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couldn't — Sanguine Cove 
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Played by Cade who has 861 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
For @Nash only. Takes place in the early morning hours of 2/22, after Sephrina's body was left with DEB.

By the time Chan had made it home, the sun's colors were just starting to bleed up into the sky. He was exhausted, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. As he passed the markers and entered the territory he felt more machine than wolf, and he hadn't even been able to feign any kind of affect for Auburn who was waiting for him just within the forest. Once more he sent his son away, this horrid circumstance still not ebbed. He still had to tell Nash of the choice he'd made, something he didn't expect the other to take well. Why would he?

Chan sought his brother out, a different creature entirely than when they'd last cross paths. Empathy, emotion, any ability to feel at all were run completely dry, burned away quicker than gasoline by this latest tragedy. Nash was getting the very dregs of what was left of Chan's ability to function without some kind of recuperation.

"Hey."
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

Unbeknownst to each other, both Eastfall men were of a very similar disposition. Nash had had more time to recuperate, curling into his wife's side and watching his daughters bicker. His daughters, who were still alive, who were still playing as if nothing had happened. His children, whom Viorel had kept safe.

And Nash had to get up and walk away for a while. He strayed toward the border where he expected Chan and Auburn to be returning, not sure what he was waiting for but certain he would need to speak with his brother before anything else. Maybe he would understand how he was feeling... especially since Chan and his own son had carried Sephrina's body back home.


Played by Cade who has 861 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Of course Nash didn't look well, and there was a soft twinge somewhere in his chest that was little like regret. Here he was, likely about to make things worse for him. Chan could hope still that time would work it out, however. That this was like ripping off a bandaid (or maybe melted duct tape from dry skin), and the wound would heal more quickly for the oxygen given. They might all end up resenting him, but at least they could still have one another.

Chan swallowed, his mouth feeling dry and his eyes burning. He had half a mind to give in to the desperate desire to find water and sleep, but forged on instead.

"I told Viorel it was my fault, what happened to the girls. That I'm being punished for it. If he has a scapegoat, he'll have somewhere else to put his anger than on the whole pack."
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

He was so sick of surprises. Each ill omen, each event that spiraled them closer to oblivion, carried with it surprise. Nash just wanted something to be expected for once. He wanted his brother to bump shoulders with him, for the two of them to sit together in silence and camaraderie as they recovered from this terrible thing they'd just had to do. From Nash's terrible failure.

But no. Chan had to go and say something unexpected and for a moment Nash was drained of whatever emotion remained - drained, and then filled with anger. His blank expression morphed into a snarl. "You told him what? You lied?" He snapped his teeth together. "You saw a grieving father and you lied?"

He forced himself to take a breath, but there was still a low growl of anger when he spoke. "What, exactly, did you tell him?"


Played by Cade who has 861 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
After facing Viorel's barely-contained fury, Chan was more prepared than he otherwise would have been for Nash's own rage. His gaze drifted, away from his brother's twisting face to focus on the blades of grass swaying beyond him and then blur altogether. Yes, he had lied. He only reacted to the accusation when the phrase grieving father was used, muzzle crinkling briefly before falling flat once more. He took a deep breath, let it out in a sigh.

"That I'd been asked to watch her for a bit, she'd gotten too far ahead, Isla ran while I jumped in after her," he tried to recall and list it all, voice disimpassioned.

"That I was ousted."

He raised his eyes then, meeting Nash's long enough to also break to him, "Auburn and I are leaving anyways."
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

Of all the lies to tell. Nash wasn't sure what to feel as things swirled around in him. He was already to drained, so tired. He didn't want to feel anymore. Perhaps @Aquene would give him something to help him sleep... for the next several days. Or maybe just the night. He couldn't abandon his pack - not now.

But this lie... "Don't you understand what sort of position this puts Oksana and I in? That it makes us look incompetent, lazy?" Deep breaths. That would keep him steady. This was his brother, his brother who told Viorel-

Nash's tail rose over his back and shoulders straightened in a clear display of rank he rarely exhibited. Cold green eyes pinned on his brother, who refused to look at him. "You told him we ousted you? What, so he thinks that I would turn out my brother as punishment for my own poor decisions? I didn't think I'd have to remind you, but you're not alpha anymore. I am. You don't get to make decisions like that for this pack."

