Hushed Willows kanayuk ∩
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#1
All Welcome 
i know we have one, this just felt pertinent! <3

nasamiituuq and @Minnow were at the moonglow camp. she had set them to sort marigold blossoms and stems, requesting that they stay together and did not leave until she returned. nasamiituuq was young, but moonmother had trust in minnow not to seek her intended until more words had been shared. 

kukutux sought @Reverie, her green eyes gentle. with her she carried a small piece of rabbit liver, hoping it would tempt the young mother's appetite. "minnow has come to me. has tuft come to you?"
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Hushed Willows
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#2
Now in the final stages of her pregnancy, Reverie vacillated daily between a featherlight sense of elation and — feeling very swollen, and very gross, and very tired. She would never admit it to anyone but herself, but much of her joy was for the end that was now in sight. She was so tired of being pregnant. She was ready for the rest of it, the part where she reached the other side exhausted and feeling like a deflated sack of skin; that at least meant that she could begin to heal.

The thought of dealing with anything beyond that was wearying. But she was Hearthwood's leader, and host to the Moonglow wolves, so she sat up with a smile that betrayed none of her fatigue when Kukutux came to her. Her stomach flipped at the scent of rabbit, but she couldn't tell yet if it was hunger or nausea.

He did, She confirmed softly. I told him that he and Minnow are welcome to stay in Hearthwood, but he mentioned that their decision depends on Minnow's brother. Her eyes were curious on Kukutux, but she left her own questions unspoken for now.
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to kukutux, reverie was lovely. yet she had been anaa enough times to know that this portion of pregnancy was uncomfortable, and that new things might rise. moonmother lowered her lashes, glancing surreptitiously at the woman's ankles to check for swelling.

folding the liver back into a leaf, though she placed it between them, she nodded. "he has the name of valiant. they had only found one another at the great hunt." kukutux lowered herself to pale haunches. "but i think that my daughter and valiant have found the same in moonglow."

he would not leave, she meant to allude, choosing to assume this given the status of vairë as the one to follow.

more to say, but now she was quiet. reverie did not speak of any discomforts, and so she would not.
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Hushed Willows
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#4
Discreet as she was, the midwife's inspection of her legs did not go unnoticed; perhaps she'd noticed that they were swollen, though Reverie felt that just about every part of her body could be described as swollen lately. Her own focus was elsewhere for the moment. The brother seemed unlikely to leave Moonglow. Minnow would want to stay, then, but Kukutux had said nothing of where Moonglow stood on the matter of her children.

Reverie nodded and was quiet for a moment. Is Moonglow able to take in Tuft and any children they might have? She asked after some thought, accepting the liver with a murmur of gratitude. The tension in her stomach turned to hunger as she pulled it closer, but Reverie held off. She assumed that Moonglow was a strong pack, but knew that strong packs often had their own plans for the future. And the union between Tuft and Minnow had happened too swiftly to have been expected by anyone.
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the liver, given. "there are two before her. much can happen in the time it demands to grow children. minnow has a place among us,  but it is my thinking that she and tuft should build their home here, if this is acceptable to hearthwood."

kukutux enjoyed minnow and respected valiant. yet for this, vairë and kivaluk would come first. and perhaps even herself. until first flowers passed into the berry ripening, she was only delayed. "i have told her that i am not against this. moonglow will be home to her if there is a place for the others. but no matter what is chosen, her brother will wish to know."
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#6
Again she nodded; her own litter was all but assured now, so close to their birth, or else Hearthwood might not be such a certain choice for the young couple. But she knew that there were others — or at least one other that she was sure of — who might want children of their own. Only one litter aside from hers could be born in Hearthwood this year. The pack was still too new to promise more. A decision would have to be made.

There are others in Hearthwood who may want children. Boone and I have decided to allow only one litter alongside our own. So, And here she hesitated, only a little, because she knew that this decision was not one that Minnow would make lightly. The decision needs to be made before any children are conceived. If they're going to have a place here, it will affect the whole pack. If Minnow could not choose, Hearthwood could not promise her a place. It would be terribly unfair to those who might enter their season in the mean time. Reina came to mind then, but Reverie unwrapped the liver to pick at it rather than mention the Middleman.
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#7
there was a silence that followed, one warm and thoughtful. kukutux did not think that minnow and tuft would wait for long, and that this might influence their rush into another swift decision. they were young and filled with one another.

