Smoke Rings and Sorries

Description:

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Smoke Rings and Sorries
« on: January 26, 2019, 12:41:50 PM »
Back settling against the rough bark of a gnarled old oak tree Tempest sighed in relief. He called in the small kit he kept his cigarettes in. Tin opened to find he had none left. None left ready, anyway. Using his thigh as a flat-ish surface to lay the thin paper on he carefully filled it with a finely ground mixture of tobacco and devil’s snare. Fingers wiped clean on a cloth from his cabinet so that the plants oils didn’t linger in his skin.

Rolling the paper into a tight cylinder he twisted the ends tight to close it. Then licked the back of his thumb to dampen the seam down. He rolled seven in total, before running out of his precisely cut papers. Six stayed in the tin for later. One was tucked into the join of his lips while he organized the kit, vanished it, and brushed a bit of spilled tobacco from his leg. Knuckles bruised, but not as bruised as his left eye which was half swollen shut. The cigarette would dull the pain.

A healer had been offered but it was best that Reed got a good look at the scrap. It might keep him from throwing any fists of his own. Poor little brother, so damned grumpy all of the time. As he lit the tip of his cigarette with a tongue of witchlight he tried to understand how anyone could live that way. Happiness, he thought, was a choice. He could have been stomping around, complaining about Bannick’s bad attitude or still fighting the great grumbling oaf. Or he could have been pouting to Harrow, who would have liked the attention he thought.

But he wasn’t. He was out in the fresh air, because he enjoyed it. Relaxing with the smooth flavor of smoke filling his lungs. Antlers clicking softly on the tree’s trunk while his eyes traced the shadows its limbs cast on the ground. Half blurry from the sore eye. Legs neatly crossed at the ankle. Waiting. Because if Bannick was back, then Reed was around someplace too. Pouting enough for the both of them most likely. When a long, Cervini shadow joined the ones that swayed from the breeze he glanced up with a grin. Taking a long drag on his cigarette before speaking. Smoke curling around each word. ”How was your trip back? Sorry I didn’t say before I took the short route. Harrow showed up and I couldn't say no.”

That was a bit of a white lie. Thankfully no one had been close enough to hear that the suggestion to leave had been his own. ”She just… smells so good.” He crooned, as if there all the excuse his behavior required. ”Did you see her? She was a squat little squirt last time we were here, now she’s-” His hands motioned as if he were feeling up a figure eight. ”all grown up. All the way.” He knew. She had let him sniff it out.

@kayndred

Reed

    Descent
  • Played By:

    3 Posts    37 marks
Re: Smoke Rings and Sorries
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 09:52:39 PM »
There was only so much a buck could take, surely, Reed thought. He'd had a brief moment of terror at the figure that had come into  the clearing that night, more a shadow than not. Stumbling, mud on his skin, in his mouth, and then the familiar rise of his brother's anger, as hungry as the storm. At least Tempest would send them off with a bang.

And then the sweet embrace of darkness, and maybe Mother Night waiting at the end.

Instead, he wakes to pain and unfamiliar scents. One hand fisted, the other reaching for a knife that wasn't there. Panic! Craft pushing out while he tried to make sense of his surroundings. People he didn't know, but Cervini, not horn-less, and not the wolfmen. Below their fear and his own Craft, the scent of his brother, not so faint but not present, either.

It was enough to focus him, to allow the healer back close enough to finishing mending, even though he heckled and snarled with a critical eye. No work as trusted as his own, after all.

And when he at last found himself free of fussing hands and worry-scared psychic scents, what did he find? Not Tempest, not his damn fool brother. Just his scent, and some doe, and the lingering pain of tender, fresh healed skin.

So he'd followed it back, barely keeping from turning antler on his 'escort' and his little wife. His brother had apparently taken it upon himself to go on ahead, of course he had to catch up to him, could they not see the urgency of it? Who knew how the healers had bungled him while Reed had been asleep.

Fortunately, if there was one person reed would be able to find in a crowd, through rain or sleet or damnable herd-scent, it was Tempest. He'd been firmly redirected for awhile, something about 'his lady', 'the Queen', leaving Reed to pace tracks in the grass and sharpen his knives to fine edges. Eventually, Tempest was released from however he was occupied, and Reed was determined not to let him slip through his fingers again.

