Author Topic: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]  (Read 372 times)

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Offline Orion.

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it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« on: May 06, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
ooc: let Wildberry post first, but feel free to jump in her oocly to let me know you wanna join after! This is set before Orion heads to Gemini.


Orion paused just as the last of the green grasses he'd been traveling across turned to a field of ash. It was dusk, the sun behind him two-thirds covered by the horizon, the sky painted with brilliant pinks and oranges and reds. It had been a hot day, one where Orion hadn't been able to travel as much as he'd wanted, the heat of it reminding him of his home and forcing him to lay in the shade and nap for most of the day. Luckily that left him plenty energized for his nighttime travels, but still, he felt that he'd wasted a lot of time.

Sea-blue eyes turned back to the ashy field ahead of him. Clearly there had been a fire, though from the stale stench of the land, it had occurred long ago. It still smelled faintly of big cats, though--overwhelmingly sabers. Orion knew about the beasts, but he'd only had the pleasure of meeting one or two, and those were from before he even started traveling. He knew, just like his pride, that they could have the tendency to be very territorial. He wasn't incredibly worried about it, though; their stench, too, was stale.

After a brief moment's hesitation, red pads met ashy earth, and he padded forward into the burnt-out savanna. There wasn't much to see; ash for miles, burnt out trees. There were some signs of life shining through, still; prairie dogs and tiny foxes and lizards scurrying away to hide in their burrows from him. Similar to a desert, yet much more... morbid. The sun sank quickly, leaving him a shadow walking through the darkness, the only thing really visible of him being his clear blue eyes. He paused when the smells turned fresher, and blinked when he thought he recognized one. Breathing in deeply, he searched his memory for a name and a face, eventually coming up victorious. "Wildberry?" He called, not incredibly loudly, as he was mindful that not everyone was a night owl like him, and some of the savanna's inhabitants might be sleeping in their dens.



« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 01:28:08 PM by .orion. »

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Offline Wildberry

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2017, 09:06:43 PM »
Sun was setting and the sky was ablaze with hot colors that so contrasted the cool blue and purple of the feminine feline's coat. He yawned, rousing himself slowly from his afternoon nap. Like so many of his kind, he preferred to sleep in the heat of the day and wake at night to hunt and explore. He stretched his long legs and stretched his jaws into another yawn. With one good full body shake, he deemed himself fully awake and ready to move. He lifted his nose to the air, sniffing for the borders. Ah, to the Black Plains. A land of death and ghosts, with stories that may never be told again. A blanket of ash covered that part of the savannah, and yet it was also a land of new beginnings. It was the very place where new members of the pride must pass through to begin their journeys, as he had done quite recently.

I'll head for the border, pick a new direction, and just walk. What a perfect way to explore this endless, sprawling savannah. As he walked, he hummed to himself, prancing a little. There was no one for miles, no one to judge. He could be as silly as he wanted!

"Wildberry?"

He nearly leapt out of his skin. His fur stood up and claws shot out as his back arched and he hissed like a little scaredy-cat. It took a moment to realize the word had been whispered on the wind, and travelled on a familiar scent. He stood completely still for a moment, unsure if he believed it. His eyes fell on a figure in the distance. Just a dark shape against the setting sun. He moved toward it, skeptical and careful. The closer he got, the more defined the shape became. The dark, proud mane. A lion for sure. But it couldn't be, not here...

He moved closer. The splash of red against dark pelt. The surprisingly warm blue eyes. Those two little fangs poking out. "Orion?" Even as he said it, he still couldn't believe it. But it was really him. He loped toward his old pride mate, the prince of sorts. "Orion is that really you?" He nearly barreled into the dark male. "What are you doing here?"
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 09:07:04 PM by Wildberry »

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 10:26:38 PM »
Orion couldn't help the little chuckle that escaped him at his friend's reaction; seeing a large cat leap three feet into the air in fright was simply too hilarious to pass up. It was a good-natured laugh, though, not one brought from malice. He watched with amusement twinkling in his bright blue eyes--practically the only part of him that was standing out in the face of the quickly-fading sunlight--and waited as Wildberry regarded him with suspicion, then disbelief, before finally coming closer and verifying that he was, in fact, who the other male thought.

