Oh, my heartstrings come undone

[Alder]

POSTED: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:25 am


WC: 506


It was hard not to dwell on all the heartache, but Hati wanted to thrust it all away from him and clear his mind. It was easier not to feel anything. He had always been too sensitive, incapable of stomaching violence or conflict. Now he was overwhelmed by these bleak events, so many deaths and departures all at once. He could not turn his head without being reminded of someone else who left him. He was still going through the motions at the stables, but he had lost some of his earlier ambition. Without the motivation to progress, he supposed that was why he was still just an apprentice, and not yet a true stablehand. There was no one to be proud of him anymore, so it didn't matter.

Quietly he dragged the brush through Asagi's chestnut tail, working free the burrs tangled in her hair. They had gone riding through the woods as far as the Calico Grove, seeking nothing but a break from the buzzing thoughts in his mind. The sleek mare was in visibly better shape than she had been when he first acquired her, as she had been overweight from lack of exercise and easy grazing. Hati did not have the heart to limit her food intake, so he merely paid her more attention and rode her more often, which gave him practice at his horsemanship as well. Today they had chanced on a wild apple tree, and he let her have several of the hard fruits as a reward for putting up with his neediness. He could still remember Alder's words, that he had never met a horse that did not like apples. Finally they were in season, and it seemed the Marshal was right yet again. Now they were standing near the barn as Hati meticulously checked her over, protective to the point of obsession.

With the brushing done, he rose and began rubbing the blanket all over the mare's body, buffing away any vestiges of sweat from their trail ride. With the weather turning chilly, he could not risk her catching ill. The mare turned her long coppery muzzle toward him as he reached her neck, lipping at her young master's black mane. He hesitated, pale eyes casting a cursory glance into the gloom of the barn to check if they were alone. Satisfied, he wrapped his arms around her thick neck, hugging the horse tightly to him. He pressed his face against her warm hide, and she huffed her hot breath in his ears, well accustomed by now to his need for contact. Asagi was now the most reliable figure in his life, always there to listen. At his father's interment, he had almost left. Not just the burial, but the kingdom itself; he would take Asagi as his partner, and they would run forever. It was just a flight of fancy, though. He knew his place was here, no matter how weary he was of pretending to fit in. As long as Alder remained, so did he.

Stock photo credit: PaperStreet-Stock@dA
Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
My avatar rotates; credit here.


Freiherr (NPC)
User avatar
Miyu
Luperci Page Matchmaker: Romeo and Juliet Couple with Edgar!

POSTED: Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:47 am

only you can make me write this much <3

The changes would not touch the stables, and Alder would make certain of that. After hearing about the King’s death he had left the pack’s gathering with Hawthorn and returned to his place of familiarity and consistency. He had taken up chores and new tasks, busying himself so that the unknowing and the insecurity would be too frightened to enter his already focused thoughts. Alder knew that things would be difficult going forward, the death of Hati’s mother had been so hard for his friend and now with the loss of his father it would be as if they had lost the only cloak left to protect them from winter’s harsh winds and weather. The season was on their doorstep, and what would they do without his stablehand’s sire?

Vigilante was more then just a father, he had been Alder’s leader and the packs protector for so many years, but when he crept into his mind that was how Alder now saw the shaggy dog. Yes, Alder was fearful of what was to come concerning the pack and the stables and yet when he had left the pack it had been Hati that Alder had cast his gaze on lastly. Too unsure and angry to reach out to the hybrid at the time Adler had departed to deal with his own disappointments and emotions. Hati had his siblings for comfort, and they were far more important at such a moment. The parentless family would need each other at such a time, and he knew that his lack of experience in such an event would only make things worse.

Alder wandered down the row of filled stalls, rolling their names through his mind routinely and making sure that things were in order. They were, he had been sleeping in the hay loft to make sure they were so, yet he looked once more. The tall masked wolf paused at the door of Asagi’s stall, a tentative hand resting on it for just a moment. He must be out with her. She was missing more often then she was home, and her presence was what alerted him to Hati’s. Exhaling he continued on, unsure if he should seek him out to speak his condolences or if he should give the lad distance.

