[ACCEPTANCE] Everybody's pickin' up on that feline beat
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#1

His brother grew weary. As he dropped down slowly and winced, like an old lion with arthritis might; Kafele looked away. Seeing him crippled was heart wrenching. Seeing his spirit broken was unbearable. He'd taken for granted that his older brother would always be a solid rock in the tempest, whatever life had to throw at them Kafele knew they would be just fine, because Afua would make sure.
But life had broken him. And Kafele was helpless to do anything about it.

Now they went aimlessly, no pride held them to one spot so they went where they pleased and lingered if it felt comfortable, moving on when the mood struck. They didn't talk about the things weighing them down. Afua didn't complain about the pain of his burns, scarred over and old, but not healed, they would never heal. Kafele didn't ask where they were going, or what they were going to do, but when traveling in somber silence became to much for him he would chatter cheerfully. He didn't know if Afua found it comforting or not, he could only hope so.

Their bond had suffered a strain that had been too much to bear. His whole life he'd felt a connection to his brother, not unlike a wire cable, solid, unbreakable, it didn't so much as stretch. And then one day he'd pulled away too hard and it snapped. When he came back their relationship was different, he could see in his brothers eyes that he no longer saw him as a child, he was no longer the baby brother. How long he'd waited for that day! The first time he saw it in Afua's eyes it was the worst day in his life, the price was too high, and he'd never meant for it to happen that way.

But their love for each other was still a strong as ever, the cable had been welded but the damage was visible. Sometimes the tension of things unsaid was so strong Kafele could feel it like an electric current in the air, but he felt he had no right to bring up the things he desperately wanted to talk about. It was selfish. Afua had been through too much, and was still going through too much for him to bring up difficult topics. Afua had no fire in him.. Anything he could say would only make it worse. Kafele kept his mouth shut and doted on his brother the way he'd done for him when he was little. 

And now in reverse roles, Kafele had made the decision to join a pack. The lion pride had been Afua's living hell, Sabre's had filled him with false hope. Maybe a wolf pack could be the answer. All he knew is that they couldn't go on alone-together with no purpose. Afua had always, ALWAYS, needed a purpose. Kafele was determined to help him find one again.
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#2
(This post was last modified: July 13, 2018, 03:19:18 AM by Tolf.)

Afua had his moments of being aware and in the moment with his brother, and he also had his moments of walking with out knowing what was in front of him, he didn't notice the things around him, sometimes he completely forgot his brother was even there beside him.

It wasn't until they were well into the grasslands before he really came to and realized where he was. His breath caught, his heart rate picked up for a few long seconds and then he breathed out and realize that this of course, was not the savanna he knew. He wasn't sure if he was relieved or disappointed.

He knew Kafele was determined to re-join civilization, and he hadn't argued against it. His brother needed more then one sombre brother to be happy. Kafele was social butterfly; heaven knew where that personality trait came from for he was nothing like Afua or their mother, she never talked about their fathers but he could only assume the gregarious nature came from the paternal side. Despite being so different Afua had always enjoyed, even envied at times the way Kafele could make himself at ease in any situation.

He wasn't looking forward to the scrutiny and the questions from the locals, he hadn't been on this side of an acceptance in so many years. He knew that if he were a wolf and a couple of giants showed up at his doorstep the interrogation would be thorough. His scars wouldn't help the matter.
He layed down in the grass. The pain showed in his face too much when he stood, and even though appearing weak would likely help their chances rather then hurt them, the small sliver of pride he had left refused to show weakness. Instead he would feign nonchalance in the face of the strangers.

Kafele let out a soft call; a roar would likely be too much for a simple alert to the wolves, so he did his best impression of a howl. Afua took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Now he would wait for wolves to fall upon them, if the worst should happen and he called for his pride no one would come. Kafele's tail did not so much as twitch. Trusting, loving Kafele hadn't a suspicious bone in his body.
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Iaera She/Her
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#3

Recovery had been going well for her and she found herself throwing all her effort once again into her work. As opportunities to be a Whisper were few and far in between it only made sense that Iaera would find herself at Gemini's borders again. Violet eyes blinked against the harsh sunlight; reality being she was still not in the proper shape to be out alone but laying alone brought nothing but suffering.  A deep longing filled her motions and yet instead of going closer to society, she seemed to move further until she was at the edge of silence. Like teetering on the blade of a knife, for a moment the Ranger seemed to get lost in her head and in what seemed like decades she stood unmoving, staring into the distance. A daze of the same old same old after everything she'd done lately and it felt bitter.

