Leave for Their Safety((Reserved for Temp))
_"Aww lookit Kaden try to fight us, tis so cute eh Valt?" Grigg Winder, the oldest of the three brothers pointed out, laughing and nudging Valt, the middle child. Grigg was tall, strong, and fast, but kind of stupid. Valt, was smart, small, quick, but not the strongest. Kaden, was everything between. Even when he was a mere child, their differences were present.
The younger Kaden sat crumpled in the middle of their arena. Blood matted his fur and he weakly pulled himself to his feet. Tears swelled in his eyes.
Valt chuckled, doubling over in his laughter. "Aww lookie! 'e's cryin' Grigg!"
Kaden wiped his tears with the back of his paw. "I 'ate you guys," he whimpered, picking up his wooden sword. Holding it high he charged at the pair. At the same time the pair smacked him with their swords: Grigg struck high while Valt swung at Kaden's gut. The young weasel grunted and fell to the ground in a daze, not wanting to move anymore.
He merely began to cry as his brothers dropped their wooden swords and followed their father out of the arena. After a couple minutes of lying in the rough sandy arena, footsteps were heard. Kaden's mother gently picked him up, holding him close.
"Shhh shhh…now now Kaden, it is okay. Mother is here," she whispered. "One day, I promise, you will be free from all this, and no one will hurt you, my Kaden."_
The blond furred weasel heaved a sigh. He was much better now. His wounds from a couple weeks ago had healed up rather nicely. His eyes wandered to the bright sky before resting on the Abbey. Young beasts were scattered about the Abbey grounds, enjoying themselves. Once again, the weasel found himself longing such a childhood. Yet, he knew what didn't kill him had only made him stronger.
Kaden smiled lightly at the thought. A cold breeze brushed against him. In discomfort, his gloved paws buttoned his black coat. The weasel then shifted his blade across his back. Being the crafty weasel he was, he stole back Duskbringer. He had to. He couldn't just as for it, because didn't want certain beasts to know that he was leaving: Temperance, Cookie, and Avalon.
The weasel thought back to the meeting they had during the celebration. It was true that maybe they could help him, but maybe's only went so far in Kaden's book. He would not allow this place's blood to be on his paws. Besides, he was a vermin. Despite Temperance's attempt to convince him otherwise on that fateful day, he still remained fixed on his status as a vermin. Kaden was a Winder. Winders were killers.
His eyes settled on the abbey one last time. It was possible he could come back. After all, he had a plan, and if it worked better than he thought then he'd be fine. Valt knew he was in this area now. His conniving brother would sent out a search party, and being as stubborn as Valt was, he'd put himself in it. All Kaden had to do was lead that party away from the Abbey, then kill Valt. If he could kill Valt somewhere away from the Abbey, then maybe if Grigg and an army was sent, they'd search in the wrong direction.
Having made up his mind, the weasel turned his back on the Abbey.
"Farewell, Redwall," he whispered.
The day was bright and beautiful, the sun shining through the leaves merrily. By midday it was fairly warm, but not overly hot. Fall was on the way.
The path that Kaden had turned off on was a pretty little thing; it was lined by flowering trees of different varities, some of them bearing fruit. Bushes and lovely plants sprang up between the trees, making it one of the most colorful paths in all of Mossflower. Eventually the path stopped at the shallow banks of a babbling brook, the opposite bank shrouded in dense forest.
Temperance had her back propped up against a large, mossy rock, her eyes watching the water with much enjoyment. She tore her eyes away from the scene, setting them on Kaden as he came nearer. She smiled and inclined her head towards him slightly. "I was wondering when you'd eventually show up. Yon path is rather enticing, is it not?" she pat the ground next to her and sat up. "Come, sit. Methinks you're probably famished, and the stew should be done by now." Said stew was bubbling happily next to her, the small fire crackling and popping on occassion.
The weasel lost track of time as he traveled. There were brief moments where he worried that maybe he was making the wrong choice. Though, the more he thought about such a possibility, the more he reminded himself of Redwall's innocence and how it didn't deserve to be crushed by the Winder army. Self reassurance is a powerful tool.
