have at thee, brother

POSTED: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:29 am

Skoll understood the whispers of change only in his gut. He understood it as a lower animal understood that the seasons were turning, through the eyes of ancestors who had experienced it generations and generations before him.

But he saw through his own eyes, too. The hierarchy was shifting—his own personal little hierarchy, the one that he had dominated from the moment he clambered over his siblings, squeaking, to his mother’s breast. His personality had been the strongest when they first started speaking; he had been the first to adventure out into the world, the first to gain a horse, the first to journey, the first to do a thousand things that would seem petty in a couple of years. He had been confident in his place on his own personal little throne. He was Skoll Haskel, son of King Vigilante, and Prince of Cour des Miracles.

He didn’t fail to notice that Lottie was spending a lot of time shadowing their father. He didn’t fail to notice that Hati was out and about more, becoming more confident, matching him in his growing understanding of the world.

The boy did not resent it, but the alpha inside of him took offense. It was purely instinctual, but it bubbled in his wolf’s heart, just as testosterone was bubbling in his growing body. All he was aware of was a pent-up, bitter energy that had been growing steadily over the days. He’d avoided contact with most of his friends and especially with his family. He was frustrated and didn’t know the source, and so he’d ventured past the stables and the little cabin to the training grounds, a wide dusty area dotted with wood figures to take his torment out on.

Skoll was doing just that, lashing at the burlap pelt of his foe, his werewolf claws raking through it and sending it rattling with the force of the blow. His lips wrinkled back, and he let out a guttural snarl—or what would become one in another year or so. This wasn’t the same clumsy batting and awkward ogling that was his sparring matches with Adelle, but an unleashing of raw energy that almost scared him.

But it felt good. Fighting felt good. He paused just for a heartbeat, brushing his hair out of his eyes, standing up on his toes, and struck again.

Word Count → 394

This post tries too hard to be dramatic, prolly 'cos I was listening to epic battle music while writing. And I was stuck on a thread title, and then my cousin started giggling and suggested this. 8|

POSTED: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:29 pm

I have much love for this title! -vomits words all over the page-

Word Count → 727

Hati had been working hard these past weeks, shadowing Alder at the stables and trying to learn as much about the horses as he could. It was starting to feel like a second home to him, the faces and patterns of the herd growing familiar and recognizable. He was still slowly learning how to ride horseback, but also about their care, the feeding and watering and grooming that Alder managed every day. Confidence was gradually replacing doubt, and Hati began to imagine himself as an official stablehand with a co-rank. He felt lighter than usual, pleased with the progress he was making on his own since earning his adult rank. He paused to catch his breath, wiping beads of sweat from his nose tip. This summer heat was oppressive.

Still, he could not keep from analyzing every little thing, finding all the faults in himself and comparing them to what he perceived in others. As always, Skoll was his gold standard; if he could just keep up with his brother, all of his other goals were within his reach. That night they had spent romping through the fields and forest seemed like a lifetime ago. They were now forging ahead on different paths, eager to prove themselves and find their purpose. He picked up the pitchfork again, spreading bales of hay in each empty stall as bedding while the herd grazed outside in the pasture. It was quiet here, and he liked the chores, even if he lacked the stamina to take on a full workload just yet.

Hati paused when he reached one stall in particular: Hwin's. It always stung him to think of Hwin, the beautiful mare that Skoll had been given for free. Now his brother would always be a more experienced rider than him, for all the time he had been able to spend with his own personal steed. Hati tried to push down the resentment, for he had been working so hard to learn riding at his own pace. But he was nowhere near getting his own horse, and since meeting Silvano, it was something he desired now more than anything else. Pressing his lips together in a taut line, he hurriedly finished the task, his previous good mood evaporating.