"Orion? Orion is that really you?"

He let his lips curl up in a signature grin, nodding his head. "It is." He confirmed, chuckling once again as the younger male nearly bolted into him. He hummed, ducking his head to bump it into Wildberry's shoulder in a display of easy affection.

"What are you doing here?"

"Visiting, I suppose." He sat down on the dusty ground, his tail coming to curl around his front paws. "I'm not really sure. Traveling, mostly. Learning." He tilted his head curiously, close proximity allowing him to smell that his friend definitely belong to whatever pride resided in the lush-looking lands beyond the burnt field he now stood in. He smelled strongly of them, a fresh scent, nearly completely masking the scent of Orion's old pride and of Wildberry himself. "You've found a new home, I see?" He paused and glanced around, but still saw no signs of any other lions or sabers. "With... other sabers? Are you--do you like it here?" All Orion could really ask for was that his friend was happy, regardless of the fact that he hadn't been able to find that happiness in their old pride. It was the reason he himself had left, wasn't it? He'd been happy, but he'd been naive, and he'd gotten a rude awakening for his trouble. When he returned--if he ever returned--he intended to be a different person with a wider worldview. Narrow minds begot ignorance, and Orion did not intend to live in ignorance.

He'd learned several things already--not all wolves were bad, and the animals on this side of the mountains seemed hesitant of him, but not genuinely afraid of him, and if they were afraid, they did well to cover it. So far, everyone he'd met had been fairly brave, he thought, in the face of a creature much larger than them. Not that he would've done them any harm anyway. That wasn't what he was here for. "What are they like--your new pride?"


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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 11:51:03 AM »
[[with stoneclaw so inactive, wildberry hasn't had the chance to meet anyone so its not easy to translate OOC inactiveness into IC behavior, bare with me!]]

Wildberry returned the affectionate bump, pushing his head gently against the darker male's neck. He smelled faintly of home and the familiar scent caused a wave of homesickness to wash over him. No, he was never truly happy there, nor completely accepted for his many oddities but it was home, and that certainly counted for something. The larger lion sat, his mass kicking up a little cloud of ash as he did so; Berry mimicked the motion, although his short saber tail certainly couldn't wrap around him the way Orion's long lion tail could. A tiny breeze stirred his cropped black and blue mane-Mohawk, the only remnant of his father's lion blood.

"Visiting, I suppose. I'm not really sure. Traveling, mostly. Learning." Berry nodded, he understood that. He missed that life, sometimes. It almost seemed as though he had less social interaction now than he had when he'd been wandering the world. His shoulders sagged a little. "You've found a new home, I see?" The saber-mix tilted his head and glanced around at the sprawling pride lands with a small sigh. "With... other sabers? Are you--do you like it here?" Ah, now that was a good question.

"There are cats of all sorts here, I suppose. It is nice to be so accepted, but we are few and far between, so actual interaction is... rare." He gave another, deeper sigh this time and gazed at the older male. "Do you miss home? Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever go back." As far as he knew, his father was still there, subserviently following Orion's father's orders. His own father's meekness had truly bothered him as a cub, when the very male who was supposed to protect his son simply rolled over and allowed him to be picked on. Maybe it was better this way, the best of both worlds... He had a home, now, and a family of sorts, a pride that welcomed him with open paws. Could he really complain that he was so alone?

"What are they like--your new pride?"

