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sunshine_ley

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  1. @Gyrfalcon2 Oh woops, I ended up doing a full-body ...okay, well, most of the body is covered |D so I shall call it a halfbody, and then pretend it's a bust Also, if you wanna do a trade, here are some references ye can use (I kept them smol and bust/headshot-y so ye dun get overwhelmed); do whatever you like with her .3. In any case, here are some more daily inky comics for your eye-sockets o3o (oh and an update on Vashy, he's upped his number of hisses by like three times because he is scared of his f/t foods cx silly boy)
  2. @Gyrfalcon2 Yessir o3o requests are always open on this thread, though perhaps not particularly timely. Art trades are also most welcome d: Raeq enjoys being drawn, no matter the perceived skill level.
  3. Not that anybody particularly remains interested cx but I ended up getting a western hognose (bottom-left is the day I got him, he's about an inch longer now) His name is Vashy <: because hoggies are known to be dramatic.. though he's actually really even-tempered; I've said "hiss hiss" at him waaaay more than he's actually hissed in his whole life. The name stuck though ;D he is blond, after all. In any case, here are a few arts. I'm also participating in inktober this year, and trying to practice comic strips again
  4. Guess it's time to post the next Vagary cx heh, silly serah starting to post stuff without following up. ---------------------------------------------- A day passed, and then a week. Jaren had fallen back into his routine; nobody realized that he was one of the boys who had been caught outside of the camp's boundary. There was also no sign of Orion. Despite trying to act as though nothing had happened, a nagging worry buzzed in the back of his mind. Had the boy really gotten into that much trouble? He knew it was foolish to disobey rules, but this didn't feel like a simple slap on the wrist. Maybe he was hiding somewhere; Jaren wasn't brave enough to go back into the garden alone, but he had searched every classroom and dorm for evidence of him. He just wasn't anywhere; not even the other students knew where he had gone, and he found himself longing for the awkward warmth between them. Rumors soon started that Orion had been imprisoned, maybe even died, and Jaren slowly started to accept that he wouldn't be coming back. ---- ---- ---- ---- The wind harshly tacked against the side of Jaren's barrack one night; ice shattering on impact outside, a chill leaked in through the doorway. He let out a sigh as he twisted around in bed, and his thoughts inevitably returned to Orion. Everything had become excruciatingly lonely in the boy's absence; nobody even said hello to him, let alone looked over with that sly gleam in their eye like he did. What if he really was dead? The door was suddenly pulled open, rocks and dust on the floor gnawing at the metal frame with an abrasive sound. In the darkness, a silhouette struggled to close it again; a great gust of icicles stormed through the air of the barrack, until finally the opening was stopped up. Only a few boys had looked around to see what happened, but rested back on their pillows when they saw it wasn't an adult who had entered. The figure was small and thin, to the point of where it might be considered unhealthy, but the rest of him was obscured. He shifted forward, melting ice crystals falling from his clothing and meeting the floor with a eerie drip, his shoes making a putrid squish as he stepped. Jaren had the urge to hide underneath his blanket, but instead grew as still as possible. He wanted the shadow to keep walking, pass by without causing trouble. Shutting his eyes as tightly as they could go, an unmitigated terror crawled up his back as the silence grew more intense. Drip, drop, squash; the sounds seemed more horrible with each ticking moment, and they were getting closer. Paranoia raked across him, his heart pounding in his ears, and his throat threatened to scream as he felt breath on his face. The figure was over him. "Jerry?" A soft voice hummed through the blackness, and Jaren immediately opened his eyes in shock. The silhouette was somehow familiar, yet alien. Jaren squinted through the darkness, features starting to become recognizable, and confusion edged into the borders of fear in his mind. He glanced around to make sure nobody else was up, and then blinked to clear his eyes. "Orion?" The boy's shape was much more gaunt than before, and his curly hair had been cut short, but it was him; his shoulders quivered slightly from the cold, though he didn't outwardly seem to mind. He smiled. That lips-barely-covering-teeth, glittering-eyes, entire-face grin that only he could pull off. Jaren hadn't seen that expression on anybody else; it was strange, and he wasn't sure why but he had missed it. "I-" His heart was yet racing, leaping in his chest as though he had been injected with absolute panic, and his mind couldn't quite figure out what he wanted to say. "I'm not a ghost-" Orion chuckled as quietly as he could, as though he had rehearsed his words. "The rumors of my death have been wildly exaggerated." Hesitation hung in the air as they just stared at each other; Jaren had to look away, hoping that he couldn't see the shame in his face. This whole thing had been his fault, after all. If it wasn't for him, Orion could've ran unhindered that day. It was his fault that he disappeared. "Sorry, I don't wanna annoy you, but-" The boy's voice was gentle, sorrow leveling the tone. "I just had to come straight here." Jaren didn't make a single sound. Had he even heard him clearly? Everything seemed so far away. Orion's face fell even further, only a tiny smirk lingering on one side of his mouth. "I'm sorry- this was stupid. I'll go." He swallowed, discreetly wiping a tear from his eye as