Walking into the open air he found relief in the chill and began to wonder what would need to be done next. There was always something that needed doing. Alder rounded the barn, his eyes looking ahead but hardly focused. The male’s scent had not alarmed Alder prior, and so his presence had not been expected. Instantly he paused, thankfully Alder had not been waking so quickly that he might cause the mare to spook. Alder's frown softened, looking at the other male as he stood in the embrace. Blue tinted arms had themselves wrapped around the mare’s necks, blue eyes closed and face pressed against the softness of the curve. He knew and understood that feeling, he had done it a hundred times.

Hati. Alder spoke, his tone on the edge of breathlessness. Lips were pressed together, and he watched with sadness in his tore bay gaze. He was so sorry for Hati’s losses that perhaps it was the time to express that, but Alder stood in silence.


User avatar
Alli
Luperci Time and Patience
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L'âme honorée

POSTED: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:46 am

<333!
WC: 350


He could feel the horse's strong heartbeat pulse against his arms, the gentle rhythm calming him. His mare was a security blanket now, and more than once he had crept to visit her in the middle of the night, just to lay in the stall and be by her side. He talked to her as well, sharing his thoughts in French when they were alone. Really, he had no one else to talk to.

Alder's deep voice broke the silence, and Hati quickly pulled back from the embrace, looking to the stablemaster for his cue. Briefly he felt abashed for having been seen in such a sensitive position, but the thought vanished when he realized of all people, Alder would be most likely to understand that sort of horseman bond. Alder seemed to trust Hawthorn more than most of his packmates, and Hati could finally relate to that.

"Is there something you need from me today?" he asked politely. "I was just finishing up here." He swallowed, pale blue eyes meeting darker tore bay. The Marshal's gaze was deep, clearly thinking on something more than their usual exchange. Hati was calm, too calm on the exterior. He knew full well he would drown if he tried to acknowledge the flood of emotions all at once, so his pathos shut down, leaving him numbed enough to drift through the day's routines. Maybe if he waited long enough, the feelings would not overwhelm him and he could find normalcy again.

Events were blurring together though, the memories indistinct and vague. He knew he cared about the horses, and yet it was hard to register any feelings toward them at all, so mechanical were his motions. "I found an apple tree on my ride today. Asagi liked them, so I might take a bucket tomorrow and bring some back for everyone," he added. Treats were something special, and maybe it would stir something in Hati again to see the herd excited for gifts. Absentmindedly he patted the mare's back, ready to lead her to the paddock and turn her loose for the day.

Stock photo credit: PaperStreet-Stock@dA
Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
My avatar rotates; credit here.


Freiherr (NPC)
User avatar
Miyu
Luperci Page Matchmaker: Romeo and Juliet Couple with Edgar!

POSTED: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:41 pm

Perhaps he had spoken too soon, for the embrace that Hati held against Asagi was broken quickly. Prematurely. Blue eyes watched, his words still tied up around his tongue and entangled with conflicting emotions. Hati addressed him as he always normally did, asking about his duties for the day. Alder shook his head, and gave a look that transparently spoke of there being nothing needed from the midnight hybrid. Then the Catori male spoke again, mentioning the apple tree. The Marshal’s thoughts were easily corralled back into the mode of horsemanship, and he gave him a nod and spoke, That would be good. They will really enjoy that. his reply was vague but honest in his approval.

Yet this was not why he was bothering the mourning Freiherr. Things had changed so greatly, their customs and ranks pushed onto a new path. They were to be formal and address one another with rankings, but the Marshal was not about to change every one of his habits quite yet. Especially not with Hati. Especially not when he was hoping to extend his hand in comfort and condolences. There isn’t anything for today, I just wanted to say I am sorry. Your father was a honest leader, and a good friend. The words were hard, knowing that there was so much change and upheaval happening around them because of that loss.

Alder even felt the sting of tears at the corners of his eyes, but reined them in before then could be more then a glossiness over his gaze. I’m here, if you need someone to talk to. The male had gained his mother’s open ear and willingness to listen to others, yet in the stables it never really came into play. Until now.


