Private Roleplay  send the pain below [lev]
Viewing: 1 Guest(s)
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#1
(This post was last modified: January 17, 2019, 08:04:36 AM by Harriette.)

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
ooc: set before the winter solstice

Day had come to a close, and the moon was making its grand appearance as the sun slid behind the horizon for another night. The stars would slowly begin to poke through the darkening canvas of the sky, no clouds present to block their view. The temperature had dropped considerably, but Harriette was not feeling the effects of the cold this evening. She was deep in thought, as she often was, not bothered by the world around her. She was lost in her own mind once again.

There seemed to be quite a lot going on in the pack lately. The festivities were going to be starting soon, and Harriette was more interested than excited about what may come with such events. There was definitely a lot of build up around the whole ordeal, and it was warming to see how everyone came together around things like this. The chatter, the anticipation… It was charming to the young girl, enchanting even. The excitement was like a drug, giving a high that she’d never experienced before.

But that could grow exhausting for the pale girl, and so she found herself resting by the wall, near the skulls which lay ominously at its opening. She never asked about how they got there, and was never really told. Perhaps to some, this was common knowledge, but to the wistful girl, she tended to ignore these dark details. Gemini was a safe haven for her, untainted and pure. She was ignorant to the shadows that lurk in Gemini’s past.

Harriette sighed as she laid herself near the skulls, staring at them curiously. “Who are you” She murmured softly, head tilting to one side. “Maybe I should know, but…” She shook her head and breathed a tiny laugh, though her mouth pulled downward in a small frown. Her mind flashed with images of her Aunt Derringer, of her brothers. Fast and barely caught by her mind’s eye. Blood. Teeth. Cries. Darkness. Images she didn’t understand or comprehend. Thoughts that were buried deep, far beyond what she was capable of digging up herself.

But maybe I don’t want to know…

Icy hot eyes blinked slowly, adjusting to the deepening darkness, staring at the skulls as they stared into nothingness, their empty sockets without emotion. But it almost seemed like they were laughing. At her? Not likely. Perhaps at their own fate.

She watched intently as they began to shift and move slowly, melting into the ground, a whisper of laughter echoing in the air around her. They oozed into the ground, the snow steaming as the ivory liquid sunk deeper and deeper. Harriette’s eyes glazed over as she watched the lost souls make their escape, slithering away from the wall, to a better world. The laughter fading as they vanished into the night.

Be free…” She whispered softly to the dead. “Be free and be at peace now…


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
[-] Likes: DustyForgotten
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#2






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
Fate was cruel, and Lev Malakh knew this more than most. Everyone around her that she loved, that she cherished, died in some horrible way. Her touch was a Valkyrie's touch, yet she had the inability to choose. How could she? She could not place herself in their graves, even if she would feel much warmer there.

In death there had been life despite all of the loss she had gone through. Lev Malakh curled around her six children, their small bodies wriggling and nesting against her sore belly. The darkness of her thoughts had crept in as of late, how she blamed herself for Cuivre. How she blamed herself for Tauro. She wondered if she could've saved her two stillborn. And now, fate reared it's ugly head again, taking her father.

Golden eyes looked toward the entrance of her den and she felt the cool ocean wind filter through. Winter was coming their way, it was here. The earthen walls around her closed and she felt she needed to escape at least for a little while. Nuzzling her babes, Lev Malakh would slip from them and nudge them into a corner. Her father had decorated her den in order to keep them comfortable, so they would be alright for an hour or two while she took a breath of fresh air.

Despite the fear that something would happen, she knew He would watch over them. As she surfaced, her gaze immediately went to Tauro's skull. "I'll be back..." she whispered before forcing herself to turn away from him and lumbered off into the grasslands.

Lev didn't know how long she had been wandering, it felt as though a few minutes passed before she suddenly found herself at the wall, which was quite a ways from the willow. She could hear the rattles of bone against stone — a warning, a message to those who dare trespass. A reminder. The Valkyr paused for a moment, thinking of turning around and heading back to her children, but a soft voice had caught her attention. Someone was here. Heart began to thump against her chest, but she took a breath, not allowing herself to jump to conclusions. She was in no condition to fight, anyhow.

"Hello?" she called, weaving herself through the gate. She found familiar colors, the sigh of relief loud. "Ah... Sorry, I.. didn't mean to intrude." Lev Malakh would start to back away, not wanting to bother, but she didn't know if she could stand to be in the presence of Tauro's siblings. The subject was still a fresh wound.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦

a year later........
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

[-] Likes: DustyForgotten, LK, shortyhooz
Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#3

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Harriette was engulfed within her own imagination, watching mindlessly as the skulls dribbled down the wall, melting down, down, down into the earth. It was mesmerizing to watch as the ivory liquid slowly ran over the rough stone bricks; however, she was startled back to reality when a voice broke the silence.

Her mind’s eye shut as the ones within her head reopened, and she saw that the skulls, in solid form, still hung from their post, perilous and grim. So strange how it could seem so real.

Mentally shaking out the remnants of her mild hallucination, she turned her head to find a gadabout peering down at her as she lay in the snow. Harriette felt as though she should know who this was, and perhaps she’d seen the Valkyrie before, but her memory escaped her.

“Ah... Sorry, I.. didn't mean to intrude.” Said the woman, immediately backing away as she spoke.

Harriette rose to her paws and shook her head gently. “No, please, you’re not intruding on anything.” She offered a kind smile, to show that she was more than happy to have some company. The nighttime could get lonely, and Harriette had suddenly forgotten why she was at the wall in the first place rather than nestled in her den.

The Acolyte glanced at the skulls on the wall briefly before looking back into eyes of golden yellow. “Not much for good company,” she murmured, half-attempting at a joke as she motioned toward the skulls. She swallowed, wondering if the joke was perhaps in bad taste, and she hoped she didn’t offend the white-faced girl.