And then it got worse. Of all the ways for Chan to drop that little nugget on him... but he'd heard it so many times before. All emotion punched out of the leader and he sagged. He'd come to expect it, and he had been of half a mind to tell Chan to leave - not because of any trouble, but for his own happiness. Chan had never been content here, and this time it was clear he was positively miserable. That still didn't take away the sting. "You're going home with Flair, then?"


Played by Cade who has 861 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Chan couldn't help but feel one wolfish brow drop and another raise in confusion and near-offense at his first claim. He had no idea how Nash was getting that impression, but what was the use of bickering about that point? Maybe his brother had been naïve enough to promise something unachievable like that to Viorel, and the other young wolf foolish enough to believe it. With their own litters to oversee, Oksana a newly-made widow and Nash's mate teetering on the brink, on top of all the usual work it took to keep oneself and their pack alive, there was no way they could have expected to oversee the children every second of their time here - and clearly, they hadn't. No one had been with Sephrina when she met her demise, in fact. Wasn't that worse?

Nash continued, pulling rank and posturing. Chan's own demeanor did not shift, not with submission nor defiance. Were he feeling any better he might have rolled his eyes. As things were, he remained deadpanned.

"It's done. It was all I could think of to help. Do with it what you want."

There was only so much he could control, and what the others made of his words were not one of them. Including, apparently, assumptions about his relationships with others. It wasn't his brother's fault, it was just too close to that truth and Chan bristled.

"I didn't say that."

Of course, he had indeed intended on visiting her and the other Kingsfall wolves he'd come to know as friends, and couldn't know she would be heading out to meet him here in just a few short days. Still, his defenses had been roused.
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

Nash was perhaps a little annoyed that Chan's demeanor hadn't changed. Had he been looking to get a rise out of the man? He'd never been that vindictive before, especially with his brother. That rise came in short order at the mention of his friend. Nash huffed out a tired, ill-humored laugh. "You didn't have to. You left together, you didn't come back together. You can't think I believed you were here to stay for good?" Now the little brother, rather than the alpha, stood before Chan. His words were no longer meant to be cruel. "You're not happy here. I've grown up a lot in the last year. I knew you'd leave again. It's okay. I'm not going to freak out like I did last time."

He didn't share his thoughts on Chan returning again some day.

The leader finally turned his face away, slumped and wrung out like a rag of water. "I just wish you'd found another way to tell me."


Played by Cade who has 861 posts.
Paradise Falls I. Leader
Chan Eastfall
Chan's eyes narrowed and his lips pulled back at that sound, but as Nash continued he realized it wasn't the scathing hit he was anticipating. Some of what he said hurt, some of it was a relief, but mostly it just made him feel deeply sad. He'd thought the bottom of the chasm had finally been reached, but watching Nash crumple rather than be angry proved him wrong. Finally, true tears wet Chan's eyes.

His own haunches fell to the snow, and for a moment all he wanted to do was curl up and try to forget any of the world existed at all.

"I'm," his voice was a crumbling whisper, and the rest of the words almost didn't make it out at all, "I'm trying. I'm trying so hard."

He had wanted to stay for good, he wanted to leave his family with more good than bad, he'd wanted to tell Nash his plans in a much different setting but the cards were what they were. Chan was who he was. A wolf who couldn't always follow through, who told lies, who runs away when things get too hard.

Chan was just bad, no matter what everyone else wanted to see in him.
[Image: 5BdYuOb.png]
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

Nash had been about to walk away, ready to end the conversation before the fight escalated again. He was ready to be the mature adult for once. Only, Chan folded. Crumpled and cracked like the ice under Sephrina's paws, and for a moment Nash imagined he was watching his brother drown under literal water rather than the weight of his own guilt. Or grief. Both.

He turned and wrapped his head around his brother's neck in a tight embrace, pulling Chan into as much of a hug as he could. "It'll be okay," he found himself murmuring, automatically in fix-it mode. It had become instinct over the last several months with his mate. He could do it for his brother too. "I'm sorry for yelling. It'll be okay. We'll be okay."

Nash sat there, content to just comfort his brother in whatever he was going through.