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From Dusk Till Dawn [M] — Heartleaf Creek 
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Played by WildFlower who has 127 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater V. Subordinate
Sage Hervok
{OOC} Backdated to 12/14/2023 Sage is sleepwalking, TW/M for nightmare.[/OCC]

some fairy tales are more than true

The body arose within the middle of the night with the head hung limply so that her nose drug a line in the snow. Her paws moved in slow sluggish steps as she traveled from the den to the pack's borders. Mindlessly her pale legs shuffled beyond her home, traversing through the land with no set direction or motive.

Within her mind, Sage dreamed of endless white that stretched for miles upon miles. Her claws scraped the crystal clear surface that encompassed every inch of visible ground. The ice creaked and moaned with every rapid movement. She raced down the river with labored breaths. Her voice was stolen away, her throat hoarse from wailing, cheeks dry from tears that could fall no more. Her heart thudded in her ears.

She was chasing after the fleeting form of @Clover bobbing up and down beneath the surface. Sprinting a different direction every time her white fur would appear. An expression of horror was etched upon the face of the woman as she scratched helplessly against her prison. The yearling couldn't find a break in the ice, nor could she make one with how quickly the current carried the other. Her paws began to leave bloody prints in the wake of her tireless effort to keep pace.

"She speaks" She walks She thinks

(This post was last modified: Dec 16, 2023, 06:15 AM by Sage.)
Played by Greyer who has 134 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VI. Medic
Oleander Valle
Everything that had happened yesterday left Oleander restless. His limbs itched and his mind raced. He should have been asleep, but something within told him to stay awake just a little while longer. As he lay in his little thicket, he stared at the packed snow outside. Everything was quiet. There was nothing but the sound of his breath and the infrequent creaking of the empress trees. His ears came forward and his nostrils flared. Someone was close.

His moon-white head poked out from the slanted opening of his shelter. The vines rustled as he fully emerged. Standing tall, he gave his coat a good shake and then went on his way. He, too, would meander, aimless but awake. His limbs held no direction, but when he saw her there, his fur stood on end.

Sage.

Oleander's jaw jumped. He had to swallow the lump in his throat. Not wanting to startle her, he forged through the trees and followed along her trail, step by step. Where was she going?
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way
Played by WildFlower who has 127 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater V. Subordinate
Sage Hervok
some fairy tales are more than true

Her pale paws carried her on and on through the night. Unaware of the company that followed behind her, merely moving along no predetermined path. Sage was sound asleep, but her body was actively in motion as she trekked further away from the comforts of home.

The silent march went on for a long while before her paws shuffled to an abrupt stop. She stood there, her head lifting to look dead ahead into the dark woods. Her eyes opened, a blank stare greeting the world. Within her dream, Sage had come to the end of the line. She could no longer find evidence of her alpha. Just endless white that felt smaller and smaller, as if it were closing in on her.

The ice steadily shrank until all she could see was what remained beneath her paws. Everything else was pure white and endless. "Hello?" Her voice echoed all around her. She'd lost Clover...but instead of sadness, she only felt puzzled at the scenario she found herself in. She was trapped in...myst? Fog? Smoke? What was this endless blank realm?

Suddenly the world flipped, rotating until the ice that was below her was above. Desperately she pawed in an attempt to free herself, but nothing was of use. She beat against her prison until fear thrusted her awake with a startled gasp. She fell to her belly with a soft wail of confusion.

"She speaks" She walks She thinks

[Image: SWS_MostLikelytoGetTogether_tri.png] Dead Empress Backwater [Image: SWS_MostEndearingMoment_tri.png]

Played by Greyer who has 134 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VI. Medic
Oleander Valle
Oleander was careful to keep his distance. When she stopped, he stopped. When she changed direction, he followed without question. Even across pack borders, he went after her. They went past a few certain trees and beyond a characteristic boulder. Even here, he tried to pinpoint their destination to no avail. Minutes and several meters later, he still had no idea where they were going.

Ever the watchful guardian in the shadows, he held his breath when she came to a standstill. His tongue felt covered in tree sap, stuck to the roof of his mouth as he watched her. One of his ears turned to one side. Was she… asleep?

