sonder winter 1710

I ran away, didn't I?

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Protestor

from Rionnach
age
3 years old
gender
Female
size
Small
scent
Old books
supporting
Voxi
threadlog
encounters
writer
claerie



if I touch the moon and kiss the stars
they'll hear my whispered prayers
Shivering, she woke with a start. Her whole body trembled and

"Ah..." she murmured when she saw him, her smile bittersweet and pained. Not from the sun, for it was night. Not from her burns as they had healed. Not, even, from the nosebleeds that had plagued her last night. It was instead a throbbing pain born of her own immature behavior, from how she had left him so suddenly in the middle of the night. After all he had done for her—showing her the ball and teaching her to dance, caring for her during the height of the heat waves—she had left without so much as a word.

And the person she had ran to had been a dear friend that, for months, she had neglected in the exact same way.

"I'm so sorry," she murmured while glancing down at her paws, unaware if he was walking toward her to sweep her up or yell at her. "I woke up to so much blood and I didn't know—" If she would die without medical attention? If it was contagious? If she was cursed and that it could transfer to him?

But it was all an excuse and it felt sour on her tongue.

Closing her eyes, her ears folded back. "No, I'm sorry. No excuses."

And she braced herself against his rebuke.

escapism
flower petals


@Monarch
10-20-2022, 10:40 PM
#1

Bartender

from
age
3 years old
gender
Male
size
Large
scent
Rum and Smoke
supporting
Undecided
writer
Martina
She had left, but so had he. Waking up to find her gone, blood everywhere, but from her, from himself? He’d had some leaking from his nose in the morning, but there was too much, couldn’t just be his… Monarch had searched, concern lacing every thought. But he couldn’t find her. Despite their time, he realized he knew little of her real life, of who else she loved and confided in, where she would go. And then when he’d gone back to the Redwoods, doubt crept in, as well as anger in himself. What had he expected really? Yes, they spent time together and he helped her, and maybe he thought they were friends… but she had a life, something she belonged to. And if she’d wanted to continue, wouldn’t she have said something, before going? Wouldn’t she have returned? So instead of waiting, searching… he’d left.

The spiraling thoughts were bothersome, and all of it stung in ways he hadn’t let anything hurt him in a long time. But walls were easy to put up again, and Monarch went back to everything from before. He was surprised how dull it all felt. Like everything was grey and lacklustre, even though it was exactly the same. Months past, and though he tried resisting, his paws carried him further and further afield. Maybe, secretly, he wasn’t done looking yet. Somehow he found himself at the College. (“Somehow”… who was he kidding?) It wasn’t the first time. Monarch realized belatedly, that maybe this was the best place to look for her, but pride (or maybe despair) was getting in his way now. He could never go in, couldn’t ever ask. Just sat watching from a distance through the seasons, wondering. And Monarch never saw her. Until tonight.

It was dark, the meadow laced with shadows, and there she was, practically glowing… asleep. His steps were hesitant, his face a mask of confusion, hope and uncertainty, brows scrunched in their usual frown. Suddenly a gasp of her voice, so quiet, and he was frozen instantly, surprise coloring his glower. Ara smiled but she looked uncomfortable, not like before. Monarch could feel his heart drop, a hardness coming over his eyes. Well, what was he expecting? She probably didn’t want to see him.

Monarch was silent, not sure what to say if anything. A step backwards, as if ready to leave with nothing said, but Ara continued, her head bowed now. He froze again as she spoke an apology, talking about the blood but cutting off, words a jumble. She closed her eyes, not looking at him, and apologized again. He stared in silence for a while before a huff of breath, and suddenly he was in her space, his nose brushing against and around her neck, an embrace. As if to check she was real, that she was okay. But it was only an instant before he was immediately several steps backwards, healthy distance between them. "I’m glad you’re okay,” he said, his voice gruff, uncertain. It felt like he hadn’t spoken in years, his throat was so dry. "I was worried… but I thought you just left and…” his face suddenly hard again, blue eyes holding hers but letting nothing through. "Must have had a reason,” he said, with a shrug. She didn’t have anything to explain and yet, he couldn’t help the distance he felt between them now.