User avatar
Alli
Luperci Time and Patience
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L'âme honorée

POSTED: Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:08 am


WC: 399


Hati patted Asagi's back, letting his mind drift. His teacher's silence was something he was accustomed to, though he soon averted his gaze, glimpsing a depth in the tore bay blue that he did not want to lose himself in. They spoke of the apple tree, and it was forgotten as quickly as it was mentioned, a meaningless exchange. Then came something unexpected. Alder offered his condolences. The protective shell began to crack within him, beginning to leak out the emotional nature he could only deny for so long. Hati slowly clenched his teeth, trying to maintain his blank mask even as he felt the hot prickling of tears stinging his eyes. He didn't want to think about any of this. But he felt obliged to answer, honest as always.

"If he was your friend, you knew him better than I did."

He stared down at the ground. Insecurity was never far from Hati's thoughts, whispers of doubt and inferiority echoing in all reaches of his mind. He had been his father's least favorite child, hadn't he? Vigilante paid him the least attention of all. Even the traitorous Noah clearly affected their father more, aging him grey as the King wished for his eldest boy to come home for forgiveness. It was hard enough to measure up to Skoll, but at least Hati knew his brother loved him underneath all the rivalry. He knew that now, at least. It was a small comfort, one that did little to keep the whispers at bay. Hati was the shortest, the weakest, the slowest.

"It didn't bother me as long as I had my mother, but..."

The raw words trailed into silence, and immediately he regretted it, quickly shaking his head as he felt his throat choke. He had been so moody those last months, withdrawing and acting like a petulant child. If he had known he would never see either of his parents again, would he have reached out to them? Would be still be burdened with this guilt? He bit his lip, standing rigid with the effort it took to keep from sobbing. He had to be a responsible adult. Alder wasn't supposed to know how broken he was. If Alder stopped smiling for him, there was nothing worth waking up for. Why couldn't they pretend that nothing had changed, just in this small corner, between the two of them?

Stock photo credit: PaperStreet-Stock@dA
Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
My avatar rotates; credit here.


Freiherr (NPC)
User avatar
Miyu
Luperci Page Matchmaker: Romeo and Juliet Couple with Edgar!

POSTED: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:32 pm

Despite the effort he put forth, Alder could see that Hati was hurting. There was tension in his shoulders, a hardness in the lines of his face that the Marshal was not used to. However the Freiherr acted around others was one thing, but how he was towards Alder was certain different from what he was seeing now. It caused the tall wolf to want Hati to speak his feelings, to unleash them so that perhaps he did not have to carry the burden alone.

I have always been closer to my mother, I never really knew my father. Alder replied, his eyes looked for the other males. Hati was not alone in the fact that fathers could be distant, living a life with other children. Loving them more deeply, caring for them more faithfully. His mother was his savior, a silvery Madonna that stood above the rest. Elevated. Weightless with her soft tone, honesty and reassuring wisdom.

Alder took a few steps closer, hand reaching out to touch the horse as well. Somehow reaching out to Hati through the mare. Her hide was soft, clean of any sweat that might later cause her to chill. The stablehand had done just as the master had taught him, and his dedication was evident in any task Alder asked of him. But it was his heart that sang out to the other male’s own beaten and broken organ. Alder hoped that Hati would be able to overcome this sorrow, feel the pain and yet grow and learn from it as well. Perhaps he would become a stronger mind, and hold his memories with gentle hands as he cherished them. He would honor the memories of his parents with his work and in his loyalty to the pack that they had founded. But, he hoped the most that Hati could return to him unashamed and whole. So that Alder could see the happiness that Hati shared while working with the horses. Hati’s growing confidence helped Alder’s own to rise and blossom.

After a while I figured out that even if she isn’t here in this pack, I still know what she would say. I often ask myself what she would do, if I’m unsure of how to act. He shrugged a bit. What hulking male wanted to act like an elder female? It seemed silly, but his mother had more experience in the world then many souls combined. You still have a part of her. And you have your brothers and sister. And you have me. Alder added, giving a small smile with the hopes of cheering up the Catori wolf even if it was just a small fraction. Nothing but time would fix him, and Alder couldn’t fast forward through all the hurt that needed to be felt. No one could do that.


