Dragoncrest Cliffs i give myself v good advice but v seldom follow it (sits on a rock & cries)
Private  February 15, 2019, 10:58 AM

good morning folks this is s1 e2 of the Soft Series
ᴡᴇᴇᴋs ᴀʟᴏɴɢ: early 3rd
Setting  Hougeda, DCC
Time  Midmorning. Some days after Elysium’s festivaly
i swear this started off as a regular AW thread but then i got a bitchin headache & forgot my tea twice so we goin private lmao. @Vercingetorix ♡

        Earlier in the morning, Aure had been roused from a sonorous, dreamless slumber by the faraway haunt of the cavern’s falls. The sound, only half-frozen for winter, gently heralded her to waking point; and as much as she wanted to grumble back to sleep, she couldn’t. The dull, persistent ache had settled resolutely in her cheekbones and brow, grousing behind her eyes. And then the congestion came, and then the ill tears arrived; and her tongue tasted bitter and stale, and Aure knew sleep wouldn’t come to her within, oh, what? A century, now? Ugh. Leggo, I guess.

        She supposed she should be thankful, since the morning sickness had taken its leave. All of this sniffling had to have been brought on by stress, her pregnancy, or winter, so she’d tried to sequester herself from as many kru as she may be kept from today. When Aure counted her hundredth sniffle as a film of tears limned her lashes, she finally concluded that she was—sick. With a cold, most surely, because her throat felt so wrought, so raw, despite all that phlegm, as if something had clawed it all up from the inside.

        Either way, the skayona hobbled herself out her little quarantine within licheny Hougeda, and arrowed for the cavern’s pond; regardless of the incessant little shivers that wracked her ivory frame. Regardless still of the little, intermittent cough that now leapt from her withering throat, she knew she needed water, and she took her fill of it where couldn’t with herbs. The past hour had weakened her, so much so that an everyday, effortless thing as drinking water left her petulantly exhausted (embarrassing tbch).

        Aure then reclined — with all the grace a sick mother-to-be meant to possess — into a sit, hocks all pigeon-toed to accommodate for a bump that’d finally arrived. A bump which she now scrunched her nose and blinked sleepily at; the teats peeking through thinning, pale fur. Sunt o mamă atât de oribilă, atât de rău. Nu ar trebui să vă cer iertarea,” her porcelain face and pout the epitome of slumberous shame. Dar te rog să mă ierți, copiii mei. Vă rog?

        Scarred lips remained parted, and she remained seated even as her watery eyes pressed closed. With one more congested, achy little sniff, Aure promptly fell asleep at the pond’s edge without an inkling of consequence. Nodding off here, entirely unexpected of even Aure, was a bit Narcissistic, really — if Narcissus was pregnant, held so much aversion to his own enduring fairness, and had been more heart-and-humble.
February 17, 2019, 03:55 PM
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He'd chased the small game for a couple of hours, to no avail; his burly body was just too much, not equipped for that sort of nimble activity. Prickling with irritation, he headed toward Hougeda anyway, intending to check up on Aure, even if he didn't have a meal for her. He'd been absent, lately, still mourning for Heda and unsure how to express that kind of emotion with any grace.

Verx was still cheka, after all, just for a different wolf. He still must have some grace and poise. They can't see him breaking down.

Hey, babe, he called out into the cavern, and then his steps quickened as he noticed she slumbered by the pond--unusual even for her. Aure--you okay? He came to her side and bent with a small grunt, noticing the wetness of her breathing, the heat that rolled off her. . .a very different heat from before. This one sickly, cloying.

The brute settled next to her, waiting for her to rouse and even more upset he didn't have anything for her to eat.
February 17, 2019, 04:18 PM

        Her ears feathered, as if some part of her did hear him, and otherwise remained in a doze; it was only until he withdrew from his inspection that she began to wake. After several, bleary presses of her eyes, she felt the irked presence of her mate before she saw him herself. It was with a sleepy little smile and a hum of Dragă...” that she nestled the crown of her head into the juncture between his dark chest and shoulder. Mourning meant missing, for everyone involved — but she was patient, ever-so despite it. He needed all the time he could take.

