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No title.
(2013-05-26 - 2013-05-27)
No description.
Zia At the beginning, there had been that burning, sense-numbing light. It seemed to come from everywhere, tearing him apart from the inside out. Now, there is only blissful darkness. Everything is calm and cool. There is no pain. A breeze blows, carrying with it scents from times long past. It's summer - the way it used to smell back home when he was a boy.

The darkness gives way to the sound of birds chirping, and laughter. When his eyes finally open, he'd come to find that this isn't exactly the world he remembered. All around him are wolves, but not the ones from his old pack. These are somehow representations of all those he knows now. Everyone he knows takes on some other form here, but he'd recognise them none the less.

While all around him, these strange phantoms of the real people he knows talk, or play, one figure sits still, watching him. By now, she would be familiar to him as these others. The wind blows through her golden fur, and her ever-changing eyes seem to stare with a longing built over years of waiting.

"You're free now." The voice of this wolf is strange, as if it were the voice of every woman he'd ever met merged into one, with so many tones trying to speak over one another. Her ears tilt downward, some measure of sadness in her expression where one might expect joy. "Look around you, love..." Her voice carries such warmth in that one word, but the moment he does look... all of the eyes of those wolves look towards him.

One by one, each person speaks his name until they begin to run together. So many voices, so many lives he's come to know since taking those steps away from the Gaudium Lords' control. And yet, there is something else, too. The clearing doesn't go on forever, vanishing in the mountains like he might have once remembered. Instead, the light only reaches far enough to encompass the wolves around him.

"They hold you here... they give you strength."
Skoll Ulfang The darkness and shadow. How long had that not been his home? Light had become that which hurt him ever since he left his old world, yet he was always pulled towards it. He would always love its warmth, its welcoming embrace, no matter how much it hurt. Always... always...

He opens his eyes, the pain is gone. Wolves, everywhere. Almost naturally, he kneels before them - refusing to tower above them. He isn't above them, he wishes to be at their same level. To be 'with' them no matter how much he might not always 'belong'. He recognizes many of them, even the fiery furred wolf that is Maira, or the scarred one that is Avira. Even his mother is represented amongst them all. But the one he recognizes the most - even though he knows her least - is the golden wolf.

"I know." Skoll whispers back to the golden wolf, reaching out towards her with both hands... but that reach flaters when he notices that sadness in her eyes. "What's wrong?" He whispers, before looking at the wolves around him. They're all looking at him. So many people he has saved. So many people who he might only have seen once, but has made an impact on in some way or another. And that's when he notices the light. It encompasses the wolves... but not him.

Not him.

He looks back to the Golden Wolf. "They have indeed given me much strength." Skoll admits. "More than I can ever repay them for."
Zia This time, that image of the golden wolf does look close enough to touch. He had felt her in that instant before sinking into the darkness, and here she is again. Without the collar at his neck, there is nothing to hold him back. For the first time in his life, he is actually free to find her as he was meant to do. But that darkness is still there, lurking just beyond the forms of the 'wolves'.

The golden wolf slowly rises to her feet, walking to the place where the grass gives way into darkness. she gives a look to him, and then reaches beyond with one hand. "This is the edge of nothing, Skoll." Drawing her hand back, it reappears from the void as she turns back towards him, dropping to one knee before him. "You've been through so much pain..."

They say that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes, and perhaps this is part of that moment. In that instant, everything would come back. The looks in his mother's eyes, the way that Hati would flinch when his father came to visit... blood on the snow. The last days when Chaos took his world. One by one, painful memories return.

"But there's been good, hasn't there?" This time, there are warmer memories. His mother's stories, his sister and him playing in the woods, so many things that come back with those words.

Yet, when he returns from this trip down memory lane, the golden wolf still seems uncertain. "If you wanted, you could stay here forever until it all fades away. You could... rest." The last word is said almost as if it takes some effort, as if it tugged her heartstrings just to think such a thing. "But you are an unlimited... if you wish, you could return to them. To us. We can show you the way home."
Skoll Ulfang The edge of nothing. Skoll follows the Golden Wolf's motions, and instinctively winces as her paw reaches out towards the void; knowing what lies beyond. "This isn't the first time I've been here." Skoll tells her. So much pain that last time, but it'd been different. The lands had become darker. Then, he'd been /pulled/ from the Void by force. Now... he has to make that choice himself.

