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Wolf in the Snow
(2013-12-17 - Now)
No description.
Hati The cold seems to seep in from the darkness. Maybe he'd kicked off the covers in his sleep? Or perhaps a wayward wolf-girl had stolen them. No. Something feels different. Something feels... wrong.

When his eyes open, it isn't to his room in the Shard Seeker's Headquarters, or even to the hotel room he sometimes frequents in Traverse Town. Instead, it's to an icy world, with the snow clinging even as the last rays of the sun creep behind the trees. The snow feels like daggers, biting at fingers and toes, driving away the last vestiges of sleep.

This has to be a dream, though, right? For all the strangeness of it, there are none of the fuzzy edges or confusion that normally come with dreams. Everything seems real. The chill of the air as night falls, the quiet sounds of evening animals coming to life, yet, this place is completely unfamiliar. Another world, perhaps?
Faruja Senra As the biting cold kicks in, drawing Faruja Senra out of the haze of sleepiness, the first thought that crosses his mind is that he really needs to sleep in more than a pair of trousers. Inwardly thanking Faram for his fur, he hugs himself, shivering as he tries to force warmth into his bones. It barely works. Single eye gazing about, the cross about his neck burns into his flesh from the cold metal.

No weapons, no armor, and practically naked given the conditions. Even as his mind wanders, wondering just how in the heck he got here, he starts forward towards the trees. If nothing else, maybe he can find some form of shelter from the elements. And quickly, if he hopes to not freeze to death in the night.
Hati The bitter wind carries with it the scent of animal musk and something acrid and metallic. Blood. The familiar taste of it seems carried in the air, and it doesn't take long to find where it might be coming from. Just a few steps through the trees reveals a path of footsteps, a trickle of red sinking into the snow between them. These aren't human footprints, but those of some sort of large animal. There is one smaller set, child sized, and another that is far larger. The trees and underbrush show signs of something big and angry passing through, blood smeared across crushed branches.

Even before the the a sleep muddled mind could make sense of the signs, something comes crashing his way down the path. A dark shape appears against the dying light. The huge wolf is covered in blood - the crimson staining across his muzzle and claws. Like something out of a nightmare, the beast prowls straight at Faruja, as if he might be the next thing to fall victim. Yet, at the last moment, the image of the great dark wolf just passes right through him, growling as he makes his way back along the path.

Something is so familiar about that silouette. A dark shadow that Faruja would have seen in the cloister of Phoenix. The beast, is Odin, the father of Skoll and Hati and the monster who still seems to be threatening both of his children even after the fall of their world.

Something is off, though. All the blood couldn't have been from Odin, himself, though one of his paws had clearly been mangled. It's enough to bring a sick feeling, settling like cold dread. Those smaller pawprints - all that blood - what had Odin done?
Faruja Senra And so, the choice lays before Faruja. Blood and metal and musk, the knight all-too-familiar with the scent. He's just about to react, about to reach for a weapon that isn't there, when down comes a monster! That massive wolf runs through him, the male raising his arms in self defense. But it passes through him harmlessly, leaving the male shivering all the more. Something is /wrong/ here! His mind doesn't yet comprehend what's going on.

Whipping about, he follows it with his eye. He remembers. Odin, the utter bastard that so cruelly treated Hati, Skoll, and the entire family. Yet, the mangled form of Odin points to another culprit. Curiousity gets to him.

With a sense of foreboding, Faruja steps back, following the prints to find just what lay at the end of that bloody path, and perhaps what the horrid beast had done.
Hati The woods fall still after the werewolf's passing. It seems as if even the birds refuse to sing in the wake of his rage. It makes the woods seem that much more eerie. The only sound seems to be the wind rustling through empty branches. At least, it's the only sound until the mousling comes through a bit of heavy brush, weighed down with snow. What lies beyond is a scene that one might only expect out of some gruesome vision of horror. A flash of red against the snow, clawmarks on trees...

Lying at the base of the tree is a small, crumpled form. The body that lies there is clearly that of a young werewolf, far smaller than the hulking beast that is Odin, or even the athletic strength of Skoll. A child?

