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OCTOBER 1, Y109
Moving nests was not something that came to the great hunter easily or without a fuss. It was not something that he... understood, and as with so many things, what he did not understand, he did not handle with the same dignity that he might have normally possessed. His temper had been frayed for days during the process of getting things situated in the new nest, and he had been on the verge of a dozen fights over the course of the move.

Then, when everyone else seemed to settle into their routine and relax, he had... not. He had become even more temperamental and fussy about everything. He kept moving things around, and getting frustrated when it didn't feel right. It had eventually culminated in a loud and aggressive meltdown that he wasn't proud of, because he knew humans were not supposed to do that. That made it worse. It made everything worse, knowing that he still couldn't be what they were without even trying, because he couldn't control the surging waves of emotion in his head that made everything go to shit before he realized it. Before he could stop himself.

He dug his heel into the sand angrily, and turned his sullen glare out towards the ocean, scanning the horizon. It had been a couple of nights since he had lost his shit, for lack of a better term, and stormed out of the nest. He didn't know if he wanted to go back, or if he would be welcome. He could barely remember what had happened, but...

He supposed he hadn't hurt anyone. If he had, he wouldn't have gotten so far.

He couldn't say the same for any potential property damage, and even as he scanned the air, he grimaced with mild shame. He shouldn't have done that. Whatever he had done. It was wrong.

He just wanted to go home. He wanted to be him again, because he knew how to be himself. Large, dominant and perfect. Master of the world, and not confined to a body he didn't understand, with all these stupid feelings.

Feeling helpless was the worst of it. The ocean was right there, and he couldn't even go back to it. He was forced to remain on the shore, and after a pregnant pause, he screamed. As loud and as carrying as he could, hoping that one of his own would finally hear it, even if they had never heard his cries before. This time might be different, and he might see one of them on the far horizon. And then...

And then what? He would still be in this stupid, tiny form. He would be as incapable of contacting them as if they weren't here at all, and the mighty predator found himself sobbing furiously at the stupid, cruel injustice of this entire world.

Screaming again, more for some way to release frustration than anything, he reached down and grabbed a stone as large around as his fist, and he threw it as hard as he could, watching it dissolve into the night. He didn't hear it hit the water, so he picked up another and threw that one as well, crying and raging and shouting all the while. Aware that he wasn't even alone on the fucking beach anymore, but he didn't fucking care. He just kept raging until it tapered out and he hit the ground gracelessly, punching the earth as hard as he could, until both his hands hurt too much to carry on.

"What do you fucking want." His voice was choked, but as deep and demanding as ever. He didn't bother to turn around. "Just say what the fuck you want to say, and leave me the fuck alone. I don't fucking care."

@Toby Daye


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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Toby had never been the best person in the world when it came to change herself. Not in the sense when her home changed. There were plenty of things that had caused her world to be more than a little unstable and every time her home had changed it had been devastating to Toby. Except for twice, when she had been moving in with someone and had actually been so goddamn happy that she felt her heart bursting. Funny how she couldn't look back on both of those moments with the same fond memories.

But she saw the warning signs in Goji as everyone else started to settle into the new office space. One of the reasons why Toby had gotten a bigger place was because she knew that Goji had been sleeping in the office. He now had his own space, more than enough space for him to have his own room (basically), and the works. Security living on premises was how she had spun it in her own mind and on the paperwork, making sure that everything was as above board as it needed to be. Thankfully with a Shallowing all of that was easy. It knew what Toby needed and created it. It could make any officials looking into the place get lost if they didn't know what they were doing.

The brunette had seen Goji explode, for lack of a better word, and she had watched Goji leave. Giving him his space was likely the best option but she had gotten worried by the second day that he hadn't shown back up. That was when she had started looking for the giant lizard turned human. He was part of her team, her pack, and that meant it was Toby's job to bring him back in. She might have sent Arthur to go and do it but considering Toby already had an idea of what she was dealing with, the changeling figured it was best to take care of it.