Suddenly the odd call woke her from her awake slumber, small ears pivoted towards the sound. It wasn't a wolf that much she knew, not unless there was something wrong with it. Brows furrowed and tiny paws slowly creaked back into motion. Iaera edged thoughtfully towards the sound until at last she saw the odd caller. Lions. The woman's body froze and she considered for a moment calling backup but her sense of wellbeing was overridden by the fact that she was realizing she was tired and was ready to return. It had not been long enough for her to be healed completely and despite the lack of bandages some of her own wounds were still obvious. Thankfully her broken ribs didn't show.

The tiny wolfdog approached the pair with an over-exaggerated confidence, head and tail held high. She was not condescending though, Iaera wanted to seem certain, not condescending. "It was a charming attempt," the Ranger started with a small grin. "Welcome lions." Her thoughts drifted to Jonas, and perhaps another? She couldn't recall right now. "This is Gemini and I am Iaera," the smol doggo, tiny broken gatekeeper, "what is your business here?"

(Sorry it's not longer iPhone posts are always crapshoots.)


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#4

Kafele didn't expect anyone to show up so soon, likely over estimated the size of the territory and under estimating the numbers of the pack. It took a lot more space to house lions and sabres, and the land wasn't so plentiful where he came from.

 The silence between the two brothers was deafening, but Kafele knew too well what would be said between them. They both knew what the other was thinking with out asking.

It's risky. Afua would worry. But we need this Kafele would counter. 

What if it's like last time? --It won't be.

And if it is? --We'll figure it out, they're only wolves after all.

He was relieved when one of the creatures came to greet them, an extra small one. He heard the voice first, it took him a moment to find the face, his head swiveled and his eyes scanned down and down until he met her eyes and he grinned a silly grin. 

"I'll have to work on it."

He turned to face her and took a few steps forward. Glad that they hadn't been met by some one angry or too serious. There was enough of that attitude here already.

"Thank you, Iaera. I'm Kafele and this is my brother Afua, we've been traveling a while but we'd like to settle down some place. I hope Gemini will be that place."

He turned to smile at his brother, ignoring the uneasy look on his face. "Right Afua?"
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#5

Afua saw the little wolf long before she spoke, he was far too worried not to notice such things. Kafele was too relaxed he thought, years of reminding him to be more careful hadn't changed him yet Afua still tried to make him see.

Not only was she small but also she seemed frail, like something was not quite right. A sharp eye told him that she had some sort of injury, and his neck and spine prickled. Maybe this was some sort of test.  Why would a pack send this wolf out? Was it a trap? His little brother stepped toward her and Afua's worry spilled over.

"Kafele--"

One word of caution, that would likely go unheeded (or unheard.) He couldn't speak freely about his thoughts and worries with the wolf standing there. Accusing an unknown pack of deviousness was probably not the best way to start, whether they were friendly or not.

His brother didn't seem worried in the slightest, and when he turned for affirmation Afua sighed quietly to himself and nodded. "Yes." They were in this together, like always. But that didn't mean he was comfortable with it.
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#6

@.eclipse. I know they're short!! plz forgive
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#7
(This post was last modified: August 01, 2018, 11:57:48 AM by Iaera.)

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|✬| gemini |✬|
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There was a distinct difference in the reactions shared by the pair upon noticing Iaera and the Ranger wasn't soon to forget it. The caller was bright and friendly, seemingly excited to see the tiny wolfdog meander their way. The second, older lion was somewhat uncomfortable and she could not tell why. Unease crept up in her, to be wounded still as is and already have one of them acting suspiciously? The Ranger swallowed it down and blinked softly in the direction of the one that seemed to be doing most of the talking.

