May. 11th, 2015

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Sousuke gets patched up and introduced to the farm. Some take a liking to him while others...not so much. Sousuke also learns the name of his friendly green eyed cow and some history about the farm.

+++

"That was quite a fall you took there, lucky Makoto got you here in time."

Sousuke grimaced as he was poke and prodded and wiped down with various cloths and salves. The aches from the fall where definitely more noticeable now and he was sure by tomorrow he wouldn't be able to move without feeling sore or pain.

"You have a name by the way?" The farmer, Goro was his name, asked.

"Sousuke," the wolf replied shortly, not really wanting to go into his backstory.

The farmer nodded, "nice to meet to Sousuke. It's been ages since a canine as been here what with Uozumi and Kazuki leaving, granted you're not a domestic canine but nonetheless."

Sousuke remained quiet and let the farmer wrap gauss around a cut on his forearm. His friendly green eyed cow stood not far away, a small smile on his face, eyes bright. Sousuke studied the bovine individual from where he sat. He was strong Sousuke could see, well-built but not super bulky which was odd. Sousuke was sure that the green eyed cow would have more muscle and longer horns but...

"Makoto, could you bring me the bottle of salve that's sitting on the top shelf over there?"

'Makoto' Sousuke thought, 'that's a nice name'

Makoto quickly brought the salve over and gave it to Goro, bowing slightly before retreating back to where he was standing before. Their eyes met for a brief moment and Sousuke felt a strange and foreign warmth tickle his skin, delving deep into his body making him... well, it was hard to describe.

"Makoto tells me that you'd be of good service on our farm"

Sousuke turned his attention back to Goro, the farmer's voice breaking the moment.

"Ah..yeah, I suppose.." Sousuke replied, he didn't remember anything of that sort when Makoto had escorted him to the farm.

"I trust his judgment but I want to make one thing clear."

Sousuke watched as Goro stood, crossing his arms and gazing down at him with a serious look. The wolf gulped and shrunk back in his seat a bit.

"If you even think about making anyone here a meal," Goro then pointed to the shotgun on the wall. Sousuke swallowed hard, eyes wide in intimidation. He nodded quickly adding a "yes sir" to be polite.

In an instant the ominous aura that befell the room lifted and Goro have a hardy chuckle before pulling Sousuke to his feet. Sousuke relaxed a bit, glancing over at Makoto for reassurance. The cow smiled at him and giggled, rolling his eyes a bit at Goro's threat, that made Sousuke feel a little better somehow.

"Welcome to the farm Sousuke!"

+++
The whispers were making it hard for Sousuke to concentrate as they walked the grounds of the farm. He'd glance occasionally over his shoulder and catch a glimpse of someone hiding behind a tree or the tractor.

'They're probably curious because a wolf is here' Sousuke thought scowling. It wasn't like he could do anything to anyone so they could at least be respectful and show themselves this one time. Sousuke was fine if they didn't want to interact with him at all after. He was used to being ignored and outcast.

"If you want to say 'hello' just come out and say it"

The sternness in Makoto's voice surprised Sousuke. It wasn't as though he was being scolding or harsh, but his voice had a sense of command to it that was still very gentle. The wolf looked between his escort and the figure, or more like figures, behind the tree. Two tiny heads peaked out from behind the trunk, big youthful eyes staring at him. From what Sousuke could see one was a little boy and the other a girl.

"It's alright," Makoto encouraged, "Come on, he won't hurt you."

Sousuke watched as the two younglings eased their way out from behind the tree. In the golden sunlight he could see the similar features: soft down-turned ears, short brown tails. The wolf slowly lowered himself into a sitting position on the ground, knowing his height to seem intimidating. The two younglings seemed a little more at ease now that it was clear Sousuke couldn't make any drastic movements. They were about half way between the tree and Makoto before the quickly scampered and hid behind the green eyed cow.
Makoto chuckled and ruffled both the youngling's hair. Now that they were closer Sousuke could see that one was a young male and the other a young female, both about the same age?

"Ran, Ren, this is Sousuke," Makoto introduced, "he's going to live here on the farm. Say hello."

Ran and Ren hesitated for a moment, glancing between Makoto and Sousuke before shyly saying hello. Sousuke smiled and greeted them back, telling them that it was very nice to get to meet them.

"You two are the first to approach and greet me," he said, shrugging his shoulders a bit, "that makes me feel really welcome."

"Ran and Ren are my twin siblings," Makoto explained, "they're not normally this shy but.."

"It is a pleasure to meet them," Sousuke said, "I would not expect them to be anything but shy around me."

Makoto smiled up at Sousuke as he carded his fingers through Ran's hair. The young female fixed Sousuke with a curious gaze before tugging on her brother's arm.

"Why does he have such a scary face, Onii-san?" She asked, frowning at Sousuke.

The wolf frowned as well, slouching a bit from where he sat.

'Rude,' he thought.

"Ran, that is not a very polite question," Makoto scolded, looking disapprovingly at his younger sister.

