that she was unable to tell Gus, particularly if Krokar would be under threat from the fearsome figure Storm had spoken of – but it wasn't fair that she had any inkling in the first place.

Before the air could get even heavier, Gus prompted his sister to listen, and she raised weary brown eyes to the grizzled dog's face. Liz had no idea what to do in this situation, so as much as she was fond of talking everyone's ears off (and she was sure jokes had been made in the past about Gus' missing ear and her motor mouth) she was more than prepared to listen to any advice the Captain was willing to impart.

Her fingers stopped beating out a tattoo on the tabletop as Gus spoke. Storm loved them – her brother truly believed that, and in her big but somewhat guarded heart, so did Eliza – and nothing seemed worse to the sole Cormier female than the prospect of keeping all this bottled up. Even so, she knew there were things Storm kept to himself, and they weren't trivial things. Sometimes love and trust were separate entities.

Liz managed to work up a chuckle at Gus' final statement, but it made her realise that she was more frightened of hurting Storm than of him blowing up in her face. Her nose wrinkled briefly at the thought, but she nodded. Then, as if they had been talking about something of far less importance than Storm's veiled past, she tapped her brother on the arm and rose. “Cheers, brother. I'll give it a shot – if ya hear kickin' 'n' screamin' then he ain't taken it well.” Eliza grimaced, then grinned, then turned to leave.

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