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  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Gale -- Year 215

    QOTY

    "To be a woman is to face monsters" --Brunhilde, written by Phae


    [private]  who knows when our good luck runs out; maze
    #1
    BREACH

    This is to be her home, she thinks, as she stares out over the lake.

    Home.

    The word has an odd taste to it—one that she isn’t sure she likes the taste of. She has never truly cared about a home before. Her life had been mostly transient. Even in recent years when Sochi had settled her and her brother into the Cove, she had known that her mother did not intend to keep them there for long.

    It was only to be the beginning.

    Until it had been Sochi’s end.

    Breach shakes her head violently, as if to distill such thoughts. It was not her end, she thinks. Not the end at all. She was merely sleeping, she reminds herself as she casts a glance over her shoulder to the place where the tigress now rests. She would wake any day and would be thrilled at the progress Breach made.

    It is then that she notes the other girl making her way into the kingdom and something within her snaps with relief. Shifting into a hawk, her favorite form of flying these days, she spirals into the air, her wings snapping open in a show of exuberance. She makes a beeline to the border, shifting as she falls, as was her favorite way. She keeps the wings for a second to catch herself, but they soon disappear too.

    Leaving just Breach, wide eyed and only slightly out of breath.

    “Maze,” she says, the joy clear on her face. “You made it.”

    I want to swim until we both begin to feel the weightlessness sink in




    @[Mazikeen]
    Reply
    #2

    When a few days had passed without seeing her packmates, Mazikeen had started to worry. Even if it was just in passing, she was used to catching the tiger scent of Sochi and the wolf of Daye, and the shifting ones of Breach and Spirit. Familiar scents and familiar sights that had brought her such comfort.

    When a day came and she realized she did not know where any of them were - Maze had waited. Lingering in the Cove for a while, just to be sure they were gone, before shifting into a pale white fox and following the scents of her friends.

    Not far, and into the mountains.

    It does not take long for Breach to find her - Mazikeen watches with a smile as the other girl descends as a hawk and shifts as she lands and Mazikeen shifts into herself again to meet her. Before she can compliment Breach on how good she is getting at flying and shifting, before she can focus on the joy she feels at seeing the happiness with which she is greeted, she has something to ask.

    “What happened, Breach? I came home and everyone was gone.” There's no accusation in her voice, just concern. She trusts this pack, this family, and is so sure that she had only been left behind by sheer chance. She will not give attention to the voice that tells her otherwise.

    MAZIKEEN
    mazikeen


    @[breach]
    Reply
    #3
    BREACH

    It would have been more pragmatic had she actually gone out searching for the pack that she had done all of this for, but Breach had never been accused of being overly practical. Or thoughtful, for that matter. She was rash and hot-headed at times, merely impulsive at others. In this though, at least this particular moment, she feels justified in her actions (she always finds a way to justify them eventually, but this came easily, even for her). She had lost her mother, she reminds herself. She was to be given a pass.

    Still, she feels relief at the sight of one of her oldest friends.

    Relief and the kind of immense joy that is difficult for her to put into words.

    She moves to embrace Mazikeen, a quick and clean contact, before she breaks away, the sweat still sticking to the curve of her neck. “I don’t know where to begin,” she replies honestly, a frown pulling at the corner of her mouth as she turns to the horizon, in the direction where she knows her mother lies.

    Eventually though, she does. Find a way to begin, that is.

    She tells Maze of how she had found her mother torn asunder and her body struggling to pull itself together. How Sochi had finally healed but had refused to wake up—trapped beneath the waves of effort and pain. How Breach had picked her up to bring her to a safe place. How she had negotiated the panther for this mountainous region as a place to keep Sochi safe but also as a place to carry her dream further.

    When she is done, she is not sure whether she feels better or worse, but it felt right.

    “So this is home.” There is a wicked gleam that shines in her eyes. “For now, at least.”

    I want to swim until we both begin to feel the weightlessness sink in

    Reply
    #4

    Maze welcomes the brief hug from her friend, finding comfort there and marvelling, not for the first time, how her home had become a group of friends more than it had ever been a place. The concern doesn’t fade as she listens to Breach’s tale, both relief and sadness welling up within her. Relief that it was not the true end for the tigress, but sadness for her friend at having lost her mother - even temporarily - and the weight of all that had happened on Breach’s young shoulders.

    It makes her think of her own mom, and the white girl promises herself to check in on Agetta a little more often than she does currently.

    “I’m so sorry, I hope she wakes soon. But…” Here Maze grins, though the words that follow are genuine whatever the mischievous glint in her eye may suggest. “I’d follow you anywhere, Breach.” Such a simple statement and it contains so many layers too. Mazikeen will always admire Sochi and certainly will look forward to the day when the tigress wakes again, but her friendship with Breach is more than that. It’s tied up in comradery and loyalty, a bond formed as they both grew and learned.