Hati soon emerged from the barn, feeling suffocated by the stagnant air. He needed to take a walk, clear his head. Alder was out and about with Hawthorn anyway, he wouldn't notice his apprentice missing. Smoothing his mane with his hands to brush free any clinging wisps of hay, the wolfdog strode off, veering past the nearby cabin to head deeper into the territory. He was lost in thought. He had been noticing changes in himself lately, a turbulence of emotion that he normally could keep in check. Usually he was not so sensitive, better at maintaining his calm exterior. He had gotten taller again, as Mother had pointed out, but he remained lanky and thin. The recent labor at the stables did not seem to shaping any muscles, so he would have to try harder.

Hati's pace carried him to a clearing, where he was surprised to find his brother training. The sun prince had been scarce of late, presumably exploring the world further and further from home. It appeared he had the warrior's path in mind, throwing himself with abandon at his targets. He had always been envious of how easy Skoll had it, how good things came to him without any effort on his part, while Hati toiled endlessly in his shadow just to catch up. But it had seemed like the natural order of things; Hati was simply slower, more modest, a follower instead of a leader. This was the first time he had actually thought about being on equal footing, because they were diverging into different training and no longer in competition. As he stood watching his brother snarl and attack the wooden figures with a raw animal energy, he was suddenly inspired to step up to his level. He was tired of being left behind because of his own reticence. He wasn't sure how, but he had the desire to prove himself worthy to Skoll. He stared in silence, pale eyes unblinking as he studied his brother's every move. They could both feel something changing between them, even if Hati could not pinpoint what it meant.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:20 pm

The nubilous feeling of being watched crept over Skoll, and the hackles rose on his yellow neck underneath his untamed mane of hair. He normally took pleasure in being watched, especially when he was going through the motions of training; let them see how skilled he was, and that he was deserving of his rank! Today, however, it only made him bristle and drop his fists, turning around to the source of the staring and meeting a pair of light blue eyes. There the dark wolfdog stood, rail-thin and well-groomed, the antithesis to his wild brother.

A cocksure smile suddenly jumped to the pale prince’s lips, even though the mind behind that toothy grin was far from certain. He was developing into something with a confident swagger and a teasing tongue, like many almost-men before him. It came naturally to him, that youthful and harmless arrogance, and he used it as a shield against pregnant pauses such as this. In reality, he sniffed the air as he smiled, teasing the scent of hay and horses from his sibling; it seemed like he’d been working with Alder again.

That only troubled him more, and the brief disappearance of his grin showed it. All of the Haskel siblings loved the beautiful equines of the Kingdom, but while Skoll had been the first to have one of his own, and one of the first to aspire learning all he could from Alder, his dream had slackened after meeting his Cavalier friend. It shouldn’t have bothered him that Hati would pick up right where he left off, but it did; it almost felt like he was usurping his position as Alder’s protégé, however little he wanted the position now.

One can only spare a few moments of thoughtful silence before it grows awkward, and Skoll recognized the end of his wondering. His grin quickly reappeared, and he stepped away from the marred target, gesturing toward it with a clawed hand. “Care to take a swing?” he asked, an edge to his friendly voice.

Word Count → 339


POSTED: Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:30 am

/pretends this isn't horribly late

Word Count → 477

Hati watched wordlessly as Skoll vented his fierce energy on the target. He looked... strong. Capable. His feral mane lent him the masculine appearance of a beast, not the civilized and meticulously groomed look Hati sported. It made him feel strange to see Skoll this way; there was a twisting in his stomach that he could not describe. Jealousy? Fear? Rivalry? As he gazed on, his brother dropped his fists and turned to stare back at him, an unkind grin twisting its way onto his handsome muzzle. Hati could never hold Skoll's gaze for long, those vivid green irises mirroring their kingly father. He stepped evenly forward, closing the distance between them. Neither of them spoke a greeting; it wasn't needed. They merely sized each other up, testing their scent, measuring their height, a ritual of manhood that Hati had never experienced before. He was sure he fell short in comparison.