he turned. Abruptly reaching out, Jaren caught the cuff of his sleeve. "Don't-" A single word made it passed his anxiety, and he hoped it was enough. He didn't want to be alone again; even through the entirely queasy bewilderment, Orion was still his friend. His only friend. The boy has paused, looking down at their hands, and then brushed another tear from his cheek. His clothing was just barely damp to the touch, it had been drying quickly in the arid environment, but continued to be ice cold. "You're frigid!" Jaren retracted his fingers quickly in surprise, scooting away on his bed. "I know, I can be distant-" Orion grimaced. Jaren shook his head, and then pulled the boy toward him, his fingers curling into a fist around the neckband of his jumper. Orion cussed, hissing through his teeth as he narrowly evaded the plank above Jaren's bunk. He still didn't understand, leaning in as though he was going to listen to some sort of secret. His words still far from his reach, Jaren hunched over to gently pick Orion up from the floor and remove his shoes, shifting him into his bed. Confusion was yet on Orion's face, mixing with a silent chuckle as he was wrapped with Jaren's blanket. "Won't you ever talk to me?" Jaren hadn't let go of Orion's collar, and had in fact gripped it with his other hand as well, holding it against his chest. "I-" He whimpered. Orion smirked tenderly, and then shivered with another swear. "I'm freezing." He laughed, snuggling into the warmth of the covers and closing his eyes. Feeling immobile, and yet somehow safe, he quickly drifted to sleep. ---- ---- ---- ---- A sober discomfort hung over Jaren when he awoke the next day. Orion was gone. Had he imagined the previous night? Was it a dream? He was no stranger to night terrors, but this felt different. There were new and distressing emotions filling his mind. His heart couldn't stop pounding in his ears, but it wasn't out of fear. He knew fear. What was this feeling? The shrill morning bell broke the wintry silence, and Jaren reacted as he ought to. He prepared himself for the morning, following the crowd into the mess hall, and sat with his allotment of breakfast. He kept his head down without a single word; he had grown accustomed to avoiding eye-contact and not looking at anybody directly, but something was making him extra uneasy. A single sound in the large room poked his mind, his ears reflexively flicking toward it. Babbling of teenage boys was all he could pick up; something he had learned to ignore long ago. What was causing him to react this way? There it was again; a noise jabbed him. Deciding to pay just a little more attention, Jaren closed his eyes and really listened. Among all the mindless "and he said," "by the gods," and "did you see him today," a tiny sound trilled out from the humming chatter. Jaren hastily turned his head, shock spreading across him in a single moment, and his eyes briefly met with Orion's not two tables away. The boy was talking with a few others. Laughing. As though nothing at all had happened. Not having the courage to say anything, let alone bring up what may have just been a dream, Jaren spun back around. His emotions felt as though they were going haywire, and his brain was struggling to keep up. Perhaps they needed to pretend like nothing happened. Bringing it up would only humiliate Orion. Maybe staying quiet was the best option. ---- ---- ---- ---- Time passed slowly for Jaren. He would steal glances in Orion's direction, but avoid him when he could; the boy didn't even seem to take notice either way. The feeling of his heart being in his throat subsided somewhat, though there was still a hushed tremble in his chest. It was rather strange, but he didn't think it was serious enough to talk with a doctor about it. He had read the medical books in class, he knew the statistics, but he didn't want to bother someone with such minor symptoms. ---- ---- ---- ---- Several weeks passed, and Jaren had succeeded in staying away from Orion. He was embarrassed for continuing to run that day, he was ashamed of having that dream, and he was terrified that the boy would be angry because he had let their silence go on for so long. And what if he was passive instead of mad? What if he hadn't even noticed their disconnection? That outcome was even worse. ---- ---- ---- ---- Jaren sat on his spot again, gazing longingly over at the girl's dormitory on the other side of the canyon. He was pulled to her once more; though she wasn't there anymore, the habit yet remained. Everything seemed so distant. Intangible. Almost as though it was all fake. "Thought I'd find you out here-" A familiar tone thrummed beside Jaren suddenly, though he took no notice. "Did you think I could just forget you?" The boy murmured, finding a spot to sit on the sharp and jagged rocks below. His hair had been growing longer, though it was less unkempt, and that wasn't the only thing that was changing about him. He had also gotten taller, and his vibrato sounded less childish, though it still held a youthful trill. Even that sound seemed empty to Jaren right now. He had been crying, and made no move to hide it; his face was flushed with grief, yet all of his sobs had already faded. "I'm sorry- I just wanted to give you space." Orion's nerve waned abruptly and he slumped over himself, his tone falling into a whisper. "Or maybe I was enjoying the attention from the other guys. I've never had any real friends before, and they-" He broke off with a sigh. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, okay? Guess I really-" He cussed. "Things up." Jaren sniffed, wiping his face with the palm of a hand, and then looked over at Orion. "You're not the reason-" His voice was choked as it left his lips, little more than a whimper making it through. Orion leveled their eyes, his intense blue gaze boring a hole through Jaren. He waited, but when no more words came, only confusion shone on his face. "I'm not a very good friend, I know, but I'll try to be better." His voice was even and sober. "I'll listen, okay? Whatever it is you have to say." Jaren brushed another set of tears away from his eyes, and then met Orion's. "I-" He wavered. "Have just learned that my sister has fallen ill." "And the-" Orion called the supervising adults a vulgar name. "Won't let you see her?" He shook his head, slightly proud that he had immediately understood the implications. "I always knew they were stupid." Lowering his face again, Jaren let himself continue crying. "Good thing you know somebody who can get into the hospital." Orion flashed his eyes mischievously. It hadn't taken but a moment to feel that flutter in his heart again. Despite Jaren's soul-crushing anguish, when Orion took his hand and pulled him up, tugging him forward just like he had months before, he found hope. ---- ---- ---- ---- The medical facility was quiet; it had taken a good few hours to walk to it, but they hadn't been caught. They wouldn't be missed at camp; everybody was simply too self-involved to notice their absence, and Orion had modest skills for avoiding adults. Jaren only had to keep up with him. In the silence between them, Jaren let his mind go blank; his emotions had all been cried out, and very little energy was left over for him to think about or process anything. All he knew was that Orion was beside him again. He didn't know if he had forgiven him or even liked him, but they were going to see his sister, and that was something. In some way or another, he cared. They followed a curving wall inside the hospital, and Orion briefly put a finger to his mouth to keep them both quiet. That twinkle was in is eye again, and Jaren had to glance away as he felt his heart thud loudly. "Hey-" A voice behind them called out; it was female. Jaren froze in place, certain that they were in trouble; his eyes staring blankly at the floor. He could feel Orion pull away, and he wished that he could reach out. "Hello Vicirra." Orion's voice was flustered, though somehow remained smug. "Working late?" The woman met the two boys in the corridor with her hands in her apron, an odd smell following her momentum. "Always-" She had replied with an unenthusiastic tone. "Here for another treatment?" Orion bobbed his head slightly in an affirmative gesture. Vicirra motioned toward Jaren. "Who's this?" Turning his gaze on Jaren, Orion then slipped his hand back into his with a smirk. "Emotional support." His grip was tighter than before, and he pulled him along without another word. "Stay out of trouble." The woman muttered as she spun around to go the opposite way. Jaren swallowed. "A-ar-" Only pieces of words made it to his lips. "Y-" "She's my nurse- or, what do you call them here?" Orion quickly mumbled an answer to the unasked question. "She's nice; nobody else ever let me bring visitors." He shook his head, glancing over at Jaren with another half-smile, and then paused at an unattended desk. "What's your sister's name?" He discreetly slid into a chair, tacking briefly at the computer. "M-" Jaren hesitated, wiping his face. Was this legal? "Maroan." "Got her." Orion replied within only a few seconds, and then paused to read something on the screen. Taking Jaren's hand once more, Orion continued down the corridor; he glanced around, not wanting to be caught again, and swiftly made his way through the hospital. Adults were busying themselves, ducking through the bustle that the boy was happy to avoid, and soon his gait slowed. Numbers silently crossed his mouth as he looked for the right room. The door silently opened before them, and Jaren was met with the sight of his older sister in a medical cot; many tubes were hooked into her skin, making it seem to him as though she was a science experiment. He paced forward cautiously, the door closing behind them, and leaned over her unconscious figure to look into her face. There were no words. An eerie stillness made up the room; it was devoid of cheer and personal touch, and smelled like both chemicals and urine. The lighting was dim, and yet somehow harsh. Everything felt cold, even though the temperature was quite warm. Atrociously warm. Confining. The breath caught in his throat as he held back tears. He had never cried in front of his sister before; she always told him to be strong. Orion took a step forward, his expression sober as he reached out to touch Jaren's shoulder. Reflexively pulling away, Jaren's facade broke for a split second, and a sob slipped through his lips. He quickly straightened himself back up, sending Orion a slightly spiteful look, and walked across the room to find her healthcare report. Orion let out a sigh, glancing backwards as he wondered how long they would have before being disturbed, and sat on a bench against the wall. Folding his arms, the tiniest smile prodded one corner of his mouth as he watched Jaren's eyes dart about on the papers he had found. Several minutes passed, and Jaren had resorted to pacing while he muttered to himself. He understood many words he was reading, but some remained a mystery. "It says here she had a sqehnos- squenohshic episode?" He murmured, only speaking certain things aloud. "-neh nohsi." He hummed, pondering with all the energy he yet had in him. It was almost an hour before Jaren put the papers down, and sat next to Orion with a huff. He, too, folded his arms, unknowingly mirroring him. "I wish I could tell you it'll be okay-" Orion's grim tone thrummed in the silence. "But I dunno what causes someone to live or die." Breathing out to try and calm himself, Jaren listened but didn't look over. Orion smirked mournfully while letting his gaze fall. "When my baby sister was born, she was sick; nobody thought she'd make it." He mumbled. "Then she lived-" He shook his head. "Only to be killed