Ruins of Wildwood
Fool's Gold Chasm Guided by her tears as they fall - Printable Version

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Guided by her tears as they fall - Adelard - Oct 11, 2021

Our memories hide in vain hoping they can be saved
But she leaves the ones that won't let her go
I always hear her voice when she calls
Guided by her tears as they fall
She loves everything and nothing at all

- Everything and Nothing - The Boom Circuits

October 11th; Mid-Afternoon; Broken Clouds; 39.15 ° F, 3.97 ° C

His business in the Glen had been short and sweet, unexpected even for stiff muscles and frozen bones. A quick glance at the sky above told him he still had time to gallivant about. Truth be told, he was still on the lookout for little gifts and tiny baubles to bestow upon his packmates. He had found deer remnants a while ago, but he had ultimately buried what he had found. Abandoned it. Forgotten it. The cubs were far too old to squabble over it now.

The emergence of orange ferns among the greens and browns told him he was getting closer and closer to home. He swallowed down the realization that he was not ready to return to his cold hollow of a bed. To the empty cavern and its freshwater pool. To the loneliness that seemed to blanket the territory of Fools Gold Chasm.

It was suffocating.

Glossy eyes blinked as his jaw jumped and he cleared his throat. If he wanted a change, he knew he, himself, had to change. Change like the color of leaves. Change like the coolness and rhythm of the creeks. Change like the seasons.

Hesitant paws found their way into the creekbed. Where he had come from shellfish hunting had been a specialty to a handful of pack members. As a cub, he managed, but he had done it entirely for fun and competition (against his siblings, he easily caught and ate the most).

Eyes raking along the gentle, rippling surface he watched as both waves of bubbles and foam raced past him. Then, there, across the way, on the same side of the riverbank, he saw a natural stillness in the water. He picked his way to the shallow pool, staring down into his dark silhouette until he saw the pebbles.

With a paw, he sifted the bottom of the riverbed, humming a soft, light tune for the heck of it. Surely something would turn up.

RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Saga - Oct 14, 2021


Autumn hit the Chasm quickly, turning the ferns and overhanging trees before she really had the chance to appreciate that the season was coming. It was beautiful, truly, but the silence that it brought made her heart ache for warmer, easier days. Winter would be hard, she could feel it in her bones, and the silence of the Gods didn't do anything to lessen her worries. Perhaps they had abandoned her here, or perhaps.. she had missed something very important, or maybe the silvery woman had simply strayed too far from her intended path, but whatever the reason, there was nothing more that she could do about it.

Saga's children were growing, their once tiny bodies filling out the spaces they were meant to, and yet, their father's absence still weighed heavy on her mind. Where was he? Had something happened? Had he been held up? And if so, shouldn't he have sent word? She never voiced these fears, of course, keeping them closely guarded in the space beside her heart as she continued to move forward, trying her best not to look back.

Adelard's scent on the wind drew her off course, taking her outside of the borders until the hum of his voice called her in. "Fishing?"


RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Adelard - Oct 16, 2021


His unseeing eyes suddenly focused as a voice pulled him back into the present. The ever-warping rocks came into view and he blinked before lifting his head. The ghostly grey figure was hard to miss against the backdrop of dark, frost-bitten trees. Saga.

For a moment, there was only the whisper of the breeze, the babbling river, and the drip, drip, drip of water draining from his mane back into the pool.

A lump formed in his throat as the fleeting image of Riven flickered behind his gaze. His jaw clenched; he wasn't even sure anymore if they were a thing or if they were anything to each other at all. Another mental note: check on the little blond healer. Don't forget.

"Saga," it took a second for his mind and body to connect and form proper words. Her name. A genial greeting. Then, suddenly, nervousness gripped him from the inside out. "Um," he stumbled, still drinking in the sight of her while he shifted about in the water. "Not quite."

He managed a small, albeit crooked closed-lip smile as he reoriented himself to face her. Since they had had that formal talk about leadership, all he could ever see in her was heartbreak. Maybe now was a good time to reconnect and see what exactly was left.

His eyes went to the ground at her feet before they met her spring green irises, "Ever dug up mussels before?"

RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Saga - Nov 14, 2021


She offered a smile in response to her name, but it faltered, if only slightly, at his demeanor. He seemed.. far away somehow. Saga wasn't sure what had caused it, nor could she truly pinpoint the emotion seeping from his coat, but it concerned her nonetheless. Whatever it was, whether it was the stress of leading a pack that had caused it, or something else entirely, Saga couldn't help but feel a touch of guilt whenever she crossed his path.

The smile Adelard did little to dissuade her worry, but she brushed it aside as much as she could. "No, I can't say I have." She'd fished, of course, and she'd stepped on her fair share of mussels, but the silvery woman had never actively caught one. "Is that what you were doing?"


RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Adelard - Nov 30, 2021

"No, I can't say I have."

Adelard couldn't help but stare and stare. For a fleeting second, bitterness nipped at the corners of his eyes; but, then, Saga Tainn fully emerged. In all her radiance. The afternoon sun rendered her into a beacon on the shore.

"Is that what you were doing?"

"Attempting to," he admitted. "Haven't tried in a very long time." Another wistful smile, one that seemed to age him by a dozen seasons, "It's easier to rummage around if you ask me. Ravens make for easy dinner dates."

His gaze, which had fallen to the river's surface again, rose to meet her face once more. It was as if he had never truly seen her before. His heart skipped a beat. All this time, they had danced about in different circles. They missed one another after the figurative baton of leadership had been passed. He had never even given himself a chance to get to know her. Understand her. Establish where they each stood... as individuals.

He caressed the water with a gentle paw, turning from mussel digging to the conversation at hand. If she wanted to join him, she would; and, if not, there was no harm in having her company from the waterline. "How've you been?"

RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Saga - Dec 14, 2021


"Ah." A smile accompanied her nod as she moved to the edge of the water. "I'd have to agree." Mussels were delicious, but the energy you had to expend to find a single mouthful was often better spent sniffing out a carcass or chasing down a rabbit. It was a luxury, really, to be able to dig them up, which is probably why she hadn't had them since she'd left the Springs, well, that, and the fact that she'd never been the one to go searching for them.

Her gaze dropped with his, focusing on the waves as they swirled past his limbs and moving down until she met her own pear-eyed reflection. "The kids keep me busy, but everyone is wonderful, so I really can't complain." The woman flashed a smile before asking, "What about you?" Though she tried, Saga was unable to keep her ears from dipping back as the apologetic feeling crept up her spine.

In an effort to push it away, the woman tested the water, finding pleasantness in the chill. "Mind if I join you?"


RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Adelard - Dec 15, 2021

The smile on his face seemed to warm as he heard her mention that the cubs kept her busy and that they were all well. Sublime. He expected nothing less. Otherwise, he was going to have to have a stern word with a few individuals. In his head, he scoffed in his head. Him. The disciplinarian... He preferred that he died before he became his father.

"What about you?"

There it was. A smile reciprocated. Feelings returned. Even if only platonic. It added fuel to the fire in his chest, which had been only glowing embers for some time now. To this, he merely nodded. If he opened his mouth then and there, who knew what would have come out.

He watched her reflection, eyes trained on her face before hearing her step into the creek's edge. Another glimpse stolen as he held her gaze.

"Mind if I join you?"

Butterflies. The slightest sensations of their wings against his limbs and sternum.

"Don't mind at all," he waded off to one side, inviting her into his space. "Please." There was a moment for silence to slip between them if she did not speak before him.

Again, his gaze fell. He felt like he could lay down into the silt at his feet and melt away into nothing. Every part of him was burning. Smoldering. He was a creature of scorching bones and searing sinew. His tongue pressed hard against the top of his mouth. For being together for nearly a whole year, it was diabolical for everything to still feel so fragile. He wanted to do something. He was going to do something.

A slow paw swiped at the side of a sizeable stone, moving it with ease beneath the shimmering surface. If he didn't say anything now, he doubted he would ever have a chance to.

"I lied," he murmured just above the babble of the stream. "I'm angry." The sound of distant thunder rolled in his throat, "I'm furious, Saga. I'm so furious that he left you." He looked at her now, "I don't know what to do with myself."

RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Saga - Jan 07, 2022


Though she held onto her guilt, Adelard's warm smile made it easy to push away, made it even easier to forget about her worries. Saga was endlessly thankful for him, and for the others too. Honestly, the monochrome woman wasn't sure what would have happened had she not had such an amazing support system.