Again, another fantastic question, and one he wasn't entirely sure he could answer satisfactorily. "The pride is wonderful, in theory. Accepting and a true blend of feline species unlike anywhere I've seen. In practice, though, it is... a lonely place. The wreckage of two once powerful prides, I am told, it is honestly a bit of a ghost land." He took a deep breath and nearly sneezed as ash went up his nose. How fitting, speaking of ghosts, for the Black Plains held a dark and ominous history, like a thick blanket over the land.

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 11:52:03 AM »
"There are cats of all sorts here, I suppose. It is nice to be so accepted, but we are few and far between, so actual interaction is... rare."

He tilted his head curiously--surely that wasn't so? The scent at the borders was so thick, he'd thought they were hundreds in number, far larger than their old pride. The seemed to not be the case, though, unfortunately. Orion felt a pang of sympathy for his old friend; he knew what it was like to be lonely, since he hadn't really accumulated any friends along his travels. Not any that traveled with him, anyway; everyone had somewhere else to be, and Orion, unfortunately, had nowhere to be and nowhere to go. Not yet, anyway. "I'm sorry to hear that, friend. Maybe it's just this oppressive hot season, things may get better once it cools down." He offered optimistically, though he wasn't sure of the truth in his words. It honestly wasn't that hot. Not compared to what they were used to.

"Do you miss home? Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever go back."

Ah, a loaded question. Orion looked away from him, blue eyes turning to the horizon instead as he thought about how to answer. "Yes," He answered after some time with a short nod, eyes turning back to him. "But I've come to learn that our old pride was not a healthy place to live. Not if you want to live in peace. My father, he... He's a great many things, but a good leader is not one of them." This was a hard truth he'd had to face; he'd grown up their father's favorite, so he'd always looked up to him because he got so much attention from the man. To him, he was the best father a cub could've asked for. As an adult, though, taking a step back to look at his father's actions over the years, he realized the grim truth of it all. "Hopefully one of my brothers will learn from his mistakes. And mine." The answer to a question unasked; Orion had decided not to return. Someone else could bare the weight of the crown.

The pride is wonderful, in theory. Accepting and a true blend of feline species unlike anywhere I've seen. In practice, though, it is... a lonely place. The wreckage of two once powerful prides, I am told, it is honestly a bit of a ghost land."

"What happened to them, I wonder?" He thought aloud. From what he'd seen, the lands of the Straights seemed mostly peaceful. He'd encountered very few obstacles in his travels, and those were mostly geographical rather than due to anyone trying to attack him. In fact, to date, no one had tried to do him any harm. He was usually given a wide birth, due to his own towering stature or due to the menacing-looking fangs that poked out thanks to his overbite, making him look much more fearsome than he actually was. He smiled a little as Wildberry sneezed, tilting his head. "Not used to this area of your pridelands?" He guessed, turning his eyes to the ground and then over his shoulder to the burnt trees littering the landscape. "It could use a good rain, that's for sure. Wash away some of the..." He gestured vaguely with a red-padded paw. Ash. Dust. Atmosphere. Ghosts.

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Offline Wildberry

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 02:56:48 PM »
"I'm sorry to hear that, friend. Maybe it's just this oppressive hot season, things may get better once it cools down." Deep orange eyes flickered over Orion's dark coat. It was warm, yes, that could be it... Maybe. He gave an optimistic smile. "Aye, that could be it." It was against his very nature to be glum, so as unlikely as it was, he seized on it as a pawhold for his mood. He would certainly need it as the conversation shifted to their original pride.

He kept his gaze low to the ground, watching as swirl in a small breeze. It danced between his paws. "Yes, But I've come to learn that our old pride was not a healthy place to live. Not if you want to live in peace. My father, he... He's a great many things, but a good leader is not one of them." Berry let out a breath of relief. "My friend, I am so pleased to hear you say that. You were always so good to me, one of the few. I am so glad you are free from, forgive me, that toxic place." He knew his friend loved the king, but the rest of the pride saw a different side to the lion. The king didn't exactly discourage the discrimination that had tormented the flamboyant half-saber cub until the day he left.

