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what might have been
EW, dusk, just north of the Gorge

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Jay Allyn Vibe
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He hadn’t been to the coast for some time, so of course, now that he was here, he couldn’t help but want to spend some time walking along it. Doing so was pleasant and, at times, would allow him to find some peace of mind. And that was definitely something Jay hoped he might find, out here, this evening.

The sky was overcast; dreary, blocking out any hopes he might have had of observing a sunset. But that was alright. The scents and the sounds of the water alone were more than enough and eventually he paused, coming up close to the water to peer down at his murky, but recognizable reflection.

His eye looked good. The best it had, anyway, since before the incident had happened. The scars, which had once been so pronounced and fresh were healed by now, and the worst of them covered by thick, white fur. They were the lingering physical evidence of just how much he had been through. Of everything he’d lost, and of how he had lost himself, for the longest time.

But he had found some good things again. Athena, of course, was the biggest. Along with his sister. The Rangers too, and the friends he still had among them. Then there was the Alliance, and his daughter. Both had been good.. but both were also gone. And.. therein lie the problem, and the cause of his current angst.

He had no children left. And he would have no more. The reality of that was crushing, more so with the arrival of winter. Jay.. couldn’t, and wouldn’t, blame Athena for that. He knew the reasons why, and he understood them, but that did not make it any easier to cope with.

It had been one of his biggest hopes, but had turned out to be nothing more than another shattered dream. Another thing that had been torn away. Another thing that had once been, but never would be. One more scar to add to the invisible collection - though, he wasn’t sure how long it would take for this one to stop stinging.


Jun 27, 2018 08:59 PM

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Bucky Rangers Chris Staff
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((Okay I was going for the ‘Vibe must want a break from Chris rps’ rule but a week is WAY too long to leave this dear boy hanging))

Bucky was heading home along the beach, casting a regretful look at the horizon every so often. He loved beach sunsets because they always made him think of Saskia and how much his mate loved them. He was still feeling guilty about potential talking to her about not having pups after they had agreed to try this year. But he couldn’t put it off forever, he knew. Surely Saskia would understand that after his failure with Fox, he just wasn’t ready. But he was trying to figure out how to tell her without making it sound like he was choosing the pack over her. She knew he’d been busy with all the comings and goings lately… should he mention it or not?

At least the weather was clear for now, though Bucky was on careful watch for the onset of snow-laden clouds. He caught sight of motion overhead and smiled to find his osprey out, catching the last of the warmer breezes during the day. He had never seen the bird with a new female ever since his mate died in the cyclone, either, he noticed, tracing the osprey’s lonely flight with his eyes. There had to be some deeper meaning there, though he wasn’t sure what that might be.

When he returned his attention to the beach, he soon spotted a pale flash of fur in the dim evening light and let out a woof when his nose informed him who it was. A welcome sight, somebody to draw him out of his own confusing thoughts.

“Evening, Jay.”


Jul 04, 2018 07:22 PM — Post #1

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Jay Allyn Vibe
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Truthfully, he did not think it would ever fade away entirely. That pain he felt, those losses.. they would stay with him, just like the eye, until he took his last breath. There was not a day that went by where he did not think of them, but rarely did he allow himself to dwell on it, as he was now.

Those were feelings, emotions.. that he’d always done his best to keep to himself or avoid completely. Usually, he was able to do a pretty damn good job of it, too. But that was not so, tonight.

No. Tonight it just felt those walls were falling; crumbling down, with the torrents of pent up emotion just beyond waiting to be released. He felt himself slouching, head drooping in sadness and defeat. And it might well have gone beyond that, had he been alone.

A call from that calm, familiar voice rang out, alerting him to the presence of another. And for a moment, Jay thought about turning. Confiding, or attempting to confide in someone he thought of as a friend. But that was not something he wished to burden anyone else with. These were his problems to deal with. Not anyone else’s.

Instead, he used Bucky’s presence as a reason to place those barriers up again - at least for the moment - so that a friend would not think any less of him. If asked, he would have an answer ready. But hopefully, that would not be required.

