Author Topic: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]  (Read 2297 times)

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Offline Skadi

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Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« on: February 15, 2015, 12:46:31 AM »
It was hard, watching the sunrise from her den mouth, perched on the ledge of the snow capped mountains knowing that this was the last day before the Nightwalker headed back to Saboro. She'd been gone too long, even for a Nightwalker, and it was obvious that if no one else, Serrate, Sabora, mother was missing her, waiting for her to come back like she was supposed to do. Skadi knew that there was no information she could give that would save her hide, but perhaps she could cobble a story up, send them in a different direction than the purple forests if they needed to know the where, the why of her absence.

How long had it been? A year? Two? The girl had lost track of time as she hovered outside of the place her brother called Inaria. He was here, and she had desperately wanted to stay with him, but she couldn't endanger him by living in the pack that she wasn't sent to in the first place. Her mission had been something else entirely, and as much as she loathed the idea of returning home, facing the claws and fangs that most likely awaited her for abandoning her post, Skadi missed the only mother she ever really knew.

And if that mother doled out her punishment, well then...

The golden girl shook her head and stood. Her paws were rested, her brother was safe, or as safe as she could keep him. There was nothing left for her now but to return to the dark jungle. A shiver of dread coursed through her, but she had a long walk to think of something to say.

With a deep breath, she stepped lightly down the rocky slope and headed toward Inaria's borders, hoping to see Hashmal one last time to say goodbye. Skadi would miss her brother desperately, but in the end, him staying safe was better than her leading Nightwalkers right to him, her soft spot, a weakness to be exploited.

She wouldn't ever be able to live with herself if that happened.

Treading over the rocky terrain in a path that was well worn from her constant treks, she was oblivious to the fact that there was someone else on the path ahead, her head high in the clouds, and drowning in unshed tears that she didn't quite know what to do with. And when the Nightwalker finally noticed the shadow just ahead, she jerked to a halt, and her raspy, unused voice croaked out a soft query, her voice thick with suspicion and worry.

"...Hashmal?"

Please let it be Hashmal...

Oh, it's time to let it go

I can't seem to understand it how you turned out to be so cold
You tried but were caught red handed, are you happy with your role?
It's funny to me how you've turned into such a joke...

It's sacrifice
False pretense you'll hurt again
Stop pretending to deny
False pretense you'll hurt again

So play the game until you run out
And play the game into my hand

- Played by Red Team -
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Offline Avery!

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 07:18:42 PM »
The fight had not cowed her with regret or consequence, nor had any explanation the sisters had proffered convinced her so much of their innocence that she would not opt to look for herself at the rest of the entourage they'd brought along for the ride. They were here somewhere, confined to the outskirts just like her -- Avery had laughed, blackly and unkindly, when she'd seen the elites eyeballing her, and the noise was no flute-played taps as her chances of staying here for good withered and died but it was close enough -- and it did not take long before she'd caught the trail of another one. A young girl? A lackey? Let's find out, friends and neighbors.

It was solidly against her better judgment. It was bullying, harassment, blatant intimidation. It was even a little obsessive. It was all she had left right now. Most of all, it was a promise she'd made, when Haven had escorted her back over the borders instead of tearing her to shreds. The least she could do, if something terrible was conspiring here, was run like a fox from hounds to lead it away from Inaria before it exploded and took out a bunch of innocent bystanders.

"Hashmal?"

"Who?" snorted back a voice, a little gruff but distinctly female, from the approaching silhouette Skadi addressed. Should she keep looking, she would see in seconds the tough, ungrizzled form of a great red spotted wolf emerging from the wind in their mutual path, two sets of paws hardened to the terrain steadily eating up rocks and splintery sticks as they moved, crunching them like debris beneath the treads of a tank.

She stepped directly into Skadi's path. Moved with something terse and edgy woven into her stride, a far cry from its old cocksure pride and challenging hostility, but certainly leaving no room for anyone's aggression, anyone's games, anyone's effing sass. Not Hashmal. Not lost brother, or mother, or anyone else the runaway spy knew at all.

Oh, but that wasn't completely true, was it? Did the golden girl remember Shrike, that catty, cruel little diva who'd once told her about a "monster" she one day would kill...?

The wolf who once had been war captain grinned suddenly with teeth, apropos of nothing, and lifted her muzzle, gesturing down to the other female's lean back, her legs, her face. Remarked she very dryly, "I like your tattoos."

