Acceptance thread  Wheat and wildflowers
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*Lotus* She
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#1

Guess who's back?
-----------

Home.

When her paws finally touched soil upon Inarian borders, she took in a deep breath, trapping the air in her lungs for a moment before releasing it again. It felt different here, better... But that was probably just a feeling. The air couldn't really be different from one area to the next, just as the stars that had shined over the skies of her exile had been the same as viewed from Inaria. 

She had left with a sorrowful heart, and returned the same though not for the same reasons. The medic bag at her shoulder was worn, an item loved an cherished, and it was full to the brim with plants, barks, and roots. Now however, it also contained a few more trinkets at its bottom... A few precious stones, and the skull of a crow among things. Gifts from friends she'd left behind to return home. Unlikely friends, strange and eccentric, but friends all the same. They had braided wheat and dried wildflowers into a crown around her neck, and she hoped she could remove it without damage so she could place it in her den.

If her den was still even there...
If they'd even let her come back...

She sat at the border, standing on the edge of a wide open space within the forest. The grass was yellow here, but not for lack of water or sun; It was just the kind of grass that grew in that particular prairie. She imagined if she had been a deer or a rabbit, this would have been her favorite grazing spot. It seemed to be the case for some already, as she spotted a rabbit casually munching on the grass a few meters away. It hadn't spotted her yet and for a moment she was tempted to try and catch it until she remembered she was no longer a part of the pack, and thus could not hunt on their land. Pity... She was quite hungry now that she thought about it.

If she waited too long for someone, she would simply lie down and rest, perhaps even fall asleep. She tried not to dwell upon the exchanges that would follow; the questions and possibly the punishment. She knew she should be punished for leaving without a trace... But honestly she did not care if she would be or not. 

She couldn't be punished more than she already had....
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#2

He was patrolling the borders as his duties required but now he did not patrol just for the sake of his own job and protectiveness of his home but also for the sake of his new trainee, Dali, who was to be tested and if approved, made into a full Sentinel. What he came upon sitting at the border was unexpected. It was one he recognized as being an Inarian, or noting how lacking in Inarian scent the other was as he approached, a former Inarian. Hm..this was probably not going to be a very pleasant affair. However it would provide a good lesson or two to the trainee, if his trainee was near enough to hear him, which he would soon find out as he let out a howl calling for Dali. Then he would wait for a bit to see if his student would appear but of course he could hardly keep this, or any individual, waiting indefinitely on the border so if Dali had not arrived after being given time to do so he would simply assume the other was either already busy with something else or simply hadn't heard him and would proceed with things accordingly.

"Greetings Healer..it is long since you have been seen within Inaria's borders, not since the challenge for the title of Medic I believe". He began not wishing to cause the other pain but because as a Sentinel it was his job, his duty, to address such things. "Where have you been for such an expanse of time?". He finally asked phrasing his question to be vague both out of an attempt at being as sensitive as he could be under the circumstances, but also because he didn't want to provide any information on the packs doings since the others disappearance that could be used to formulate a lie, should the former Medic be inclined to make an attempt at such.  

@RJ. If you wanna throw Dali in here for training with Aeolus feel free


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#3
(This post was last modified: August 06, 2018, 12:09:34 AM by *Lotus*.)

Just as she was about to contemplate a rest, a howl echoed nearby calling for someone she did not know. Perhaps a wolf calling for a guard or a sentinel, she could not tell. She did not recognize the howl of the caller, nor did she try to. She knew that soon someone would appear to intercept her, and her mind unwillingly raced upon the many scenarios that could unfold in the current situation. She had developed a knack for imagining the worse possible outcome at any given time for future and ongoing events... One of the many gifts of learning to live without a pack. She had learned that sometimes bad things happen for no reason other than they can.

The wolf that appeared was familiar in appearance, but not by anything else her mind could recall. Not a name, nor a rank, though she suspected he was a sentinel or a guard if he approached her at this moment. It was simple deduction.

"Greetings Healer..it is long since you have been seen within Inaria's borders, not since the challenge for the title of Medic I believe". 