Taking a breath, he turned, fixing a small, amicable smile upon his face. He was glad to see Bucky, which made the gesture more genuine, though he did hope that his inner turmoil hadn’t been too outwardly obvious only a few moments ago. ”Hey, Bucky. What’s up?”


Jul 05, 2018 06:58 PM — Post #2

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[ Edited: Jul 05, 2018 07:00 PM by Jay ]
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Bucky noticed how Jay altered his posture, turning to greet him with a smile. It didn’t entirely fool him, because Bucky himself was a pretty decent at putting on a brave face when he had to - which was often. He couldn’t go spilling his problems onto anybody, especially given how many new pack members ans passerbys he interacted with. Nobody would think much of the Rangers with a whiny leader complaining about how hard his life was all the time.

But something was bothering Jay, Bucky was certain of it, and he doubted it was anything subtle from the way he’d been slumped moments ago.

“Was just about to ask you that.” Bucky replied, tilting his head and flashing a small but mostly serious smile. “Looked like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders then.” He gestured with his nose to a nearby rock. “Mind if I sit?”


Jul 05, 2018 07:25 PM — Post #3

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Jay Allyn Vibe
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He had noticed. That was pretty much obvious from the curious look he’d received alone. In retrospect, Jay supposed it would have been pretty hard not to notice, considering. But, in a fashion that Jay suspected was probably customary for Bucky, he did not ask outright. Instead, his comments were subtle, an indirect way of posing an inquiry.

”Yea.. I have a lot on my mind.” He offered, these words quieter than the last. There wasn’t any point in trying to deny what he had been feeling, though he would continue to guard his expressions, Jay was glad that he didn’t have to attempt to maintain a faux positive demeanor.

Bucky asked if he could sit, which was both a ridiculous question and a considerate one, to which Jay first responded with a shrug. ”I don’t mind, no.”

Once more, he allowed himself to briefly entertain the notion of telling what had been on his mind. And, Jay supposed, it would be best not remain entirely silent. ”I was thinking about Tyra. My daughter. It’s been a year since I’ve last seen her.” Surely, that would be an adequate explanation, even if it wasn’t the whole of what had been bothering him.

Assuming Kaete and.. the other Ranger Jay had met who’s name he couldn’t remember, had actually passed along the word to Bucky, he would have already heard that his daughter had been missing. And now, he would know. She still was.


Jul 05, 2018 09:28 PM — Post #4

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Bucky Rangers Chris Staff
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Jay admitted he had been doing some deep thinking, but gestured for him to sit. Maybe he did want somebody to listen, and Bucky was a little curious as to what was going through the male’s mind to have him so out of sorts.

He nodded his thanks and sat, flicking his tail out behind him and focused both ears on Jay as he mentioned he’d been thinking about his daughter, who would be grown now, Bucky knew.

“Funny, I’ve been thinking about kids lately as well. I don’t have any news on Tyra though - none of our members or patrols ever found her, I’m afraid. Got a patrol up in the south mountains now, so I’ll be sure to check with them just in case.” He sighed, and looked the other male in the eye. “Doesn’t help with the worry though, I know.” Yeah, he knew. He thought about Fox traveling potentially alone to find her parents with a flash of guilt. He should have been a better parent to his foster daughter himself.

He wondered next if it was only Tyra bothering Jay. Were he and Athena consider the possibility? He remembered last winter when he and Saskia first got together, everyone and their mother was asking if they’d have pups straight away. He didn’t want to be that guy with Jay, Bucky figured if it was something the pair had been talking about, Jay would bring it up.


Jul 05, 2018 09:53 PM — Post #5

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Jay Allyn Vibe
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Bucky accepted the invitation to sit and did so, fixing Jay with that curious, calculating blue gaze of his. But instead of seeing something judgement or pity, as he most often instinctively feared he’d find, he saw understanding. And it even appeared that their thoughts had been straying down similar paths, as well.

The mention of Bucky thinking about kids had his brow raising a bit in curiosity, as he couldn’t remember the lead ranger having a mate or any children of his own, but he’d also never asked.

Tyra had also never been found by any of the Ranger patrols. While that was exactly what Jay had known he would hear, that didn’t stop a new wave of sadness and disappointment washing over him. After a moment, he nodded once.