by some freak with a sword four years later." Jaren glanced up, staring into the boy's face. "Y- you have not spoken of this befo-" "No, I know-" Orion elbowed him teasingly, meeting his eyes. "There's a lot of stuff I don't talk about." He hesitated. "Besides, I wasn't there; my parents sent me away, remember?" He blinked, and then continued. "I guess I mean to say that I get it. That pain. The need to do something- when you know you can't." Jaren leaned toward the boy, letting his head fall against his shoulder. "And I get not wanting anybody around because you're sad, though needing someone to be there." Listening to the boy's words, Jaren turned his head, and then lifted it again; hope suddenly edged into the corners of his mind. "Grasping your previous thought-" He spoke with more assurance than he expected. "You are a healer; could you not do something?" Orion grimaced in a troubled way. "I'm sorry-" He whispered. "I promised my dad I'd keep living." His chest lifted calmly, accentuating the duality in his mind. "My 'superpowers' don't come from nowhere; it's an equal trade, energy for energy thing." He pressed his lips together in uncertainty. "I'm pretty sure I'd die. And I promised him- I'm really sorry." Jaren's expression fell again; he hadn't even considered that aptitude would have to come from somewhere. He thought it was limitless; given by spirits, or a god, but the idea seemed a little silly to him now. If it were easy to heal, there wouldn't be any sickness, and also no need for doctors. If magic were around, science would be obsolete. He let his head fall back against Orion's shoulder, and the boy tucked his arms around him, placing a gentle kiss on his forehead like his mother used to. It was kind of strange to be held like this, but also made him feel protected. Despite the uncertainty and grief racing through his mind, for the first time in a long while, he felt safe. The world seemed to fade around them, blurring into detached greys and whites, and Jaren didn't realize that he was falling asleep. "Hey-?" The woman from before had walked in the room to find the two boys lying on the bench, Jaren yet in Orion's arms. Orion had looked over at her, his face flushed. Vicirra snickered. "That's not allowed in here." "Give us a minute?" The boy replied coolly. Jaren stirred, hearing the voices, and glanced up to see the woman leaving. "By the gods-!" He jolted up from Orion's touch. "Calm down-" The boy muttered softly, wiping his eyes as his hands were freed. "You just took a nap, okay?" "Rion?" Blinking, Jaren let his drowsy gaze rest on him. "Are you crying?" His voice was small, barely audible. "Yeah." Orion smirked slightly, only one side of his mouth turning up. Jaren paused, hoping the boy would elaborate. Orion met his eyes for a second, and then smiled again before his face fell with sorrow. "I just keep thinking that-" He took a breath. "It'll be me in that bed one day." "Are you ill?" Jaren whispered, his tone whimpering. Glancing down in an ashamed way, Orion's mouth hung open for a moment. "Yeah- why did you think I was taken away?" "I don't-" Jaren then shook his head in a bold gesture. "I will not allow that to occur."
  5. sunshine_ley --> Kurokosworth: Alt Black (accepted)
  6.  sunshine_ley --> Natevaelle: Black (accepted)  sunshine_ley --> smartster4: Lunar Herald golden (accepted)
  7. I Would Like to Update My List! Scroll name: sunshine_ley Forum name: sunshine_ley Birthday: August 23rd Revised List: 1. CB female Gold 2. 2G purebred male Undine alt 3a. Checkered lineage metal (any generation) 3b. Checkered lineage Skysilk or Setsong 4a. Anything with a humerous/interesting naming system in their lineage 4b. Any hatchling with a messy lineage
  8. Yay I won a couple things o3o thank you guys! I also jus sent out my prizes; did I forget to submit a hatchling of mine? Hm oh well cx to the departure thread it goes. Anyways, thanks @The Dragoness for the great raffle; looks like ye had a pretty good turnout c; I'm glad to have given some goldies.
  9. I don't care one way or the other about raffles, but I personally think, since you'd be adding more responsibility on yourself anyways, if you do end up doing a raffle you ought to have it be a monthly thing here (on the giveaway thread). But, then again, I'm simply not into redundancy; it's just, if I were you, I'd want one thread with everything, instead of multiples d:
  10. Heyyy o3o my goldies were moderately reasonable with me tonight; now time for bed v3v Thanks for keepin this thing going all this time, Dragoness; I finally caught the donation window again, woo!
  11. @spatio Sorry for the wait .3. I kinda hit another lumpity bump of depression. Hopefully I'll be able to get some drawing done this week .3. I've been doing a lot of animal research; it keeps me interested, which is only a few steps down from "happy," but it is draining when I've only got so much emotional energy to go around. Also, @The Dragoness, it would seem that I'm warming up to the idea of getting a bally cx I've got an appointment of sorts scheduled to meet a few ballies (since I've only held babies up to this point). I'm kind of excited; people say they're one of the best snakes to own, whether if you're a beginner or not, but I'm also nervous about the husbandry requirements (since I've been preparing for a hognose and their husbandry is super simple). I should really start sketching my pets .3. would that be interesting to look at on here?
  12. @The Dragoness Yeah I get that; I've held a bally since and, oooh gosh, so cute o3o they're crazy soft and sweet.. I jus wish they didn't get so big cx I dun want someone over, like, three feet long for my very first snake. Maybe a bally in the future.. diiistant future. I'll probably have to have my own apartment. @spatio Thank you very much d: I'm glad you find it compelling. Care to request anything?
