For The Sake Of A Wolf

[20:32] * Yanmei had last seen Edgar in the resort's small medical clinic for people, having his wounds cleaned by the nurse on duty. She had returned the reception area to report that she and Isaiah had left him there, and had gone back to her room for sleep shortly thereafter. Now, she trotted back in the direction of of the very same clinic in the early morning light, wondering why she felt compelled to visit.
[20:34] <Isaiah> Yanmei is hardly alone, of course. At her side is Isaiah, looking fresh and clean in the morning light. He was a 7-AM sort of guy.-
[20:35] <Isaiah> [The clinic, like most of the resort, is quiet and still. Few people need medical attention, especially in the morning.]
[20:39] * Yanmei on the other hand, had to resist yawning as she nodded to another on-duty nurse and approached. "Edgar Chevaliar," she said, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb any patients. "Is it okay to visit? We wanted to see how he was doing."
[20:41] <Isaiah> ["That should be fine. He's in room A1. He's awake and eating breakfast."]
[20:43] <Yanmei> "This early?" She looked a little surprised, but with a peek over her shoulder at Isaiah, she was on her way to visit, knocking before entering, of course. "Oh Chevalier~ Are you decent?"
[20:45] <Isaiah> "I hope so." Muttered Isaiah, following on. "We've seen enough nude Edgar to last-"-
[20:45] <Isaiah> ["Come in!"]
[20:48] * Yanmei coughed softly to hide her snickers, but resumed her cheery and innocent demeanor in time to open the door. "No get well flowers, I'm afraid? But we came to see how you were doing regardless."
[20:51] <Isaiah> [Edgar was wearing a gown, thank God, but he had scratches and nicks on his face. Nevertheless he looked like he was in good condition as he ate one of the best 'hospital' breakfasts ever: bacon and eggs. "Oh, it's you, Zhang, G-Wei." Said Edgar, quirking an eyebrow. "I'm fine. Are -you- fine?"
[20:54] <Yanmei> "Eh? Why wouldn't we be fine?" This kid was weird. But then, she already knew that. The smell of breakfast made her stomach rumble softly, but she ignored it. "I'm surprised you're not out of here already. Are they keeping you for observation?"
[20:56] <Isaiah> ["They were worried I might have hypothermia." Said Edgar, with an edge in his voice that suggested that this was the pinnacle of idiocy.-
[20:56] <Isaiah> "It's not a bad assumption."-
[20:56] <Isaiah> ["Shhhhhhhhh."]
[20:59] <Yanmei> "It's really not, though." Yanmei's voice carried an I-told-you-so tone. "Look, what happened out there, anyway? Do you remember that you brought home a wolf's head? I've… no idea where it is now, though. Maybe the cleaning staff did something with it?"
[21:00] <Isaiah> ["Man." Edgar slapped his forehead. "You know, the nurse told me about that this morning and I was like 'Shiiiiit, really?'. So I had to really think about it, but now I remember. Sit down, Zhang, G-Wei- I'll tell you both a story."]
[21:02] * Yanmei looked for a place to sit, whether it be a spare chair or a windowsill. She steered clear of the room's radiator, though.
[21:03] <Isaiah> [There were spare chairs! Yanmei would find one, as would Isaiah.-
[21:04] <Isaiah> ["Alright, so." Edgar cracks his knuckles. "I went out into the cold, right? I only had my underwear on. But I made sure to take a knife. You know, basic survival supply." He shrugged. "So anyway, I was -powerwalkin'-, because I had to get to a certain place and back if I wanted to win that bet. But on the way, I heard some howls."]
[21:06] * Yanmei mentioned nothing about her own group's failure to bring a knife, save for Isaiah. She nodded. "They ambushed you?"
[21:07] <Isaiah> ["Not exactly. I, uh, started followin' 'em."]
[21:08] <Isaiah> ["Listen. I just- I just wanted to see 'em, ok?" Said Edgar.]
[21:11] <Yanmei> "You knew how dangerous that was, right?" She repressed a sigh. What was with this guy? "What happened next?"
[21:14] <Isaiah> "I can handle myself." Grumbled Edgar. "Anyway, I found their den."
[21:16] <Yanmei> "You didn't go inside…"
[21:18] <Isaiah> [Edgar had the good grace to be embarrassed. "I… Um. I kind of did."]