”If I could only know she is alright… that’s all I want.” It would have helped relieve so much worry from his mind, to know she was safe and happy somewhere. Even if he would have preferred to have her close to him, as long as he could have known those things..

A soft, disappointed huff escaped him. ”So. When you mentioned kids.. did you mean yours, specifically? Or just, referring any in the pack?”

And he was, honestly curious. Were there any couples housed in the Gorge that would become parents in the spring? Jay hoped so. Even if he likely wouldn’t have any, himself, perhaps being around someone that had, would help.

Or on the contrary, perhaps it’d make him feel even worse.

 


Jul 06, 2018 11:57 AM — Post #6

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Bucky understood the first sentiment. It was exactly how he felt about his own siblings. If he could just hear form them. Speak to them for two minutes and make sure they were okay.

“I used to think it’d be useful to be able to turn yourself into a bird. Fly off and find out missing ones, see they’re okay, come back home.” His tone was somewhat self-deprecating. That wasn’t reality. The reality was the Rangers existing for a reason - one of the main reasons being those who vanished without a trace.

Jay gave the conversation a nudge towards him, and Bucky glanced down - not trying to avoid answering. He trysted
Jay and he trusted Jay’s judgement. But speaking about topics like this wasn’t easy, and he grasped at how to begin for a minute.

“Both I guess. My mate, Saskia, really wants kids, and I - well. I do, or did. This year, two of my closest packmates left the valley but their daughter Fox wanted to stay here. Sort of adopted her. At least tried to take her under my wing. Recently Fox decided she missed her parents too much to stay and left to find them. And I-” He didn’t really know how to talk about the next part, and blew out a short sharp breath in frustration. There was an uncommon tension in Bucky’s shoulders.

It had been his fault, and he didn’t know how to break the news to his mate.


Jul 06, 2018 07:05 PM — Post #7

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It seemed that thoughts of children weren’t all that he and Bucky shared, as the lead ranger lamented an inability to fly that Jay, too, had considered a time or two before. It would indeed have been a useful thing to have, to find loved ones. Although, he had never thought that far into it. Though he nodded, expression growing thoughtful for a moment.

”It would be. For that, and other things. But, I think, if I could fly, I’d want to see what is out there,” he spoke, pointing his nose out toward the expansive ocean. Were there other lands beyond those waters? And that was just one of many questions, that would never be answered.

Allowing himself to daydream a moment longer, Jay returned his attention to the other once he began to answer the question that had been posed. So Bucky did, in fact, have a mate. But the indecision over whether or not to have kids with her this year, was not the entirety of what was on his mind.

Bucky had also taken charge of one pup that had stayed behind after her parents had left the valley, at least until the pup - Fox - had decided instead to venture off in search of her parents. Bucky’s words cut off suddenly then, as he blew out a breath in expression of frustrations that Jay was only too familiar with.

”It feels like you failed.” Jay finished, though there was nothing harsh or judgemental in his tone, and instead held only sadness. ”And it hurts. Worse than anything. Because it makes you feel guilty, and helpless.” Perhaps Bucky could relate to that, or perhaps not.  Regardless, it was a sort of pain that time would never entirely heal or take away. Just like his bad eye.

Scars might be masked, but they would never truly heal. Bringing his one eyed gaze back from the ocean, Jay fixed it on Bucky once again. ”I wanted kids, too. Still do, but Athena doesn’t. I don’t blame her for that. Her reasons for feeling that way are valid, understandable. But that doesn’t make it any less painful.” A sigh of his own forced Jay to pause, as he felt his grasp on the emotions he’d been hoping to retain starting to slip once again.

”I wish I could tell you I’ve learned how to make it better, but I can’t. Time helps. But, I think.. The best we can do is to be good to those we love, cherish every day we have with them. That way if and when we lose them.. at least we know the time we had with them was well spent.” If there was such a thing as time well spent, anyway.


