Alcatraz glanced around the main den site. His eyes sought out one pelt in particular, a pale silvery pelt that sometimes he still looked upon with disbelief. How strange yet wonderful it was that fate had brought them together again and again. And now they had reunited, hopefully for the last time. Soon his eyes found her. Gabitrix.
The dark male walked over to his best friend, his tail wagging slowly, ”Good morning, Gabitrix,”
Alcatraz said, stopping and leaning back onto his haunches beside her. ”How are you doing this morning?”
Lady Athena had given him the task of guiding Gabi as she adjusted to life in Aryn. Today he planned to do his job as well as catch up with his old friend.
Gabitrix hadn't even noticed Alcatraz had wandered into the area, which wasn't a surprise. She wasn't the most in-tune with her surroundings, and you'd barely even be able to tell that she had just joined a new pack. She slipped into pack life easily, it suited her much more then Lone wolf life did. Gabi' would admit it freely; she'd die on her own if she were alone for too long. Whether it be from the elements, or boredom, who knows.
She's settled now, gazing down at a few scattered herbs between her slender paws. She had told Lady Athena that she knew a little of the ways of healing, and she did. The older she-wolf who took her in taught her what she knew, and she picked up a little in her travels. The information and knowledge was there, she just had to remember and unlock them. A deep voice causes her green eyes to flick upward and for a moment she looks perplexed. Then, as if recognition had dawned on her, Gabi's features broke into a warm smile, "Alcatraz. I do not think I will ever get used to seeing your face,"
she chuckles. That slight accent of their homeland rolling off her words. "I am doing very well, how are you doing my friend?"
she drawls gently, pushing herself up into a seated position.
Alcatraz smiled, closing his eyes happily at her greeting. It was so true. ”I am well. And don’t worry, I’m sure this will sink in someday.”
He said, although he felt the same way as he gazed into her lovely emerald eyes, so familiar to him from his darkest, most distant memories… for years he never thought he would look into them again. He severed his gaze from hers, looking instead at the herbs at her paws, ”What are you doing? Are you a healer too?”
Alcatraz asked, looking back up at her. There was so much he still didn’t know about his best friend…"I am not sure I want it to. I like the feeling I think.. like butterflies in your belly,"
she muses thoughtfully. Gabi' gives a soft chuckle before she blinks at his question, gaze drifting down to the herbs between her slender paws. "Oh! Well.. kind of,"
she chirps, green eyes moving back up to meet his own, "The old female who rescued me taught me all that she knew, she was very adept in the ways of healers. I was so young though.. I only remembers bits and pieces. I am hoping by studying them more more will come back to me. I told Lady Athena I could be useful, that I could help at least with this. I do not know what I would do if it turned out not to be true."
Gabitrix's brows furrow slightly, the scar across her snout growing a little pinker. She had always been trying to find her place since she lost her home, and deep down she had never felt as sure about anything as she did about staying in Aryn.
She blinks, bringing herself out of her mini pity party to smiles warmly at her dearest oldest friend. "So! I was told you will be guiding me on my journey of getting more accustomed to Aryn life! What shall I learn today?"
she asks brightly, ears perking forwards attentively.
Alcatraz leaned back onto his haunches as he sat down to make himself more comfortable. He smiled to her, ”You are right. I hope we never forgot how happy we are to finally be reunited.”
He agreed, his thick tail wagging slowly. His smile faded as she talked about her past memories, and her fears that she would not be able to fulfill her promise to Lady Athena. Alcatraz leaned down, pressing his muzzle into her cheek, ”You are capable of amazing things, Gabitrix. You will remember. And if you don’t, you will learn again.”
He sat up as she asked more brightly about what they would be doing, ”As you know, Aryn is at the brink of war. I shall help you develop your combat skills in case there is an attack.”
He explained, getting to his paws as he prepared to lead her into the forest.
His words bring a fond smile to her slender muzzle, and Gabi' can feel her ears burning slightly at the praise from her oldest friend. Green eyes drop to the herbs between her paws and she nods, almost as if confirming his words to herself. She will remember, and if not she would learn all over again. What other choice did she have?
Gabi', lost in her thoughts for the moment, blinks when Alcatraz stands up and prepares to lead her into the trees. Wait.. what? "Combat training?"
she drawls hesitantly. Gabi' was well aware of where Aryn stood in regards to war, it was breathing down their necks, and Gabitrix would fight if she had to but... she didn't really think anyone was going to train
She gives Alcatraz a squinty eyed skeptical look before sighing, the sound barely audible, and gathering herself to her slender paws to follow him. She trots forwards to catch up, finally walking beside him in silence. Ears pressed forwards and eyes taking in everything around her, Gabi' humms softly to herself. Something she had taken to doing to ease her nerves when she had been wandering by herself in search of Alcatraz.
Alcatraz lead her into the trees, smiling a bit as she began to hum. She had a lovely voice and he turned to look again at her, admiring how lovely a she-wolf she had become. In his mind she was still the spunky little puppy he had grown up with.
