hangover's got nothing on this

Teagan

POSTED: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:47 am

The bed was cold when he had it all to himself. There was no Remus or Myra to snuggle close to keep him warm. Though somebody - probably one of his parents - had piled blankets atop him to attempt to combat his fever, he still shivered as he squinted into the sharp rays of sunlight that landed directly in his face. The world was a blur shimmer with the brilliance of the sun scarred over his vision for many minutes. He didn't bother to blink it away. There was no need.

Desolate and despondent, the boy lay wallowing in his self pity. What of? Even he didn't know. He had the briefest memories of Remus carrying him home as fast as he could. He looked so worried. What happened to me? Morty had come in earlier in the morning to give him the run down on his injuries. Based on what she could see and what he complained of, he'd gotten blunt trauma to his head, ribs, pelvis, and legs. Half of his face was swollen, with cuts along his cheek and lip from being beaten. His torso cried out against his every breath from bruising along his ribs. His head felt swollen with his sinus's and the killer headache that threatened to split the skull wide open. Whoever his attacker had been had been thorough in giving the boy as much grief as possible by throwing him in the river.

But none of the pain from the waist up could compare to that from his waist down. No one could say for sure what had happened, only that nothing was broken. A dislocated tail. Maybe the bones were bruised, maybe they weren't but dammit Arlen could feel a fire that burned every time he moved his hips. Any time a leg twitched or his shoulders moved and shifted the alignment of his pelvis, tears pricked at his eyes.

And Arlen remembered none of it. Perhaps it was a blessing, but to the boy it was his greatest regret. He couldn't even point out who had done it. It could have been a stranger or his own father, he wouldn't know the difference. Gritting his jaws against what he knew would come of it, the Stryder gripped the blankets tight in his hand and pulled them up over his head, body screaming at him to stop moving. But he didn't want to see. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.

Set at home, the day after he's found. | [409]
The most impure are not blemished.

--image: Pexel | table code: Elias--

Last edited by Arlen Stryder on Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Casa di Cavalieri
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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:37 pm

Teagan Stryder
Optime | Fort Kingsbury (family home) [ 660 ]

Lemme know if the assumptions of her knowing this or that is okay or not!

When she had first heard of the news, she had been consumed by anger; much like she had been when she’d fought those Loners in defense of Indi almost a year prior. No one touched her family and got away with it. She’d scoured up and down the river from which he’d been found near. The Stryder may have been a knight, but her soul cried for justice, and it wanted it in the blood of whoever had done…had done that to her little brother.

She’d found nothing promising, and, with anger still controlling her thoughts, Teagan had called it a day. The perpetrator would be found, but only if things were done correctly. Her tearing up the forest for clues wasn’t it either. She needed to be calm and methodical, not aggressive and rash. So, when the sun had come up the next morning, Teagan had decided to start from the source: Arlen.

He’d been whisked away quite quickly after he’d been discovered. And she’d only found out of his injuries hours later after returning from a patrol, and, even then, she’d only caught a glimpse of the damage. Now that the initial fuss and crowd had left the family home, she had decided to see how he was doing. As much as she might have put forth the idea that she saw her younger siblings as more of an annoyance than something worthy of affection, she did care about them…just in her own, unorthodox way.

Arriving at the family home, Teagan was pleased to find it vacant of any visitors. As hypocritical as the thought might have been, he needed the rest, and having a constant stream of Cavaliers bothering him would only hinder the healing process. And at a time when the pack was currently under attack, Arlen needed to recover as quickly as possible so as to not be defenseless if trouble arrived.

The front door creaked as she eased it open. She didn’t feel the need to announce herself with a knock. This had been her home too at one point in time. By that right, she felt she needn’t act like a stranger when returning to it. Her canary eyes swept over the general living area with a bit of scrutiny, searching for anything that might have been out of place. The door was closed with a soft click behind her when she was satisfied, ensuring the home’s occupants a sense of privacy.