Hati was expressionless, donning the calm mask of polite indifference he wore before those older or of a higher rank than he was. There was electric tension between them, and he could not react to it, did not want to show how nervous Skoll's energy was making him. Had they been pups again, he would expect to be pounced upon, and wrestled to the ground amid a flurry of squeaking growls. This was something new, and far darker than he was accustomed to. Instinct made him want to acquiesce to his dominant brother now and save himself possible humiliation later, but the newfound confidence in himself rebelled against that thought, wanting him to stand his ground for once.

His plumed tail stilled as he regarded the battered target, seeing the raw power that his brother was channeling scarred deep into the wood. "It's not really my thing, frère. You're welcome to continue training, though, if I'm not disturbing you..." He spoke coolly, though inwardly he was tense as a coiled spring, waiting for Skoll's response. Skoll did not like to be denied. Was this his passive way of pushing back? He had never had the courage to try it before. "I'm just taking a break from working at the stables. I've been learning so much about the horses... you should really stop by more, if you're not too busy with this." He chanced a glance back to his brother, suddenly curious to see if he would react. He had never voiced his envy of Hwin aloud, although the way Skoll boasted and bragged about his mare and the adventures he had with her, it seemed sometimes that his brother needled him on purpose. No one could be that oblivious. Now there was something shifting between them, and Skoll had more important things to do than read his storybooks and ride his horse every day. His priorities were different. Perhaps Hati could sting him for once.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:57 pm

The expressionless front his brother put up displeased the sun prince, whose own features twisted subtly in frustration. He was a beast of volatile emotion, action, not one to hide behind a cool shield, and he didn’t expect others to treat him that way, either. If his mind twisted the scenario just a bit, he could believe that his brother thought himself above Skoll, and above emotion. His lips twitched, but there was childish distress behind the burning of his green eyes. He didn’t want to be cruel like this, but he’d come to the point of no return, and he needed to test his dominance.

He had expected for Hati to get uncomfortable at his challenge, to show some submission to the more muscular boy, but the dark wolfdog only declined coolly. While not appearing dominant or challenging, there was a passive confidence about him, and the alpha in Skoll did not like it to be there.

“Too bad,” the golden-furred male said, shrugging a shoulder then grinning almost like normal. “You could use some buffing up. You look like a girl.”

When the Catori teenager pointed out how he helped around the stables, while implying that his brother should be there more, Skoll snorted. It was a childish action, a desperate denial that the suggestion bothered him, but his eyes betrayed his true anger well enough.

“I come by the stables often enough, but… I’m high ranked in the cavalry. I need to work on this”—he gestured toward the wooden dummy—“so I can advance higher and actually do something to protect our pack and family.”

Word Count → 269

<3 And this is quick and crappy 'cause I gotta go. D:

POSTED: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:34 am


Word Count → 463

Both princes were intentionally cruel to each other, without fully understanding why they wanted to, or where it was leading them. Hati's brand was more subtle, but increasingly venomous as he felt the need to defend himself. He could see the burning in those glaring green eyes, and knew he had struck a nerve already. He would have proudly apologized if Skoll admitted he was upset, but instead was met with an unexpected retort. "I look like... a girl?" he repeated, amused albeit slightly crestfallen. He knew he would never have the muscular frame of their father, the powerful build that Skoll was filling into, but he had never been called feminine before. "It's just good grooming, brother of mine. You could try it sometime, maybe trim the feral rat's nest..." He gestured vaguely toward Skoll's wild blond mane, feigning disdain for the apparent lack of hygiene. He didn't really look like a girl, did he? He knew he shouldn't take everything so personally, but he valued his brother's opinion...

Skoll pulled rank, of course, and Hati's ears flattened back against his dark mane. His slower pace was obvious when it came to his middling position in the hierarchy; he was just uncomfortable with rushing into responsibility, and preferred to ease into it to be sure he could handle it all. He was young and inexperienced, and did not want to disappoint the older and more important packmates around him by failing at anything. Nor did he want to be mocked for this, for he was sensitive about what he saw as his greatest shortcoming. Skoll was such a natural, showered in promotions and honors and attention, given everything he wanted.

