Wolf RPG

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BABBIES

Rokig. She touched her nose to Niamh's last-born son, @Peregrine, who slept soundly at her breast. Or maybe Ro, for short. Either way, as the boy began to lighten into shades of intermittent gray and brown, he reminded her of the man who'd looked much the same. Who had taught her to fish, and given her kindness on the island as a girl.

The trio were getting much too old to be nameless, and though she hadn't spoken the monikers aloud quite yet, they existed. She smiled as her eyes ran down the ruddy legs of the middle girl, @Prevost—that one was easy. Reed, of course. Every time she thought it, her old friend was brought to life once more. 

And the eldest? She thought of the woman who had led her unknowingly to the island, and had cared for her when she needed comfort most. @Vesper became a mini Venninne in Maegi's mind.

So Venninne, Reed, and Rokig. . .but their pale daughter (@Blueberry) remained nameless. Maegi crooned softly for @Mou, who was usually never too far from the den. She groomed the girl with a thoughtful expression, rolling the possibilities around in her brain. Perhaps Relmyna. . .but that would be a lot of 'R' names, and too reminiscent of the Melonii 'M' pattern. 

Seelie? No, she bore no resemblance to the night-black woman; the name would never fit. 

Spirit, she thought, thinking of Relmyna's ghostly daughter, and shivered. That girl had always simultaneously enchanted and spooked her, and she didn't want to saddle her baby with those emotions.

Mou would know—maybe. He surely had been thinking about it. But what was in a name, anyway? He had been called by several: Titmouse, Mou, Screech, others unknown to her. . . Names might be trivial to her husband, who had slurred her own name for most of their relationship, anyway. M'gee. It rang out in her mind, clear as a bell, and she smiled at the memory.
The children were rarely far from his mind these days. Every action Mou enacted was for them: eating to keep himself strong enough to hunt, sleeping long enough so that he would have the energy to swap with Maegi and give her a break, patrols that ended up as snack runs or toy gathering. They factored in to everything; eat, sleep, breathe the rejuvenated role of fatherhood that had been rewarded to him.

When he did sleep, it was a restless kind; dreams of people he had not seen in years, doubts manifesting, sometimes flashes of fire or shadow. Voices calling him a murderer with the shape of Niamh's gutted belly eclipsing a forest on fire. He would often force himself awake - then get back to work.

To say that fatherhood was a blessing for Mou was egregious for its error. He came to the den haggard with bags under his eyes, a stain of something crimson on his lip, dragging a piece of discarded birchwood from the beach. When he released his grip it see-sawed and rested against the dirt, touching his hip where it curved.

He ducked sharply to make his way inside. Mou's slouch looked more prominent these days, especially when he loomed over the little family. The ghost's impractical height made him fill the empty space. It was better when he flomped to the ground on his belly, dark limbs extended like reaching branches of their own, where he positioned his chin.
She hadn't missed Mou's worn appearance. She probably looked just as tired, and felt it, too. But her eyes were full of compassion and worry for her mate as he crawled into the den, hoping he'd settle down and stay a while.

Have you eaten anything lately? Maegi asked softly, gaze shifting slowly over his angular form, his arching ribs. She would hunt for him—or try, anyway—were it not for the metaphorical leeches tied to her belly at nearly all times.

She waited a beat for any response, then continued. I've been thinking of their names, she said, in a whisper, almost as if shy. Do you have anything in mind?

Right now, all she craved was his body against hers, relaxed and limp in slumber. But, Maegi supposed, she had solicited his opinion—at least to start.
Once transitioned to the supine pose of his, Mou felt sleep tugging at him. Trying its best to swarm over him like a warm mist. Maegi's voice tugged too, and he snorted, jerking his head up. A yawn came next; licking his lips, he tasted the streak of ichor on his lip.

It wasn't blood, but - Mm, bluebree..

When had he found those? Where, exactly? They weren't exactly prolific on the island. Unable to remember that, Mou sank in to a blissful moment. It was only after a few seconds that he clued in to Maegi's question and his expression went a little goofy, ears pivoting to look like crooked horns.
she slept close to her mother, swaddled between her brother and sister. she didn't quite understand the youngest of them, who seemed boring and small compared to the rest of them— it made no noises except for tiny cries, and otherwise slept or ate or messed itself which mother would then clean. vesper and her siblings were constantly babbling to each other and could walk and play together on unsteady feet; they knew better to mess themselves in the den and would go outside nearby when they felt the urge.

bbbee.. vesper babbled, waking from her nap, repeating the sounds of father. it held no meaning for her yet, but repeating the sounds was fun, especially when her parents encouraged her to do so. over the next three weeks, this practice would continue, and she would eventually be able to distinguish the meanings behind the sounds.
Her brow wrinkled, and she was about to respond to her husband with more than a little confusion when Venninne piped up. Hello, you, Maegi cooed, giving the girl a nuzzle to her tiny cheek. Blue-bree. Bluebree. . . Blue-berry? she inquired, cutting off her gentle correction as she looked again to Mou.

