The day had started out like any other day. Gabi' had woken up, tended to some of her easier chores, and having no young to watch decided to at least go out and try to hunt something. She wasn't as talented a hunter as the others, or else she wouldn't be just a den mother! Never the less, after a day of trying, she made off with two plump hares, their coats already turning from brown to snowy white. The extra catch brought her closer to the border of the Chandor territory. She had told Davis if she ever had extra's she would leave him one, and since it had been a little while she figured one of these would be better then nothing for the big male.
Dainty paws carry her slowly, her green eyes searching and ears twitching somewhat cautiously once she begins to draw closer to the border of the pack lands. Deeper inside Chandor, Gabi' was relaxed and at ease, but out here so far from the others.. she had flashbacks now and then of what happened when she was younger, and it's things like that that kept her generally closer to the main den site.
Alcatraz stalked along the border to Chandor. After leaving Phen behind in her den, he was quick to leave Chandor. He didn’t like going into wolf territories anymore, not since his run in with the Blutwald wolf Ivan. But he was tired from his run from the fire, and the strain of helping Phen escape as well. He just wanted to find some place to lay down.
He was in a better mood than usual, his heart light with the warm feeling he got whenever he helped someone else, and even better because of the pleasant time they had spend together there after. But Alcatraz was a loner, and so he had to move on. And now he would head away from Chandor and off to… well, somewhere, he supposed. He let out a sigh as he thought back to his adventurous childhood friend, Gabitrix. He roamed the world looking for beautiful sights that he knew she would love, just like they used to see as children. But that was a long time ago. He was finding her memory fading even faster now, and the reason for his travels fading quick behind. It saddened him deeply…
The rustling of fur against leaves made Alcatraz lift his head with a snarl, his thick fur bristling. He saw a pale pelt in the undergrowth far away. He narrowed his eyes. It looked a bit like Dove, a she-wolf he had run into far to the east with a pale white and silver pelt. But it could not be her, there was no way she had come this far. He curled his lips back, but continued to stalk forward in hopes that he could slip by without being noticed.
The growl not too far away ripped Gabi’ from her thoughts, head lifting quickly and eyes narrowing into the distance. Maybe it was Davis? Maybe he had changed his mind and decided a peace treaty with them wasn’t exactly how he wanted to live out his days? She pauses, green eyes shifting worriedly and head turning to glance over her shoulder but curiosity as well as a sense to protect, or at least try to, her pack pushed her forwards. She drops the hares under a bush not far from the border, and pads slowly out into the open, ears slanted forwards and the fur along her shoulders and back rippling into an upright position. ”Who are you?”
Her words are stern, that foreign accent sliding off each word, placing her not from here and yet she called this place home. His back is to her, and he is definitely not Davis, so Gabi’ stands her ground with teeth gritted and green eyes narrowed to slits. She was worried her attempt at being threatening didn’t betray the fact that she was terrified if this male decided to infact attack her.
Alcatraz felt his heart sink and he let out a frustrated sigh as he saw the wolf approach him from his peripheral vision. He stopped. She was lucky he had mostly recovered mentally from his ideal with Ivan and had returned more or less to his calm and confident old self. He kept his tail low and his fur flat to show he meant no threat. ”I mean no harm; I am still outside your borders.”
He said, lifting his head to look at the she-wolf. He met her green eyes with his pale yellow ones and in that moment he felt chills run through his spine, from his broad shoulders to the tip of his tail, his fur bristling in alarm. Those eyes…. there was no way…. He backed up a few paces, feeling anger bubbling inside him from his confusion, forgetting about her question. ”You...you’re… stay back!”
he snapped. This was it, he was going crazy.
She pauses, ears twitching. He was
outside their borders, so why exactly was she confronting him? Because she had a strong will to protect her new home. She puffs herself up, trying to seem bigger and goes to speak but words hang forgotten on her tongue when he turns and answers. He looked just like Alcatraz.. but how could that be possible? She’s about to ask, her brows furrowing dramatically, when his outbursts causes her to retreat a few steps, a small growl on her lips. ”You’re insane,”
she snaps, ears flattening back along her head. ”Why are you telling me to stay back when clearly it is I who should be telling you to do so? I live here! Now… go away!”
Her confidence wavers, the fur along her tail rippling into spikes, as she keeps wary green eyes locked on the other male. Her best friend was dead, this was not Alcatraz and Gabi’ would not let herself be deluded by the idea that he was in fact still alive. She beat herself up over that idea for years, always wanting to go out and look for him and when she gave in and did so, ending up with nothing but dead ends and empty paws, Gabi’ refused to ever put herself through that again.