[21:20] <Yanmei> There was a long moment in which Yanmei had to struggle against the urge to lecture. She wasn't very good at it, anyway, and she was certain that the guy knew that he had done something dumb just by virtue of him being attacked by freakin' wolves. She hoped. "I'm a little surprised you aren't dead?"
[21:21] * Isaiah was just staring at Edgar. He had sort of respected Edgar at one point, but…-
[21:21] <Isaiah> ["Man, you too?" Grumbled Edgar. "You shoulda thought how I felt. Do you know what was in that den?"]
[21:24] <Yanmei> "What?" She had to admit that she had never been inside a wolf's den before…
[21:24] <Isaiah> ["-Pups-."]
[21:25] * Yanmei looked surprised. "Really? I was afraid you were going to say 'human bones,' or something like that."
[21:27] <Isaiah> ["Hah. There were some bones I guess, but they were recent and weren't human. Anyway, I see these pups, and… I realise, 'Oh shit. Pups. In a den.' And I realise I had to get away, because this wasn't any ordinary wolf den. It was a mother's den."]
[21:28] <Yanmei> "But they spotted you before you could make it out?"
[21:29] <Isaiah> ["Well, erm. They hated the fact that I was in their territory, so they got me before I could really get to 'safety'."]
[21:32] <Yanmei> "And you had to fight them off. How did you -do- that?"
[21:33] <Isaiah> ["Well, ya had four wolves, right?" Said Edgar, cracking his knuckles. "I had my knife, and I knew the first thing you do is you don't run. Wolves want you to run, so if you stand your ground they'll hesitate."]
[21:35] <Yanmei> "Is that right?" She thought back to their own encounter, Shinji in particular. "They smell fear?"
[21:36] <Isaiah> ["Well, it's not only fear, but… Like, they're fast, wolves. If you run, you're turnin' your back to something that can outrun you."]
[21:38] <Yanmei> "Huh. You sure do know a lot." For someone who arbitrarily decided to waltz into a den of wolves, she added silently.
[21:39] <Isaiah> ["I grew up in the Alps, so I've always been told stories about 'em. But I've only ever seen one or two, y'know? I wanted to see a whole lot." He said. "But anyway, you had four of 'em. One of them tried to take me from behind."]
[21:41] <Yanmei> "What did you do?"
[21:42] <Isaiah> ["Turned around and clocked it in the face."]
[21:42] * Yanmei gaped
[21:43] <Isaiah> ["What?"]
[21:45] <Yanmei> "I…" she shook her head. "You punched a snarling wolf in the face?"
[21:46] <Isaiah> ["What else was I s'posed to do?"]
[21:47] <Yanmei> "I don't know? Most people would have…. ah, gotten bitten and probably killed." … "That doesn't seem like a very good alternative."
[21:48] <Isaiah> ["S'not!" Said Edgar firmly. "So anyway, I got this wolf in the face, right? And I had to be quick. So I took the knife and slit its throat."]
[21:49] <Yanmei> Just like that, huh? EVA-04 would have approved, she was sure…
[21:50] <Isaiah> ["So now the other three wolves, they're like… Watching me. Not really confident now. So I look around. I see… Well, I see the oldest and the strongest, the biggest wolf, right?"]
[21:53] <Yanmei> "You went after him to intimidate the others further?"
[21:54] <Isaiah> ["That's right. I tackled him."]
[21:55] <Yanmei> "You tackled the -alpha wolf-?"
[21:56] <Isaiah> ["Yup." Said Edgar firmly. "Whilst the other two wolves left were just starin', I was able to get it. Bam! Right in the chest with my knife."-
[21:56] * Isaiah suddenly sits up straight now. A dark look crosses his face.-
[21:56] <Isaiah> ["Then finally the other two attacked. I was able to collect one in the mouth with my foot, but the other one started really bitin' into my arm."]
[21:58] * Yanmei glanced at Isaiah, noticing the change. "You erm. Didn't bite back, did you?"
[22:00] <Isaiah> ["No." Said Edgar. "There were a lot of things goin' on there, kicks and shit, and stabbin'. I managed to hurt another one, but eventually I was able to get out of the mass. The alpha wolf was pretty hurt, so it started limpin' away. I stabbed it in the leg, too, see. Probably won't be able to walk properly again."]