Her feet were light as she made her way around the couch, her eyes locked onto the partially closed door that had once been her and Indi’s room. It was her siblings’ now, and her return to it today would mark the second time she’d paid a visit to one of them when they were not in full health. She pushed open the door the rest of the way, gaze searching for her red-haired brother.

Canary eyes fell upon a lump curled up in the middle of one of the beds. The blankets and sheets were crumpled and pulled tightly around the figure that hid beneath them. “Arlen?” She asked softly, a noticeable difference from the usual hard-edged tone she took with everyone. The sight reminded her of when her siblings were still puppies. While it might have been…cute back then, at almost a year old and given the circumstances, it did nothing but tug at her hardened heart now.

She turned, pushing the bedroom door closed, before making her way over to the bed. The mattress shifted as she slowly put her weight down upon it. “What are you doing under there?” Did he need help? Should she go find one of the medics? Her hand reached out, gently pulling at the hem of one of the blankets that looked promising in undoing the protective ball he had created around himself.

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Teagan Stryder

Casa di Cavalieri
War Lord
User avatar
Songbird
The Brotherhood: Master of Bladed Weapons
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:37 am

His eyes were screwed tightly shut beneath his shield of blankets. Despite never having hesitated at it before, the red Stryder refused to cry over this. He would cry at death. He would cry at hurtful words. Hell, he would even cry at the sight of something that was just too cute to not to. But today? He wouldn't give the Syndicate the satisfaction. They may have confined an able-bodied Cavalier to a bed, but they couldn't break one.

Despite himself and his dedication, Arlen couldn't stop the knot forming in his throat or the loosening sensation in his sinus. With a loud sniff, he sucked any leaking mucus back into his nose as best as he could before resuming his wonderful impression of an armadillo.

There was no sound of her approach. The door to their room didn't creak nor did the floor give her away. It was only when a voice sounded, almost unfamiliar due to to the difference in tone, that his eyes snapped open. He held his breath, praying for her to go away. He loved Teagan dearly, but he didn't want to see her today. He didn't want to see pity in her hard yellow eyes.

The blanket slipped from his fingers, dragging across his face and let the light glare down into his face. He winced at it, but didn't raise a hand to shield himself. "Sleeping," he lied in a half-hearted murmur. Briefly, he glared up into Teagan's face before turning his head into the pillow again. "Just let me sleep, Tea."

His pleas didn't work. He didn't expect them to. Arlen would have sighed if it didn't hurt so much to even breathe. Instead, he opened a single eye up at her. It was softer than before, but still uncharacteristically displeased. "What do you want Teagan?" It didn't sound like a question when he asked it with his hoarse nearly-crying voice. What happened to the always grinning little boy who stubbornly clung to happiness?

OOC | [349]
The most impure are not blemished.

--image: Pexel | table code: Elias--


Casa di Cavalieri
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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:51 pm

Teagan Stryder
[ 640 ]

He didn’t move immediately, in fact, he hardly moved at all until she pried away the soft shell that he had built around himself. A pair of seafoam green eyes narrowed at her as if adjusting to the light for the first time, and, she might have believed his lie…were it not for the relative alertness to his gaze and the hint of something being off in his voice. She had had plenty of practice with their koi-colored sister wallowing in her own self-pity. Teagan’s canary gaze narrowed as he glared up at her.

Arlen turned away from her as he repeated himself, and the older Stryder visibly frowned at the action. “I would if you’d actually been sleeping,” she groused, wanting nothing more than to forcibly rip the covers off of the moping boy. She might have been more willing to respect his plea to be left alone had he simply shown signs of wanting to recuperate from his ordeal. The way he acted now though, he reminded her of Indi after her attack in which their mother had had to save her, and again when they’d gotten home after Teagan had nearly died. Depressed, distraught, self-loathing, feeling inadequate or not good enough.

