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Are you gonna hold me accountable
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Played by Melorama who has 390 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater III. Medic
Clover Assana
Backdated to October 23rd, late evening, @Viorel only please

Clover hurried her way through the trees, eager to get back to the Backwater and find Viorel, wherever he may be. She knew he was a night owl and so was likely up and around, and hoped he would be easy to find. Xulia had not been among the wolves in the mountain, nor had they seen her around, and that had immediately worried her to no end. After dealing with the business with the Cove wolves she had begun the trek back, taking some time to thoroughly investigate the last place she had seen the other woman. When she was nowhere to be found Clover decided to instead make her way back home and inform Viorel of what had happened.

When she finally reached the border Clover let out a short howl for Viorel, her voice shaking from tiredness and worry as she called out. She hoped Xulia had managed to return home and was already safe and sound, but if she was missing then that would be her fault. They were supposed to look out for each other while they were away from the pack lands, and she would never forgive herself if something terrible had happened to the woman while they were separated.

Panting somewhat heavily, she sat down next to one of the large trees, allowing herself to regain her breath while she waited for Viorel to arrive. She did not want to go bursting into the pack den and cause a big ruckus just in case everything was all fine, or announce that Xulia was gone and cause everyone to worry. It was better if she brought it up with Viorel so he could take it from there rather than sending everyone into a panic.
Played by Ghost who has 634 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

After completing his evening patrol, Viorel had set to work on the next item on his mental to-do list. Checking the caches to see how full was, and debating on whether or not they were comfortable enough for the winter yet. It was coming quicker than he liked, and with so many children in the pack, not to mention Katna and Walleye who weren’t in top shape, they needed to be prepared. He had been in the process of reburying the storage he had just dug up when the call reached him.

Quickly stamping the dirt firmly back into place under his paws, Viorel hurried towards it. He was relieved to hear from Clover since she and his sister had left to go on their diplomatic trip up the mountain. The weather was only going to get worse, and he had worried they may get caught in mid-autumn storms that could leave them trapped on the stone giant.

A large smile was present on his muzzle as the cream coloured woman came into view, but slowly faded when he saw that she was alone. He didn’t want to jump to conclusions but his sister’s scent was not thick on her coat as it would have been had they recently been together. Coming to a halt he forced the smile back on his muzzle, ”I’m happy to see you back, and thank you again, for making the trip.” Just the thought of going up their sent an unpleasant shiver down his spine, he didn’t love heights.

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Played by Melorama who has 390 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater III. Medic
Clover Assana
She did not have to wait long before Viorel's familiar black form came into view, and she swiftly rose to all fours. The slight slip of his smile did not go unnoticed, but she allowed him to speak up first before bombarding him with what she wanted to say to him. "Thank you Viorel, it's good to be back." The usual cheeriness in her voice and smile on her face was noticeably absent as she spoke, and she could feel her stomach twisting uncomfortably with worry.

"Has Xulia already made her way back here? We got separated by a sudden storm on our way to the mountain. I tried looking everywhere for her, even the wolves on the mountain had not seen her by the time I reached there, and her scent was washed away by the time I got back down the mountain." The words rushed out of her mouth almost all in a single breath, and she felt her shoulders begin to shake with anxiety at the thought that Xulia was all on her own and lost. It would be all her fault if that was the case, and she stared deeply into Viorel's yellow eyes, hoping for more than anything that he would tell her that Xulia was home safe and sound, and that she had nothing to worry about.
Played by Ghost who has 634 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Her smile didn’t grace her features, and Viorel felt the anxiety creeping in, it wasn’t often that Clover was seen less than positive. Stepping aside in a gesture of welcome he murmured, ”Please, we can talk while we walk back to the den. You must be exhausted, and the children miss you.” Dad was good, but he was busy, and he couldn’t fill the roles of both parents no matter how much he tried.

Viorel was too ashamed to admit that his first thought upon Clover’s question was that Xulia had ditched her and abandoned them again. His siblings had been less than enthusiastic about being here, and he found himself growing closer to his cousin’s on the daily. His stomach churned with guilt when he heard that it had been a storm that separated the women.

Falling step beside her he replied, ”She’s not here. How bad was the storm?” He had not seen hide nor hare of her since she left, where could Xulia have gone? Why had she not sought out the mountain pack, or her home? ”Are you okay? You didn’t get hurt or lost in storm?” The mountain was not the place to get turned around.

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Melorama who has 390 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater III. Medic
Clover Assana
She nodded at his words, feeling a deep tiredness in her bones that she knew even a full night's rest would not get rid of, but the thought of curling up with her children in the warm den was more than enough to get her walking again beside Viorel. There was a pang in her heart at the thought that Xulia was out there all alone, no warm den with family to curl up with, and she had to force out deep and even breaths or risk spiralling out of control.

"I miss them too, have they been good while I was gone?" The thought of seeing her children again brought the smallest of smiles to her face, even with all the worry and stress she was feeling, and she could only assume they had kept Viorel busy while she was on her scouting trip.

A choked sound left her throat, something between a soft cry and a sigh, when Viorel said he had not seen his sister, and if he had not seen her then it meant she had yet to return home. It was all her fault, she should've looked harder for her, or continued searching until she was found. It was too late now, and she could only hope that wherever Xulia was, she was safe and of sound mind and body.

"It came out of nowhere when we reached the base of the mountain, and we got separated before I even really knew what was going on," she said softly, her gaze focused on the ground as if in shame, not wanting to meet his gaze for having returned without his sister. "I managed to crawl into a small opening among the rocks and waited there until it passed, but by that time Xulia had disappeared." She sniffled softly, doing her best to hold back the wave of emotion rolling through her. "I'm alright, just tired from the trip," she added on, wanting to let Viorel know that she hadn't been hurt during the storm or the journey.
Played by Ghost who has 634 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Viorel sighed at Clover’s question, and grinned lopsidedly, ”Our children were angels as per usual. Archer and Eros on the other paw….” He trailed off with a shrug, but the movement brought a wince across his features as it jostled his broken ribs. With the way the woman had fallen into step next to him, she could definitely see the clumps of fur missing from his pelt, and the colourful bruising beneath. Damn elk.