        ”I apologize for keeping you waiting. I was dreaming of names for ze copii,” she mumbled, lashes heavy on scarred cheekbones. It wasn’t entirely untrue, either. ”If I’d been awake, I would’ve been more prepared to praise you.” Her voice, though teasing and dotingly so, was a worn rasp, and she quickly withdrew herself to to cough dryly into her own shoulder.

        Ears remaining drooped, curved back and wilting, she returned her gaze to Verx, silver and sickly. And the worry came with it, ”I... I think I have a cold...” words still quiet, as if she’d done something horrendous to have fallen sick in the first place. But, as glossy as they’d become, her eyes remained soft and embracing, ”B-bVerx—“ sniffled, grumbling, tried again, ”Verxb- I hope your days have been healing. H-hows are you?”
February 17, 2019, 08:15 PM
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His ears folded backward a little in confusion. Waiting? Nah, bounkola, you're all right, Verx assured her, giving her a gentle nudge to her cheek. Though all the while, breathing shallowly; he'd be damned if sickness put him out of commission now. No shit, you have a cold. You're burning up--and not in a good way, he added with a leer. His face grew serious again. You gotta get some rest. I shouldn't even have woken you up.

What names were you dreaming of, though? the cheka asked, curious. He hadn't thought of any names himself, and probably wouldn't. It really wasn't his thing, all this kid stuff. He couldn't name a rock if asked (and still smarted from Wraen's mockery of his attempt at a nickname for her). But Aure, with her pretty foreign tongue and all her tales of stars, should have some good ideas already.
February 17, 2019, 08:44 PM

        She noted his gesture and words with a weary lift of her chin, trilling, "Tell me, dearest, what ze good way is. I could always catch a fever, if you’d like; just for you," and met his leer with a shy, simpering one of her own, not too against the thought, actually. Fevered when already so feverish for him, her pregnancy had made her ache for him so much more—if possible—than before her heat. A simmering, languid echo now hummed for him since, even during these darker days. Would that she wasn’t so weakened, she would’ve kept to their cove; wished she could.

        Then her expression faded into solemnity at his faint admonishing; no complaint to that, either, when he nuzzled her. Lips curled, furthering her little smile, "If you hadn't woken me, I..." Her own rasps led her attention to the pond before them, suddenly dark and depthless. After a moment, her ears curved back, eyed the waters; a shiver, unbidden, worked itself through her delicate shoulders.

        "W-well, I would've forgotten ze properties I'll need." Ruffling herself, she promptly veered from the pond's edge, murmuring to herself. Beckoned her beloved to follow with a coquettish feathering of her tail about his ink chest, hobbling away. "Honey— I-I mean, I would need honey, but it isn’t in-season, of course," she implored, pinking a little, "If there is feverfew, that should be enough for now." Once he'd fallen into step with her, she pressed her tendered flank against his darker musculature.

        It was more out of thought than anything, as she considered the names that had visited her little repose. Eyes listless, she mused, "Ones of my mother language — Eglathrin. I've given you two, you know. Only three came to me, though," a gentle laugh, "For girls, I was thinking, mm — Isilmë, crown of stars, and Revia, to wander. Boys — only Aearon, for ze sea. For your eyes, too. Hm." Aure fell quiet, then, as they trailed back to the little licheny of cave she'd quarentined herself in. Thankfully, apart enough from other kru so she wouldn’t plague them.

        Beginning to nurse on her scarred lip, she admitted, "I am not sure how... how to go about naming, really. It always seems to be from an epiphany, in ze end. For a boy, I wanted something... something a little daring, valiant, like his father. Something a bit more... Română.” Aure regarded him then, eyes all considerate (and a little shy) as they roamed along her lover from ears to claws. She seemed to say something more, but listed a bit with a little lurch; promptly made herself sit as she broke out in chills. Sniffling—well, tried to—while she whimpered, ”Wh-what kind of mother am I to get so sick?”
February 18, 2019, 03:47 PM
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Don't be cute. You know what it means, Verx responded, smirking at her. He made a small sound of argument as she rose to her paws but was cut off, and followed her with a huff, shaking his head at her stubbornness. I could have just gotten it for you, he rumbled, returning her touch with a gentle nudge of his own. Though he wasn't familiar with feverfew. Likely he would have just grabbed the wrong plant and poisoned the shit out of her. Yeah, great start to fatherhood.