I’m not sure if we’ve met … At least, not properly, anyway.” Harriette decided she’d just own up to not knowing who the woman was. Better to just get it out of the way rather than sticking her foot in her mouth later on. “I’m Harriette – an Acolyte here.

The pale girl often refrained from introducing herself as ‘the Queen’s daughter’. It wasn’t that she was ashamed, but she had more to be known for than simply being a ‘princess’. Besides, most people in Gemini likely could connect the name Harriette to Serrate and figure it out on their own – it wasn’t like Harriette was trying to hide these facts, just simply make a name for herself outside of that.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#4






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
The Valkyrie paused, a tad regretful from the sudden motion as she winced slightly. Alright, so she wasn't intruding, but she still felt shame and guilt. By looks alone, she knew who they were. Not by name, but by family. Still, the softness of those words struck Lev Malakh in a way that eased her. So, she walked back out from the gate and sat down in the pillowing snow.

Eyes glanced up to the skulls hanging from the cobble as Harriette made her little joke. The Valkyr forced a smiled, at least to seem polite in that sense. "Yeah.." was her only response. Moments later, she would rip her gaze from them, a knot pulling inside her chest. She knew well who they were and what they had done. They served a purpose now, but even then it gave her grief.

The mother shook her head slightly, confirming that they had not met before. Golden lifted from white into blue rimmed with red. Ah, introductions, of course. This time, Lev's smile was genuine. "I'm.. Lev Malakh, Lev for short. I'm..." She paused for a moment, collecting her thoughts. Her instinct was to say her rank was Knight, but that had been reserved for the one she failed to protect. She wasn't worthy of that title anymore, even if her rank had never changed. She was the advisor for Akira now, and a guard in which she would do her best.

"I'm the Valkyr... I protect Akira." Having two titles was a mouthful, so she kept to just one. The one that meant most to her. Akira and Lev had of course had their differences, their slight rivalry, but in the end they had come together as family. The Valkyrie only hoped she wouldn't let her King down.

She couldn't, not again. Not ever again.

"Why are you out this far? It's pretty cold and... late." The same could of course be said of Lev who had children at home nestled in some furs, but the demons within wouldn't let her sleep.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

[-] Likes: DustyForgotten
Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#5

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
The tri-colored lady introduced herself as Lev Malakh, the Valkyrie responsible for Akira’s protection. Harriette nodded and her smile widened. “Lev,” Harriette repeated softly. It was a pretty name, she decided, and while she didn’t recognize the name like she thought she might, she would remember it for next time.

It was still so new to Harriette to think of Akira as Gemini’s King, and perhaps her mind hadn’t completely wrapped around that fact. In her delusions, she had figured that Tauro was simply too busy with nomadic duties to be King any longer, since his traveling took him away from Gemini too often.

… In her delusions …

“Why are you out this far? It's pretty cold and... late.” Lev questioned, and Harriette pursed her lips together. She didn’t really have a good answer for this, so she simply shrugged at Lev. She sat then, feeling as though she had finally convinced her company to stay a while.

Not sure, really. There’s just been lots going on in the pack lately, and I guess I just wanted to see what the peace and quiet felt like again. But it gets lonely, I’ve discovered.” She half-smiled, looking down at her paws for a moment.

The silence grew thicker, her eyes moving from her feet to look up at the night sky. So many stars – so many beautiful stars. She wished the night time wasn’t so lonely.

Thinking about how Lev said she protects Akira, and how Akira was suddenly King instead of Tauro, Harriette wondered where Tauro was right now. She’d seen him here and there, but it had been a while since she saw him last.

Her wonderful brother, so loud in life and bold at heart. Was he looking up at the same stars as Harriette right now?

I guess sometimes I feel like I can only get a chance to see my brothers when it’s dark and quiet like this, too. I don’t see them around as much as I see my other siblings. I like to find some extra time in my day for them.” Her words were quiet, wistful. She knew they were never too far, but somedays it felt like they were a lifetime away.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#6






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
Lev couldn't help but nod in agreement. The pack had fluttered with life despite the loss they had endured. Of course, how could they mourn someone they didn't truly know? Tauro was Serrate's son, the future King of Gemini, but they didn't know him besides his titles, did they? Not like Harriette. Especially not like Lev Malakh. "Ah, yes. Peace and quiet is definitely nice once in a while..." The loneliness would always creep back in.

Her children was all she had left anymore.

The Valkyr followed the Acolytes gaze up to the stars. Tauro was never there in physical, but she knew deep down he was here. Somewhere in the vast sea of stars that graced their lands nearly every night. Even far beyond Gemini, the never moved.

Family was of course very important in these times of loss, and Lev felt it natural that she would seek out her other brothers. The woman wasn't sure who they were, she hadn't met all of them after all. She wasn't aware Harriette was talking of Tauro and the missing Kariya. These mystical lands had always shown the thin veil of the afterlife here. She had seen Tauro in the midst of her pregnancy, when the fireflies had still been around.

"Are... they okay? And you?" she asked cautiously. Lev Malakh knew all too well how new this was, how painful how it might be. She was still wounded and it was hard some nights, realizing he was gone forever.

She wished she could hear him again.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#7

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Together, they stared at the stars. Giant masses of fire and gas in an endless void appearing as tiny pinpricks in the black canvas of the sky, telling stories as they blinked and twinkled.

Together, they read the stars for the stories they told, decoding and analyzing as they watched with curiosity and fascination.

Together, they saw him. One seeing her late lover embodied within them, the other imagining his blue eyes taking in the sight alongside them.

One haunted by the reality of what had really happened, the other blissfully ignorant, lost in a daydream.

Harriette could sense the genuine concern in Lev’s voice as she asked if the Acolyte’s brothers were okay and if she was okay. It was a loaded question, more than Lev knew – more than Harriette herself knew. Were they okay? Harriette assumed so, considering the ‘Safe Haven’ nature of Gemini. But if Tauro really was traveling, like her mind had tricked her into believing, then perhaps there was a chance he wasn’t okay.