Alcatraz stared at her, dumbstruck. He ignored her angry retort, his mind a whirlwind. She looked just like
Gabitrix. But she was dead! He had seen her body himself! This was impossible…. but how could he be mistaken…? ”...who are you?”
he breathed, lifting his head, his anger fading into shock and confusion. He took a few steps forward, not even thinking about borders or whether she would attack him or not. He needed a closer look. He needed to catch her scent or touch her fur… he needed proof somehow that the she-wolf he once knew was now standing right in front of him.
She backs up another step as he draws closer, her brows tucking in and ears flattening. His change in demeanor had her head reeling. Now he wants to know who she is?! A second ago he was telling her to stay away from him! This male really was insane wasn’t he! She glances over her shoulder, back towards the main den of Chandor and safer territory, before looking back at him warily. Every fiber of her was telling her this was Alcatraz, yet Gabi’ had fought it for so long that she had become surprisingly good at ignoring that feeling. ”Why should I tell you?”
she asks skeptically, green eyes narrowing to slits. She stands quietly for a long time, watching him. Curiosity however was one of her many flaws, and eventually it does get the best of her. ”Gabitrix.. my name is Gabitrix..”
The suspicion in those familiar green eyes made Alcatraz feel almost like a puppy again, begging for food from his mother, begging for his childhood friend to remember him. ”Gabitrix… how can this be?”
his voice was hoarse and his wide yellow eyes, shining with so many emotions, were glued to the white she-wolf. But she didn’t seem to recognize him yet… she didn’t remember him. ”Don’t you know who I am, Gabi?”
he asked, taking another step forward, his tail stiff behind him, still in such shock. Any moment now he would wake up, another cruel dream about how things used to be. He knew it. But until then… did she even know who he was?
The female’s insides seem to be rolling, as if she were on a lonely island being tossed around by the ocean. Green eyes search his, note his pleading voice, his eyes looking to grasp onto anything they could for fear of the image slipping away. Gabi’s voice chokes in her throat, her maw hanging open and ears flattening along her slender skull. ”Alc’.. Alcatraz?”
Her voice comes out as a harsh whisper, as if saying the word would make it all wrong, would make it all go away and once more she’d be left standing empty handed. The female stands rigidly, her mouth hanging open an inch, before she’s moving, and quickly. Gabi’ all but actually throws herself at him, ramming her shoulder into his chest and tucking her head under his with a wail of both misery and all out joy. It was as if the lock holding back all the pain from her past had finally busted open and a flood of emotion had hit her that she never knew she could feel. She could feel
The realization that overcame her face filled Alcatraz with joy. She remembered him! It was truly her! An open-mouthed smile broke his muzzle in two as he reared onto his hind legs in excitement. He landed just in time to keep his balance as Gabitrix threw herself into him, nuzzling into his thick mane of dark brown fur with a cry of joy.
Alcatraz was still now, pressing his large head into her silky white fur. ”I can’t believe this… Gabitrix… I can’t believe you are alive…”
he whispered, closing his eyes and breathing in his scent and feeling her fur against his cheek as he savored this moment, in fear that it was only an illusion of some sort. After all... he had seen her… she had been dead… but that didn’t matter now. She was here, somehow, and he felt a feeling he had not felt since before what he thought had been her death.
She stands quietly, head pressed firmly into his neck as if she had no plans to ever move.. ever. Though she finally does break contact enough to step back and look at him, head shaking slightly from side to side. ”I thought you were dead Alcatraz.. they.. they slaughtered everyone! When I finally opened my eyes.. there was no one left..”
he words are soft, haunted. ”How did you make it out of there?”
she asks in amazement, her green eyes wide with astonishment and curiosity and still even joy. A part of her still felt as if she were dreaming, but the fact that she could touch him, smell him, see him.. her best friend was really still alive! Still here! This was real
Alcatraz gazed at her with pale yellow eyes glowing with affectionate and joy. His tail was wagging a thousand miles a minute and his paws kneaded the ground, unable to contain his excitement as if he were a puppy again. He stilled as they shifted subjects to the day of the attack. ”No, you were dead! I saw you by the lake…you weren’t moving, and I didn’t think you were breathing either… we left, to get away from the attackers. So many of us died...”
he trailed off, staring at her more, lost in thought and lost in the memories of what once had been. She had been just a pup when the attack had happened, but now she looked so different…. so mature… so beautiful. But still her lovely green gaze remained unchanged, and her silky white pelt was as comfortable as it had been when he would wrestle her in their youth.
