Ocean's Breath Plateau Black
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#1
RIP 
It happened faster than she could prepare for. The puppies pushed from within, seeking their first taste of air. 

Samani had been resting. Her eyes fluttered in dream-filled sleep. The faces of their children beamed up at her. Their features were so small, so delicate. She feared for them. Even in her dreams, she feared what the world might do to her sweet babies. 

And when the contractions startled her from her slumber, she knew that something was wrong. 

The peachy woman called out for @Rodyn. Her cries could be heard across the plateau. Pain crept along her midsection, spiking dramatically as she attempted to push their children out. It wasn’t working. She was struggling. Each push was a new spike of pain. Each attempt to bring their sweet babies into the world was brutal. Black gripped at the corners of her vision. She pushed again and @Rolayne emerged. 

Samani could see the blood that had come out with the first pup. She could feel it. An internal pooling of her life source. 

She did not think that she could do anymore. She licked the boy clean and attempted to nudge him close to her. Were they supposed to be that quiet? Weren’t they supposed to move? She whimpered fearfully. 

Another attempt at pushing only produced more blood. Samani sobbed at the sight of it. She could feel the weakness gripping her. She could feel the life slip from her. And her eyes grew heavy as she tried to hold her head up, to push again. 

Another puppy emerged. White as snowfall and cold. Samani licked her clean but Tootega did not move. Her small body remained bloody and lifeless. The new mother could not contain her grief. She knew that this wasn’t right. She knew that something had gone wrong. Their daughter was dead. Their daughter was dead and their son had not moved. She wailed, nudging at the dark boy. 

Another wave of pain crashed against her. 

A final push produced a small chocolate boy. His fur was slicked with blood. Samani lapped at him, pushing her nose into his tiny body. Her eyes were distant. Her spirit faded faster than she had expected. 

The peachy woman saw the stirring of life in the two baby boys. Their arms moved! They were alive. They were safe. 

And they were beautiful. 

Samani could feel her head grow heavy. She could not stop the darkness from sweeping across her vision. The final image she saw was the worried expression of her beloved Rodyn and the fragile babies that were tucked against her. 

I love you, her hollow voice filled the den. And her jadestone eyes remained fixed open. Her body became still.
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#2
Rodyn rushed to her call and all that met him was blood and tears. He pushed into the den and held fast to Samani to their children. His heart breaking at each sobbing cry he heard from her.

He had done this to her and he was sick. But, but little ones. So much blood. Tears streamed from his eyes, but he fought to stem them. Do anything to ease her pain. His own nudges to their children. His own licks to her face. Blood and salt latched to his tongue until it was all he could taste.

He burrowed hia nose into her fur. I love you too Samani. Please don't leave me. Please come. Please!

Then the grief stricken roar that left him at his beautiful peachy queens still body. It echoed and swam through the air. And another. He screamed until his voice was hoarse and then with tears and blood and bile he curled around them. And let one last grief stricken, broken cry, to someone,anyone, to save everything he loved.



@Kukutux @Aiolos @Heph
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#3
His wasn't an easy birth and he stirred weakly on the ground. He was laying thick and heavy in some sort of goop, but he couldn't even summon the strength to cry.

Then there was a warmth and though he had managed a mouthful of drink before he'd been nosed into warm hardness. And slowly he slipped into the darkness of sleep. Oblivious to his father's grief and his mothers death.
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Life did not seem so wonderful, now that Panuk had broken free of the womb. 

The air was cold and sharp with salt smell. The boy was surrounded by darkness. His baby eyes remained closed fast against the horrors that took place beside them. 

He was pushed toward plush warmth but the warmth did not last very long. Grief filled their home. Panuk nestled into the fur of his dead mother and searched for food.
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#5
Somehow, she’d managed to sleep through Samani’s pain-ridden howls. It was only after Rodyn started hollering that Ariadne woke up. The pain in his voice was alarming, causing her nerves to fray as she tried to get her bearings and figure out what was happening. She was unsure of what had happened, but she could only speculate that something had gone terribly wrong. Quickly, she thought of her sister and the unborn children she carried—but she didn’t entertain those thoughts too long. She couldn’t.

She stumbled out of her den and into the night, the salt air slapping her in the face as she whipped her head around. She had no idea where she was or where she was doing; all she could do was follow the sound of the alpha’s cries. When she found out where she was headed, she took off and ran faster than she had in recent memory.