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(This post was last modified: 10-24-2022, 09:16 PM by Monarch.)
10-24-2022, 09:10 PM
#2

Protestor

from Rionnach
age
3 years old
gender
Female
size
Small
scent
Old books
supporting
Voxi
threadlog
encounters
writer
claerie



if I touch the moon and kiss the stars
they'll hear my whispered prayers

It was odd to think how great spans of time could pass, changing oh so very little, and then within just a snap! everything would collapse. How long had he been in her life? Nearly two years now. From a stranger—a bartender attempting to tidy up the last of the evening's grapes—to an acquaintance with a bemused expression but listening ears whilst she prattled on about the fae and folktales. Then he became a friend, one that she'd lend her book to and then pester about chapters she'd learned by heart. Always wanting his feedback, seeking his knowledge, asking for his thoughts and opinions. From friend to confidant, he'd taken to showing her bits and pieces of his world. Not all of it, never all, but enough that she felt... special. Invited. Welcomed in a space where he seemed to entertain so few.

His family? Wealthy enough for him to have no trouble gathering those coveted scraps of blue fabric. But as for their names or faces, Ara could not have picked them from a ledger or a crowd. She had looked once, intrigued if the records in the Arboretum's clerical section had detailed anything about him—then, feeling foolish, she had stopped. Books were secrets from an entirely other world, none had been made by wolves. Monarch's life, therefore, would not have been written in them.

Then she'd gotten sick. Their companionable distance had become closer far more quickly. He had helped to carry her into a den. He'd provided fundamental first aid and had sought healers to come to her. When none could, each far too busy with the camps they'd been summoned too, he had devoured what knowledge he could and brought it home to help her. Small touches had become common, accepted, expected, even?

But when she saw him there, standing in the middle of the woods she'd called home once, she felt something in her break. It was as if they'd been living in a little glass terrarium and she, without having realized it, had rolled it off the bookshelf edge. And she was just now taking in all of the shattered pieces on the floor.

She braced herself for every cruel and ugly thing that he might say to her—only to feel him pull into her a tight little hug. A hug that lasted for but a brief moment. "I'm glad you're okay," was his breathless reply and she allowed herself to bask in it. "I missed you," she whispered in response but it was so quiet he might not have heard. But where she was going to pull him closer and selfishly put the terrarium back together, he swept away the pieces. He recovered that healthy space with the same cool decisiveness he'd shown back in the bar.

Two years to build this tenderness.
One season just to break it.

His voice tapered off, blue eyes as hard as they'd been when they had first met.
Ara felt her lip wobble, her eyes stung—but she dug a tooth into her cheek and refused to waver. She wouldn't cry over what she'd done, not in front of him. It would be wrong to make him comfort her when she'd abandoned him so swiftly.

"Must have had a reason."
"Not a good enough one," Ara responded softly, gaze down at her paws before she forced herself to drag it back up. To really look at him, to feel the pain and the twist in her stomach from what she'd done. What she'd broken.

"Monarch, I'm sorry. Really, truly. I didn't want to die and I feared that if I didn't return to the college at once that I would. And I didn't want to infect you—" Yet she had ran to Arthur without a second thought, imposing such danger on him. What was she? Doomed to trample the ones she cared about? The sudden seething self-hatred caused her gaze to drop a bit, falling from his fierce eyes to his muzzle.

Her brow furrowed.
Without much thought, she approached, eyes widening with fear and concern. If he didn't retreat, she'd nose his muzzle as if turning it over in her hands. Had she had them, she would have cupped his face, but alas. "Are you having them too? Nosebleeds? Are you sick?" The raw fear in her voice was hard to ignore, and briefly, it quieted the self-loathing and the chasm that stretched between them.

escapism
flower petals


@Monarch
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2022, 12:31 AM by Ara.)
10-25-2022, 12:29 AM
#3

Bartender

from
age
3 years old
gender
Male
size
Large
scent
Rum and Smoke
supporting
Undecided
writer
Martina
Though the time they had spent together far outweighed this brief lapse of nothing, it still felt so complicated to see Ara here, dappled in moonlight. Monarch felt all those regular feelings of joy, relief, excitement. And then waves of insecurities would wash over, making him harder, abrasive, careful. But there was no anger, never anger. Though all he held most days was anger and disdain for most things, he had never felt it around her. Even in this moment of what some might view as a betrayal… he wasn’t angry. Monarch believed in her, had to believe that there was some kind of reason. Ara wouldn’t abandon him, or anyone. It was just so fundamentally against the wolf he had grown to know… and yet. And yet, and yet, and yet. He battled against the doubt, the doubt that made him want to protect himself from pain that maybe everything he thought he had built with Ara was nothing after all.