Tracking him down really hadn't been all that difficult. Goji had a habit of sticking out like a sore thumb where ever he went. Not because of his looks or anything of that nature, at least as long as he had kept his clothing on, but his attitude and the way he spoke certainly left an impression on whoever the hell he was around. Toby had managed to trace his path to a beach in the middle of the night. The air was starting to get cold and Toby almost wished she had put a hoodie on under her leather jacket. She had never done well in Winter in Pandora. It was always too damn cold for her California upbringing.

Still she stopped a little bit away from Goji, lifting her hands a touch to cover her ears slightly when he screamed in frustration. He really did have a pair of lungs on him! It really did seem like Goji was going through something intense. Perhaps Toby should have brought Arthur. She crossed her arms under her chest and waited for him to start talking before responding. She remembered what she had been like when she had wanted to be left alone. Back when she had broken the curse of being a fucking fish. When the world had changed and she had lost Gilly.

I don't fucking care. At least he was giving her a chance to say something. "What upset you, Goji?" She wasn't going to start out by poking directly at his emotional outburst. They both already knew that Toby had seen it. She also knew that his emotions were still running high. So similar to how she had been, but a lot more aggressive than how Toby had reacted herself. Her troubles had taken the form of depression, which had been troubling in its own way. She stepped up a little bit to look out over the ocean with him, but she was still several feet back from the shore line. If he decided to get in the water... well, Toby would be calling Arthur. No way she'd be following him into the ocean. "Is there something you don't like about the place or is it the move itself?" It could be anything really. Toby glanced in his direction, tucking her hands into her jacket pockets while she waited for an answer.
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Part of him wanted to make Toby go away. He weighed his options as he sat on the beach, nursing two brutalized hands that would be healed by the end of the night. If he acted out harshly enough, he was sure she would leave, because she wasn't that stupid. She would send Fishy Man Arthur to fetch him instead, but he didn't know if he wanted that, either, because Fishy Man was strong as shit.

He would be more tempted to fight him. He didn't want to fight Toby, as volatile as he felt.

"You don't move nests. That is not the way." He said after a very long, tense silence. He wiped his cheeks absently to drive away the tears. "I do not like it. I hate human ways. They're fucking stupid and they do not make sense." He wanted his own ways, which had been set in stone for... ever. For an eternity. His way was forever, and human ways were fleeting and horrible.

He turned his head enough to survey her. She was beating around the fucking bush, and he had little patience for it. He assumed she was upset about his behavior, which was... reasonable, given how he had acted out, and if she wanted to scold him, the great hunter wished she would just fucking get on with it. He shifted his gaze back to the ocean and was quiet for another while.

Finally, he growled and sighed. If she wanted to do the talking thing, he supposed he would have to. "I don't fucking care about your nest, Toby. It does not matter. I would have been angry regardless." He explained tersely. "I do not want to be here, but I have nowhere else to go. I'm in this stupid fucking form that I hate, and I have to do the right thing, say the right thing, be the right thing. All the fucking time. It is like the... the games you humans play. With the..." He mimed moving pieces across an invisible board.

"But no one will tell me the rules, but you all have no fucking problem being angry when I get it wrong. And I do not have my own kind here. I am one and I am supposed to be many. I do not have..." He sniffled and wiped his eyes again, angrily and bitterly. "You all do not have your family. I know that. But you have humans and you are humans. I do not have my kind. I am me and I am alone. They do not answer me."


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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She always felt like she was fucking up somehow when she tried to understand this lizard turned human. There were times when she was sure that he understood everything that was going on around him and then there were these sorts of moments, when he said he didn't understand anything and complained that no one had explained things to him. What was natural to Toby might have been unnatural for him, but he had been told a great number of things and still didn't do them all. Toby didn't know if that was because there was too much information rolling around in his noggin already or if he just was willfully ignorant. Stubbornly so.

"We needed more space and we needed to get away from collateral, Goji." She had explained this when she had announced the move to everyone. Harry had been the one she had spoken to about it first but Harry was gone. The vines had taken him, Mouse, and Nero away all around the same time. That had been a little difficult to deal with along with a great number of other things in Toby's life. She was having a rough go of a lot of things and the changeling felt tired again, staring out at the waves of the ocean and wondering what it would have been like to be able to breath between her grief.