The fact that he'd elected to smoke was just the icing on the cake of irritation.

"How was my trip?" He growled, kneeling at Tempest's side, cataloging his hurts. His face. Damn idiot. He breathed deep, focusing on his brother, on the grass, on the here and now. Pulled his healing Craft into his fingers to ghost against Tempest's skin, light as he could get and still smooth the swelling down. Too on edge for anything serious, lest he tear his brother up again. Not that I don't want to, he groused, eyes heavy, dark. "Long, irritating. Boring, seeing as someone" he went for a poke to Tempest's cheek "decided to up and leave me with strangers." He bared his teeth. "Otherwise it was just great."

He sat back on his heels, eyeing bruised knuckles and itching to get a good look at whatever else his brother had decided to carry around. narrowed eyes swept back up, frowning harder. "No," he grit. "I haven't seen her yet. And I couldn't care less how she looks, or looked." Harrow'd never been as interesting to him as she had been to Tempy, and it was likely Reed's own disinterest in her that had kept him from her attention. He wasn't sure how long that would last. "How can you just sit here and think about her and not them?" He waved out in the general direction of the lake people. "How can you sit here and smoke and not be a little suspicious?"

Ass met grass with a thud, legs bent and wrists on his knees. Attention drawn in a hundred directions, tracking sounds, shadows, shifting scents. Someone had to keep watch, after all.

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Smoke Rings and Sorries
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2019, 07:36:12 PM »
”Oh, brother.” Tempest started with a sigh and pitying grin. Eyes kept from rolling by the one that still hurt. Which Reed was quick to pour comfort on despite his evident displeasure. ”Yes. Your trip.” He said sweetly, batting the one eye that wasn’t darkened by a dark egg in its corner. Pulse beating steadily beneath its glossy swell.  They had fought and disagreed, as siblings tend to do, often enough for Tempest to know the instinct to heal was Reed’s weakness. Or at least a good distraction from his justified annoyance. Grin turning to a smirk he listened politely while Reed gripped out his feelings. Snorting at the finger that dabbed him in the cheek. Right below his aching bruise. ”It would have been long, irritating, and boring even if I had been there.”

Taking a long drag on his cigarette he let the smoke sit in his lungs until they ached for release. It made his head tingle wonderfully. All the nerve endings in this body buzzing happily as a side effect. For many, many years he had grown restless. A clawing pain in his bones that he didn’t have time to really stop and psychoanalyze. The devil’s snare took it away. Gave him an inch of relief. He didn’t need it right then, but it still felt good even without the nameless anxiety burrowing around between his body and psyche. Tipping the unlit end towards Reed he bobbed his eyebrows. ”Take a load off. Relax.”

Of course that wasn’t Reed’s way. They were, the both of them, honed for action. Always ready for the next attack. While Tempest could put it away his brother struggled. Working his way up to those complaints but only once he had taken an unfair swip at Harrow first. Or at least, that was how it felt to Tempest. Who huffed smoke from his nostrils and lifted the shoulder his little brother huddled near. ”You should care. She’s our queen.” Had to be. Because she was Tempest’s queen, and he couldn’t imagine a life where he and Reed shared less than everything.

”Come on Reed! They don’t give two shits about you. They’ve got lives of their own. I’m not laying over and dying. I’m having a damn smoke after a very complicated day.” He thumped his fingers over his heart. ”Dad and the kid and uncle… Everyone is dead. And I’m back here, with Harrow. It’s awful and wonderful and all at once. Bannick wants to tear me a new arsehole like I’ve no rights to Harrow at all. You’re all pissy because you had to walk here. I couldn’t take you on the Wind, you’d hit your head.” There was just a lot going on! He deserved to sit there and smoke and not be a little suspicious for five minutes.

Patting his brother on the knee heavily he offered the cigarette again. Pressing it on him, ”You need it. Have it. I’ll light myself another.” He was not going to take no for an answer. ”This is not a bad place. We’ve lived here before. It was nice. What do you want to be suspicious for anyway? They’re Cervini. We’re out of a herd. If they’ll let us into theirs we could do a lot of good.” They were strong bucks! Who wouldn't’ want them?