User avatar
Alli
Luperci Time and Patience
STAY GOLD
L'âme honorée

POSTED: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:04 am


WC: 581


The horse was a gentle presence, placid and content to merely stand in place and relax after the long ride through the woods. Hati was grateful she was there, that he could have this conversation with her steady back beneath his palms, ready to catch him if he crumpled. He was so tense, standing rigid as a soldier, trying to steel himself to show nothing. But Alder's words sliced through the facade, wilting his posture. At least Hati had known his father, even if they had not been close. He knew Vigilante was good at his core, just as Ayita had been, and that he had the same good in him because of them. "Would you... tell me about your mother...?" he asked hesitantly. He had never asked anything that personal before. It just struck him that he knew so little about Alder, where he came from. He had gleaned a little from Silvano, when he spoke about their childhood in Crimson Dreams. But he wanted to hear about the mother that had guided Alder, a distraction from the tragedy that haunted him in the present.

The tall wolf moved closer, placing his hand on the mare. Hati found that he did not mind, even though he bristled when anyone else touched Asagi. Alder mentioned he imagined his mother's advice, and Hati glanced sharply up at him, surprised to hear something that rang so familiar. "I've... I've been talking to Asagi, like... through her, I can talk to my mother again. I... thought it was a little crazy, so I haven't told anyone," he muttered, offering a sad smile. He shuffled a few steps closer, drawn to close the gap between them. Playing make believe was such a childish act, but if someone as sensible and strong as Alder still did so, perhaps...

The mention of his siblings caused his expression to drop, and he bit his lip, holding back his conflicted feelings about them. They were scattering without their parents to hold them together. He knew Skoll resented Charlotte for her position, and he was afraid to support one without offending the other... although if it came down to it, he would always choose Skoll whether the sun prince had time for him or not. He could not trust his older siblings to be there for him. Everyone would leave.

And you have me. Hati looked up at his teacher's countenance, finding sincerity and empathy. He really just said that, didn't he? Hati swallowed the lump in his throat, moved by the statement. Lately he had just gone through the motions, mechanically doing his chores without any purpose behind them -- but Alder still wanted him around, even now. His eyes were definitely misting up now, and he blinked it back as best he could, quickly scrubbing away the welling tears. He tried to say that it meant a lot to him, that Alder's friendship was of paramount significance, but he couldn't find his voice. Instead he could only nod curtly, and move awkwardly closer with a jerky motion, wanting to hug him but unsure of whether or not he should. He knew he would cry, and he didn't want to lose the respect he had just gained, and he wasn't sure if Alder would reciprocate such a gesture because the stablemaster did not seem the physical type anyway. He averted his gaze to watch Asagi instead, ready to pretend he would rather pet the horse if Alder backed away.

Stock photo credit: PaperStreet-Stock@dA
Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
My avatar rotates; credit here.


Freiherr (NPC)
User avatar
Miyu
Luperci Page Matchmaker: Romeo and Juliet Couple with Edgar!

POSTED: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:53 pm

His mother… words did not hold the true essence that was felt when one stood by her. Words could not describe the calm and collection that radiated and the assurance that even a simple glance could give when her tore bay eyes opened and grazed across him. She had been his center at one time, she had been his everything and she had been everything to everyone else (how could she not?). She had sent him away though, to Cour des Miracles. And at first Alder hadn’t understood her decision. Yet in the passing of time he had come to realize that she had only done what Alder couldn’t have at the time.

Hati seemed to soften as he asked about Anu, the tension seeping through his skin ever so slowly. She is kind and patient. he spoke, his small smile lifting once again. She used to tell me stories when I was a pup, and always listens to anyone that has a problem. That was what made her such a good leader, she listened to anyone that needed someone to. His heart ached, and he desired to know how his dear mother was doing in Vinátta, he hoped and wished she was well.