Her gasp startled him, and when she collapsed to the ground with a confused cry, he went to her. Slow paws came up along her right side, only speaking when he came into her line of sight, “Nightmare?” His voice was low and quiet, hoping not to jolt her further into distress.
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way
Played by WildFlower who has 127 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater V. Subordinate
Sage Hervok
some fairy tales are more than true

She wasn't alone. Relief washed over Sage as she peered up into golden eyes and nodded. "I...I think so." She laid below him still, mind flickering between present time and flashes of her horrid dream. She surveyed their surroundings, "How did we...where...where are we?" One minute she was fighting for her life beneath the ice and now she was lying safe and sound on the ground. The confusion, stress, and fear bubbled up within the girl until it poured over in the form of tears.

She allowed silence to embrace them, trying to wrap her brain around everything, then with an eruption of emotion muttered "I lost her." Her voice was weak, "The ice...I couldn't save her." Everything that had transpired in the nightmare had felt like a reality to the yearling. Like they had never truly pulled Clover from the icy clutches of death.

"She speaks" She walks She thinks

[Image: SWS_MostLikelytoGetTogether_tri.png] Dead Empress Backwater [Image: SWS_MostEndearingMoment_tri.png]

Played by Greyer who has 134 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VI. Medic
Oleander Valle
Sage's head tipped upward to look at him, nodding, "I...I think so." A small twinkle of a smile played along his black-lined lips. She looked around and he followed her gaze. "How did we...where...where are we?" Oleander slowly sat beside her, dirty tail curling up before settling close to his side on the ground. He gave a roll of his shoulders with an air of both nonchalance and indifference, "Not far from home." They were safe, after all, and nothing terrible had happened during her night walk. "You just took a little stroll is all." And, I wanted to make sure you were okay...

The silence of the cool winter night enveloped them. He only had eyes for her as she seemed to collect herself. "I lost her," she stated. Oleander's jaws parted, brows knitting together as her tone changed. "The ice...I couldn't save her."

"Ice?" he questioned, ears turning to the sides of his head. "Lost who?" In his head, memories flickered behind his eyes. At first, he thought of the pup who had recently joined them but then realized the more obvious answer: Clover... when she had fallen through the snow and under the ice.

"You mean, Mama?" his head tilted to the right. "Clover? She's safe and sound in the infirmary." He would have known. He had just come from that general part of the Backwater wolf territory.
(This post was last modified: Dec 20, 2023, 06:44 PM by Oleander. Edit Reason: timeline shenanigans )
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way
Played by WildFlower who has 127 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater V. Subordinate
Sage Hervok
His new art is STUNNING! Oh, and this thread takes place 2 days before the cougar slaying lol

some fairy tales are more than true

For a moment her fear was gone and her heart gave a little flutter as he smiled down at her. She couldn't help but let herself get a little lost in his eyes. Sage broke the contact as he moved to a seated position, not wanting him to think she was weird or creepy. She wiped her face on her legs in an attempt to dry her tears. She didn't need anyone to see her fall apart. She had enough to prove to the pack as was. The familiar feeling of inadequacy sneaking up on her while she was at her weakest. "Oh" She said, audibly relieved. His calm demeanor on the matter, along with his answer, had the girl relaxing some. Her muscles grew slack and she let out a deep breath letting her nerves settle. "A stroll?" She laughed lightly, although the sound was more confused and concerned than humored.

She nodded her head and started to answer him when he cut her off. She didn't mind though, it meant he'd pieced it together without her having to recount what she'd witnessed. Mama? Sage hadn't connected the dots on everyone's lineage yet, but it came as a mild surprise to find out Oleander was Clover's boy. The resemblance was uncanny. Hearing that Clover was okay was a welcomed relief, even though she already knew that."Yeah...it just." She sighed and laid her head across cream paws, "It just felt so real." She turned her snout away from him so her face was angled away, trying to hide her expression.

