Althaea was just as curious on what Ikuna meant by 'change' as anyone else. Her silence keen on finding out so as to perhaps share. However, all she musters is an ear flick, listening to each word as its spoken in turn.
The question of moving brings the shewolf's gaze to Ahiga for a moment. Anything was possible, but to move again and so soon... Quickly she turns back to her uncle and is relieved to hear him say no. Sure the clearing was nothing like the hilltop but she was just starting to like the place.
Giving her full attention back to Ikuna as he continues, she nods, a bit lost too having never known her grandfather. She'd be more likely to compare Ikuna with her father first, but even that is fare fetched not knowing her father to well either. To her, he was a swell alpha; the only one she can admit on knowing.
The glance made to Althaea by her uncle is given an encouraging smile before she shifts to the burly wolf beside her. Would she consider Brutal a part of her family? Of course she would. It may take some time for others to do the same and she's accepted that. Looking across everyone, she cant help but smile. It was good seeing everyone in one place.
// Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light somewhere nearby. \\
Ok so they’re not moving. Ahiga just figured he’d ask because, well .. why not? It wouldn’t be the most surprising thing ever. In fact, he’s not quite sure if anything would come as a surprise to him anymore. And so when Ikuna confirms that they are staying put, he only nods in reply and continues to listen because .. well, if it isn’t that, it must be something else!
His attention turns to Nonkene now that she is nearer. Geeze, this kid is like a factory of happy wiggliness. Her attitude is infectious, and despite somber thoughts in the back of his mind, he finds himself smirking at her. He leans down to nip at her flopped ears in greeting, eyes turning to Tala a moment to share a smile. Things will be ok.
And now to Ikuna. Almost. His attention is wandering, glancing at the surrounding woods, seeking another face. Families. Ikuna’s words ring true, and he feels a portion of who he considers a part of his circle missing. Where is Miakoda? The she-wolf’s absence is noted, though perhaps she’s on her way. He flicks an ear, giving the perimeter one last quick sweep before focusing on what’s being said. This is a Ikuna scheme. So many schemes have been schemed in the past, he can only imagine just what he has up his sleeve with this one! He has no further questions ... yet.
Tala knows very well what happeend when her brother gets to thinking, any manner of things could possible happen. She takes in a soft breath while she shift slowly lowering herself down to the ground next to Ahiga, her shoulder pressed upon his side as if she needs that close touch.
"Familes?" Tala questions, and looks over the ones that are here. She looks up to Ahiga and then back to Ikuna. "In a way, yes that is right." She murmurs out softly.
At the nosing from Ahiga she nuzzles back against his shoulder. Her ear flicking ofrward to listen in to the rest of her brother's idea whatever it might possible be. As Ikuna IS her brother there is a good reason to believe that she will be going along with anything that he may have to say. Family has to stick together right?
Nonkene giggles at the nip from Ahiga, giving her head a shake and then flopping over onto her side against him, one forepaw lifting up into the air in an invitation for play-wrassling... oh, wait. Important pack meeting here. She's supposed to be quiet and listen.
She gets quiet again. She doesn't bother with resuming her original position. She can listen just fine sprawled half on her back with a paw in the air. Besides, Ahiga's comfy, as Tala seems to well know.
Like the others, Ikuna's professing of his latest contemplations continues to capture Brutal's interest, which consist mostly of curiosity and perhaps a hint of trepidation in regards as to what the wolf means by his words, with the latter coming into quiet reflection with the talk of multiple familes within the pack. And upon looking around, Brutal would not disagree that in all appearances that is what Ute is. Of course, teachings from his own past would have him argue that while a pack is many wolves, it is still one family. However, Brutal remains voiceless of this belief, giving time for Ikuna to elaborate and reveal the meaning of his words.
And while the Ute Alpha stays the pivitol source of the dark wolf's focus, Brutal is always aware of the she-wolf at his side, along with the others. Always is he attentive to the subtle changes of posture and demeanor, listening with the occasional ear twitch and smelling with quietly flaring nostrils. Despite these constant endevers though, the massive male himself remains a creature of calm collection, simply absorbing all, the spoken and unspoken alike.
In fact, the only thing that manages to chip a crack in Brutal's stoic calm, is the brief antics between Ahiga and Nonkene, with the young cross-bred's enthusiasm eliciting a crooked smirk from the male. Afterwards though, humor fades into a moment of consideration and Brutal actually takes a second to steal a glance in the direction of the Nonkene's lurking brother. Why is it that she is here and Kurux is there? It is a suspicious curiosity, one where Brutal's initial -and admittedly slanted reasoning- brings his yellow eyes shifting back to Ahiga. Curious indeed.
Ikuna looks around, noting the listening faces, the nods or silence that can be taken for agreement... the moment of goofing around, but he lets that slide.
