Author Topic: Open at the Close [Thayle x Capricorn] [IM]  (Read 1137 times)

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Open at the Close [Thayle x Capricorn] [IM]
« on: September 01, 2017, 02:56:11 AM »

At the start of her story, she was dying.

The creature, long-legged, trembling, and slight, staggered to the river's edge. Her sides heaved with greedy gasps, and her paws bled. She should not have taken this route, but it was too late now. They were coming.

The water was ice, but she surged forward. This spot in the current was gentle. She did not have much sense left, but she had enough not to jump into rapids. The swell tugged at the wispy fur that would have been beautiful on a better day and dragged her slender head beneath the surface more than once. She reappeared, sputtering, each time unable to lift her head as high as the last. Her muscles burned, her lungs screamed, a deep, sharp pain spread through her chest. They were coming, and she was afraid to die.

Suddenly, she was dragging herself from smooth pebbles instead of bobbing under murky water. She reached the other shore. But it didn't matter. Her head slumped limp on the bank while her half drowned, exhausted body stayed submerged in the glittering shallows. They were coming. She couldn't stay here. She couldn't--

She saw only pinpricks of light, felt only pain and terrible fear, and then nothing. In her thin chest sat her heart and its weaker companion, both shivering, nearly still.

Sore paws were the bane of any nomad wandering aimlessly through the mountains. He didn't know when he arrived in the straits, only that a few days prior he saw the far off sheen of ocean water. Large paws sprawled as he climbed down the jagged rocks, happy to be on steady ground once more as the trees surrounded him. Curls of fur matted in the leaves and foliage of the forest, but Capricorn would eventually lay down and groom the locks from knots.

Nose caught the sweet scent of a stream, ears moving to navigate the terrain in order to find the source of water. His throat had been dry for some time now, the thirst tempting his sticky tongue. The once-prince eventually found it, lapping up the cold water, savoring the cold ravenously. Capricorn was almost ignorant to the splashes of a creature in distress, not until he lifted his head, noticing the blonde fur of a wolf quite a ways down stream from him. Orange orbs would blink warily. "Hello?" he would call, voice smooth and firm.

No answer as the girl lay dying.

The sun prince would move forward with careful steps, nose wiggling as he tried to pull in any scents to note. If there was blood, he would not notice for the wind was not in his favor, but the curly prince would approach, looking down upon the girl. A large paw would gently feel around her neck and down her shoulder to her ribs, feeling for any signs of life. Surely if she was breathing, her chest would rise against his paw.

A person may go to many places, when they fall into that darkness. For her, there was no shore line, or chains bound to ankles, or wind whistling through cracks. There was void. There was the resounding silence between beats. There was nothing but waiting. There was a paw on her that she could not feel.

The curious vagabond would find a healing wound on her neck, tangled in drenched fur. It was not deep, and it was not the injury sapping her strength, but it gave pretense. Something had put its teeth on her throat.

When he reached her ribs, the body quivered. Lungs full of river water gave a soft wheeze. The rise and fall of his paw grew shallower with each passing breath . She would be dead soon and mark a sad footnote in someone else's chapter, who did not even know her name or the color of her eyes.

She could not know that once again a stranger held her life in its jaws. How frustrating, for it to always turn out like this. He could so easily walk away, and who could blame him? This wasn't his business. No one would know or think poorly of him even if they did. But if he wanted to, perhaps he could change the ending. What a terrible burden to put on a passerby.

The girl's chest sunk and would not rise again.

On its own.

Water sloshed within her lungs, he could feel the rise and fall of his paw begin to weaken as if her breaths became nothing more than soft quivers. Fate tied itself upon his wrist, impulse pushing him to help her as he would his own people. The Sun Prince was an exile, but he was an exile who stood for what was right. He would've revived a dying mother upon the bank of their river, or a wounded child upon the cobble floor of their divine church.

Capricorn was the Sun and Stars, and fate had all but wrapped around his wrist.