Their contact was brief, instinctual. Monarch hadn’t been able to fully hold back. Taking a breath of her smell, noting again with some relief that she smelt healthy, nothing like back in the summer, even as she also smelled different, wafts of herbs and things he wasn’t used to. Her lips murmured words, ”I missed you,” but so quietly, and he pulled away so quickly, Monarch couldn’t be sure he’d actually heard them, or if he’d imagined it only because he wanted to.

Despite the conflict inside, he could not tear his blue eyes away from her. Monarch was trying desperately to read her face, sensing conflict there too, but his confidence was shot and as he held himself back, it felt like Ara was trying to hide something too. She spoke, breaking their eye contact for a moment, remorseful. His brows burrowed further as she apologized again, speaking of infection and death, his skin prickling at these thoughts. She’d been sick, and worried about hurting him too? Monarch could feel a flash of frustration bubble up and he shook his head, almost impatiently, mouth opening to say something but before he could, Ara had suddenly moved closer, her ruby eyes wide and the fear there obvious this time. Her gaze traced along his muzzle and Monarch froze once more, letting her touch and inspect him, a shiver dancing down his spine at the coolness of her nose.

His body wanted to rear back, to snap and retreat, but he held himself still, every muscle taunt and unsure. But Ara’s words gave him pause, the shake of terror in them. Ears twitched as she mentioned nosebleeds, and he remembered suddenly the bits of blood still caked on his nose. Things slotted into place… her fear of infection, leaving him. It sounded plausible. He trusted so very few, but Ara was one of them. And he realized he still did, even after all of this. Maybe her leaving had not been for any of the reasons he had run over and over again.

With a face still closed off Monarch nodded, breaking their contact but remaining close. "Yes, some nosebleeds, here and there,” he paused, the knit in his brow now touched again with confusion. "but I thought nothing of them… I feel fine, otherwise” he said, his voice quiet, a complete lack of concern. He’d worried for her, but not his own, figuring it was the dry air, or tiredness, or… who knows. "You thought it was illness,” not a question, but a statement, confirming the pieces as they clicked together. He had to close his eyes and tilt his head back and away, a deep, bone-weary sigh leaving his mouth. "Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you come back, after?” he asked, finally able to voice them without his eyes on her, but unable to fully keep a waver of fragility out of the lull of his voice. She already said the reasons and apologized, and he wasn’t looking for more explanation. But it was as if the wall of glass between them had shattered and he felt less afraid to speak. "I thought you’d left because… because you were done. Going back to your regular life, and… you didn’t want me to follow.” Monarch felt a fool for speaking it out loud and hated it, but even so, he didn't want this chasm to only grow deeper. Monarch was never afraid of honesty, even if this one hurt him too.

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@Ara
11-13-2022, 09:32 AM
#4

Protestor

from Rionnach
age
3 years old
gender
Female
size
Small
scent
Old books
supporting
Voxi
threadlog
encounters
writer
claerie



if I touch the moon and kiss the stars
they'll hear my whispered prayers
He didn't let her continue to hold him and her heart ached as he broke the connection between her muzzle and his. It made her want to reach out again, to trample that boundary and mold him back into the Monarch she'd grown to rely on back in summer. And why couldn't she? Hadn't the very first version of her been an impetuous scholar of the Fae demanding that he let her into his bar? Was bravery not how this had all started? What if she had simply walked away when he had demanded that she leave? What if... she had never known him at all?

That sudden thought stole her breath away and for a moment, true fear flickered in her gaze. Her heart rate accelerated and white nosie skittered in her ears. It lasted for all of five seconds and yet it did not fully melt away when his words brought her back to the present.