He grinned at the names she provided, eyes glowing even in the dim light of the cave. Those are very pretty, he complimented, tail sweeping back and forth behind him in obvious pleasure. Do you want girls or boys more? I hear boys are easier to raise, he chuckled, but I dunno about that. I was a fucking nightmare to my parents, I'm sure. I have a feeling you were an angel child.

Still are, Vercingetorix thought gently, but left it unsaid.

He scoffed once more at her question. Yeah, like you chose to get sick. C'mon, bounkola, don't be silly. It's winter--you got sick. Tale as old as fuckin' time. You'll get better, he promised, pressing his muzzle to the crown of her head. And our kids will be fine.
February 18, 2019, 04:14 PM

        Most of her responses from moments ago had been a thoughtless shrug of shoulders; a bitten lip, and entirely innocent glimpses up towards him whenever he’d spoken, as if unaware of all that Verx was insinuating. But with his nudge, she’d grumbled something under her breath about Still could get them for me. And at his inquiry to the names, as well as to the beings of their children, ”Oh, I... I’ve never quite given much thought on that — boys, girls. Perhaps we will have created one of each, and then see how we feel about it.”

        Her wan voice had been tinged with humor, and it was only after another tender press of his muzzle that she broke out into a gently-ragged laughter. Angel child? Perhaps once, but... ”You flatter me, comoara. Me, angelic? Perhaps, as a child; perhaps I still might be, but,” She withdrew from where she’d nuzzled into him, leaning back to simper faux-innocent up at him once more. ”Would an angel have signed her soul to you? A fallen one, I think. One who never minded heat.” 

        Her laugh came as a hum, now, but swept lower with the husk of her clawed-within throat. ”I should be fine, Vercingetorix,” she purred, pale and pearling, ”if I don't give you a fever first.” The silver flare in her eyes was an edged contrast to the way her face softened, as she then turned into her temporary abode. Well, almost; after a fleeting double-take, as if she'd just remembered something — "Ah-" —

        Her gaze alit about the dark, silvered crown of himself, spying something he couldn’t see. Whatever it was, it made her lips press thin and stifling against the adoring amusement it drudged up; pressed her tongue against the roof of her mouth to hold back another giggle. Stumbled through it, ”I found a midwife, at ze festival, a-and she—  oh, dragostea, you— heavens, come here,” voice a doting warble, utterly charmed, if not a little reprimanding; she needed to continue their baby talk, but he— ”I can’t take you seriously when you look like this!”
February 19, 2019, 11:41 PM
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Mm, I'm tempted, but better not, Verx said, thinking of how terrible fevers were. Even her warmth wasn't worth it. But he'd stay close regardless, if only for moral support. Just no tongue kissing or anything. And psh. I've had plenty of angels. And wasn't the devil a fallen angel, anyway? Sooo. . . He trailed off impishly, giving her a leer.

And then she began to laugh, giggles breaking through the things she tried to tell him about the festival, her eyes drawn upward. What the fuck are you looking at? he asked, breaking into bemused chuckles himself as he rolled his eyes skyward, slightly crossed. What do I look like? What's on my fucking head?

He began to shake it, shake, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture--sorry, yeah, he shook his head, but still nothing came off, and he was starting to get a little peeved.
February 20, 2019, 12:05 AM

        Eyes creased further, giving a little sniff, "So come down here, diavol. It seems you still have some feathers, after all." Without further ado, she stepped closer, clicking her tongue at him to shush his movements. "Come here, cheka," she murmured, stretching her neck as far as it'd reach, teetering on the tips of her toes, "You look like a raven not yet rid of its fletching."

        As she began to preen tenderly through his fur, ridding him of what she could, she continued from where she left off, "I found a midwife, at ze festival. Her name is Olive, and she is... we seemed to have quite ze faith in another, from ze moment we met. When spring soon comes," throat straining with muted nerves, "I... I would trust nobody else with ze delivery."