She couldn’t recall the last time she saw Kariya, either. The others, she saw regularly here and there, bumping into them casually throughout the week as she toured back and forth from the Living Tree.

Exhaling deeply, Harriette lowered her gaze back to Lev’s golden eyes. She was so blind, so completely unaware of the truth. Her mind had spun so many tales to cover up the dark, gruesome reality of Gemini’s curse, and Harriette knew no better.

Well, I would think so, yes. There’s lots to be excited about lately. I think they’re just busy.” Harriette’s complete disregard to the truth was akin to that of a child’s belief in Santa or the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Harmless, one might think, and yet so catastrophically disastrous should she say the wrong thing. Little did Harriette know, she was standing before a ticking time bomb of raw emotion.

I just miss Tauro and Kariya.” She admitted softly, picturing their smiling faces as she confessed. She loved her siblings so much – each of them, none more than the other – and wished they could spend more time together like they did when they were young pups.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#8






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
The universe was vast, the stars stretching into infinity while the speck of dust that was Harriette and Lev Malakh stood in the cold, their worries insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The Valkyrie wished to float up, fly into that black canvas splattered with sparkling light, to be sent into space and awed by the wonders of which she would never comprehend. But at least they would be there — her brother, her father, her lover and children.

Time was always floating by them, a river of fluid that never existed in the first place. She was glad to know that at least Harriette and her family was healing from the tragedy, though she was sure some of them felt worse than others. Everyone's hearts were torn differently that day, and she could only imagine how Serrate and Hawthorne felt about losing a son. Perhaps two.

"I'm glad." she stated, allowing her head to fall slightly as her neck strained from staring up at the sky. "Staying busy is a good distraction." Lev Malakh wished she could say the same, even if she was busy with her kids. They could not talk, could not yet converse with her. They would never understand until their later years.

She felt her chest hitch, knowing this would come. There was now preparing for it, despite knowing full well that those words would come. Kariya was an unknown factor to Lev, therefore emotion could not be felt toward him. Tauro, however, was a different story. With a gasp, she inhaled as she couldn't hold out the knot in her throat forever. She could feel the hot tears coming, brow pulling together as she closed her eyes tightly.

Stop, stop it. Now is not the time.

"I... I miss him too." she muttered, voice quivering. "I miss him so much."

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

[-] Likes: shortyhooz
Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#9

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Harriette liked to think she was an observant person, that she could see what was happening with a person before being taken by surprise by it. However, nothing prepared Harriette for the sudden gasp of an emotionally broken woman.

Lev’s words shook as she spoke, her chest heaving now and then as she attempted to catch the breath that escaped her. Harriette watched in shock as tears welled in Lev’s eyes, threatening to spill over the rim of her eyelids to escape down her cheeks.

Confused, to say the least, Harriette cocked her head to the side while instinctively reaching out toward Lev – a healer’s touch, more than just a perfunctory action, though Lev was too far for Harriette’s paw to rest upon Lev’s own. Falling short, the Acolyte simply let her paw drop to the ground between them, glancing down briefly as she did so before looking back to Lev’s face.

Oh, Lev,” Harriette murmured in a soft, sympathetic voice. She missed her brothers, too, but she knew she’d see them around again. She wondered what kind of connection Lev had to her brothers – or maybe just one of them, since she only said ‘he’, not ‘them’. Did one of them hurt her? She couldn’t imagine her brothers hurting anyone – at least not intentionally. She was sure there was an explanation for whatever happened, but Harriette was here for Lev at the moment, not to blurt out excuses for whatever her brother – or brothers – did.  

Brows knitting together as she tried to understand this situation, she racked her mind for answers, falling short every time. Seeing that Lev was clearly in emotional turmoil, Harriette tried to choose her words carefully, so as not to further upset the girl she only just met.

Tauro? Or Kariya…?” She asked softly, knowing not of Lev Malakh’s romantic ties to her lion-hearted brother – Harriette had holed herself up in the Living Tree so much that she found she was oblivious to so much of what was going on in her own pack. “I didn’t know you’re close with either of them – I’m not really … up to date on the social happenings of Gemini. Which is my own fault, really.” She tried to lighten the mood, smiling half-heartedly at Lev, eyes searching to meet her golden gaze.

Exhaling slowly, she pulled her paw back toward herself and continued to peer at Lev, watching her carefully and trying her best to express the fact that she was here for comfort, should Lev require it.

The poor girl seemed so sad, so utterly troubled, and Harriette hated to see someone suffering alone.  


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#10
(This post was last modified: January 19, 2019, 11:31:19 AM by Lev Malakh.)






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
As Lev's emotions hung in the balance, she squeezed her eyes tight, but it couldn't stop the tears. After a few moments of realizing this fact, she relaxed, lids opening as she saw Harriette try to reach for her in comfort. The Valkyr felt embarrassed, she wasn't the only one grieving, but she couldn't help the pain that flowed out of her.

"I-I'm sorry..." she stammered, quickly using her arm to wipe away the tears. She felt selfish in this moment, despite knowing this was a rational emotion, that she still hurt deeply by the events that transpired just beyond the wall. The skulls softly drumming against the stone behind them was evidence of that; the hollow eyes staring back into her den was evidence of that. The vacancy she felt, yet the warmth and murmurs of her children was evidence of that.

Finally composing herself, she could glance up at the pale woman before her. "Uhm... Tauro. I.. didn't know Kariya well. And, well..." Lev paused, knowing that nobody knew of her and Tauro's relationship. They had come together as one in Inaria, the last day within the forest of lilac and she often looked back at that night and held it close.

And she should've stayed with the group that came back! Why did she go ahead to meet up with her father! If she had stayed with them... Tauro would still be alive.

He would be...