He remains kneeled at the side of the Golden wolf, reaching out... and finally touches the top of her head; letting his hand sink into its warm fur. Then - images. Like painful sparks from that lightning that had coursed through his body. Snapshots. Painful moments. Hati, his mother, the blood... that oncomming gigantic form of Chaos as it approached his world. Memories he wished at some point, to remain burried forever. Painful memories. Physically, he flinches upon seeing them... until finally 'warmths' falls over him like a warm summer sun.

His body relaxes as little memories show the good side of things finally. But when the offer to stay is made, Skoll immediately responds and shakes his head.

"My story isn't over yet. It has only just begun." He tells her. "I would be a lousy warrior if I gave up at this point. What would Zia and Avira not say? They saved me, and now I'm just going to die? I would never live that down." Heck, one of them might be foolish enough to visit Hades to drag him back or something.

The wolf then lets go of the Golden wolf and lets out a long sigh. "And... I've still not found you." The youth then gets up from his kneeled position, looking over the pack of wolves. "Please... take me to where I belong."
Zia There is something uncanny about the feel of her fur beneath his fingers, and not just the memories that get brought along with that touch. It feels softer than you would expect from a wolf, but perhaps that is simply part of the strangeness of this dream. Not everything is what it seems, that much is certain.

Yet, there she is, waiting for him to make his decision. Is she just like the others here in this phantom place? Is she just a manifestation of some other person he's met, or that he's yet to meet? It's hard to hold on to thoughts like that in this realm, where conscious and unconscious meld together.

His answer is greeted by a small smile on her muzzle, the golden wolf rising as she motions to the others. "Then follow, my hunter. Come home." As one, all the wolves begin to run into the distance, beconing him along. Slowly, their lights meld into one light, which sways with the motion of their paws across the expanse of darkness.

Unfortunately, that light just so happens to be a lantern set on a bedside table. The moment his eyes come to recognise it, the pain would return with it. The room is dark other than that light, and the windows show a night sky. It's hard to tell how long he'd been out, but it must have been at least a full day. A chair has been tugged up nearby, and the familiar form of the white gargoyle is curled in it, one hand dangling off of the side where it might have once laid against his own.

She doesn't seem injured, which suggests that a full day's worth of stone sleep has passed between the fight and now. She's probably nodded off after watching him for a time.
Skoll Ulfang As he is beckoned, so he willl follow. He trusts his friends, and he trusts the golden wolf. He's not dared put one and one together, for he's 'seen' the Golden Wolf in some way or another on many occassions. Usually when he's on death's door. Still, he follows them into the light - and for once, the light doesn't hurt...

Well, that is until he actually finds consciousness. The werewolf takes a rather loudly express breath of air - inhaling loudly - and then winces and starts coughing, clutching for his chest. His normal clothing are no longer there, and his chains are on a sidetable. The healer than Avira and Zia had called up here had done that much for them, and given them a simple white robe for him to wear.

Sitting up, he recognizes the presence of Zia - curled on that chair next to him. It seems he has room for plenty more thanks towards the two girls. He gently reaches out with one hand, touching the one dangling off to the side, and tries to lay it comfortably in her lap. He's glad to see she isn't injured anymore.
Zia It's hard to tell if she was already awake, or if the sudden bout of coughing has the gargoyle opening her eyes. She sits up, about to say something when he seems to catch his breath. Though the sudden brust back into the real world might have been alarming to some, it comes as a relief to Zia. What little she knows about unlimiteds tells her that no matter what amount of pain he might be in just now, the fact that he's awake means that he'll live.

Her hand moves then, curling around his. "Welcome back te the land'a the livin." With a squeeze given to his hand, Zia offers a small smile. "Ye had me worried." And it shows. Even though she had a day of stone sleep, the gargoyle still looks exhausted. "How're ye feelin?"
Skoll Ulfang "Glad to be here." Skoll answers the girl, instinctively squeezing back, before looking at his hand. He's healed most of the way. With his other hand however, instinctively, he touches his neck. Just to make sure. There's a circular jagged scar that runs around his neck that feels painful to the touch, but it's likely to disappear. Still, his shoulders sag a little as he relaxes further. "It's really gone..." He points out the obvious.