The fire in her heart flickered and burned, threatening to grow larger unless she contained it. She didn’t like it when her siblings weren’t themselves. As much as their antics might have irritated her, seeing them at their weakest point…it made something in her want to attack it, to chase it away and make sure it never came back, to destroy whatever had put them in such a state. However, as much as her blood would have proudly declared to fight the world if it meant keeping her annoying siblings safe and unbroken, Teagan knew such actions would only make their skin, their cornerstone, their resolve, weaker.

As she inwardly fought how to proceed with the situation, a lone eye finally looked back at her. The question he asked her sounded as if it should have been an frustrated demand, however, with his near-broken-sounding voice, it failed to do anything but further confirm Teagan’s initial judgement that the Arlen that was looking up at her now was not…well, Arlen.

For a moment, she didn’t speak, her gaze hardened as she stared down at him with her usual scowl. “You’re acting like Indi, you know,” she accused with a slightly raised lip, as if annoyed by the fact. Her eyes left him then as she shifted her position so that she could lay down sideways across the bed. Her arms came up to act as a pillow for her head as she stared up at the ceiling.

“She got super moody when she got attacked near our borders. Some Loners had found her while she was out on patrol or something…but, anyway, they’d about kidnapped her before Mom found them.” She let out a sharp exhale, perhaps amused by the memory. “I’m sure you can guess how it ended up for those idiots.”

Canary eyes shifted towards the bundled-up Arlen. “I found her crying ass hiding in a bush the day after,” she told him flatly, “Out of the two of you, I’d say you picked the better location.” Though, not like he had many options considering the his physical state when he’d been found.

Teagan let out a heavy sigh as her gaze flicked back to the ceiling. There was a long pause before she spoke again. “So, what happened to you?”

And, please, do tell me who it was while you’re at it so I can beat their punk ass back into the rotten seed that they’d been created from.

Template: Hilli / Andi || Image: meihua-stock
Teagan Stryder

Casa di Cavalieri
War Lord
User avatar
Songbird
The Brotherhood: Master of Bladed Weapons
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:35 am

Rather than move aside as a normal person would have done, Arlen was too sore to be bothered with motion as his older sister lay beside him. Her body rested against his rather gently, though whether this was a product of intention or chance, the Stryder boy wasn't certain. Rather than let her elbow settle itself in his eye socket, he did however make one adjustment to their position. As she moved her arms to act as a makeshift pillow, he lifted his head and settled it down a few inches from where it had been. His cheekbone rested against her collarbone at first, but a few wiggles later and his head was nestled comfortably across her chest.

"You say that like it's a bad thing, Tea." For all of Arlen's perceptiveness, there was always one thing he seemed to miss: he and Indi were far more similar than even they knew. They hid their pain behind laughter and smiles until it became too much. That was when they shut out others from their lives in an attempt to pick up the broken pieces. But neither of them could do it alone.

The normally chatted boy grew silent and somber at Teagan's explanation. He'd heard whispers and rumors of his sisters' travels and childhoods, but he was too young to remember and too naive to ask. It couldn't have been too horrible if they'd come back in one piece, right? Oh, how he was wrong.

"Hmph," it was a snort of air rather than a laugh, but it was a far better response than anything else he'd given lately. "And I wouldn't even be here if I could help it." He understood the urge to hide under a bush or in a tree. Away from those prying, pitying eyes of loved ones. They meant well, sure, but more often than not they did more harm than good.

Her heavy sigh lifted his head before dropping back down slowly with the force of her lungs. It wasn't an unpleasant sensation, but the motion of it sent twinges down his sore back. When she resumed normal breathing, he closed his eyes and let the silence overtake him. He could almost fall asleep like this with his head comfortably resting across his sister's chest. His arms curled up between his chest and her ribs.

Then she asked the dreaded question.

He didn't speak immediately. He couldn't. The knot forming in his throat choked out the thought of any words he could give. A soft whine escaped the nearly grown Stryder. As he had done earlier, he turned his head in, though this time into Teagan rather than a pillow. He didn't want her to see the tears that fell hot from his face and forgot for an instant that she was sure to feel them seep through her fur. "I don't remember. I don't remember anything."