The female frowns softly, ”I was afraid to move.. incase they were still around. I thought.. the only way to survive was to pretend I was dead. I did not know.. oh Alcatraz, I didn’t know you were there! I’m so sorry! I was so scared..”
she shakes her head, voice fading off slightly. ”What matters now though is that you are alive! That we both are!”
She stands back, beaming a smile at him. He had changed so much himself. No long the hard headed pup she had to force to sit and watch the sunrise with her, because it was girly
. He had grown into his paws, he had grown into quite a wolf. ”Where on earth have you been all this time?”
she questions thoughtfully.
Alcatraz stepped forward to push his broad muzzle into his fur comfortingly. ”Hey, it’s okay… it’s over, and now we are both okay. And we found each other.”
he backed up, wagging his dark tail slowly, his eyes glowing as she beams at him. Alcatraz shrugged, ”I, uh… I stayed with our pack until I was an older juvenile. I left as soon as I could hunt on my own…”
he said quietly. He was ashamed at abandoning them, especially since he was the strongest wolf in the pack at the time, but he just didn’t want to be responsible for taking care of those who could not take care of themselves. He would not be able to handle that terrible attack happening again, and him being unable to save his loved ones once again. Better leave them to themselves, and just remove himself from the situation… but he didn’t know how Gabitrix would feel about that… ”Ever since I’ve been… wandering.”
he said. ”What about you? Where have you been in these years?”
She listens intently, green eyes wide and curious. When he finishes she watches him with curiosity bursting at the seams, before finally answering, ”An older she-wolf found me that day. She took me a few days travel from our pack and mended my wounds. I stayed with her and she basically continued raising me.. as a sort of.. nanny or grandmother. She passed when I was almost into my adulthood so I left and sought out a home for myself… I never did go back to ours. I came here, to Chandor, and decided to stay. It is lovely here.. and I did not really make it very well on my own. I am an awful hunter.”
she chuckles softly.
Alcatraz listened to her story. How thankful he was to this mystery she-wolf! His tail wagged slowly. ”I wish I could meet that wolf who raised you…” Chandor…?
Oh yes! He was
right beside Chandor. He should have figured she was part of this pack, even if it had been the last thing on his mind until right now. Only yesterday he had saved Gabitrix’s pack mate Phen from a burning fire. And there was another wolf he knew as well. Skye was it? He had met these two she-wolves, but little did he knew that they were so close to the childhood friend. ”It does seem like a nice place.”
he said with a deeply content smile, not even caring that he disagreed with his impulsive words. Chandor was much too lax with their borders for him.
The pale female chuckles softly, ”I wish you could.. she was a gentle soul.”
Gabi’ lets her eyes drift off in thought, remembering the aged female, before his words bring her back and her tail sways slightly from side to side. ”Chandor is lovely.. Alpha Lyn has been extremely kind to me, especially letting me stay and call Chandor home.. I couldn’t ask for more,”
she drawls gently, bough her green eyes are questionable, ”Do you.. have a home?”
Gabitrix’s words are gentle, yet somewhat hesitant as she speaks.
Alcatraz watched as Gabitrix’s lovely green eyes as they drifted off into distant memories of the old female. He wondered what moments she was revisiting in the silence, what experiences she had, what challenges she had overcome, what pains she had felt…. had she missed him like he had missed her? Had she felt his loss as heavy a blow as he had felt her’s? For years the dark loner had traveled, searching for lovely sights and pleasant places, for the sole reason that he knew his old friend would have loved them… he felt closest to her in these places, had almost felt her presence beside him as his eyes took in the sights. Yet never had her spirit been with him in those times, for it was still within the soft white fur of her body, somewhere far away. But now fate had brought them together, and to see her so complete and so tangible was still just unbelievable for Alcatraz… he still half thought this was just a dream.
He was happy to hear that the Alpha as nice to her here, thinking to himself with a cocky inward huff that he would have ripped her throat out if she was not. He looked startled at her question, caught off guard. ”Uh…”
he shrugged his large shoulder, finding that a harder question to answer than it should have been, especially because he didn’t want to sound like he had not made anything of himself, even if his large muscles and skills in fighting and hunting told otherwise. But it was not like she could see those skills now. ”Not a pack, if that’s your question.”
he said, ”I’ve been enjoying life on the paths.”
he said. It was true, he had truly enjoyed his life as a loner. But lately he had been feeling an odd stirring inside his chest. An uncomfortable, unpleasant feeling that made each day harder and harder to wake up for. He found himself enjoying his loner life less and less and longing for something he could not quite put his paw on.