Hati's calm mask was beginning to slip, his lips pressed into a tight line. And how dare he imply that his path is more important than mine, he thought with a flare of anger. He had never been openly goaded like this, and his sensitive ego was easily bruised. "Yes, you'll always be able to protect the pack from wooden dolls," he murmured softly. The ire and resentment laced his voice, his tone deceptively growing quieter the more angry he felt. "I'd rather focus my time on something useful, like the stables our kingdom is famous for..." Their thin pretense of friendly banter was disintegrating, and Hati coldly regarded his brother, waiting for his inevitable temper tantrum. The sun prince was more volatile, unable to control his emotions like the moon prince. Hati did not want to admit that he was close to snapping as well, the tension gathering deep in his core. He did not like conflict, especially not within his family, but there was a growing need for him to vent the frustration he felt at never being good enough.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:01 am

Skoll was not used to cruelty, and so his attempts at insulting his sibling were clumsy and childish at best. Truthfully he’d never cared about what Hati looked like, and had even thought him handsome before, albeit in a way far different from Skoll himself—streamlined and swarthy rather than bold and golden. As such, the crack about his hair hardly bothered him, although the way he pushed it out of his face might have been seen as self-conscious. He felt more like a wolf with it untamed, more wild and powerful. He wanted to answer the little dig, perhaps to say he didn’t have time or that their father kept his hair shaggy, but the conversation had moved on by that point, and so predatory silence was his only response.

He was oddly pleased to see some emotion on his brother’s face, but whatever smug toothy look he’d worn faded at his brother’s quiet remark. His lips drew back again, in a growl rather than a smile this time, and he rumbled quietly as he responded. “What, you gonna ride your noble steed out into battle or something, ponyboy?” His control slipped, sheer teenage frustration overcoming everything else, and he barked out hateful words he would come to regret. “Forget it, Hati. You can try, but you’re not gonna amount to anything.”

Word Count → 223

Short again, but... *slaps Skoll*

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:19 am

action posts are short!! <3 also feel free to powerplay~

Word Count → 365

His brother could be such a dumb brute, always needing to feel superior. In lighter circumstances, the need for reassurance was almost charming in a way, and Hati hadn't minded playing along when they were little. This was the worst he had ever felt, though, and their opposing personalities were clashing head-on, neither giving way. Hati's eyes were narrowed to slits, staring as icily as he could muster as the last vestige of a smile slipped from Skoll's face. He would have pointed out that obviously warhorses were ridden into battle, they had both read storybooks about knights on horseback, but it was hardly the point he was trying to drive home. Hati cared so much about the stables. Working under Alder's guidance had given him something to be proud of, accomplishments that he achieved on his own, and his brother was trying to belittle them just so he could feel like an alpha again.

And then came the worst of all, the baleful words so carelessly uttered, but cutting to the core of Hati's insecurity. His eyes widened in hurt, an almost inaudible gasp sounding as he caught his breath in surprise. Was that really how Skoll felt about him? After spending all his life in his brother's shadow, he could never escape it and stand on his own? Hati's lower lip trembled, but there was nothing he could say.

Shock coalesced into rage, as the sudden need to strike back came crashing over him. Nose crinkled, lips drew back to bare fangs. Hati was bristling, dark fur rising in spikes all along his spine at the sound of Skoll's growl. His own snarl rumbled in response, cold blue eyes glaring unflinchingly into the challenging green. He balled his white hands into fists instinctively, relishing the feel of his claws digging into the leather of his pawpads. "'Care to take a swing?'" he spat mockingly, throwing Skoll's words back at him as his tense arm drew back, and he aimed a furious punch square at his brother's snout. He was going to smack the bastard's teeth right out of his mouth, make him bleed, then he'd see what his brother had amounted to!