"Yes, some nosebleeds, here and there... but I thought nothing of them… I feel fine, otherwise."

Relief. It banished some of the residual nausea that had washed over her. "It is the same for me. I thought I was dying—I had seen it before in the abbey—" Ah, had she ever told him the name of the cult that had raised her? "—my home. But they died quickly." And the bleeding wouldn't stop. No, it would flow and flow until it left the nose and the mouth.

"You thought it was illness."
She was more focused now and she nodded once, gaze searching his face.

Ara waited in silence then... and when he spoke at last, it was her turn to think and reflect.
"Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you come back, after?”
"I wanted to come back with an answer so that it didn't seem like I left you for nothing." Her lips pursed and she glanced down at her paws. "I realize it was foolish now. Stupid, really." At that, she laughed slightly, self-deprecating notes in her voice.

"I thought you’d left because… because you were done. Going back to your regular life, and… you didn’t want me to follow."
What?
Alarm and surprise burned across her features so suddenly that all she could do was stare at him for a second. Her rebuttal followed after. "No!"

Her voice was louder than she first expected, but instead of softening again, she decided to lean into it. Pressing her muzzle back into his cheek, she stared up at him earnestly. "You are my regular life." Now her cheeks were burning, but she felt as if she didn't honor her heart and keep up with its pace then she'd lose it forever. "And I didn't realize it until I was back. But everything felt alien, like I'd never made a home here. I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest right now and I think I might faint, but this is also the best and most confident I've been since I made it back."

Sucking in a breath of air, she leaned back for a second and broke the contact she'd forced on him.

"And it's because you're here now. And I want you to stay." A flick of her ears. "Unless you don't want to? I'll go back. Right now. I just need to pack a few things."

Suddenly it felt hard to stop talking, as if it was easier to hide her heart and it's flurry of emotions in actionable tasks.

But of course, she should... hear his response right? So that she might know if he understood what she was saying?

By gods, did she understand what she was saying?

escapism
flower petals


@Monarch
11-22-2022, 01:02 AM
#5

Bartender

from
age
3 years old
gender
Male
size
Large
scent
Rum and Smoke
supporting
Undecided
writer
Martina
Monarch felt like he required the cautious distance, battling against wanting to go to her and wanting to protect himself, so the breaking apart was needed and involuntary at the same time. Still, he could tell that it had hurt her, in the quiet afterwards. But Ara stayed, and didn’t get angry. They seemed to be in the same uncertain limbo, and from each moment to the next he wasn’t sure how he would act, feel.

But his gruff reply about being fine changed her demeanor entirely, the relief there palpable and even more confusing. She spoke on how others had died, and where her fear had come from… and something melted a bit in Monarch’s frosty interior. It was obvious Ara cared, but if that was the case then… why? Why did all this happen? She continued to stare at him intently, the flush of her red-blue eyes steady and unwavering on his… Though he broke their gaze for a moment, when it returned it was even more intense, icy-blue staring with what was maybe desperation as Monarch asked why.

It was Ara’s turn to look away, her tone and her tiny laugh somewhat self-scorning, and Monarch frowned to hear her speak in such a way, even if he had been frustrated, bitter. A lot of those feelings had settled there in her absence and with Ara suddenly in front of him, looking uncertain, afraid, sad… it tamped all of them down so small he barely recognized them, or why they had happened. Instead he felt sad himself, for the reasons why he had gone and stayed there. He sighed again. "No… perhaps I was the foolish one,” he said, his voice soft and deflated. He paused before explaining himself further, realizing exactly where all these assumptions had left them, and wanting to be rid of all that no matter what it might bring.

Ara’s reaction was entirely unexpected. She looked at him flabbergasted and burst out with a No!, more vehement than he had ever seen her before. His brows lifted in his own surprise, almost taking a step back. She pressed forward again, determined, pressing into his cheek and Monarch did not shy away this time, letting them remain entwined. His ears turned back as he heard the words, her cheeks ablaze and face flush with so many urgent emotions he couldn’t even fathom. Her words surprised him even further, his mouth parting in a shock of breath, frown back as he stared at her staring intently at him. The way she was speaking, full of regret and honesty and want… Monarch didn’t know what to do with himself.

