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#1

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K y r a,

Oh don't you dare look back, Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back, She said shut up and dance with me

actions - “speech” - thoughts

Kyra woke, well that was an overstatement. She more rose up on her legs about mid morning and wound her way to the lake shore and dunked her head into the water and pulled it out before she opened her eyes. After a good shake, and a long drink she blearily looked around. She saw the usual, people going about their business.

She made her way back to her den. She didn't know who it was but every now and then she would find a present or three at the entrance. Always a meal, sometimes a flower added to it. She had a feeling that it wasn't just one pack member helping her out and she had to admit she was eternally grateful. Even if it was a pheasant. She hated walking around like a bear with a sore head and hated that she felt like people where giving her a wide berth even though they probably weren't.

Today a fish sat on her doorstep! Her favorite! It actually made her smile to see it. She ate it easily and sighed, to be honest it was a lot easier to eat when she didn't have to constantly wait until she was starving from trying to hunt. The pups inside seemed to give her a happy wiggle for the meal too. A few herbs were on her doorstep as well and she scrunched her nose while she forced herself to crunch on dried leaves.

It made her feel pampered, seen, noticed. It was all she had wanted from... she squeezed her eyes to shut out the image of his scared eyes in the night. Tears again threatening to fall. It made her feel like she had chased him out herself. She had shouted at him until he broke, until he lashed out and he didn't feel like he could be anywhere near her to the point he just deserted her.

She shook herself again, shoving the image down again and was about to start her daily patrol. But someone was already at the border. She had already planned everything out and she wasn't really needed to patrol much anymore. The other guards had it handled and her father had told her she needed to rest a lot more now.

Kyra wasn't good at resting. Maybe she could see what Alexander was up to, oh right, chores. Her father and Jase were keeping that boy busy. Maybe she could take the other kids off Sara's and Bucks paws for a bit, give them a break, help her get more experience. She just wanted to be busy, she didn't want to stare at the walls of her den anymore thinking she was a monster who had chased her own lover away. It made her think about every time she had just been mean to someone.

You know who she hadn't rightly apologized to yet? Kastra, on their first meeting Kyra had been in a dumb mood and reacted poorly to learning of Kastra's gender when it didn't quite match up to his scent. While Kyra had been taken off guard she had reacted in a way her father later told her was extremely disrespectful and probably hurt the prince more than she thought.

Might as well make amends to the people she hadn't chased away quite yet.

With a deep breath she squared up and lifted her chin. It had gone on long enough, it was time to be a better person, if only for these kids that were coming whether she was ready for them or not. She set off to look for Prince Kastra.

"Heyyy..." Kyra started as she sidled up to him, extremely nervous and wanting to run for the millionth time already, "Are you... busy?" Her vocal volume was actually at normal level. She hoped she didn't startle him .










ooc



Photo © Cedric Verstraete / coding © vixxie's codes / lyrics © Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon


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#2


[Image: nRus6E7.png]

    Kastra had decided to take to following his aunt around more, learning from her. After their heart to heart after Byakko’s death, he felt they had gotten closer somewhat. She couldn’t replace Alana or any of his immediate family, but it was something. This day, though, the prince was going around the areas closer to the mother dens. Everything seemed to be going wrong in Nardir, he could feel it, and it made him want to stick close to where the pack’s heart was. He stood in the field he had officially met his uncle, Alexander. It was still weird to have an uncle from his mother’s side, one that had been missing but had randomly shown up. But that was good, right?

    Kastra sighed in the sun, looking around. His paws were still sore from the crafting practice he made himself do. It wasn’t a talent he was gifted with, that’s for sure. When he tried to make flower crowns, like he had seen so many times, they always fell apart. The stress of failure shouldn’t get to him - he was teaching himself, he was doing it all on his own - but he still felt some kind of sinking in his chest. Sure, he could ask someone for help, but he didn’t have it in him to. He was the Nardi Prince, he was supposed to be good at things and stuff. Besides, why else would have Mercury put him in this guild if she didn’t see potential in him? The prince was frowning at the ground, pulling the leaves off the tiny flowers when he felt someone approaching.

    "Heyyy..." Before Kastra might not have recognized the voice, but after the incident between Kyra and Akutan, he could tell that voice apart from afar. Not that he had been eavesdropping, oh no, he was a good boy. It was totally just really loud and who didn’t hear it? The girl came up beside him, and this up close he remembered when he had let her back into the pack, with Hakan. It hadn’t been the nicest time, he had felt it in the pit of his stomach, but she seemed nice enough now. "Are you... busy?" Kastra looked over at her, dropping the flower he was tearing apart with his paw. “No, I’m not.” He had already been sitting, and awkwardly scooched around to face her better. “Do you...need something?” There was an awkward tension between them, he could feel it. Was it because of their first meeting? Or because of her argument with Akutan that he had overheard? He’d see what Kyra had to say first before jumping the gun.