He listened, eyes watching him as Hati explained how he spoke to Asagi. The Marshall found nothing odd in him talking to his horse, believing that there they had a much deeper connection to the world around them then their canine companions. Other then his siblings the mare was the closest connection that Hati would have to his mother, and it he did not wish to reach out to them to gain closeness to Ayita then why not look to the mare? Softly he spoke,Its not crazy.. It was all that Alder said about the matter, assuring Hati that he was far from mad. He was grieving, and it was possible that the more time passed the less he needed to seek out his mother through the horse’s spirit.

Alder did not know the problems that lived between the siblings of the royal family, and he did not try to understand the family’s dynamic. There was an expression on Hati’s face that made his mind question it, but if it was a hard topic then he would tread lightly around it. Bright blue eyes were watery, and Alder was not shocked to see the heart broken wolf moved to tears. Hati moved slightly, tense and rigid. Alder was in-tuned to his movements, eyes and instincts already, watching closely to hopefully understand his feelings better. So the slight stiff movements were picked up quickly.

Indeed the laborer did not normal reach out to others in the hopes of touching them. It happened at time, a brush against fur here and there. He was far more comfortable touching a horse rather then his own species, and he could not remember the last canine that had not been family that he embraced. But if he had ever found a wolf that looked as if he needed to be held it was Hati, and the man did not hesitate. He closed to gap, and reach his arms around the blue tinted male. His hold was soft, waiting to sense the reaction of the other male, as Alder did not know how Hati truly felt about such gestures.


User avatar
Alli
Luperci Time and Patience
STAY GOLD
L'âme honorée

POSTED: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:40 pm

...<3
WC: 802


Hati listened intently as the big wolf spoke of his mother, smiling weakly as he saw Alder smile. "She sounds wonderful... I'd love to meet her someday," he murmured shyly. Alder was lucky to still have his mother, even if she lived far away. The qualities Alder gave her mirrored many of Ayita's, and he missed his mother so much, even now that he was supposed to be mourning his father as well. There had to be something wrong with him, he was so confused and jumbled up inside, and trying so hard not to break down and give up. And even still, Alder reassured him, having one-sided conversations with a horse did not make him crazy.

Hati hesitated, but Alder's strong arms embraced him anyway, and Hati sighed faintly as he was engulfed by the Marshall's warm scent. Needily his arms snaked around the broad chest, gripping small fistfuls of fur as he clung to the wolfish man, and quietly began to cry. His lean muzzle was buried in the plush fur of Alder's chest, sobbing like a child. He had been unable to cry at his father's burial, nor at the announcement of Charlotte's coronation, but now the emotional walls finally crumbled, releasing what he tried to hold back. He was embarrassed and angry at himself, but he could not stop, shoulders quivering with each labored breath. He cried for the childhood that was dead and buried, mourning all that he had lost. He wished he could be as brave as everyone else, but he did not know how to be.

Asagi ambled placidly onto the grass, rooting around the fallen leaves to graze now that no one was giving her attention. Hati was too distracted to heed anything other than catharsis. When the sobbing faded into sniffling, Hati clutched a little tighter, unwilling to let go to the comfort he needed so badly. He didn't want to see pity or contempt in those tore bay blue eyes, the loss of respect he feared would be waiting for him once the embrace was over. His heart was pounding, stuttering in a strange irregular tempo that did not quite resemble the nervous beat he was used to. He had pressed himself so closely against Alder's body that he could feel his mentor's heartbeat against his, and he wondered if Alder would notice how dizzyingly fast his pulse had quickened. It felt like something he should keep secret, though he was unsure why.

He did feel a little better after his cry. His cheeks were flushed as well, that strange warmth blossoming through him that he had tried to explain away so many times before, whenever Alder happened to brush against him, or handed him something and their fingers touched, or the nights when he would abruptly wake up from one of those dreams he always forgot. It wasn't a coincidence, was it? Hati never had a childhood crush, a sweetheart, anything at all; he thought he was slower than everyone just because there weren't any girls to turn his head. He turned to work instead, waiting patiently to see if there would be someone he would fancy, down the line. That's what his mother had wanted, for him to meet a nice girl and someday give her Catori grandchildren. He would dutifully carry out Ayita's wishes, even now that she was gone.

