The Thrill of the Chase

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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Predatory Alfred on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:12 am

Now this was a sight to say the least. Alfred almost laughed flat out at the other, only managing to stop himself, though allowing a small chuckle to break through, once remembering he was still annoyed with the other. He didn’t have all the time in the world to be gallivanting about. He was sure Alpha would be more than cross with him for a long while after this. Not that he hadn’t dealt with that many times before, but the other needn’t know that.

But the other’s reaction surprised him before he could even get out the guilt trip he had been thinking up, along with perhaps a slight threat or two, nothing too serious, because he was still offering friendship. Arthur however was making it increasingly frustration to even think of it. A real snort of amusement came out of his mouth as the other puffed himself up like a bird trying to seem intimidating. So, naturally, not wanting to be out done here, and certainly not going to be the ‘problem’ of this conversation, Alfred did the same thing, straightening his stance before giving the other the least amused look he could muster.

“C’mon, Artie, why do you think I followed you?” All games were done and the chase had been caught. Things were back to being serious, and while Alfred hardly grew up with anything close to manners, he could tell the other at least could tell what faults had happened. “Let’s not kid ourselves or beat around the bush, kay?”

Alfred stepped forward, trying not to growl, reminding himself his people skills needed work and that intimidating your potential friend wasn’t normally the way to go.

“How about this. I forget this ever happened, that you up and left without so much as a goodbye and did a poor attempt at hiding your tracks and taking me for some… some idiot or whatever?” Alfred advanced once more, using his height as an advantage to stare down at the other, trying to make his words seem definite. “And exchange for that, I’ll pretend I actually walked you here, if you agree to meet up with me again.”

He tried not to sound desperate with his last words. There was a fine line between persistence and desperation. Alfred was just a social creature and really, truly, just wanted a new face, someone to talk to and share things with and Arthur was the best thing to come around lately.

“I mean unless you’d rather me figure out a reaction for wasting a lot of my time one this. Really, it’s your choice.”
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Arthur Rabbit on Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:04 pm

Arthur bristled at the other's snort, eyebrows dipping into a scowl. He did not appreciate in any way being patronized by the wolf. As the sound of the other's amusement drifted away, he noticed Alfred straightening up, his facial expression unimpressed and just short of a glare. Apprehension rose within him, and only intensified as the other spoke and stalked closer, one step at a time.

"I think that you followed me because you're a clueless moron, but I'll accept that you might not recognize that and might think that my observations are somewhat "off."

He couldn't find it in himself to regret the words but he did regret any aggression they might cause. The wolf was clearly unhappy and was becoming more frightening by the moment. He bristled once more when the other accused him of poorly covering his tracks; he had done a fine job, thank you, how was he to know that Alfred would be such a good tracker? Rude. But mostly he considered the other's words, maintaining eye contact despite instinct begging him to look away at the other's intimidating display. Had he not been so uncomfortable, he might have heard the desperate tone that leaked into the other's finishing words, but as it was he was distracted by his own fear and indignance.

After a moment Arthur lowered his eyes, face red with shame. As much as it pained him, he simply couldn't continuing locking gazes with the other. His pride hurt, but what hurt even more was the idea of any satisfaction he may have just given the other.

"What kind of reaction?" he asked, at least refusing to back down in words. "Is that some sort of threat? You're the one who chose to waste your own time."
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Predatory Alfred on Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:19 pm

It took a bit of puffing up, a dash of an aggressive look and just a smidge of a threat, but finally after what seemed like a long moment and a chance that all of this was for naught, the bunny finally seemed to back down, submitting just slightly to Alfred’s stance. But an inch was practically a mile here and backing down was backing down after all; which was lucky for him considering all of the sass the other was giving him. Really, you’d think that the entire time they had spent together had been nothing but slow cruel torture for the other! Which certainly wasn’t the case.

Alfred was about to celebrate, even just mentally when the other’s words caught him off guard. While his stance had changed, the rabbit was still challenging him…. But more importantly he was calling Alfred’s bluff. The wolf could feel the blood drain from his face and he was glad the other was looking down as to not be brought aware to his slight change in demeanor.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. He didn’t actually want to scare the other, didn’t want to rough him up or anything. Sure, he was angry but… well, he could sympathize with Arthur’s reaction. There was no reason to actually act out, especially not toward someone he was trying to befriend. A little threat usually worked a long way. He thought the other would just fall into line, but apparently it was too good to be true. All of this brought on the next question….. Now what?