Ran shrugged but didn't say anything.

"Ran, please apologize," Makoto said again, moving to the side a bit so she couldn't hide behind him.

"S..sorry," she mumbled, not bothering to look at Sousuke.

"Sousuke is over there," Makoto said, not satisfied with his sister's apology.

The young female pouted and turned toward Sousuke more, her eyes flicking up quickly, along with her apology, before she took her place behind Makoto again.

"Thank you Ran," Makoto said, "why don't you two run along, I need to finish showing Sousuke around the farm."

The twins nodded and quickly ran off toward the barn, maybe a little to eagerly. Sousuke watched them go and sighed.

"I apologize if there was any discomfort for you," Makoto said, drawing the wolf's attention away from the barn.

"It's fine," Sousuke reassured, "I'm kind of used to it."

"It's not fine!" Makoto returned abruptly, startling Sousuke a bit, "no one should have to feel like that!"

The wolf gazed long and hard at his bovine escort before smiling and looking off toward the meadow, golden and swaying in the wind.

"Thank you, Makoto," he said finally, "I appreciate your concern."

The green eyed cow returned a smile and pointed over toward a trail.

"I still have to show you the fruit grove and where we get water," he explained, "then, if you feel comfortable, you can meet some of my friends and the other folk here."

Sousuke nodded and motioned for Makoto to lead the way.

+++
Dinner was quite the lively setting, everyone who lived in the farm were maneuvering around the long oak table set up in the dining area of the farmhouse. Steaming pots of soup and noodles were placed about the table, plates of steamed and raw vegetables as well were spread throughout, a bowl of leafy green salad was set on the table on Sousuke's end and he took a moment to stare at it. From what he could see, the majority of individuals here were herbivores. The only exception was Kisumi, the red-tailed fox. Makoto had introduced the two before dinner and for first impressions Kisumi seemed like a decent canine, that is until he went and began harassing one of Makoto's close friends, Haruka.

Sousuke really didn't know what to think of Haruka. According to Makoto, Haruka was a rare breed of goat that lived only exclusively in the hillsides of Iwatobi. Because of the rarity of his species they became a prized item on the hunting market, worth quite a bit of money if caught. Haruka had lucky and Goro must have been a genius to be able to negotiate with the government of Iwatobi on keeping Haruka on his farm.

"His main argument, I am told, is that the hunting of such a rare animal was wrong," Makoto explained as they walked to the house before dinner, "somehow he was able to convince the government that he was in no way attempting to use Haruka in such a way. I guess he succeeded though."

It was a touching story, and Sousuke was glad for that type thinking on Goro's part. It was important to not kill off species, especially if they were important to the ecosystems. Whether or not Haruka was one of those species, like hell if Sousuke would know. At this point all Sousuke thought of Haruka was that he was one grumpy, non-trusting goat who seemed to have an immediate dislike for the wolf. They had barely been introduced and Haruka was all "I don't like him! He has a strange aura about him, I'd be careful Makoto" before walking off with his basket of corn. It was completely uncalled for.

"Sousuke," Makoto's voice pulled the wolf from his thoughts and he glanced over toward the cow. The wolf's eyes widened a bit when a plate of fish was offered to him, noodles and vegetables on the side.

"Thank you," he replied taking the dish and setting it in front of him. He'd never eaten fish before, but seeing as most of the individuals were herbivores it was unlikely that they would be cooking any other meat besides fish.
The wolf glanced around the table and waited for others to be served and once the pre-meal thanks was given everyone dug happily into their meals.

"Wha! The potatoes are so good Haru-chan!" Nagisa, a gold and white hare, exclaimed from his spot on the other end of the table.

"Yes, they are very delicious," added the individual next to the jovial hare. If Sousuke could remember correctly that was Rei, the spotted deer. He and Aiichirou were of same species and herd, but sadly were the only two to survive when a group of poachers attacked the herd on government protected land.

"You've always been a capable cook, Haruka," Goro commented from his place at the head of the table.

Haruka gave a small nod, mumbling something along the lines of 'I'm only okay at it' at which Nagisa refuted the claim and went into a long winded story about how they'd all be starving of it weren't for Haruka's cooking.

"Eh?! Nagisa! What about the rest of us that are able to cook too?!"

Sousuke turned his attention around the table as people spoke.

"Er.. But you always makeā€¦um interesting dishes, Gou," Rei mentioned hesitantly, keeping his eyes turned away from the red tinted lamb.

"And your point, Rei?" She challenged. The deer squeaked in shock and fear before stammering a dismissal of the comment.

Sousuke watched the interactions with awe and curiosity and maybe a little bit of envy. Everyone here seemed so close despite the events of their past. It was as if what happened before didn't matter and all differences could be put aside, each individual somehow bringing their own balance to the farm.

The wolf smiled to himself and continued to eat his dinner. Perhaps he could get used to this.

--
Author's Notes
Part two. Hope you enjoyed it!

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