Ruins of Wildwood
Dead Empress Backwater we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Printable Version

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we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Eros - Aug 05, 2023

Rank challenge for @Rochus.

Eros didn't have all the time in the world for challenging authority. There were growing siblings to attend to, friends and family to check in on, hunts to partake in, the duties of his role to complete each day...

Today though, he happened upon a cache at the same time as 'grandpa' Rochus and it felt all too natural for Eros to hold his head high and his tail higher. It was time. Despite what others thought, the young Valle had put in the work, was of age, and had the drive to be a Second of this pack. Following his father's generation's example, he had decided that it was time for his own to start helping to make the bigger choices.

Besides... who else had really had his father's back through all of this? Certainly not Vayko's dad, and even Vasco had become different, almost distant.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Rochus - Aug 10, 2023

Rochus had gone to deposit a rabbit to the cache, having done his hunting dues for the day and more than ready to spend some time napping beneath one of the Empress trees. He was spending more of his time sleeping these days, or keeping an eye on his grandkids from a reasonable distance.

One could even say he was getting old.

Eros showing up at the same time as him would have normally resulted in a cursory nod, perhaps some exchange of words if the younger wolf spoke up. But his posturing had Rochus setting down the rabbit, his own head and tail raising even higher in response, top lip wrinkling in a scowl. The disrespect!

"Don't play games with me boy," he said gruffly.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Eros - Aug 10, 2023

Boy. It earned a twitch of a smile, wry and only mildly amused. Grandpa Rochus had never done him wrong, but he was far more afflicted by his age than Grandpa Vasco in Eros' eyes. It was clearly time for him to step down, and he could either accept it with grace or make a fool of himself trying to fight it.

He kept his posture, peach eyes watching his elder coolly.

"I'm sure you knew this was coming. You know. As Vayko's father... as Second."

Eros' head tilted slightly, barely containing a smirk. Daring Rochus to defend his rank with words if he could.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Rochus - Aug 16, 2023

His ears twisted back, lips wrinkling even further as Eros continued to speak, both his words and tone conveying his intentions as plain as day. Rochus was no coward, but he knew physically he was more than a bit outmatched. The boy was in his prime, full of energy and with the muscle to back it up.

In his old age Rochus was getting slow; he could feel it in his joints during the colder nights. That would not stop him from desperately trying to hold onto whatever little power and leverage he had left. It didn't matter that it was his bloodline coursing through the veins of the youngest pups if he did not have the seniority to go along with it.

"If you think you have what it takes to handle the pressure of being Second you'll have to prove it." His eyes narrowed at Eros then, baring his teeth fully in a silent snarl. It wasn't all about brute strength, Vasco being Second was proof enough of that, but it would be the easy way out for the younger wolf. "There are expectations you need to meet, from both those above and below you in rank." Not every wolf could handle it, and it would be a shame for Eros to force his way up to the top only to crumble and fall back down.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Eros - Sep 26, 2023

Maybe, just maybe, if Eros had known the man truly, known how critical this position was for his self-image, the younger wolf would have found another way. That was a consequence of the mask Rochus had chosen to wear, however. The truth was, he knew very little about Vayko's father. And that, still, was who he ultimately was- the one who raised Eros' Uncle to be who he is. He could take a little shit for these things.

"And what pressures, pray tell, are you under?" he couldn't help but retort, smile still crookedly present. His words weren't hateful, but they certainly weren't the kindest he was capable of, either. As they carried on though, his mouth began to flatten into a dark line.

"I don't see our founding leader being supported the way he should be, or my siblings. What else has been expected of you?"

This was his main point of contention. Where had their elders been as everything fell apart?

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Rochus - Nov 14, 2023

Rochus hmphed at the boy, dismissive of the question before he even formulated a response to it. "A Second is the go-to wolf for counselling by the leaders, we are here to help them make the important decisions no matter what other tasks we have been assigned to do in the meantime. And you do not see the support we give as we do not reveal all the struggles to the rest of the pack, that would lead to unnecessary worry amongst the members." Some things should be kept a secret and not unveiled for all to see, lest the rest of the pack feel as if the leader is not equipped to handle the responsibility.

