she rushed through the forest, passing the tress, stepping on twigs, tripping on roots, she had to reach him. One last time. After her journey to her old home, she heard the news when she got back, she wasted no time, and ran. Sniffing for his scent, her baby's scent. From that first second after she gave birth to him, her personal favorite of the first litter, and the only survivor. The other four sadly didn't make it due to winter's cold icy embrace. "Tier, don't you dare…" she huffed, tripping over again, her emotions clouding her vision, tears stinging her eyes. "don't be too far gone…" she whispered slowly. She laid there on the ground, sniffing, crying like a baby, hiding it all with a stroke of her leg over her muzzle. But who could blame her?
As she stayed on the ground, tired, about to give up, a strong new scent picked up. She stopped her crying, and looked up at the newcomer, who was suddenly howling. Could it had been? "I'm here mother. Don't cry." he whispered, nuzzling his mother's cheek. Aleu couldn't believe it, but then again she never doubted that he was alive. Such is the love of a caring mother. She pounced on her first born cub, and embarked him with endless kisses and licks. "my baby, oh sweetheart, my darling, I knew I'd find you I knew it!" she cried again, burying her saddened face into her grown son's big soft chest. Both wolves stood up in sitting position, embracing one another in a loving hug. Not wanting to let go, not wanting to part.
"Mother I-," Tier started to say, but was hushed "shh-, please Tier, at least come say goodbye to your father, and your brother."
Moments passes, then minutes, than what seemed like hours, the parted. Aleu lead her son the way to the clan where his family was last seen. "Wow its been so long." Tier gazed his surroundings in aw. His tour was halted however by three wolves in front of them. "Well well if it ain't Tier~ whats bringing you here to-," Aleu cleared her throat, signaling the Russian wolf. "If it ISN'T Tier, what BRINGS you back here? We ALL thought you WERE dead." yuk struggled with his sentence trying not to upset his teacher. "Very good Yuk." she assured her student. "We didn't think you were dead at all!" summac chuckled, the comment made Tier smile. "I'm glad I didn't worry you."
"Worry? You had us all worried alright, worried sick." another wolf walked into the conversation. "Dad!" Tier trotted up to the auburn wolf who was waiting in open arms. The embrace was quick but surely it was a loving one. "Where are the others dad?" the young wolf asked. "they're hunting. Atka's leading them."
"I knew he'd take the role of leadership," Tier said to himself with a proud smirk. "why don't you tell us why you-,"
"soon as they get back I'll tell you everything." Tier shushed.
Deep wood, the hunters walked with pride, as they carried their prize on their back, or in their mouths, the biggest one groaned "ouch~"
"hush dante we're almost there." the white wolf said. "when I get my hands on that one caribou I'm gonna~"
"That's enough Dante, focus on carrying our meal, you'll get your comeback later. Right now we gotta~ got to…"Atka trailed off, mouth and eyes wide open, there he was, right in front of him, was it all an illusion? "I've come back brother." Tier smiled expected a glomp but instead he was tackled violently by his incoming brother. Bearing his teeth and fangs, Atka growled with anger. "you idiot what were you thinking? Did you honestly think you would make it out alive? Now you show up like nothing happened and you expect me to-…to…" Atka's voice cracked, the overflowing emotions were too much. He cried, sobbing uncontrollably, burrying his face into his older brothers chest. "Don't be afraid Atka, I'm really here, alive, and home." Tier padded Atka's back trying to comfort him, trying anything he could to lessen the awkward reunion.
"Atka, you're causing a scene!" Dante who was also in tears, said in between hiccups. "does that matter? Its great to have you back brother." Aniu approached the red and tan wolf, licking her brothers cheek. "good to be back." Tier replied. Smiling as he saw in the corner of his eye, the mighty tundra rested by a tree, cloaked in the shadows, smiling and signaling his blessing. "Tundra, same as always. Hey where's balto and eska?" the elder brother looked around, seeing no sign of his other siblings.
"in Nome, your father and I took a vacation at the place I used to live when I was a pup. We left the leadership to Tundra seeing as he was the most experienced." Aleu answered. "Oh, well, I hope to meet them someday, and gramps and grandma too!"
"So tell us hun, how and why?" another voice came in. "Auntie gale!" Tier chirped. Laughing his her 'aunt' licked his cheeks. "wait until you meet your cousins." she whispered in her nephews ear. "who knows?" the young wolf questioned. Gale nodded, giving the sign that not even her mate knew. "Well sit down everyone, I've got a lot to tell."