Her own shone faintly in the dawn of the new day.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 07:24:22 PM by Avery! »
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Offline Serrate

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 11:45:58 PM »
Her entourage (or what she liked to call her friends) had little to hide should Avery sniff out their tracks-- it was likely she would find little malice shared between them. A ragtag group pieced together bit by mile-traveling bit. Wayward travelers. Orphans. The remnants of fallen kingdoms. The downtrodden and the poor in everything but spirit. Did they have their secrets? Oh, yes, but who didn't?

Avery's suspicions brought her to a place that Serrate had never been, and Serrate's steadfast determination to ensure none of her own came to harm from this mistake from her past brought her along. It was, perhaps, obsessive as well-- a mission-- but no reconciliation could come so swiftly and heal so thoroughly. Her superficial wounds were healing, but as much as she represented the evils of Saboro to the former War Captain, Avery reflected it back at her just as strongly. So she followed her-- less than covert, open in her intentions. Avery would come to see that this so-called army was hardly more than dandelion seeds caught in the same stiff breeze.

She did not know where Avery was going today-- it was becoming clear that it wasn't after one of hers. She was nearly to the point of turning and backtracking, leaving the former War Captain to her business (she's not obsessed, she insists) when Avery stops, the same weak and raspy voice reaching her own ears. It is not the name called out that means anything but the voice itself that seems to strike a chord, stirring a dim memory-- for Skadi has certainly grown, no longer the small and scared child she once was.

Curiosity seizes her and she slowly approaches, having maintained a healthy distance from Avery. Nobody wanted a repeat performance of their brawl. Her vision is far from perfect, still healing from the infection that had tried its hardest to claim her eye, so she must squint at the figure Avery is addressing. A growing sense of dread fills her as she is able to focus, Avery's comment about tattoos seizing her breathe straight from her lungs.

It falls painfully into place, a voice, her voice, interlocking pieces to a puzzle never finished. A stolen daughter scared and alone, hers now, only hers-- the mountains she had toppled and the souls she had torn in two to keep little Skadi with her-- safe. She'd tossed another frightened child to the marsh-- Cypress' boy-- a crime of passion and fear. One she would never be forgiven for. All to keep that small, shivering little girl-- keep her, change her, push her away again--

To keep her safe, she knows. Serrate had been a poor Sabora, lacking in so much but never in empathy, and she had created Nightwalkers, but not as her mother had, not as Sol Katti after her was. She had tried, for she knew they'd needed something to survive, that they (and she) must conform to Saboro's laws and traditions-- but how could she not mother them? How could she hurt them, poor little babies?

She never had. Not physically, anyway. She couldn't. She couldn't deprive them of what Roark had never known-- her Nightwalkers knew love, and in that perhaps they were flawed. It really depended on whose definition you cared about.

She sprung into action, flying past Avery and skidding before Skadi-- no punishment came, though she shoved forward, attempting to bury her face in the scruff of her tattooed daughter, breathing in her scent and bathing herself in the memory of one of the few good things Saboro had allowed her. The moment does not last long before she turns, eyes shifting and working hard to focus on Avery, lightheadedness making her feel like the world was spinning beneath her. She still managed to lift her tail high, lips peeling back just slightly to show a hint of teeth.

The message was clear-- if you want her, you come through me.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 11:54:42 PM by Serrate »
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Domino motion,
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I can't remember what have I done now?

Offline Skadi

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 07:15:02 PM »
"Who?"

The voice was certainly not Hashmal's, and it took every ounce of training she had not to balk when the red and black form emerged. And the girl remembered, that childhood meeting with someone covered in the same colors had talked with her about monsters so long ago, a discussion of similarities and brothers.

It was happening, they had come for her, and she had given them a name, HIS NAME.

Her chest heaved and her gut wrenched and the brown female felt a fear she had only ever known before when teeth had wrapped around her tiny body, the smell of mud mingling with blood as her olfactory memory kicked in. But she didn't speak again, didn't back away like her body screamed at her to do. No.

No.

She would give Shrike nothing...and yet, the form emerged further, eyes the wrong color, lacking the white that Shrike bore as well as her many tattoos. Instead, the only tattoos were below her eyes, faintly visible, but glaringly obvious to the Nightwalker who was on high alert. Her body tensed. Who was this? She couldn't know this was the monster Shrike had spoken of, but instead this female before her was becoming her own monster come to life, the embodiment of the shadows that chased her.