He lets out a long sigh, and then looks to the gargoyle. "Man, you look exhausted. I hope you didn't lose any sleep over me." There's that Skoll she knows, always the bit of the smartass. He then gently lets her hand go, just so he can put it down on his lap. "Sorry to worry you. I'm okay... just feel like I ran into a high-wire."
Zia "Aye, it's gone." Since that first day in the woods when she'd seen Skoll under the control of the collar, Zia had been trying to find a way to free him from it. In fact, she'd tried further back to understand the Gaudium Lords and what power they had over him, even if he hadn't wanted to get her involved. "Our friend took care of the last'a them. They won't be able te find ye now." With a quirk of a smile, she watches him come to that same realization.

"It probably isnae the last tha we'll see of them, but at least now they cannae control ye any further." She hesitates, then tugs his hand up, laying the warmth of her cheek agains this fingers. "How does it feel te be free?" Once, a long time ago, Zia had fought for her own freedom, and won it back from the man who had controlled her. It would take her a long time to actually accept that freedom, and learn to live again. This wolf is one of those that lead her out of that darkness.

The comment about losing sleep has her sighing to herself, though. "Nae... it isnae likely tha Ah'll lose sleep any time soon." Without explaining anything, Zia just slips her hand up, taking the pendant off of her neck. With his hand withdrawn to his own lap, she leans forward towards the lantern, holding the crystal up before it so he can see the way the light shines against the large crack that now spiderwebs through the stone. "Ye know... this stone was passed down from all of m'ancestors, from m'da te me." There's sadness in her eyes at that, having lost something quite so dear.

She lets out a breath and then loops the chain back over her neck. "It's worth, though, it te see ye out from under their control. Ah guess Ah just thought..." She trails off then, shaking her head.
Skoll Ulfang "I hope so." Skoll answers Zia, tapping his neck one more time with his fingers before giving up on that. It's likely that he'll spend a while touching his neck until he actually gets a new and /proper/ collar. Something he can feel around his neck, but feel safe about. Something that will wash away the bad history of its former brother. Still, he repeats himself; "I hope so..." He looks away from the girl for a mere moment, but then he notices that little tug on his hand.

His gaze slips up right along with his hand, finding her touching his fingers to her own cheek. It's a rather strange motion, and one he isn't sure what to think of. At least, not in human terms. "I think... it's going to take a while for me to come to terms with my new found freedom." He admits. "I just feel like this incredible weight has been lifted off of my shoulders."

The girl lets his hand go, and he returns it to his lap while watching her draw her pendant out. He actually looks around for a moment - making sure nobody else can see. He recalls her being secretive about it after all. When he lays eyes on it again, his response is soft, but immediate; "It's broken..." When did it get broken?


His expression weakens. "It broke trying to save me, didn't it?" He whispers, his both lupine ears expressively shifting to a sad 'flopped over' look. He's not sure what Zia means with her unfinished sentence, but still Skoll offers; "Maybe there's someone who can fix it?"
Zia While her small gesture might have been puzzling to him, it had been just a simple display of affection from a girl who probably doesn't know a lot about such matters. The fact that it isn't reciprocated doesn't seem to trouble her, though. Since he had invited her on that 'date' not so long ago, Zia had been trying to let herself open up a little, but the collar or the 'Golden Wolf' had always felt like it got in the way. Even now, it's ackward, not really knowing where she stands with anything, but somehow treading the line between friendship and something... more.

"Aye, it does tend te take a while. Ah dinnae think ye have a problem with runnin out of time, though." She offers, trying to pull a smile back onto her features. Propping her head on one hand, Zia's blue eyes seem caught by the candlelight of the lantern. "It'll be good te see ye back te normal. Though, Ah was a little afraid ye'd be a stranger. Ye've changed a lot since ye started fighting back against them. I wondered if ye'd still be the Skoll Ah know when ye woke up." It's a strange thought, but perhaps not so unusual.