    Still - as genuine as even that much emotional honesty is, it’s still uncomfortable for Maze to let it linger - better to brush it aside before it can be rejected. So her grin grows a little, fire dancing in her orange eyes. “So there’s a panther now too, huh? I’m going to pick a possum as my favourite shape just to stand out from all the cats.”

    MAZIKEEN
    mazikeen


    @[breach]
    Reply
    #5
    BREACH

    I'd bare you my heart, if I knew that it still was there
    I'm too nervous to look, too afraid to close the book

    In this moment, Breach ignores the sadness that could well within her.

    Something endless and painful—something that could pull her under if she was not careful.

    (Her mother. Yadigar. Herself. All these deaths, each so different and yet so acutely painful.)

    Instead, she throws herself into the ease of her friendship with Maze. The absolute trust that she has in the other shifter. She studies her face and gives herself the moment to linger in the warmth of the reunion, keeping the ghosts at bay that threaten to pluck at her strings. “I wouldn’t go anywhere that you wouldn’t be,” she answers easily, comfortable expressing the depth of her friendship with the other mare.

    She laughs then, looking to the horizon.

    “Perhaps something I may not mistake during a hunt someday,” she says, thinking back to the first time that they had sparred, each shifting as many times as they could. “I have a feeling that there will be others who will join soon enough.” A hope, more than anything. A desperate wish. She couldn’t fail at this. She couldn’t bear to have her mother awaken and have to stare into her face and let her know she’d failed.

    A shrug, as though she could misplace the worry with just a simple jerking of her shoulders.

    “I do have a favor to ask of you though.”

    Another smile, this one more genuine.

    “We are in need of a Champion.”

    She says nothing further. Letting the question remain unasked, hanging in the air between them.

    so take all the wind from my lungs if you're out of air
    just deliver me truth, deliver me you



    @[Mazikeen]
    Reply
    #6

    It wasn’t all that long ago when Maze was sure she’d never form bonds with anyone when she had felt the sting of rejection and resolved to avoid that possibility altogether by closing herself from anyone. And yet here she was with Breach and it was the same with Daye. These mares and fellow shifters had breezed right through any walls Mazikeen might have established as if they weren’t even there.

    And though she still questioned it, still felt uncomfortable with the honesty when it came about, she cannot deny that becoming part of this pack had been the easiest thing she had ever done.

    Mazikeen is quick to offer her own hopes, certain in her friend’s ability to bring Sochi’s vision to life. Hoping too that her words can further chase away any worries that were not shrugged off. “More will come as word spreads and the pack will grow.” Mazikeen knows she could invite her mother and perhaps more of Agetta’s siblings had gained the ability to shift - but she selfishly wants to keep Breach and the rest to herself. A sly grin sparks in her orange eyes as she thinks of the first time she had met Spirit and Nerve and their funny rodent shapes. “I’ll go on a few hunting expeditions and see who I can bring back.”

    She tilts her head slightly at the mention of a favour, curious, and a decidedly feline grin spreads at the statement. Mazikeen’s voice is hushed when she replies, though she’s not sure she’d be able to say why. Perhaps she’s worried it’s a trick. “I’d be honoured.” And then, in a stronger voice. “Perhaps my alpha will even deign to spar with me to keep up my skills now and then.”

    MAZIKEEN
    mazikeen


    @[breach]
    Reply
    #7
    BREACH

    I'd bare you my heart, if I knew that it still was there
    I'm too nervous to look, too afraid to close the book

    Her friend’s trust in her is steadfast, absolute, and she is grateful for it. So deeply grateful for the relief in knowing that at least one of them had faith in her ability to lead the pack—to grow it, to nurture it. There is a piece of her as flighty as she was in her youth that still dreams of taking to the skies and never returning. Of finding the next breeze and letting it carry her out into the sea and into the beyond.

    Somewhere, anywhere, where she could be herself.

    If she even knew what that was anymore.

    But she remains, planting roots where she would prefer to rip them up, and she can only be grateful that it is by the side of those like Maze. Those who watch her with a smile and then a sly grin and then the offer of help. It teases another smile out of Breach who laughs. “Bring back predators and not prey, if you can.”

    A soft laugh before the conversation shifts once more.

    That Maze’s first response is to be honored strikes her to very core—cutting through her as she realizes the full weight of the request—and she finds that she cannot say more on it. Does not trust herself to explain why she has asked the mare. The trust she has in Mazikeen and the knowledge that there was none other that she would be willing to trust with the weight of the request. So she says nothing.

    Instead she grins again, more comfortable with the direction that Maze has taken the conversation. She smiles with the teeth of a wolf, sharp and glittering beneath her velveteen lips.

    “You know that you do not need to ask me twice.”

    so take all the wind from my lungs if you're out of air
    just deliver me truth, deliver me you

    Reply




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