OOC | [489]
The most impure are not blemished.

--image: Pexel | table code: Elias--


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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:04 pm

Teagan Stryder
[ 804 ]

Had it been any other time, Teagan might have shoved her little brother away from her when he shifted so that their bodies touched. Unlike Indi, the Stryder sister was not a touchy-feely, huggy, physical-comfort sort of Luperci. In fact, she usually avoided such instances if she could. Usually, they made her feel awkward, particularly, since her personality usually ranged on the colder side. He was hurt though, and Teagan doubted violently ejecting him from his own bed would aid the healing process any.

“It is.” She grumbled to his comment, though, her lack of bite behind the statement showed she wasn’t too irritated by the observation. His likeness to her littermate was the only reason he got away with as much as he did. It was uncanny how the Candid had been able to worm his way through her defenses without her realizing…just like Indi. It was bad enough that the koi-colored sister could do it, so, the thought of there being two? It was, indeed, a bad thing if Arlen was anything like Indi.

She let him continue to lay on her without fuss. He didn’t move, twitch, or shift once he got comfortable, and it became easier to pretend she hadn’t noticed that he was cuddled up into her. It was easier than acknowledging how un-Teagan she was acting with allowing such contact.

A snort of her own showed her amusement in her brother’s disclaimer. “Oh? And where, pray tell, would you be?” She looked down at him with a mocking look. “Because I don’t think your fat ass would fit under the couch anymore.” It was a jab meant to help lighten the mood with something comical from their past; a technique that sometimes helped with Indi. Puppies often found the strangest of hiding places.

When she asked about his attack, Arlen was still, and, for a while, Teagan thought he might not answer her at all. Her thoughts had begun to form a new avenue of approach, some way to get him to talk about— She felt his whine in her chest before she heard it, and the vulnerable sound drove some innate instinct—she would murder anyone that might have called it “motherly”—in her mad with sudden worry. Teagan stiffened, her eyes and ears focused solely on her brother as he buried his head into her.

She felt it then, something wet and warm against her fur where Arlen’s head was. She recognized the feeling almost immediately thanks to the times she’d had to comfort Indi. He was crying.

The confession that spilled out from him caused Teagan to scowl, both angered and saddened by the fact. She was silent at first, not wanting to say anything that might hurt him or given him fodder to beat himself up with later. Indi had a tendency to dwell on things, particularly, things that were self-detrimental. Arlen was likely the same…

Slowly, ever so slowly, Teagan shifted one of her arms to fully support her head. The other moved down to where she assumed Arlen’s shoulder would be under the blanket. For a moment, it did nothing but hover, as if some part of her were fighting to not let this “soft” side of her take over. Eventually though, her hand gently came down; ghosting over the fabric of the blanket at first as if to slowly introduce him to her touch. From his shoulder down the length of his side, her hand moved in a comforting cycle. However, it was ready to be pulled back at a moment’s notice should he reject it.

After her fight of life-or-death, Teagan hadn’t wanted to be touched at all. Sudden, unwanted contact had made her edgy, jumpy; her body overrun with flashbacks and the need to defend itself from the ghost of a memory. Arlen might experience much of the same, so, Teagan knew to be alert for any such signs.

“In time, it might come back to you,” she told him, her voice soft and hardly more than a whisper. “I don’t remember much of when I almost…” She cleared her throat, fighting back the steel wall of pride that suddenly rose up. “…when I almost died. Indi had to tell me afterwards.”

She took a breath. “Sometimes the brain does things that it thinks will protect you.” The phrase was some garbage one of the medics had told her during her recovery process. Teagan didn’t believe in it full-heartedly, but, if it helped Arlen, she would pretend she did.

“Whoever hurt you, karma will get them.” Hopefully, for their sake, it’d be through someone else’s hands, and not by a Cavalier that was close to Arlen.

