In Dire Straits
[PRP] for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Printable Version

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for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Telana - October 17, 2018


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There hadn't been a lull in her nerves since arrive, though she appeared calm and collect, anxiety had taken root in her mind at the very thought of their people just going off and mingling with the pack, thankfully some of their worst culprits were not here, she shuddered at the idea of Dirt walking around a place like this.

However Telana couldn't let herself dwell on those thoughts for too long, after all, she'd have to set up a meeting between the alphas. Touch base with them and continue their talk of an alliance, something they both could benefit from.

She would take this moment of solace to limp to a rest under the boughs of a willow tree, taking a deep breath as if it'd help ease the pain of moving into a seated position, spoiler: it didn't really. She exhaled sharply, breath uneven, but for the most part she was fine after the dull, numbing ache washed over her in the small waves. Eyes scanning the purple trees and actually enjoying the feeling of sun on her back. It was freshing to be here, where the air felt clean, rather than murky Alteron.

A twig snapped behind her and she tensed, eyes rolling as she tried to surmise who could possibly be trying to sneak up on her. "Cocytus, I don't need to hear about Sage again, please go away." Her tone was commanding, stern, but trying as nicely as she could possibly be to her nephew, the steps came again, and instantly her ears drew back. Enough, that's it. "Cocytus, I said-" Whirling around and stopping when amber gaze met a smaller form. "Oh.." Tone deadpan, but expression didn't do all that well to mask her discomfort, as she gazed back at a child?

The ginger woman grimaced at him, eyes bouncing from his tattered ears, ah. "Do you need something?" She questioned with a keen look, and without even missing a beat. "Come closer so I don't have to turn so much to look at you."

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Antares - October 17, 2018


He had strayed away from the main group (away from Shuck, away from her siblings who were surely just as bad — away, away, away), choosing to wander amongst the purple trees by himself. Once alone, the boy was free to release the wheezing coughs he had been choking down — gagging on spittle and pollen that invaded his senses.

Antares had finally made it out of the territory, he wasn’t about to keel over in front of the concerned adults. No, he had vowed to make the journey without a hitch. He’d sworn to be good and healthy.

(Don’t burden them, remember?)

Tired paws clumsily carried the pale prince deeper into the purple woods, his mismatched eyes searching and searching — perhaps he could find some herbs on his own, he knew what they smelled like now. Or perhaps a quiet place to rest, or—

"Cocytus, I said- Oh."

Antares stumbled to a halt, eyes wide and ears flattening against his skull. “I… I’m sorry. I-I didn’t… see you….” Too lost in thought, too busy fighting the nagging pain that was beginning to burrow its way through his skull. He had wandered aimlessly, blindly, and now a few feet ahead lied a lady dappled in shades of autumn.

She didn’t look entirely pleased to see him, and the boy wondered if he had somehow disturbed her (can’t you do anything right? sneered in a familiar voice, rubbing into his migraine like salt to an open wound). “…I can go…” Murmured softly, apologetically, as he moved to turn. Ah — but too quickly, the world spun and momentarily the child froze and winced as the pain in his skull gripped with vicious fervor.

"Do you need something? Come closer so I don't have to turn so much to look at you."

Antares hesitated, only for a moment before turning back to the autumn woman (slower this time to spare himself the embarrassment of falling). “I… was just looking… for a place to sit…” He admitted through a small cough. He wanted to leave now, but the pale boy was never one to disobey. On cautious feet, Antares made his way toward her, ducking his head at to not make too much eye contact.

But there was something familiar in the woman’s still posture — something he recognized in the tightness of her expression. He couldn’t quite bite back the soft inquiry.

Are you… hurt…?

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Telana - October 18, 2018


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Ear twitched to his cough and not just his words, her lips pursed in thought as she gave him a quick once over again. He was a scraggly looking thing, absolutely tragic, and it was a pang of a memory that was brought into the forefront of her mind, but she banished it with a sigh as he came to stand beside her. Shifting slightly to make room for her unexpected guest. "Sit here." She ordered plainly, motioning to the empty space she made for him.

He avoided her gaze, but she kept hers focused on him for a while longer as if she were actually looking through him and not at him. Finally, she glanced away, amber gold eyes falling upon the trees that stood before them once more. Hmm, purple trees, how ridiculous.