The man pushed hard into her ribs with his paws, both of them this time, attempting to expel the water residing in her lungs. Blood had to pump again between the chambers of her heart in order for it to pump into the rest of her body. Each thump was essential for blood to flow. The hand of fate that pushed him pushed into her ribs, her lungs, her heart. Two hearts, quivering weak in the cusp of her chest.

In the deep quiet, she feels nothing. But her body does, and it reacts. The stranger presses his weight into her side, and water is forced out of her lungs. It trickles from between her lips and bubbles into the grass.

His patient guidance encourages the twitching, useless things within her breast to try, try again. It doesn't have to end here, say his paws, buried in her chest. You can have another chance.

Seconds drag in the heavy silence between two arrested hearts. His determination was admirable, but the girl was weak. Weak enough to end up on the slab. Weak enough to burden the pack. Weak enough to quench the thirsty ground. But then, abruptly, the body gasps. Once, then twice, then again and again, until it settled into a steady wheeze.

The stranger with her life between his jaws ordered it to find new rhythm, and so it was done.

Capricorn took a breath as she did, watching as water bubbled from her mouth and her body came back into life. He wasn't sure if he held his breath in those moments, but he was breathing now. The water was chilling, her body weak and unable to warm itself. The prince locked his jaw around her scarred neck, a gentle gesture this time instead of a violent pull for blood. He would drag her from the frigid river, carrying her to a safe place within the woods.

They would lie in the bosom of roots of an old oak tree, gnarled roots comforting in a soft layer of moss. Back rested against them, his eyes sore and heavy. Capricorn would lie with the girl by his side, long whispy tail wrapped around her like a blanket. In his mind reflected warm prayers, both for him and her to survive the coming night as the stars glistened between branches and leaves.

A long and dark solstice passed for the girl, in it's own way, and on it's heels ran new light. Blistering light, really, that burned even slight cracks in her eyelids. Steadily she worked her way up to opening them a little, and when she finally achieved the blurry mess of the forest, a painful whine shuddered in her chest. Ow.

Tenatively, she pressed her forepads and the fire in that ache made her wince. She wondered why everything had to be difficult.

Exhaustion had consumed him, chin resting on one of the gnarled roots had given him some pleasure to seek slumber if only for a little while. Once the girl stirred beneath his stomach, eyes rolled open, his body feeling heavy as it just wanted rest. The prince moved his head to look down upon her, relieved that she was to survive.

"You're awake" he says, hoping he doesn't startle her too much.

Blurry trees formed, slowly, gently, into a new shape. A... face shape? She squinted more than she already was, drawing a sharp breath.

You're awake.


Weak jaws snapped a weak bite in the stranger's side that likely did nothing more than tickle, but, well, a bite is a bite. His well wishes to avoid startling the half drowned mess from beyond the fringe were appreciated on a more meta level, however.

She startled as her gaze solidified, finding herself next to a strange creature that draped himself around her. Teeth struck him, a weak blow but a bite is a bite. The prince stood his ground, leaning back against the roots to give her room and give her comfort in escaping. He did not pull a rope around her neck.

"I apologize. I didn't mean to startle you."

She blinked rapidly when he did not recoil or strike back and then released him. Haphazard blobs took more solid forms, slowly, and she found herself staring at the bigger wolf.

"...Oh! I'm, sorry."

Muscles relaxed as her teeth unhinged from his side. After sighing out his anxious relief, Capricorn would shake his head slightly. "That's quite alright. How do you feel?" Slender head would tilt to the side in curiosity, eyes looking at her with concern. She had been knocking at death's door, if it wasn't for him she would surely be dead, but the heroism he displayed meant little to him. She didn't owe him anything, he just happened to be around and he felt the need to save her because every life was precious. He had learned much as a prince of the Sun and Stars, and people were important. Life was important.

"I..." she shut her eyes. The light made her nauseous. When she breathed, her ribs stung. Her muscles felt tight and trembling. She had a headache that throbbed so hard she could not believe it didn't crack her skull. "...Feel fine. Who, who are you? Where are we?"