Template: Hilli / Andi || Image: meihua-stock
Teagan Stryder

Casa di Cavalieri
War Lord
User avatar
Songbird
The Brotherhood: Master of Bladed Weapons
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

POSTED: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:36 am

To his apathetic surpise, Teagan didn't move as he cuddled up next to her. Normally, he would have taken great advantage of this position. He would have made snarky remarks, silly faces, and hugged her til she though her sides would burst. Perhaps his lack of enthusiasm about the situation spoke more than his downcast eyes and quietness.

"I dunno Tea. Just not here." He didn't have the energy to conjure up a witty remark or a snide comment. Replying honestly was the only thing he could really do anymore, and even that didn't feel like enough. His ear barely flicked at her rude observation on the size of his ass. Where he normally would have struck a pose, there was stillness. Where he would have jeered at her, there was silence.

Her body grew rigid beneath him and he steeled himself to be pushed aside. Teagan loved him, of that he had no doubt, but feelings and emotions and affections were not high on her list of things she endured easily. The fact that she had allowed him to take solace in physical touch was more than he'd initially expected. When he felt her body shift, Arlen began to pull away, wincing at the soreness in his muscles.

But everything stopped as her hand touched his arm in what could only be described as an embrace. Slowly, her hand drew comforting patterns along his upper bicep. The rare show of affection from his stoic older sister brought Arlen to a complete standstill. For an instant his breathing stopped. For an instant, the shaking of his shoulders ceased. For an instant, the Stryders were locked in a strange sort of gravity; both of them wanted to draw near but pull away at the exact same time.

The red boy, so close to manhood yet still so far away, collapsed into his sister. His arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her closer though he was already crushed against her. The noiseless tears became heartbroken sobs of hurt and self-pity and of fear and of shame. This wasn't supposed to happen to the sons of kings and queens.

"B-but," the words were spoken wetly through his dampened lips. "But Teagan, what if I don't want to remember?" Because what if the memory was worse than the absence? What if not knowing was the best thing that ever happened to it? Arlen was proud and innocent and he didn't want to remember how he was beaten into the ground. He didn't want to know if he was completely overpowered. He didn't want to know if he begged for mercy like a coward. He wanted to pretend that he had been strong and brave and had fought like his warrior ancestors.

OOC | [460]
The most impure are not blemished.

--image: Pexel | table code: Elias--


Casa di Cavalieri
Second Officer (NPC)
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Kris
Luperci Joker
A Royal Pain

POSTED: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:39 pm

Teagan Stryder
[ 1,094 ]

Her jab didn’t serve the purpose it was intended for. Her brother didn’t take the bait, nor did his mood change. No laughter, no anger, no witty comeback, nothing. The only thing he offered was a melancholy sort of reply and silence to follow thereafter. It was enough to derail any sort of attempts at a chipper-Teagan to make him lose the depressed atmosphere that loomed over him. Whatever was bothering Arlen, it was pretty serious.

Teagan had initially chalked it up to him probably just being tired. He was, after all, still recovering from some pretty serious injuries. However, as their conversation continued, it became harder to pretend there wasn’t emotionally wrong with the red-furred Stryder.

She felt him stiffen when she offered physical comfort, and, for a moment, she thought she might have gone too far. Always wearing the no-nonsense, emotion-dense mask that she had, there were only a handful of Luperci within Casa di Cavalieri—or at all, really—that would think Teagan even capable of projecting anything close to something “soft” like comforting someone.

The cream-coated Stryder had prepared to recoil her hand back to the safety of her person when Arlen suddenly latched onto her like a lifeline. She grunted at being suddenly hugged, and fought the urge to pry his arm away from her waist. When she felt his shoulders shake and the wet tears stain her fur with an increased flow though, Teagan let out a soft breath.

His quiet sniffles became full-blown sobs and hiccups.

