"Mama's still got a lot to teach me," says Nonkene, then thumps her tail to the ground as she leans back against Ahiga and smiles up to him. "But Higa's taught me a lot too."
She's not going to admit out loud that her mother has problems, but... well, she'll be far more likely to be found near these two than Wachiwa, most of the time. Her mother may love her, this Nonkene knows, but her mother is also turning into more and more of a loner. Her mother, or so the wolfdog figures, will be happy to know someone else is keeping an eye on her.
And... Nonkene will be happy to have someone to play with and do things that don't trail off into long sighs and sorrowful looks.
Have they been? Rhetorical or not, the question immediately puts Brutal's mind into thought, seeking the possibilities behind the matter. And well, for all the ages that the history of wolf kind has been passed down -at least as taught by his birth pack- the answer would be a resolute and resounding yes. But this is Ute and if it is one thing Brutal has learned, there is nothing remotely traditional about this pack and if there ever was, it was obviously before this generation. Besides, his question was not meant as an argument, but merely curiosity, so it is easy for the massive male to simply accept Ikuna's response, giving little in return except for a whimsical smile and a shrug of his broad shoulders that says 'perhaps not'.
After this exchange, Brutal seems content to just listen to Ikuna as the crooked tailed wolf continues to speak on the matter, with the occasional glance toward individuals when they are named. This is all very strange for the burly male, providing him with much to think on, especially in regards to the future. Of Althaea and him. Of Ute. And..what of Grim? Brutal gains a distant, brooding look about his face as he is reminded of his traitorous brother and in turn, also is he reminded of why he has came to this meeting in the first place. This causes some of his former excitement to diminish and deepens the lines of age in his lupine features with his concern.
So distracted is he, that he almost misses the arrangement being made between the young Nonkene, and Ahiga and Tala. It isn't until after the female hybrid speaks, that Brutal's mind catches on to the exchange. Well, that's good, he supposes. But what about her brother? Will none take responsibility for him? It gets Brutal to thinking..again. He even gives a glance in the direction of where the boy had last been seen, a motion that easily gives away that fact that the young wolfdog Kurux has crossed his mind.
Ikuna may be claiming Nonkene - and Kurux - as his responsibility, but that doesn't seem to mean he isn't glad to have someone else taking up some of the actual doing it. He smiles and nods to the set of them, then looks over at motion to see... Miakoda.
His ears perk up, and for a moment, he looks surprised before smiling again and giving a slight nod to her, acknowledging her presence before sweeping his gaze back across the rest of the pack.
"So, let's give this a try." Give what? Poor Mia. Ikuna doesn't look at her, but perhaps what he says next is for her sake. "Ute is still Ute. Those who want them can find dens of their own, have pups of their own. We share the land, welcoming each other as guests and being polite as those guests. We'll come together as a pack every full moon at least. If there are problems, bring them to me." He glances around, then smiles a little. "I'm sure there will be, or at the very least, questions. There will be a lot to figure out, but I think we can make this work if we try."
The smile widens a little as he looks over his pack, though it gains a somewhat rueful touch to it. "Perhaps by next spring, Ute will be large enough I'll need a beta to help me keep track of everyone." There's a quirk of his muzzle, and then he settles back on his haunches.
"That's all the pack business I have." Surely it's enough! "Does anyone else have anything they want to say, while we're all together?"
Althaea, roughly, has nothing to say as she glances around the clearing to each one present. Lingering on Miakoda for a moment as her presence is made known by her uncles glance then the wolf herself. A polite nod given in regard to the shewolf, her attention then turns to those of the Nonkene as arrangements are made on her behalf. Since hearing that Ahiga was taking some kind of action with her 'Thaea feels its only right they remain together. As for her brother, Kurux.. Althaea has grown to like the half-breed despite the unruly antics he's been showing as of late. A passing glance over his last known position she wonders something, considering to bring it up to Brutal later.
Giving her attention back to her uncle, she remains curious on how this whole pack thing is going to work out. Tail flicking she leans against the wolf beside her in reassurance. Things will work out and if they don't, another meeting will surely be called ensuring the right steps are taken. As Ikuna's words go quiet leaving only thought, an interest is sparked with something to work for.
// Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light somewhere nearby. \\
Kurux has been listening to all that has been said from his place a bit away from the group. He hasn't really made any sort of effort to make himself known, but this idea does interest him. What if he had a den of his own? He would be the boss there...not Ikuna and not anyone else. This concept appeals to him.
What he doesn't like is this idea that Ikuna thinks he is responsible for him. His mother is responsible for him and no one else. Its almost enough to make him come out of hiding and give the wolf a piece of his mind, but he refrains for the time being. There is too much of a crowd and Brutal is scary looking. He and his cousin seem to have some sort of thing going on...blah. Girls are gross.
Ahiga is not sure why, but hearing Nonkene claim that he's taught her things ... well. That makes him feel good. Useful. For, for a long time, he's felt like anything but a contributive member of the pack, too consumed with his own bad luck and unfortunate events that he just can't seem to shake from his mind or memory. What has he helped her with? Well .. hopefully his contributions have been with instilling a backbone in her, for every wolf (and half wolf, he supposes) needs to know how to stand up for him or herself! And no one could seriously claim that he'd been overly friendly with her at the beginning.
Luckily, things change.
Not everything though. For all that Brutal and Althaea have had to say, not once do his eyes stray their way. Ghosts, the two of them may as well be. Specters that he cannot hear, and eventually, if he's understanding things right, will not see. He smirks a little, his eyes turning to Tala now, whom he noses before his attention is taken by a late arrival. His ears perk, and a grin stretches. He was looking for her! His tail flips a few times in quiet greeting to Miakoda, inclining his muzzle to her. An ear twists back to Ikuna though, and his eyes follow at the mentioning of a growing pack and the possible assistance needed. A brow quirks, though there's a near imperceptible smirk. Leave it to Ikuna to throw something like that out there and then move on like it's nothing.
He has nothing else to add, and so at his question, he shakes his head.
Her first priority is to figure out just what Ikuna is talking about, something that the Alpha's first sentence doesn't help her do. What is it that we're trying? ... Oh! Luckily for her, he clarifies, and Miakoda's initial reaction to the news is puzzlement. Although she was born into a family-based pack consisting simply of her parents and siblings, she was always raised with the notion that the classic pack structure consisted of numerous adults and the pups of the leaders. And so this concept that Ikuna presents ... well, she doesn't know what to make of it.
But as her eyes move around the circle of wolves and half-wolves here, from the duo of Althaea and Brutal, then the trio of Ahiga and Tala and Nonkene, and then the 'loners' like herself ... she starts to get a clearer picture in her head of what the future might hold. And it causes her to frown worriedly.
But the decision is not hers to make and so Mia's muzzle stays closed despite Ikuna's invitation for the rest of them to speak. The she-wolf only shifts her front paws against the snow where she sits, ears tilting back just a little.
EDIT: Wait, is it summer? If it is, uh, pretend the snow is ... pine cones. Or something.