"Hopefully one of my brothers will learn from his mistakes. And mine." Wildberry saw the two other princes in his mind, the two polar opposites. Bright orange Adder, as bold as his coat. He cringed inwardly as he thought of the prince who had taken such extreme pleasure in flirting with him. Berry's first crush, though he hadn't understood it to be that. It was really more of a hero-worship; he'd been bedazzled by the attentions paid to him by the prince. As he had gotten older, he'd realized how little they actually had in common, and that the orange male didn't have serious interest in him, it was just play. His feelings had faded, though Adder's attention continued until he left.

"Your brothers are smart. I'm sure they are safe."

He turned as they both gazed out across the tortured land. "What happened to them, I wonder?" Wildberry shivered, his partial mane trembling. Another breeze lifted ash into the air, swirling like ghosts dancing around them in the fading light. "Not used to this area of your pridelands?" He shook his head slowly. "I know it is silly, but it makes me nervous." He offered Orion a small, cheesy grin. "It could use a good rain, that's for sure. Wash away some of the ..." Berry chuckled and finished "History. Aye, but history is not meant to be washed away. It serves as a reminder of what happens when someone reaches for something that doesn't belong to them. Nothing good follows."

He glanced up at the moon as it grew clearer in the dusk sky. "Have you eaten? Would you care to join me for a hunt?"

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 09:00:58 PM »
Orion certainly hoped he was right, if only for his friend. He knew Berry was a particularly sociable cat, and that their previous pride had failed to allow him that. Their previous pride had failed them both in so many ways. Berry had become the jumpy cat he was today, he'd had to leave their pride to find some sort of peace from the lions who'd teased him mercilessly for being different, and Orion had lost who he believed to be the love of his life. He hadn't heard anything from or about Andromeda since the day she'd smacked him and left him, all thanks to his own arrogance.

He gave a soft sigh and nodded, smiling reassuringly at his friend. "No forgiveness necessary, Berry. After Adder was sent away, after Meissa, after--" A pause as he closed his eyes against his own shame before fortifying himself and continuing, "After Andromeda... It all opened my eyes. I finally heard what my mother had been saying since the beginning. He loved me--us--I think, but he was not a good father, and he was an even worse king." What a revelation it had been. He and his siblings weren't saints by any means, but they were leaps and bounds better than their father's lazy carelessness. What sort of king turned a blind eye to his people's suffering so long as it didn't directly effect him? What kind of king allowed his children to do his dirty work, what sort of king banished his own son? What sort of king--

What sort of father?

Orion moved closer to his friend as he shivered, instinctively moving his own bulk to shield the younger male even though there wasn't actually anything to protect him from. Their shoulders bumped and pressed together as Orion re-situated. "Smart, sure. A trait we all, thankfully, inherited from our mother." He paused, ears pressing down to his head. She had only one cub left upon Orion's departure, Centaurus the only one of their litter still in the pride. Addereon had been disowned months before, Meissa gone longer than that. She'd disappeared the second the word betrothal had left their father's mouth. Never one for authority, that one. Still, he ached for the time they had all been together--a family, happy. "...how was she?" He asked with a thick swallow, dreading the answer. "She was so distraught after Adder and Meissa--she understood why I had to go, but--" He started to ramble, to defend his actions to probably the one person who could understand needing to leave more than him, and he stopped short, mouth closing with a click as his eyes cast downward.

History is not meant to be washed away.

"Learn from your mistakes. Don't dwell on them. Do better." He recited, a quote he'd heard so often as a cub. Oh, how he ached for his mother in that moment. The strongest lioness he'd ever met, the foundation to the lion he'd become today, the muscle, backbone, every bone of their entire family. He swallowed against the sudden lump in his throat. Leaving his mother was one of the hardest things he'd ever done. He'd offered for her to come with him, but she'd only shaken her head softly and explained that her place was here now, and she had no intentions of crossing the mountains again in her lifetime. She'd imparted that same mantra, that same relevant bit of advice, upon him as their final words before parting. It wasn't a goodbye, but it held no expectations either. She knew as well as he did that they may well never see each other again, as much as the thought hurt.