Brow furrowed, noting Harriette's last statement. She knew little of what happens in Gemini? Did she not hear about her brother's death? Of Serrate's broken skull and Hawthorne's twisted leg? Kariya hadn't been the same and was now missing. "Do... do you not know, Harriette? I..." If that was the case, then she felt even more selfish, ashamed and a little unwilling to give the bad news. It had been a few months after all, and despite it being a still ebbing wound in them all, she had the right to know. She was Tauro's sister, she was family. Aunt to his children.

Chest pulsed again with a sob. "Oh Harriette..."

He's gone.

Gone to the stars above.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

[-] Likes: Emily.
Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#11
(This post was last modified: January 19, 2019, 12:59:27 PM by Harriette.)

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Lev was still overwhelmed with emotion when she spoke again, but the terminology she used was completely lost on the pale girl. ‘Didn’t know’ in place of ‘don’t know’, these words did not click in the Acolyte’s mind. Her ignorance in an important time of grieving would perhaps prove to be extremely debilitating later, but for now, she simply stared back at Lev with that half-hearted smile on her lips.

Harriette thought about her gray-blue brother, how he always surprised her with his phenomenal memory, how he always made her smile. Blinking slowly, Harriette spoke in an almost dream-like state, “Kariya is great. You’ll get to know him yet, don’t worry.” She’d be sure of it, too. She always wanted to show off her siblings to the world, to show the world how great they were, how lucky she was to have them.

The world should share that with her – it was something she believed everyone needed.

A silence then fell between them as Lev’s expression seemed to change. Her brows pulled together as though deep in thought, staring curiously at Harriette, studying her carefully.

Harriette watched her with genuine concern, wondering what was going through Lev’s mind. Something in the air between them changed, something snapped. Lev spoke again, asking if Harriette knew.

Know what? Know…?

“Oh Harriette…” Lev sobbed softly, confusing Harriette further.

Shaking her head slightly, concern growing on her features, she leaned toward Lev. “Know? Know what, Lev?” She tried to piece together this skewed puzzle, but it was difficult to grab the pieces. She hated to pry, but these vague statements, these lingering words… Harriette couldn’t make sense of them. Did Lev mean to ask if Harriette knew where Tauro was?

Sighing softly, Harriette turned her head as though to look around her, as if Tauro was simply lingering in the shadows near to them. Of course he wasn’t, and Harriette assumed he wouldn’t be. “He’s around here, Lev, don’t worry. I spoke to him just the other day. He’s just hard to catch these days – he’s really busy is all.” Her tone was sympathetic, soft, calm. She wished Lev would calm down. “He seems really happy, though.” She smiled as she imagined that wide toothy grin of his, his contagious laughter, his bright aura.

Hey, don’t worry so much.” She said with a soft smile, trying her best to cheer up this poor crumbing statue of a woman. “When I see him next I’ll be sure to tell him you’ve been looking for him. I’ll make sure he finds you right away.” She inched closer to Lev, scooting forward across the snow. She tried to meet the Valkyrie’s gaze, stretching an arm out to tap against the inside of Lev’s.

Don’t worry, she wanted to say again, but the words were lost on her tongue.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#12






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
Lev tried to ground herself again, it was harder each time and could feel her world crumbling over again. Could remember his warmth and the scent of blood permeating the air. Could remember how she tried to huddle under his arm and against his chest, the memories of Cuivre running through her. The feeling of the red string being cut by the knife of destiny, and oh how it hurt.

Fate was cruel, and Lev Malakh knew this more than most.

Of course Harriette had spoken to him, the veil so thin that the dead could talk with you. She had seen him among the fireflies at the end of summer, when her belly was swollen and she could feel at home with the stars. He was here, always watching them through a screen they could not cross until the hand of fate took them as well. The Valkyrie had life left in her, she had a family to raise and a King to protect. Destiny would show itself in due time. Some day she would be able to be with him again, to feel him and speak with him. To feel that warmth she so desperately missed. To see him smile. She knew he was happy.

That's all that mattered.

Lev Malakh shied away from Harriette's touch. She tried not to be frustrated, the girl didn't know and this news was coming from a stranger. "Harriette." she insisted, voice stern and as cold as the ice around them. "Tauro, he's dead. He isn't with us anymore. You're seeing a ghost, he's not real." Lev felt so disconnected with herself as she said this, as if she retracted inside of her body and looked through the eyes of another being. Those words felt stiff on her tongue.

"They killed him... And I... I couldn't..." Another wave of emotion and pain washed over her, head dropping down. "I let him die."


✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#13

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Lev’s lips were moving, her mouth making the shape of words, but Harriette stopped hearing the noises that came with them. This was her nightmare, this was the thing she feared most, and she wouldn’t have any of it. Her brother wasn’t dead. Lev was wrong. Lev was WRONG.

The blackness around them seemed to close in on the brown-masked girl, her eyes fixated on Lev as the darkness slowly creeped toward them, reaching its greedy fingers toward the pair.

“He’s dead.”

Her heart raced as she scrambled with the words in her mind, trying to find the most fitting ones to string together in a sentence of protest and disbelief. Her lips parted, but her throat failed to release the vomit of denial that rumbled so loudly within her.

Harriette wanted to raise her voice at Lev, to yell. But no, she thought, that wasn’t right. Lev was just … confused. She didn’t mean any harm. Did she?

Swallowing hard, she shook her head hard. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her tone was laced lightly with anger. She couldn’t believe someone would say something like that to her, let alone someone she’d just met.

She tried to maintain that calm and sweet demeanor she usually had about her, but it was hard to be the kind-hearted healer girl when a stranger was trying to tell you your brother was DEAD.

Lev’s head dropped as she suffered from her own wave of emotion, though hers seemed to be more centered around grief and sadness – the proper reaction at a time like this – while Harriette was trying to fight back the angry monster that wished so badly to be released.

It wasn’t a ghost. I SAW him. I saw him, Lev.” Her voice was desperate, knowing without a doubt that she knew what she was talking about. She wasn’t some delusional freak – no, no, no. She saw Tauro.