"if they cannot choose, then i will bring minnow back to the wilderness. if i cannot assure a place in moonglow, then i will make a meeting with the other leaders in the moon villages. they will be tended. valiant's brother is leader of morningsong."

there was nothing now to do but leave the final choosing to minnow and tuft. moonmother's face eased. "you are close, reverie. i have the thought that if i leave now, i will not be here for the birth. if it is your want, i will stay another hand of time. moontide will still be there when i return."
Hushed Willows
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Whether their place was in Hearthwood or not, they would have one. Reverie was somewhat soothed by this, but the small seed of dread in her gut did not entirely fade. She did not want Tuft to leave. But neither did she want to be the one to tell the others that no more children would be allowed in Hearthwood this year. She let out a soft breath, almost relieved when Kukutux moved into the subject of Reverie's own near future.

Almost.

I... I'd like you to stay, Her ears tilted back as she considered the trial ahead of her. I have this... feeling that - that something will go wrong, like last time. I can't explain it. I just know I'd feel safer if you were here. Reverie had always been attuned to the signs of her own body; it was panic which rendered her useless in the task of treating her own ills. A panic that threatened her even now, days ahead of what she knew would be a traumatic ordeal.
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#9
"then i will stay." it was what she had come to do. and she did not feel reina was ready to face this first birth as sole healer, not with a history of harder things for reverie, and a belief it might happen again.

"i have a yellow tea. it smells sweet. when you are frightened, your body grows hard and tight. this can make birthing more difficult. this tea will help you to relax. it will not make you sleep. take it twice a day until the first pains begin."

she spoke of chamomile, and hoped the sungold mother would accept.
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She nodded slowly. Another tea. Another medicine to try in hopes of staving off the inevitable.

Was it so terrible of her to half-hope that the birth of her children would take her after all? It would be an end; it would mean that she could finally rest. But that thought was often lost in the ferocity of love she felt for the lives brewing within her, the knowledge that she could not leave them behind. They needed her. For them, if nothing else, she would do this. Whatever it took.

I am frightened, Reverie admitted, glancing out over the territory. Nearly all of Hearthwood was visible from her den atop the hill. Terrified, honestly. It - it isn't death that scares me. It's the pain, and the blood. I still have nightmares about it sometimes. More often now than ever, as the birth of her children loomed ever closer.
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#11
she understood! more than she would say in this moment, kukutux comprehended, for she had now been on each side of the terrible river that reverie faced again.

and yet she knew the beauty of birth. the first breath of a child was a gift. the first cry of a babe was a song to sedna. "when i first saw you, i knew you were kiaranatuuk. little golden sparrow woman." her eyes were touched with affection. "do you remember? golden sparrows stay the longest at their nests and the longest in their summer-place," the duck went on. "their song moves the spirit. they are sunshine in rain and ice. they hold strength even when others do not."

she had not been unaware of boone's absence, from both the responsibilities of the pack and from the side of his gravid mate. kukutux compared all men to aiolos, and seeing reverie alone did not please her.

but these were not her words to speak. only of babies to come and of the golden sparrows.
Hushed Willows
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#12
Fading!
A faint, warm smile stole over her features as Kukutux spoke. Kiaranatuuk; little golden sparrow woman. Reverie was reminded distantly of the golden bird, the one which had always followed her — or perhaps it was the other way around. She wasn't sure, though she felt certain now was not the time to speak of it. Another day, perhaps, she would tell Kukutux of the bird.

Her eyes shone with the beginnings of tears. In silence she reached out to embrace Kukutux, a light and quick thing but filled with sincerity. Reverie had never wanted to be strong. But she was, wasn't she? And Kukutux saw it, truly saw it in a way no one else ever had. She suddenly wished that the Moonglow leader did not have to leave.
Watching me is like watching a fire take your eyes from you