A slight smile pulled onto her face when Kafele said he'd have to work on his call but her mind was still concerned about the older one settled in the grass. Iaera had half a mind to summon a Vanguard, or better yet, see if the Consort Jonas himself would come out but she resisted the urge to seem panicked. Instead she sat softly in the grass, relaxing a bit and rearranging her black cloak to fall in a way that hid most of her still covered wounds. The removal of the cloak from her face would show the pair the scratches down the side of her face she had received from Vito. Would these frighten Afua more?

As Kafele explained their position the Ranger nodded thoughtfully.
"Of course, Gemini is home to many. I traveled for some long while before stumbling across here. Most often it seems we act as a sanctuary, and have no restrictions of the type of species that join. While it's primarily canines here, our King's Consort is actually a lion like you two." The gray maiden bit back a grin at the statement, without knowing Jonas and Akira, Iaera's statement would make it sound like Jonas was a lioness. Iaera would not give that away though, it would remove the fun and the fun made her feel slightly more comfortable in the situation. There were others in Gemini that weren't wolf or hellion, she knew, and a wolverine as well-- even if she hated Ghost--.  

The breeze tickled her fur and she shuddered into her cloak for a moment, glancing for a moment to the slightly begrudged Afua in the grass. His affirmation hadn't seemed to positive... Her eyes and face held no malice, simply curiosity and confusion at his demeanor and reaction towards her. Her of all the creatures in Gemini; quite possibly the smallest and least threatening creature they had to offer the pair.

Iaera wouldn't linger on it though, choosing to continue speaking with the one that seemed invested in Gemini.
"Before I can allow you to enter I'd like to know a bit about you two. Where are you from? Have you ever lived in a pack or pride before? What sort of skills do you posses? And perhaps most importantly to me, is there any chance someone may be coming after you?"

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#8
(This post was last modified: August 04, 2018, 08:48:02 PM by Kafele.)

Kafele had to close himself off from Afua's feelings, he'd made a plan, he knew what to do. Big brother had to sit back and let some one else be in charge now. All Kafele wanted to do was be a kid again, and go back to the times when Afua was strong and solid and invincible. But the time for daydreams was over.

Afua wasn't going to like what came next, but it had to be done; his behavior had to be explained. They were too close to get turned away now over something so silly as pride. He lied down, hoping that would make it easier for Iaera to trust him. It would be intimidating for him too if he were talking to a creature that was 20 times his size.

"I'm glad to hear our kind is welcome here! Gemini sounds like the place to be."

He licked his lips and resisted the urge to look back at his brother.

"We were in a pride for years but the Old King and his family disappeared one day, and the rest of us just went our own way." It was more complicated then that, but Kafele didn't think going into detail about Aryion would gain them any points. "We joined a pride of saber toothed tigers after that, it was a nice place but," he licked his lips nervously and glanced at Afua, he wasn't going to like this part. "My brother was badly injured in a brush fire... He can't-- He can't perform duties like he used to, we left to figure out what we wanted and found our way here." They had to be honest, she was going to find out anyway. Afua could only hide his pain and injuries so long as he remained lying in the grass, hiding his pain and his burns. "Please, my brother needs rest, I can work hard enough for us both. I can do anything that's needed of me, tracking, defending, patrolling, whatever is needed. If there's something I don't know how to do I'll learn."

If Kafele could have some how appeared smaller to her he would have, even laying down he was still enormous and she was still a tiny wolf, but hopefully she would see the sincerity in his words, even if he left out a few of the unsavory parts of their lives. That wasn't who they were... Not who HE was.

"Iaera I won't disappoint you." As I've disappointed him.
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#9
(This post was last modified: August 04, 2018, 08:49:26 PM by Afua.)

Afua knew it was coming. He hated and resented it but he knew and they'd already had their arguments before. He'd already caused too much of a scene in front of the wolf so he kept his mouth shut and his eyes to the ground while Kafele laid bare his weakness and his shame. He was a broken lion, here to take the pity and charity of Gemini. He'd rather suffer.