At first, it seems impossible that the wolf could still be alive. Then, as if it were some small miracle, the wolf whimpers. The ruined side of her face is a mess of ripped flesh, but as she lifts her head, one green eye looks towards him. It's a familiar look, even if this is a different place and time. Where Odin passed through him, the dying wolf seems to see him against the darkness of the night sky, the moon hanging just above.

Her breathing is pained, blood trickling from her muzzle, staining against the pale fur of the wolf's underbelly. Her visible side is a mess of clawmarks, including a deep wound to her side. Every one of those wounds is familiar.

The world flashes back to a memory: Hati, sleeping against his chest. It's one of those rare moments when the girl had seemed at peace. There, across her cheek, her neck, her shoulders, even down across her side where her shirt had pulled up in her sleep... those where the marks of her troubled past.

Yet, for now, this phantom world seems to be reality. The wolf whimpers again, her body shivering, yet she still seems to be looking right at him. "C....coold." She whispers, her breath hanging in the air.
Faruja Senra A child. Even before he realizes just who this child is, Faruja is stalking forward towards the slumped form of the poor wolf. For just a moment, his gaze is cast towards the fleeing adult, as though he could smite the spirit by looks alone. Then he's kneeling, at the wolfess' side, eye going wide.

Entire body freezing in panic, knowing the look of a dying woman, he reaches out to touch her face; praying he can save her, even in a dream.

As the world shifts, he can almost feel the blood. A gentle hand reaches out, touching her wounds, the male gasping for breath as fear takes hold of him, his other arm pulling her close. Gently tucking her head against his chest, he leans his head down, whispering into my ears.

"Shhh...shh. 'Tis alright, my love. I am here for thee. Ye need naught be cold, for I shall warm thee." Pulling a blanket over the pair, only their heads exposed. Beneath, arms and tail rub her back and sides to keep her warm.

"Ye are safe in my arms, away from the wretched cold. That time...'tis naught but a dream my dear. A phantom memory. Shhh. I shall protect ye from these ghosts." Promises the rat.
Hati The moment that his hand reaches towards her, the wolf seems to relax a bit, allowing herself to be drawn towards the warmth of his body and chest. Her ears tuck slightly, the shivering in her body easing slightly as her head comes to rest against him.

Unlike before, where Odin had passed right through Faruja, the girl seems to recognize his presence. Then again, it seems impossible that she actually sees him for what he is. Afterall, he hadn't even met Hati until that day in Fluorgis after the fall of Manhattan. All of this had to have happened years before, and yet, it seems to be happening now as well. "W...hite... wolf." She whispers, her remaining eye closing as she lays it against him.

Somewhere, long ago, Hati had lain dying and someone had come to keep her warm from the cold. The image of her White Wolf had always filled that role, but could he have been that presence, even long before they knew one another? It seems impossible.

In the distance, the sun is beginning to peek over the horizon, casting gold across the forest. With it, comes the sound of another's approach. "Something has upset the wolves." A nasal voice churrs, followed by the crunching of branches. "Yes. It may make our plan difficult." The second voice is darker, tinged with experience and wisdom. The pair seem to be coming closer, moving through the trees without care for stealth.

Hati's head lifts, her single eye bleary. The form of Faruja and the blanket that had been there a moment ago seem to have faded back into ghost-like after-images. The wolf is alone, no matter how much he might wish to touch her.

What plays out in the aftermath is as things have always been. A dying girl, found lying in the forest by a Shadow Lord. Something about her was enough to remind him of his own daughter, and enough to change his mind from his current quarry. "But, Master, this girl surely won't be as useful to us as the unlimited..." The smaller man scurries at his master's side as the Shadow Lord steps forward. "It's too late for that. Odin will be on his guard. It's best we take what we can and go."

The Shadow Lord crouches down and picks up the small wolf, wrapping her in his cloak. "This one will do nicely enough for our purposes." He turns to walk back into the forest, but something catches his attention. Faruja, perhaps? Serrak looks back over his shoulder.

"You won't find her again, wolf. She's mine." And with that, Serrak walks away, the limp form of the wolf in his arms.
Faruja Senra Faruja's eye widens slightly, realization dawning. This sholdn't be possible, of course. But he holds her close all the same, unsure if this is some dream or reality twisted upon itself. 'White Wolf'. That pre-destined figure she had spoke of so long ago. Never had the rat-man thought he would hear those words as he held her close. He shivers, half afraid, half wonderous at their meaning.