  13. @Natayah Well hello there .3. it's really nice to know that I've made an impact in one way or another. My introverted-ness gets the better of me on- well, nearly every occasion. The loneliness gets to me... a lot.. but I just don't have the capacity to advertise myself. It's simply not in my skillset. I can't go around flailing about on the forum, shouting "love me, love my art," because it only accentuates the emptiness inside of me. For example, I once had a poor-quality photograph I took of a nautilus get passed around on tumblr, and I instinctively reacted in a way I didn't expect. I was furious; enraged by the notifications the app sent me, for no reason other than the disconnection I felt from the words on my screen, pretending to be people, when it was only pixels. I'd rather speak to someone, open my heart and feel vulnerable, than play games or await clicks and likes and attention. I'm just not cut out for social media. I always take notice of your comments, however. How much effort and kindness and straight up thought you put into your words, and that you take the time to write out paragraphs when a lot of people (like me) have trouble saying anything at all.. well, I guess it gives me hope. And I hope the respect I have for you has shone through. You are, quite simply, amazing (mmmh, I suppose that could be said of a lot of people, but- "a lot of people" don't actually talk with me) So, my good sir, have a lovely flailing floppy animation. And my thanks v3v @The Dragoness I'm very glad you like them; I have to admit, when you requested a bally one of the first mental images I had was of him choking down a rat cx it's just soo dorky, the face sneks get while they're eating. Go right ahead and use any and all of them d: I don't mind as long as you don't say you drew them. Well, the freckles kinda gave him away ;D (...oh noes I forgot to put freckles on the drawing o3o nuuuu). I'm looking into western hognoses, myself; I was absolutely smitten when I held one a couple months ago. My first time really holding a snake, and, oops, well I guess I'm a snake person now.
  14. Doot, @The Dragoness Buh boot de doot Click to go n download the full pictures; I can resize if needed d: thank you for the requests (edit: oh and btw, I'd better not be creeped out by sneks, I'm getting one by summer's end o3o)
  15. *Flails* yessss a request cx of a cutie pastel bally bebe too omy (I'm still not great with morphs; is a banana?). It's been a while since I've drawn a snek; I shall see what I can do, and, neh, no payment necessary. Oh I named him "Your now is not your forever;" is a quote from John Green's novel, Turtles All the Way Down. Now which mate I should pair with him first cx that's the real question (edit: awww, no interest; perhaps next week) Oh yeah, and, hi Dragoness d:
  16. Draw Everything June, a challenge via SenshiStock; days 01 and 02. #DEJ2019 (By the way, this always has been, and thus continues to be, an art request thread. If nobody requests, then I have nothing to post; thus why I am intermittently silent. DeviantART is where I go to share my work, not here; I only put my arts up here to try and get people interested in requesting. I guess that doesn't really work. Yeh.)
  17. Aaaand while I'm here (procrastinating going to bed) I might as well post the first chapter of Vagary; hopefully it copies over okay. Probably post the next two chapters (there are only three) this week or so; they were written like a year ago. I was trying to figure out how to write, um, coherently, and not info-dump every chance I got. Whew time goes fast when you're walking through life half asleep. (oh wowww it's been a while since I read this |D hahhhh ehh) ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- He leaned over to kiss his forehead, as he had so many times before, though this felt like it would be the last. It was Orion who used to be the short one, Jaren mused as he looked up at him; he watched the curls in the man's strawberry blond hair bounce with repose as they both gazed across the chasm at their feet. Segregation was something the government denied still existed among the sexes, but the societal discrimination was well illustrated by the great physical rift which cleaved the two sides of the camp apart. Girls on one side, boys on the other. It was no mystery why Orion had let Jaren cling to him so tightly; isolation. Even though he was technically of royal birth, he was male, and that automatically meant he was seen as inferior; he didn't feel as though he belonged anywhere. "There's always next year, okay?" Orion's boyish tone hummed softly, his pale lips trying to form a smile. "You're smart-" He broke off, contented to leave his thought unfinished. "I know you'll find the confidence." As the light began to flicker from the sky, an ambient glow remained; the fires deep within the cliff were lit for the night and blue smoke bellowed upward. The curfew bell chimed sharply in the suffocating quiet, as though it echoed across the walls of the very world. Orion had been the first to say hello, those short hundred years ago; now he was the one to say goodbye. They had met on this very spot; Jaren remembered it so clearly. ---- ---- ---- ---- "Weird how it's only dudes on this side, right?" The young Orion had brushed the frizzy ringlets from his eyes while sitting next to a boy he had never met. The rocks below them were so ragged, not to mention the sheer drop within a single decimal, that nobody ventured out onto them this far. Jaren had immediately turned away. "Why are you talking to me?" He slipped a hand over his eye to hide its bruising. Orion's face fell. "You too, huh?" He shifted apprehensively, setting his gaze on the ambiguous shape of the girl's dormitory across the expansive gap. "Sorry I don't fit into your little box, okay?" "Sorry-?" Jaren murmured back, wiping a tear away as he looked at the boy. Orion cussed as their eyes met; the sore patches of red and blue on Jaren's cheek were prominent and dark. "Are you okay?" "No-" He huffed as he shamefully covered his face once more. "But it's nothing a Nubraek should anguish over." "Oh yeah- I forgot that's something people hate me for." Muttering, Orion brushed his forehead free of sweat. "Mostly they just see my dumb hair color, and think I'm stupid too." "I oppose that way of thinking." Jaren