"And that's good. All of you should have your families. You shouldn't have to answer to someone else about who you love, or who you decide to be with... or if you decide to have puppies." There's a moment of silence, for Tala's puppies that were not to be this year, that Nonkene and Kurux are still the youngest wolves of Ute.
"Ute is a pack made of families, and each of those families should live as a family. A family with a den, with a place to call their own." It's already true that Althaea and Brutal linger back in the heavy growth near the stream, and Tala and Ahiga are frequently by the maple trees. So, in a way, he's just making official something that's already true.
"We're still a pack. We'll come together as a pack. These aren't territories to defend against each other. We'll still patrol the whole border together, and hunt together through all of it, and share our prey... but families should have homes."
"If there are problems... I'm still alpha. I'll deal with them. I just don't think it's right to act like I'm the only one who should have a family here, the only who deserves a den and respect." His muzzle quirks slightly as he adds, "After all, I don't even have a mate."
Gaze lingering on those around her, Althaea follows the movement of Nonkene to that of Ahiga and Tala. The two have been through a lot, much like everyone else if not more, so seeing the smirk from Ahiga is an act of relief. That the lose hasn't dampen spirits to much. Watching a moment longer, she turns back to her uncle so as to continue listening.
What he says is given nod of agreement. We may have our own families but we'll still be there for one another as a pack.
Last Edit: Dec 16, 2012 21:39:36 GMT -5 by Althaea
// Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light somewhere nearby. \\
Playtime will most undeniably be had at some point, but not now. As it is, Ahiga's jaws find their way around Nonkene's paw, catching and holding with his teeth a moment before letting go with a slight snicker, resettling to listen after. The mentioning of pups has him vaguely stiffening, but he does not look away, keeping golden eyes riveted upon Ikuna during that moment of silence, his mind stoically fixated upon the present. Pondering the 'what could have beens' is far too depressing, and he is glad when he continues on.
But really, what is Ikuna getting at? Territories and homes? Families and densites. Places to call their own? His brows furrow vaguely as he inclines his head towards their Alpha. "So...we're finding dens?"
Please excuse his confusion. This is something far different than he has ever known! For all of his Ute life, there has been one den. One area. One unit. Granted, that unit has dwindled throughout the seasons, but still ... this is new. New, and not particularly undesirable. Separate homes? Away... He glances to Brutal and Althaea, sparing them only a fleeting look before those questioning eyes shift back to Ikuna.
"Meaning ... we have our own places? Our own dens?" he asks for clarification's sake. He glances to Nonkene, brow furrowing vaguely. "What about her?" He spares words regarding the youngster's usually absent mother, though it's safe to assume that he's not truly expecting Wachiwa to suddenly ... be herself again and take care of her pups. Even if they're half grown. He looks to Tala next, ears slightly perking in silent question. ...Can we keep her?
Tala is quiet at the talk of pups, ear twitching forward while she watches Ikuna a few moments. Her steele blue eyes rest on his before she looks off towards the forest for a few moments. Many things running through her mind and she soon takes in a soft breath.
She does listen to the rest of what Ikuna has to say though, her head tilting, a quick glance sent around to the ones that are present and she hums softly seeming to slowly get an understanding of what Ikuna may want to do, and just perhaps why.
With everything that has happened, all the problems in the past, and all the issues that still remain with the few that are here it might not be a bad idea actually.
"I think that is what he means. We all get our own place to call ours. We're still a pack just sort of spread out, and able to do our own things." Her gaze flicks back to Ikuna as she waits to see if this is truly what he means.
Hearing Ahiga she glances to Nonkene and then to Ahiga, there is a soft smile which is sad but it is at least there. "If she wishes she may stay with us." She would say the same for Kurux but knows very well that would not work out well at all.
Nonkene grins at the paw-chomp, wiggling her toes for a moment before giving her attention back to TalkyTalk Ikuna.
Her head tilts, considering on what he says. There's a moment of concern, and then relief as he says they'll still be able to hunt everywhere. She's still learning that whole hunting thing, but it's fun! Even if her size means she's still more suited to mice than rabbits, let alone deer. Hunting also means exploring and wandering, and that's fun... though she, at least, usually keeps to the borders of the packlands.
Nonkene's ears perk at Ahiga's question. Her? "Mama can have a den," she says, though afterward, she sighs a little, because even she doesn't really expect Wachiwa to be around that often. Sometimes mama comes by, and they're almost a family for a day or two, but sometimes...
She glances to Tala, the older female's words bringing her back from where thinking about the absent Wachiwa had taken her thoughts. Nonkene tilts her head, smiling and giving a wiggle-thump of her tail. "That sounds nice," she says softly, before looking up to Ikuna.
