come fly away // valloway

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  • Where had she put it again? She had been walking around camp with a pile of herbs slowly slipping out of her pelt where she tucked them for storage, leaving a trail of leaves and such across the ground. Her head was filled with the mysterious new Tribe and also the bizzaree gathering with the Clans. She tried to keep remembering what happened but it slipped away like sand...


    Lost, she bumps into a large dark pelted cat. "Oh, sorry!" She apologises, blinking as her memories shift and fold back, trying to recall this face. The pile of dandelions at the cats paws (maybe she'd been helping Valley pick them up) made the connection. "Holloway!" Purrs brightly, tail hooking upwards, excited to see her friend.


    At least, her mind was telling her that they were friends. She always felt settled when seeing Holloway, like there was someone watching her back. In a caring way, instead of a murderous one. It was a nice change. "You caught me, heh. I was trying to put the herbs in my pelt like that new Tribe does with their flowers - its not working out very well. An Elder cursed at me for hiding his chamomile, it was an accident though." Valley chatters away, a light pout to the maw.



    / valloway valloway holloway.

    tags


  • ( Holloway )

    () (large, grizzled black and silver) (polydactyl) (synesthesia) (21 moons)


    ( in character )


    In a group of so many near-strangers, a truly friendly face was a sorely missed sight — even when it came with a side of collision. As for the specific face, there was no better cat to bump into, figuratively or literally. It wasn’t uncommon, given Holloway’s own propensity for tagging her friend’s tail. It was a small price to pay, honestly.


    Blue like the sky on a sunny day bloomed in her vision, golden flares snapping out as her friend’s voice rose and fell. Yellow eyes scrunched up in a smile as the chatter went on and dark ears fixed, perked and fully attentive.


    “Valley,” Holloway purred back. She took a quick measure of the situation and said, “I think you may have a bit more success if you put your decorations in spots that don’t get jostled so much.” The trail of herbs had been short-lived,
    given that Holloway had collected them before they spoiled, but it was the principal of the thing. Absently she swept the pile she’d dropped on impact into one large paw with her tail

    “Besides, why don’t we cut it down to a flower or three, to avoid grumpy elders? It’s good that you’re adopting the Tribe of Frosted Skies’ practices to make them feel welcomed, but functionality takes precedence.”

    ( out of character )

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  • Ah, they were friends! Valleys smiles happily at the thought, basking in the friendly atmosphere. She wonders at how Holloway hears the problem, tackles it and shells out the solution in one deft move as she simply bobs her head, making appreciative noises. "I'm always jostling though. Running places and after people. You know how it is!" Valley assumes anyway, given the way she was sweeping up after her.


    Functionality? Precedent? Valley tries not to look like she doesn't know what those words mean. "Okay! I'll wear the best flowers only then." She twirls a dandelion into her fur, before going to pick one from Holloways paw. "You should join in the fun too - oh wow! Your paws are so big!" Distracted she flexes her paw besides Holloways, fascinated by how large her paws were. "Hey, what's that?" She tilts her head at the extra claw Holloway had. Maybe her friend had told her before but the memory was distant now.


    tags


  • ( Holloway )

    () (large, grizzled black and silver) (polydactyl) (synesthesia) (22 moons)


    ( in character )


    That you are, Valley. Never not in motion, you perky little chickadee. Between them Holloway’s laughter rippled like silk in the wind, the light blue appearing like true white against Valley’s receding robin’s egg. That, of all the possible choices, Valley chose a dandelion, their flower, made her stomach flutter happily, but she determinedly ignored it.


    Instead, she cadenced out, “You know, I could say that your paws are just too small — but I won’t. Having an extra claw on each paw is an inherited trait, and it’s the norm at the colony I was born in. It was named for it; SixClaw Colony. It’s good for sure-footedness and dispersing weight, but hardly helps dexterity, so I think you’ll have to do any pelt-weaving between the two of us.”


    “Anyways, most of the flowers you had before are still useable as medicine but... lack a bit as decorations. Shall we put these back and go find fresh ones?” Flower hunting would be a nice return to their first nearly-disastrous meeting, this time with significant improvement in the communication department. Not to mention, they had the ready-made excuse of Valley being the Stoneteller To-be and Holloway’s own decent familiarity with herblore; a hybrid study session and collecting expedition wasn’t unreasonable.


    As they shifted course she teased, “I’m sure you’re just dying to get your paws on my pelt.” Never let it be said that she was falsely humble; Holloway’s fur color was uncommon enough that she was fairly identifiable as a traveler. The alternating bands of dark and light along each individual hair — grizzling — was unique to her father’s breed, which she figured made up slightly for his being completely and utterly useless as a cat himself.


    “I do wish that it was a bit less coarse sometimes, but I’ll just have to make do with enjoying yours, hm?” It was nice to have someone she could lower her formality with, really. When it came to fire, she’d been there, done that, but the saying was applicable; Valley, her first true friend in a long, long time, had earned her loyalty, and if the need arose, she would follow her into her the fire. Or, the Stoneteller’s den and Owl That Flies At Night’s plausible wrath — and they really were so similar.