Reed

    Descent
  • Played By:

    3 Posts    37 marks
Re: Smoke Rings and Sorries
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 07:06:50 PM »
Reed huffed, eyes rolling before Tempest had even finished. At least it would have been long, irritating, and boring with someone to commiserate with. He hadn't been too keen on making small talk with any of his escorts, but it might have been easier if Tempest had been there. People liked talking to him.

"I'm sure I can give a shit about a person without caring what they look like." He groused back, arching a brow. She could be ravaged by scars, or be twisted up with sickness, it wouldn't matter. What did, in Reed's opinion, was that there were members of their new herd that hadn't done shit the first time they'd come into the territory. It made his mouth twist up in disgust at them. Two pairs of hands that were dark and useful now, but they hadn't bothered to take up arms to protect all of the potential that had been alive in their cousins. Not even for Tempest, despite whatever was going on with their Lady.

His brother's words made him bristle, defensive and frustrated in tandem. "That's my point! They don't give a shit, and they didn't then, so why should I give one now?" Each member of their family listed off was a body that felt anchored to Reed's hands, weighing him down. A person he hadn't been able to heal in time. He pushed the heels of his palms into his eyes, breathing in and catching half of Tempest's smoke. But the anger leaked out of him, leaving only the tired, prickly nervousness behind."Not all of us have a pretty face to distract ourselves with." He mumbled, gloomy. Reed wasn't picky, booze or somewhere to sharpen all of his knives in peace would be fine, he didn't need a body. Just anything to help keep the writhing anger at bay while he got used to the shift the world had taken.

"Thanks." He snorted at his brother's jab, shook his antlers at him with a weak smile on his face. The cigarette slid between his fingers easily, not as practiced as Tempest but used to it. The smoke from his tentative inhale stung, and he coughed roughly, opposite hand pressing against his mouth. "Darkness these are atrocious." But he knew they'd numb him out a little, and it'd be worth it not to be at Tempy's throat.

He took another pull, keeping the smoke in longer, and released it through his nose. Maybe he'd make Tempy carry him to wherever they were being put up until the official decision on their status was made. "I'll take Bannick's damn idiot teeth if he tries anything with you. But fine, I'll be less of an ass, just for you, Tempy." He decided, sticking his tongue out. "Tell me about our Queen, then." Even if Reed didn't care overmuch for her, Tempest did, and he'd at least try to see whatever silver lining she might be bringing with her.

Tempest

    Sapphire to Gray
  • Warlord Priest
  • Played By: Jones

    wolf killer
    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    12 Posts    567 marks
Re: Smoke Rings and Sorries
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 09:39:21 PM »
There was not an ounce of shame in Tempest’s tone or expression as he shook his head, eyes focusing into a distance that was in his mind not his body. ”Sure. I’d like her all the same. But thank you Mother Night for making her hot.” Not everyone needed to enjoy a personal physically to connect to them emotionally. Tempest was very on the fence about it. He was young enough still that his appreciation for a person could hinge on his ballsack. Especially after a life spent in self-imposed isolation.

”Whoa, chill out Reed. You’re butting right through my vibe.” He said, patting his brother with a heavy palm. One fight against a Jewel to match his own was plenty for the day. ”It’s not that they didn’t care. Could you imagine what it must have been like for them? To pick between our lives and theirs? They made the smart decision. The one you would have advocated if things were reversed.” What sane person wouldn’t choose to evict the newcomers when their own children were on the line? It had been a bloody war. ”We’re lucky they took us in to begin with. They probably halved the number we would have faced on our own.”

With a few short puffs he pulled his knees up to rest his arms on. The lit tip of his cigarette glowing for a second before it darkened to ash. He leaned away in feigned surprise and popped his eyebrows high at Reed’s next comment. ”Well if that’s what you need to perk up your mood I’m sure we can find plenty of takers- unless Bannick’s married them all already.” It was only a little funny. There was a part of Tempest that recoiled at the very idea. He was a priest. The sanctity of Darkness blessed unions was important to him. Those were issues for later, though.