"I like your tattoos."

Sharp ears flicked back then, her only sign of fear and anger. Skadi watched those white teeth as they flashed, barely registering the words spoken. Her guard was not down, but she had a severe case of tunnel vision, and so what happened next, the girl was unprepared for.

Suddenly there was a reddish blur, a sturdy body that she remembered, and even as she braced for the sharpness of teeth, unrelenting and punishing, Skadi realized it was her mother. A mother who shouldn't be out here, couldn't be.

A mother who pressed her head into Skadi's neck and set her heart racing in surprise and joy rather than fear. She, too, breathed deeply and relaxed into the embrace, such as it was, and exhaled a raspy word. Just one, but that word held more emotion in it than Skadi could ever put in words.

"Mama..."

And suddenly the red form of Serrate, her Sabora, turned to the red woman in a display of dominance, and that spurred Skadi to words as well as action.

The Nightwalker eased forward, her lean form pressed against Serrate's, unsure what her parent was doing here, and why...After all, the Sabora doesn't leave Saboro, not even to come for her wayward daughter. And if she wasn't here for her, then why was the red female here?

What was going on?

"Wh-...What's...Who is she?" The girl didn't know what to ask first, but the dread that had gripped her had not eased. In fact, the arrival of her mother only put Skadi more on edge than before. Now, it wasn't just her brother, but her mother at risk as well. The other questions could wait until they were alone. Yellow eyes flashed as she watched Avery with wariness, waiting for answers.

Waiting for orders.

At the end of the day, her loyalties laid with Serrate and no other, and perhaps that love, that Achilles Heel would be her downfall.

Oh, it's time to let it go

I can't seem to understand it how you turned out to be so cold
You tried but were caught red handed, are you happy with your role?
It's funny to me how you've turned into such a joke...

It's sacrifice
False pretense you'll hurt again
Stop pretending to deny
False pretense you'll hurt again

So play the game until you run out
And play the game into my hand

- Played by Red Team -
#E47833

Offline Avery!

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 11:35:42 AM »
It had scalded her the first time someone had gazed upon her with naked terror. Everything became easier with time. Every wound eventually calloused over. Didn't it?

We're gonna talk, she rehearsed in her head, as the veteran begin her dance with the young spy, her guilt written in sanguine ink all across her body. You're gonna tell me some things. What you're doing here, what Saboro wants with this place. You might attack me, if you decide not to answer. Those guards will come again, and they're probably pretty edgy after me and queenie's little oops, and they might make it painful for you and me both this time before we're thrown out... but not as painful as it's gonna be when you return to your effing king and tell him mission failed.

Of course, it was only her double-edged praise she actually got the chance to say, before said queenie was there in a flash, not thundering into the scene as her mother had once, but darting in, like a vixen with cubs at her breast. Avery jumped a little, one paw briefly curling toward her body as she halted, before it slammed back down and she returned the posturing. Gazed hard at the once-sabora, her legs stiffening, tail rising, tongue emerging to flick menacingly across her upper lip. Then --

"Mama... Wh-...What's...Who is she?"

"Mama?" she sneered, resisting the urge to laugh in spite of herself. Yet something had an effect, and Avery did relent, the bristling fur settling, her stance becoming looser, less threatening. She watched them for a critical moment, her characteristic squint pulling at the edges of her eyes. "... well then. You don't look much alike, you know."

Even so, she protected her child here from harm. Like a good mother should. It was such a strong, primitive pull. Avery had known it once. Had chosen to deal with it in her own way. Put at least one somewhere Saboro would never find them.

Shrike. Kappa. They had names. The son had children of his own. The daughter was pried away from him by a jealous queen. These lives, these warped and squandered lives, that had sprung from her belly so long ago.

"I'm a friend of your mama's." And she did laugh a little then, at the tension, at the sudden plot twist, at the sheer unconvincing nature of this bad joke. Nodded to Serrate, her eyes half-mooned with that odd mirth. "Right, mama?"
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 11:38:25 AM by Avery! »
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Offline Serrate

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 09:24:12 PM »
Her moment of reunion with Skadi is brief but poignant, and for once she does not balk at the physical presence-- no, affection. After all, Skadi had once been nothing but a little lost girl (her little lost girl) and the sad, far away from home child could-- would-- do nothing to harm her. It was a rare connection and she relished it with a recklessness that she would have never attempted with another. There was a rough and insistent quality to it, unusual even in the jungle, and the fierceness of her devotion to this unexpected gift is reflected at Avery with blinding accuracy even as her daughter utters one single, simple word.