[22:04] * Yanmei felt… a sense of gratification. This brawl wasn't the wolves' fault, but after the way they had attacked her group in the forest, she didn't feel a lot of love for them either. "You really should have sustained more injuries, though," she remarked, skimming over the cuts and occassional bandage covering him.
[22:08] <Isaiah> ["I got a fair few, let me tell you. Y'can't seem now, 'cause of his gown. But anyway, yeah. They ran off." Edgar nodded. "So then, I realised… What if they ran off and they came back with -more- wolves? I needed a solution."]
[22:11] <Yanmei> "The head…"
[22:11] <Isaiah> ["That's right. I cut off the head, so that the scent'd carry. The scent of dead stuff repels things of the same species, so I figured as long as I had the head, they'd not attack."]
[22:13] <Yanmei> "So it's because of the scent?" She would have figured that just seeing it would be enough for them. "So that explains it."
[22:14] <Isaiah> ["Yeah. I, erm. I was kinda freezing at the time, and hurt, so I was a little delirious, too." Edgar said, a little guiltily. "Sorry for actin' like a psycho."]
[22:16] <Yanmei> "Well, given the circumstance, I doubt anyone will hold it against you? Any messages you want to pass along until you get out of here and can meet up with everyone else?"
[22:19] <Isaiah> ["Tell 'em, I'm fine, sorry for the head."]
[22:23] * Yanmei nodded, starting to stand. She shot a quick look at Isaiah, still a little concerned for earlier reactions. "I think we can manage that."
[22:23] <Isaiah> ["Thanks."]
[22:23] * Isaiah stood up as well, looking a little stony-faced.
[22:26] * Yanmei turned for the door, pausing for one last look at the clinic bed. "One bit of news. A Captain Atticus Nelson randomly showed up yesterday. Says he's going to be staying here with us. Name ring a bell?"
[22:26] <Isaiah> [Edgar quirked an eyebrow. "-Atticus- is here? That son of a bitch?"]
[22:28] <Yanmei> So they -were- acquainted, naturally. "That's right. Who knows? He might drop by himself sometime later."
[22:28] <Isaiah> ["I hope not. One head is enough."]
[22:30] * Yanmei hid her smirk rather well, turning once again for the exit and sauntering through. "Heh. See you later, Chevalier."
[22:32] <Isaiah> ["Bye."-
[22:32] * Isaiah followed on!
[22:34] <Yanmei> Once out in the hallway beyond the clinic, Yanmei turned to her companion with a faint sigh. "So! What's on your mind?"
[22:34] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah turned to look at Yanmei, a little worriedly. "What do you mean?"
[22:35] <Yanmei> "You didn't seem too happy about Edgar's story? I can tell."
[22:37] <Isaiah> "A-ah… Erm." Isaiah just rubbed his head. "I… I feel a little responsible for the wolf we brought in. And I don't really like the fact that Edgar was so brutal. -He- was the invader, wasn't he? He entered their den, saw their pups. For all they knew he could've been trying to kill them."
[22:41] <Yanmei> "But the alternative was him getting killed himself, wasn't it?" She started walking, toward a clinic of a different sort now. "He should have never gone to the den in the first place, but I can't fault him for killing to stay alive afterward. Even if he went way overboard…"
[22:43] <Isaiah> "Well… No, I mean, he was right to defend himself? But this wouldn't have happened if he'd just -stopped being a damned idiot-!" Snapped Isaiah.
[22:47] <Yanmei> "If he'd actually thought about what he was doing, it wouldn't have happened, no." Such outbursts from Isaiah were always jarring, but she kept her own cool pretty well. "But he didn't and was nearly killed for it. It's at the expense of a few wolves, but here's hoping he learned his lesson?"
[22:49] <Isaiah> "Y-yeah." Mumbled Isaiah. "Let's hope so."
[22:53] <Yanmei> The vet's clinic. Yanmei signed them in, and peered about for the doctor they had seen the day before.
[22:53] <Isaiah> [The doctor- J. Murat- was in his office! He saw them come in, though, and came out. "Ah… Here for the lupine?"]