She SAW Tauro. He SMILED. He LAUGHED. He’s HAPPY. He’s ALIVE. He’s ALIVE!

HE’S ALIVE!

Shaking her head again, over and over and over again, she tried to fling Lev Malakh’s disgusting words out of her mind.

“He’s dead.”

“You’re seeing a ghost.”

Closing her eyes and taking a few deep breaths, she brought herself back to composure. She felt like she was losing it (those memories tried so hard, so incredibly hard, to resurface), but she knew she was right. Harriette knew what the truth was, and Lev was wrong.

He’s not dead. Don’t be ridiculous. I talk to him almost every week, I see him all the time. It’s not a ghost, it’s the real thing. Why would you say that he’s dead?” Harriette’s own eyes began to sting with tears now, though she fought hard to keep them contained. The thought of her brother being gone was not something she often considered – it’s not something she ever wanted to happen.

She loved her family. She never wanted any of them to die, never wanted any of them to leave. It was a horrifying thought, and it was an absolutely horrible thing for Lev to say to her.  

Why would you say that, Lev?” Harriette asked again, her voice soft and broken – hurt. Why would anyone say that?


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#14
(This post was last modified: January 19, 2019, 04:57:54 PM by Lev Malakh.)






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
The truth was hard. Ignorance was bliss and Harriette had lived in ignorance for months. She had not shared the pain they all had while Serrate laid half-dead in under the tree as Hawthorne stayed close and unable to walk. Kariya had also been there, though Lev knew nothing of that case, only what her father had shown her. He had tried to help Serrate before his dead, and now that he was gone...

Even that had hit her, the Valkyr knowing just how hard it was to accept the truth. She wanted to deny Kol Nidre's fall into the ocean, her heart unable to take any more ache. Karasu had left in the wake, Zeke nearly killing her over a fight and ... Akki. Oh he still hoped and searched for any signs of the fallen King.

So the woman understood, knew how hard it was to swallow and that denial was a stage of grief. Lev lifted her head when Harriette denounced the Valkyr's claims. Golden eyes could see the struggle, the internal turmoil churning in those blue rimmed with red. "I know." she calmly stated, "I've seen him too. Once..." Under the stars and fireflies. He was real in some sense, but he was not of their world. Never again would he be.

Harriette seemed to see him commonly, something Lev wished she could say the same. Perhaps she had seen him a few times, and the others were hallucinations. The mystery of the veil was something the Valkyr did not understand, did not want to understand. The dead were dead, they could not speak to the living. Ghosts were not supposed to exist, so why had he seemed so real? Why hadn't Cuivre or Kol Nidre visited her? Perhaps her brother was too far and Kol Nidre did not wish to intrude.

Either way, they were all dead, and they had to accept that fact.

"Harriette." she said calmly, even more gently. A tone of a mother to a child. "If Tauro was not dead, then why is Akira King? My title used to be Knight, I used to protect him. I was... I was his mate. But he was killed the day we came home... I saw him, I saw his broken body. As did many..." A mob had gathered once Tauro and the two intruders were dead, and by then it was too late. Serrate was lucky to be alive now. "I'm sorry."

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#15

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
The Valkyrie seemed to compose herself, her breaths slowing and regulating as she told Harriette that she saw Tauro, too. But Harriette shook her head again. No, not like that, not like a ghost, that’s not how I SAW HIM! It wasn’t a ghost. He wasn’t a ghost.

There was something infuriating about someone telling you everything you believed in was an absolute lie, a fraud, a joke. It was humiliating to have someone tell you that you were wrong about something you were so sure about. So aggravating to have to try and prove yourself over and over again, to not have your voice heard, to be shut down every time.

It wasn’t very often that the soft soul of the Acolyte was lit aflame in a bout of anger and frustration, but Harriette felt that fire burning in her gut and she was struggling to contain it. It scorched hot within her, threatening to burst out her mouth and ears, to light the world on fire with her.

As Lev began to explain to Harriette the why and how of the Princess’s being wrong, Harriette tried her best to listen, to understand. But the words were all wrong. None of what Lev said proved anything. They didn’t mean anything. Akira was King because Tauro was busy – he was a diplomatic figure, he was doing what he did best and talking to people, joining forces with people, building his army. He gave up that position, Akira didn’t take it from him. Akira didn’t take anything from him. This was how it was supposed to be, this is how the game was to be played.

Then the words, ‘I was his mate’. They were so much louder than the rest, reverberating in her mind again and again. This was a fact that Harriete was unaware of, and she was shocked to think that Tauro never told her. Why wouldn’t her brother ever say anything? Why would this be a secret he kept from her? How long had this been going on?

Lev’s words blended together after that, ringing dully in the Acolyte’s ears.

Killed.

Broken body.

I’m sorry.


…Killed…

It didn’t make sense. It didn’t make any sense. Harriette … Saw him … She saw him. She talked to him… He wasn’t dead. No… No, no, no.

No one killed Tauro. It didn’t happen. This was all a lie, it was a dirty, foul, lie, and it was so wrong of Lev to be saying stuff like this. It was so wrong. It was ALL WRONG.

No…” She choked, her voice hitching in her throat as the words came up. She could feel something shifting inside of her, feel something changing and breaking. Breaking and snapping.

Those dark, dark memories reached their hands upward, trying desperately to break the surface of the black nothingness that shoved them down, down, down, so deep within her mind.  They punched upward, clawing at the base of her skull, screaming at her with broken voices. They scratched and squealed and clawed and chewed.

That… He’s not … You’re wrong…” Her voice was barely more than a whisper, quivering as she fought the inner turmoil within the caged walls of her psyche. She didn’t remember … She couldn’t remember. There was nothing TO REMEMBER.

THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN. THIS ISN’T RIGHT. YOU’RE LYING.

