In Between Sunlight

Description: Tag Daithi

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
In Between Sunlight
« on: January 18, 2019, 01:07:12 AM »
When Ephram decided about midday that he was going to take a break, he hadn't planned on sitting on the bench out back, staring into the woods, thinking of nothing. He'd planned on stringing up the laundry, letting his shirts and pants dry in the sun, warm and crisp. Being productive, getting back to work, making sure the little one didn't make too much of a mess. Maybe sit with him and practice with the cookie cutter shapes and ask about his day. Children said fascinating things, after all.

He'd gotten distracted. The backyard of the shop bled right into the treeline. The dappled shadows, moving gently on the grass. The animal noises, little whispers of prey hidden in the underbrush. It pressed against him, sometimes, the way the air tasted, the sounds, the depth and play of light. It sank hooks into his chest, called out to that thing that was as much his jewel as it was him. The forest in his skin.

He'd taken several steps out, caught by the nose, chores forgotten. Pulled himself up short, stumbling back.

Instead the basket of his clothes sat at his feet, one of his shirts pooled across his knees. He'd been running his thumbs over one of the sleeves, staring into the trees, unblinking, for long minutes. There was a scent caught in his nose, old but not, a bruise below the skin. If he didn't know better, he'd think he was teetering on the verge of change, ready to hit the ground and not be.

Ah. That's what it was.

He swallowed thickly. Felt the press of wolf teeth against his cheeks, bit them back. Dropped his shirt and pushed the heels of his hands against his eyes, little growls bubbling in his throat. "Fuck."
@Jones

Daithi Dáire

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    danger
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    506 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 01:26:38 AM »
Home-ish. Pack lands and pack family without the press of Moira on his spine. Sister always worrying about his time away. And his time in wolf’s fur rather than skin. She had not seen what Daithi had seen. The ghosts of their cousins were bodies she had helped to bury. Not screams that echoed still in her psyche like they did for Daithi. It was not Moira he had come to see, so he did no go into the city.

On the outskirts was Uncle’s shop. He forgot precisely how he was his uncle but knew that he was family all the same. House a warm place that smelled good. Tasted better though. When Daithi was lazy he could get food there. As a man or as a wolf. Ephram did not judge either way. Daithi liked that. Liked any place or person that said hello without disappointment etched along their brow.

There were people, sometimes, who were not pack at uncle’s place. So watching for the right moment to bark at the back door was important. In a sunny patch among the bushes he curled tight and waited. Sleep catching him for a little while before he woke himself from a bad dream. Tail flitting over his nose and turning his yawn into a sneeze. It was matched by a short curse.

Uncle was outside. Pawing at his eyeballs and looking longer in the tooth than Daithi last remembered. He recognized something in the air though. A taste of self-reproach. It was the same feeling he got when the man’s body sought to put the wolf to bed a while. The feeling of not wanting to go. He padded out of the treeline. Distance between them because Prince’s were strange creatures. He had always gotten on well with Ephram but there was no reason to take risks. Inside the house there was a boy sometimes, a boy that Daithi liked very much. Fighting might hurt him. Or draw out the not-pack people to look.

*Daithi is here. You can wear your other skin and run with me a while.* He offered. They were afraid, some of them, of being their second self. Embracing the animal inside, because animals were dangerous. Daithi had learned the hard way that men were crueler. And it set him free as often as it broke him. *Come.* He tempted again, pawing the ground with a foreleg.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 10:52:24 PM »
Callouses dragged against his cheeks when he drew his hands away, blinking at the spots that moved against his vision. A shadow had pulled itself out of the trees, bled into sunlight, into white. His teeth ached at the sight, the ever-present hum in his bones tightening at eblow, wrist, and knee. It hurt, to look and to look away, but he dropped his gaze to his hands anyway, flexed them between his knees. Human fingers, human knuckles, human skin.

Settled.

"I apologize," he murmured, breathing easier, looking back up. The forest was just a forest. "I shouldn't be crass." A deep breath, the final nail in the coffin of himself. Until the growth inside got too thick again, the wolf too hungry, or his temper too sharp. He'd never imagined himself a carpenter, but dough and sugar couldn't fell the trees inside, could they?