He did not press, so the prince looked up into the sprawl of branches above. Day time had come, so his body had hours of sleep, yet he felt so exhausted still. No matter, he was just happy his unfortunate companion had opened her eyes at all. "Capricorn." he said, tilting his head back down. "Seems we're under a grandfather tree." An obvious statement, but he knew not where exactly they were. As a nomad, the lands were new under his feet.

There was still the questions of how she got so hurt in the first place, what was she running from that she nearly drowned? Was something chasing her at all? What other reasons did she have for crossing a churning river? Tongue glided around teeth in thought until he spoke softly. "What happened to you?"

She glanced up at the branches and flicked an ear instead of choosing to comment. Very helpful. Nearby, she could still hear water rushing over stones and lapping at the bank. That's right. She had jumped into a river.

Her stomach tightened.

"I trespassed on a packland," she started, pausing to add, "It was an accident." Oh, she had hoped she could get farther than she did. "They were... very territorial. They chased me. How did you... find me? I don't... remember."

Silence swirled around them, though Capricorn couldn't blame her. He didn't particularly give her a clear answer, and as she looked from the branches to the babbling brook, the prince followed her gaze. Long, curled tail swept away from her, letting her move freely now that she was more comfortable, and his warmth was probably not needed any longer. She should be dry by now.

The stranger admitted to trespassing, a high offense in many reguards as many lands did not take kindly to strangers. Capricorn had wished to change this about Anor Londo, but father was headstrong. The Redanian Empire had been looming and already the Sun Lord's daughter. "I see." he says, standing on his two front legs, stretching his stiff neck. "You were lying half way into the river when I found you. I was taking a drink when I spotted you." Again, he refrained from mentioning his paws working her heart and lungs to jump start them back up. "I didn't think you'd make it through the night."

It was easy enough to lie. The best ones were steeped in some truth, anyway. Her savior didn't need to know about the real jaws that had touched her throat and the thirsty Old things that wanted that blood. She wondered if he would find her denial of it's drink repulsive. It was hard to tell anymore.

"Ah," she said, following a non-committal hm to show she was listening. "I thought the water might wash the trail away. It was a poor plan." She added, quietly, "I was very tired."

"I've seen no one so far." he says, laying back down, leaning against the roots of the grandfather tree. Eyes closed as sleep wrapped gentle hands around his mind. "Perhaps you lost them."

They had come after her panting, through the snow. They searched mounds for the body they wanted. If you're there, a voice had said. Stay where I can't see you.


"Where will you go now?" A hard question, as Capricorn himself could not answer that. His home was long gone, far beyond the Wall of Teeth, all but ash and cinders. Anor Londo was no more, though the rightful prince was not aware, not since he was torn from his throne and cast out into the world of darkness. Since then, he was a stranger to the lands, the sea giving him hope to finally find the edge of the world.

"I don't know," she said, turning back to look at him. "I would... like to go further away. To be sure." Would she ever be far enough away? Would she ever be sure?

Probably not.

"I would like to pass beyond the fringe, to the otherside," she continued with an airy sigh. Those jagged, distant peaks she gazed at so often as a child were always a far off wish. Like many wishes, it grew into something like survival."But it's so far."

"It is very far." he said, a paw crossing over the other in thought. He had come from there after all. "I have traveled into these lands from beyond, I... was once someone valued, but no longer." A prince, the son of Lord Gwyn. That name had no meaning here, and no one would care for Capricorn's title as it didn't mean anything in Anor Londo, his home, either.

"The world is full of bad, but I'm sure you could find good too."

"Do you... know the way?" She asked, daring for a moment to hope, forgetting how her breath rattled after only a couple miles run. "I would, just, like to try. To leave the fringe."

Someone valued. She looked him over, really saw him for the first time, and felt as small as she was beside him.

"I... value you," she ventured. "You brought me to shore, yes?"