Sighing, the weasel kicked a rock on the path, watching it tumble across the dirt, before resting by Temperance. His eyes followed it up to Temperance, and then up to her face. Kaden's eyes widened in shock. Despite his shock, part of him knew she'd pull a stunt like this.
When she spoke, his ears flattened and a scowl formed on his features. "You're not supposed to be out here Temp," the weasel began coldly. She offered him a seat. Kaden refused silently, shaking his head. With his paws jammed in his coat pockets, the weasel growled lightly.
"Y'know Temp, you belong back at the Abbey. I have to go. I may come back, but not till after I take care of this. Now, be a good wolf and leave. Go back to the Abbey," his words left his mouth, frigid, and sharp.
At that Temperance laughed. She dug around in her pack and pulled out two bowls, still giggling. "Oh Kaden, you have no idea how adorable yon scowl is on your Princely features. Be careful though, or that look may stick."
She ladled the hot stew into the bowls and sat one next to him and sighed before she looked over at him, all traces of amusement gone off her face. "Kaden, get this through your thick skull right now; I am going to help you." she eyed him up and down scornfully. "Do not talk to me as if I am some middle-aged housewife good Sir. I do not belong anywhere, I go wherever and whenever I please. Cookie is well taken care of, she will be just fine. You Sir, cannot do this alone and you know it. So, just get over it and somehow accept the fact that we're in this together."
The weasel's gray blue eyes widened briefly. His scowl morphed into a heavy growl. I honestly think you may be more stubborn than I! the weasel's mind boomed in frustration. Anger filled Kaden's mind. Now, his vermin side was coming out.
In a flash, the weasel grabbed Temperance by her shirt, picked her up from where he was sitting and pushed her against the tree. Rage burned in his eyes, his breathing was heavy, and his teeth were bared.
"You listen here Temperance, and listen well!" he roared. He tightened his grip on her and growled louder. "I am not what you think I am! I am not some friend! I am a killer! I am a Winder! I took little dibbuns just like Cookie and enslaved them. I killed gentle beasts just like the Redwallers. Just, LIKE YOU! Do you believe in second chances? Because I don't! Not for what I've done! Now trust me, this is something I must do, by MYSELF. Not with you, not with anyone. I don't want nor need your help! If anything happened to you," the weasel paused at his last statement. "Look, just leave, alright? I will not hesitate to strike you down and leave you here," Kaden snarled.
Temperance grit her teeth and grabbed on to his hands, her heart racing out of panic and apprehension. She turned her face away from him and closed her eyes. "If you were so bad, you would have struck me down when we'd first met! You would have slit my throat! You would have let me die after the fight! You would have attacked us in the Abbey! You'd have killed Cookie and not thought twice about it!" she yelled through her grit teeth, anger flaring up inside of her, but it couldn't quench the panic.
Her breath came in short spurts and to her horror she began to shake. "You say you don't believe in second chances, yet here you are, large as life. Kaden you're living your second chance right now. It started when you didn't end my life the first time. We've all done bad things, I cannot deny that. I also cannot deny that the things that you've done are horrible, but I am not going to hold that against you because I have not been exposed to that Kaden! You've been making up for your past ever since you stepped into Mossflower! I don't know what to do to get you to trust me, but believe me when I say that you're just going to have to strike me down now, beacause I'm not leaving. I am coming with you, and I am going to help you. Mossflower is my home, and I will not sit idly by while some pompus King sends his brats out to bring back the one son he has that I just so happen to be rather fond of, and then attempt to take this place over in the process! I was a soldier before I came to Mossflower, and I pledged my fealty to the creatures that live here, and I will fulfill my duty no matter what!"
She finally opened her eyes and faced him. For the first time in a long time, fear was evident in her expression. Fear, and panic; it left a haunted look in her beautiful eyes. "Now please," she whispered "Let me go."
Kaden snarled viciously. He raised his right paw high as if he was about to punch her out. It remained there the entire time that she spoke. Yet, the more she talked, the lower it dropped. By the end of it, his paw dropped to his side. The weasel let go of her and stepped back for a second. Fond of me? Why? he asked himself, not wanting to ask her.