This has to be the farthest fetched idea Brutal has ever heard of, not to mention a bit contradicting in and of itself. That is, if Ikuna is indeed implying that the Wolves of Ute would exist in such a manner that would mimic separate packs within a whole. If such a way of life was adopted, how could the wolf pack Ute possibly continue to exist? Surely there would come a conflict of interest, especially where conflict already exist? Still, even with this reflected upon, Brutal would be lying to say that the idea doesn't spark a strange sort of excitement within him. Because would such an arrangement as this mean he could lead a life with Althaea, share in the territory and benefits of pack life, yet without the need to struggle with fitting into a defined and subordinate role?
Still, despite the appeal, Brutal can't quite shake his skepticism. Something he now voices, with his yellow eyes setting upon Ikuna, "How would something like this work? Do you not think that such division would lead to further divide?" There is no argument to his rugged voice, but merely the sound of debate. The voice of a wolf excited about the possibilities, but hesitant to believe it would be this easy. "I ask, because surely if this is the better way, why through the ages have wolf packs always been many individuals under the will of the alphas? What is in your mind, that has never been in the mind of others?"
The flurry of questions is not unexpected, and Ikuna takes a moment to gather his answers before giving them.
To Brutal's question, Ikuna simply quirks his muzzle and asks a question back. "Have they been?" It's at least half rhetorical, for he continues immediately. "I don't know the whole history of wolfkind. I don't even know the whole history of Ute. What I do know is that my father looked for alliance between packs. My brother welcomed the wolves of Ute becoming mates. This... this is just another step in the same direction."
"It seems to me, every wolf has something of an alpha in them." He glances to Ahiga for a moment. "That's why we fight each other, sometimes. We think things should be one way or another, and... well, I think there's some ways that are wrong, but there are a lot of ways that are right. They may not be the way I'd do things-" Is that a flick of his eyes to Brutal? "-but they're not wrong."
He looks back to Ahiga, and nods. "If you want to. I'm not kicking anyone away or anything." There's a slight wry smile, there. "I'll call the pack here on full moons, to howl together and talk about things, but you're always welcome to come and talk-" He glances to Nonkene, and smiles. "-or play."
Speaking of Nonkene... his gaze rests on the adolescent for a long moment. What of pups, in this new world? A good question, and apparently one he's thinking about before answering.
"Children are the responsibility of their parents and... the Alpha," he says thoughtfully, and looks at Nonkene again, regarding her a moment before nodding in decision.
"You and Kurux are Wachiwa's children. That won't change. But..." he glances to Ahiga, to Tala, and smiles as he returns his gaze to Nonkene. "If you want to join Tala and Ahiga, I think your mother would be glad to know they're watching over you when she can't." Just because it's his responsibility doesn't mean he can't share it.
For a moment, Althaea felt as if she was the only one who understood her uncle's notation of separate places to live. Though in time that feeling became exactly that- a feeling. One to shrug off as others voiced their opinions, their questions. To each wolf she'd look to, falling lastly on Brutal whose own questions makes her wonder. They'd be able to be together in a rather peaceful manner. Though he does raise a valid point.
Turning to her uncle she waits for his response, though not before looking to the others first. Ears twitching to his words she looks to Ikuna respectively.
Waiting a moment before saying anything, she looks to Brutal, nosing him gently. "We will always be known as Ute no matter what happens. Even if we split into our own little groups. To form several packs within one pack.. I don't know if its possible, bit it allows us to do as we want while still united under one banner." Maybe she's got it all wrong here, she doesn't know. She likes the idea though and is willing to give it a try.
// Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light somewhere nearby. \\
Aw man. It's sounding like Ahiga and Tala won't be 'keeping' Nonkene after all. The beginnings of disappointment is felt creeping through his veins, and even Ahiga himself can acknowledge just how absurd that is. He didn't even like these pups. Not a single bit. In fact, he absolutely hated the thought of them, so much so that such contemplations of extermination were not above him. And now? He wants to house one of them?
But as ridiculous as it may seem, there's no denying the perking of his ears and the spark of a half grin that comes with Ikuna's granted permission that yes, they can assist with the watching over of the half grown half breeds. Or rather, this particular half breed. His eyes meet those of Ikuna and linger, his muzzle holding traces of that half grin, and eyes radiating gratefulness.
It doesn't seem as if he has any further questions. Ikuna's decision has been heard and understood. It doesn't seem too difficult, and Ahiga himself is loving the idea. Reasons, various.
Late to the party. Again. This is starting to become an embarrassing ritual for the young she-wolf but ... better late than never, true?
Miakoda knows that the meeting has started before she's even joined the loose circle of those gathered, as she's been able to hear their voices and smell their individual scents before being able to see the others. But now she comes into view, walking on soft paws as she tries to keep her arrival as discreet as possible. Of course that's not likely to happen, the late arrival is always bound to draw attention; and so to those that do look in her direction, a thoroughly embarrassed and apologetic smile is flashed.
She says not a word aloud, though, instead settling onto her haunches in an open place on the perimeter of the gathering ... focusing her eyes and ears and attention on Ikuna, trying to play catch up on what's being discussed. She'd heard snippets about dens and families and pups, but not much more than that.