"You want to leave?" the translucent being narrowed his eyebrows, crossing his slim arms over his naked chest.
The other being, far older and opaque, rolled back his shoulders in a shrug, seemingly indifferent to Friend's interrogation.
(justjustneedtogetawayfromititall) he thought out, the words in a constant repeating stream.
While the words themselves seemed despondent, there was a happy smile on his face. Really, Jergens had wanted to go back outside the forest for a long time, especially after he and his older brother had explored a small piece of the outside a few long months back.
His younger self pouted, fluidly sweeping up to his feet. "Alone? A social butterfly like you would go mad." he snorted, turning so that his back faced him.
"But... whatever... I'd like to see you go mad anyway..." he turned his head slowly, curling his lips into a sweet smile. "That's entertainment enough~"
Jergens rolled his eyes, smiling himself. (wontbethatbadcomeonon) Really, Friend often loved offering out the worst possible case scenario just to scare him, Jergens had just learned to live with it after a while.
The fleshy backdrop about them began to fade, disappearing into little grains of ash. ...ThumpThump...
The dream was ending.
Friend kept his smile, shrugging his shoulders as his own faux being dissipated along with their surroundings.
Light broke, and the crimson stag opened his eyes to a little bundle of white beside him.
His own legs were flopped over him, holding him possessively close.
Slowly, Jergens pried himself away from his brother, not wanting to wake him, placing a small kiss to the top of his forehead.
"I'm gonna get goin', Cry... okay?" he whispered, words melding into one another. "I'll come back soon... promise."
He wanted to get away from it all, after all.
With light footsteps, he walked at a leisurely pace, drinking in all the landmarks... The Statues... The Giant Oak... The Crying Idol...
It was because of them that he wanted to leave.
Everywhere he looked, an old memory would scuttle into his head...
He told me he loved me over there... he looked beside the Oak.
We licked our wounds clean here... he watched as water cascaded from the Idol's eyes.
... Our daughter was born there... he looked up the grassy knoll that led to the statues of the Twin Gods.
So many memories...
He frowned, speeding up his pace, heavy hooves thundering against the ground as he raced past the ominous statues, entering the birch forest.
It wasn't that he wanted to forget, he just wanted to put his mind on something that he found passion in, and that passion was wandering. Traveling. He had learned to love it in his past life when there had been no other option.
He stopped, pausing to look at his surroundings. He and Aveeno hadn't taken this route when they had left before... Oh well. No biggie. That only meant that there'd be something new to explore.
The nub of his severed ear twitched the other swiveling around at the slightest sound.
Jergens spun around, lowering his premature antlers in defense. Someone had been following him! He hoped it was someone that wouldn't attack him... Especially so far out in the forest where help was too far away to make it in time.
He squinted, scanning the area that had been behind him... nothing but lichen and brambles...
And something white and fluffy hidden in said brambles.
Jergens raised an eyebrow, taking a few cautious steps forward.
"... Cry? That yew?"
The hidden form seemed to stiffen, and a pretty little white stag stepped out, thorns and brambles caught into his fur, his legs shaking.
"J-Jergens... I..." he sniffled, a few tears dripping from his lashes.
Oh yeah... that was Cry alright.
Jergens frowned getting on his knees to face him head-on, tilting his head to the side. "Hey, what's wrong?" he chuckled cheerfully, pressing his nose against his furred cheek, brushing away tears. "Somethin' happen?"
The smaller stag hiccupped a bit, nudging against his brother's touch, practically leaning into him. "A-Are you leaving? You don't usually go this far..." he bit his lower lip, to which Jergens bit his own, perfectly mimicking him. Crybaby didn’t know what he could do without his brother, so many friends he didn’t see anymore or just barely. Also ‘him’…
"Well... Yeah... I told ya I was leavin'... I mean, it's not like I'm gonna go out and get myself killed..." he leaned forward, taking one of Cry's antlers in his mouth, gnawing on it comfortingly - an old habit of his.
Crybaby sniffed a little, flopping down to the mossy ground below, looking up at his brother pleadingly.
"...Can I come too?"
He had his own things to get away from.
Jergens blinked, genuinely (and yet pleasantly) surprised, a classic grin slowly pulling at his mouth. "Oh really?" his curled tail started to wag, thumping gleefully against the ground. "Ya really wanna come? It's pretty tame out there, but ya gotta keep up with me."
What was the reason Crybaby wished to leave? He didn’t really know… but he knew he could barely bear this atmosphere in the forest anymore.
The smaller stag looked up at him, tears ceasing, a very small smile on his face as well. "Y-Yes... I'll try to keep up..." he tilted his head, looking on at a dark, straight wall of trees lingered on in the distance. He gulped a little. "Is it safe, big brother?" he asked keeping against Jergens' curled pelt.
Jergens looked back around, noticing the unnaturally orderly wall when it was pointed out. He smiled, for they were closer than he thought. "Don't worry bout' it. There's nothin' out there that can hurt ya." he nudged him, trotting ahead. "... Cept fer all purple people eaters~" he teased.
Crybaby followed close beside of him, tilting his head curiously. "Purple what now?"
In less than a few minutes they had reached the wall. It was rather intimidating looking, probably why many deer chose to avoid it... not to mention it was constructed into a long, prim line, each tree planted right next to one another to create an illusion of something impenetrable, which it most certainly wasn't.
Crybaby looked up and all around, never one to go the edges of the forest himself... though he had never expected it to look like this. He looked to both sides of himself, gawking in amazement when he saw that the line of trees seemed to go on forever... miles and miles at least.
He scampered under Jergens' scarred belly, poking his head out from between his front legs. "How are we supposed to get through...?" he asked, voice saturated with wonder.
Jergens himself just smiled, looking to both sides as well. "Gotta look fer a crack we can squeeze through... That's how me and Avvy did it..." he started to the left, scanning the wall for any sort of break in it, with his brother hesitantly following behind.
They both walked for a while, until Jergens spotted a bright beam of sunlight that seemed to shoot from the wall itself up ahead. Trotting over to it, a wave of sweet smells hit his nose like a battering ram. Crybaby followed, wincing a bit as the overpowering scent struck him as well. He shook his head, looking towards the source.
There was a large crack between the trees, displaying a large field of yellow flowers, though not much else due to the opening's size.
Jergens silently looked down' at his brother, grinning triumphantly before he squeezed himself through the thick wall, Crybaby following behind reluctantly.
Outside, apart from the opposite side of the wall of trees, was nothing but golden flower after golden flower... And endless field of them with no real end in sight.
The two brothers froze at the beauty of the sight, watching as a gentle gust of wind blew across the repeating landscape, the flowers shivering at the lingering touch.
Jergens bent his head downwards, the tip of his nose touching a fleeting blossom, dusting it with powder. "Goldenrod..." he muttered, taking a few steps into the field, the flowers trailing up to his knees.
Crybaby followed, unable to suppress a small giggle as the flowers tickled the underside of his stomach. "Goldenrods..." he tested out the word on his tongue. "How do you know that, Jergens?" he had seen the flowers in the forest before... but had never known the name for them.
Another memory came back, and for the first time since his mate's death, he smiled at it. "Rose used to sell them at his flower shop a long time ago..." he mumbled nostalgically, snuffing the intoxicated air greedily.
Crybaby didn't bother asking what a shop was... rather, he took the first few steps forward, staring out into the distance. "Should we go then?" he asked, looking up at his big brother as if for permission.
Jergens just smiled, crouched down and started off a fast trot, nudging Crybaby's side as he walked.
"Yeah..." he laughed, actually laughed.