There just wasn't enough time to mourn everything properly. Besides Pandora was always throwing her curve balls. For all she knew all three would be back within the next month. With their memories, without, who knew? Toby managed to pick out all the curse words that Goji slammed in her direction. He had habit of over-using the f-bomb. Which was really hilarious for Toby to be thinking this about him but it really was like any other word coming out of his mouth by this stage.

One thing stuck out to her among everything else. Those five little words he said last. They were more than telling enough. "Your family?" Instead she spoke a little softly, cutting to the tail end of what Goji had said. "How many of you were there back home?" Had she asked Goji very many questions about where he had come from? Toby didn't think so. There really hadn't been all that much time since they had met. Not a lot of personal questions had been asked. That was probably a mistake. She tried to get to know her team better than that.

"I remember hearing about how big you were. The news talked about you a lot around Cascade Bay." There was a general motion south from where they were standing in the direction of Cascade Bay. Toby wasn't the best at directions when there weren't any street signs around but she knew that on the beach in Pandopolis, right was south. Kind of hard to fuck that up when the ocean was right in front of you.
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"I know that!" His voice rose to a hoarse yell before he could catch himself, because he knew why the move had been necessary. It had been explained to him, and he had understood. He still understood. The previous nest had been outgrown, and the pack had to find somewhere else. This was known and common even among his own kind... but that did not mean that the mighty hunter had to handle it with any particular grace. Understanding did not make him like it.

The abrupt question of family shook him slightly out of his reverie, and he looked up, turning his head to regard Toby. He had heard a great deal about the others' lives and families, but... he had always assumed that there was no sense in relaying anything of his own. They were not human, after all. They were wrong.

But Toby had asked, so he weighed his options in silence for a few moments, then committed himself to speak. "There were more before. But the world changed too many times and now we are not many, but we are proud." He mused, tracing a finger along the stony beach, deep in thought and memory. "Numbers are a human thing. I did not count them, but there were enough. All different. Some better than others." He sniffed derisively, calling to mind the fucking fire bird. He did not like that one. It had an attitude that was flighty and dominant and pushy. The most splendid of hunters had no tolerance for such things.

He hummed, looking to the south when she gestured. After a moment, he gave a nod. "Why do you humans think I am large? Maybe you are just very small." He suggested, casting a haughty look her way. Then, he wilted slightly. "I thought my kind would be interested in a human nest-of-nests like that, so I stayed near. Just in case. But they did not come, and now I am this and they... fuck." He gritted his teeth and his fist hit the ground again, breaking the couple of knuckles that had already healed.

"They wouldn't even recognize me. I'm nothing now."


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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She often felt very hit or miss with Goji. It was difficult for her to get in his head and understand where he was coming from. Her empathy just didn't connect with him in the same manner it did to others. He was boastful and rough around the edges in a way she couldn't translate. Toby had trouble getting around his emotions but here she was because it felt like the right thing to do. She had to try.

"That's true. Maybe we're just small." She offered a bit of a shrug in response. They were small to him and he was big to them. Perception differences. There was a little bit of a twinge in her heart when he spoke about Cascade Bay though. Staying there because he thought his family would show up at a city. The hustle and bustle of the place was more than enough to attract people of people. Goji's family just wasn't included.

He was heart broken and perhaps more than a little homesick. Those were things that Toby could relate to but how could she translate anything to him? How could he feel less alone? "At least if one came near you'd see them on the news pretty quick." A little bit of humor could hopefully go a long way in this situation. Toby moved closer at that point, knowing that Goji was someone who did respond to physical touch. He hugged the other members of the team like they were his life line. She'd offer a hug, sooner or later, but she was going to gauge this as carefully as she could manage.