replied faintly. "But my mom's job is enough to judge me for?" Orion's voice had turned harsh, though he made no move to leave. "I-" "Right." The air puffed through his lips forcefully. "She wasn't the queen, you know." "The consideration of royalty is-" Jaren mumbled. "She's dead now; no use in dwelling on it." Orion let out a sigh, the particles from his breath skittering about in the bright light overhead. Jaren bit his lip, not sure what else to say. He, too, had lost his family recently; the emotions were yet fresh in his mind, stinging his eyes at the very thought. Despite understanding, his hesitation hung in the air like a great mist; fogging his mind. It seemed the longer he waited in silence, the more difficult it was to speak. "Thank you." Orion's face has turned red in the long moment, and then he met his eyes. "Everybody always gives me their pity." He leaned forward, reaching out to touch Jaren's injured cheek. "Maybe you are different." "What are-" Jaren reflexively moved back, and then froze. A great warmth rushed to his face all at once, and the soreness in his eye dissipated immediately. "What-?" "They say I don't have any- what do they call it? Aptitude? Superhero powers, right?" Orion tried to explain. "But I just don't use them around people I don't like." He abruptly smirked, bobbing his head. "And there are a lot of people I don't like." Jaren had tapped the same spot on his face as the boy pulled away; his bruise was gone, and calmness relaxed his posture as he understood. "You're a healer?" Chuckling softly, Orion folded his arms. "I dunno what I am anymore." With that, he lifted himself from the rock and walked away. Jaren couldn't help but wonder what his intentions had been that day. As some time passed, they found that they had a class in common, and one simple conversation seemed to follow another. Though he still didn't feel very comfortable around anybody, Orion was someone he could at least tolerate. ---- ---- ---- ---- "Don't you wish suds bought love?" A black-haired boy addressed Jaren harshly after lunchtime, mocking the potted plant he had been tending to in botany class. "Even completely lathered, you have to grow friends." Glancing through the crowd, Orion had been waiting for Jaren, and heard the commotion; pushing his way forward, as though to save him from scrutiny, fear crawled up his back. Not a single word left his mouth as his lips remained agape, staring blankly at the person who had been speaking to the one he did in fact call his friend. "What do you want, tink?" The boy had turned to him with an intimidating stance, unamused and completely aware of his strength over the both of them. Jaren continued to stare downward, trying to keep his hands from shaking as he held the plant, and could only watch in horror as Orion reached forward and knocked it from his grasp. The glass pot shattered, a great heap of dirt spreading across the floor as the plant crumpled with the force. The boy let out a guffaw of laughter. "Look who's zozzled this morning!" Tears sprung to Jaren's eyes in shock, but he let Orion lead him away. "Why-!" He almost yelled as they turned a corner, out of sight from most of the other students. "Why would you take such an action?" He yanked his hand out of the boy's grasp, and instead pressed it to his face in grief. Orion's gaze fell, shame enveloping him as he struggled to explain himself. "I know where to get another one, okay?" He replied softly after only a few seconds; his voice seemed stale and distant. Jaren paused, his whole body freezing with confusion. "What are you implying? That was the final developing nohs remaining in camp-" "Yeah." "You would have me venture outside of the boundary?" Jaren swallowed, as though the very suggestion of such a thing was the worst possible idea either of them could've had. "Regardless, it wouldn't adequately replace the life which was lost." Orion blinked as though he didn't understand, yet he did; a tiny smirk played on one corner of his mouth as he turned away, his eyes sparkling with mischievous energy. "W- wait; don't-" Jaren hesitated, but then hastily followed. It was true that he didn't have any friends, but Orion seemed to have made himself one without provocation. Is this what being normal was supposed to feel like? Having a single friend whom you could cling to? Someone you can trust, except, apparently, to be comprehensible. The sky was bright today, so much that one could feel the heat of the sun through the radiation diffusers, and Jaren pondered if they were having trouble with solar flares. It hurt his eyes to look up for too long, so he found himself gazing at the ground, keeping in step with Orion as the ceramic beneath them gradually shifted into brittle sheets of rock. They were far from the border of their camp, now, and this set his teeth on edge, but he couldn't help but feel somehow tethered to Orion. He was the only person he could trust right now; the only one who actually saw him. "Why are you here?" The boy's voice brought Jaren out of a deep corner of his mind, and he blinked several times to review the question. "It's because- I believe you're my friend." "No-" Orion chuckled, glancing toward him with that shimmer in his eye again; that look which made Jaren uneasy. "I mean, why are you here? You don't seem like a military man to me; why'd you enroll in a boot camp? Were you recruited?" "Boot- what?" Jaren muttered in confusion. "I-" He then let out a sigh. "Family ties." Orion bobbed his head in acknowledgement. "Same here." Picking up a small stone, he idly chucked it across the flat landscape; the clacking sound reverberated in their ears until the rock shattered with a crunch. Jaren pressed his lips together, curiosity poking him. "Do- you enjoy destroying objects?" "Sometimes." Orion smirked again, as though with pride. Maybe he wasn't so different from the other kids in the camp after all, Jaren considered quietly; a sudden amount of fear was trying to pull him back to the dorm. But, then, he would be alone again. Invisible. Almost as though he didn't even exist. "We're here." Orion pointed ahead of them; a dark crevice was tucked away under a few sheets of rock, and he wasted no time in clearing it so that they could fit down into it. "Orrin-" Jaren's tone whined slightly, his panic showing through. "Orion." The boy corrected