They would be seated in silence for a while, until she tuned into his small, soft voice asking a question. She turned her head slightly, eyes still focused on the horizon as she held her answer from him for a moment longer. "Mmmhm." Was her hummed reply as her gaze lingered back to the boy then. "Constantly." Tone as equally soft as the boy's, but it kept that familiar bitterness? Deadpan? "You look like you're in rough shape too." Another pang of familiarity, she'd remembered that look from her childhood.

"You're pretty good at hiding it, but I'm not blind." Just nearly crippled by her arthritis. Hiding things would no doubt be a strength for him, it was her's when she was little too. Show no weakness, or be culled. The stakes back then were high. "That cough doesn't sound good, but I won't say much else on that. I'm sure you know well enough for yourself." The ginger woman gave him a stern look.

Glancing away and back to the tree line, she'd in hale a deep breath of cool, crisp autumn air, and then exhale slowly. "Telana, by the way. We're visiting from Alteron." It was offered coolly, almost as if she had detached body from spirit. She sat thoughtfully, before adding, "It's my joints, the things that cause me pain." An honest little add on, nothing more and nothing less.

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Antares - October 31, 2018



Her stare is a sharp and assessing one that makes the sickly boy shuffle his feet in discomfort. The scrutiny of other has always been an embarrassing, sore point for the pale prince.

(A stressful thing too -- the boy had learned the painful lesson that not all were kind to weak things)

But there is a sneaking sense of ease that cautiously slips into his mind as he moves closer to the tired woman -- the pained painted lady. Would someone cruel offer him a place to rest? Shyly and certainly a bit awkwardly, Antares sits beside the Alteronian Hierophant.

Mmmhm. Constantly.

The nonchalance of her response shocks him, and the boy does a poor job of masking his surprise as his mismatched eyes lift to meet her golden gaze.

You look like you're in rough shape too. That cough doesn't sound good, but I won't say much else on that. I'm sure you know well enough for yourself.

The pale prince hesitates only for a moment longer before giving her the smallest of nods, shrinking beneath her stern expression. She was more forward than Harriette, but there was also something far more comforting about her than his sweet sister. Where Harriette would inquiry and pry and comfort... The autumn lady only stated simple facts. She understood it seemed, and it is for that reason that Antares pushes his shame aside. "I... me too." He murmured, sinking lower to the ground to lay beside her rather than sit -- just so he could bury his nose between his paws in a ritual of self-comfort. "It's constant." The bitterness is evident in his scratchy voice, and this time, Antares doesn't try to conceal it.

Mismatched gaze follows her line of sight to the swaying lilac trees, his tattered hears flicking as the dappled lady sighs into the crisp air. It's childish, but Antares can't help but mimic her deep sigh -- only for the brisk air to catch sharply in his throat, causing him to hack a rather vicious cough.

Telana, by the way. We're visiting from Alteron.

He decided then that he liked her voice -- how cool and passive it was. As though nothing in the world phased her. "Antares. I'm from Gemini." He tests the chilly tone, only for it to sound more soft and meek upon his tongue than anything else.

It's my joints, the things that cause me pain.

Antares sneaks a glance at Telana then, ears flicking back as he considers what to say. "My... lungs aren't good and... my head... causes pain a lot." Gaze drops to her stiff shoulders and legs, and the boy clearly isn't thinking much when he reaches out to her. Small paws would press against her shoulder in a steady, circular movement, just the way he liked when his migraines became too much. Just the way he had seen the healers do it -- sometimes a bit of pressure was good for pain, right? It always soothed him. "There..there are hot springs in my home... They soothe aches." He thinks briefly of black smiles and haunting eyes before shaking the image away.

(But he still can't help but wonder if Telana believed in survival of the fittest. If she had the help of her family to make it so far... or if she had somehow defied it all on her own.)

"Do... do you have something like that... in Alteron?"

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Telana - November 01, 2018


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He seemed surprise by her answer, but years living like this, it was all she knew. It'd be all he'd know as well. She caught his glance out the corner of her eye, he was much smaller than she had been, or maybe about the same size? He had to have been terribly young, or the rut of his litter. Hmm.

Head turned slightly as he gave her a soft answer, finally relaxing in her company that he'd lay down, she gave a nod of understanding to him as she thought back on her time in the Valley. So his sickness was constant as well, ah. "The world isn't kind to the sick or disabled. Life will always be hard, they'll never let you forget who and what you are, and everything you cannot do." She spoke from a deep pit of experience, thinking of scraggily Isaiah then, they all weren't so different. "They'll want you to work harder, say that you'll need to earn your keep or lose it. I've heard it said so many times when I was your age, it became a lifestyle." Though she suspected if Inaria was his home he was in far better hands, they seemed kind here.