His concern about her crystal has Zia shaking her head. "Dinnae worry yerself over it." Clearly, she's troubled by it, though. She does consider the matter though, toying with the crystal at her neck. "Ah've never seen one like it. So Ah wouldnae know if there's anyone who even understands this kind'a magic."
Skoll Ulfang "Heh, that's true." The werewolf answers her, flashing his human form's 'fangs' in order to 'grin', while looking at the girl. "Still.." That grin quickly disappears as he continues to speak. "You have nothing to worry about. I'll always be me, no matter what. Darkness or light - I'm still the Noble Wolf." He points with his thumb at his chest. "Noble warrior werewolf, Skull Ulfang." He then bows his head a little. "At your service, my Lady." His hand goes flat to his chest. This is as close to a curtsey as he is going to get while sitting on this bed.

"Still, if it's a crystal of man-made form of some sorts, then /someone/ out there must - or must have - known how the thing works. You've never seen one like it, but at least there's gotta be /someone/ who can fix it." Skoll reaches his fingers out towards the crystal, touching against the thing with just two fingertips through her clothing. He flashes his gaze up, locking eyes with her. He then taps his other hand's index-finger to his nose. "And us werewolves have a good nose for these things."
Zia "Truely?" Zia raises a brow, cocking her head at him. "Ah'm sure Ah can expect ye te be back te yer lurkin, mysterious ways soon enough. Hrmph." The girl waggles her talons at him, but manages to laugh a little. "Worry about restin yerself 'n gettin be'ta first, though." Reaching forward, she tugs the blanket up a bit, leaning her head against the side of the big plush chair.

His oath of service lights some bemusement in her eyes, "Aye, jus' wha Ah need. A warrior, a knight, 'n a templar. Why does tha sound like the start of a bad joke te me?" It does seem to be as if the men in her life tend to be that sort. At the very least, she'd managed to serve as his protector for once, which is a bit of a turn around from the norm. "Ye can be at my service when yer well. Ah'm sure Ah can find some more boxes for ye te move inte the tower." She's teasing, probably.

Her eyes look downward as his hand reaches out to touch the crystal where it lays against her chest. It draws a thoughtful expression to her features, but the girl nods after a time. "I ne'er told ye about everythin the crystal does, though. Ah cannae explain it, but it seemed te offer some sort'a longevity." She hesitates then, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "Ah'd thought, tha maybe if Ah kept wearin it, then ye wouldnae have te be so alone." She'd picked up on that worry about his lifespan, both from the werewolf himself and the sisters.

Yet, her ears droop slightly, hiding amongst the strands of her hair, "Guess it'was a silly thought."
Skoll Ulfang "Of course. You 'are' a Princess after all, aren'cha?" Skoll teases Zia, flipping a finger up along her robes to her chin, and then lays that clawed fingernail of his indexfinger against her skin, giving her one of those wolfish and 'dangerous' looks of his. "Of course, I will always have those 'mysterious ways' of mine. What else is a Wolf like me to do?" He tells her.

He draws his hand away again and tilts his head in that confused puppy manner as she speaks of the crystal again. "Longevity you say?" He asks during her moment of hesitation. And then she goes and says something... well... that honestly makes the poor pup's heart make a little jump... and then his expression kind of melts. His ears draw back, but not in a disappointed manner. Softly drawn back, not all the way, while his cheeks flush a little. "N... no. Not stupid at all." He quickly glances away.

"Not silly..." He repeats, muttering to himself. Here he was going to joke about those boxes, but now she's got him speechless. Oh, and note the tail trying to way behind him, but due to being trapped partially beneath him, it looks somewhat amusing.
Zia "Oh dun ye start up tha princess stuff, too. It's bad enough tha Ah live with a lad who insists on callin me 'yer highness' all the time." The scowl she wears isn't at all serious, and it fades into a smirk when he touches her chin. Reaching up her hand, Zia pulls his fingers closer against her neck, resting her head over both of them together. "Yeah, well, Ah hope ye will at laest come by a bit more often now. Ye know yer always welcome." With his hand drawn close against her neck, it would be easy to feel the steady thrum of her pulse and the warmth of her skin.