The reference to the last events before her departure did not provoke her any discomfort. It had long ago been buried by other uncomfortable subjects, of which she would avoid on this day if possible. She nodded to the Inarian with a short bow of her head before providing a response.

"It has in fact been many moons since I was last here. I hope Setebos is well"

She wasn't expecting him to give her any news of the one that had taken her rank. She was in fact curious to know if the Medic had done his new title proud .She had no qualms about the matter, and if asked she would certainly agree that his challenge had been well placed. She had reached a point then where she could no longer fulfill her duties and the residents of the pack that needed care would have been the ones to suffer for it, had Setebos not been there to take the torch. She was fully aware of all this, and also of the fact he would be wary of her due to her disappearance, hence why she wasn't expecting a response from his part.

 "Where have you been for such an expanse of time?", he asked.

"Wandering neutral grounds for the most part. I became a nomad of sorts... Except for the past month or so, where I settled in a densly wooded area of the ancient forest."

She still smelled the rich aroma of the giant trees that populated the forest, the moss and the earth. It was there she had met the three sisters whom had shared with her their humble refuge, and their knowledge of the world. Though she felt Inaria was her true home, she still could not shake the feeling she was leaving behind a piece of herself in that forest.

"I felt I had to come back. Inaria is the closest thing I've ever known to home."

She had come to make amends and face her demons. The words of the eldest sister still resonated in her heart: 'He stood between you and your duty. You did what had to be done. Do not let his ghost stand between you and your fate.' Though she tried not to let it show, there was fear in her heart. Not at meeting the friends she had abandoned, not even at facing the leaders of the pack. It was always harder to face your own mistakes, and he had been hers....

The soldier in the thornbush.
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#4

He listened to the admission or absence the other gave, to the length of that absence. It had indeed been quite awhile. He likewise noted her remark regarding the one who had displaced her from her rank but was disinclined to comment. The explanation for the absence was listened to carefully, and assessed carefully. What he was hearing, while not entirely unexpected, still wasn't what he wanted to be hearing. It implied disloyalty and dereliction to duty and to the pack. Those were both quite serious and would require further attention in determining the reasoning for doing such especially given the claim of Inaria being home. He recalled Lotus not just from the challenge where she had lost her title of Medic, which he had been an official observer for having already gained rank of his own by then, but he also remembered her from the war when had still been new to the pack and thrust into a fight for its very survival.

To question her now was not something he wished to do and yet it was his job to poke and push and find the holes in the stories other presented to him and determine the reasoning for those holes and he would do the same here. "You say this is the closest you've even known to home and yet when you were needed you left it. Why?". And then there was the other matter about being a nomad and then deciding to not be a nomad, which would also need to be addressed, just in case the shift wasn't entirely voluntary. First though he would watch Lotus carefully and wait for whatever explanation regarding her departure she would provide and then he would go from there.


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#5

"You say this is the closest you've even known to home and yet when you were needed you left it. Why?"

It stung. Though she knew he was saying the truth, it still hurt to hear someone say it. She tried not to let it show, but probably failed to some degree. 'Why?'; the question was decidedly easier to formulate than the answer, but answer she must.

"I didn't run away because of the war, if that's what you're implying"

'But I did run away', she thought bitterly. How could she explain to him that she had been sick in a way herbs could not cure? She had been slowly drifting into a shadow of herself and avoiding all the other pack members before her departure. 'when you were needed', she'd heard him say. When she had left she didn't believe she was in a state to be of use to anyone. She hadn't felt needed at all. Setebos had things under control. She agreed she shouldn't have left without saying anything to the Alphas... But what was done was done and regrets never fixed anything. At least she was trying to fix things.

"I shouldn't have left the way I did. I understand that..."; The question was, would anyone else understand her?

"I came back to right my wrongs, set things right, apologize and work towards earning back my place in the pack if they'll have me."