him with a gentle smile as he settled his feet into the hole, and then reached out to Jaren. "C'mon." It was awkward when their hands met, but as they climbed down into the darkness, Jaren gripped Orion's even tighter. The feeling of someone being there, perhaps even caring, whether it was merely on the surface or not, it made him feel a little bit safer. Jaren's foot fell a little wrong on the jagged rock below, and Orion had to catch him. "I-" He murmured, and then wavered as he watched the boy smile again; who would do that? Nobody smiled as much as he did. Orion hadn't said anything, but set Jaren upright coolly before continuing to walk; the palms of their hands pressed together firmly, almost as though they might become a single entity. It was strange, and their shared warmth was beginning to feel uncomfortably muggy against his skin. It was a while before the tight space opened up, and Jaren's cloth shoes had more than one tear in them from the walk, but the sight was worth it. The walls expanded outward into a cave, arching stalactites making up the majority of the fractured ceiling, and light filtered down just enough to make patches of green visible along the floor. Jaren put a hand to his face, stifling a gasp. Plants. There were plants growing both upward and down, branching out into the brightness of the sky above, and tucked away in each of the dark corners. Orion smirked at his reaction. "I've been collecting things since I was moved here." He spoke gently, but with confidence, as he stepped forward. "I know I have one of those- what did you call it? Nohs?" His smile grew with humor as he spun around to pull Jaren farther into the clearing. "I was thinking olm, but that's something else." "I-" Jaren forced himself to take a step, awe making his fingers feel as though they were full of electricity. "This is astounding!" He hesitated, the words not feeling quite right on his tongue. "You're- astounding." Glancing down at their feet, Orion then turned to hide the fact that his face was flushed. "Shut up." He chuckled, rubbing the hair out of his eyes as he pulled away. He paced forward into the scattered light, glancing around for a plant he knew he had seen down here before. The nohs was a simple stalk with notches in it that broke up the naturally smooth nap; its slender leaves fanned out from the top in bilateral symmetry, and as such it was one of the most striking plants in Orion's collection. It was small, yet difficult to keep, especially because of its highly sought-after medicinal properties. He shifted some vines around; their brown leaves indicated that they needed water, but he knew they could wait. "Here it is." He shuffled a pot across the ground to fill it with soil, and knelt over his nohs to transplant it with great care. Jaren had been frozen in the long minutes that the boy had searched; when told to be quiet, he had learned to be obedient, and he was shocked that Orion had demanded such a thing of him. He seemed to turn cold in a single moment, still not understanding his smile. Maybe they weren't friends after all; did he instead see him as a burden, or perhaps someone to be pushed around? He was just like everybody else at camp; he didn't actually care. Orion had brought the plant over to him, and paused while trying to make eye contact. "Is everything okay?" Genuine concern was in his tone, though it fell on deaf ears. A small rock struck the floor of the cavern, being knocked loose by a great rumble over a mile away, and this made him flinch; he glanced around, smelling the preparation of evening fires drifting through the cavern opposite them. "We should go." Jaren didn't take his hand this time, and in fact didn't say a single word the entire walk back into camp. They had missed all of their afternoon classes, and barely made it in time for the evening meal. Everything felt queasy to him, and he blamed Orion for his anguish, determining that he ought to avoid him from then onward. It worked for several days, but then Jaren felt the urge to visit the garden again. The air had felt different there somehow, at peace, and he definitely needed more serenity in his life. ---- ---- ---- ---- Orion turned a corner in the tunnel on the far side of his cave, and caught sight of a figure. He cussed out of surprise, and then took a breath as a smile of relief turned up his lips. "Thought you were a choss-" He swore again, stepping closer. "What are you doing here?" Jaren had only stared back, and then scrambled to pick his things up. He had been able to get some studying done in the quiet, and wasn't sure why he hadn't expected the boy to appear. This was his spot, after all. "Wait-" Orion hurried forward to grab his arm, but slipped his hand from it as soon as he saw the look in his eye. Stopping dead in his tracks, Jaren still felt the urge to listen to him, though he didn't know why. "What did I do?" The boy's voice sounded faint again, yet his apprehension was quite obvious. "I'm sorry- whatever it was, I'm sorry, okay?" Jaren lifted his gaze, a great mass of confusion swirling around in his mind as he held his books tightly. "I-" He mumbled faintly, not sure what he was thinking let alone what he could say. He was nervous around him, that was for certain, but he also had become scared of him; this was something that neither them could sufficiently make up for. Orion wiped his brow, the silence between them getting more uncomfortable as the seconds ticked away, and then reached his fingers out to touch Jaren's. "You can go ahead and hate me-" He swallowed, as though the words were a mouthful of tar. "But I wish you would at least talk to me." Picking up a few of the papers that had been left, Orion then turned to Jaren again and tucked them into his books. "A lot of people think it's fine to hate me and not say anything." His tone was solemn. "Even my own parents didn't talk about stuff; they thought it was fine to just send me here to avoid everything." He blinked, making eye-contact for a single moment, and then looked up into the ceiling. "They didn't care about what I thought-" His voice grew quieter with each word. "But I guess that's how people do things here." "When m- my father was incarcerated-" Jaren said timidly. He hadn't actually told anybody that before. He felt like most people already knew; that they could see right through