He couldn't drag Kafele down with him however, what ever his feelings were for himself, his affection for his little brother carried him through day to day. He was trying so hard, when Afua knew the last place on earth he wanted to be was shepherding his crippled old brother around. All he could do was try not to be a burden, and he failed at that.

After Kafele said his peace Afua cleared his throat, pride stinging.

"I'm not all useless as my brother implies, I don't have the strength I use to, it's true. He could tell Iaera thought his behavior was odd, which was fair. If Afua had been in her place he would have been even more guarded. Her relaxed manner was difficult to believe considering her size in comparison and her injury. "Forgive me if I was rude little wolf.. but why does your pack send you alone and injured to watch the border? A test?" If it was not her pack that sent her, she was incredibly brave.

His brother was lying down now so Afua made an effort to sit up, he kept his expression controlled to show no pain. "I'll never be agile as I once was, but what I can do I will contribute to Gemini." Would they want a useless crippled lion that could eat as much as 15 wolves? Could their land sustain such baggage? He made eye contact with Kafele, his expression conveying that he wasn't so sure, but if they got turned away at least he could say that he tried.
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#10

^ __ ^
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#11

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|✬| gemini |✬|
the nymph; whisper & ranger

The large beast laid down and she tried to keep her composure so she didn’t look too excited to see him look a little less threatening. In her slightly infirm condition, anything to alleviate the fear in her tiny figure was good. And it was good for this pair of big cats, Iaera would think better of them for being so accommodating during their acceptance. It would only do them better, so long as their answers were also to her liking. So the Ranger blinked her eyes softly and settled down into a slightly more relaxed sitting position, letting her cloak once again obscure her sides still wrapped up. As the younger of the pair started speaking, she could see the older in the background look increasingly like he was dreading this moment. Her brows furrowed momentarily but listened still, so their King had abandoned them?

The wolfdog fought the urge to scoff, it sounded like the stories Mother had told of Imperium. If Summanos and Tengwar had not abandoned their people her mother may not have suffered what she had. (Of course that meant Iaera would not have been born, but sometimes that didn’t sound like such a bad deal.) The gray and tan woman fought to keep her expression from betraying her dark thoughts. As Kafele explained that Afua had been harmed in a fire she understood the older male’s disinterest the conversation. Her initial instinct was to offer him a look of sympathy but if he was anything like her, he’d not take her sympathy too kindly so she kept her look calm and thoughtful. Kafele continued on to offer to work twice as hard to make up for his brother’s slack and the Ranger shook her head softly.
"We are a safe haven; we have many ranks for all ages and abilities." Iaera respected his loyalty to his brother, she wondered what it must be like to have siblings that cared like that. Darling brother had forsaken his mother and her to the dogs, literally, for a little piece of ass.

Iaera was satisfied with the pair, but Afua wanted to speak his piece before the Ranger let her verdict out. When he asked her why she was here alone and injured she smiled delicately, it was a reasonable question.
”It is a fair question, I think you will understand the answer. I was injured recently, our King led us into the neutrals after a band of slavers that were killing parents to steal their children, I aided in the assault if that’s believable to you.” A soft eyebrow would perk at the lion, a crooked grin with her little snaggleteeth would make it clear her poking was all in good nature, ”I could still be laying in our healer’s den, I’m sure our Acolytes would prefer it, but I could lay in my misery no more. My job is to be here, at Gemini’s borders, the first line of defense. No matter how small. Plus,” how to put this without it sounding like a threat? ”even if I didn’t make it out alive, I have the utmost faith in my pack and it’s Vanguard. Threats do not leave.” The Ranger hoped that her answer was not too grave sounding but thoroughly settled Afua’s questions.

When he said he could contribute the Ranger nodded,
”Absolutely. We are always in need of teachers with unique views and knowledge of the world. Shepherds even, if you like children. Our borders are always in need of watchful eyes, and our inner sanctuary is guarded by a second border, a wall that is watched by more Rangers like me. I’m sure you’ll both fit right in, Gemini is a beautiful home.” Hint hint.

The small wolfdog would rise then and motion to them to follow her,
”I will lead you to the opening in the wall. From there you will be in the Highlands of Gemini, find a home and get acquainted. I hope you two enjoy it here.”

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