Truly, what was his next move? It was a delicate balance and he really didn’t want to break this small bond more than it already was. He could tell the other was tired, aggravated and simply wanted nothing more to do with him, but Alfred had no intention of letting this be over! It was too soon! He wouldn’t allow it. So… so a compromise would be made.

“Look,” He said, trying to keep his voice friendly yet forceful, open yet clearly in charge. With a slight of his hand he nudged the other’s face up just briefly touching him gently. “I didn’t mean any of of this to go this way… How about…. How about we make a deal? Ah, you can go home now and we’ll… we’ll just continue this another day?”

He hated the sound of it. Alfred didn’t compromise. He didn’t give. No. That was too much submission and with submission came a challenge to your position in a hierarchical system and it really was just messy… but, well, humans were different? Or so it appeared in most cases. Looser structure of the system at least. So… so he could give maybe just a little, just this once.

“I mean it’s more than fair. If anything you owe me for insulting my… er… hospitality. But, you get to rest and, ah, adjust, and then we can meet up in like a few days here and actually… you know, try to be civil and all.” He laughed almost sheepishly.
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Arthur Rabbit on Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:48 pm

Arthur remained staring at the ground, waiting for the other's reply. Despite what he said, he certainly hoped that the other wasn't truly threatening him, though that would be rather strange considering everything the wolf had gone through at this point. He was starting to accept that Alfred didn't really mean any harm and was just caught up in his own idiocy. He still couldn't be sure how far the other would take things though, and it was that fact that continued to keep him on edge.

He flinched a little in surprise at the other's touch but didn't pull away, allowing eye contact to be reestablished. He certainly didn’t miss the tactic the wolf was using in tone of voice but couldn't find a reason to point it out or argue against it.

His eyes widened as he processed Alfred's words. Was he serious? Was this some sort of ploy, or would he truly be allowed to go home now, no lies, no catch?

Well, except for having to meet up again later, but he decided that didn't count. This was freedom, given to him despite the stubborn reluctance the other practically radiated, the dominant nature that could make one unintentionally (or very intentionally) selfish due to a sense of entitlement. Arthur was shocked. Pleasantly so.

"S-sure! I'll...I'll meet back up with you. Another day." And for the first time the rabbit gave the wolf a sincere smile, a thankful, relieved expression of joy.
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Predatory Alfred on Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:27 pm

A small sigh unintentionally left his lips. He hadn’t, well, been the most pleased compromising his original plans, especially in a way that sort of slighted himself, but, he supposed ,the results seemed to actually be worth it. It took a moment to process, but when Arthur finally seemed to hear his words, and the initial look of shock melted away from the smaller creature’s face, Alfred was rewarded with possibly one of the most friendly, human, genuine gestures he had ever really encountered; a smile. Alfred’s heart sped up a bit, warmth radiating through him at such a simple movement of muscles feeling wonderfully elated at it all. Sure, he had just yielded, but instead of the other taking advantage of the situation and doing something to reestablish lost dominance, Arthur rewarded him!... or that’s what seemed to have happened. Alfred wasn’t really used to interacting this much with creatures with cognitive reasoning. Was there a sort of reward system in friendship?

He shook the thoughts from him and moved forward, quickly capturing the rabbit in a tight hug, as that was definitely something that friends shared. The wolf couldn’t stop grinning. Good, good. He had actually pleased the other, perhaps making him not really regret anything and maybe even entice the other well enough to cause him to look forward to the next time they met!

“Great!” He continued to beam, putting the smaller guy down, moving to hold his shoulders and look at him. “Then we’ll meet here in… say, uh, four sun-ups! That should give you enough time to rest and recover from any injuries or whatever. It’ll be so much fun… er… maybe around mid-morning, food situations already taken care of.”

Alfred grinned again and continued on. “I’m excited! It was really nice meeting you, Arthur. I know the next time we meet it’s gonna be so much fun and you won’t regret a thing and we’ll be the best of friends and it’ll just be perfect! So much to do, you’ll see.”
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Arthur Rabbit on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:37 am

Unfortunately for Alfred's plans...Arthur never showed. Not four sun-ups later, and not any of the days following. It was as though the rabbit had fallen off the face of the earth.

Which was sort of true. Arthur was still busy hiding within it.

The smile he had received from the wolf had filled him with warmth, and while the hug was uncalled for, he supposed it hadn't been so bad. The more he thought back on it the more he decided that Alfred was really just a big kit...pup. At least, in some situations. He remembered the argument outside of the wolf den, the other's anger, and wondered how much of that was fueled by instinct and how much was fueled by personality. He supposed he'd never know.

