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[Ashen Snow] Giving my Notice [Bo 6.7]
As soon as I hear "find Ambrose," I start shakin' my head. I drop my hands after swipin' at my eyes.
I say as firmly as I can manage. I take a shaky breath.
"No. He's...I don't want to find him."
My lips tremble again, an' I press 'em together as hard as I can, furiously wipin' at my eyes again. Findin' him would do no good. He's with Camaro now. I lost. It's over.
That last bit he said slowly registers, an' I look back up at him.
"What'd you mean see Pa one last time?"
I ask shakily.
Wolf seems a little surprised when you brush off finding Ambrose and starts to object, but then you ask about Pa. He says softly,
"These last ten years, Emmy, they've been hard back home. We couldn't sit out of the world forever. When some gangs came around wanting some of what we had, we defended our walls. They held, but like the sayin goes, 'freedom aint free'. Pa got shot a couple times, ruined one of his legs, destroyed a lung. But you know him, he kept goin. I mean, hell. We didn't get our mean streak from nothin."
He stops talking for a minute, like he was building to something and then he backed off. But before you can prod him, he pushes forward,
"Pa's dyin. He's got some kinda rot set in, already lost that leg. I was able to keep in touch every couple months, always comin back after a mission, to let him know what I'd heard about ya, to check on him. We stopped talking about why I was lookin a long time ago. I was just lookin. Well, now I know maybe he wanted to see you, maybe to set things right. I
he wanted to make sure you got what you deserved, but I was a fool. A damn fool."
A fire lights in his eyes again and he grips your shoulders with his hands,
"Listen, he may not deserve it, seein you again. I get that. But he's still our Pa. Maybe we can settle this ugly business, let the old man say his piece. I mean, hell, I wouldn't mind hearing him apologize to you. And well, to me."
I listen, wide eyed, my sobs slowly fadin' to quiet sniffs. I can't picture Pa crippled an' broken. I keep seein' him standin' tall and fierce, his face hard an' disapproving. That's how he's existed in my head for ten years. Frightening. I can't imagine him being sick, an' I especially can't imagine him dying.
This new image of Pa, well, he's less scary. I could see
Pa maybe sparing my life. Maybe Wolf's right. Maybe he doesn't want to kill me. Cause he's dyin. Pa's dyin.
Once again, I feel pretty stunned. Everythin' I thought I knew has been questioned, changed, flipped upside down in just a few short days.
I want to tell Wolf a lot of things, but that naggin' fear of him bein' strung holds me back. I gotta get that figured out first.
So I step forward an' wrap my arms around his waist like I'm lookin' for comfort. An' it's not a total lie. A part of me does need his comfort, like I'm a little kid an' he'll chase all my nightmares away.
But I'm also lookin' for strings.
Looking for Puppet Strings
#DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
Wolf hugs you back, genuinely, warmly. He kisses the top of your head once, then squeezes you tight.
Wolf is not strung.
I'm so relieved I almost sag into his hug. Wolf's not strung. He's safe. I stay that way for a little bit longer, my face crushed into his shirt, overwhelmed with relief. But then I pull back, takin' a deep breath and wiping my eyes.
"Ok. I'll see Pa. I'll listen to what he's got to say. Just promise you'll be there with me? I can't...I can't face him by myself."
I let out another shaky breath, an' wait for his response before I move on.
"An' I mean it about Ambrose. I don't want any of you to look for him. I don't want to find him. I just...it's complicated."
I grimace, an' move on quick.
"Also, I don't want you to feel like you ruined my life, ok? It's not your fault. Everythin' just got so fucked up so fast. An' I know it's been hard for you too, spendin' the last ten years searchin."
I crack a wobbly smile, but it's a real one this time.
"I really thought you'd find me sooner, you bein' the mighty hunter an' all. Guess you're not as good as you always said you were."
I jab him playfully in the ribs like I used to when we were little. Wolf loved to brag about his hunting conquests when he was younger. He wanted to be the best. An' he was. But Dune an' I were his biggest challenge. We saw Hide an' Seek as a chance to try an' outsmart Wolf. It didn't happen often, but when it did, we never let him forget it.
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