[23:03] <Yanmei> "Yes! To check up on him. Her?" She wasn't really sure
[23:04] <Isaiah> ["It's a male. Do come in."-
[23:04] <Isaiah> [The doctor lead them into a familiar room, where the wolf was lying on a vetinary bed. The supine lupine (haha) flicked its eyes over towards them for a moment, watching them as they entered- whining pitifully.]
[23:06] * Yanmei still kept a respectful distance from the wolf, focusing on the doctor instead. "He's looking a little better! Do you think he'll be able to walk again eventually?"
[23:09] <Isaiah> ["Hmm." The doctor looked grave. "The injury to its hind leg is -deep-. He'll walk, but he won't be able to run. It's basically a limping wolf now."-
[23:09] * Isaiah frowned. There was a very… Sad look in his eyes.
[23:10] <Yanmei> "So if we released him back into the wild…"
[23:12] <Isaiah> ["He'd probably starve." Said the doctor. "He can't run, he can't hunt, and his pack won't take him back. He's too old."]
[23:14] * Yanmei thought about it for a while. More importantly, she noticed Isaiah's expression. "Could the staff here keep him? He could be a resort mascot. I'm sure that if you got him used to people he could be friendly."
[23:20] <Isaiah> ["Hmm." The doctor looked doubtful. "I'm not sure. The wolf doesn't trust me, and wolves rarely become trusting of people except in rare circumstances. Most wolves need to be familiarised with humans before they're 10 days old. This boy here's fully grown."]
[23:20] <Yanmei> "Then there's nothing we can do for him."
[23:21] <Isaiah> "N-No." Mumbled Isaiah, stepping forward, toward the wolf. "T-There has to be something we can do."
[23:27] <Yanmei> "Maybe… we can ask around? Someone might know of a solution. Maybe someone will even take him in." She imagined the wolf frolicking in the corridors of Headquarters alongside a stone-faced Jeanne Simon. A very odd image.
[23:32] <Yanmei> "Getting a permit quickly probably wouldn't be an issue for our people," Yanmei flashed a smile. "It's just a matter of finding the right person among them." Or killing the wolf entirely. She wouldn't permit herself to say that in front of an emotionally-invested Isaiah, though.
[23:33] <Isaiah> "I'll do it." Said Isaiah.
[23:34] * Yanmei stared.
[23:35] <Isaiah> "I'll move out." Said Isaiah firmly. "I'm working now, and I'm still getting Hero of the Federation royalty payments from my mother's estate. I can support myself, and the wolf here."-
[23:35] <Isaiah> [The wolf was pitifully licking Isaiah's arm.]
[23:37] <Yanmei> "Living alone… with a wolf…" Yanmei looked worried. "Suppose he…?"
[23:38] <Isaiah> "He won't."
[23:38] <Yanmei> "You don't know that," she said firmly.
[23:39] <Isaiah> "Then I'll live with it." Said Isaiah, equally firmly. "He can't kill me, not with that leg. I… I could handle a bit of pain."
[23:39] <Isaiah> Almost unconsciously, Isaiah brushed a hand across one of his still unhealed scars.
[23:43] * Yanmei frowned even more at that! "Let's talk about this some more, okay? Over breakfast or something." It couldn't be a good idea. Nothing about it sounded good.
[23:44] <Isaiah> ["A wise idea, Miss Zhang." Said Dr. Murat quietly.-
[23:45] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah stared at Yanmei for a moment. Then looked back at the wolf. "… It's all alone, Yanmei. It doesn't have anyone."
[23:47] <Yanmei> "…" Something cleared up for her, which didn't make it any easier. "I know that. But there's still a lot of other things to consider."
[23:51] <Isaiah> "…" Isaiah continued to pet the wolf. Yanmei could practically sense the tears almost building up in his eyes. "… Alright. We'll talk about it."
[23:52] <Yanmei> It was a start. She relaxed a little. "Thank you, doctor. We'll visit again very soon."
[23:53] <Isaiah> [The doctor nodded.-
[23:53] * Isaiah … Didn't seem to want to move.
[23:54] * Yanmei took him by the hand. "Come on, Isaiah. Let's walk. Let's talk."
[23:55] * Isaiah painfully turned his head toward her. For a moment, he seemed not to register… Then he nodded. "… Alright." He followed her.

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