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Feels Like Home

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The beast blood raged through Carillia, and she found herself enjoying it more than she thought she would. There was a deep sadness I'm her heart for Skjor, whom she'd only just learned to recognize as brother before his scent was ripped away from her and vengeance moved into its space. Doing something, anything, that felt effective helped to dampen the pain that she felt. It was as if becoming a werewolf made her more aware of Aela's pain, of the way that Vilkas and Kodlak tried to hide their mourning, of the sadness Farkas couldn't banish. Their pain became her fuel, and lent fire to every sword strike she brought down to punish the Silver Hand. She never wanted to feel Aela in pain again, not if she could help it.

It was a heady thing, being a werewolf. Her body was restless when she was forced to sit at tables for meals, legs jumping under the surface as she ate more than twice her usual amount. Carillia's sense of smell was heightened to the point where she had to avoid certain people, because the stench of their unwashed flesh was too powerful for her to bear. Sleep wasn't as sweet as her need to run under the moon, and sometimes she did, with Aela at her side.

Farkas stopped her one day as she was about to leave Jorvaskrr on yet another run against the Silver Hand. She was marshaling her rage, thinking about how they would soon be wiped out when he broke into her thoughts.

"Is it for Skjor?" He asked her, his heavy voice quiet so that only she could hear it in the crowded mead hall.

She didn't need to ask him what it was. It was all that she and Aela could talk about these days, sitting together with bowed heads and speaking in hushed tones. It was what bonded them, even more than the beast they both were. Sorrow and anger and outrage forged a stronger link between them, and her heart ached as if she'd known Skjor for years instead of weeks because of Aela's influence.

"For Aela's memory of him. To get back some of what we lost to those bastards. They do nothing while beasts and worse roam the land and terrorize the common folk, but come after us for having strength." Carillia was already angry and her fire worked its way into her words.

Farkas nodded, but didn't answer her. His eyes took measure of her again, just as he had during her first trials. She was different, but he wasn't sure how. He could sense her beast blood, hear her heart beating in her chest and knew her scent, but more than the physical had changed about Carillia.

He stepped aside and let her pass to go about her business. He would have stared after her, but Vilkas put a hand on his shoulder.

"Don't worry, brother. That one, as impetuous as she is, can take care of herself." Vilkas said.

Farkas nodded and let himself be led to the table so he could patake of some food. While he was sitting there, Aela met his eyes from her place at the long table. They held his, dark and defiant for a minute before he had to turn away. He wasn't sure what was going on anymore, not at all.

He decided to keep his head down and let Carillia and Aela do whatever it was they were doing in peace.


Kodlak watched them, but stayed an observer to all. Aela should know better than to look for vengeance, than to retaliate against the Silver Hand, but grief made her insensible. Whenever he looked in her eyes they were hard and flinty, pain intruding where once honor, duty and responsibility dwelled. He knew she was still honorable, still a Companion at heart, even if she had a mind towards revenge.

He would have to talk to Carillia. She would be more receptive, her grief not as deep as that which lay within Aela. He had many reasons to speak with her, not just because of her disturbing retribution on the Silver Hand, but for reasons of his own.

There was so much to explain to her, and little time. Kodak sighed, wishing that it didn't all have to be so difficult. He wasn't sure how long he'd surveyed the dining hall lost in thought, but the people had changed places when he next looked up.

Taking a seat near Athis, he leaned close to the other man and spoke. "Let everyone know I need to speak with Carillia when she comes back."

Athis nodded, then reached out for a loaf of bread. "Suspect she'll be out for a while, Harbinger."

"I will wait." Kodlak intoned, his manner closing the subject.

In an hour all of the Companions knew to alert Carillia to see Kodlak once she came back. Aela took the news with a grim face, but promised to tell her friend if she saw her first.