She paused with a deep breath and leaned away, as if remembering herself, but then said… she wanted him to stay… or she’d leave with him. No hesitation, no questions, and ready to do it immediately. What? He gaped like a fish for a few moments, brain like mush, slow to connect the dots. For whatever reason, despite seeing and hearing it himself, Monarch found it hard to believe it was all true. Did she want him, really? Him? Again he thought to himself, why? But instead of letting that hesitation paralyze him, Monarch took a breath and moved forwards, fully embracing her, wrapping his muzzle around her neck and nuzzling in. Closing his eyes, letting all those words hang there in the air for a moment. An answer in itself. The soft rumble of a chuckle moved through his throat as he reveled in her warmth, in her being here. "I really, really missed you.” he said, his voice whisper-quiet. Maybe it wasn’t everything that could be said in this moment but it was an admission. Monarch had never said that to anyone before, and could hardly believe that it was true, that he had missed her so desperately. He didn’t have words for the rest of it, yet.

How foolish they both had been.

Monarch let seriousness take over again, for a moment. He pulled back again reluctantly, but not far, softly butting her forehead with his own and letting it rest there. "I want to stay with you, wherever that is. ” he admitted, knowing now that he didn’t want to go through all of that again, the bleakness of it. He didn’t want Ara to disappear. Another soft rumble of a chuckle. "But maybe we can slow down…” his tone a bit amused. "I don’t even know what this… abbey, is like,” he said, knowing that even if he didn’t like it he could stay there for her, if that’s what she wanted. Monarch realized now that the where didn’t really matter.

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@Ara
12-03-2022, 01:12 PM
#6

Protestor

from Rionnach
age
3 years old
gender
Female
size
Small
scent
Old books
supporting
Voxi
threadlog
encounters
writer
claerie



if I touch the moon and kiss the stars
they'll hear my whispered prayers
He attempted to offer the conclusion that he had been the foolish one, but it only earned a small shake of her head. No—no he had not been foolish. Unwilling to hold onto her, perhaps, but who could blame him for that? In another life, he might have been the type to try and hold her near no matter the cost. But at what point did that white-knuckled grip become suffocating? Abusive, even? She knew without having to speak that he would rather lose her than cage her. That was one of the reasons that she had always felt safe in his company. There was a certain, unspoken trust between them. One that made her forget just how delicate a bond could truly be. Just how easily she could actually lose him.

And perhaps it was this realization that filled her with a sudden exhilarating energy. Her heart was hammering within her chest, threatening to break free and speak to Monarch itself lest her tongue get in the way. It was all she could do to keep up with the dizzying, breathless feeling that filled her mouth with words, thoughts, feelings, plans—ah, had she said to much?

Her brow unfurrowed slightly as her concentration was broken by the look of shock on his face. Monarch's mouth gaped like that of a fish and his blue eyes seemed to be swimming with confusion. It earned him a brief respite from her feverish spiral into the future.

Then, suddenly, he was all around her. Embracing her, nuzzling into her neck, folding her into him as if she was a long-lost puzzle piece clicking into place. Despite herself, she laughed. It was a light, lovely sound, one that mixed with relief. And she squeezed him back, tightly, as if that pressure might convince him that she was serious even if her words failed.

"I really, really missed you.”
It was a whisper. A breath. And it made her unbelievably giddy.
Turning her head, she pressed a kiss to his cheek—and perhaps with a bit more force than was required at such close distance. Her nose stung a bit and she laughed more, even as her eyes sparked with involuntary tears. "Sorry," she gasped in between laughs. "I missed you too," was her soft, breathless response.

When he pulled back a fraction, Ara took the opportunity to breathe in deeply. While a sense of sudden shyness took over her, she also couldn't tear her eyes away from him.
"I want to stay with you, wherever that is. ”
Her cheeks warmed more, the flush growing deeper.

"But maybe we can slow down… I don’t even know what this… abbey, is like."
At this, she realized her mistake and she laughed again. "Oh I don't live there anymore—I suppose I should tell you about that time of my life though, huh? It seems relevant now." And while it seemed a bit silly, she felt a self-conscious flash in her chest as if he might suddenly start rejecting her now. Logically, she doubted it, and yet some part of her was nervous. Afraid that this giddy happiness might fade away.