"Feels like a big piece of you is missing." Toby had never had family. There had never been enough in that sense. Toby had lost her daughter and that had felt like losing her life line. "I didn't get angry. I couldn't function. I wasn't as strong as you." Her hands were still in her jacket pockets and she offered him a bit of a smile. Toby did mean that. The changeling knew he was trying. She knew that he was frustrated too. "I tried to let the world forget about me." Which wasn't strength, though Toby had managed not to take her life during those days, but the thought had crossed her mind in a numb sort of way. From time to time. Toby could understand feeling heartsick.

"Is that what you're feeling?" Maybe she was talking too much. Toby fell silent and let her eyes stay on the waves. She had moved closer to him but there was space between them. Small steps, just in case, and she kept reminding herself that Goji had hugged her tightly when she had cried out her pain that night with the vampires. Toby would try and help him as best she could manage. It was the least she could do for someone on her team.
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"To my kind, yes. But to an ant you must be a wonder to behold." He pointed out, having calmed somewhat. His emotions were still licking away at him like a mild flame, but for the most part he felt more in control. For now, anyway, he was collected enough to hear what Toby Mother said, and he turned his head to regard her. "Maybe, but they would not recognize me. If they did, they would kill me for my weakness. It is the way of things." He said it plainly, because the thought didn't upset him terribly. The thought of being something other... yes, he still struggled with that, but it was the way of his kind to kill those who brought weakness upon them. Strength prevailed over all - his more than any.

His expression shifted clearly when she spoke again, and sympathy rang true in him. He saw her with Sweet Gilly and he thought she had her family and her pack and she couldn't know what it was like to be missing something so crucial. Now, the mighty hunter reconsidered, and he leaned closer to press his shoulder against hers, to bestow some of his greatness upon her. "You still do not understand strength at all, Toby Mother." He comforted her easily, because that was easier than his own thoughts. "It is different for each creature. You have great strength in you! That is not new. It is you, and it has been you for as long as you have walked the world. Whether you face your trouble dominant and proud, or if you slink away from it in defeat... you are strong." He tapped her forehead roughly, and smiled. "Very strong indeed."

He leaned against her heavily and gave a tremendous sigh. "But yes, Toby Mother. That is... part of what I am feeling. I think. Fuck." He sighed again. "It's fucking confusing."


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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It didn't take long for Goji's attitude to change on this subject. His expression eased a touch and then his shoulder bumped into hers. Her smile softened into something more natural and the brunette bumped his shoulder back. This was more than fine with her. She could talk to him if he spoke in this manner. They could understand each other like this. Funny how they couldn't figure it out on a regular basis but this and the night with the vampires? With the dead kids.

Was she only able to understand him when it was something serious and depressing? Fuck, that didn't make a lick of sense in her mind. He was oddly wise and encouraging on the right subjects too. In a manner that made her feel a little different, if only for a few breaths, and a little bit of that tension faded again. Encouragement was difficult for her to accept because she had had little of it for a large portion of her life. Complete with a Lion King moment when he poked her in the forehead like she was going to be king someday.

Toby had watched Lion King recently with Gilly. Gilly had loved it.

"It is fucking confusing. The ones who did you wrong... they're not within reach to rage against. You can't be mad at your family for their reaction at seeing you different. It only makes sense." Gilly hadn't been able to forgive her. In a way, that had killed Toby more than anything else. She had been a husk of a woman. Unable to return and be who she really wanted to be. Gilly's mom.

Maybe it wasn't directly related. Maybe his feelings were different. "Took me over a year to start to figure out who I was again." Her eyebrows raised and she shrugged her shoulders again. "That's a long time for us small folk." Goji was apparently old as hell. He had rambled about it a time or two and Toby had no reason to doubt that. She vaguely remembered those Godzilla movies all being about Godzilla waking up from where he had been sleeping for forever under the crust of the earth or something like that. Details were hazy on that side.

"You're doing good, managing so much in such little time. It's okay to need time to yourself too." She offered him a bit more of a smile before looking back out at the water. What was he doing here? On the edge of a nest-of-nests, on the edge of the water, staring out at where he had come from. Or had been, at least in Pandora. "You don't have to wait alone though." Was he waiting to see his family or hoping he'd die because he was weak now? Either way, Toby could sit on this beach with him for a little bit to keep Goji company.
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He respected Toby Mother immensely, but sometimes they didn't understand each other and he knew that. He saw it in their stilted interactions, when he tried to do the right thing and realized too late that he was fucking wrong. Sometimes it angered him, but for the most part the mighty hunter accepted that this was as close as two alphas could really be. She was a stubborn, stupid bitch half the time, and he was just as bad or worse.