        The skayona withdrew, then, with something miffed in her breath. "Follow me — I cannot get ze rest, not with you and your hulking height." With a huff, she whirled away, slipped into the gloam of her cave and feathering it in beckoning once more. When Aure seated herself down, the plume of it flared out in a sweep for him to lie next to her; dimpling when she saw the rest of him she had yet to reach. Eyes glinting silver and gentle, but edged with something fey, always fey — "Lie with me, my love."

        And when he was settled — assuming he did lie with her as she bid — Aure curved herself about him, like a moon cradling the night; and then veiled her breast along his shoulders; draped a willowy, porcelain leg at his ribs. It didn't take long for her to rummage, ever-so enrapturedly, through his dark ruff once more, her tail crescenting absent-mindedly along his ink-brushed own. For now, his mate lingered in sweet, shadowed silence with him, until something would be brought to vocalization from either of them.
February 20, 2019, 12:37 AM
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Oh. Damn turkeys. He thought of Blackbear, then, glowering a little as he let Aure pull the feathers from him. How she'd loved to roll in them, after a hunt. He hadn't seen much of the girl since shit had gone down. He hoped she was okay. So many seemed not to be, lately.

Verx peered dubiously at his baby-mama at the mention of a midwife. Uh-huh, he responded, not sounding all too convinced, but what the fuck did he know about midwifery, anyway. She's coming here, right? He didn't know a lot, but he didn't want his kids to be born on foreign soil. She needs to come to you.

Waiting for her response, he nodded, giving into her commands. The cheka lowered himself gently to the ground alongside her, eyes closing as she preened at his head. That feels good, Verx murmured, stretching languorously. One eye peeled open, rolling back to look at her as he chuckled. Hey--aren't I supposed to be taking care of you? You've got it all twisted, bounkola.
February 20, 2019, 01:08 AM

        Aure simpered into his ruff, nose scrunching in attempts to keep from breathing in any feather-fluff. "Da, she will come to ze cliffs. I wouldn't want to give birth anywhere else." She fell quiet, once again, before he reprimanded her of how he was meant to be tending to her, and couldn't help her own, answering lilt of a laugh, but still kept her smile supressed. "Huh, usually you are ze one who is twisting things up. It is only right that I have it 'twisted' for once, dragă, no?" she leered, her own sensuality only an echo of his more evident form. And she entertained the thought of tempting him further; before she entered some delirious fever and really couldn’t keep herself from him.

        Actually... that might not be so bad, engulfing him from within as much as she smothered with heat otherwise. Either way, the curl of her lips withdrew, until only a hint of it remained; not that he'd see, of course. A little noise of longing still left her, though, and she still arced into his stretch; still massaged at his shoulder with a scarred snout. Couldn’t resist him as they lingered between sensuality and serenity so often.

        "All done. Well..." With a soft grumble, an almost-reluctant return to serenity, Aure veiled herself further over him, a dainty paw cinching into stone as she reached over to begin her ministrations upon his face — sick or no, she'd take care. Otherwise, she began at his jawline, the tip of her pink nose dusting the velveteen tufts at its corner, before smoothing it over the dark cut of his cheekbones. "Not really, I suppose." Every movement is featherlight, careful.

        Lashes drawing heavy on her own, it was only when her lips came into play, petal-like at his cheek; she wished she could reach the other. "There are many times where I've wanted to return Home to you ze moment I’ve felt you, heard you. Times where I’ve needed to leave," she murmured, breath bated for both their sakes, recounted each and every yearning moment to him before coming to, "All of this, and... and at ze cliffs." The day where everyone was gathered, the mourning came, all inevitable and wrought with laments.

        A heartbeat of silence fell, and then she continued; mesmerized, a little melancholy, as her lips trailed up his cheekbones, and then mouthed along the plush edges of his ear once more, before her scarred mouth whispered, returned along his jawline. "To hold back one's tears is a mighty feat; and how mighty you are, dragostea. Letting them fall, though... that is where ze strength of one's heart lies. That is what sets you apart from the other warriors, Verx — you aren't exactly ze brooding type, no?" A loving laugh, a faint turn at humor.