The moment ends as he draws his hand away, and she lets it go, eyes measured with some uncertainty. Her lips press together, trying to sort out her own mix of thoughts. Every time she tries to reach out, he seems to draw back again, and it's leaving the poor girl awefully puzzled. Maybe that 'date' hadn't meant what she thought? Zia tucks her hands back along the arm of the chair, her tail curling comfortably over her legs.

"Aye. Ah'm nae really sure the extent of it. Gargoyles tend te live te maybe double a human lifespan. Ah know m'da had more than a few centuries under his belt. Mum usedte say tha she didn't really want te know." Zia shrugs her shoulders then.

Her mouth opens as if she might have wanted to say something else, but then her mind shifts gears instead. "Yer probably hungry. How aboot Ah go fetch ye somethin?" The gargoyle pushes herself upwards, stretching her limbs out from underneath her, moving to get to her feet.
Skoll Ulfang "Ach, you know I but kid." Skoll answers her, showing one of those little smirks. The werewolf then looks at his own fingers, now touching Zia's neck. His heart is still beating fast after those words of hers. And when he has his hand back in his lap, he shifts his gaze towards it. One hand touching the other, as if comparing his own warmth to hers. Still that blush remains on his features, and his ears continue remain half-folded and confused. "I most certainly will." He whispers, before looking back up at her again.

Like a dog who has yet to learn exactly how to 'give paw', he reaches his hand back out towards her, this time to her lap... draws it back, then touches her lap again. His ears move rather expressionful - though his face seems to mostly show confusion. Both of them are completely puzzled by eachother it would appear. "Then... that crystal is important... to me." Skoll admits. For a moment - just a moment, he finds himself daring to think something. Something that proves that some residual darkness remains. He presses his eyes shut firm for a moment. If he would his golden wolf, he could 'use' Zia's crystal. He might steal it to~... no... no, that is wrong! That goes against everything he is and stands for!

His ears fold closer to his head for a moment, and his touching hand hesitates - hovering over her leg for a moment, before he lays it back down. He wouldn't. Then she shifts and is about to leave, but Skoll instinctively reaches out - grabbing her hand suddenly - and strongly at that. "No!" He declares, before quickly faltering - his body showing that he is immediately feeling guilty for being louder than a whisper. "I mean... I'd... like you to stay here for a bit longer? If that's okay? I'm not really that hungry." Followed by his stomach betraying him and loudly objecting to this statement.
Zia While she may have brought up the crystal's power, it hadn't crossed the gargoyle's mind that he might want such a thing to give to someone else. It's probably a good thing that she's no mind reader, because those thoughts would likely end up hurting her, regardless of the end decision he comes to. The truth is, if he found his wolf and asked her for the crystal, she'd probably hand it over willingly enough. It would hurt, but who would she be to argue with someone's fated love?

The fact that such a thing would hurt at all is a new realization. For the longest time, Skoll had simply been her friend, and she hadn't considered anything else. Now that that door has been opened, it's hard to sort out just how deep the feelings go. "Even wi'out the crystal, Ah should be around a good number of years, heartless 'n Shadow Lords nae wi'standing." Zia lays her hand over his, finally causing it to settle against her leg. "Ah've already stolen a good number of years from the crystal. Even a normal lifespan is a blessin these days." It's certainly hard to tell just how old Zia actually is. She seems young, but could that be just part of that magic?

She's halfway to her feet when he grabs her hand, causing the gargoyle to turn, blinking in surprise. Her head tilts, confusion playing on her features. It's just after his declaration that he isn't hungry that she hears his stomach playing up. Raising an eyebrow, she is quiet for a moment before stepping forward, taking a seat right on the edge of the bed. "Ah think yer belly is betrayin ye. A foul creature it is."

Her tail curls next to his legs, much of her features in shadow. The light from the lantern is feeble at this distance, but she can see him well enough with eyes trained as a creature of the night. "Is somethin the ma'er?"
Skoll Ulfang Indeed, such a thought would certainly hurt. Skoll is mentally beating himself up for it. But one can't truly blame him - he is not perfect. Even a noble warrior such as him has lapses where he can think of the worst of things. The fact that he comes to the 'right' decision shows however, that he is a noble wolf at heart. Not even for a fated love, would he dare take such a thing from Zia. Zia is a dear dear friend to him, who has seen him through much. Friendship is important.