But if it did, she'd throw herself into getting it back.

"I live here at the College. I'm a student but... I don't know. We could find a place nearby. Make it..." Her head canted to the side slightly as she took in his face, searching his expression. "... Ours?" Ara mused, curious to see how he would react.

escapism
flower petals


@Monarch
12-18-2022, 07:28 PM
#7

Bartender

from
age
3 years old
gender
Male
size
Large
scent
Rum and Smoke
supporting
Undecided
writer
Martina

Suddenly everything felt… right. More right than he could ever remember feeling. The doubt and listless was dismissed by her embrace, warmth spreading through him, thawing everything that had been cold. And her laugh! The chime of it, delighted and surprised. A contented hum vibrated through his body as she returned the embrace, almost aggressively, as if he might let her go again. Ara placed an equally rough kiss on his cheek and his throat grumbled with a laugh to match her own. He relished the soft breathless of her voice saying that she missed him too.

Finally, regretfully, they moved apart slightly but not far, still connected here and there. A leg against hers, tail over a paw. They stared at each other then, Monarch taking in the flush of her pale face, her eyes, staring as if he’d never looked at her before that moment. And Ara didn’t look away either, even if he could tell there was some shyness suddenly. While he wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen now, he felt confident in a way that he hadn’t in a long while, and there was no shyness.

Ara mentioned she did not live at the abbey, and Monarch’s brow frowned slightly, but smoothed almost immediately after. He nodded slightly. "I’d like to hear about it. If it’s something you want to share,” he said, his voice still soft, gentle. He looked behind her briefly as she mentioned the college, a place he had never been before. Another unknown thing about Ara, though he had vauge ideas. They still had so much to learn about each other but for some reason it did not feel daunting. He returned his icy eyes to hers as she asked about perhaps… finding a place of their own. Monarch smiled at the tilt of her head. He shrugged. "I am truly, good for anything,” he said, his lips in a slight smile, a bit of a chuckle. "Our own place sounds like the best idea,” he murmured, leaning into Ara again, his own kiss on a cheak. Before pulling back quickly, energy flooding him. "Should we go look now?” he said, his smirk small but strangely playful.

STOCK➤ Dawnthieves ART ➤ AMPHI

-Exit-
@Ara
01-14-2023, 09:47 PM
#8

Protestor

from Rionnach
age
3 years old
gender
Female
size
Small
scent
Old books
supporting
Voxi
threadlog
encounters
writer
claerie



if I touch the moon and kiss the stars

they'll hear my whispered prayers
What silliness, what... a beautiful, breathtaking accident. She glanced down at their intertwined paws, warming at the touch and the subtle way in which it kept them connected. To think that he had once been an obstacle in her way, barring her from exploring the Drunken Seagull and the naiads it might hold. And she had been a nuisance obstinately keeping him from closing up shop. That awkward dance had tipped what felt like a hundred dominos over the last two years. From late nights discussing her texts on the Fae to a ballroom dance... Was this not what life was about? What she had left the Abbey for? But in a way, it also meant that she wouldn't be able to return, not in the way that she had lived there for all of her life.

Yet with Monarch in front of her, that didn't seem so sad.

"I'll tell you all about it," Ara promised. "And you'll tell me about your family in exchange," she said with a playful narrowing of her eyes.

Because while it went unspoken for now, she had the feeling that his family would be hers soon, and vice versa. A joining of lives and an intertwining of memories. Their families would be a part of that too, at least partially.

Her ears perked up straighter and her eyes widened as he pressed a small kiss to her cheek, his voice confidently agreeing with her. Somehow that made her heart leap into her throat and caused the skin on her face to blaze bright and ruby red. She had even suggested it!

"Y-yes," Ara agreed, bouncing to her paws with a light laugh that was both awkward and giddy. "Follow me." She brushed alongside him and began to walk, happy to have him by her side.

Tonight and every night after.

- exit Ara -


escapism
flower petals


@Monarch
01-22-2023, 02:00 PM
#9
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