        But then her voice was heartbreakingly tender, beseeching, "Please let me do this; let me see you, my love. All of you. Every laugh, every tear; let it out for me. For you." The territory of his jaw, his neck could be deemed almost erotic; but it was simmered down beneath the pale tremor of Aure against him; under the sweet, slow nature of the kiss she alits under the corner of his lip. ”Even chekas cry, need comfort. So tell me, Verx; and cry to me, if you have to. I will hold anything, everything. And I will hold you.”

        She had wept so much alongside him, into him — and she tried to tell him how alright it was for him to do the same, through touch, through her stumbling words.
February 23, 2019, 01:25 AM
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He could take it, the pampering, the preening, her self-disclosure. He adored her, and adored how much she cared for him in turn. Verx lay in blissful stupor, her words floating in one ear and out the other, with little meaning beyond the vibrations in her throat. It was only when he heard the word tears and then understood it was connected to him and not her that he came to attention again.

Vercingetorix stiffened in her embrace, pulling slowly away from her kiss. His mouth tightened, and his gaze frosted over, even as the tiny voice of his conscience screamed No! She's doing it because she loves you, you self-righteous heartless d-bag! But instinct, and training, won out.

You're wrong, he said, rolling onto his belly and standing up, staring down at her. Chekas don't cry. They can't afford to cry. I did my grieving already for Heda. She's dead. She's gone. Life goes on. Blixen is my protectee now and every tear I shed weakens me. Weakens her--weakens Drageda.

His jaw was stiff, suddenly, locked in place. Even if I wanted to, I don't get to cry, Verx whispered, and the bitch of it was that there was a sob between the words, hidden at the base of his throat. Not to you, not to anyone. I have to be strong so that everyone else can cry.
February 23, 2019, 08:09 AM

        Usually, Aure would retreat. But there was a glint of the heiress in her argent eyes as his own crept with frost, as he loomed before her, above her. And it was an heiress who rose, womb slowing her, as she leveled with him. Slim brow narrowed after registering all he said, felt his faint note of a sob within his soul more than she heard it. If the letting of tears had been trained from him, then Aure would stumble into that “way of the warrior” in an attempt to meet him: ”We all weep, Vercingetorix.” Her own voice warbling, but she lifted her scarred chin all the same. "If I need to hold you, to kiss you, to make love to you for the rest of forever to let you know how to find solace through crying, for you to see the strength in that—" Undaunted, when the only fear of hers was how worn with anguish he’d been. How it would consume him, ruin him if he never found — or sought — means for this sort of release.

        ”Weeping does not beget weakness; strength is found through sorrow. Your laments give cause for learning. You will never grow if you suppress everything that is within you. And this grieving... this grieving will never end. I am not Heda, and I am not Blixen — but I am your mateYour mate, solider, and you will listen to me.” Voice gentle, full of that fervent soul-strain, but entirely unafraid. Her eyes flared bright and bleary, like a winter sunrise, as she lamented to her beloved of the Drowning; of her frozen fury; of how it seemed Vonnaruil had passed in his sleep. Her ears curved back, each word taut as her throat worked to issue her grievence for the innocence they'd since lost. ”From then on, I only ever seethed, or screamed, as a child. I’d forgotten what it was to weep — I was to be queen, and queens-to-be never wept. But I had forgotten a forgiveness in myself that had always been there, waiting to tend to me.”

        Aure told him, too, of how the first time she'd truly expressed her sorrows had been the eve where he'd first claimed her. How she'd come to forgive herself when they had found Vonnaruil, "For ze first time in two years, when I returned to your arms and we created them—“ nodding to her womb, breast fluttering, “—I returned to myself when I never again thought I would.” Only for this moment, this faltering heartbeat, she would command him, in this faraway moment that faded from the rest of the world. This moment where neither Rhaesuial, Trigeda, Drageda or status existed. Only Them, whether he had mated his heart to hers or no: ”Now — you are going to lie with me, solider. I am going to hold you, and you are going to cry to me. You are going to cry to me until I have kissed every tear falling from your eyes; until they have become my own. I cannot let you go through this alone. I will not. I am your mate, and you are mine.”