She let him cry, let him expose that raw emotion that the siblings did so well to hide from the world. It was rare they allowed themselves such moments of vulnerability, so, she let Arlen have his. Teagan let her hand trace soft, faint patterns up and down his arm and back. Fenris, she wished Indi were there. The koi-colored sister was more attuned to her emotional side than Teagan was, and could have probably offered something…more, like a hug, some inspiring words, something. Teagan was very much out on a limb here.

Her mismatched ears twitched when Arlen’s voice found him again. Canary eyes looked down at him for a moment before looking back up to the ceiling. “Then don’t try.” She stated simply. Perhaps it was for the best if he didn’t know, but, if it had been Teagan, she would have been dying to fill the void that had been created in her memory. Good or bad.

“But, sometimes ignorance isn’t always the answer,” she continued. “If you know what hurt you, you can make sure it never happens to you again.”

Teagan took a deep breath, steeling herself and reining in any loose emotions that might have been floating on the surface. Calm, collected, in control.

“When Indi and I were on our trip, she convinced me to let us go to a party,” she began, her canary eyes focusing pointedly on a certain blemish in the ceiling as she recalled the old memories and beat back the emotions that came with them. “There was an older dog—Harlem—” She practically spat the name. “—there that wanted your sister for…less than pure reasons.” She fought back anger. “He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and when Indi and I told him to get lost, he decided to take things by force.” That anger built and bucked, but her neutral mask remained in place.

“Indi was pretty popular and went off with a group of boys that fancied her, and while she was out of my sight, Harlem tricked me into thinking they had taken her and…well, had their way with her.” A growl escape from her throat despite her attempts to keep it down. “I ran out into the forest near the party, calling and yelling for her. Came across one of Harlem’s guy raping some innocent girl that looked like Indi instead. It was only when Harlem came behind me that I’d realized I’d been played like some newly-made apprentice.”

Guilt, regret, embarrassment threatened to overtake her.

“I fought with everything I had in me, but, I was still a yearling, and had never fought against three grown adults before. I got the girl free, but had nearly died in the process.” An old, long-repressed fear tickled at her cold heart. She swallowed, trying to maintain her composure. She had a point to make to the younger Stryder. “I had never been so scared. Bleeding out, being slowly choked to death while some bastard stands over you, getting ready to rape you and promising to do the same to your sister over and over again once you’re dead and gone?”

The fingers on her free hand curled into a fist while those stroking Arlen fought to maintain the rhythmic cycle.

“I had never felt so powerless.” Anger and a raw, fragile emotion lingered on the edge of her voice. “All my training, and I was nothing more than some hotshot, overconfident child that could do nothing to warn or protect Indi from what was coming.” Teagan closed her eyes and let out a deep breath as she recollected herself. “I was lucky Indi came when she did, and we killed the bastards. She managed to get us into Sapient on a pair of stolen horses, and, when I woke up—”

Her eyes opened, the hard edge that was notably “Teagan” having returned to them. “—I couldn’t remember anything after a certain point in the fight. It was…frustrating. Knowing I had almost died, and I couldn’t even remember the important parts of how it had gotten to that point.”

“In the days and weeks that followed, it came back to me though. Obviously, I didn’t like what I remembered, or, what I felt.” Her canary eyes shifted down to Arlen. “I’ve taken measures since to make sure I will never become that vulnerable again though.”

It was why she constantly trained, why she distanced herself, why she didn’t trust.

“You may not like what you remember or what happened to you, but sticking your head in the ground and pretending everything is sugar and rainbows doesn’t mean it never happened. If there’s a broken chain in your armor, you don’t ignore it and let it become your weak point, you mend it and make it stronger so it can’t be used against you.”

Template: Hilli / Andi || Image: meihua-stock
Teagan Stryder

Casa di Cavalieri
War Lord
User avatar
Songbird
The Brotherhood: Master of Bladed Weapons
You shoot me down
but I won't fall
I am titanium

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