Telana learned back then how to be incredibly efficient in a short amount of time, she had to do what everyone else could and more, but she had to work at 10x harder. It was only when she learned how to do things in different ways that she was able to keep up with her peers, and even then sometimes it was just teetering on the edge. Amber eyes glanced down at him as he coughed, though he seemed to recover from it, albeit slowly.

Antares? Interesting name, and she subtly noticed his tone, her brow arching, though he might not have caught it. It could have been coincidence, but it sounded almost like he was mimicking her? The ginger female pushed the thought aside, labeling it as something she might have been imagining. Gemini, however caught her attention and her eyes flickered to life with interest. "Gemini? Never heard of it, I had assumed you were from Inaria. Is Gemini far from here?" That could have been a toll on his health, but once again that went without needing to be said by her, she was quite sure that he was aware of his situation better than anyone. "Alteron was a rather long ways from here, for me anyway." Though she had traveled longer once, and only once.

She couldn't imagine not being able to breathe, it must have been unbearable, and the headaches that accompanied it, she gave him a tired grimace. There weren't really many things she could say to sooth his mind, she didn't believe in that sort of thing. Telana was for all intents and purposes a realist. "It won't get easier, you'll just get better at hiding it." Age just meant you grew up accepting your circumstances. She stiffened then, eyes flashing down as his paw met her shoulder and she quirked a brow at him. She didn't stop him, but a breathy snort of laughter escaped her and she shook her head. It was a nice gesture. "I'm not as badly in pain at the moment, just tired. I'll be fine, I had our healer pack me medicine for the trip, thank you, however." A soft tone, the slightest hints of a smile pulled at her lips, but they quickly faded away. Odd that someone worried about her, or even attempted to ease her situation without being deliberately asked to do so beforehand.

She sat thoughtfully for a moment, sifting from her seated position to one where she was now finally laying down. "Hmm, no. Alteron is incredibly foggy all the time, it rains a lot there. It's actually been awful for my joints, the air is always high in moisture, some days it's near unbearable." She deadpanned, brows raising slightly, there were many days when Telana had thought about just quitting, but that bitterness kept her going, that burning spite. "My old home however, Oukoku-Kai, they had hot springs. I was never allowed to use them, something about such treatment would nurture weak habits. Funnily enough, their form of treatment simply made my joints worse." Her tone absolutely did not mask the bitterness she felt, if anything it encouraged it. "They were all against me from the start, it was all on me to survive. My parents were of noble ranking, but even that offered me no protection." Eyes narrowed at the very thought of her father. "It's funny how they forsook me, but I've outlived them all. I take pride in that."

Golden amber eyes would settle on the pale child then, looking squarely at him, he had her full attention. "What about you, Antares? What drives you forward?"

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Antares - November 01, 2018



The pale boy can’t help but flinch slightly at the callousness of her words, Sterling’s voice ringing in his mind over and over and over again – but the undeniable edge of experience to her voice softens the blow. Though brutal, her words are in some ways incredibly kind in their honestly. “Survival of the fittest…” The boy mumbles, head bowed and eyes downcast. “That’s what… my brother said…” The words followed his every step.

"Gemini? Never heard of it, I had assumed you were from Inaria. Is Gemini far from here? Alteron was a rather long ways from here, for me anyway.”

The journey had felt long and terrible to the frail boy but traveling to Inaria had been his first journey from the familiar lands he called home. His first time beyond the wall – he had no frame of reference for what was far and not far. “It’s my first time… traveling.” He admits after a moment. “It wasn’t pleasant but… only took a few days? Gemini is… a bit north of here.” Mismatched eyes roamed toward the trees. “We don’t have purple trees but… otherwise, the plants are similar…” He wasn’t sure if it helped, but the boy wanted to answer her question as well as he could.

Telana was so nice after all… He didn’t want her to think his mind was as useless as his body.

He smiled hesitantly with embarrassment as the autumn painted lady laughed lightly. But Antares did not cease his administrations – some unexplainable urge keeping his paws steadily at work. “But… you’re still in some pain…” The boy murmurs. That was reason enough.