        Even if he tore into her with his forged tongue, or ferocious teeth, forsaking tears, she would always forgive him; never fear him. Even nighttime weeps; even her Stormborn — and if he kept himself enshrouded from her, he’d be quite hard-pressed to ignore the flaring gleam that was her unwavering faith. I cherish you, and everything that you are. Even now. Even this. Regardless of it all, she advanced with slow, soothing steps; her eyes were melted silver, glimmering within a scarred, yet heartrendingly soft ivory face.

        With a hesitancy of such tension, such proximity, all of Them stuttered right to this very moment. To where she knew how desolate he was, and would cradle with all that was forever. ”Cry to me.” Perhaps her faith was a fool’s. Perhaps she shouldn’t have risen — but her beloved made her rise as dawn does, no matter the occurrence, the occasion. I Know you, and this devastation. So she threaded herself ever nearer, strode with her fool’s faith into the eye of his storm, with a diadem of white-and-red held high.

        ”Look at me, dragostearegele inimii.” If her mate admitted her so closely, Aurëwen would have softened herself entirely to him; twined her elegant neck beneath his own — as he had with her, once upon a time. Waiting, because this was entirely his choice. Every heartbeat after his decision would thrum to this melancholia; and Aure was unendingly prepared to shoulder this for the both of them. For him. ”I See you, Verx,” Bounkola quivered, melding her scarred snout into his jaw, his throat with a gentle whine, faintly hiccupy. ”And I love, I love, I love you.”
March 04, 2019, 10:00 PM
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Perhaps Aure's speech would have worked better on a less commitment-phobic man, and if he were in a better frame of mind, he'd admire her for trying, at least. But from the first "mate," his ears closed. His heart closed. The walls began to come in on him, shackles 'round his ankles, a crushing roof over his head. His jaw clenched, and he began to tremble imperceptibly with rage. At her. At Heda. Mostly, though, at himself.

As she advanced, he stepped back, back, back, rather than bearing down on her as he would have done, if she wasn't carrying his pups. Instead, his face filled with thunder, and he puffed himself up, a trapped animal, back to the wall.

You've forgotten your place again, Verx snapped, bristling. You're not my mate; I never promised myself to you. I said I'd raise our pups and that's it. How dare you tell me what to do--how to act? I'll do whatever I goddamn please, whenever I fucking want to do it. I'll cry on my own, on my own goddamn time. Don't you fucking dare try to guilt me into shit like this.

Chest heaving, he pushed past her toward the mouth of the cave and exploded out of it like a bullet from a gun, headed into the sequoias. Love, love, love you. Your mate, soldier. Cry to me. Her words echoed mockingly in and out of his ears, picking at his every insecurity, every inadequacy.

He slammed his body, over and over, into the nearest tree, until he bled, and then--and only then--did he let the tears come down to mix, unseen, with the crimson.
March 05, 2019, 06:10 PM

        To hear him say everything that her mind, her heart knew to be true about them — it numbed her, and reinforced the situation, the reality of whatever They were. She flit from him, but did not cower nor bristle; whirled to him as he stormed from their retreat, wishing to forge something of her tongue to make him halt. But he tore away away away, and whatever prowess that kept her standing went with it. Rendered speechless and nearly void, the least she could do was to crumple down into a wilting sit.

        There were two meanings of mate that she, so self-loathingly, had never made known to him — in this instance, she’d meant it from the outlook of responsibility. In a way, through raising these children, through their creation, they had claimed another; rearing them together was only natural. It was this cause in that they were ‘mated.’ But, all truths considered... she was a terrible speaker. And she was still a moon-eyed, deluded brana, wasn’t she?

        With the death of Drageda’s heda, Vercingetorix had his limits strained. And in her inconsiderate manner, her fault, she had only pushed him further; and now they were both hurting more than they’d been before this. Yes, he would raise them. But... but loving her, that was something that felt rather mythical, now more than ever.

        Yet, chekas didn’t cry. Wouldn’t that apply to those who bore their children? Tears of her own making wavered at the frames of dark lashes, but she could not let them fall. For then, she would not cry. She carried a cheka’s whelps, after all — and still had yet to name them, didn’t she?

        — Dragomir —

        The name arrived at the edges of her frayed mind ; the same moment her shivering lips tasted salt.

        To whom peace is precious.