Blueberry. She didn't know whether he was answering her first question or her second—or perhaps both. Now that she thought of it, 'Blueberry' was not a bad name. It reminded her somewhat of Blue, the wayward grackle, which gave her a pang. Would he find her again? Surely he would; once he discovered Onyx Hollow's charred remains, he'd go to Blackfeather Woods, and then, Jaes willing, here. . .

You think her name should be Blueberry? Maegi asked, eyes a little clouded over as she still thought of the bird, dark blue feathers against the cerulean and clouds of a spring sky.
Drowsy as he was, Mou did not immediately connect what Maegi was saying with his own murmuring; he took it in as a separate event, his ears perking when she repeated the name and then he yawned again, missing the moment that one of the bigger children tried to imitate their sounds. His ears popped, then he shook his head and shoulders to try and stave off sleep for a few more minutes.

With a long deep breath, Mou looked from child to child and then back to the newborn with her pale coat, so much like her mother. The smears of darkness across her face would eventually become a mask similar to his own, but for now she looked touched by soot. It made his chest hurt to think about.

That's good, he agreed. His one eye trailed to the more active larger children, ruminating over their names as well. Mou was somewhere between staring at the three dark blobs when he said, Peregrine, with an odd sense of clarity. One of the children did remind him of one dark face from his dreams - a face he'd thought forgotten, of his own father. The child was swarthy and large, curled up beside their sibling.
oou.. vesper babbled back, lifting her head but remaining nestled in the pile of her siblings. bbbee, ee, bbbbbe, she mimicked quietly as mother and father conversed. it was a fun sound to make— it tickled to let the air make the bbb so effortlessly.

she flipped on her back, pawing at one of her littermates, cooing bbbee, bbbbbb, eeebbbbee to try to entice them to wake from their slumbers to do the same. when they merely grumbled and snuggled closer as if doubling down on their intentions to sleep, vesper took a large gulp of air to explore volume next.

... BBBBBBBBBeeeeeEEEbbbbbbbEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
The littlest of them had only just begun to awaken, and the first sound that she'd hear would be the sound of her sister's voice. Having been poked in the shoulder a couple times by her curious paw, Blueberry had begun to stir softly, making little hungry noises as she turned over on her side and began to root about with her little muzzle. She inhaled with short, huffing breaths, and cooed softly on her exhale, only to notice that those sounds she made...She could hear them. In combination with that, came a slightly surprised expression which raised her brows- and caused the corners of her eyes to open, just the slightest bit, to reveal a small glimpse of the milky blue of her irises. 

The next noise that Vesper made caused Blueberry to lift her head in surprise, waving her little, short muzzle around in the air as though trying to figure out just what it was that had just happened. This new sense was foreign to her- and was a bit overwhelming, especially given how high and loud her sister's voice was. She uttered soft, curious noises in response, gumming the air with her lips as she prepared to yawn. She heard her own voice make a light squeak when she opened her mouth wide to draw in a large, sleepy inhale, and smacked her lips with satisfaction when she finished her yawn.
Peregrine. The quietly-voiced utterance was quickly drawn out—and cast from her attention—by the eldest girl's babbling, rising to a decibel much too loud for the tightly-packed den. Shhh, she whispered gently, maneuvering the pup so that her face was gently (but pointedly) tucked within Maegi's armpit, nestled within the plush pale fur there.

Maybe not Venninne, then. The guardian who'd protected Maegi all those moons ago had been silent, barely uttering a word or two in all the time she'd known her. This one, well. . .quite the opposite.

Peregrine, she finally repeated, her countenance warming like the sun at the newly-christened Blueberry's yawn. She liked it. Her eyes, Maegi assumed, would be blue, like all other children's eyes. Would they remain so? Or would they gain the fire of her father's—or the bone-white stare of many a Blackfeather—or—?

Peregrine. She bit down firmly on the word, keeping it at the front of her mind. What's—who's—that?
The children, the older ones, picked up on the conversation between the adults. They could not quite master the cadence of the words used, but they tried. Noises bubbled up from them until the cacophony won-out over Mou's own voice. He withdrew in to himself as if injured while Maegi soothed and quieted the lot.

What's—who's—that? she finally managed. Mou took a breath, holding it a moment. He was trying not to let Blueberry's yawn spread to himself and failed, as his own long face split to reveal rows of teeth. The bluster of the yawn died away quickly.

Sleepily he tried to explain, Its a bird. Its... my father, it was his name. They had never been close, Mou found himself thinking. He couldn't remember if he had ever really known his father, his mother, or anyone outside of his siblings. The closest thing to a parent he could recall was Raven; but that brought up more bad memories than good. Better to pick a name that had no connotations at all.

Contemplations aside, Mou looked at Maegi with a quiet hope, wondering what she thought of it.
bbbbeebbeeeee, she said softly, yawning in response to mother's gentle shush—ing. she squawked in surprise, muffled, as she found herself in darkness as she was tucked away. a small struggle of protest, but when it was clear by mother's firm grasp that she would not win, vesper settled in and found herself drifting back to sleep, relaxed by the drone of adult words, lured by the heady warmth of the den.