But maybe mere distraction wasn't the reason he had devoted himself to stable work, why he was so loyal to Alder. He always liked the horses, but it wasn't until Alder himself promised to teach him that he agreed to learn how to ride... how the Marshall had held him close just like this, keeping him safe atop Hawthorn and showing him a whole new world. It was the elation he felt that day that made him pledge to become a page... what if it wasn't just the joy of feeling the wind through his hair, feeling the rhythm of rolling hooves beneath him?

Cautiously he peeled his face away from where it was buried and stared up at the man holding him, cheeks wet with tears, pale blue eyes bright with sentiment and hope. Hati was vulnerable, and weak, and too sensitive for his own good, but he couldn't deny this any longer, not when the moment felt so right. He was slow all right, slow to catch on, but he had harbored these feelings for many months now. Why else would he always run to the stables when he had a problem, or when he wanted to escape from his stressful home? And Alder was always there for him, making it better with a gentle smile or a kind word.

Without a word, Hati leaned up and clumsily pressed his lips against Alder's, offering his first kiss.

Stock photo credit: PaperStreet-Stock@dA
Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
My avatar rotates; credit here.


Freiherr (NPC)
User avatar
Miyu
Luperci Page Matchmaker: Romeo and Juliet Couple with Edgar!

POSTED: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:41 pm

<3

This friendship was something that the Marshal hadn’t really had before. Hati was a kind soul, gentle in his movements and caring in his thoughts. He was loyal to the pack’s cause, and to the one that Alder had formed for the stables. Alder had never depended on any one more, and it was not just in knowing that Hati would do as he asked. It was that he knew that he would be here, even if their conversations were short and related mainly on their tasks and charges. It was in the silence that lingered pleasantly between them that Alder had found comfort. It was simply nice knowing that he had someone to think of each day, and Alder knew that Hati thought about him too.

So when the blue male needed him Alder was happy to be the one to hear his soft crying, and hold him when he needed someone to lean on. The masked male stood rooted to the ground as tears fell from ice blue eyes. The sadness flowed so freely that it soon surrounded them both, and it was hard not to allow the loss and grief to penetrate his own head and to keep tears away from his tore bay gaze. He could hardly imagine how Hati hurt, and feared the day he would have to say good-bye to his mother.

That thought alone caused Alder to hug Hati a bit tighter. Hati’s shoulders shook, rattling with the sorrow and loss. His black hand unconsciously moved up to touch the thinner right wing of the hybrid, perhaps to steady the tremor. Alder looked downward, eyes just able to take in the sight of the Catori’s head resting on his chest. He breathed steadily, and though there was so much unhappiness in the other male Alder realized that he felt a twitch at the corner of his mouth, as if it tried to lift upwards. He had never been able to do this for someone, and he did not know why despite the tragedies that had occurred Alder felt fait happiness.

The Freiherr stirred, and the Marshal loosened his hold but did not let go. He peered downwards, just waiting for Hati to push away. Alder knew that it wasn’t often that Hati allowed his emotions to get the better of him; if he needed to simply excuse himself then Alder wouldn’t stop him. It would be up to Hati if he wished to speak about this in the future.

Then something happened that Alder hadn’t expected. Hati raised his nose towards him, as if to say something in a whisper, and instead touched his mouth to Alder’s. The brown and black accented beast stood in place, arms still wrapped around the smaller male and took the kiss. Eyelids drooped slightly, the feeling that it brought him as unexpected as the gesture and… beyond description. It shook him alive, and he took a step back from Hati, his arms falling away from his back and lingering at his arms. Hati, I’m sorry. The words stumbled out of his mouth, and he looked at the other’s face with a unsure look.

He hadn’t meant to make the other wolf feel uncomfortable or in the position where that would come to fruition. Not truly knowing what was happening or with any experience to help him along he worried too much that Hati’s broken heart was blinding him and this was all that Alder knew to do. This had never been his intention.


User avatar
Alli
Luperci Time and Patience
STAY GOLD
L'âme honorée

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