"She speaks" She walks She thinks

[Image: SWS_MostLikelytoGetTogether_tri.png] Dead Empress Backwater [Image: SWS_MostEndearingMoment_tri.png]

Played by Greyer who has 134 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VI. Medic
Oleander Valle
Derp. Not me looking at my Timeline and forgetting to backdate this thread, haha. x) Edited previous post~

"Yeah...it just." She answered, a breath lifting from her. Her head lowered, "It just felt so real."

Oleander looked to where he could hear the creek babbling beneath the ice. He was sure she didn't need him staring and ogling. She had dried her tears, and he knew the feeling of vulnerability that came with it. He allowed her to collect herself further, to ground herself in the here and now. No one was lost, they were far from the ice, and there was nothing but the two of them in the silence and snow.

"Yeah," he echoed. "I used to have lots of those. Not so much anymore, but they crop up now and then. I get it."

A few months ago, he would have been bashful and coy, unable to even speak in the presence of someone of the opposite sex. His gaze went down to the snow at his feet then, slowly, towards where she had settled. He lifted a paw, sliding it across the frost until it brushed up against her own. His teeth grit together as he blinked and looked away. Play it cool, play it cool... He pretended to fixate on something in the distance. The small gesture could have been affectionate, but he wanted to let her know that he was there for her.
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way
Played by WildFlower who has 127 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater V. Subordinate
Sage Hervok
Happens! Also 0.0

some fairy tales are more than true

"What helped?" She asked him, still looking away, "Stop the nightmares I mean...I don't think I've had one since I was a pup." What sort of thing could even worry a child so small and tenderly cared for by thy mother? Sage could easily recall the warm embrace of her mother while she licked her tears away. She could give Nia that at least, she was a loving parent...just flawed. The older she got the more Sage understood everyone had faults. "Will you tell me what yours were about?" She knew she was potentially asking a delicate question if Oleander was sensitive about such things.

Sage's ear flickered his way, her eyes shifting to stare at their paws. Whoa. Her heart beat like a drum and she wondered if could he hear it. She grasped at straws, unsure how to react to the touch. She was unfamiliar with intimate feelings beyond familial and close friends. Sure, her mother had talked about falling in love...but Sage hadn't paid it much mind.

At last, she looked at him, her eyes betraying every thought that lurked behind emerald depths. Her breath hitched, the girl staring at him although he looked away. She needed to say something, she didn't want him to think poorly of her. To find her awkward, or worse, creepy for staring at him. A stare that held the glimmer of blooming feelings, all fuzzy and warm, twinkling with curiosity. "Your uh paw makes mine look small." Drats that was moronic. She gulped nervously and looked down at the ground hot with embarrassment.

"She speaks" She walks She thinks

[Image: SWS_MostLikelytoGetTogether_tri.png] Dead Empress Backwater [Image: SWS_MostEndearingMoment_tri.png]

Played by Greyer who has 134 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater VI. Medic
Oleander Valle
Not wanting to make it seem like he was hesitant to answer, he looked back at her when she commented about their paws. He let out a small chortle, staring at both pale paws. His, then hers. Hers, then his. "So it does," was all he could comment. There wasn't anything funny about such an observation, but he thought it endearing. Sweet, like sage and Sage herself.

"Well," he began. "For a little bit, I dreamt about my sisters... what I could remember of them anyway." There was a lick of sadness at the end of his sentence, wistful for the memories they never made. Violet had been first, then, without warning, Marguerite. He missed Margo the most. "I'd be following them and they would disappear into the dark. No matter how I tried to chase after them, the darkness would swallow me whole as it did them. The moon would be out, but I could not see."

A small pause to let his words settle. He hoped was enough of an icebreaker. He, himself, was surprised at his composure. When had he started feeling this confident? He couldn't be sure. "I... also dream of waking up entangled in vines," he added, voice quiet and even. "I'd be stuck and it'd be everywhere." His nose wrinkled at the thought, "I'd choke on the leaves and cough up berries." He stopped there, not wanting to get too graphic. "Everything poisonous sprouted – from me."
they say pray it away, i swear,
OLEANDER VALLE
that I'll never be a saint, no way