And if they didn't? She tried not to think of that possibility, but it carved it's way into her mind like a worm in a rotten apple. The sisters would take her back, and she would adopt their solitary lifestyle probably. There was a time in her young timid life where that would have been all she'd ever dreamed of. A small pack of four... A hidden home within the roots of the giant trees... Never speaking a single word if she didn't wish to... But now she had known a bigger life, a better one as a member of Inaria's family. If she couldn't return, she could at least say she had tried.

"If Inaria deems it wiser not to take me back into its ranks then I.... I promise, I won't make a fuss. I'll just leave."

She would simply ask for someone to retrieve for her, a strand of purple grass from the garden... She would take it along with her regrets.
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#6

He noticed the reaction when the question was asked, the discomfort, the pain it seemed to cause. It was not something he wished to do but there was no help for it questions had to be asked and..answers had to provided. Though the returning healer was being evasive he noted, which was something that would have to be addressed. He still listened to the rest of what was said able to sympathize with wanting to make things right but there was still the question of why Inaria had been left in the first place. A question the other had yet to provide a suitable answer to which meant an answer was still owed. Which meant it was time for more poking and prodding. Better to do it here and now than have it come up later after all when it might be considerably more inconvenient.

"Apologies are all well and good but I am uncertain, other than your leaving Inaria, as to what exactly it is you are apologizing for". He paused a moment, not long though, just long enough for the other to perhaps have an idea where this was going. "You say you did not leave because of the war so..Why exactly did you leave?". His tone was calm but also serious. There were all sorts of issues this situation presented and all sorts of complications. He doubted the former Medic was a traitor but wanting to have a rank again meant there needed to be stability and if the other was unable to manage that it was something that would need to be known about so that it could be properly addressed.


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#7

He listened without interrupting her, and though she was grateful for this she was beginning to feel uncomfortable in his presence. His demeanor was too stiff, and he stared at her when she spoke. Old habits surfaced and she began to avoid eye contact. She knew such a behavior could potentially play against her and cause him to harbor unfounded suspicion, but she couldn't help it. Though she had grown past the overly timid ways of her youth, she was still the same frightened girl in her heart.

"Apologies are all well and good but I am uncertain, other than your leaving Inaria, as to what exactly it is you are apologizing for"

"....other than for leaving?" She frowned, unable to see where he was going with his observations. She stood up then, her evasive manners disappearing to make way to a more confident version of herself. "I meant exactly what I said. My apologies are for my unannounced departure, and that is ALL." The fur on her tail fluffed out in irritation and it was all she could do to stop herself from screaming the rest of her words. "Why are you even assuming there would be anything else to apologize for?"

"You say you did not leave because of the war so..Why exactly did you leave?"

And just like that all the fight in her vanished and she was the frightened little girl again. She stared at him with a frown, wondering if she should tell him what he wanted to hear, or invent a story he would probably just gobble up... He wouldn't know any better... She could just tell him she'd had her heart broken from someone in the pack and was running away in sorrow, or that she had eloped with a handsome wolf with a flowing mane. Crap if she hadn't already told him she'd left she could have told him she had been kidnapped or something...

But that wasn't who she was. She may have had her faults but she was honest. Actually she was honest to a fault so it could still count in theory. She sighed at that moment and sat down again. She knew he was just doing his job and she didn't really have a right to get angry at him for that.

"It's because..."

She wasn't ready to say it, least of all to someone she could barely remember. She didn't think she would ever be ready, so perhaps it didn't really matter.

"... I couldn't face... Uhm.."

Her mouth ran dry. She saw the soldiers eyes again as they faded. Try as she might to repress it, the memory invaded her senses. Her heart hammered in her chest so loud it buried all other sounds. If he spoke then, she did not hear him. She simply closed her eyes and took a deep breath, taking the moment to gather herself. Slowly the world returned to her, or did she return to the world? Her heartbeat, still erratically beating, no longer drowned her senses. The wind was still blowing in the trees, the sun was still bright, and the wolf in front of her still waiting for an answer.

"Because I killed someone."