Pulling himself out of his head with force, he focused back on Daithi, pleased with the presence of his nephew even if he was encouraging him to shirk work. "And unfortunately, I cannot. Some of us are required to wear clothes, and those clothes need hanging." He held up the shirt that had fallen across his knees in example and stood, lifting the basket with a flutter of craft as he went. "I would hate to make you wait. It would take too long to change, I think." Daithi shifted like water, fast and forward moving, and he'd had heard enough to know how the family thought of it.

For Ephram it would be like rocks, like moving earth. Slow going, painful, not a thing to be done out in the open when it would take so long. He made his way toward the clothes lines, basket trailing behind. "If you wait, we can take a walk, or I can get you something from the shop. Unless you're here for Tadg or Rois?" He knew his nephew had taken a shining to the pup and the pup back, but he wasn't as sure about how Rois received the attention. He hadn't imaged himself chaperoning the interactions of his nieces and nephews, either, but the Darkness paved strange paths.

Daithi Dáire

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    danger
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    506 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 12:18:48 AM »

A bark of laughter worked free of Daithi’s muzzle. Tongue lolling out as he tilted his head at Ephram. *Heard worse.* He promised. Said much worse too. If one expletive was crass then Daithi was as vulgar as they came. Even with a wolf’s tongue he could make a Glacian sailor blush.

He waited for his uncle to regain concentration. Ears pivoting to follow the sounds of birds that rustled out of the trees and winged away over their heads. *Women’s work, and who cares if you wear clothes?* Daithi teased. His own clothes worn so rarely these days that they were never dirty. Cleaned on occasion when he was home and human. Maybe on this visit even. He hadn’t decided. He had to go back to Little Terreille soon, to see if Iris was still running. But children grew fast so Tailwagger had to be check on too.

Wolves didn’t shrug so Daithi shook his shaggy head at his uncle instead. Black tipped nose glossy in the sunshine as he stuck it to the dirt. Snorting at the scent of soil and grass. *”Out of practice. More reason to do than to not do. Diathi will not grudge you your excuses, though, uncle.*

It was true. He did not grudge the excuse. Not as much as the waiting would have been lamented. Funny that his uncle was less concerned at making him wait for the laundry, though. Mouth falling open his teeth flashed in what came close to a grin. He sat, tail swaying back and forth absently. *Yes. We will walk when you are finished.* It was good to spend time with his uncle. They were very alike. Haunted, but their pains did not make them butt heads. Not an easy feat for warlord princes. *Rois is the woman? Boy’s mother? Is she for you?* He asked curiously.

They had come through the shadows on Daithi’s tail. Some months ago now. He had not paid them much mind then. But he had met the boy since. Tadg, the tailwagger, too young for wolfing but he did it anyway. Which amused Daithi immensely. They made friends, and Daithi called him his own to make Moira’s eyes roll. *Tailwagger is mine. Daithi teaches him hunting, and tracking. He is why Daithi came home. To make sure he grows well.*

If the mother knew what her son got up to Daithi had not heard about it yet. Mostly they behaved. Wolf to boy or wolf to pup. Chasing birds and squirrels. Practicing pouncing. He had not been with him as a human yet. Soon, though, he would be ready to learn the arts of spider silk. Paws folding he laid down, watching with amber eyes as his uncle hung shirts from the line. *Is she nice? The mother?* At some point they would have to meet. He couldn’t mentor the boy properly, or at all if she forbade it.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 10:56:19 PM »
Ephram snorted, floating pins and shirts to hang against the line. "I care. And my customers. They like to know their food is clean." And well preserved, and neatly arranged, and all the little nuances that came with packaging baked goods. His mentor had had a lot to say about how to present things in an appealing way. "Like how you would prefer a running stream to stagnant water." At least he hoped Daithi had preferences about where he was getting his food when he wasn't at Ephram's. Darkness knew he couldn't stop him from running headfirst into danger, but he'd really rather not find out he'd gotten sick from something as banal as bad water or the wrong type of mushroom.

He rolled his eyes at excuses, moving onto his next shirt. Daithi might not remember his first change, many tended not to, beyond the pain of it, but Ephram did, vividly, and it'd been a long process then. Imagining it now made his stomach twist up in all sorts of uncomfortable knots, skin prickling. Walking with Daithi would smooth it all out, at least. His nephew was amiable, and didn't push, and didn't look at him the same way some of his closer relatives did. He'd never liked the combination of pity, regret, and confusion that always accompanied pack visits.