But sometimes they could find common ground, and he liked that. It helped him relax, bit by bit. "I would not be angry at them. I'm just... fucking angry at the situation." He sighed, recognizing that it was fucking stupid to be so furious about something he lacked the power to change. It was no different than raging against a mountain, or against the tide. Such things did not care for his moods or his temper. Neither did the magic binding him to this fucking form.

He hung his head and laughed lowly at the thought of a year being long to humans. It was hard to contemplate. He had never... time was something that the great hunter had only regarded in the peripherals of his mind. He understood the seasons, and their passing, but this fixation with counting that humanity had...

No, he couldn't say he understood that.

"You're still young. Humanity. You've hardly been walking the world for more than a blink." He said after a time. "Causing trouble always. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Always meddlesome. You used to follow me around." That had been odd and vexing, but there had been treats now and then, and his wonderful and perfect nest had once belonged to those old humans. He liked that.

He hummed softly as Toby spoke, and his eyes remained on the horizon. It felt good, in a way, to have confirmation that he wasn't failing as dismally as he had thought. That he didn't have to give up his independence entirely to fit the human mold... "I don't like company." He admitted eventually, glancing sidelong at her. "Not... this is fine. But I have always been... fuck... what's the fucking word for it..." He lapsed into silence, then squinted hard. "Solitary." He settled on that one. That felt right.

"I have always had the moth if I wanted company. Or the others of my kind... but I like my own company. Is that a human thing? Do you have humans like that? Who only like to share space sometimes, not always?"


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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Being angry at the situation was a valid set of emotions. Toby knew that she had been angry at plenty of things over the years and blaming the situation was far healthier than blaming anyone involved. There was a lot to be said of bad situations and learning how to just push your way through it. Toby couldn't be sure that everyone was capable of it but she had hope for Goji in this case. He was handling it all pretty well, if she ignored the bit of a tantrum he had thrown on the beach, and well... Toby was going to ignore it.

You used to follow me around. Toby was able to understand what he was saying. He wasn't speaking of Toby specifically but humans in general. He was telling her a bit of a story. His perspective on humans. Though Toby had to admit that she didn't think Goji was a private person or anything of that nature. Perhaps he had told this story to a few of the others. She was certain that the dark haired man was the most talkative employee she had.

He had always been solitary? She wasn't sure if she would have been able to function living all by herself again. Not after getting Gilly back and making all these friends. People that Toby couldn't really think about living without, though she knew that that was the way of things. One day, they would die or they would walk away from her, and Toby would be on her own again. She had this mental preparation in the back of her mind for that day.

"Yeah, we have humans like that." Just because Toby wasn't one of those people didn't mean she was ignorant to different types of people. She could have spent all day, every day with people and Toby would have been happy. "It's pretty normal actually." She knew there were a few people at D.I. that were that sort. Probably people who could offer a lot better advice then what Toby was currently giving Goji. But that was alright, she could manage this and they weren't doing so bad here together.

"If you need time to yourself, you can say that." If he didn't want her company for the moment, then she would leave. At least they had had a bit of a conversation and Toby was satisfied with the result for the moment. As long as he didn't wait too long to head back to the office, she could leave him in peace.
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There were certain elements of the story that he didn't tell Toby. Though he was by no means well up on human customs, he had the sense to know that they were a flighty and proud species in their own right. They answered hostility with hostility, and they didn't like being rebuffed. It was one thing for him to muse on how the stupid little things had followed him for so long. It would be another to tell of their attempt to overstep their bounds - their attempts to contain and enslave and own those which were beyond such human things - and how they had been reprimanded for their gall.