And then it all fades into ghostly chill, as memories flood into his own mind. Witnessing that Shadow Lord, the one who saved her...and the one who corrupted her. Hate, rage, and righteous anger fill the Burmecian, even as a sense of thanks fill him. Without that Shadow Lord, she would have died. It takes all of his mental effort to move, the snow feeling like quick-setting concrete as he moves, one hand out to reach for the girl that Serak is walking away with.

"....Damn ye! She belongs to none but herself! Y...Ye shan't...shan't..." Tears well up in Faruja's eye, and he sinks to the snow, sobbing, powerless to stop the old scarrs wrought upon her by her Father, and this well-meaning Shadow Lord.
Hati "Faruja... you're squirming around again." Hati mutters, half-asleep, buried underneath the mouseling's blankets. It seems that the thief-girl can't even be trusted not to make off with those in the middle of the night. If nothing else, it does serve to explain how the cold feeling from the dream lingers into reality.

Rolling over, the wolf's head peeks dreamily out from between the blanket and her nearby pillow, tired eyes watching him as one hand gives a little shake. "How do you expect me to sleep when you're always having nightmares." She mutters, then gives one of those wide-mouthed yawns that canines are so well known for.

From the foot of the bed, a dog's head pops up. The floppy-eared face of Garm, Hati's companion 'hell-hound' looks about as sleepy as his owner as he looks at them both with an expression that reads as: 'So you're up, it's food time now?' He's likely to be ignored for the time being, though.

Hati's hand pulls back some hair from her face, revealing the scars that line across her cheek and through her one blue eye. Scars that, only a moment before, were all too real wounds. That was then, this is now.
Faruja Senra Blink. Faruja slowly awakens, startling as reality rushes back to him. His gaze latches onto her, fear lingering in his eye as he gasps for breath. Arms wrap about her, hugging her as if he thinks she's suddenly going to be carrier away from him.

"Hati...oh thank the Lord, my love!" Comes the rat's quiet voice. After a moment, he calms, instead just clinging to her.

His tail reaches out, gently petting the hellhound's head, bravery and fortitude slowly coming back to him as the mists of the dreamworld fade. His head presses against her chest, listening to her heartbeat.

"Hati, I...saw ye in my dreams. When...when thine Father hurt thee, and the Shadow Lord took thee from the frozen ground."

A hand reaches up to gently caress those scars, the nezumi looking her over, and overjoyed that she is safe.
Hati The sudden hug has the wolf-girl muttering a quick: 'Erk' of sound. Any chance of returning to sleep has no left the building. "Alright, alright. No more whisky before bed for you, mister." She reaches up a hand and pokes him on the nose before trying to shimmy about a bit, sweeping the blanket back over him. At least she's nice enough to share the blankets when she's awake ... most of the time.

Hati leans back a little bit, enjoying the closeness as she lets out a breath, tail lightly swishing beneath the covers. At first, his words don't seem to actually reach her brain. It takes a moment, and then those mismatched eyes blink in confusion. "What?" The wolf props herself up slightly, staring at him as if he just grew an abnormally intresting second head. "How in the world did you know what I was dreaming about?" Stare.

When he reaches to touch her face, though, the wolf calms a little, ears tucking backwards. "I'm fine. It was a long time ago." She whispers, his tenderness seeming to soften her expression a bit. Confusion lifts one ear, flopping over the other. "How you could have seen that, though..." She shakes her head. "Maybe we should both lay off the booze before bed."
Faruja Senra Two ears fold, and the rat's head lowers a touch. Seems some of her mannerisms have rubbed off! "Y...yes Ma'am!" It's hard to tell if he's teasing, or being half-serious here. He squints briefly at an empty bottle somewhere in the corner.

Eep! His nose wiggles, and he sighs happily as she throws the blanket over him. "Ever thoughtful, my lovely cover-thief." Wink!

He too, reluctantly, sits up. "...Ye were dreaming? 'Twas...not merely my..." He falls silent, eye widened. Shivering, he looks more than a little creeped out. That hand only lingers a moment, before reaching up to rub her ears.