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#3

[Image: n0HcaK9.png]
K y r a,

Oh don't you dare look back, Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back, She said shut up and dance with me

actions - “speech” - thoughts

Kyra appreciated that his immediate response wasn't to find something else to do, and he even faced her earnestly. She dipped her head sheepishly, might as well just get this over with and see what happens.

"I uh... Not really, I just..." She looked away and pawed the litter of flower petals as if they would give her some help, "I don't think I've... well... apologized yet for... well, when we first met." She flicked her blue and brown mismatched eyes at him to gauge his reaction. She really wanted to run away but at this point it would be an unsightly gallop of a bright red lumbering cow.

"I wasn't very nice to you... I'm sorry." She said finally, bringing up her nose to see him honestly, forcing her body to stand as still a she possibly could, disregarding the wind in her ears and panic in her heart telling her to escape. Working against every fiber of her being making her nauseous at the idea of being so vulnerable and waiting for Kastra to toss her out of the pack even though she knew he wouldn't do that. Waiting for him to ignore her or walk away, or tell her she was stupid, or berate her for taking so long, anything.










ooc



Photo © Cedric Verstraete / coding © vixxie's codes / lyrics © Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon


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#4


[Image: nRus6E7.png]

    "I uh... Not really, I just..." Kyra stammered on, and Kastra peered away swiftly and back in anxiety. This entire conversation felt tense, awkward. They were barely a few words in and he could feel his stomach flipping. "I don't think I've... well... apologized yet for... well, when we first met." That had been a weird moment, he remembered. Hakan had acted well, understanding and accepting. While Kyra hadn’t outright said anything, the idea was still obvious. Since then he had tried to ignore the memory, tried to hope that it didn’t mean anything anymore, but he always had felt some kind of fear when seeing her - he just couldn’t help it.

    "I wasn't very nice to you... I'm sorry." To try and help ease the tension, the prince smiled kindly, putting his paw on Kyra’s in a way of comfort. “It’s all good.” He’d take his paw back, looking up around him and sucking awkwardly through his teeth. “I’ll admit I uh, had worries about it all, but it seems to be all good now.” He looked back at her. She had never said anything, and in work they seemed to have a mutual respect. It was one of the things that made him question their first interaction, if it had simply been a speed bump. “I can uh, get it, I guess. I think I confused my parents too, but it’s a new thing for a lot of people, I think.” His parents had, admittedly, been really great about it. So had his siblings, Bell being the first one he went to.

    But enough of this, he thought. “So uh, how are you?” He felt like this was a good time to try and get some fire of friendship going. It was a good point, and they both didn’t seem too busy. “Not to be like, nosey or rude or something, but that whole...situation...with Akutan…” What a fucking mess it had been. So short but so messy. “Are you okay?” He had felt the anger she had felt, probably not nearly on the same level, but the temptation to get up and defend her (against what??) was major, but it wasn’t really his place. Then again, after what had been done, he felt like it might be.




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#5

[Image: n0HcaK9.png]
K y r a,

Oh don't you dare look back, Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back, She said shut up and dance with me

actions - “speech” - thoughts

“It’s all good.” Kyra practically deflated on the spot as she let out an audible and very visible sigh pointing her mouth to the sky and releasing her shoulders. His touch on her paw was all she needed to feel far more at ease and she felt the tension just wash away from her.

She nodded grinning as he continued about how he was worried about it at first but they were all good now.

“I can uh, get it, I guess. I think I confused my parents too, but it’s a new thing for a lot of people, I think.”

"Thank the stars. Yeah, Dad... He likes to make sure I pay more attention to things." She nodded, trying not to say that she was pretty oblivious to how other people were feeling on more than one occasion and that he was the one who keyed her into how it could have affected Kastra. She wasn't going to admit all her faults all at once now was she?

Then he totally did what she had not at all expected. “So uh, how are you?” Wait what? Is this how you have normal conversations with people? They actually ask that? She couldn't remember when someone had actually asked her or had any real conversation with her. Kastra then inquired about the whole messy situation with Akutan.

“Are you okay?”

