Bark, by Pascal Q Porcupine

Story name: Bark
Author: Pascal Q. Porcupine

Date: Late autumn, 706 CR
Location: Metamor forest, Pascal's lab


Michael and Pascal reconcile, several months after the events of Colors.


Michael takes a walk through the woods and into the snow. As he gnaws on a lone willow tree in the aspen forest, he notices Pascal hiding in the tree. Michael does his best to talk civilly to her, but his anger keeps coming through; he doesn't feel inclined to leave, either. Pascal keeps trying to leave, but every time Michael tells her to stay and say something, she gets more anguished. Finally, he gives her a hug, and she cries in his arms.

As she is shivering from the cold, Michael takes her to her room and gives her a bowl of warm soup. He jokes about the strange events they went through together, and how glad that he won't have to be mistaken for her anymore. Pascal is relieved that he's not mad at her, and thanks him for the hug. He realizes that the Keep has profoundly changed his body, and that Pascal's gift was just another welcoming gift. He's not worried about the other lumbermen wearing his colors; he now sees himself as their inspiration. He thanks her again for making him who he is, and she smiles and cries. He invites her out to dinner, and they head outside naked to chew on willow bark together.


Main Characters:

  • Michael: A beaver morph and a lumberjack. His plaid coloring is the result of an experiment he'd taken from Pascal, driven by passion and love for her. Their relationship ended abruptly after discovering what she'd done. Since that time, he has come to terms with his new body.
  • Pascal: A purple splotch-colored porcupine morph and the Keep alchemist. She has been scared of meeting Michael ever since their breakup. She still seems a bit distant with him, but she's relieved that he is willing to speak to her again.

Points of Interest

  • This story references earlier instances of Michael and Pascal's relationship, in particular Potion and Colors.
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