As day time fell and the night had come, the pack gathered around in a circle, in the middle, a fireplace was lit. "I had no intentions on going K.I.A. or M.I.A., I was arrogant and unprepared, and foolish to take on Niju at the time." Tiers ears folded back in shame, waiting for his mother to scold and lecture him, but it never came. So he continued. "All I wanted was to make sure the war ended as quickly as possible. I minded my surroundings, and knowing full well that I couldn't possibly win, I took the only chance I had and took him down with me. I don't remember anything after that. Until I woke up in a cave with this girl-,"
"Ooooh~" Dante taunted, aniu just rolled her eye's and placed her paw forward. "Don't mind him brother, please continue your story." Tier nodded "she nursed me back to health and everything, but the problem was I had temporarily amnesia." hearing this shocked aleu. Sensing his mates fear, Taku nuzzled aleu, putting his chin atop of her head, signaling her to snuggle into his chest, this comforted aleu as she sighed, listening to her mates heartbeat. "Don't worry, I remembered shortly after. But when I did, I started to rethink things."
Tier stood up and walked over to Atka. "Atka I've always knew you envied me, I knew you always wanted to be like me. So I gave you that opportunity to show what you could do." Atka frowned at what he was hearing "By killing yourself?" the elder brother groaned seeing his unhappy brother, not wanting to get on his bad side he switched gears. "like I said before; I was arrogant and selfish back then and I'm deeply sorry for worrying you."
"And you think I'm going to accept your apology because you dropped so much responsibility on my shoulders? How do you think that made me feel? To watch you plummet off of a cliff. I never felt so hopeless!" the younger brother barked. Tier stepped back, this wasn't going to be easy. "I'm not asking for forgiveness, just wanting to let you know that I'm truly sorry." Tier said calmly.
"When I picked up your scent after mom and the others left I was so excited, then I heard your howl, you said you were going away and not coming back, yet here you are; as if nothing happened."
"But isn't that what you wanted? Didn't you want to see me again?" Tier almost got the impression that Atka didn't even want to see him, his own little brother. "its as if you came back from the dead, and you come back for whatever reason? To take back the responsibility? Tundra may have been alpha but he dubbed me beta, I've grown strong and I'm not giving my title back. You had your chance and you threw it away!"
Taku stood in between, readying himself to attack. "Alright that's enough you two! Either you all calm down or I'm going to have to force you! Now settle down Atka and let Tier finish!" the tan wolf backed off at his fathers words. Though he was no longer alpha he was still his father. "Son, I'm sorry but atka made the rule; "those who leave the pack are banned permanently.", but with a few biased exceptions. This new tone of his is starting to make me feel that he wants you on that list."
"Dad, Atka I'm not staying, I just came to tell you guys that I'm leading another pack now. I'm omega still but I'll climb the ranks no problem. My rescuer; Amme, will be coming with me. She left her pack to find or make her own." the tan wolf approached his older brother with confusion in his eye's. "Atka I did it because I love you, you're my brother and I've always wanted you to have your chance to shine. I can never take that away from you." Tier finished with a smile. "Tier I-, I'll think about it but now, I can't forgive you. I honestly don't know how to feel…" Tier placed his front paw on Atka's shoulder. "You don't have to." the red and tan wolf pulled his brother into a hug. "Goodbye brother. I wish you the best of luck." Tier parted, walking up to the biggest sibling. "Dante, you've changed since I've last saw you, you seem, different. More open and happy." Dante blushed a little under his fur.
"Shh, I know but-," Tier could only chuckle. "Its ok big guy you don't have to be ashamed, you are who you are, but we'll love yah no matter what." Tier winked. "Aniu, is there anything I can-," the red and tan wolf was interrupted by a tight squeeze from his sister. "you don't have to say anything brother, I'll miss you dearly. You know that." getting the picture, but unable to speak, he blurted out a gag, signaling his sister that she was hugging too tightly. She released him from her grasped and apologized for her 'strength', blaming only her emotions and having get the better of her. Tier didn't blame her. "Nuk, Yuk, Sumac, keep practicing on that grammar of yours, My ma's a great teacher." the three Russian wolves nodded in response. "Pop, take good care of ma for me will yah?" Tier wrapped his head around his fathers neck. "Always have son. I'm proud of you for coming back to say one last goodbye." finally when he reached his aleu
"Mom, I'm going to miss you the most of all." Aleu could only break into tears, snuggling into her sons chest. "You'll be a great leader Tier, I'll always be with you in spirit no matter where you go, may the spirits help guide you on the right path." now she was starting to sound more like a shaman. "and don't forget, I'll always be your baby." he kissed his mother on the cheek. "Nope. No more baby, you're full grown. Look how much you've grown. I can't be like my father and baby you all the time. But like him, its my turn to let go, and let you walk your own path." she smiled brightly. "But if you insist-," Tier chuckled, and the chuckle became a laugh, giving his mother one last kiss.
The goodbye's were said, and the hugs were given. Tier marched on, finally putting everything behind him. Journeying on to his destiny