He had noticed how hesitant she had been when he invited her to train, and he said, ”It’s important that every wolf knows how to fight… we need to be ready… if they worst should come…” and our history repeats itself.
But Alcatraz did not repeat the words. He was conflicted on what he would do should things turn ugly. Of course he would fight with his life and soul for Aryn. But Gabi… sweet Gabi… he didn’t want her to fight. He didn’t want to watch her die again. He wanted her to live.
The humming falls silent as he speaks and Gabitrix's emerald eyes grow distant, as if lost in past thoughts. She sighs softly, ears twitching backwards and brows furrowing. "Why must all things come to this... violence and blood letting.."
she rumbles gently, her voice soft but stern. She follows him willingly, gnawing on a lip as slender paws move her easily along the worn path.
Her gaze flicks to him and she studies him quietly, green eyes traveling the length of him and back. It seemed like just yesterday they were pups playing safely in the lands of their pack. Gabi' always dreaming of far away places and adventures that awaited them. "I do not wish to fight,"
she muses out loud, "But I will."
There's something in the sternness of her voice that says I will never be a victim again. "I do not want anything to happen to you.."
Gabi murmurs afterwards, her paw steps faltering slightly.
Alcatraz shook his head in return to her question. She didn’t have an answer… but he did. At least he believed that he did. They were wolves. And wolves always seemed interested in causing each other trouble, especially when they belonged to packs. Pack mentality did things to wolves… put them under the wrong leader and you had a terrible force on your paws all working together to mess things up. This situation, admittedly, was a bit more complicated. Athena had captured an enemy wolf, believing that this was the best way to keep her pack safe from the rival pack nearby. A hostage. But that was politics, and psychology. It was gaining leverage and working with it to make your enemies do whatever it is that you want. But it was those things that Alcatraz had no interest in. Keep it simple, he thought. Just drive her out, give her a lesson to show her pack and if they are wise they will hunt elsewhere, unwilling to risk their members’ safety, for there was no shortage of land. But now Blutwald’s bitterness would fester. Their hatred would hang over Aryn, looming like a storm cloud, long after Bloom had been returned. Alcatraz feared for their future.
Alcatraz was glad that she resolved to fight, even if she was unwilling. “Fighting is no one’s wish.”
he murmured in return, but he knew what she meant. Gabitrix was a gentle soul. While Alcatraz disliked the dangers of fighting, but he never lost sleep from guilt associated with inflicting pain on another, not if he believed they deserved it. Gabitrix disliked the concept of hurting another all together. But her voice was adamant, and Alcatraz knew that she would be strong and fight to protect her new home in a way they had never been able to when they were pups. ’I do not want anything to happen to you..’
Alcatraz turned to her as she spoke, and gave her a bit of a smile, leaning over with his head to bump her cheek affectionately with his muzzle, ”Hey... you know me. I’d never let any mangy furred scum tough me.”
Alcatraz boasted, the dimmest spark of his old confident, carefree self leaking into his voice. He had once prided himself greatly in his spotless, glossy brown pelt. But there was little of that Alcatraz left. And he noticed with dismay a moment later than it was a lie, a lie that was glaringly obvious by the bare scar on his shoulder. That had been given to him but a Blutwald wolf. His smile faded and he fell silent.
She knew nothing of the politics between the Blutwald and Aryn packs, only what she'd heard uttered in gossip among the wolves. Green eyes watch him, a slight turn of her maw in a smile at his words, though her features remain stoic for the most part. Brows furrow in worry at his mock confidence and Gabi' sighs, a soft sound uttered from her slender muzzle. "We are both very different wolves then we used to be Alcatraz,"
she murmurs, her eyes closing briefly at the soft nuzzle from him. She pauses, watching his emotions falter and change, and Gabi's slender paws hesitate for a moment, green eyes drifting to his scar. "I have faith in you, and this pack. I just want you to know that,"
Her tail twitches behind her, the brief silence enough to hear the wind whispering through the trees and the leaves rustling. She watches him, pale fur ruffling slightly before she lets out an exasperated sigh and stalks past him, "Now teach me this fighting business! Enough gloom and doom. Show me how to.."
she bounces around, feet braced outward and ears slicked back, lips curling in a mock growl, ".. beat someone up .. Grrr."
She was so ferocious.
Alcatraz smiled at her softly, ”Good. We won’t let you down, Gabitrix.”
He promised, then smiled as she bounced forward, insisting that he teaches her how to fight. He got to his paws and crouched, his tail tip twitching. ”Sure. Watch and learn.”
With that Alcatraz sprang forward toward Gabitrix. When he was teaching other wolves he often started with having them attack him, but right now he just wanted to wrestle. After all, they had not played since they were pups, and close combat was definitely a useful skill as well. As he was leaping forward, his yellow eyes locked with the playful green gaze of Gabitrix so familiar, the exact same as it had been all those years ago, he almost felt like a pup again.