She stared at him quietly while a tear she never felt coming slowly made its way down her cheek. Now she knew for sure, they would never let her return.
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#8

The other began avoiding eye contact which of course begged the question of why? Nervousness? Shame perhaps? Guilt? Maybe a combination? It was hard to say as he didn't know what had caused the others flight to begin with. Which of course was why the questions were so important and required answers. There were many reasons the other might have left, humiliation for having lost the challenge or something far more severe like a breakage of the laws that would be preferred, no doubt, by the other to never be discovered. That was his job though. If the other had broken Inarian law and fled it was his duty to find out what law had been broken, whether it be an illegal litter or something else, and figure out what to do from there. Which thinking of illegal litters..he didn't think it likely as he had never noticed any thing that might indicate the other was expecting but as the other had been the Medic he had to acknowledge that concealing a pregnancy might be well within the abilities of such a medically learned individual and if the litter had been illegal might have caused the other to flee in order to avoid repercussions and the possibility of the pups being taken away.

It was still a highly unlikely possibility though especially considering the impact the war had had on everyone. That was his main concern and top focus, was whether the war or an effect of it had caused the absence. The frown his words elicited was well noted as was the shift in the others demeanor. It was not as confrontational as some of the others he had met at the borders but the sudden rise from a sitting position to a full standing one was not exactly something that could be ignored or brushed off. He doubted however that a physical attack was imminent but rather a verbal one but regardless of which ever one it was the other would soon discover that he was both willing and prepared to stand his ground.

The indignation the other displayed was curious. To get upset upon being questioned further about an admission of wrong doing was illogical. He had been on the other side of that once though, as the one expressing emotion more than rational thought, though his emotions had not been anger at the one questioning him or at least not that he could recall. It was quite a bemusing irony how many he seemed to come across on the borders with stories so similar to his own. He did not let that distract him from his duties though, sympathy and compassion were all well and good and certainly had their place but one could not allow such feelings to be the only reasoning tool at the borders when so many other lives were counting on you to think rationally and logically to keep the pack safe.

Upon his more direct questioning the other had quickly deflated again which suggested he just might be about to receive an answer which could then be properly assessed. Of course he would be on the watch for anything which might indicate the other to be lying as it was a possibility that logic demanded be considered. He waited wondering if the hesitancy with which the other spoke was due to an attempt at formulating a lie or due to the natural desire to not reveal the source of ones shame and guilt. He held his peice until the other had finished and well..what the other admitted to was not what he was expecting and also extremely unlikely to be a lie.

It was also an extremely serious charge, if the victim were a packmate, but there was also still the matter of Saboro. The other certainly seemed remorseful, which in light of her being a healer was to be expected, but that also begged the question of had the victim been a patient and the death accidental. There was certainly no ignoring such an admission which meant more information would absolutely be required. "Who did you kill?". He asked keeping the question simple and to the point while trying to use a tone that would not aggravate things while still making it clear that there would be no avoiding an answer either, this was far too serious of a matter to give a pass and promise of return to.


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#9

"Who did you kill?", He asked.

Simple, to the point, like the sentinel he was meant to be. If only things could have been so black and white for her, but it wasn't. The sisters had told her, she'd only done what she had to... That the other would have died anyway by the paws of another... That she had actually offered him a more gentle ending than anyone else could have. But all of these words could not add up to the guilt she still felt.

She raised a paw to wipe the tear at the side of her face, but doing so she found there were more.

"He was a Saboro soldier"

She expected the other to laugh, perhaps to say the scum had deserved it. Had he not come to Inaria with the purpose to kill? Perhaps... but she had not. Killing went against everything she was, and everything she stood for. The simple act that soldiers were expected to do without question or remorse had haunted her until she could no longer function. She should have told someone, but she had been ashamed then as she still was.

Who would ever want of a healer that had once used her craft to take away what healers were meant to save?

"I never should have... But I was afraid he would just go out there and hurt someone. I know he was an enemy but... "

It wouldn't change how she felt about the matter. He was a life she took away, who he was made no difference to her. She thought of the skeleton that was possibly still caught in the thornbush and she shuddered.