His eyes narrowed at Eros, feeling contempt growing for the young wolf who was not even his own flesh and blood. "You think because you're young that you are invincible, but you lack the experience that years of living provides. Real life is much more complex than your young mind could understand." To be an advisor when he was barely an adult was a preposterous notion, surely even Viorel had to understand that.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Eros - Nov 29, 2023

Eros listened, but that wasn't to say he was necessarily receptive to what was being said. Rochus hinted at more turbulence than the younger Valle was aware of, but he wasn't quite believing of it. What more could there be? This was his home. He knew what happened within it, struggled right alongside the rest of the pack, no matter how young. Maybe he wouldn't always have the right answers, but at least he'd be trying, and with every member in mind, not just a select few.

"I've never made claims like that," he answered, almost disdainfully. His baby sister was dead, of course he wasn't invincible. And complicated? Did age lessen that? If things were so simple for Rochus, why was he letting their leader spiral?

They could likely argue about it all day long.

"I know what I'm asking for. It's the only reason I'm doing this. I'm not perfect, but I am right for the job, even if you don't think so. I will prove it."

His head and tail lifted, again asserting his dominance over Rochus. He could correct Eros by force, or he could concede.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Rochus - Dec 14, 2023

Rochus merely snorted in response, not liking the tone the boy had. He had been the same as a younger wolf, but it was practically a rite of passage that Eros would go through himself as he got older. He had no time or energy to waste discussing the matter, and it seemed Eros was of the same mind as his stance changed once again.

It seemed a decision finally had to be made, and for a few moments Rochus' lips curled up to reveal teeth as his head raised. But then he dropped his head, ears pulling flat to lay back against his skull and tail lowering to rest at his hocks. It would be useless to go up in a physical fight against Eros; the boy had youth on his side, and Rochus was not about to put his own body on the line for a short scrap that would likely end with him with his tail between his legs regardless.

Had he been a couple years younger he would have pushed back, but perhaps he was getting a little soft in his old age. He was still no pushover, however. "Take the rank then, if you want it so badly," he snorted out, dutifully adjusting his posture to one of adequate submission befitting a wolf holding the position of second. "But don't come crawling back to me if you can't handle the pressure."

Rochus would bide his time like he always did. There would always be another opening, but for now he could settle with making sure he was a presence amongst the children to secure his future.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Eros - Dec 21, 2023

Eros' pointed ears lifted with surprise as just like that, what he'd sought was his. 'Don't come crawling back' the older wolf warned, but the younger Valle had never been more certain that he was on the right track. Finally, he would have some real clout in the pack, all but guaranteed to have his voice heard. Rochus' pride would heal, he was confident of that too, though he wouldn't celebrate as he wanted in front of his elder. Not after talking so much about being grown now.

So instead of jumping around hooting and hollering like he wanted, Eros maintained his composure, nodding in acknowledgement of Rochus' submission.

"You can always challenge if you feel I'm slacking," his tone was a bit lighter, the words almost joking. Of course though, that was how it worked. And if Rochus really did feel Eros was absolutely bungling the job? The Valle wanted to hear it, wanted to be kept in check, to know when others were unhappy. To be given the chance to fix things.

Eros then leaned back his head, and howled, announcing and asserting to the pack as a whole that he was now a Second.

RE: we've laughed, we've swum, you've cut my toenails - Rochus - Jan 01, 2024

Eros at the very least had the decency to not parade around his victory. It appeared he did have a brain between his ears after all. Rochus merely huffed in response, half nodding in acknowledgement as he bent down to pick up the rabbit. Even though his day had basically just been ruined he would still dutifully store the prey in one of the caches. Unlike others he wasn't one to throw a temper tantrum when something didn't go his way.

With one last cursory glance at the boy Rochus turned and walked away, grumbling softly under his breath into the fur of the rabbit, feeling to irritable to go for the nap that he had been planning on taking.