Having looked back to the two of them, Atlas could see all too clearly how the news had affected his friends.
Josalyn, her brow furrowed in thought as she processed it all. Poet, his blue eyes strangely vacant. Shocked, probably.
It was Josalyn who spoke first, though, and her declaration caught Atlas a little off-guard. The Stormborn Alliance had existed for as long as she’d been in the valley, she said.
Atlas found himself smiling in spite of everything. A bit wistful, perhaps. A bit bitter.
But the fact that the Alliance had lasted for as long as it had should be counted as a blessing, he supposed. That smile of his didn’t last long, though. Josalyn went on to ask about Arrow, about Comet and Ororo — what other little fragments of the pack had remained before it had dwindled down to what it was currently.
“I don’t know,” Atlas replied simply.
It was an earnest answer, if not a very confident one. His broad shoulders sagged a little with the admission.
“Comet and Ororo… they went looking for answers to the dreams Ororo has. Visions, she calls them.” He shook his head. He had no way of knowing when — or if — they would return. “And I haven’t seen Arrow in a while now.”
He imagined she’d gone searching for her brother again. He tried not to dwell on it. Not knowing for certain hurt.
Poet spoke then, and Atlas felt his ears press back as he looked to his old friend. He just wanted to know what he would do now.
Atlas felt like he was going to cry, but somehow he held it together — at least for the time being.
Still, what was he going to do?
“I… was thinking I’d take a trip,” he said after a moment. “I haven’t seen my parents since I left home years ago. I’d like to see them again. You know, assuming they’re still around.”
He sucked in a breath and looked away for a moment, as if to fend off an upwelling of emotion. The notion of seeking out his mother and father after so long was nerve-wracking enough as it was, but Atlas had already come to grips with the possibility that they might have already passed away.
All of this on top of the earth-shattering changes already taking shape.
“After that…” He trailed off into a shrug. “I dunno.”
In all honesty, Atlas hadn’t thought that far ahead. Not with everything else that was running through his head. Not with the anxiety he held over this very talk. Now that it was out, though, he supposed he ought to start figuring out what he would do when he returned to the valley.
Josalyn seemed hopeful that disbanding the pack would be temporary. That they could reunite, at some point.
It was a heartening thought. But Atlas didn’t want to hold too tightly to it.
“I won’t say that… this…” he bobbed his head, gesturing weakly at the air, “is permanent — because I don’t know what the future holds. But at the same time, I don’t want to give you false hope.”
The frown already edging along his lips deepened.
He couldn’t make any promises.
Apr 14, 2018 06:00 PM — Post #12
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