"Still..." Skoll mutters when the girl sits back at the edge of the bed. "Still..." He doesn't know how to finish that sentence, but he figures she understands what he means. Still - he wants to pay her back. Still - he wishes to repair her crystal. "Well..." He then sits up and puffs out his chest a little - trying his best not to wince. "Shadow Lords, Treacherous Stomachs and Heartless beware, for Skoll Ulfang will protect the Lady in White." He shows a bold grin... then winces and lays back a bit again. Tummy-grumbles follow this up again soon there-after. He refuses to try and guess Zia's age.

The wolf lets out a sigh, and then looks back up at the girl. "Nah... nothing the matter. I just... I like your company. I've been running for so long - I've had so little time to actually... /spend time/ with you. Not since our little date under the stars." Skoll points out. "Call me a foolish wolf if you need to. As much as I've spend my time along on the wolf - I /have/ lived in a pack for most of my life."
Zia Maybe it's his sudden declaration of protection, or the silliness in which he brings it about, but Zia just laughs softly, her hand coming to press lightly on his chest as he leans back again. It's not as if she's really pushing him down onto the bed, but the slight pressure is there against his bare skin. "Well, ye look like the one tha' needs protectin right now, dear wolf. So lay back 'n rest before Ah havete knock ye back unconscious." It's an empty threat, she wouldn't really do it.

It tugs at her heartstrings, seeing that vulnerability. That need for having others around is part of what lead her to moving in with Percival. Gargoyles and werewolves aren't so much different in that regard, since they both crave clan, pack, family. Percival had been like a brother, and Skoll? Well, he's... something. "Budge over." She nudges at his legs, expecting that he'll make some room on the bed.

Once he does, she'll scootch herself back and sprawl next to him on her belly, resting her head on her arms, leaving her tail to sway over the blankets. She's quiet for a bit, just watching the play of the firelight on the pillows. "Ah've missed ye, too, ye know?" Zia whispers, looking over towards him, her eyes half-shaded by fringes of white hair. "Ah'm sure the others have, too." She chimes in quickly afterwards, uncertain of her own words.

"Oh bloody hell." With a laugh, Zia blows at a few hairs dangling in front of her eyes. "Now ye see wha ye've done? Ah was perfectly fine. Then ye had te go 'n invite me on a date 'n make me all sortsa confused." At the very least, her expression doesn't seem upset, or angry, it seems confused, and perhaps a bit amused at the same time. "Now look at me. Ah'm second guessin every other word 'n feelin like Ah'm gonna make a bloody fool of myself." She sighs then, nuzzling her head into her arms.
Skoll Ulfang "I could still take an army." Skoll boasts, before wincing... and then whispering; "Okay... maybe just a tiny army." The werewolf lays down, looking down at the girl's hand. The robes he is wearing parts at his chest, so indeed, that much is visible - along with the muscular undertones. One might not notice it, when he's wearing his leather jacket and all that. But Skoll is actually fairly muscular under all of that. A strange tone of muscle - something not quite human. But not far from it.

"I'm budging, I'm budging!" The werewolf protests when she nudges his legs, scootching over and pulling the blankets along a little. When he's finally moved aside enough on the... precariously thin bed... he watches her manage to fit herself besides him. Nothing too strange about having her this close, yet still he is feeling things that he'd thought to be long gone memories. Not those dark feelings from the past. But something... lighter. Something that might put a spring into one's step. "I know." Skoll whispers back, reaching out his right hand and laying it down on top of the white haired girl's head - drawing his fingers inwards a little and playing with some of those strands of hairs. "I know." He repeats, when she mentions the others.

Avira certainly would have missed him - then there were the Shard Seekers. There were people he'd met on his journeys. Then she starts cursing, and Skoll just naturally bursts into laughter! "Hrrrm." He rumbles, a smile remaining on his expression as she blows at those hairs of hers. Laying on the bed like that next to him, she looks no older than some teenager. He draws his fingers along her hair, and scoops some of them behind her gargoyle-pointy ears so they are out of her eyes. Her words are heartwarming.