Completely unaware of the physical world around her, she melted into the ground, body lowering slowly as though it was a thick, syrupy liquid. Her head dropped to the snow as she stared with wild eyes into the endless abyss of the night sky.

He was looking up at the same stars… He was here…

Memories began to flash quickly before her mind’s eye, their images bright and overwhelming. She couldn’t stop the wave of fear that washed over her, enveloping her in its grip of horror.

Glimpses of her mother, unconscious and fur mottled with dried blood flashed before Harriette. Her eyes fluttering, her body twitching as she lay in the dingy confines of the Living Tree. Her mouth splitting open into a gruesome grimace as demons spilled out. Charcoal dripping out of her eyes, her nose, her mouth, the deep gashes all over her body.

She was not well, she was not herself. This was wrong. What was happening, why did she look so WRONG?

Hawthorne, her father, flashed before her now. His leg twisted, broken, grisly in its appearance. His eyes, too, bled charcoal and blackness, the demons screaming as they pooled around him in a show of macabre and terror. White maw parted, snapping open and shut and spilling lurid blackness and screaming and gnashing and SCREAMING.

MAKE IT STOP. MAKE IT GO AWAY.

Harriette brought her paws over her face, trying to swipe away the memories, trying to shove them down, back where they belonged. These memories were nightmares, these memories were wrong. These weren’t memories, they couldn’t be.

Kariya now, front and center in her lucid dreaming, his demonic presence sending a painful shiver through Harriette’s body. His black eyes staring at her while his bloodied lips peeled back into a Cheshire grin. His mind was as twisted as his appearance, then suddenly he was gone.

Nothingness overwhelmed the Acolyte, swallowing her whole like a whale would its prey.

Body shaking, she lifted a quivering paw away from her face so tearful eyes could look back up to the stars, which were suddenly so much brighter than before. They glistened, twinkling and lighting up the night sky.

She swore she saw his face just then, swore his eyes were in those stars.

The fur of her face was soaked with tears, her eyes bloodshot and vacant. She turned her face into the snow, burying herself within its cold embrace, hoping it would freeze her mind to a standstill.

Anything to make it stop.

Make it stop.

Make it stop…

She was losing it, she could feel her grip on reality slipping as the memories resurfaced, as Lev's words sunk deeper within her. She could feel herself sliding further away from what she knew was real. She didn't want these memories, she didn't want to be sucked into the nightmare of what truly was reality. She wanted it all to go back to how it was.

Just make it all turn back.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
[-] Likes: Gothy
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#16






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
Lev Malakh would bear witness to a woman finally receiving the news that her brother had been murdered. She would have to watch in silence as this young sister of Tauro's tried to deny the fact of his passing, only to shift into utter darkness within herself. They had all gone through it, Harriette was just late to the party. The cold winds of the mountains shifted, the Valkyr looking up to the sky as the Acolyte denied Lev's words, falling into the snow to find only demons around her.

The world was cold and cruel. Fate was an ugly demon that reared it's head in the hour of destiny and cackled as it tore a crown from a young boy. Just as it had torn away freedom from a boy seeking salvation only to have him smothered by fire and smoke. Just as it had torn asunder the very form of a King as he splashed against rock and wave, lungs filled with salt and water. Just as a prince couldn't escape his own mind, jailed by the very sickness that took his mother and tore his brother away from him and he jumped into oblivion. Just as a boy was outcast into the wilderness, doomed to wander until he died a painful death by the hands of the religious.

Brow knitted together once more, Lev's eyes shutting tight. She wanted to scream, wanted to feel her teeth pierce the very ones who had brought such calamity upon them. History could not be rewritten, and the fates of those lost could not be undone.

Relaxing, the Valkyr lowered her head and she sighed. Tauro was watching them all, smiling despite the horrific actions done upon him. His children would live on. A certain comfort veiled her pain, knowing that she would see and be with him again. Her own story had to finish before she could step into the world he dwelled in. Until then, she had to be strong. Strong for her children, for her siblings, for her family, for Gemini.

For Harriette.

The Valkyrie's eyes opened, bright gold in color that shined against the stars. Months had passed since the initial pain, though it seemed longer than that. Anger had gripped Lev in ways she never knew, willing to shed blood and go to war with whoever the murderer's kingdom was. She wished death upon those that didn't exist, and perhaps if she hadn't been pregnant, she would've gathered her own army in retaliation. Now that his children had given her meaning, she understood that there was hope.

A hope that couldn't be destroyed.

Harriettes pleading brought her to light, a calling to give that hope. Lev moved forward, laying down in front of the Acolyte, the cold snow relieving against her burning belly. Her neck would crane so it laid on top of the other woman's in a form of embrace. "I'm glad he still smiles." It was part of his charm, she had fallen in love with that smile. "Part of him still lives. I can show you."

And I can help you.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#17

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Harriette lay there, shaking and sobbing as she came to terms with the true reality. She never thought she’d ever be in this position – so vulnerable, offering herself to the demons that swarmed her. She never thought she’d have to say goodbye, never mind the fact that she didn’t even get the chance to. She didn’t think it was her right to have that opportunity, and yet it hurt – so bad – to know that it had been ripped from her grasp without her approval.

Who could do this to someone? Who could murder a boy King in cold blood? Who had the motive to act on such a deed? Did they feel good about it? Who ordered them to do this? Why did this happen? Why did it have to be Tauro? Why did her brother have to die? Why did this happen? Why? Why?

Sorrow, anger, and unrelenting agony swept over her, rendering her completely useless. The pale girl had no energy left to scream her questions at the moon; no energy left to fight against the ethereal tug of the shadows at her legs, their greasy fingers gripping tightly; no energy to left to block out the nightmarish memories. She was simply incapable of existing properly at this exact moment in time, her body a mere heap in the snow, her mind raw and itching like an open wound.