In short, Toby Daye probably didn't want to hear about that one time he'd come within a few hundred humans of eradicating their entire species. That would probably make Toby dislike him, and he didn't want that at all, so the mighty hunter kept his real feelings about humanity to himself.

"Hm. I'm glad it's not weird." He said eventually. Humans seemed so social and close-knit, but then... he supposed he didn't know very much about them at all. Not on this level. He turned his head and regarded Toby for a few seconds. His eyeballs were still leaking, but that was fairly typical. He felt better... at least a little bit.

So he gave a short, half-hearted bellow of laughter and waved his hand. "Stay, go. Do what pleases you, Toby Mother." He said warmly, before turning back towards the ocean, scanning it with less intensity than before.

"Toby Mother, what do you want of your Gilly?" He suddenly asked, sounding thoughtful. "What do humans want for hatchlings? Good mates? Food? Splendid territory? Treasures?"

 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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What did she want of Gilly? What did she want for her daughter? Goji went on to list a number of things that were spoken in a very Goji way. Good mates, food, splendid territory, treasures... Toby started chuckling even though she didn't meant to. After all, those were all things that people did want for their children, just using good words. A nice significant other who would treat Gilly well. Good food, nice house, a good amount of wealth. A safe, secure home... all sorts of things like that.

"I do want those things for her." She smiled up at Goji from where she was seated. There was always a different look on her face when she was talking about her daughter. It was difficult for Toby to contain her joy and love for her daughter behind any other emotion. "I want her to be happy and healthy. Strong and capable of taking care of herself." Normally parents wanted that so when their kids grew up or when the parents died, the kid would be able to take care of themselves... but Toby wanted that for Gilly so she could have a full life. For however long it was going to be. Toby would likely out live her.

"Have you had hatchlings?" Toby hadn't asked Goji a lot of personal questions over the time he had been at D.I. and she felt it was likely time to start asking. Stop assuming. Goji loved kids. Anyone young was instantly preened over as long as they weren't twats and Goji was decent with those kids. More than decent actually. Toby had this funny feeling that he would have fought a nation for Gilly and Lift.

She tried to settle on the sand and watched him, glad she could see in the dark so she could read his expression. Hopefully she wasn't stepping on an unknown landmine with her question but if she was... well, Toby was ready to handle it by being there for him as much as she could. She supposed this was what made her the alpha or whatever.
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The things that Toby wanted for her Gilly seemed odd to the mighty hunter, only because he would have otherwise assumed that such things would be expected. Of course Gilly would grow to be healthy and strong and smart and capable. It was only natural, given who her dam was. Still... if that was the bar Toby set for her hatchling, he would accept that, and he nodded once, glancing sidelong at her with a touch of amusement.

He didn't react immediately to her question, though his brows did twitch upwards slightly in surprise. This was outside what he was used to. For the most part, no one asked him questions, which the proud hunter had no strong feelings about one way or the other. He had merely presumed that it was another unpleasant facet of humanity, that they were too self-centered to care about another species.

After a pause, he smiled. "No." He chuckled eventually in a deep tone. "It's not in my nature, Toby Mother. I like to fight too much, and I like to roam, and I have always been the only one like me...." He hesitated, then his smile grew. "Well... no. Not the only one. I found a hatchling once. It was good. Stupid and too..." He wrinkled his nose, searching for the word he wanted. "Too sweet, I think you would call it, but still good."

It was funny to think of the hatchling. It had been a long time since that silly little thing had crossed his thoughts and memories. "It is dead." He added. He dragged a knuckle through the sand, studying it with a bit too much intensity while sifting through the surge of emotion he couldn't seem to get a handle on. The hatchling had been dead for a thousand thousand moons, and the wound of it was no longer raw, but it still hurt him in a peculiar way on the inside. He didn't like it.

"It is dead and gone, and that is that." He said firmly, mostly to himself.


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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In the world that Toby had grown up in, and in many other worlds, the things that Toby wanted for Gilly were not always the norm. Not for someone who was born as a second class citizen among what she should have been here people. Gilly had only had those things back home because Toby hadn't been with her. Because she hadn't been made a target and she hadn't been around dangerous things.