"Not a problem I have." Skoll answers her. "I just say what my instincts tell me are to be spoke aloud. Sometimes - it means I made a fool of myself. But I'd say it is part of my charm. No?" He then suddenly looks to the window, jokingly shouting out; "SQUIRREL!?" Whatever reaction comes from the Gargess, Skoll lets her nuzzle her head against his arms and lays his head back, still smiling and closing his eyes for a bit. He's still a bit tired after all.
Zia "Aye, an army of dust bunnies." Zia replies, going so far as to make the little hopping motion with two talons. She manages not to look too concerned at the wince, but it takes effort to remind herself that he pretty much heals like the comic book character 'Wolverine' and is about as indestructable. "How aboot ye jus' give up the fight for one night, hrm?"

Though she's trying to maintain a lighthearted view on things, it's hard not to notice the feel of his skin beneath her fingers. Luckily, Zia's quick to push it out of her mind and not think about things such as his physique or anything else that her brain might wander to. That task becomes that much harder when he starts to run his fingers through her hair. At the very least, she doesn't feel quite so silly, at least for that brief instant.

Then he has to go and laugh about it. Zia's eyes open again, and she narrows them at him, wagging one finger towards him. "Yer lucky yer injured, or Ah'd shove ye off the bed fer tha." She hurumphs, dutifully playing the part of the indignant 'teenager' in this particular role. Then he has to go and play with her hair some more, so she just sets her head back down. It's not as if she's really upset at him, and it would be hard to after having gone through more than a few scares in the past few days when it comes to his health and well being.

"It might work all well 'n good for you, sir wolf, but it isnae quite so easy for us lasses who havenae a clue wha they're doin when it comes te any of this..." She watches him do the doggie 'squirrel!?' thing, but when he turns around again, she just pokes him in the nose with a talon. Taking some initiative, Zia scootches her head over and lays it against his shoulder. "So... stupid question of the night... wha are we, anyways?" It's a hazardous question. "Ah mean... Ah'd understand if ye wanted te go after yer wolf now tha yer free. Ah jus..."

Now would be a good time to shut her up before she sticks an abnormally large foot in her mouth.
Skoll Ulfang "I hope the dust bunnies aren't too viscious, otherwise I'm going to need back-up." Skoll answers Zia, grinning his toothy grin at her. "But - very well. I shall halt my campaign against the dust-devils for today. They shall live for now." Skoll chuckles a little after all of that and just chuckles once-more before she gives him that 'look' and wags her finger at him.

"Whaaat?" He pretends to be innocent in all things ... things. "Yeah well, it's not like I particularly know what I'm doing here either." Skoll protests - looking back and finging a talon poking his nose. He just 'noses' it back and makes a little 'snapping' bite towards it without intent of actually catching her. But then she has to go and ask her 'stupid question'... and the wolf grows quiet. He noses against her cheek as she decides to scootch her head so close, and then looks out forwards at the wall behind her.

"If I'm meant to find her, I'll find her. I think I'm going to look in a different way for a while..." The wolf mysteriously explains; "For now... we are..." Well, not 'friends'. "We are pack..." He decides. "Not family. Something more than friends." He doesn't want to scare her away. "I think the humans might refer to this phase as... 'courtship'?" He's been hanging in the wrong 'age' of humanity lately.
Zia "Yeah, well... ye've got backup if they decide to mount an invasion. Sneaky devils they are." The joking seems to fall quiet, though, as more serious thoughts replace them. With her eyes closed, the gargoyle just lays there, her head resting against him. It's a strange mid-way between being snuggled up, and just laying next to someone.

There are plenty of reasons for her to be hesitant. Zia hadn't grown up like other gargoyles. Rituals of courtship are a foreign thing, both human and gargoyle. For the longest time, she'd been afraid of even letting herself get close, fearing that she'd prove to be her mother's daughter... and falter when it came to matters of the heart. As if that wasn't enough, let's tack on the fact that the only male she's even opened up to like that is searching for some destined love.

Once, she might have let these fears hold her back, but not anymore. Meeting Skoll and the others had unlocked those parts of herself that she'd feared didn't exist: bravery, courage, strength. Even if his words don't exactly dissuage her fears, Zia takes them for what they are. "Courtship is alright." She replies, chuckling softly to herself. "Poor wolf, ye sound as confused as Ah am." She opens her eyes again, looking up at him, their noses nearly touching.