"A question, my dear, that methinks 'tis not found due to the haze of booze." Pause. "Entirely, at any rate. Some of the Church's Oracles believes that dreams can be Prophetic, or a sign from God of introspection and enlightenment. /share/ one...I know naught whether to be frightened or overjoyed by the implications."
Hati "You should buy more blankets." Hati states, as if this were the answer to everything. Then again, the extra set of blankets has already been stolen by Garm, and he isn't giving them back. "Or sleep over at my place. At least I've got a nice hearth and Garm has his own bed." A dark, drearly castle in the middle of the forest, complete with cobwebs and possibly mysterious books with dark magic - ahh, the perfect idea of a romantic getaway. Hati isn't normal by any stretch of the imagination.

"I dream a lot." The wolf shrugs, sitting up a bit, letting the blankets fall off of her shoulders. She usually sleeps in a tank top, which shows the scars down her one arm, as opposed to the clear skin on the opposite. "Usually old memories trying to force their way to the surface." She rubs at the side of her head. "Most of Serrak's magic has faded, but not everything has returned. Probably for the best, that." There are reasons that Hati had asked the Shadow Lord to take her memories, and the brief glimpse that Faruja got was probably part of it.

When he tries to pass off booze as a possible reason for the odd event, the Wolf-girl just raises an eyebrow. "Your just saying that because you couldn't give it up if you tried." She smirks playfully, her tail sweeping over to swat at his. "I wouldn't let it bother you too much. There's plenty of magic in the world, and dreams are only part of it."

At this point, Garm decides to stick his nose against her feet, causing Hati to yelp and glare down at the canine. "Alright, alright, I'll feed you." She swings her feet out of bed, making littles ounds as her bare feet touch the cold floor. It's a funny sort of dance that she makes over towards her jacket, searching around for a can of dog food while Garm prances at her heels.
Faruja Senra A sigh leaves Faruja, shuddering. Anxiety slowly leaves him, the Burmecian smiling as he thinks of her little abode. It may be dreary, and in the middle of a horrible forest, but its /hers/. And he could hardly hate something that belongs to the wolfess of his dreams.

‚At this rate, my love, I shall need a mountain of blankets to keep certain thieving canines from devouring them all upon their greedy paws!‚ Wink! He‚s teasing juuust a bit.

Faruja nods, even if he doesn‚t seem entirely satisfied. Slowly, he gets out of bed, throwing on a robe to cover his slightly shivering form. Following along, he hmph‚s! ‚/You/ are the only intoxicant that ‚tis utterly beyond my ability to be rid of for me. And I would have it no other way.‚ Poor Garm will have to wait a second, as he stalks up and wraps his arms around her. Leaning in, he whispers in her ears.

‚I love ye, Hati. No matter what the future holds, nor the past. I know little of dreams, for I hath so few. Whatever one is to make of them? ‚Tis irrelevant, for Fate binds our souls.‚ Turning her about, he lays her into a kiss, before letting go.

‚Now let us get our dear friend fed, hmm?‚
Hati "Be glad that the covers are the only things I steal when you're around." Hati quips back, smirking at the Templar. There's certainly no way that he'll ever dissuade her from her tendency to go 'treasure hunting', but at least she keeps on her best behavior around his church antiquities and tends not to let her hands go wandering into pockets when watchful Nezumi eyes might catch her doing so. The fingers of one hand waggle in the air as she fishes a can of dog food out with the other.

Alas, Garm has to wait a moment, as the wolfess is pulled back against him, an approving sort of rumble from her chest as she nudges her head back beneath his chin. In normal circumstances, she wasn't one for such words, but when they were alone? Well, her ears tuck a little and the wolf's eyes close, sighing softly. "I love you, too." She murmurs in a quiet, almost shy voice. This is the side of the werewolf that few get to see - the part of her that hardened from her years in the Shadow Lords, and yet, some parts of it still linger.

She lets herself get turned, leaning into the kiss, her tail wagging behind her. Of course, Garm is a bit impatient and after only a few seconds, there is a sound of teeth on a tin-can. Hati's ears flatten as she looks down at the dog. "You're making me regret not leaving you at home." Garm, for his part, is sitting, looking perfectly innocent. Oh, no, he could /never/ have left those chew-marks on that can. Nope!