The waves crashed against Saga's limbs, cool and crisp as she entered the water. She found Adelard's reflection on the surface, meeting his gaze there for only a second before his eyes swept up and hers followed. The woman did not shy away, did not find an excuse to look away, not even when his own gaze faltered. Instead, she quietly took her place, filling up the space he had made for her.

His warmth subsided, replaced with an emotion that the Tainn couldn't quite place. Was it anger? Resentment? Concern laced her features, knitting her brows together as the woman took a step toward him. Saga might have said something, might have offered Adelard a reassuring smile, but once his jaws parted and words began pouring from his lips, she lost her chance.

Saga listened as he spoke, either unwilling or unable to interrupt. In truth, she was furious too, and angry, and hurt, and hearing Adelard's pain made it that much harder to push away. The woman waited for him to finish, took one shaky breath, and moved forward, closing the distance between them in an effort to quell his anger and the emotion swirling in her gut. If he would allow it she would reach out to rest her crown against his neck, much like one might reach out for a hug, and she would apologize. "I'm sorry." And truly, she was. "I don't know what to do either." She'd been winging it this whole time, pretending that it didn't hurt, pretending to be strong for her children.

"I'm angry too." Saga wasn't sure why she allowed the admission to slip, but whatever the reason, it was out now and there was no taking it back.


RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Adelard - Jan 07, 2022

So much for trying to keep busy, for wanting to enjoy a bit of silt-sifting and a bite to eat with a fellow pack member. His emotions had to get in the way. Getting close with this bunch of wayfarers had certainly turned him soft.

He could feel Saga's own energy shift to the side of him. This was the point of no return. They would never be as they were before. The ice had broken and Adelard was not willing to hold back anymore... but, then, neither was she...

Adelard felt her press against him. It was almost second nature, the simple tilt of his head. The touch and gesture reciprocated.

She apologized and immediately he felt the sting of wanting to take it all away. The grief, uncertainty, and anger. Most of all the anger. Hudson and the others had gone and there was nothing left they could do.

His eyes shut as they stood there in the slight meander of the stream. "Well," the word was cumbersome on his tongue. He winced. Uncomfortable before he remembered his place. "If there's one thing I do know, it's that I follow your lead." A half-lidded gaze saw him focus beyond her and into their rippling reflection. He sniffed before taking a half step back from her, dipping his head down to nudge her chin gently upward. Head level and proud. There were no more tears to shed, no more lamentations for the missing and absent.

Perhaps this was where the pack motto had come from. Hudson and Riven had tempered them in fire. They would surge forward. Stronger.

He tried to read what emotion glistened in her spring green irises, "What do we do if he comes back?"

RE: Guided by her tears as they fall - Saga - Jan 07, 2022


They stood there, intertwined in their shared grief and anger for what could have been seconds, or hours, or somewhere in between. It felt good to be comforted, to allow herself to be comforted. She'd kept it all inside for so long, letting it bruise and fester until even breathing felt hard. Perhaps she could have let it go sooner if she hadn't tried so damn hard to push it away.

When he finally broke the silence, letting her know that it was her lead he followed, Saga couldn't help but feel another wave of guilt wash over her pelt. He placed a trust in her that she felt undeserving of. Maybe if she had all the answers, or if she'd proven herself somehow, but she didn't, and she hadn't, and maybe she never would. Rhaegara would have been more fit for it. The tawny woman had a wisdom Saga wasn't sure she could ever contend with, but for some reason Adelard had chosen the Tainn's lead instead?

Her head remained bowed as Adelard stepped away, but her eyes found their reflections on the surface. Whatever test the Gods had given her, Saga had failed.

But then his muzzle dipped below hers and suddenly she was meeting his gaze. That simple act felt so.. significant, like shifting her view had somehow shaken her entire perspective. The dying embers in her chest lit, burning through her, brilliant and blinding in a way that made her jaw clench.

"The Chasm belongs to you now. To us." To Rhae, and their children, and Woya. "We've waited for him longer than we should have and now it's time for us to move on. If he wanted to be here, he would have been, and I'm sick of putting my life on hold and wondering why he chose not to come back." The words fell from her tongue, each syllable more determined than the last. "This isn't his home any longer."