Arthur had not stepped foot outside the burrow for 14 days, and he wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon.

The reactions from his warren upon his return had been ones of shock; they had clearly given up on him for dead. As he rambled off his story to them, slightly hysterical the more he told, they were quick to comfort him, just as fiercely protective as any pack of wolves could be. They went further down into the burrow, the group following him growing larger as other's noticed Arthur and wanted to hear how he was alive. His wounds, though minor, were quickly taken care of, and before long almost the entire warren was cramped into the lowest main chamber, with Arthur near the front. Calls for a retelling of his story were given, and after what felt like ages everyone in the room was finally on the same page.

As evening began to drift away to night, most of the younger kits were dragged off to sleep by their mothers, their whining echoing in the hallways. The little furries scrambled around their feet, their understanding of the situation limited but the danger it posed not lost on them. Some clutched their weapons and insisted that they attack the wolf den immediately. Others called for a more thoroughly planned attack, already calling out a weapons count. It was as the alpha entered the room that Arthur found himself scrambling to calm everybody.

"A-an attack? No, that wouldn't be necessary." Would it be? "It's not as though there was ill-intent, he was just a lonely idiot--"

"--An idiot with his entire pack to back him up! Letting a group of wolves continue to wander around our territory is just asking for trouble--!"

"Who's to say how he'll react once he realises how many of us there are?! It only takes one other to keep someone from being lonely, the safety of everyone else certainly isn't guaranteed--"

The clamor of voices abruptly stopped as the alpha pounded his foot onto the ground one single time. "One pack of wolves sends us into this sort of panic? Have we not faced worse before?" Many looked away guiltily at the calm but firm words. Arthur felt nervous as the stong gaze turned to him, and was careful not to hold eye contact. "Arthur, I want to know exactly what happened. Start over."

He went through a longer, more detailed account of the entire situation, hoping that this would be the last time he was asked to repeat it. As time wore on many began to wander off, confident that their alpha would take the appropriate course of action and that they no longer needed to worry.

The alpha listened patiently to Arthur's story, occasionally asking questions. At the end he dismissed him, much to his relief. Cuddled in-between his friends and family, it felt like one of the best nights sleep of his entire life.

And since then he had refused to leave, even for the most minor of circumstances. He would not risk running into Alfred after standing him up.

But maybe, he should have kept some of the more gruesome details (the bed of fur, the few bones scattered around the den) to himself. Unbeknowest to Arthur, the alpha had made a decision. The warren had stayed in the same burrow for close to five springs; it was about time the warren moved to one of their other burrows sometime soon.
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Predatory Alfred on Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:31 pm

It was hard falling back into routine the next few days. He was just so jittery and excited. He didn’t want to say good-bye to the other that day, of course, but, as Alfred saw it, it would majorly pay off in the long run! After all, they were meeting up again and Arthur honestly didn’t seem too entirely upset with that. If his smile had any indication, Alfred would say the other was even surprised by his character and was rethinking over his horrible behavior as a guest! Hah! The wolf was actually better than someone else in social interaction. This was like… a first or something! That snarky fox from downstream always had something to complain about in regards to his manners, but not today, oh-no Alfred was the one who was in the right!... He’d have to make a point to go out of his way to gloat to the guy about the whole situation even if he found his presence (how did he phrase it?) an ‘utter burden’ on his existence.

It was hard waiting. But on top of that, it was hard waiting while being cooped up in the den all day on pup duty. It was no surprise that when he had gotten back to the den that the alpha of his pack had ‘pounced,’ ‘pinned’ him, and gave him a few nasty bites as a sort of slap on the wrist for disobeying/not exactly following orders. This happened on a regular basis, and Alfred had found that he was actually pretty good at pinning the leader down and pinning him if he wanted to, but there was no reason to upset the hierarchy. Alpha position wasn’t his thing, not here at least (he was certainly a born leader, he could feel that in his bone or whatever). He’d have to lead their hunts, or make crucial decisions or trivial tedious things that would be fun if… well… they weren’t just a pack of fluffies. Not that he wasn’t as much of a wolf as any of them; he just didn’t want to lead them when there wasn’t much cognitive action going on there. Surprisingly, being subordinate here gave him a lot more freedom than taking the lead.

…Even if that mean being constantly nipped at and drooled on and tackled and yipped at and making sure no one got hurt and so forth. He’d resent watching the newborns it the cubs weren’t so adorable. He always seemed to have a soft spot for them; he just preferred to be out hunting than cooped up like a nanny.