The Acolyte thought of her mother, of her state of confusion as of late, and of her father, his broken leg being treated in the Living Tree. Harriette knew of these things, and yet somehow she was completely unaware. She saw the rippling aftereffects of Taruo’s death all around her, and yet … Nothing.

Nothing clicked in her brain. Rather, the plexus of irrational thoughts within her mind weaved a thick blanket to lay atop those dark, grim memories. A blanket so thick that she could not see through. A blanket that covered up all of the bad thoughts, hid them within the deepest recesses of her consciousness. They were gone – her mind had completely erased the truth from her memory and left her floating in a fake fantasy world of peace and calm, where butterflies fluttered and everyone smiled and people laughed and everything was okay.

Even Tauro.

Lev’s words sounded muffled to Harriette’s ears as she told her she was glad that Tauro still smiles at Harriette. It was a good thing, in Lev’s opinion. But Harriette was wondering how much of that was actually real and how much of it was simply Harriette’s imagination.

Was she really seeing Tauro’s ghost? Or was she simply seeing an elaborate apparition that her mind created, to keep up the façade of rainbows and happiness? How could she know for sure? How could she know what was real anymore? Who else had died? Who else was a fake presence in this fantasy world? What else was she missing out on?

A sob escaped her again, her chest heaving greatly as the wail poured from her mouth into the cold snow. The sound caused her to flitter back to being somewhat self-aware and she realized Lev had laid before her, her own head resting atop Harriette’s. A sign of comfort, a hand reaching out for Harriette to hold. Harriette reached for that hand, wanted to hold it so tightly.

“Part of him still lives. I can show you.” Lev told her, her voice steady and reassuring, oddly stable in the midst of chaos as Harriette’s world came crashing down around her.

Swallowing down a whimper, the pale girl pondered on this for a moment. She did not move. She hardly breathed.

Part of him still lives.

This intrigued the girl, interested in how she might be able to catch a real life glimpse of her late brother – not a fake image. Shifting slightly beneath Lev’s gentle weight, she pulled her head from the snow, wiping her face on a foreleg to get rid of some of the snow and tears that covered her fur.

I want to see.” Her voice surprised her, not expecting the words to sound so clear. “I want you to show me.

She didn’t know if this would offer any sort of closure; she wasn’t sure if it would help or if it would simply make things worse. She didn’t care. She needed to try. Somehow she knew that she needed to try, and after this whole interaction with Lev, it was easy for her to say that she trusted the Valkyrie.

The broken lady had watched Harriette crumble entirely, watching her succumb to the demons of her own memory. She watched as she fell apart, broke down, turned to ash. She was here for it all – how could Harriette not trust her?

Wiping her face once more, she searched for Lev’s golden gaze. “Please show me.” A whisper – a desperate, begging whisper.  


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
[-] Likes: Gothy
Reply
Offline
Lev Malakh She/Her
VALKYRIE
Gemini
*****
Posts: 19
Pronouns: She/Her
Location [IC]: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Valkyr / Courtier
Played By: Gothy















All Accounts Posts: 1,031
#18






[Image: levtitle_by_lunecy-dboe9zt.png]
Lev Malakh stood up slowly, grunting against the sore pain radiating around her belly and back. Her rump would plop back down in the snow though, a sigh was her only reaction to her weakness. It would take time before she felt better, she knew that. She just didn't like the idea of it. The Valkyrie had to weather against it all to continue on through life. She imagined that's what Tauro and her father would've wanted anyway.

"Come then." she urged, nudging the girl on the shoulder with her snout. Once Harriette was on her feet, Lev would join her, turning back through the gate and trudged through the snow all the way back to the willow. It was quite a ways, the Valkyrie glancing back once in a while to make sure the girl still trailed after. The snow made it difficult to reach the den in a timely manner, but they eventually climbed the small hill and to the entrance.

The mother would quickly duck in for a moment, making sure the pups were all warm and safe. Once that was confirmed, Lev would back out again and motion with her head. Harriette would've heard the squeals of a disturbed puppy pile. "Go ahead." she encouraged, giving a smile. The girl would find six healthy pups wriggling against a warm pelt. Lev hoped this would be a joyous moment for Harriette, so she failed to mention two had not made it into the world.

As the girl went inside, Lev would sweep her paw against the snow to make herself a hovel for the time being as she sat outside in the cold. She didn't mind, the cold air made her think clearly. She would have plenty of time with her children. For now, Harriette needed that light of hope.

✦ ✦ Speech Text ✦ ✦
[Image: f2u__tiny_pixel_feather_by_vvhiskers-d78x7dz.png]





The voice that calls me in another life
Now I can hear her clear and bright
Now, I will go on
I'm found
And I know of strength and love

[Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cru.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8cpo.png] [Image: maia_by_lunecy-dbo8csf.png]

[-] Likes: shortyhooz
Reply
Offline
Harriette she/her
resident daydreamer
Gemini
*****
Posts: 75
Pronouns: she/her
Location: Gemini
Rank [IC]: Acolyte
Played By: shortyhooz















All Accounts Posts: 1,054
#19

[Image: fxRP7W1.png]
Lev struggled to her feet before urging Harriette to follow her lead. She nudged the pale girl with her nose, and Harriette complied. Rising to her feet and shaking her fur off quickly, she watched as Lev turned and trudged through the snow.

They headed back through the wall’s open mouth and trekked across Gemini until they reached what looked like a cozy den. The journey was quite long, silence following them the whole way. The royal’s stomach was in knots the entire time, nerves on fire as she tried to imagine what could possibly lay in wait.

A few darker thoughts had no doubt crossed her mind – her brother’s body, somehow still intact but highly decomposed. Detached pieces of him, scattered about. Things she did not want to see, and yet her mind painted the picture so clearly.

She tried to shove these thoughts out of her head, tried to replace them with happier thoughts. Perhaps he had prized possessions that he’d left behind, or items that he held dear to his heart, and Lev was keeping them with her.