"I left because I couldn't come to terms with it..."

If she had known he had thought she had been left because of an illegal litter she would have laughed; a broken and sorrowful laugh.

He had been afraid she'd run away and stolen a life that was never meant to be; in truth she had run from a life stolen she was never meant to take.
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#10


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[Image: fl1_by_arkyls-dbj3mi7.png]



The sound of laughter and growth filled the Inaria air as summer progressed, bright sun and warm days that made for refreshing beach afternoons all the better. The pack’s lands were blooming with flowers and hope, the start of new beginnings. But there were many reminders of the past still in the nooks of the land; snippets of past leaders, respected wolves that put heart and soul into the lands that Xenia now called her own. She didn’t know a lot, having been accepted into not only the Inarian family as a whole, but the royal one; she could only show her respect in the form of appreciation and upkeep of many of these monuments.

On lazy days, the young Queen found herself drifting back to typical habits she had before her life as a monarch began. One thing tending to the large medic garden, a place she spent many hours of her time before marrying the King, a practice she respected highly— but she was not sad to see it had been passed to others. She didn’t know at the time, but her destiny was in something more than just the job of a medic. Bright green eyes sparkled across the gardens, it was doing well despite the absence of their medics, new and old.

As the Queen wandered in awe and simple enjoyment of her home, she felt the wind gently push her in the direction of the border, a curious feeling, one that hadn’t been new to her. Despite having never been a sentry at all in her Inarian life, Xenia found herself at the borders often; she had been there when the now-Queen of Gemini had come to seek temporary refuge in Inaria, from then on she had always been one to travel to their new home for diplomatic duties. More recently, catching the young prince who felt he could assist at the borders, and now….

Inhaling deep, from the distance she could see the ever reliable and dutiful Aeolus, commanding the borders in precision and focus that Inaria could always expect from him. Xenia felt silly for a moment, feeling bad in doubting his duties, but just as she’d considered turning away, the voice of someone familiar made her hesitate.

"He was a Saboro soldier"

Saboro? Solider? Xenia felt her blood run cold for a moment, her curiosity turned to alarm as she opted for proceeding to the strange pull at her borders. With a graceful, quick stride the Queen could be spotted coming from a distance, ears listening before her eyes saw who was speaking.

"I never should have... But I was afraid he would just go out there and hurt someone. I know he was an enemy but... I left because I couldn't come to terms with it..."

The owner of the voice was a small, golden female who Xenia immediately recognized as her, and a warm smile came upon her face despite the half-conversation she’d stepped into, and one of a concerning topic. “Lotus….” She breathed, coming to stand beside Aeolus now and giving him a nod of respect and approval. “You’re back… You’re home” The mention of Saboro faded once she’d the past Medic, the immediately sting of a somber atmosphere hit her despite the fact that it should be a celebration of the return of their highly respected.

To that, the smile the Queen adorned settled into a bit of a neutral expression, looking between the two wolves and then quietly asking. “…What seems to be the problem?
















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#11

His focus did not leave the former Medic though he did detect the scent of a royal nearby which was convenient given the circumstances he was being presented with here though he did wonder if he was being sought out by that particular royal due to the previous encounter. While he had not heard anything about the royalty being displeased with his actions it was still possible that they, or this one in particular was, and wished to supervise other border interactions that might involve him. However it was also a possibility that the queen was trying to familiarize herself with border workings which was logical and wise for one of that rank to do. He of course couldn't be sure of either possibility at present as there was not yet enough information for him to draw on but he would file both possibilities away for later re-examination when more information had been collected. In the meantime the presence of the queen was useful and quite convenient given the situation he was being presented with as leaving without permission or notification wasn't allowed which meant regardless of his thoughts and decision here, assuming it was his decision, the royalty would need to be notified. He had listened quietly to the explanation as dots connected to form the pieces to form a much larger picture which painted Lotus as yet another unfortunate victim of the after effects of the war and one who needed help which Inaria could possibly provide.