    ( out of character )


    text

  • It was easy to smile at Holloways laughter and she did like the simple things in life - you could forget a lot, but never how to laugh. She swats at Holloway playfully as the other teases her small paws, letting it hang there as her friends past is told. Her smile flicks down, not wanting to shatter the upbeat atmosphere with a heartbreaking question - if Holloway had a colony, why hadn't they come with her? Valley had only once left the Tribe and she wouldn't wish the confusion and loneliness that came with it on anyone. She's got the Tribe now though. Valley reassures them both inwardly. "You inherited something so useful." She whines. "All I got was a pelt colour useless for hunting in snow." She motions to her dark pelt standing out starkly from the white ground.



    "Trying to sneak out are you?" Valley purrs, fluffing up at the idea of going on a flower hunt together. Usually she would um and ah about going outside of camp, fearful of getting lost, but with the collected Holloway by her side she felt much less trepidation, sure that she would lead them home. She finds her eyes wandering across her unique fur just as Holloway must have caught her thoughts. Coarse and silver streaked fur, the memory of an animal with sharp ambered eyes and a haunting howl summons in her mind. "It makes you look like a wolf. I think if I tried to touch it you would show me some wolf like snarl too?" Valley comments with some awe fading into a laugh. "Mmm you're not the only one in line for my pelt! Owl likes to burn bright and firey in the day but at night she cuddles up beside me. Its cute!" Maybe Holloway could sneak into the Stonetellers den to see such a sight, or curl up with them too. "So if you're a wolf, I must be a sheep! Wolf and Sheep up on the mountains looking for flowers~ Wolf stops Sheep eating them or she'd be sick for hours~" Valley happily chatters and sings, making leaps in the snow to keep up with Holloways larger strides.


    tags


  • ( Holloway )

    () (large, grizzled black and silver) (polydactyl) (synesthesia) (22 moons)


    ( in character )


    Grin widening at Valley’s gentle battering, Holloway settled into the moment’s mood. Oh, and mine is so very suited for snow, hmm? Maybe the nasty soiled snow of a large city. Just the thought of getting that gunk on her demanded shaking her pelt out; the foul oily sensation never really left you once you’d felt it.


    Recollection was the name of the game, apparently; Valley had seen a wolf, once, at the behest of a cat whose neighboring twolegs acted as medics for the beasts. The comparison was apt, and she nodded at Valley’s assessment — though when the topic of snarling came up, she grimaced. The vocal fry that came from growling took days to safely recover from, and if done enough could permanently damage the voice. Hardly ideal.


    Recapturing the playfulness, Holloway peered at Valley and chirred back, “Now, why would I do that? It’s a nice day, everyone’s fed, and we’re going on an adventure. No snarling here!”


    Then, a revelation about Owl That Flies At Night’s snuggling habit. Which. Wow. Not touching that with a ten-length stick. And then back to the wolf thing, and.... singing. A ditty, composed on the spot, in Valley’s untrained but more-than-agreeable voice. About them, and their friendship. This blue of Valley’s had a depth to it that was more like the sky reflected on a mirror-lake than the sky itself.

    Pawpads and ears warming, Holloway cleared her throat to answer with a part of Lightstep’s ballad, And we'll all go together, in the wild mountain thyme, all around the blooming heather, come on. At the foot of yonder mountain, I will visit by the hour, with the rose of the valley. Go — will you go, lassie, go?” Perhaps her favorite aspect of their location was the acoustics; her Voice rang and folded back in on itself a while before fully dissipating, every ripple and tremulous note lingering — in the manner that had given her mother her Facename. It was not a spur-of-the-moment composition, but changing the type of flower to better suit was. Had a Lorespeaker been present, she would’ve been cuffed for making such paltry changes — but there was none. Instead, there was Valley, and Holloway, and the fear-anticipation-excitement for Valley’s verdict.


    ( out of character )

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  • Valley notices how Holloway backs away from the idea of snarling, her face folding up at the idea. Not knowing the deeper reason why a snarl would damage Holloways voice, she makes the connection that snarling equals aggressive. And if Holloway didn't want to snarl, she probably didn't like aggression either! That was more than fine with her, since much of the Tribe seemed to be snarling these days. It made Holloway a break from the noise, a quiet place. Valley may not seem one to know what to do in silence, but she appreciated it greatly, she had once had two mute brothers and learnt that silence was never still. Even in the quiet there was life.


    Distracted, she'd brought back by Holloways words. "We're going on an adventure? Oh, we are!" Like that the spark is lit again, humming happily beside her friend as they hunt down their flowers. It's there in the quiet lull of their walk that a melody rises. Valley perks up in surprise, looking for a singing bird in the fields or perhaps a passing bard. To her delight, the rich delicate tone comes from Holloway, and she laughs in surprised wonder, swaying to the tune.