If he'd been holding the clothespins in his mouth he might have choked on them, Daithi's question wuffing the air out of his lungs like a punch. He coughed instead, focusing on pinning up a pair of pants. "Yes, Rois is the woman, the boy's mother. And no, she is my niece. A sister-daughter." For him, Darkness. Even with their long lives, and if they hadn't been related, Ephram would have turned her toward males closer in her age range. Much better to be making pack with than a Warlord Prince who played at Warlord and lived half a life.

He peered over his shoulder at Daithi, one eyebrow raising, curious as to if Moira had received the same speech, and if so, what that had been like. "Good of you to be here for him, he needs a good hand." he decided on. Likely no one better in the pack to teach the boy to walk as a wolf, no matter what the arguments might be. Certainly no one as skilled in the shift. He smiled over his shoulder at his nephew. "Or paw, rather." He'd assumed, before the incident and Daithi's change, that he would have looked for a female of his own, had his own little litter. But Ephram could see the logic in adopting, too. "I don't think they had much by way of pack, before you and I." He didn't know how involved she was with Moira and the rest, but if she were working with him he didn't think it would be very much. He was about as fringe as one could get.

The next question caught him too, but differently. Was Rois nice? Capable, certainly, with a delicate hand and dedication to learn. Easy to teach, too, and clean. Quiet, in a way he hadn't expected out of a woman her age, and with a son. Gentle. Steady, unless he caught her wrong footed and surprised her, but that wasn't so unusual.

"I do think she is nice." He decided, reaching for the last pair of pants. Other clothes were already flowing to their lines, socks, several rags, a sweater, clothespins snapping in place. "Shaken, a little, coming to live here. It's new, and strange, and she's making her space." Earning her way and managing a child besides. "But she's strong, too. Loves Tailwagger very much," he smiled when he used Daithi's nickname for the boy, leaving the laundry basket to settle itself by the door with a flick of Craft so he could walk around to stand nearer. "I think she will appreciate your company if you are nice too." Definitely in need of friends and pack bonds, even if seemed a bit backward to start with Ephram and Daithi and not... well, better adjusted packmates.

Daithi Dáire

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Black Widow Warlord Prince Healer
  • Played By: Jones

    danger
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    13 Posts    506 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 01:02:07 PM »
Because it was the polite thing to do Daithi sat still while he listened. Mind already quite set in his opinions of clothing. As a man he did what was required. But there was something very freeing in only needing fur. Giving his uncle a quick wink he flexed his paws against the soil. ”You should try it. You might change their mind. Get good tips from the women.” He huffed in amusement. ”Daithi doesn’t know his uncle’s bathing habits but a clean body can’t spoil the cleanliness of food.” Excuses. People made a lot of them.

Daithi too, when he was one. Excuses and mistakes. Like not spotting ships on the horizon. And tearing flesh on warriors when there were cousins that could have been saved instead. With a shake to clear his head of such thoughts he let the conversation flow on. Like the literal running stream his uncle had used in his metaphor. On from small talk to more serious subjects. Tailwagger was one of the few people that Daithi felt a real attachment too.

If Ephram said the mother was a good sort, then Daithi would believe him. Warlord Princes were good judges of character, or at least so protective, stubborn, and suspicious they were hard to fool. Either way, if he said she was nice then that settled the matter. He thought that his uncle could use the company of people not his sibling-children, though. Without knowing for sure it was hard to say what put his uncle off romance. Daithi loved falling in love. He often ran away with pretty women just because they caught his eye. Some of them even enjoyed being taken for a few days of petting and coddling.

Turning his snout away from the compliment Daithi heaved his shoulders a bit, the gesture not quite the same in wolf form. ”Little ones have little expectations. Easy to be with.” Easy to distract and redirect. Their motivations, even when wicked, were rarely fueled by malice. They had a lot in common, the boy and Daithi. For now he worked on winning trust and respect. Showing him the Protocol of the pack. How ranks worked, and how to spot danger. Later he would teach him webs and hunting and a thousand other things. When he remembered. Or the boy found a subject interesting enough to do the reminding. ”Tailwagger says this also. A pack of Kindred but no An Corithe.”