The weasel stood there awkwardly in his silence. His thoughts were drifting out of Mossflower and back home. He glanced about nervously, unsure of what to say. His ears flattened and with a gloved paw, he rubbed his tattooed neck.
His half open eyes slowly wandered from the ground up to Temperance's. He heaved a sigh and shook his head. "Temperance…I-I'm sorry," the weasel whispered weakly. That was the first time he legitimately apologized for anything in his life.
Temperance sank down to the ground slowly, her body still shaking. She immediately drew her knees into her chest and wrapped her arms around them tightly. She buried her face into her knees, to hide the fact that tears were running down her face.
"It's alright, just don't…." she stopped and took in a deep breath, trying oh so hard to calm herself.
_"What are you doing? Stop, let me go." she struggled with the two beasts that were latched on to her arms, said creatures slamming her back into a tree and pinned her there. She squirmed and fought to get away, but it was to no avail. The two that had a firm grip on her arms were much larger and stronger than herself, and the more she fought the tighter they squeezed.
More of the men from her unit appeared until there were about seven of them in total. A wolf, like herself, and the only other wolf in their unit, approached her. She sighed in relief and called out to him, and was answered with a slap across the face. The wolf grabbed her face and turned it towards his amused gaze. "There, there love, no need to make this unpleasant. The lads have merely come to me with a few….concerns."
"What are you talking about?" she asked quietly, her voice shaking lightly.
He rubbed her cheek with his thumb and smiled. "Oh nothing too serious, just minor things. Some of them are of the belief that you're not taking this training session seriously, some of them are getting tired of being shown up by a woman, some of them don't think you quite have what it takes to fight with the best of us." he grinned and shoved the back of her head into the tree, smiling in triumph at the gasp that escaped her lips. "Now me personally, I know you have what it takes to make a great soldier, you're tougher than most men I know. But the lads," he sighed dramatically and looked down at his feet for a moment.
Temperance shook her head and whimpered, a single tear running down her face. "Gris why are you doing this?"
He looked back up at her and smiled softly, placing a small kiss on her bottom lip. "Why? Well love, you know I have to set a good example for them. No hard feelings, you understand. You're still my girl, Temperance. Just think of it as a...character building exercise."_
Long. He stood there, silent, staring at her for a long time. Cold. His gaze was frigid like a frozen over lake in the winter. How he wished deep beneath his icy shell he could reach out to her and hold her. Alas, that was not Kaden's nature. Shaking his head, he growled. The weasel wanted his old self to come back out so bad, and yet he couldn't bring himself to.
Their silence was awkward. Minutes passed and neither said anything. However, after a couple more moments, the weasel gave in. Kaden was not his brothers. He was not his father. Now, he had to stop pretending to be them. Sighing to himself, he slowly went down to her. Laying against the tree, he gently wrapped an arm around her and puller her close. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
His face flushed lightly. He closed his eyes and found himself sighing once more, his ears flattening. The weasel felt horrible now, and for whatever reason could not push his guilt aside. For whatever reason, Kaden could not be angry at her any longer, especially as she cried.
_"Man up Macayle, it wasn't that bad. I took it easy on you, but don't count on it next time." Griss said with a laugh, leaving the wolfess in a bloody heap.
Despite the pain that was shooting through her body, Temperance managed to sit and draw her knees into her chest her arms wrapped tightly around them. She just sat there, her face void of any emotion at all. Every movement she made, every breath she took, ever thought she had, sent agonizing pain all through her body and yet she just continued to sit there.
She didn't even look up at the figure that approached her; didn't even respond to his call. "Temperance is that you?" he called out in the darkness. He stumbled over a log as he approached her, cursing lightly to himself. "Hang on, let me shed some light here." he mumbled, oblivous to his friends lack of communication. He scurried around, collecting branches, twigs, and small logs, his toes doing most of the work for him. He was limping slightly as he made his way back to Temperance, depositing his collection into a slight pit he'd dug out. He picked the log that he'd tripped over earlier, and immediately dropped it. "Urgh, what in the blazes was that?" he'd stuck his hand into something warm, and slightly sticky. He shrugged it off and set flint to tender, a small fire soon blazing away merrily. He looked down at his hand and his eyes opened in surprise, blood covering it from where he'd touched the log. Then he looked to the piece of wood, and saw that it too was covered in the red substance.