"We'll figure it out. Jus try nae te put yerself in mortal peril for a wee while?" She suggests, not so helpfully. Unfortunately for both of them, mortal peril does sometimes come with the job description. "Ah dinnae think ye understand how much Ah worried about ye, silly wolf." Reaching a hand up, Zia touches the mark that the collar left, ever so gently. "'N then ye had te go gettin m'heart inte matters. Ye make m'life complicated." At least, it seems like a compliment?
Skoll Ulfang "Ach-aye." The wolf answers her, grinning a little, teasing her a little. Jokes like these are how the wolf usually admits things like this; yes, he's indeed just about as confused as Zia is. But that's alright, it's okay to be confused now and again. The wolf looks every which way for a moment, all flustered and blushing, before connecting his nose to hers for just a tiny moment. Boop.

"I think I can avoid 'mortal peril' for a while. As long as it's okay that I take frustration out on a few hapless heartless and probably will jump in the way of a mugger or two in the coming days." Skoll answers the girl. She's seen him fight - he can take care of himself, such a situation would hardly be mortal peril. "No need to worry about me anymore, Zia." He takes the hand that she reaches out, laying it over the back of it - not interfering with her desire to touch the scar at his neck.

"Yeah well... before you came into my life... I was a stupid underling to an evil dictator. So... you know... right back at'cha?"
Zia It's probably a good thing that Zia isn't the sort to get offended by someone teasing her about her accent. She could try to talk like everyone else, but after years spent in Scotland, it would feel a bit strange to emulate something else. The little boop on the nose draws a smile to her lips, though. "Yer lucky yer cute, wolf." She murmurs, and leaves it at that.

She does let her hand shift away from his neck, slipping her fingers between his. It isn't quite as natural a fit as two human hands, since she doesn't quite have the same number of digits, but she tries none the less to make the gesture work. "Ah'm sure ye can take care of yerself. Besides, Ah'd be a pretty shameful lass if Ah kept a good noble wolf from doin his duties in protectin people." It would be like trying to tell Percival not to angst, or Faruja not to hunt heretics.

"Hrmph." There's not much to say about the complications that these two have brought to each other's lives. So, instead, Zia just hazards a quick kiss to his nose, which is probably the closest he's gotten to a real one so far. "Ah should go get ye tha food now. Otherwise yer likely te end up talkin more silliness."
Skoll Ulfang The wolf, known for his silly retorts, actually goes completely quiet when she not only calls him cute, but also kisses his nose. He just kind of... sits there, perplexed, blushing for a while. "Ah.. w... well." He quickly glances away. "Must perform my duty, you know?" Glance the other way, then 'peek' at Zia like some kind of dog who just realized they are guilty of something.

"Food sounds good." He then whispers, before leaning his head in towards her. He's not really sure what to do now. Normally he's the one to initiate things. Seeing this side of Zia is... interesting - that's for sure. He realizes it may come off bad if he doesn't reciprocate something though. But what? The wolf sits there for a while, grabbing onto her hand to make sure she doesn't leave before he's figured this part out.

In the end, the wolf decides to lean in, and places a single kiss just at the bottom of her neck, against the soft vulnerable tissue there. A warm, though quick, kiss. "Be back soon." He adds to that, just as his tummy goes a-rumblin'.
Zia It's not hard to keep the gargoyle there, especially as she seems comfortable enough. Zia does manage to keep a curious expression on her features as he tries to sort out the small, affectionate gesture. There's a long moment where she's not sure what to expect. The kiss on the neck that follows, well... it's definitely a surprise. For the first time this evening, it's her turn to blush, and she manages a quick little nod. "I will."

With that, she pushes herself up slowly, letting her fingers trail away as she gets to her feet. It's a strange sort of fluttery feeling that she's left with. It's a feeling that she'll need to work out for herself sooner or later. For now, she only pauses at the door to look back at him for a lingering moment, then she's gone. She'd bring back food soon enough, but with the comming dawn, there wouldn't be much time for much else. Another day, perhaps...

This scene contained 27 poses. The players who were present were: Skoll Ulfang, Zia