Jul 07, 2018 12:20 PM — Post #8

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Bucky did smile faintly when Jay mentioned finding out what was over the ocean. A pity birds like albatrosses couldn’t communicate with wolves - Bucky had seen them stay aloft over the water for hours. But the other topic they were discussion took up most of his attention.

“Yeah, exactly.” He replied heavily when Jay, who didn’t struggle to put his emotions into words, summed up precisely how Bucky had been feeling. He mentioned that Athena hadn’t wanted kids but Jay himself had, a rough impasse he hoped wouldn’t come between the new couple. And gave some advice, which Bucky was in no way too proud to listen to.

“That’s similar to what I tell myself. Plenty of wolves should be as lucky as me. I have Nomad with me, Saskia, the pack, I know my family’s out there even if they aren’t right here with me…” He shrugged his broad shoulders unhappily. “Seems selfish, getting upset over kids..” But he was, clearly. Struggling with the idea he and Saskia might not be parents this year like they’d planned.

“How about Athena? How come she doesn’t want kids?” Bucky asked, though he wouldn’t have been offended if Jay didn’t answer that one, being more personal - and Athena was definitely a wolf who valued her privacy.


Jul 07, 2018 04:55 PM — Post #9

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This.. was hardly the way Jay had pictured this discussion going, and certainly not how he had wanted it to proceed. Usually he was not one to be so forthright with his deepest emotions, although Jay did not have a problem sharing facts about his past, when it came to how he felt.. that was a little bit different.

Perhaps, though, it was not such a bad thing, that things had gone the way they did. Knowing that there was something shared between himself and Bucky was comforting in a sense. It was all too easy to feel alone, when faced with emotional burdens. But everyone struggled with something, and just so happened that Jay’s thoughts mirrored Bucky’s at this time.

And even the things they told themselves, attempting to focus on the positives. Jay still had good things, too, even if what he didn’t have seemed more than what he did, at the moment.

”That’s not selfish. It’s just.. natural emotion.” Bucky was probably one of the least self centered individuals Jay knew. While he couldn’t say he knew if the lead ranger had always been that way, he did know it was true now. And now was all that mattered.

The inquiry about Athena, however, caused Jay to flinch noticeably, expression then becoming pensive for a moment. ”It’s.. mostly because of what happened to the Alliance. Losing that has been harder on her, than me. She saw families broken apart there, dispersed, and.. she doesn’t want that to happen to us. That, and we’re.. not sure where we will be going. She did not want to inconvenience the Rangers - or anyone else, either. Reasons like that. I don’t blame her for any of them.”

He’d already said that, but it felt important to reiterate the statement once more. Jay didn’t know what sort of relationship Bucky had had with Athena before now, though he hoped he wasn’t damaging any of it.


Jul 07, 2018 07:40 PM — Post #10

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Ever patient when it came to listening, Bucky was quiet while Jay explained further, his ears pricked but twitching slightly, just a little tuned into their environment while he listened. Bucky tended to be as relaxed here on the beach as he was in his home territory - the beach was a safe space. He did appreciate Jay trusted him with stuff like this, though. And he noted the phrasing Athena hadn’t wanted to inconvenience the Rangers, which while it was laughable if she knew how much both he and Nomad loved having kids around - anyone’s kids - it did tell him she and probably Jay were giving real consideration to staying Rangers, though Jay did mention they weren’t sure yet.

“I get that. I mean… all the families I’ve seen fall apart here, me and my siblings even, now I’m the one too scared to have pups with the woman I love.” He stared at the sand a moment before looking up at Jay, into his one eye.

“It would be rough. Fox isn’t even mine, and I miss her every day. To raise my own kids only to have them leave someday. I guess… when it does happen, I hope they’ll be ready, to face the valley. That I’ve helped make that valley better for them, too.” He exhaled heavily. His head felt scrambled, and he tried to focus.

“But look Jay - about you and Athena. Having kids is a damn huge step and I’m not denying that. But being here, being Rangers if you guys choose, shouldn’t be what holds you back. You’d have my, Nomad’s - everyone‘s, full support if you guys have pups. More than our support - hell, our blessing. You ought to know that.”