Toby still wondered if being in her daughter's life really was the best thing for Gilly, from time to time. But Cliff wasn't here and Toby wasn't about to give Gilly up to anyone else. I found a hatchling once. Toby's head tilted slightly as she listened to Goji speak about his adoptive tagalong. She understood a great many things in his tone, even if Goji himself didn't understand it. Losing a child was... unbearable. With everything that had happened in her life, it was the thing that came closest to breaking her.

"Gilly's dad is human. Was human." Toby wasn't entirely sure how to speak about Cliff. From what she could tell Cliff had never been in Pandora. "I'm only half human. She'll have a normal human lifespan. I'll live to be several hundred years. One day I'll probably have to bury her." At least, if Toby didn't get herself killed first or Pandora didn't take one of them away. She crossed her ankles and propped her elbows on her knees, hooking one hand around the wrist of the other as she stared out at the ocean. Burying her daughter when she wouldn't even have wrinkles yet. How fucked up was that?

"Most hatchlings are sweet. Life's the thing that beats it out of them. I just want to make sure she's strong enough to fight back." Which was what she wanted more than anything else for Gilly. Fighting wasn't always the smartest thing but it could often be te right thing to do. Toby had thought of her daughter frequently when in a fight. Just wondering if Gilly would be proud of what her mother was doing. If Toby would be able to look Gilly in the eye and tell her honestly what Toby had done. What blood was soaked on her hands.

She made a little humming noise but she was only speaking as Toby Daye, one mother in a sea of others. All just trying to do their best. "Why was it too sweet? Or was it only sweet to you?" And maybe ask Goji some more questions. He hadn't reacted terribly to the first one, so Toby would continue to press her luck.
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He hummed deeply, but didn't immediately speak. Instead, he ruminated on humanity and their short, fleeting time. It was no wonder that they rushed about like they did, looking harried and distracted about everything. "And when you are dead, I will put you in the ground and carry on, Toby Mother." He pointed out warmly, studying the sea and sky. "You humans have such an aversion to death, don't you? Your kind come and go like a breeze. Your species has not even lived long enough to watch a mountain grow or die." He mused, then smiled grimly. "You'll bury your hatchling just like a thousand thousand others have. You'll cry your heart out, and scream, and then you will move on and continue forward because you are fucking strong."

He paused, casting his gaze down to the sand and the senseless pattern he was tracing with his knuckle. It still hurt from his tantrum earlier, but even the heavy bruising was fading. "Strong and sweet only makes for a fool." The proud hunter warned. "Or a weapon." He added as an afterthought, then burst into quiet laughter at her next question.

He shook his head, eyes alight with fond remembrance. "It was a stupid little thing that was sweet to everything. It did not have... how do you humans say? It didn't have a bad bone in its fucking body. It loved everything and everyone." He turned his attention back to the ocean as he spoke, and his expression wavered into the realm of sadness, or maybe just nostalgia.

"It had no... understanding of danger. It never understood fucking danger."


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
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Goji had a point. Everyone had to move on. That was how life worked and would always work when you were dabbling in mortal affairs. She supposed that even Godzilla would have a certain lifespan and would die sooner or later. Toby... well, in the land of faerie deaths were far too uncommon except for during wars. "I come from a world where death is abnormal for those who aren't human. My mother is immortal." She spoke gently, trying to explain why death might have been seen as odd to her. "But my father was mortal, human as they come, and so I'll die one day too." She had already died, twice, and none of it had stuck. One day it would and then... well, then she wouldn't have to worry about anything anymore. Kind of sounded nice, when she thought about it like that.

But he was right. She'd cry and scream... and then she'd move on, because that was the only thing to do. Toby rose to her feet and moved to stand next to Goji again, dusting the sand off of her jeans as she did. Apparently asking about the hatchling had been a good thing, even if the story was a bit said at the end. "Most hatchlings don't understand danger at all. I guess that doesn't change no matter where they come from." Toby knew she had been that way once, but she had learned how tough life was at a very early age. Gilly never had and in a way, Toby was kind of proud of that.