The smell of blood and excretion was overwhelming, and it took everything in her to avoid throwing up. But there was something intertwined in the death and decay—life and birth. There was hope hidden in the details. She lingered on their doorstep, intuition cautioning her to not barge in.

“Rodyn, Samani,” she called, her mouth drying. As she searched, her stomach twisted and she realized that her worst fears were taking hold. This was bad—even worse than she’d initially anticipated.

S-Samani,” she repeated, voice hitching and eyes wetting with tears. Tell me what is going on.”
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Like a slap in the face a voice curled into the coocoon of grief he had made. But he had to do something, anything. He pressed his nose hard into Samani still so warm and yet void of life.

He pressed furs around the babies winding them tight and safe, but they could breathe. And with staggering steps and wild eyes he went to the door. Blood streaking his russet fur, tears pouring from his eyes.

aarr...aariadne.... his voice caught on a sob and he couldn't finish.

sssamani...ttoooteega....rororolayne and Ppanuk. he hiccoughed.

bbblood everywhere. Two bbbabies.

what do i do? I couldn't sssave hhher i ppp promised to always sssave hhhher and tttake care of hhher.

Each sob harder than the last. Tthey nnneed milk and wwwarmth. I cccan give wwarmth.
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Samani. Tooteega. Rolayne. Panuk. Blood. Everywhere. Two babies. Couldn’t save her—Samani was dead.

There was nothing that could have prepared her that; her perception the world spun at breakneck speed and caused her to wobble. She unexpectedly lurched forward and caught herself before she could fall. “Does Moontide have any other nursing wives?” She asked, steadying herself with a sharp inhale as she fixed her gaze on the ground.
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there would be a thousand moments in which kukutux would look back upon this day, in which she would remind herself again and anew of how samani's silent face had rested amid the pool of blood and children searching for her warmth.

how the jadeite eyes had seen nothing in the end

it was a sight for no wolf, for no mother, for none breathing.

two daughters had brought forth children; kukutux kept to the slopes outside moonglow for the last several weeks, the final bundle of teas and meat and gifts close to grasp up and to carry. she waited for the song of birth, of resplendent love and joy.

but what broke that day was a feverish shriek of terror and loss, rodyn as she had never heard him before. 

and she knew.

what mother does not know?

what woman does not know?

but kukutux did not wish to understand this; she turned snowy face toward the moontide village and sped as quickly as sedna wished for her to fly. the borders were not to keep her out, and so she went inside, with each step weakening in fear.

and —

it was no delighted smile that greeted the grandmother; thrice; it was sorrow, salt upon the wind; she tasted it, she threw aside her prepared things and ran faster, until she arrived windblown and stark-eyed at the den.

daughter's-blood.

yes.

her own, spilled.

yes;

samani gazed at nothing, she saw nothing; and moonwoman's own eyes blurred with tears. another daughter, here, returned, and though she could not speak, she was grateful that samani had not gone to sedna without the presence of another sister beside her.

acceptance did not come at once. rodyn shook with sobs, gathered around the children, and kukutux slowly wound samani into her trembling arms and looked down at the serene, quiet face of the young woman, who had been child, who had been borne of her flesh and nourished by her body.

her cries were tiny and birdlike, wretched sounds wrenching themselves to rasp in glass along her throat and stifle in sobs that kukutux could not allow to escape.

"sea girl. wolf who walks to the waves. go there now. sedna is waiting," moonwoman murmured in low voice to the listening shade of her daughter. "your family will provide for your children. they will know your face."

but she did not speak the name, though tears poured so fiercely that she could hardly see that beloved, still face.

"rodyn," kukutux said, laying the noiseless form back where she had fallen, her arms aching with harsh rejection of the notion. in response to the need of her grandchildren, the mother's-body did as it was bid, and brought forth some semblance of milk. but it would not be enough.

"ariadne." her hollow eyes looked now for the girl whose return she could not even celebrate. "we must take them to moonspear. sialuk has milk." kukutux could not fathom that the village-daughter would reject the sons of her sister. 

each word an act of effort. each movement of weighed limbs as if she were swimming in the thick blackness of a dreamscape river.

it was not her time to shatter.

"rodyn," more gently, an urge as she reached to touch him, to look through his embrace for the little ones samani had borne. "take your children to the mountain."

yes; an order; bereaved mother and moonwoman, standing firm as her daughter's blood cooled in moontide. 