Eyes slide shut for a moment as Telana describes her home. Foggy with moisture thick in the air – a place like that would be good for his lungs. It’s like we are in the wrong packs the pale prince thinks bitterly. The thought sinks away however as she speaks of her previous home and something unfamiliar twists in his gut. He wants to scream – a pulse of pain in his head so sharp and visceral, as though something was trying to claw its way out.

Not now, not now!! Antares pleads, furiously latching onto her question in an escape of the dreadful feeling. "I…” He’s breathless for a moment, brow furrowing through the haze of receding pain. “I don’t want to be a burden…” Poor, kind Harriette. “And… and…” The bitter feeling left behind by vicious bites burrows into and infects his tongue. “Some of the others… Are cruel…. I can't really fight back well... When I do, something happens and I can't remember. I get sicker and I have weird dreams... I don't want to be mean." He hesitates, hating the putrid taste of rot upon his tongue before glancing up to meet Telana’s golden gaze. "I just... don’t want them to be right about me…” And a small, budding thorn in his hear wishes for Shuck to be sorry.

"I think… I’d like to be like you.” He admits softly. Oh, how nice it would be to be as strong and kind as the Alteronian woman. "One day…” But the pale prince was small and tired with lungs that barely worked, and often felt like a stranger in his own skin. What hope did Antares ever have of growing up to be someone like Telana?

(He’s too inexperienced to truly consider or understand the hardships and pain Telana must have endured in a place like Oukoku-Kai. Too naïve to consider the price she must have paid. Too young to know: be careful what you wish for)

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Telana - November 06, 2018


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Ear twitched at the boy's words and she didn't try at all to hide the scoffing sound she made, though she successfully resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Such an archaic, meaningless saying. Forgive me for saying this," she paused (let's be real here, Telana wouldn't care if she offended anyone anyway). "Your brother sounds like an uneducated twit for even saying something like that." Another scoff. "Being fit and healthy doesn't save you from anything, anyone can die for any reason at any given time, no matter who or what they are." A thought back to anyone whoever doubted her, they were all dead now, she had outlived them all. How, ironic. "No one is promised anything in this world." It was a fact that she had come to understand.

Little did Ant know that Telana was gleaning him for information as well, Gemini could be a potential ally, just as Inaria was beginning to be. The directions would be filed away after this chat and maybe she'd go find Cocytus to exchange anything they had found out, though he'd probably spring back on the topic of Sage, ugh. "I see, and do you like your home? Are you feeling homesick being so far away from it?" She didn't exactly miss being in Alteron, but rather the familiarity of it. Inaria felt like one big spotlight without any walls to cling to. With the ever looming idea of, having to babysit her own members. "We never had this little intermingling of packs when I was younger." The Valley was too pure for alliances with heathens, little did they know that they were in fact the heathens instead.

The boy insisted to keep pressing his paws against her shoulders and she made no move to protest or back away from him, a simple flick of the tail and a slight shrug of her already stiff shoulders. "Yes, but I'm used to it." When pain was a constant in your life, you sorta just went with it. He tenses, she can feel it as his movements slow and his paws start to shake? She gave him a quizzical look, the child looks as if he's about to topple over, but she doesn't touch him. She's not his mother, she's nothing less to this boy (and him to her) than a stranger. Not even asking if he was alright, ignoring the situation entirely even having seen him struggle just then.

A burden? She had felt those feelings too back in her youth, her father made a note to constantly remind her how undeserving she was of this gift of life, how much she burdened and tarnished their family name. The important of genetics and their blue blue blood, she didn't deserve any of it, afterbirth that slipped through the cracks. She was less than nothing. Antares met her gaze with hesitation and the ginger female's had remained unwavering. "You don't have to be mean, not if you don't want to." Depending on who you asked, she herself could be considered mean. "Those that are cruel will always be there, waiting and rooting for you to fail, any chance they'll get they'll come at you like a pack of vicious dogs and their teeth will sink into your back so fast." They'll pull you under. "All you have to do is be smarter than them, cruelty and anger go hand in hand, and both make you stupid and stupid gets you killed." Brows raised in a way to see if the boy understood what she had said. "If you work too hard on trying to prove them wrong, you'll sabotage yourself before you're even given a chance." Maybe it was because Telana had always been patiently living in the shadows of her sisters, quietly observing their strengths and flaws, waiting for her turn.