Exiles, Daithi assumed but never said. He did not want his adopted son to feel less than. Or like an outsider of the pack. Whatever had ostracized them in their old home was their old pack’s problem. Here they would be treated as family. Moira didn’t trust it, but she couldn’t find a reason to deny one of their own or her brother. So she just watched with the cautious eyes of a leader that expected trouble. ”It only takes two to be a family, but being with their own will be good for them both.” That was the point of the pack. To help its members thrive. Even those that lived at the edge of it, like his uncle.

The conversation hitched a moment while Ephram considered the question. In the hollow of his chest, just under his heart, Daithi felt a twisting. Breath tight while he waited. To the younger male it seemed a simple question. Not the sort that needed mulling over. Like most things he did, however, Ephram put too much thought into it. At least the answer was positive. ”That pleases Daithi to hear.” He admitted. His own tail wagging to prove it. The boy deserved at least one attentive parent. ”Hopefully nice, and strong, and loving will be enough. Tailwagger has deep and potent potential.”

In the perfect show of a ‘wolfish grin’ Daithi revealed his set of shiny ivory teeth. Eyes squinting shut in the corners as he smiled. ”Daithi is almost always nice. Though they like it too, when he is not.” If not as a wolf, then as a man. The fairer sex rarely complained about his manners once he came to them with arms that could pet and a human spear to sit on. That was probably not the company his uncle had been suggesting, however. Standing to meet him as Ephram came around Daithi gave the grass a sweep with a paw. ”In time, perhaps, it will do to make friends. If Tailwagger has told her of our time together he has not said as much. It may be better for her to settle in. To feel very at home. Before making new friends.”

Daithi was not an easy person to know. Or to understand. Women were very complicated, too. They had so many needs. Not the easy sort to sate either. Emotional needs that left his head whirling into dark and misty places. He was not good at those things. Rejecting the thoughts he gave a very human sigh and padded towards the treeline. The man in him pressed at the wolf. Dug roots into the memories of women he had loved before, and the ones he had stolen since. In the coming days he would make the shift. Let his other skin breath. For now he would chase rabbits out of their dens for his uncle's amusement. ”Let us walk, it will do you good to be in wilder spaces for a bit.”

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: In Between Sunlight
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 09:58:27 PM »
"We can agree to disagree, I think," He grinned, snapping a sheet. A quick pass of his hand, hot with heating Craft, smoothed out a few of the more aggressive wrinkles. "Sometimes their expectations are not so little." Sometimes they asked for impossible, even when they weren't so little. Please don't leave me, had been Ephram's favorite, after all.

Daithi's next statement drew him up short though. A pack of Kindred but no An Corithe? No human blood besides his mother? It framed Tadg's actions differently, cast an altered shadow over how both he and Rois acted. What would drive someone to seek the protection of Kindred over pack?

Something to let Rois bring up, rather than dig into himself, at least. In that way maybe he and Daithi were the best to start with. Both of them cautious to a fault, alternatively tender and distant and snappish in protection of their own hurts. They knew, in different ways, how to navigate skittish wolves.

"Mm," deep and potent potential. At least Ephram wasn't the only one to feel it then, never mind that it was his descent. Tadg would be a force, no doubt, a Prince to be reckoned with. It'd be a balancing act, as it always was, but Moira was doubtless glad to have him. A strong pack was a Dark pack, after all.

Ephram closed his eyes, as though not looking at Daithi would prevent him from reddening. There were certains things he didn't care to think about, after all. Daithi and his women were up there on his list, right after his elderly neighbors and his nightmares. There were certain parts of his nephew's life he need not know, in his opinion.

"Maybe Rois will need a little encouragement in getting new friends." Ephram honestly had no idea what Rois did outside of the shop, what hobbies she had, who she associated with. He also wasn't particularly adept at being social, or building lasting bridges that weren't rooted in some kind of transaction around goods and services. Maybe Daithi could lead her around town and introduce her to... someone. Who did Daithi go to, besides his women and Ephram?

Shaking those thoughts away, Ephram stretched, breathing deep. "Take me some place fun." Or at least not his own damn backyard. There was only so often one could stare at his own walls in a day, and he'd like to think he reached his limit.
 

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