"i will stay with her."

nine nights. nine songs.
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His throat closed again. And tears began anew. He shook his head at Ariadne. nnnoone.

He didn't hear the moonwoman speak. Lost in his own grief. In hia own mind. But Samani wouldn't like this. She would tell him to be good father. To take care.

And yet he didn't wish to leave Samani. A broken sob again. As he pressed his face once more to the side of his peachy queen. The piece of his heart.

He pulled from the recesses of the home they had built, furs for each child. Each motion forceful and painful.

He wrapped them tightly and picked up Panuk. He motioned at the other bundle.


His voice muffled and full of sobs. Rrrolayne aaand t'is is Pppanuk.

He gulped some air forced the words out. Sstrong furs will kkkeep sssafe.

They could run with these and the babes would barely move. Safe and warm.

Yellow gaze dulled looked at Kukutux and then Samani.

Then he stepped out with forced steps.
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She still hadn’t breached the entryway of the den—she wasn’t ready to see the tragedy that waited inside. It was only when Kukutux arrived that she followed, reverting to a meek demeanor that she had left behind long ago—a girl desperately in need of her mother’s guiding hand.

The air was heavy with grief, suffocating her, and it was too much to bear. She buckled under the weight and reclined, eyes finally seeing her sister’s lifeless body. She watched, stone-faced, crying, and cold, as they mourned and she couldn’t look away. The image of her sister’s face would forever be imprinted in her memory and haunt her while she slept.

Eventually, she was given instructions, and she simply nodded to what she’d been told. She was robbed of the joy she should have felt in hearing that Sialuk had milk. Her head swung to the man, and she she nodded to him, too.

Her tears spoke the words that her mouth could not.

When is was time to go, Ariadne stood looked at Kukutux. “I would like to return when they are safe with Sialuk,” she requested, her voice weak and defeated.
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Heph arrived late. She arrived after a loud howl pierced out. If she had been closer, if she had been faster. She had dropped the burden of her hunt at the borders and not looked back, and she had arrived too late. The pups already bundled away and she saw a body that she could already tell, sharp ears she had honed to keep her out of trouble telling her that the heartbeat was already gone, the still sides, and glassy eyes. "No." It was a whisper. "no.no.no.no.no.no.no." It was a refrain.

Her gaze found Rodyn and the two small forms so fragile. And she offered a half hug, half for herself to reassure her that she had not lost them both in one fell swoop. "I'll stay with Moontide." Her voice broke over the words, each one a struggle.
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last for me! <3

rodyn prepared to leave.

"come back to me."

the words were meant for ariadne but her eyes still rested upon the sea-daughter, and so for a moment one could not be certain to what was meant.

the shimmering gaze which swam with pain at last swung to her living child. "when you come back, i will teach you the death songs."

to heph she offered her arm, a place at her side, as in silence she began to prepare the quiet form.
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Rodyn squeezed Heph as tight as he could with his small child in his maw. A soft whimper, as he buried his eyes into his friends shoulder.

He couldn't speak past both his son and the lump in his throat so he hoped his eyes could convey it all and his thanks for her staying.

He'd return with his children.
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Come back to me, Kukutux requested, looking at Rodyn.

Ariadne watched on, unsure of who the words were intended for. She felt her chest tighten—the faintest inkling of dejection—and inhaled deeply. Although she would understand if her mother choose the man over her to assist with the death songs, it would still hurt a little. But, perhaps, it was what she’d deserve for being away for so long. Through her thought she hardly noticed the other wolf who arrived. 

When she felt twin gemstones upon her, she pulled herself from her insecurity and sighed in relief.

I will, she promised, exhaling in relief as she pressed her nose against her mother’s forehead. I promise.


Collecting her nephew in her jaws, Ariadne followed after Rodyn as they begun the journey to Moonspear.
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Heph watched the pair go, wished she could have gone with them. She did not fear for the pack, knew the wolves who made up the pack would keep it standing, and yet even knowing that she could not leave it. She waited, watched them disappear before returning to the den and the form within. Her breaths came to her in ragged gasps, not having had a chance to near her before.

And yet laying there the truth was undeniable. I didn't get to say goodbye. Tears threatened and did not fall, she would have let them, but they stubbornly stung at her eyes and did not let themselves flow freely.

last from me too!