For once Kyra was stock still and this time it wasn't the forced stillness to keep herself from running away.
"I..." Her pupils where pinpricks and watching the distance. She took a steady inward breath and shifted her mismatched gaze slightly to meet Kastra's, her eyes starting to well up again. But she couldn't force them back again, Kastra was able to open the door and for some reason she honestly didn't feel like shutting it in his face.

"It was... I don't know..." She shook her head, still in some kind of disbelief. "I don't know what happened. One day we're telling Byakko and Dad we're official, telling me I'm the love of his life and the next its like he completely forgot about me. And I'm not even saying at the funeral, though that was the last straw. When we were coming here, they had this sweet moment at the border. I wasn't feeling great, figuring out I was pregnant and all, but... they didn't even invite me or acknowledge me in it. He never even... I don't know... Noticed me anymore." She had settled on her stomach and elbows, holding some of the flower petals in her paw pads. Trying to focus on telling her story and not crying for the umpteenth time.

She closed her eyes as the thoughts swirled around, "Kastra... I'm some kind of monster. I chased him away, I was too much for him." She buried her head into the grass and released the sobbing floodgates. It was her greatest fear, being abandoned. No one would ever stick around her because she was just too much to handle all the time. She'll never find the right person that would actually like her.



ooc



Photo © Cedric Verstraete / coding © vixxie's codes / lyrics © Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon


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#6


[Image: nRus6E7.png]

    "Thank the stars. Yeah, Dad... He likes to make sure I pay more attention to things." Hakan seemed like a good guy, and he was happy Kyra’s father was still around. There was some kind of bitter thought about how his father was gone, whereabouts unknown, but it was quickly switching to him feeling glad that Kyra didn’t have to feel such a thing. Besides, with what she was going though, she needed family - deserved it. But when Kastra asked her she was, there was an obvious change in emotion. Instantly Kastra’s eyes could be read as a person saddened for their friend. ”I…” Kastra wouldn’t interrupt her, instead wanting her to talk at her own pace.

    When obvious tears were forming, he’d scoot closer to her, having his side pressed against her, if she allowed it. "It was... I don't know...I don't know what happened. [...] He never even... I don't know... Noticed me anymore." It had started out as a regular fairy tale, but fairy tales weren’t real, it seemed. He wasn’t sure how to comfort her, instead gently using his nose to ‘brush’ at her neck, if she had let him close to her. "Kastra... I'm some kind of monster. I chased him away, I was too much for him." She had laid in the grass, finally giving into sobbing. Kastra opened his mouth, very much in a comedic ‘what?’ kind of way.

    “Kyra, Kyra.” He wanted her to look at him, and there was a sturness to the prince. “Excuse my language, but that’s absolute bullshit.” He had cursed with Sycon, but usually stayed away from such words. “From how I see it, and probably everyone else sees it, he was the monster. You went to him to get onto him about being a shitty boyfriend - husband - whatever, he just blamed everyone for his own faults AND THEN? He went all ‘kill me’, which is guilt tripping as fuck.” He sighed, but it was a very angry sigh. “It also looked like he was gonna attack you - y’know, his wife-girlfriend-whatever who is pregnant. And then he attacked Sara, WHICH, he had apparently attacked her as a pup.” He held his eyes shut for a moment, trying to simmer his anger. “We don’t need someone that attacks pups or others in Nardir.” They had all learned a lot, that day. And Kastra had his own conclusion and would not change them.




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#7

[Image: n0HcaK9.png]
K y r a,

Oh don't you dare look back, Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back, She said shut up and dance with me

actions - “speech” - thoughts

Kyra lifted her head from her ugly sobbing, sniffling and snorting and wiping her paws over her face as Kastra grabbed her attention. She welcomed him at her side, and as he brushed her with his nose she was truly comforted by it. As he cursed and explained how he saw it she couldn't help but half sob out a laugh. She never thought he would be the type to take after Sycon but the situation was certainly appropriate.

She steadied her breathing as he sighed and went on how it seemed like he was going to attack her himself. She shook her head at the memory, barely able to see it. She had been completely dumbstruck by his outburst. It just didn't make sense to her. Even Sara's comment to her didn't make any sense at all. Would this proclivity of attacking the ones he loved carry on in the ones she was carrying? She wasn't ever really aware of the curse of the fringe dires but perhaps this was what Byakko had sometimes gone on about it dying with him. Perhaps it hadn't and Akutan carried it as well, and now their brood. Should she be scared of her own progeny? Maybe she could make it a point to always respect how one hurts their loved ones. Could she really teach such a lesson? Could she drill it into her kids that they were never to turn on a packmate and find other ways of lashing out?

