Tåke was so tired, her snout almost touching the ground as she stood. She watches Sariel pace erratically through heavy lids, the weight of the unconscious Geth draped across her back soothing with their weight. They had won the day, the brain sucking itself into.. nothingness, it’s weird nauseating language an assault on her senses even in memory. Grunting softly she gingerly let her weight fall completely on a hind leg, stifling a soft whine as pain shot its way from her toes to her hip socket like Zildath’s electric breath. The pain was a good distraction from the memory her mind kept trying to prod, much like a tongue seeking out a sore tooth when you were distracted. Sniffling a bit, the druid felt the tickling sensation of a drop escaping her nose, the ruby liquid leaving a slight spatter on the cool stones. Now that she focused on it, the single drop was gathering friends, gathering into a tiny pool until she moved her head to get a closer look.
Her pack was arguing again, Sariel looking very much unlike her usual self, her hair was a mess as she pulled at it absently, the elf paced and mumbled incoherently to herself. Sariel’s scent was mingled with an abject terror that was noticeable over even the cloying smell of her own blood. Zildath was still swathed in the sharp scents of pain and sulfuric stench he had been swimming in since he burst into demonic hellfire earlier. As much as she wished she could ignore it all, her nose was sharp as ever, and their moods were just another flavor in the tangle of singular scents each individual of their personalities that made up her Pack. Tåke could never quite explain to them the complexities of what exactly made up a person’s scent and how it differed on even for twins if you were paying enough attention.
The tickle in her sinuses finally reached its crescendo just as someone called her name. She looked up and sneezed abruptly, bright red spattering along the nearest wall. Zildath roared his frustration flaring bright as a nova over over the acridness of his pain. Nethrali swayed slightly on her feet and Talithey had disappeared.
Talithey mumbled to herself in Primordial when Take limped past. Each step Zildath took reverberated back to her ears as he stormed across the plane. Wafts of Sariel’s frustration and fear tinged the air as well as the overwhelming scent of the blood clinging to Nethrali.
They walked in a line more or less, the large canine form occasionally trailing behind a bit as her thoughts tumbled about like small sticks adrift in a stream after a heavy rain. She tried ordering her thoughts, mumbling to herself in a mix of grunts, whines and growls.
Each step was a blossom of new pain, her hind feet were slightly raw from her run across the lava. Even remembering the scene tore at her heart because it came with another flare of shame at her inability to help. Shaking her head once more as she muttered the druid wept dry tears as she alternated between castigating herself for failing to be more useful and gently expressing her frustrations.
She trotted as fast as she could, trying to jostle her passengers as little as possible.
She was finally full, having eaten her fill as the celebratory Geth filled the air with jocularity. As soon as was decent she shifted into a ferret and skittered away from the festivities. As soon as she managed to climb the stairs to the quieter second floor she felt herself relax, shifting into the pale fur of an arctic fox to sniff each doorway. Zildath in all his infernal glory was in there, Take paused and turned away, her tail curling to press against her stomach as shame and sadness flushed through her. She had failed them all and wasn’t fit to still be part of the pack. Slinking away with her tail tucked and her body low, she eventually made her way back downstairs and through the sea of legs to the kitchens and out the back door. Smelling Talithey before seeing her, she shrank herself even smaller, her body responding until she was once again a ferret. Bouncing off the path Take ran for several minutes, “Somewhere quiet, somewhere safe” an unintentional mantra in her little brain, which of course the streets were quite happy to oblige her desires, sending her to a familiar quiet home. A quiet corner in a lush garden looked safe enough. The herbs growing in the front let her know she was at the healer’s residence and made her feel immediately at ease.
Shifting once more, this time feline Take found a serene spot beside the watering barrel in the garden and curled herself into a tight ball. She had been alone for years before she had encountered this pack. She had died alone too ~ a little intrusive voice piped up to remind her. She could manage it again. Even if she spent the rest of her life here, in the chaos, a failure to those she cared about the most.
Her heart and throat were tight at the thought, but she squeezed her eyes tightly small pearls of moisture leave dark trails of dampness in her fur.
“Hey Malor, it’s me again… today hasn’t been the best of days…”