Jul 08, 2018 06:00 AM — Post #11

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Once he had explained Athena’s logic behind her choice, Bucky professed that he, too, felt as he did for similar reasons. Though his words beyond that expressed the same sort of uncanny and thoughtful wisdom that Jay had come to expect from the lead ranger, and there was not one thing he could find fault with.

”That’s all we can do,” Jay spoke in solem concurrence. Those were the most important jobs for a parent, Jay believed, to provide love and support, as well as enough education for their offspring to one day be capable of surviving alone. Everything else could come naturally, with time.

”It isn’t even really the leaving that bothers me, so much. That’s bound to happen, I think.” Just as Jay, and presumably Bucky had left their birth families, that was something that had to be anticipated from all pups, at some point. ”It’s the worry, the not knowing. The things that just suddenly, unfairly happen, that are.. the worst.”

That was, at least, his opinion. And Jay was certain that was what bothered Athena the most, as well. Though once more, when addressing that issue, Bucky was right. Fear of what might happen should not be something to hold anyone back, Jay believed that too.

And, it wasn’t just that. He and Athena, specifically, would have had the support of the Rangers. In fact, as Bucky termed it, his blessing. Which was.. incredibly kind, supportive, and wonderful to hear and know. It had him smiling, though the expression was small and fleeting, the appreciation in Jay’s good eye was not.

”Thank you, Bucky. Truly. That means.. a lot. But I think Athena’s choice has already been made, and I don’t want to push her.” While he would have liked to ask her one more time, Jay struggled with the notion of actually doing so. He did not want to make things worse for her than they already were in any way.

But he had himself to think about, as well. So perhaps he would ask. Just once more. And then that would be it.


Jul 08, 2018 11:57 AM — Post #12

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Bucky let out a little chuff of agreement at the mention of things happening suddenly, without warning. It was part of parcel of life, but the valley did certainly, seem to have its share of people who vanished without a trace, without telling those they most cared for. Valentina, he recalled, had once told him much the same thing.

The fact that it was common didn’t make it better. Why couldn’t people just talk to one another? Which reminded him…

“The very worst.” He agreed gravely. “And I understand, but if it comes up - the offer stands.” He let the white wolf know. He rose to all fours. “I appreciate you listening Jay, but… I’d better go break the news to Saskia.”


Jul 08, 2018 04:34 PM — Post #13

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He hoped Athena would change her mind. After the time that they had shared their feelings for one another, it had been another bond Jay had very much wished to have with her. He hoped that she would see that they were welcome here, that they could make something with the Rangers, for themselves. Despite the doubts he had, it was worth asking at least once more, even if he was still fairly certain it would end in disappointment.

At least, however, he’d been able to take this time to bond with Bucky. While Jay couldn’t say he felt any better about his situation, this new, deeper connection he’d forged with a friend was significant, and this, a conversation he was ultimately glad to have had.

”I’ll let you know if anything changes.” Jay spoke in regards to what was between himself and Athena. It would be almost impossible not to, because he was sure he wouldn’t be able to contain his excitement. He nodded in understanding as Bucky spoke that he should go speak with his own mate now, to let her know about what they had discussed.

”Likewise, friend. I’m.. glad we were able to have this talk. I’ll see you around.” Bucky had risen to leave, but Jay figured he’d sit a while longer. Perhaps even attempt to catch himself a fish or two, just to keep his mind occupied. He figured Athena could probably do without his company for a night.

//exit/fade time..? And also referencing what you said in your first post, I never mind Chris threads! They’re easily some of my favorites^^


Jul 08, 2018 07:41 PM — Post #14

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Bucky wondered if Athena would change her mind - she’d be a pretty formidable mother, he figured. And she understood loyalty, and pups of hers weren’t likely to roam off into the unknown without a word, but he did understand her distance as well. She’d lost her pack and her family. Thinking about kids of her own, well. It was a huge step.

Still. You never knew. “So am I, Jay.” He replied genuinely. He felt a lot clearer in the head to know that this time of year brought problems for other couples, as well. He took a few steps away, shook sand off, and headed for home.

((Yus happy to fade! And aww, that made me blush, but right back atcha mate!))


Jul 09, 2018 01:17 AM — Post #15

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