Finally he looked to his friend, and gasped in horror. She was cut, scratched, gashed, bruised, you name it. She gave no indication that he was there with her, she just kept staring forward, her eyes emotionless and her arms wrapped around her legs. "Temperance what happened to you?!" he asked as he pulled his uniform jacket off and wrapped her up in it, digging herbs and bandages out of his medic's satchel.
He fixed her up as best he could, the wolf saying nothing, which worried him greatly. She was always so bubbly, and now she was…..dead, on the inside at least. His gray-blue eyes flashed in anger and he grit his teeth. "I'm going to go get the Brig, we'll..."
"No." she reached out and latched on to his arm, holding him there firmly.
"What? Why? I ha-"
"I said no Kooper." she said quietly, turning her haunted gaze to his. "They'll kill you too."
The weasel stared at her in confusion, utterly perplexed, but he found himself nodding. "Alright Temp, alright." he sat down next to her and hesitantly wrapped his arm around her, the wolf laying her head in his lap. He stroked her hair lightly, swallowing the lump in his throat as his eyes burned in anger. "I'm so sorry that I wasn't there for you Temperance." he whispered.
She closed her eyes and a tear ran down her face, cutting a slight path through the dried blood. "I forgive you." she whispered.
Temperance wrapped her arms around Kaden's neck and pressed her face into the side of it and hugged him tightly, the sob finally ripping out of her throat. "I forgive you," she managed to rasp out before she broke down completely.
They'll kill you too…
Silence seduced Kaden. His tongue was gone. His mind was blank. The weasel's gray-blue cold eyes had morphed. Instead, they were lost. Everything he once knew and wanted was decaying before him, all because of Temperance. From the death of his old ideals, new ones began to sprout from the seeds Temperance had placed in Kaden's mind.
His gaze narrowed. Deep within his eyes, determination began to consume the brief "lost" state. Without realizing it, the weasel held the wolf even closer. Gently, he found himself whispering to her that it would be okay. His heart reached out for her. Nothing would harm her. Ever. Not on his watch. For whatever reason, Kaden realized that deep down inside of him, feelings for this wolf were hiding.
The moment had caused a beacon of light to shine upon such feelings. Lovingly, he moved her face from his neck, and with his gloved paw, wiped a tear that was escaping down her face. Kaden's eyes expressed a deep concern for her. Without muttering a single word, he kissed her forehead.
" 'Nu Othe l'ile armore vu," he whispered in his native tongue. No one will harm you. "Please, stop crying," he whispered softly, brushing her bangs out of her tear bringing eyes.
The butterflies in her stomach was enough to send any critter afloat. And it almost did just that. Temperance's eyes were wide open, and she searched his gray-blue's with her own, recognizing the concern in them. She wanted so very much to do something, anything, but in the end she chickened out. She rest her forehead against his and let out a shakey breath, that warm fuzzy feeling overpowering her momentary lapse of weakness, her hand on his.
"Alright," she said quietly, the blush on her face very evident. "I will, for you."
Kaden smiled softly at Temperance's response. The blush was noticed and he could not help but blush himself. His smile only enlarged as he stared into her eyes. The weasel felt at home, finally. Gently, the weasel pulled her close once more, holding her tight.
Suddenly, his ears perked high. A scowl formed on his features. Silently, he put a paw to her lips, and lightly whispered in her ear. "Shh…someone's nearby..."
Calmly, he waited, the wolf still in his arms. His ears remained perked, listening to every step that made its way closer to them. Five beasts. No, four. Hmm, is either four or five, the weasel silently noted. Approaching from our right side…
Temperance wordlessly nodded her head and shifted slightly, gently easing the concealed dagger out of her boot. One could never be too sure, and it was better to be safe than sorry.
ooc: DERP THAT'S ALL I GOT.