Once released, Hati pops the top on the can and crouches to drop the congealed, gravy-laiden, unidentifiable meat-product into a little bowl with a dog-bone on it. "I'm a bit surprised you don't dream much. I'm sure you've heard the joke about the Burmecian dreaming about cheese." It's probably one of those stupid racially-biased jokes, and Hati's bemused look shows that she's back to teasing again.

"I guess... Odin has been on my mind lately." She hesitates, standing up again, one hand scratching at the scars on her opposite arm. "You saw him in Phoenix's Cloister... he's involved in all this somehow. I'm just not sure how. He /should/ be dead." Her hand clenches into a fist, a low growl in her throat. A bit of purple-black smoke curls around her forearm, the darkness taking an opportunity to come up on her unawares while her anger flares.
Faruja Senra "Ahh, but /that/ is where ye art wrong, my sweet! The sun from the sky, the stars from the heavens, all hath ye absconded with, their beauty utterly ruined as ye stole heart and soul from this poor, humble nezumi!"

It's quite possibly one of the sappiest things he's ever said, but the Burmecian's grinning all the while. Take that, wolfess, horrid poetry awaits!

Those words hit his heart, that faint murmur of a past stolen from the girl he's come to love. He squeezes her tighter, as tough afraid that soft moment would slip away forever. And so it passes, the nezumi clinging a moment longer.

Then, he lets go after the kiss, laughing at the sound of teeth upon can. "Ahh, come now, let us not have this poor, abused pup delay from his sustenance!" Grin. Reeeach. Pet.

Faruja leans over, chewing on one of the wolfess' ears. "Only of pepper jack, my dear. I hath taste." Wink! He'll play along, with her, anyway.

The Burmecian's good mood sours slightly, however. "Mmm. Unfortunately, my dear, one cannot discount anything. Mayhaps, though some foul necromancy or other foul power of the Shadow Lords he hath returned." The very thought sets him to shivering, white light filtering off of him, a reflection of her dark power.

"Or mayhaps the Cloister unsettled ye more than ye thought."
Hati With complete seriousness, the wolf-girl seems to ponder Faruja's words. "If I could actually steal the stars, I bet I could make a fortune." She strokes at the edge of one of her scars, as if she were actually considering the thought. Hati can't be serious, can she? "And it's probably better I have your soul. I'm not sure I trust your brethren to protect it, and I'm not letting any more demons get their greedy fingers anywhere near it." The girl huffs protectively. Her mouse, grr.

Her ear twitches at his attentions, but her expression remains serious. "Whatever it is, it can't be good." She can't help but move back towards the bed, pulling the blanket over her injured arm. Though she often pretends to not care about those ruined aspects of her appearance, there are those subtle moments when someone close can tell that it bothers her. Just that motion of covering the scars is enough to show that her mind is thinking about it.

"I want to believe that it's just my paranoia playing with me. Too many years of watching over my shoulder, waiting for him to find a way to finish what he started." She looks up towards him then, ears tucked back. For all her strength, there are those moments when she makes herself vulnerable. "If he's back... I'm going to kill him." The wolf states this as if there is no question in her mind about it.
Faruja Faruja puts a hand to his chest. "Ahh, but it seems ye shalt ever be a bent arrow, my love. Oh well, I can appreciate a curve or two." Adds the rat rather cheekily, grinning.

The rat looks somewhat concerned, and yet amused as the prospect of Hati actually stealing the stars. They may well get a decent market price!

Faruja, clearly wanting to get smacked, kneels before the wolfess. "Then I leave myself in thine care, that mine soul might be guarded against all evil!" It may even seem a bit weak. Faruja's dream still has the flash of the wolfess, bloodied int he snow before his very eye.

Back upon the subject of the dream, the rat nods. "Quite." He agrees there. Faruja sighs lightly. "Never forget, Hati, than ye hath friends, and lovers. No matter what obstacle doth lay before ye, we shall do all that we can to assist ye. Not to mention ye hath a wonderful...if at times dense-skulled...Brother." Reminds the rat.

This scene contained 18 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja (Aka: Faruja Senra), Hati