And even though the days went by at a snail’s pace, they still managed to go by. By the third day his alpha let up his punishment a little and allowed him to go hunting with the group (meaning he actually got to eat that night and not have to fight over the scraps that were left from those ranking higher than him in his current state of punishment). And by the fourth he was sneaking out and breaking rules like any other day in order to go and finally meet up with Arthur.

Today was the day! Not exactly the most pristine of days, with all things considered the fog hardly was letting up at all, but he managed to their meeting spot without any hassle. Apprehension filled him and as time ticked away, Alfred thought he might explode from excitement. Arthur was coming, his tail wagged all throughout, he’d finally be able to see his friend!

Only Arthur didn’t show up… Which was fine! Pffft, Alfred wasn’t entirely nervous. After a few hours of wandering around the meadow on the first day, catching some food in between, Alfred, with a bit of a sullen heart called it. But it was no matter! What was he thinking? Numbers and shit were hard to remember, much less keep track of! He’d give Arthur a few days, after all, who was he to assume what sort of smarts the other had.

The next day held no rabbit either, and surprisingly neither did the one after that? He had said four sun-ups, right? It was getting close to what felt like forever since he had saw the other. It rained on the fourth day and as Alfred sat out, soaking in the cool droplets he couldn’t help but let the irritation sink in. After the tenth day he started to scout the area. Maybe the other had gotten lost? Hurt? Hopefully not worse.

With over fifteen sun ups passed, however, and no true sign of Arthur, Alfred couldn’t help but let a slight pang of anger set in, fueling his search and only making him determined to find the other? Where did rabbits even live? He sure as hell was making it his business to find that out.
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Re: The Thrill of the Chase

Post by Arthur Rabbit on Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:26 am

The entire warren was more careful in the days following Arthur's return. Knowing the wolf would likely be searching for any sign of Arthur after a few days passed, everyone was careful to stick south of the burrow, hoping that the predator would not (at first) be persistent enough to search so far. But no one was as careful as Arthur; and it was actually starting to get a tad annoying to some.

When Arthur first holed himself up in the burrow and refused to leave, his family was sympathetic, understanding how insecure he probably felt after such an event. Pitying members would gather extra food just to bring to him, leaving him filled with gratitude. Some would take containers, such as the few pots they'd managed to make from dried clay or the human litter they'd scavenged, and fill them with water so that he could keep himself clean. It was assumed that Arthur would regain his confidence in a few days and would soon be wandering off during his chores like normal.

This did not happen.

Arthur had no plans on leaving the burrow until he was sure Alfred had stopped searching for him. He estimated that he would be fine to come out once the leaves on the trees started to change color and fall.

Currently, it was late spring.

And after one week everyone in the warren was ready to push him outside, let alone the two that had passed. He knew he was being unreasonable but stayed deep inside the burrow all the same. They'd understand had they gone through the same situation, he reasoned to himself. And he would leave. Eventually. Just not...anytime soon.

But things never could work out the way poor Arthur wanted them to.

When it was announced that the warren would be switching burrows, some felt relieved while others insisted that they were cowardly for running away. There had been protests, and there had been fighting; the order of the hierarchy shifted places as spats between groups and individuals escalated into physical violence. Arthur stayed away from it, not even batting an eye at the severity. Such things were not uncommon when the alpha made a large decision; things would settle back down in a day or two, with the alpha and his mate both reasserting their positions in the warren and the group moving on regardless.

Which Arthur himself was not too pleased about. Moving meant that he would have to go back outside, on the surface. He would have to make sure that the move went as fast as possible. On the third sun-up after the announcement (seventeen since he had last seen Alfred), the warren set out, possessions rolled up into blankets and bags. The furries followed them, as they always had during burrow moves, naturally intertwining with the large group. Though safety was greatest in a group, so many rabbits together caused no end to the nervous twitching and false alarms. Arthur clutched his knife carved from deer antler close to himself, certain that the tense atmosphere was going to be broken by something horrible. When the alpha called him over he was hopeful that he was being sent on ahead to scout, a dangerous but relieving task that would allow him to get away from the group.

He was asked to separate from the group, but not in the direction he was hoping. An older woman had admitted to stashing blankets in a small nook she dug for the purpose, but had forgotten them; Arthur was asked to go back and retrieve them. He knew he was purposefully being the one asked to do so, in some likely attempt to embolden him. He opened his mouth to argue but one look from his alpha sent him scurrying the way he came, eager to finish the order and be back quickly.

As he crawled back out of the empty burrow, arms laden with a multitude of blankets, he sighed in annoyance and began the slow and awkward walk back South.
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