him. "I was denied a choice in my destination as well." Brushing a hand through his ratty hair, one side of Orion's mouth turned up just barely. "That's the first real thing you've said to me, you know." Jaren turned again to leave, sorrow meeting fear on the edges of his mind. "Wait, please?" Orion begged. "Tell me what I did- is this still about the plant? All I can do is apologize; I don't know what else-" He broke off, quickly wiping away a tear from his cheek. He was crying? Jaren found this very strange, especially since the boy had seemed so disconnected with his emotions before. Orion let out another laugh, sadness filling up the sound as more tears followed the first. "You're just going to stand there?" "I'm- uncertain as to what you expect." Jaren felt even more uncomfortable than before; being presented with such abrupt vulnerability was jarring to say the least. Sniffing slightly, Orion bobbed his head in acceptance. "Then it's done-" He murmured as though to himself. "We can never be friends again? You can't even try?" Jaren's lips parted ruefully, feeling the awkwardness build up once more in the silence of the cave. "Right." Orion's tone had grown stale, and he walked passed him without taking a second glance. "I-" Jaren had then vaulted toward him suddenly, his belongings clattering against the ground as he reached to grab Orion's sleeve. The boy caught him as he stumbled, and held his arms for support, yet his expression was placid. "I have no stomach for games." "I long to be your friend." His words sounding more sober than earnest, Jaren straightened himself up and tried again. "I request that you don't give me commands, and I shall be your friend again." "Commands?" Orion repeated with a touch of humor, as though all of his sorrow had been wiped away in a single moment. "We're equals, Jerry, I wouldn't even think to order you around like a dog." Jaren paused, turning away to retrieve his books again. "Jerry?" He let a tiny smile pull at his mouth. "Yeah-" The boy replied, leaning over to help; the crinkled paper made an odd sound as it was snatched from the floor. "You can call me Rion if you wanna." He paused. "And you can ignore everything I say to you, okay? There is absolutely no obligation to listen to me." Orion raised an eyebrow playfully as he followed with a hushed tone. "See? I know big words too." "What are you boys doing down here?" A large voice suddenly echoed through the cave, the clomping sound of boots belonging to a silhouette across the way. "You delinquents are quite far from the boundary, and will have to be reported." "Run." Orion smiled abruptly, his face very close to Jaren's before he pulled him along the path. The one he climbed was much too narrow for an adult to traverse, but he felt rushed regardless. Jaren struggled with his belongings, making sure that he wasn't dropping anything as they scrambled out of the crevice, and through the panic he couldn't help but smile. It was strange to be aided in such a way, to be held against Orion like this, but no longer unpleasant; perhaps he would get used to his quirks someday. Orion suddenly pushed him forward as they ran across the rocky plain; there was another figure behind them, and this one definitely looked to be a choss, a guard from the camp. There was no time to waste, he had to protect Jaren, and he could only hope the boy would keep running as he allowed himself to be a distraction. "Stop, in the name of the queen!" The patrol cried, but for the first time in his life, Jaren didn't do what the adult told him. ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
  18. This is the ID I made for myself last year. One of my best self-portraits. A couple months ago, I tried to get back into animating. Oh, I mustn't forget the emotes I made for my discord .3. And I tried comics again too. Rae'Quia here was originally a The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion character, so thus the references in her comics. Click for dA.
  19. Whoh apparently I didn't feel the need to post here all of last year. Oh, and yet I found the time to put some Alluring Abyss up here |D that's embarrassing. In any event, hello, I do in fact exist. Most of the time. Even won a silver shim from May's raffle, which is super crazy. Yep, sooo, have some arts. As always, click for dA.
  20. Ohh sunrise! What a great idea, @kirby; the high saturation is really interesting ( : I haven't played around much yet with color combinations, but I'm pleasantly surprised by pairing them with leodons; hopefully they're new/common enough for me to get a checker up really soon. I'll definitely have to try with waters too; there might be just barely enough contrast for it to not become too monochromatic.. besides that I love waters
  21. Thank you @11th o3o what an amazing color combination, https://dragcave.net/lineage/Ncri3; now if only I could find a mate next december..
  22. Well, I don't like holidayxholiday more than any other pairing, but since I was tagged (hi @missy_) I might as well add my lines here d: only the completed ones, for simplicity's sake. They're all 3EG checkers; feel free to ask me to breed them for ye, as they generally jus go to the ap, if they get bred at all. Heartseeker x Shadow Walker Heartseeker x Solstice Radiant Angel x Desipis Radiant Angel x Caligene Winter Magi x Heartstealing Snow x Rosebud Snow x Soulstone Snow x Caligene
  23. Black Alt Raffle! 2G purebred sitting Black alt, named parents, female. Offer a dummy on the link, and I'll use RNG to pick a winner at noon tomorrow! Feel free to keep it for yourself or send to your giftee; no abandoning/killing. CLOSED Also, as a note, this is for Secret Santa participants (otherwise I'd have put it on some other thread); I'll be checking the participant list on the OPs. If you're name's not there, I'm going to draw again. And by the power of random.org, @Tinibree is our lovely winner! I guess your nervousness paid off ;D haha, I saw you switch your dummy out like three times last night before ye settled on that sunsong. Thanks for playing everyone
  24. Ah, wasn't sure if people really liked 3G Thuweds so much ( : offer dummys; feel free to try and trade them for something better, but post them back on the thread if ye fail. Magi x Black checker (gone) Turpentine x Brimstone (was abandoned, sorry, couldn't hold it forever)