    "I will build my friend a mountain, by yon pure and crystal snow, yes and on it I will lay all the flowers of the Tribe, will you go? Lassie, will ya go?" Where Holloways voice reflected back from the mountains, Valleys was more shy, approaching a song she'd never learnt but still her heart goes into it, looking at Holloway for approval as her own part of the melody fades. "I like your voice." Valley says after a moment, it seemed crickets and the skies had stilled during their duet. "It sounds ... special."


    tags


  • ( Holloway )

    () (large, grizzled black and silver) (polydactyl) (synesthesia) (22 moons)


    ( in character )


    Holloway knew her eyes were blown wide, but really, it was all she could do not to topple over. Oh, why weren’t you born at SixClaw! The things you could do with proper training! It seemed like every internal organ she possessed had gone aflutter at Valley’s ease with composing — she felt like she had swallowed an angry butterfly, and Holloway didn’t mind a bit. How could she? The lyricism! The prodigal grasp of melody and rhythm and how to tie the lyrics in! Lightstep’s own composition was paltry and unworthy, Voice’s Vow or no.


    But she couldn’t stay silent and bask in the moment when Valley was waiting for her review. Jolting purr going, Holloway broke the distance in a couple long strides to press her muzzle to the space between Valley’s ears. When she felt that her degree of approval was sufficiently well communicated, Holloway pulled away to say, “That was beautiful and you’re brilliant.” She would’ve liked to continue, but she’d choked on her tongue a bit and she wasn’t about to force her Voice through that.


    A little flustered at being so open with her praise, Holloway flicked around for a distraction. Her eyes settled on Valley’s shoulder, where a tattered hanger-on from their little accident in camp still clung. She stepped out to curve around and take it in her teeth, jiggling it a bit to keep it from pulling at the bit of Valley’s fur it was wound up in.


    As she got the last bits of leaves and petals out, Valley complimented her voice and not for the first time Holloway was thankful that her coloring meant that embarrassed blushed were easy enough to conceal. “Thank you — I’ve been learning how to use my Voice since my eyes opened, so it’s nice to know that I’m not losing my touch. Especially,” she continued wryly, “now that I’m not literally singing for my supper anymore.”


    ( out of character )

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  • Valley trails off humming and jumps a bit when Holloway pushes a purring muzzle between her ears. "Oh! You liked it then?" She laughs, enjoying the whole body vibration, being rumbled by Holloways purr. Her friend pulls back calling her beautiful and Valleys eyes go huge and shocked. Her maw parts into a laughing grin, mind turning over the words like a spinning wheel. Beautiful? Holloway called me beautiful - oh! She called the singing beautiful! Valley laughs in confused relief because yes, really, Holloway wouldn't be calling her beautiful but her singing was nowhere near Holloways skill. Still, it's nice to be complimented and her fur puffs up like a cloud. "I thought you said something else hahaha." She murmurs on a chuckle.


    Holloway clears away some stuff from her pelt and Valley sits happily humming as she does so, giving a small laugh when Holloway claims to no longer sing for her supper. "Hmm, yes now you just have to hunt for it yourself! But, that's not a bad idea, singing to get some food. Who do you think would try the hardest? Or sound the worst?" Valley chatters, following this strange seeming idea.


    tags

  • Valley’s pronouncement of having misheard — or mis-processed — something she had said added a slightly worried tilt to Holloway’s ears. She didn’t elaborate, though, so Holloway let the matter drop. If Valley wanted her to know, she’d tell her. Besides, a game of what-ifs was just the thing.


    Although she had loved and did love traveling and life on the Path and all it entailed, Holloway couldn’t bring herself to regret settling in the Tribe Of Rushing Water. Not with a close friendship blossoming and another possible few burgeoning on the horizon. That wasn’t to say that hers and Valley’s friendship would be overtaken, of course; Valley was her closest companion and to no one else had she considered offering use of her Heartname. That wasn’t going to happen today, either, but.... soon.


    Now, though, was time for what-ifs, and an impromptu lesson; Valley was far past the age of true Audiencing, but Holloway would be remiss if she didn’t at least try to help her hone her raw talent. Not to mention it might be an alright thank-you for Valley’s help in familiarizing Holloway with the Tribe’s hunting strategies.


    Instead of getting into all that, though, Holloway said in a considering tone, “How hard they’d try? Maybe base that on their diligence in day to day things around here? As for most absolute capabilities.... Hard to tell, really; singing voices are very different from speaking voices, as I’m sure you know. With such different registers, there’s no telling. Oh, there are a few clues; head voice versus chest voice, certain inflections. Other than that, hmm... nothing for it. We’ll just have to make do with the tried and true. That is to say, me and you.” With a pleased grin at the triple rhyme, Holloway sat back on her haunches and gave her chest a lick. Pulling away, a yellow caught her eye. More dandelions, again? That was a nice bit of happenstance.


    “Want to see if we can get your decorated again? Maybe just a little more securely this time,” Holloway offered with a slip of a smile. Dandelions really were the best flower.


    "Speech."

    TAGS \ long before the sky would open \ phantasmagoria