Could the combination of Kyra's fiery personality curse these little ones to a life of unquenchable rage? Should she spare them that life and the pack of potential murderers? The thought made her feel sick. There had never been a point where she didn't want these pups when she figured out she was pregnant, in fact it had been a moment of victory over her father's genetic story. How much of a mess could these pup grow up to be?

"Kastra..." She garbled through a breathy half sob, "You're right but... What if... what if they become monsters? Oh mother moon I can't do that, I won't, I can't." Her thoughts were swirling and rising with panic, the idea that she could lose these pups before they could even grow up to prove her theory wrong would tear her apart. Fuck their father for leaving her to deal with this by herself! But then he would potentially be a ticking time bomb himself. She would never trust him again if he ever showed up.



ooc



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#8


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    He truly wished there was more he could do. Even if the two hadn’t gotten along well at the start, Kyra was truly a good person. After all the bullshit, Kastra truly felt for her. All of it, she didn’t deserve. He wanted her to be happy, and if he had known that his uncle was getting friendly with her, he would be happy. But at the moment, he knew not of their friendship - or more than - and he simply felt bad for her, for she was now a lone mother, husband having ran away like a coward instead of sticking around to face his punishment.

    "Kastra..." He heard his name through Kyra’s sobs, and he paused his movements, letting her saw whatever it was she needed to say. "You're right but... What if... what if they become monsters? Oh mother moon I can't do that, I won't, I can't." He hadn’t thought of such a thing, and it would be a lie if it didn’t feel like a stone dropping into the pit of his stomach. Part of him said that was irrational, that their bloodline didn’t matter - the other part said what if? But he couldn’t say that, would rather take the option of not speaking at all than say she might be right.

    He shook his head, maybe a little too hard. “Kyra, there is more good in you than there is bad in him.” Did that make sense? He wasn’t actually sure. “Besides, you’ll be raising them. If his influence doesn’t get to them, then they won’t be tainted.” Somehow Kastra let out almost a hiss, tongue pressed against his front teeth. “If I have any say in it, as Prince of Nardir, if Akutan returns, he won’t be able to meet your kids until they can truly understand what he had done, and what his sins are.” It would be hard to keep Akutan away for forever, but Kastra could certainly try until then.




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#9

[Image: n0HcaK9.png]
K y r a,

Oh don't you dare look back, Just keep your eyes on me
I said you're holding back, She said shut up and dance with me

----

Kyra nodded her head as he responded. Yes, this was what she needed to hear. She would do her damndest to raise them right, to raise them into kind grown ups. They would have her father's blood, and her mothers, and they were some of the best and kindest parents a kid could have had... if they had been able to raise her the way they had wanted anyway...

She inhaled shakily, trying to get a better handle on her sobs. Seriously so done crying now. It was like every conversation she had lately she was some blubbering mess.

She was absently nodding as he went on and made a Princely Decree. It made her pause, trying not to sniff, and looked at him seriously. She Wondered if he meant it, but he wouldn't invoke that rank unless he meant it.

It gave her pause to think it over some. If he should return... Should she allow him near them? Around Sara and her brood, of course, she had no beef with them, well, a minor upset that would be resolved soon anyway with a conversation, but certainly not relationship breaking behavior.

No... No she wouldn't let a potential madman, who felt like he could strangle and possibly kill his own kin, his most beloved of kin, around her babies, even if they were his as well.. around herself. No. Not until they were grown and could understand the full story, and make their own decisions and find him themselves if they truly wished to.

She sniffed and became very still. She quickly wiped away another tear that escaped her tear duct. Another sniff, and she bored a hole into the ground with a new burning fire in her eyes. No.

"Kastra..." She finally said, after a long moment of dead silence, her breathing becoming steady and quiet, her tone dipping dangerously serious.

"Thank you. But if he comes back and expects some kind of apology from me..." She glanced at the Prince beside her, wondering if she should really say it out loud... Whether she was truly ready to dole out the consequence she was about to make, should she allude to it or just thrash on through?

She raised her head defensively, obviously uncomfortable with what she wanted to say,
"If... If he comes back... and Expects... an apology, and to see my babies... Then he can find an early grave with all shit he's put me through." She finished quickly. Tucking in her chin, pinning her ears against her skull and waiting for Kastra to speak up against it. It was severe, and she wanted to be serious, she didn't know if she really had it in her though. Not yet anyway. She had come so close that night and it wrecked her. Made her feel even more a monster than Sara's dumb comments. Would the pack side with her? Would they lump her in with him?





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Photo © Cedric Verstraete / coding © vixxie's codes / lyrics © Shut Up and Dance by Walk The Moon


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