Avery reacts in kind, and for a few tense moments her heart begins to pound, and she wonders if they're destined to repeat the past and earn their dire consequences. But the moment passes and Avery relents, posture relaxing here and there, enough that the immediate threat seems over. Still, she holds her stance for several moments longer before her lips uncurl. She deems Avery's jab unworthy of responding to, multifaceted as it feels. Avery couldn't know how she'd longed for a family to surround her, and she wouldn't care if she tried to explain. The former Sabora would always be the monster-- and in many ways, she deserved that.

Still, Saboro had a way of birthing monsters, as all three present could attest. 

"Wh-...What's... Who is she?"

"I'm a friend of your mama's. Right, mama?"

It was all Serrate could do to not immediately snap that Avery had never been nor never would be a friend of hers-- but she managed. Her head tilts slightly as she measures up Avery and weighs the situation. "Avery," she tells Skadi at last, "the old War Captain. You were too young to remember." But Skadi would remember her children, troubled and unaccepting things that they were. They had clung to each other and had never taken to the Sabora like so many little ducklings-- and they had never quite taken in Skadi as a sibling, despite sharing the same future.

But Serrate was not their mother. This laughing jackal was-- and she had forfeited them to their fate. The Sabora she'd been then had cast Skadi out into the world, freed her in that sense-- but Shrike and Kappa had been more difficult, something she'd wanted to work on. There was no doubt that they had done missions by now, but as for where or who they were, she could not say. Skadi was here, and she found that she did want to know what she'd seen, what she'd experienced-- just as she had then.

Somehow sharing the truth of why she was here and asking her daughter the same felt stilted and awkward under the mocking eye of what she still mistakenly viewed as an adversary. What she wanted she felt couldn't be shared with Avery, and so she swallowed it down like a bitter pill, glancing at Skadi and murmuring, "How long have you been here?"
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Domino motion,
Jump starts when we touch.
A blackout approaching,
Here it comes now, wish me luck.
It's all over, it's all over, it's all over in a flash.
I can't remember what have I done now?

Offline Skadi

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 03:34:45 PM »
"Mama?... well then. You don't look much alike, you know."

Skadi wanted to bristle at the comment, no matter how true the words rang. The Sabora was not her mother by blood, but she was the mother who didn't abandon the tiny pup when it mattered. Serrate had raised and cherished the girl as her own, had protected her when it mattered, and even if Skadi didn't understand it, her mother's presence here, right now, was comforting. So instead of bristling, she leaned more into the blush colored side of Serrate, and watched with intelligent, sharp eyes.

"I'm a friend of your mama's. Right, mama?"

"Avery, the old War Captain. You were too young to remember."


Skadi considered this, her golden gaze flicking to Serrate once before she gave a slow nod. Something here was off. A War Captain. Old War Captain. Mama. What had happened during the girl's absence from the motherland? She was not certain she trusted this situation wholly, but she knew that if Avery had presented a threat, she would have done something by now. That didn't mean that Skadi would go belly up if it did happen, but for now, the tension seemed to ease ever so slightly between them. "I thought...you were Shrike."

"How long have you been here?"

And under the rosy gaze of her mother, Skadi considered this. She flashed a look at Avery, but trusted her Mama, even if she didn't quite trust the other here now. "...A while." Her voice, raspy from disuse, was low. "Too long. Long enough..." The whole time. Skadi wanted to desperately tell Serrate about her brother, about how he would come to see her on the borders of this purple land, how she'd seen the flowers bloom and wither in turn, how autumn was rich with color, how this land made her feel again. She also wanted to hear why her mama had come to be here, but she felt it was not her place to ask. If Skadi needed to know, her mother would tell her in due time. That's how it always was, and the rogue Nightwalker accepted that as much as she could accept anything.

For a moment, she looked Serrate over, and bowed her head. Had she failed? Would Serrate be displeased with her? She didn't know what would happen now, but she knew that wherever her mother went out here in this great, wide world, she would have to follow. Back to Saboro, if that was her plan. Somewhere else. To the ends of the earth and back again.