His soft words were almost missed entirely by the sudden rustle of the wind through the trees, but she managed to catch them and a dry laugh shook her body, and she gave Ant a shake of her head. "I don't know if you really want that, Antares, I'm a tired bitter, thing. Time did that to me, they played a hand too." She sighed looking at the tired child with a nondescript expression. "Would you really want to be someone who's fueled by their grudges and living out of spite of all the people in their life?" She only made this far because of her baggage, in way she had them to thank for that. "It's not something I would recommend, but it is one way to live."

RE: for life isn't stained of righteousness pain [antares] - Antares - May 14, 2019



The autumn painted Alteronian scoffs unabashedly, and instinctively Antares shrinks away, wondering for a moment if he had said something foolish. But Telana’s next words come with an immediate douse of relief.

“Such an archaic, meaningless saying. Forgive me for saying this, Your brother sounds like an uneducated twit for even saying something like that.”

The feeling of relief bubbles in his chest and erupts into a broken half-sob-half-laugh of a sound, and the boy tries to cover his face in his paws to conceal it. She continues her small spiel, and it takes all of the boy’s strength to contain his relieved sobs. It’s the first he’s heard something so assuring spoken so bluntly and matter-of-fact. It sounds sweeter than anything the boy has ever heard – for he knows it’s not just empty words to placate a sick child. No, Telana is grown and smart and despite the ailments that riddle her body she is strong. “There’s nothing to forgive.” He murmurs, withdrawing his face from his pale paws to give the autumn lady a boyish grin.

But Antares remembers laying sick in the Healing Tree. Cold and thirsty and hurting and angry… Sterling had been there, with promises of revenge, to hurt those who hurt him. “I think… I know he cares. I-I just… He scares me.

“I see, and do you like your home? Are you feeling homesick being so far away from it? We never had this little intermingling of packs when I was younger.”

Antares hesitated, tail curling closer around himself with uncertainty. “I…” It’s such a simple question, it’s silly for it to give him so much pause. His immediate answer should be yes; that he loves the open fields and the hot springs, that loves any place with his siblings and parents but… “I don’t think I do.” The boy immediately regrets the answer, but there’s no taking it back now. “I-I mean I do miss Harriette… but I-I like being out here. I like Inaria. And I like meeting you.” He does not consider for a moment that Telana could be gauging him for information. The boy is young and naïve and starved for kindness, and she’s amongst a seldom few who could possibly understand him. Why wouldn’t he readily lay trust at her feet?

“You don't have to be mean, not if you don't want to.”

He listens intently to her words as he works dutifully at the stiffness in her shoulders, finding a particular knot in the muscle to loosen. It’s the least he can do. A trade – her life advice for what little medical knowledge he gained in growing up surrounded by healers. Her words are harsh but there’s comfort in her nonchalant delivery of them.

“All you have to do is be smarter than them, cruelty and anger go hand in hand, and both make you stupid and stupid gets you killed. If you work too hard on trying to prove them wrong, you'll sabotage yourself before you're even given a chance.”

Mismatched gaze raised to meet her amber one, the gears clearly turning in the youth’s head. “L-let them be angry and cruel and stupid… Because they’ll be the ones to slip and then…” Eyes narrow and the child looks away, not quite liking his train of thought. But there is a question that lingers on his mind. “Is it mean… to want that to happen? Is it.. is it mean to bite back when they hurt me?” The boy isn’t sure, a part of him thinks it is. The part that cuddles against Harriette’s warmth and listens to her stories and watches her mix herbs is appalled, cries out that the line of thought is wrong. That he must be kind. But another part… the part that laid broken and bloodied and cold on the ground seethes.

Battered ears flicked back to press against his skull as his head throbs and lungs burn through a series of coughs.

“I don't know if you really want that, Antares, I'm a tired bitter, thing. Time did that to me, they played a hand too. Would you really want to be someone who's fueled by their grudges and living out of spite of all the people in their life? It's not something I would recommend, but it is one way to live."

The pale boy turns his tired and scarred expression to face her completely, mismatched eyes searching the autumn painted woman’s eyes with a desperation unfitting of a youth so young. “She says she’ll kill me.” He whispers with a sudden knot in his throat. “A-and I’m afraid I-I’ll—” He doesn’t finish, doesn’t say he’s afraid that he’ll let her, but the thought is likely written across his scarred face.

Antares has yet to meet another who he can relate to as much as Telana – and what is a child to do but latch onto role models and live by example?

I-I don’t know any other ways.