Orange-golden eyes opened to find her drawing breaths that seemed hard. Water could possibly be lurking in those lungs of hers, she swallowed much in her desperate attempts to escape whatever demons chased her. "I do know the way. It is not easy, though there seemes to be a pass near the north western edge." The mountain paths were steep and rocky, it was a miracle he could have climbed up and down them, but he had survived.

Face softened, a little humbled by her comment. "You were halfway on shore, I pulled you the rest of the way out and kept you warm through the night."

"I can't even see them from here. I don't know why when I could from the old territories, but... oh, that is strange."

Poor thing, do you even know where you are or how far you've traveled?

"Thank you," she said, ears drawing back. "But. I don't know why. I'm not anyone to you."

"Seems you traveled further than you thought, perhaps." he said, wondering if she had gotten herself turned around or her memory was foggy from the near-death experience. Either way, Capricorn could point in the right direction if she so desired to seek the Wall of Teeth to go beyond the Dire Straits.

"You are a stranger, even still as I do not know your name, but even so, I would help any soul that needed it. I suppose it's a sense of duty I still have embedded within me." Yes, still strangers, but the exiled prince felt the need to give a hand. "I am Capricorn."

That would have been kind of him, if not counter productive.

"Oh, I don't think so," she said. The straits were too far! It was a nice dream though. It was also a nice dream assuming she could get through this without having to offer her name, but when he introduced himself for the second time, Thayle realized she was probably not going to achieve that one either.

"Ah," she said, crossing her forepaws and flicking her ear in embarassment. "Don't... laugh. My name is River."

Eyes softened as she seemed embarass to state her name, and in some way he could understand. Although his name was traditional, it was quite silly to be named after a constellation albeit the name not being his birth one. "River is a fine name." he states, serious in tone and he smiles some to comfort her worry. Indeed River was not at all an embarassing name, infact Capricorn quite liked the name River. "Ironic a little though considering."

She let out a gusty sigh. Oh, you'd think she could have come up with something a little more creative. She supposed getting knocked around in rivers will do that to you. That made it fitting enough.

"Thank you," Thayle said. "Capricorn is a nice name too. Where... are you going?"

"I don't know." he said, looking back up into the tree canopy. He truely didn't. "I suppose wherever the Sun takes me."

"So..." she said, blinking once, then tilting her head. "...West?"

Capricorn chuckles, he should've expected that from someone who didn't understand his culture. "You'd be right, but I came from the West. My culture praises the Sun, for it guides us through life." The sun was light, casting away shadows and cold.


She shifts, uncrossing her forepaws, tucking them under her breast. Her eyes avert to the side, towards the sound of the river.

"That's... lovely."

Orange eyes as red as the sun watch her, head tilting slightly to his right side. "Does religion bother you?" he asks lightly, aware that not everyone believes. There are opinions throughout the world what religion should be or shouldn't. What people believe is entirely up to them, and Capricorn knew that as a prince to the people. He was not his father, not clasping for tradition like a mad man.

"No, no," she says. The wound on her throat throbs. The torn muscles in her legs ache. Her heart burns, beating too quickly. "I'm sorry. I'm only tired.

He is not entirely sure, but nods only to accept her answer to make her comfortable. He knew some religions burned and turned good innocent people to ash. Redania is what came to mind, the empire who sought Anor Londo's destruction, though kept an alliance through marriage. He wonders if his sister is alright now, and wonders if he is an uncle to children he will never meet. "It's alright. Maybe you should rest."

Against her better judgement, she lowers her head against her wrists. If he wanted to hurt her, well, she supposes he would have done it already. But you could never be sure. "Yes, I think so. I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry for." Although exhausted beyond reason, Capricorn stood on sturdy legs, stepping around her carefully. "This tree will protect you. I wish you luck, River." A small smile lifted upon his features before he slowly walked down to the river's edge and followed the current to the south east.

She watches him go through bleary eyes. Trees had done little to protect her before. She knows she should be afraid, but she's too tired. Sleep takes her before she can say goodbye, and she sends him off with several lies.

The 'thank you' was, at least, sincere.

testing out the medallion thing, looks p nice imo