Her hand lifted to clap on Goji's shoulder in a friendly way, trying to give a little reassurance or comfort because of the gravity of their conversation. "I sometimes wonder how certain people have survived as long as they have." Herself, mostly. "I don't supposed you're an oddity in age for your kind?" More questions. Toby found she had a lot more than she thought she had, at first.

And then... Toby realized something. "You know, I might be able to break the magic that makes you human. If you wanted to return to what is more comfortable for you." Might. Toby didn't assume her magic would work on everything and everyone anymore. She had run across plenty of cases where it just didn't work the way it should have. Pandora liked to prove her wrong more often than not.
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"Your mother is a fucking idiot if she thinks she's truly immortal. Everything dies. If time can knock down a mountain, it can knock down a... what is it? A fucky. No. That's wrong, isn't it?" He squinted at Toby, who had definitely told him what she was. He had never listened. Or maybe he had, and this was an attempt at levity - sensing her tension regarding the whole thing, and injecting a touch of condescending humor.

It was hard to say. The mighty hunter had a good poker face when he was in the mood for one. "We all die. It doesn't mean anything unless you give it meaning." He hummed, then smiled and leaned into Toby briefly, appreciating her affection. "It is the way of hatchlings. They're stupid until they know everything, and then they're fucking intolerable." He intoned sagely.

He folded his arms across his chest, scanning the water. After a pause, he gave a booming laugh. "Fuck no. I'm less than a hatchling to the moth. She's been living and dying since the sun was still in it's egg. But... I suppose I am older than most. I don't know, Toby Mother. I've never paid much attention." He knew others had come and gone. Their numbers had grown and shrank over many, many, infinite moons. But the greatest of all had never deigned to think much of it. He was too superior for such things.

He regretted it now. He would have liked to have a better answer.

He didn't respond to Toby immediately, nor did he move. Warring emotions took up residence in his stomach, and after a time, a faint, pulsing blue glow shone through the skin of his chest. He shifted slightly on the sand, turning his gaze downward, humming deep and low until the ground seemed to vibrate from the weight of the sound.

"Is it more comfortable? To be the only one? One of fucking one." He said at last, and then shook his head. "You're fucking sweet, Toby, but no. Not yet. I do not feel like being so alone... but it might be that you'll eventually need help from something very large." He glanced at her significantly and raised his brows.

"What is the fucking term? Put a pin in the idea for now. We may yet fucking need it."


 
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Toby Daye

October Daye
Empathy Queen
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Changeling
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A fucky. The snort that left Toby was so loud and quick that it startled her slightly. A f u c k y. Oh god, she wanted to really laugh. She wanted to laugh so hard right then and there but she was managing to hold on by her fingernails because this was still a serious sort of moment. Wasn't it? Or was the brunette completely reading the room wrong all over again?

Goji always seemed full of odd, quirky wisdom when they had these sorts of conversations and Toby had a soft smile on her features as he continued. Death was what they made it and everyone reacted to death in their own manner. He sounded like her in some ways back home. Toby hadn't paid attention to jack shit around her unless she had to. How many times had she stumbled into court without knowing who else was there or what was going on? Always one track mind, bulling her way through everyone and anyone because she didn't care about court life.

She winced inwardly when he pointed out that he would be one of one. That had to suck balls in a very different way than Toby being stuck between two worlds. But eventually needing the help of something large? She laughed for a second, unable to stop herself, even as a hand came up to cover up the gesture with a slight cough. "I ever need something or someone that big, I'll know exactly who to call." If he was offering, Toby would keep it in mind, but she doubted she would need that kind of help. Toby did go around picking fights but she didn't think she was dumb enough to take on a Godzilla sized problem.

Who knew what Pandora had in store for them anyways?

"Come home when you're ready." She figured it was best to say that so he wouldn't have to second guess when to come back. "Door's always open to you, Goji." Maybe this was a good spot to leave. They had had their conversation, and now the tone had moved to something much lighter. Toby looked at him carefully with her head tilted slightly, trying to get a read on his face to make sure he was still doing alright.
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