He swiped at watery blue eyes, clearing his throat against the memory as it flooded back to him, still so fresh for so long ago now. "A hunt?" He echoed, voice a bit weak, clearly unsure. "Will your new pride be okay with an outsider taking their prey? I don't want to cause any trouble for you in your new home."


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Offline Wildberry

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 10:23:49 AM »
"No forgiveness necessary, Berry. After Adder was sent away, after Meissa, after--" Berry could already tell what name was coming next from the pain that crossed his friend's face. "After Andromeda... It all opened my eyes. I finally heard what my mother had been saying since the beginning. He loved me--us--I think, but he was not a good father, and he was an even worse king."

"He did love you, everyone could tell that. Especially you, O." He bumped his friend's shoulder gently. "He did not have the words to say it, nor could he overcome his own pride to tell you. But anyone who heard him speak of you could hear it in his voice." It was maybe a mild stretch of the truth, but only just. The king's pride in his son was evident to anyone who cared to hear it; why the grey lion could not show his feelings for his son in a way the young prince could understand was beyond Berry. If he were to ever be blessed with cubs of his own (unlikely) he would make sure they knew every day how important they were to him. Family is a blessing; it should be, anyway. A gift from the heavens which should only be bestowed upon those who deserve it. He gave a deep sigh.

Orion bumped him gently, his posture clearly that of a protective brother-figure. Berry gave a sad smile; the ache under all that mass which caused the instinctual protective attitude reared its head. "Smart, sure. A trait we all, thankfully, inherited from our mother." Ahh the beautiful red queen, the vibrant female who, thankfully, seemed to have passed on many more traits to her princes and princess than the grey-scale king. "...how was she?" Berry didn't have to ask to know he spoke still of his mother. "She was so distraught after Adder and Meissa--she understood why I had to go, but--"

"She clung to your brother as though her very life depended on it. I will not lie, she was unwell for some time, but she knew how life would change for Centaurus, for the whole pride, should she give in to an untimely demise. She managed to find some strength in that, for she is a mother through and through. To know that others depend on her feeds her maternal instincts and gives fire to her heart. She missed you, grieved for you, for your brother and sister. But as with all pain, it grew easier to bare with time." He turned to meet his friend's eyes. "She does not blame you." As with any story, there was more to it than that, but he hoped his answer would give Orion some strength, as well as relief from the guilt Berry was sure he felt. "Learn from your mistakes. Don't dwell on them. Do better." Berry smiled a little and fell quiet to allow his friend some time to think.

"A hunt? Will your new pride be okay with an outsider taking their prey? I don't want to cause any trouble for you in your new home."

A fair point, one Berry had not thought of in his eagerness to see his old friend. "If we stay here in the Plains, we should be alright. This is a grey area," he explained, pausing as the literal and figurative means overlapped in this ashy grey area of the pridelands. "This area is designated for outsiders to visit or seek acceptance. As long as I do not bring you to the heart of the pride land, for that would be simply put a terrible idea." He chuckled and glanced around. Hmmm, easier said than done. With death hanging over the area, most prey knew instinctively to avoid the Black Plains. "Do you smell anything? This half-breed nose of mine is useless," he declared, screwing up his face in a slightly frustrated expression in an attempt to glare at his own nose.

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Re: it's over, isn't it? [visiting][wildberry/open]
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 09:02:53 PM »
ooc: bump for myself!
Quote
But I don't let him touch me anymore
I said "I'm not something to butter up
And taste when you get bored.
'Cause I have spent too many nights on dirty bathroom floors,
To find some peace and quiet right behind a wooden door."

He said, "Please don't go away."
He said, "Please don't go away."
I said "It's too late."
I said "It's too late."