Listening to what Lotus said had occurred left him with conflicted emotions. He was sympathetic to the guilt the other was feeling for while he wasn't a healer he was a Page, a diplomat so violence was not his preferred course of action and even during the war he had tried to persuade the enemies he had come across that there was need for the war, no need for injuries if they would simply return to their homes. He had not wanted to fight. But fighting had been necessary for the enemies who would not turn away. It was unfortunate and he wished it had not been so but he accepted that it had been for that was simply how things were sometimes. That was why he was also a Sentinel. He did not choose fighting as a first course of action but he was willing to engage a threat physically if words were not enough for if words failed all that was left, what became necessary to protect the pack, was physical action.

He didn't know if he should mention any of that though as the queen was now fully here standing next to him offering a nod of approval and respect and then greeting the other, Lotus, with friendly familiarity. The moment did not last long though and soon it was back to the issue at hand. "Lotus has returned and has admitted to leaving the pack without permission. It is unfortunate but I believe there are mitigating circumstances in that the departure, as Lotus has explained, was due to guilt for actions taken during the war in protection of her fellow packmates. I do not think she poses any threat to the pack". He would leave it there for while he saw no reason to deny Lotus re-entry, in light of the rule breaking and especially with the queen currently present, it simply was not his call to make all he could do was provide information and gentle suggestion for Lotus to be made an Inarian once more but he could not tell Xenia the queen to accept Lotus if she thought otherwise.

Of course if he was asked what his decision would be he could provide it and would do so willingly but otherwise the desci0on of whether to re-accept Lotus or not lay with the queen.


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“Lotus….”

She looked up, drying her tears, to a familiar face. Little Xenia, though now she did not seem so small as she remembered. There was something about her that was different; so subtle that she couldn't say what it could be. She seemed to glow when she smiled at her, and Lotus could tell she was genuinely happy to see her.

“You’re back… You’re home…”

Coming home; how many times had she wished to hear those words? Too many nights she had dreamed of Inaria and woken with her eyes filled with tears. Too long she had ignored the yearning in her heart to return, for it had been buried with a pain much deeper and raw, and covered with many fears. She feared the ghost of the soldier who's life she had taken. She feared the judgement of others. She also feared what she had become. What she feared the most at the moment though, was rejection.

When the sentinel began to speak, she lowered her head and flattened her ears. She was sure he was going to flat out tell Xenia she shouldn't be allowed back. Instead she heard in his words no judgement, no hate. His thoughts echoed those of the wise sisters; in doing what had caused her so much grief, she had been protecting her pack. The pack, family, was the heart of everything that made them Inaria. And so in the eyes of the pack she posed no threat.

She looked up to them, eyes brimming with tears that she was determined to hold back. She remembered the moment she had taken the Oath, barely old enough to be called an adult. With a crown of lavender under her paw, she had sworn to heal, to soothe, and to save those around her. To the eyes her birth pack, the moment she had willingly taken a life she had broken her oath, and she was no longer fit to be a healer. But what else could she be?

"I hope the garden didn't overrun with weeds while I was gone."


She put on a smile and wiped the tears from her face. She couldn't stop the doubts and fears and guilt that swelled up within her, but she wasn't going to let them get the best of her. She hadn't come back to Inaria to pour her sorrow all over it, but rather to try and give it her best.

If she was allowed to call this place home again, she would make sure to treat it right. Sooner or later she would build up enough good karma to throw out all the bad.

Also maybe counter a curse or two.
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#13
(This post was last modified: August 22, 2018, 08:13:47 PM by Arkyls.)


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Xenia was a patient creature, eyes glancing between her border guard to the previous medic, clear signs of upset were upon the woman’s face that the Queen continued to be confused about. Thankfully, Aeolus didn’t take long to speak up, the monarch still possessed her welcoming and hospitable aura the whole exchange.