The man walked in silence for a few moments after Clover finished speaking, his mind reeling. He just couldn’t keep doing this with his sister anymore, the constant worry. When she was home, when she went scouting and didn’t return. Maybe something happened to her, or maybe she was looking for the smallest excuse to leave.

Touching his nose gently behind Clover’s ear in reassurance, he straightened up with a wince again and broke the silence. ”She will turn up, she always does. I’m glad you’re home safe, and that’s what matters.” Something he was coming to realize was that blood didn’t always mean family.

Quickly trying to change subject so he didn’t have to talk about Xulia anymore he asked, ”How are the mountain wolves?” Hopefully better than the rest of the trip had been.

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Played by Melorama who has 390 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater III. Medic
Clover Assana
Clover noticed his wince and a frown appeared on her face, but she didn't comment on it just yet. In her tiredness she hadn't initially noticed the missing fur on his side and skin discolouration, but now that they were walking in step it was very noticeable, even against his dark fur. "Were they as chaotic as usual?" She had come to realise that the two boys were generally always up to some form of mischief, and it made her just a tad relieved that her own trio seemed to be on the calmer side of things. They still got into some trouble here a there, but not as much as Archer and Eros. Vanadis likely had her paws full every day looking after the two of them.

She accepted his touch with a soft sigh of relief, nodding along at his words. He was right, she was strong-willed and able to look after herself, she'd turn up soon and then they'd one day reminisce about it fondly. "Glad that you won't have to look after our children by yourself," she said, attempting a teasing tone, but it fell a little flat due to her tiredness. It was hard to be jovial when all she wanted to do was curl up and sleep.

His question had her silent for a few moments as she thought about what to say. Chan had been a very hospitable host, welcoming her and offering her anything she might have wanted without any fuss. "They're doing well, and have a pawful of kids to deal with as well. But everyone I met seemed good, and their healer was very thankful for the plants I brought to them." She would have loved to stick around longer and chat with Aquene about different techniques and mixtures of herbs, but it just hadn't worked out that way. Maybe next time.

Clover was quiet then for a bit, before finally looking sideways at Viorel. "What happened?" She asked quietly, motioning with her muzzle at his side. It looked painful, but she wasn't as worried as she normally would be as she had faith in Vanadis' skills as a healer, and was glad she had been around when Viorel had gotten injured, otherwise who knew what might've happened.
Played by Ghost who has 634 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Viorel rolled his eyes dramatically at her question, ”Even more so than average, if you can believe it.” Hard to imagine for someone who hadn’t been here, but Archer and Eros had been busy while she was away, busy pissing off the wildlife that is. Smiling softly he responded, ”You’re a better mother than I am a father, our kids would be nowhere with only me.” She might have been going for a joke, but his tone was serious, he had known all along she would be a good parent, he was still trying to figure things out.

Nodding a few times at her words he mumbled, ”good good, I’m glad things are going well up there.” His mind was already whirring with thoughts of the next trip up there, maybe something on more official business come the spring. The Estuary had had a ton of political allies back home, and it was certainly something he was interested in with their closest neighbours. That, and having their mountain expertise could be useful knowledge in the future.

He had not wanted to worry her, and considered trying to play dumb until Clover gestured at his side. Frowning he answered honestly, ”Eros thought it would be a good idea to challenge a rutting elk. I took a hoof to the side trying to keep them safe, nobody was seriously hurt-” A lie given he himself had received broken ribs, ”But most of us took a bit of a beating before we were done”. It seemed nobody had had a good time while she was gone.

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Melorama who has 390 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater III. Medic
Clover Assana
She very gently bumped her shoulder against his. "Both Vanadis and I would disagree; you make a wonderful father." He'd run himself to almost exhaustion caring for both the litters, and only a good father could have done just that. She would eb eternally grateful for him and everything he had done for their children, even with how strangely everything had fallen into place. But the pack had made it work, and they were all stronger for it.

Even in her own tiredness she had enough strength left to stare sideways at Viorel with a raised eyebrow, tutting very softly. Those two boys had more than their fair share of chaotic moments, and it was only because Vanadis had been there that she didn't go off on a tirade at him for letting it happen in the first place. She could only assume the woman had already given him an earful about it. "I'm just glad everyone was okay in the end." Clover pointedly glanced at his bruised side as she spoke, letting him know that she was aware there was more damage to his body than he let on, but letting it slide this time. Bruising that bad was a sign of something worse, but she trusted Vanadis' abilities to heal.

As they walked further into their home Clover felt her eyelids begin to grow more and more heavy, and she wished for nothing else but to curl up with her children and sleep. Food could wait till she had a bit more energy. "I think I'll head straight to bed for now, food can wait for the morning."
Played by Ghost who has 634 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Viorel rubbed his shoulder back against Clover’s grateful for her compliment. The movement made his side smart but he was careful to keep the wince to himself this time lest he concern her more. He nodded in agreement that nobody had been more hurt, and glanced away quickly so as to not meet her eye after she looked over the bruising on his side. He knew it looked bad, but he wasn’t willing to admit that out loud.

Smiling at her softly, he ushered Clover forward, ”let’s get you to the den, hopefully the kids will let you rest for a few hours.” That was probably the most they could hope for, they would be excited that their mother was home. Side by side they began to track across the backwater, and Viorel was content to have her back safe and sound.



FADE
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