Right now was for relaxing. They had fucking earned it.

Tin called back in to replace the smoke he’d forced on Reed Tempest sighed. Not his usual pensive sound, but one of content. As if he could breathe out all the anxiety that had eaten his stomach raw for two decades. ”They get better. Keep sucking.” Tempest teased with a flash of teeth before lighting the end of his new one and inhaling deeply. It wasn’t getting dark yet but crickets started to chirp in the distance anyway. The sound was unexpected and made Tempest twitch away before he recognized it. Strange the little things being constantly stalked made you miss. Had the crickets in the forest known, or had he just been listening through them for more ominous sounds?

”I’m not worried about Bannick. It’ll do him some good to have proper men around to take him down a peg, though.” The warlord snarled slightly. Eye throbbing as his cheek shifted to fit a broad smile. He pinched his fingers towards Reed’s tongue and bumped their shoulders together. He wanted Reed to be happy here. That way he could be fully happy here too. ”She is…” Tempest let his head fall back and soaked in the shadows of the tree. ”I can feel her in the earth under my boots. And in the air here. The rightness of being in a place that prospers on her Craft.” That was the romantic way to put it. And the priest in him ached with how gloriously true it was.

”Plus she’s gorgeous. And just the right sort of coy. Happy to let a man look his fill but blushes if you get real close. She smells like those little pink flowers that grew around the pond in east Nar province. The one with all the algae. Pink flowers and-” The nipples to match he almost told his brother. Opting instead to swallow the words same as he had wanted to swallow her flesh. ”moss. Thick grey tree moss. Earthy and clean.”

Sucking down a lungful of smoke he watched the tree’s shadow dance on the ground. Their antlers casting long dark figures through the quivering strands. ”We can make a life here, Reed. That’s more opportunity than we had before.” They were decent men, young and virile bucks. Why shouldn't they make that life a good life?

Reed

    Descent
  • Played By:

    3 Posts    37 marks
Re: Smoke Rings and Sorries
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 09:44:00 PM »
Smoke hissed through his teeth as he listened to Tempest. He was right, of course. It didn't mean it didn't hurt, that he wasn't bitter. It certainly didn't feel like enough, either way. And Reed wasn't exactly willing to let the feeling go just yet. Not when their position in the herd was still so tenuous, no matter how the Lady might feel about Tempy. Better to be ready for the hand reaching for him to draw a blade than to find it between his ribs because he'd been too eager to see friendship where there was none.

"But at least she's hot." he droned, another pull that filled his lungs to aching. He needed the numb the paranoia away. At least until someone found him some kind of wine, or a place without any damn people.

Reed fought to keep his eyes from rolling right out of his head. Just for you, Tempy, I'll keep it all nice and bottled up, he thought. His teeth tasted like grass. And then, I'll die. Reed could be a nice herdmate, he was sure, he just wouldn't like it.

He laughed, short short and surprised. "I wouldn't want to risk edging in on Bannick's territory," who knew how many does he'd stashed away. Reed wasn't sure he wanted to ask, it seemed like some kind of open secret. Maybe Tempest could ask his Lady Friend. He hissed a laugh through his teeth. Fuck the grass felt good.

And then he was reacting to Tempy's twitch almost as quick as it happened, a short knife called to his hand in a breath. It felt like an overreaction, everything moving through liquid. "Fuck," he huffed. Maybe he'd gone too fast.

But it was just crickets. Average night sounds that they'd have to get used to, now that they had to recognize they were there. How many little things had they missed out on, how many shadows would they jump at before the world stopped baring its teeth in their minds?

Reed pushed against Tempest's face, forcing more healing Craft into him to take away more of the hurt he knew would be lurking in the sore flesh. "Oh, you poet. I hope she knows how much of a damn sap shes got." Hopefully it wasn't something that was gonna be sprung on her.

It wasn't a combination of scents Reed found enticing, but... calming, maybe. Even the land felt better, and if he focusedon it long enough it built on his creeping high. Maybe it wouldn't be so terrible to put up with this place. "I wish it weren't just us," he said, leaning into his brother's side, head tilted to keep their antlers from locking. "But it's better than being alone."
 

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