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:16 pm

Hurt flashed in his brother’s blue eyes, and even Skoll’s green ones widened slightly as he realized what had just come out of his mouth. It was one thing to put himself on a pedestal in order to feel like an alpha again, but here he was chipping away at his brother, and this blow had been the hardest yet. It was too late to recall the words, though, now that they were out in the open, and the yellowish brute could only stand by them.

The sudden transformation of the leaner teen’s face made him flinch in shock, his brow crinkling and his ears falling back. He’d never seen Hati angry before, changing from the mild-mannered boy he’d been into a sharp-fanged, bristle-haired creature.

His first words echoed caustically back at him, and suddenly Hati lashed out. Instincts pulled Skoll away from the punch, but it still caught him on the jaw, whipping his head to the side. He hissed at the blow, and there was a momentary lull as he brought fingers to his mouth, looking down at the pink staining his pale fur.

And then Skoll roared, bulldozing forward and lashing out with the strength of a werewolf. The last vestige of sense he had left told him to keep his claws sheathed, but even though he wasn’t raking talons across his sibling, the blows were sure to hurt and bruise. He sought to buffet his brother on the shoulder, maybe knock him off balance, and then strike again—there was no strategy, only blind rage and a sequence of blows.

Word Count → 264

I did pp that Hati didn't do anything for a second after the first punch. >> You're free to powerplay whatever you need to too. <3

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:30 pm

guess who doesn't fight fair?? 8D

Word Count → 332

For a split second, Hati thought he saw surprise on Skoll's face, a look of shock that could have been attributed to momentary fear. Then a burst of pain flared from his knuckles as they collided with the wolfdog's jawbone, a solid crack. The impact bruised his throbbing hand, knuckles already beginning to swell -- he tried to keep the pain from his face as he gritted his teeth, but it seemed to him as though the blow hurt him more than it hurt Skoll, who merely touched his mouth to check for blood.

The realization of what he'd just done made his anger shift to cold fear, clenching in his stomach. Skoll was going to kick his ass for this. Adrenaline was coursing through him, making him tremble all over with anticipation and energy. Hati was still growling in defiance, the rumble resonating through his body as he awaited the retaliation that was sure to come.

With a wild roar, Skoll threw himself forward, using his superior weight to crash into Hati. A heavy-handed blow slammed into his shoulder, knocking him stumbling to one side, into another hit that sent him colliding roughly with the ground, a strained yelp torn unbidden from his throat. They were mismatched in strength, and always had been. His eyes were screwed shut, curling into a defensive ball out of instinct -- he had never been in a fight like this before, and the need to protect himself was far greater than the need to attack. Hati knew he could never gain the upper hand from this dizzying barrage, but if he could break Skoll's concentration, throw him off somehow, he could get back at him. Hati flashed a sneer up at his brother as the idea occurred to him, before grasping a fistful of dirt, flinging it up into Skoll's eyes to blind him. Then he launched himself bodily at his golden sibling, intending to tackle and drag him down to the ground beneath him.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:24 pm

Logic and morality gave way for instinct, and Skoll let his blood overtake him. He was a wolf defending his position from a usurper, an alpha meeting a challenge—not a brother fighting a brother. It was probably the only thing that’d keep him sane and fighting, knowing what he was doing, and so he simply struck without thinking, his lips wrinkled back and face contorted with legs. Strong white teeth gnashed at the air as he snarled, but he still didn’t cut into Hati, knowing deep down that it’d be wrong to draw blood. The ancestral wolf did not need to kill to prove a point; he only needed to make it known that he had won.

Hati’s yelp as he fell drew him out of his rage for an instant, and he stood waiting as the dark Catori curled on the ground. Honor might not have prevented him from striking in the first place, but it did prevent him from kicking a man while he was down. He only snarled, demanding that Hati get back up or submit.