She listened, her brows tucking down on occasion at his words. Life as a loner was excruciatingly hard for Gabitrix. She knew Alcatraz was much more capable, however it didn’t make it any easier for her to really understand. She hesitates, watching him carefully before she clears her throat, a shoulder rolling, ”You could always.. stay here.. with me?”
She knew his answer already. It was so quick, so fast, but Gabi’ was terrified of losing her best friend again. She knew she wouldn’t really be losing
him, but having him just at the tip of her paws was more in her liking then knowing he was outside the borders of Chandor roaming and getting into gods knew what kind of trouble and mayhem.
Gabi’ allows her gaze, which had drifted uncertainly off into the distance, to flick back to him and his features, her green eyes somewhat worried and yet full of that unbridled confidence she seems to muster up at the most needed of times.
Alcatraz’s pale yellow eyes looked at her in shock. Should he had expected her to ask that? Yes… he should have. ”Gabi, I…” I can’t….
He thought back to when he was part of a pack last time, a pack with lax borders and overly friendly wolves like this one… and how frustrating and infuriating it was… how much guilt and burden he felt weighing on his shoulders every day... A sudden fear overcame him. What happened to his pack, to their pack, could easily happen again to a pack like this. No, it would
happen again, and what if Gabi was not as lucky the second time?! ”No, Gabi. You need to come with me. It’s not safe here, in this Chandor pack. I’m not young like I was when I lost you the first time. I can protect you now.”
He said. He was confident she would agree. How could she not agree? She had seen what carelessness and excessive empathy can do to a pack. He could show her all the wonderful places he had been over the years. He could tell her how much he knew she would love them… and now he could see for himself her reaction! His pale yellow eyes were bright and expectant as they rested on the pale female before him.
She watches him, hesitant, but listens while he speaks. Her green eyes portray hurt, and yet something else. A stubbornness that she had acquired as she grew up. An infuriating need to be able to be useful as well as independant. Not feel small and powerless. ”I am not young anymore either Alcatraz.. and I can protect myself.”
Gabi’ watches him, her brows furrowing. She almost wished she could just go with him, but she had responsibilities here, she had made a home for herself and without anyones help. She could do this on her own! Couldn’t she? Gabitrix sighs, ”Listen.. I must go. I am a den mother here.. I watch the pups, so i need to get back… but… if you stick around Chandor… may I see you again soon? Maybe.. we can talk more about this..”
she drawls. Her ears twitch back and she steps forwards, pressing her head against his shoulder fondly. ”..Please..”
Alcatraz flattened his ears as he realized he had offended her. ”Oh, I didn’t mean… I… uh...sorry.”
he looked at his paws, feeling hot under his fur. Of course she could take care of herself, she had made it this far. But still… he wanted to show her that he had grown up as well, and into a capable young male at that! He wanted to defend her and save her and show off. She wanted her to swoon over his big muscles and incredible hunting and fighting skills. He wanted to put her on a pedestal, as he had done his whole adult life since she left him, her essence like a goddess bringing him to his next adventure, his new destination. And now here.
He looked at her incredulously as she said she had to go. ”No, wait…”
he took a step forward. And then she pressed her forehead against his shoulder, saying that she wanted to meet him again. He was happy she had chosen his not scarred shoulder to put her head on. Alcatraz let out a sigh, nodding. She took care of pups… that was fitting, but she did have a life here… could she possibly leave it? ….Could he possibly join it? ...Well, either way, he would stay around for now. ”Yes… I will be in the area, okay? Between Chandor’s borders and these mountains behind us. Howl if you need me, and I will come.”
he said seriously, as if he expected a murderous band of monsters to descend upon Chandor at any time. But if it did, he would be ready and waiting. He nuzzled into her soft cheek fur. ”I’ll see you soon, Gabitrix.”
he said, her name sweeter than honey on his tongue.
She pulls back to focus green eyes upon him. The whole situation was surreal, and yet she couldn’t have asked for a better gift from the gods. At the same time, Gabi’ felt as if her whole life just got a lot more.. complicated.
Gabitrix nods her head in understanding, ”I will.. and I will see you soon as well, Alcatraz.”
The pale female hesitates, gaze lingering upon him as if it was unwilling to break free, before she finally turns and at first walks, then finally breaks into a quick trot back towards the heart of Chandor. She doesn’t look back, but her ears stay trained on Alcatraz and his movements, her brows furrowed and mind reeling the entire way back to her den.
Things were changing.