The anticipation was torture, but soon she’d find the truth.

Lev disappeared quickly into the den’s opening and Harriette waited. Sounds erupted from within Lev’s dwelling, squeaks and squeals. A familiar sound. A sound that lit Harriette’s heart on fire.

As the golden-eyed woman reappeared, Harriette found herself entirely fixated on the sounds coming from behind her. She almost didn’t hear Lev when she invited Harriette into the den.

Frozen in place, she tried to calm herself. Those were puppies in there. There was no doubt about it; absolutely no questioning the sounds she was hearing. Their shrill whines told Harriette that they were young, still dependent on their mother for everything.

She swallowed hard as Lev moved to allow Harriette entrance, but she couldn’t immediately make her paws work. This moment would either heal Harriette, or break her completely. A plethora of emotions were rising up in her throat, making it hard to breathe. Tauro had gotten the chance to pass down his brave, endearing genes before he left this world, and that alone should be enough to make his sister smile.

And yet she succumbed to the thought of how these babies would grow up under only one set of watchful eyes. Only one tongue to lick them clean. Only one set of paws to pull them close. Only one beating heart to fall asleep to at night.

Only one parent.

In time, she would learn to find the positives of this situation. She would come to the realization that Lev’s love was more than those pups would ever need, and Tauro was undoubtedly watching over them, forever and always. In time, Harriette would smile whenever she saw these pups, and not in the way that expressed pity or guilt.

In time, these pups would shine a bright, warming light on Harriette’s life. However, for the time being, Harriette was struggling to find that light as she waded through the darkness of new grief.

Tears welled in her eyes as she finally found the courage to move herself forward. Shaky paws carried her toward the mouth of the den and the whimpers grew louder. Icy hot eyes peered into the shadows, searching for the whelps which called out to her. She was hesitant and yet eager at the same time, her breaths shallow and quivering as she drew nearer.

Wriggling aimlessly on the earthen floor, surrounded by a warm pelt, lay six beautiful pups. Harriette felt her heart jump into her throat as she laid tearful eyes upon them, mouth agape as she took in the beautiful sight. She paused, unable to press onward as she watched them squirm against each other in hopes that mother was coming to comfort them.

She blinked, tears soaking the fur of her face, which was already damp from all the crying she’d done earlier. All six babes looked plump and healthy; they were so vocal and lively. So much the opposite of what she was expecting she’d see tonight. Her mind had been filled with thoughts of death and loss, and now she found herself staring down at life and the gift it brought with it.

These were her nephews and nieces. These were her family. This was Tauro’s legacy.

Swallowing again, she broke free from the stillness that held her and approached the small, warm bodies, curling around them and sniffing each one individually. They were each so beautiful in their own way, so unique and yet all so similar at the same time. Sobbing quietly, she gently licked six tiny faces, greeting them separately.

Lost in the moment, she failed to realize that Lev was waiting outside in the cold, giving Harriette time to introduce herself to her new family members. The gratitude she felt was impossible to put into words. She was absolutely incapable of properly expressing her thanks to the woman who carried her brother’s children; who protected her brother’s legacy; who loved her brother with such ferocity and grace.

How do you thank someone who has done so much out of the kindness of their heart?

For a few moments, Harriette lay her head next to the children, simply taking in their scent and drinking up the warmth they provided to her body and her soul. Though sadness still clouded her mind, she was so grateful for this moment and recognized that this would be a turning point for her. She needed to remember this moment with clarity.

When Lev told Harriette that part of Tauro still lived, she did not realize the extent of the meaning behind her words. Harriette understood now, and agreed wholeheartedly.

Tauro did live on, even after death.

After a few minutes, Harriette’s tears ceased to flow and her heart rate had come back down. The calm that these puppies provided was astonishing. Taking in a deep breath, she lifted her head to look out at Lev.

They are … They are beautiful, Lev.” Harriette said simply, keeping her voice hushed as the pups, too, had settled down by now. “I can’t believe I didn’t know… I can’t believe I wasn’t here for you.” She knew that her guilt was unnecessary, but she couldn’t help herself. No one should have to be alone, especially not in a pack.

I’m so glad you brought me here tonight. I’m so thankful that I met you tonight. This was a hard night … But it was going to happen eventually, and I’m glad this is the way it happened.” There were no more tears, no more sobs. The pain in her chest was a dull ache now, no longer searing hot.

Pulling herself away from pile of puppies, Harriette moved slowly out of the den to approach Lev. She pressed herself against the Valkyrie, an embrace of sorts. “I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this alone. No one should go through anything like this alone.” Death. Birth. “You’re not alone. I want to be here for you. For them.” Pulling away, she’d look to meet her gaze.

You’re family, Lev. You always will be.” A small smile would pull at her lips.  “Thank you for all that you’ve done. For me, for them, for Tauro. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.” She truly meant it, and she hoped Lev would understand that.

Harriette felt as though she owed so much to Lev. Her support for Harriette, someone she barely knew, was so warm and genuine. She’d been coping on her own, gave birth on her own, and is now raising pups on her own. Just because Tauro was gone didn’t mean Lev shouldn’t be getting the support she deserved, from the family she’d joined.

The Acolyte would make a mental note to come check in on Lev and the pups now and then, to make sure they were doing well and were all healthy and happy. It was the least she could do in return for the immense amount of love and support Lev showed Harriette that night.

You won’t be doing this alone. You’ve got family to support you. And Tauro is always going to be watching over you.” Perhaps Lev already knew this, but Harriette believed sometimes it was nice to hear it from the mouth of someone else.

Turning her head around, she’d glance back at the pups longingly. The tiny miracles whimpered and squeaked for their mother and Harriette smiled softly.

This was a good thing. This was a beautiful thing in a world of darkness.


[Image: X7p4wv5.png]
[-] Likes: TranquilTempest
Reply
Forum Jump:


Affiliates
TopSites & Directories
Static
Scrolling