Oh, it's time to let it go

I can't seem to understand it how you turned out to be so cold
You tried but were caught red handed, are you happy with your role?
It's funny to me how you've turned into such a joke...

It's sacrifice
False pretense you'll hurt again
Stop pretending to deny
False pretense you'll hurt again

So play the game until you run out
And play the game into my hand

- Played by Red Team -
#E47833

Offline Avery!

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 12:10:02 AM »
They pointedly ignored her jibe, as sharply as it needled them both, and maybe that was for the better, lest this interaction rapidly devolve, lest it feed the ugly, bullying part of Avery that would have grown more smug and wrathful had they allowed the sting to show. They'd had quite enough of that back-and-forth bullcrap... and so too had the Inarian guards.

Avery the War Captain. Avery the commander of vicious jackdaws, Avery the slave who'd battled her way into the elite, Avery who'd been nothing but abused, traumatized chattel despite the authority and despite the tattoos and despite all the futile, cancerous rage. These were her names, her epithets, and she allowed Serrate to introduce her by them, unwelcome as she was here. Sunset eyes looked full at Skadi as the girl murmured a question, the neutrality in her fierce face hiding something... vulnerable.

"No," was all she said, and it was the first time she'd ever said it perhaps, after so many years of trying to pretend it all had never happened, that it had been some nightmare gone horribly right. "Shrike's my daughter."

There it was.

She let her gaze wander as the two spoke, keeping their voices hushed though of course she could still hear them, and their topics... rather censored. Who knows what this monster ex-general might do. Avery didn't quite tune them out, but she lacked the rapt, dangerous attention she'd paid to them both only moments ago, and even deigned to watch the swaying treetops off in the distance, focusing on their metronome. Her genetic ancestors had come to be here, she knew now. She existed because this kingdom did. It was a story far disconnected from her, not even a footnote in the flamebrand's saga, but this whole story, all of it together, was hardly just about her. Or them. Any of this mess.

"Are they still alive," asked Ave flatly before she could stop herself. If Skadi was perceptive, she'd see that the older she-wolf was avoiding her gaze somewhat. "Shrike, I mean, and her brother."

She couldn't explain why she wanted to know, least of all right now.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 11:52:53 PM by Avery! »
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Offline Serrate

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Re: Pulling Me Back [prp Serrate/Avery?]
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 09:50:08 PM »
She regards Avery from beneath her lashes, wary as ever of the firebird’s attention. When Skadi presses into her, she returns the gesture. She did her best not to reveal her weaknesses, but she still felt weak in the knees, queasy in the pit of her stomach. Her eye would heal, the scar fading beneath her fur as all the others slowly did—but the memory of where it had come from remains. Her breath catches in her chest at the girl’s confusion, her eyes flickering over Avery for any sign of anger or imminent aggression. To her surprise, the former War Captain seems to deflate in front of them. It was almost as if the other wolf had… regrets. The thought feels foreign to her, and her body attempts to reject it—this wasn’t the Avery she’d known, the Avery that culled weak Jackdaws, the Avery that cried ”Wolf!”, the Avery that surrendered her children.

In the end, they knew very little about each other. They understood even less.

Kappa,” she interjects quietly, a jagged little bone shard in her heart turning her mean, insisting that she remind the war captain that her lost children both had a name. It was cruel, but so too had been the tournament. So too had been the murder of Mortar, who had froze. She would never forget the look on his face as Mace—Kol Nidre’s sister, a dim, dark place in her mind recalls—destroyed him.

The War Captain no longer looks at them, and for some reason she stays her tongue. She doesn’t carry on. She doesn’t tell Avery that her daughter hates her, curses her with her every breath, jaws clenching in her sleep. She doesn’t tell her that her son has likely long since forgotten her name—or worse, he knows it and simply doesn’t care. That neither had any love left for her, if they’d ever had it at all—and why would they? Stolen from her breast before they’d lost their milk teeth (though not by her, never by her)… and wasn’t it for the best? What would they have become under Avery’s tutelage?

She allows her daughter to answer however she sees fit, eyes never wavering from that sore, battered, broken beacon of hate. When and if Skadi responded, she’d say lowly, beneath her breath, “Let’s go.

Leave the creature to lick her wounds.
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The Observatory | Profile
Domino motion,
Jump starts when we touch.
A blackout approaching,
Here it comes now, wish me luck.
It's all over, it's all over, it's all over in a flash.
I can't remember what have I done now?