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Fantasy Changelings

"What is?" He asked, looking at her. Was she talking about her being chased? Or did she mean before that. Was she talking about why she was on her own? "Why do you think that?"
"I..." her voice was barely audible. She tried again. "It's my fault... he's dead... I should have done something..." She blinked. She hadn't realized she felt that way, she had been so busy staying alive, but now that she said it out loud, she realized it was true.
"Why? What did you do?" Sveni's voice came softly, a soothing mellow tone. He wondered what she'd been through. Why she might think such things, "It can't really be your fault, unless you were the one who took his life. Kinda hard to think you would do that. You don't seem the type. So what happened? I mean.. how did he...?"
"He... I..." she couldn't explain, without explaining what fairy hunters were or telling the truth. She had already said more than she should. She shook her head, hugged Brennigan tighter, and just said "nevermind. I was confused by a dream." It hurt, denying her father, but he would tell her to lie if he were here. He and Mother had taught her to prioritize survival if ever there was anything to do with fairy hunters.
"Well, if you ever want to talk about it, I have no one to tell but you," Sveni hummed, "I'll lend my ear. I'll keep your secrets."

The man raised a hand gently rubbing her back in comfort for a moment, "In your own time, though. You don't have to. But I'm here if you need it."
"Try to get some sleep. I'll worry about the fire in the morning," Sveni yawned as he rubbed his heavy eyes. Just a little more sleep before his day could start. He laid back down, turning toward the half wall that kept him from falling 10ft in his sleep. Before long, he'd open his eyes again to the sound of light rain on the shelter roof and the gentle light of early morning. Great day for hunting, He thought, Deer will be all over the place today.

The man carefully pulled himself out of bed, making sure not to shift the girl too much. He could still make her a bed today, but he would need to dry all the parts for it. Sveni made his way to the fire, looking it over. A few larger pieces of wood were left over, and some of the embers were still glowing. He grabbed a bundle of tinder and some dry sticks from under the table, adding them to the embers to get a small fire going. He didnt want the girl to get cold in his absence, especially on a cold rainy morning.

Once he was finished, he gathered up his usual pack and wandered around the area for parts to use, chopping branches and small trees, burying a coin in shallow earth as thanks for each part taken. He didn't need change, and saw it as a worthy offering to the nature which preserved his life. By the time he gathered enough supplies for her bed, the rain had settled into a mist. Perfect hunting conditions. Sveni made his return to the shelter, setting everything up to dry. Today he would teach her to use a bow. Right after breakfast.
She couldn't fall back asleep for some amount of time, she couldn't be sure how long, after he went back to sleep. Eventually Brennigan licked and soothed her into a darkly dreamless sleep. No nightmares, just a cold, hollow, 'it was my fault' feeling.
When she woke up, he was gone, so she stroked Brennigan and tried to resist the temptation to try calling Niall again. She did. Unsurprisingly, it said the number did not exist. He must have changed it. Or he was dead... She shook her head and contemplated letting Brennigan off his harness, but decided she wasn't sure if he would come back yet. Probably he wouldn't leave her side, but if he did she didn't want him to get lost.
When Sveni returned, he found Kennedy awake with her cat, "Good morning. How would you like to learn to shoot a bow?"

He set his bag down, pulling out the bedding supplies and tying them about the fire to dry, "Its perfect hunting conditions to teach you in. And it'll be great dinner for a few days."
She nodded and tried to smile. She was excited, just distracted worrying about Niall. "That will be fun!" she tried to sound enthusiastic, but Niall was telling her about all the reasons hunting was wrong in the back of her head.
She sounded so weary in her response, "The bad dream still? It's ok. Maybe it'll get your mind off it. Give you something to focus on, yea?"
She nodded and tried harder to smile (/subtly shift her face into a smile by physiclly moving where her mouth was and what shape it was in. It was uncomfortable). "Yeah," she said, releasing her mouth so she could speak.
Sveni nodded in response before standing and making his way to retrieve food for the three of them, "Here you go. It's rabbit. Really juicy if you warm it up. It'll keep you full til the afternoon."
"Are you talking about the big white and black ones or wild ones? I think wild rabbits are cute, but I've also received some nasty infections from their scratches," Sveni chuckled, showing some small scars on his wrist, "They're cute. Hares aren't. They have soulless stares, like a crackhead.."
"Yea he's cute too," Sveni said with a smile, "Theres a mama deer that wanders around here with two babies. We might see her today. I call her Caroline. And her babies I've named Lucy and Jack."
"Never," He shook his head, "Never mothers. Never the young. But if I see a buck running around solo, that's a good pelt and food. And I make sure to use the most it. Bones become tools, ligaments and tendons are good for securing tool parts. They act like glue once they've been set in."
She smiled in relief and nodded. "Ok. And we won't hurt any birds, will we?" Shoot. How would she explain her love for birds? It always sounded weird.
"Maybe," He gestured with his hand, "Theres no need to kill songbirds. They don't offer much. But a wild turkey or something like that I can't promise. It depends on how food is for us at the time. I will try to avoid it, though."
"No," He chuckled. The birds out here were less than friendly. Taming one would be difficult, for certain, "Not really sure where to start with that. Those are good for small game though, it wouldn't be a bad idea."
She got genuinely excited. "I know all about falconry and birds!" She started to launch into a 20 minute info dump about different types of falcons and how to train them, when she realized an info dump probably wasn't welcome.
Sveni was impressed with the girls knowledge on the subject, raising his brows to indicate so, "Wow, you know a lot about this falconry stuff. Maybe if we find a nest or something we can raise one and train it."

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