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    version 22: awakening


    LILLIANA -- Year 206


    "There is still something of himself - something of the Wolfbane who would always love her - that rallies against the slime. It says, 'lie in the bed you’ve made'. So he gathers the covers and tucks himself in." -- Wolfbane, written by Calcifer

    [private]  i've never fallen from quite this high; aten
    finger trips across my cheek----------------
    ----------------kiss me until i can't speak

    Winter’s grip on Taiga has begun to fade. Pteron still shivers most mornings when he wakes, but the deep snows are melting (not that many of them piled up beneath the protected canopy of the redwoods). With the slow stirring of the seasons comes the rousing of life, both that of the territory as well as the flora and fauna within it.

    This is the morning that Pteron will meet with Aten, and the tobiano stallion doesn’t delay in his journey to their meeting place. The early sun already shines brightly on clear meadow, and the thin blanket of snow that had fallen a few nights ago is now mostly dampness in the soil. The pegasus holds his pale wings tightly against himself for warmth, and when he finds Aten already waiting for him at the heart of the meadow allows them to fall away in favor of slightly faster movement. He greets the older stallion with a nod of his head. Pteron lacks his mother’s ever-present smile; he is not as given to thoughtless diplomatic niceties as his dam. Pteron smiles when he means it, and he’s not sure if he’ll mean it during this conversation.

    Time will tell though.

    “I never planned on staying in Taiga forever,” he begins without ado. “You are not the only one whose wishes were ignored when my mother named me as her successor.” Pteron has been trapped here by his position, and then by the impending birth of his daughter with Reia. Now though, Adarra is a yearling, old enough to make her own choices, and most importantly: old enough to be away from her mother. The dun stallion has been waiting, biding his time, and now it is his time to act – assuming that Aten does not object.

    “I want you to challenge me for leadership of Taiga.” The stallion says, and his olive eyes search Aten’s face for a response. There is more he wants to say, but it all depends on how the older stallion responds to this admission – this offer.

    -- pteron --

    Aten had known that this meeting was a long time coming, and so, for the past few suns, had spent most of his time around Taiga's main meadow where Pteron would easily be able to find him. At times, members of his family would join him, but he requested they never stay for long in case the younger stallion showed up and decided to act on some of the more... vile tendencies, that his sire had exhibited. And Aten would be damned if he allowed that colt to hurt his family.

    Of course he appreciated the company, especially on days where Pteron didn't show up, but he got word that the stallion was heading his way one morning while he was grazing. Kalil and Ruth had joined him, but upon getting word from Turul, who had helped Aten by being on the lookout for Pteron among Taiga's redwoods, he sent the colt and filly back off into the woods so that they wouldn't be within Pteron's reach while he was here.

    Once they were in the clear, Aten settled back into grazing while he waited. The fresh spring grass did wonders for his belly, his stomach now back to it's normal functions after a typically hard winter that meant much less food. He could already feel some of the pains that cropped up fading away now that he could constantly had food in his gut again, his body feeling nourished and healthy.

    Pteron did not greet Aten verbally upon his arrival, only doing so with a nod of his head. The younger stallion's wings were loosely drapped across his sides, his face betraying any sort of emotion he might be thinking about displaying. Aten returned the gesture, tilting his head to greet the 'ruler', his own face like a mountain stone. He knew the business Pteron was here to take care of, but how exactly would he handle it?

    Unknown to Aten, not at all in the way he expected.

    Pteron dove right into the main point of his conversation, still catching Aten off guard. The older stallion's ears twitched as he listened; Pteron didn't even wish to be in charge of the kingdom? That was the first he'd ever heard of such a thing. How could he walk away from this opportunity practically dropped into his hooves? Perhaps he didn't feel read - no, that didn't sound right to Aten's own ears. He had a nagging feeling that Lepis and Wolfbane had done their best to prepare Pteron for this position should the day come, as it did, where he inherited leadership.

    And how he finishes the first piece of their conversation truly stuns Aten. The golden stallion had to take a moment to collect his thoughts, truly shocked to the point where he was speechless and his brain needed a jump-start.

    When he managed to pile everything away in the corners of his mind so he could remember how to form words, he gave the younger stallion an inquisitive look.

    "Forgive me if this seems quite surprising, but obviously you can I imagine I did not expect this," he began. "I won't outright deny your request, but I must ask. What brought this on so suddenly? I have encountered rulers who stepped down to deal with problems worse than helping raise a foal."

    Aten didn't want to make assumptions, but seeing Pteron's daughter and mate around caused some rumors to spread among Taiga's residents. Was that the only reason, or was there something more going on here?


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