His brother did rise—but first flung something at Skoll’s face. The werewolf growled and shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut against the debris. Blindly and stupidly, he tried to lash out, but when he opened his watering eyes, Hati barreled against him. Both tumbled down to the earth, the larger sibling pinned underneath the smaller, where he barked defiantly. He wouldn’t allow himself to stay on his back for long. He drew his paws up to strike his brother again, his body constantly moving in an attempt to heave Hati off him and perhaps even reverse their positions.

Word Count → 280

Skoll fights fair! Kinda. Anywhoo, one thing I neglected to figure out is how this was gonna end. xD A mutual decision would probably work best, but...

POSTED: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:52 am

herp derp I didn't have an ending in mind until you mentioned it! how's this work? -flails arms at the amount of days late this reply is-

Word Count → 396

The trick worked! With dirt in his eyes, Skoll was blind, and it gave the darker wolfdog the opening he needed to bull forward and tackle him to the ground. Skoll was bigger and stronger than him, and with that defiant bark he gave Hati knew he could not stay on top long. A part of him was simply proud of this one victory, that just for one moment he had gotten Skoll to lay on his back as though he was submitting. But the sun prince would never submit willingly, thrashing and striking with his palms even as Hati snarled and pummeled his fists against his sibling's neck, shoulder, face, whatever he could hit without aiming. The throbbing adrenaline had his teeth bared, tensed to snap, though what little self-control he hung onto urged him not to use his fangs against his family. They scrabbled against each other on the dusty ground, wrestling for their positions. Hati struggled to keep his lean weight pressed against Skoll, using all the force he could muster to pin him.

Pain burst from his snout as a stray blow connected forcefully with his nose. He yelped, rolling off and to the side, clutching at his muzzle. There was blood leaking through his pale fingers, the coppery scent overwhelming him. His eyes were watering, and the desire to fight quickly ebbed away as he snuffled through swollen nostrils. He was bruised and bleeding, and he hated blood, hated pain, hated everything about this! "You're such a bully! I... I hate you, Skoll!" he growled, high pitched whine creeping into his desperate tone. All he wanted was to be seen as an equal, but Skoll refused to let anyone reach his level! The brute had to beat it out of him, just as he was starting to feel confident for the first time in his life. His plumed tail curved low, tucked between his legs as he backed away, nursing his bloody nose and glaring through a veil of tears at his brother. They had fixed nothing of the tension between them; this would only make things worse. His heart was pounding in his chest, and he was afraid, scared of his own brother and the raw energy that had driven them to clash. He stumbled backwards, finally turning around and fleeing back toward the stables where he would be safe.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:06 pm

The wolfdog writhed underneath his opponent, guttural growls leaving him as his brother beat wildly at him with his pale fists. He tried to strike back, ignoring the pain of the dozens of blows, resisting the impulse to make a stronger grab at Hati and twist his hair back or squeeze his wrists hard enough to draw a yelp out of him. The prince in the back of his head was revolted by what they were doing, but all he could do was defend himself and strike back and try to stop this, try to get his feet again.

One of his blind blows hit Hati in the nose, and the darker hybrid rolled away quickly. Skoll drew himself up into a crouch, his ears flat and his tongue lolling from panting jaws as he stared at the blood seeping from his brother’s fingers, staining them. His first reaction was to be scared, but he’d only busted the other’s nose, and so he just gulped and narrowed his eyes when Hati looked at him.

The whining words struck Skoll in the chest, but even as hurt flashed across his face he didn’t allow it to last longer than that. He scrambled to his feet and growled as Hati turned to run off with his tail between his legs, his chest heaving from the exertion of the fight.

“That’s right!” Skoll shouted after him, taking a step forward and nearly stumbling before baring his teeth. “Run away, coward!”

He waited until his brother was out of sight, and then he half-collapsed, half-sat against one of the wooden dummies, whimpering and burying his face in his hands.

Word Count → 000

Can probably end here! Archive once ya've read. ^^

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