"Lotus has returned and has admitted to leaving the pack without permission. It is unfortunate but I believe there are mitigating circumstances in that the departure, as Lotus has explained, was due to guilt for actions taken during the war in protection of her fellow packmates. I do not think she poses any threat to the pack"

The Queen’s head tilted slightly as she seemed a bit frowned at by the statement of ‘without permission.’ Leaving was certainly not barred, although disheartening, but she would mentally forgive the sentry’s use of wording and then turn toward Lotus. The mention of the war sent a small chill down her spine, but certainly at the sake of protecting Inaria, there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Oh, sweet Lotus.” Xenia sighed with a gentle smile, moving closer, hoping to be welcomed in a gentle nudging embrace of a past mentor. Despite the shift in their social hierarchy, she’ll never forget the training, welcome and purpose that Lotus had originally given her when she came to Inaria. Certainly there would not be any reason to turn their years-long dedicated healer away. They were both gentle souls at heart, and while she didn’t expect the golden woman to repeat herself having read the distraught tears on her face, she did add, “You don’t have to tell me, but you are Inarian through and through and I hope you know you are always welcome here.

"I hope the garden didn't overrun with weeds while I was gone."

A quiet chuckle exhaled from her throat, gentle and warm. “You can see for yourself, you are a healer after all!” She giggled, “But I will say that it provided for a good relief of something to do other than keeping some rowdy girls in check.” Xenia jested, but deep down she wouldn’t have had it any other way. She loved her daughters.

Pulling away now, Xenia turned herself to Aelous and smiled warmly, nodding to him again. “Thank you once again for all your hard work, Aelous. I apologize that I seem to keep appearing on your post,” She didn’t need to apologize, but Xenia didn’t want him to think anything negative from her popping up. “You too, always have Inaria’s back. We, I, am grateful.

Xenia would wait and offer company to Lotus, perhaps they’d go straight to the garden.

Oh, and — “Welcome home, Lotus.
















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played by ARKYLS
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#14

It's been a while since the last post, so I thought I'd throw in a last reply <3
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“Oh, sweet Lotus.” 

When Xenia moved towards her, Lotus got to her feet and met her half way with a warm embrace. She would have wanted nothing more than to throw herself at the smaller wolf's chest and sob, but instead she touched shoulders with her and rested her head on the small of her back. How soft, how warm, how comforting was Xenia's embrace. She smelled of Inaria, of it's grass and it's trees, and it's flowers... And something that reminded her of a boy that had once stumbled through her rose bush.

 “You don’t have to tell me, but you are Inarian through and through and I hope you know you are always welcome here.”

She nodded slightly, holding back tears but of joy this time. How could she have stayed away for so long, when her heart ached to be here more than anywhere else? Ah, but fear could do terrible things to a heart. She tried to shed her fears, but they clung to her mercilessly like unwanted memories.

When she spoke of the garden, Xenia chuckled. Oh how sweet and gentle a sound it was that it washed her worries away for a while. "You are a healer after all", she said. Forgiveness washed over her, and relief wrapped her like a warm embrace. She was a healer of Inaria once again. In that moment she understood what Xenia must have become, for who else but an Alpha could decide to give her back rank within the pack, the moment she had stepped forth? She did not believe herself worthy of such a hasty gift, but she smiled and nodded all the same. She would earn it with hard work and determination.

“Thank you once again for all your hard work, Aelous. I apologize that I seem to keep appearing on your post. You too, always have Inaria’s back. We, I, am grateful.” 

The others name was Aelous, she would remember this. She nodded to him, acknowledging his work and the praise Xenia had offered him. He was thorough to be sure, and if Xenia appreciated him then she would as well. Lotus thought the little queen was a good judge of character, and she trusted whoever had earned her trust.

 “Welcome home, Lotus.”

"Xenia... Thank you. Thank you so much."
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#15

((sorry about the time issue and I know there isn't anything here I really need to do but for IC sake....))

-Aeolus nods in approval of the decision and in acknowledgement of the appreciativeness expressed by Xenia.
-Then nods/gestures welcome to Lotus
-Is about to offer to escort Lotus further in and to get settled but Xenia offers first
-Since the pair seem to have a bond and he has patrols to do he respectfully bows out to leave them to spend time together

((if I missed anything major in either post I'm really sorry and can fix))


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