[identity profile] lslaw.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] writing_shadows
I don't recall when I lost the distinction between pack and family, although I know when I became aware of it, to the second. I was doing community outreach, in a school, when my phone let me know with a song that someone had emailed; Born to be Wild, pack business, so I checked it at once.

At the time, I'd been up for ninety hours, trying to work out how to resolve one of the little conundrums that Korsten Winterfell had left us and which Helen had made a point of telling me it was the pack's business to sort out. I'd said I didn't want to involve the Worthies too early; she'd emailed to tell me that this was about family before pack.

That was when it hit me; pack is family. Maybe it's because I don't have much in the way of family besides. I keep away from Mum and my aunt now, for their own protection, I can't talk to anyone else on the force; pack is what I have. I know that Quiet Life used to be her brothers and her, and now we're not, but still... It hurt to be cut out like that, to be told that the pack came second, ever. I've never been so glad to carry a Mercy Gem.

I know that she'll probably feel the same when, if, she comes back from wherever she's gone to and finds that she isn't one of us any longer, but after six months we had to let her go, or tear our own hearts out trying to hold on to her. I've not asked the others, but I would welcome her back in a heartbeat, if she came to stay.

For now, I have to look after the rest of my wolves. David and Boomer, each powerful, but fragile; Mia and Grace, each one devious in her own way. Where I lead, they will follow, and I think I need that to stop me rushing in where angels and wiser wolves might fear to tread. I have to look after them, and trust them to look after me.

David is power incarnate, barely contained within a cracked vessel. With him in the pack, we can hardly help doing great things, but I don't want the rest of us to become an adjunct to him, not to let his morality dominate. He is wise, but we have disagreements and I do not believe that he is always right. Regardless, I know I am lucky to have such a teacher.

Boomer is a warrior born, but Diana has made him erratic and he has been attacked on an unfamiliar field. I am more than ever glad of Mia now, for she knows that field well. They are our foot on the human shore, as surely as David is our anchor in the Shadow.

Grace is... efficient. I get the feeling I should be very circumspect in my opinions on the matter of troublesome senior clergy in her hearing. At some point I'll stop ribbing her about showing me up on the lists, but not yet. After all, I've agreed not to humiliate her publicly. If I let it go in private, I'd be tending a weakness, and we can't have that.

It's time to up our game. David once noted that with his old pack, they moved as one instinctively; we need that, but it can't be practiced. We need to work together, hunt together, fight together; maybe even live together, although I suspect that that would be the final death knell on my love life and I am supposed to get back in the cleaving way at some stage. It's the law, don't you know. But at the moment we work well together when we have time to plan; we need to be able to work well together at a moment's notice.

We have it in us to be great. I mean to see that realised.
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