[P] M - Fatherhood
p. Vesper
#1
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Dated for Feb. 10 I know Raze is awesome and will fix this table so you can actually read it :) / +374

It was raining today. A terrible chill rain that froze when it hit the even more chilled ground. All in all it was miserable, and the rain only encrusted everything in ice rather than melting away the snow. It was brutal, and even his thick coat did not protect him. So today, he left Potra and Yegua in the stables to keep dry and warm, and wrapped himself up heavily in furs and cloaks to make the trek to the Great Village.

With hood pulled up tight around his face, and carrying a staff for a walking stick, Helotes became impervious to the world around him save for what could be seen in his hood framed vision. Even the sound of the rain and wind was barely recognizable, and he had to push back his hood every so often to stick a claw into his ear as if to rid himself from water. It would help a little, but then his hearing would go back to a dull roar; he figured it was because of the cold and thought little of it.

It took him nearly an hour to make it to the village, and once it came into view all the animals still left outside could be seen huddled with each other under whatever shelter they could find. Helotes found himself shivering just looking at them, and he made his way quickly to the school house and entered. Inside it was warm, and dry save for the entrance which was covered in muddy and wet paw prints. He lifted back his hood and took off the first set off furs draped around him; they were soaked and ice clung to the longer hairs; he hung this up on a nearby peg. Helotes took several steps down the corridor towards Myrika’s room before stopping to sniff about; it smelled strongly of them all here, like normal; surely they all would be in during this miserable day. He wondered how Myrika was doing; she should be getting close to birth and he was worried about her; almost as if it were his own litter. He had yet to see Vesper either, it had been too long in fact. Helotes began walking confidently towards their room.


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#2
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360


Photomanip by ~cantabile-reaper @ dA!

She had decided, setting one paw outside the door that morning, that today would be a day best spent inside.

Vesper heard the rain pattering on the roof of the schoolhouse even now, and she found herself beyond grateful that she was warm and dry within, drier than she ever was in her old cave. She was all the cozier in the box with the furs, snuggled against her mate, listening to her heartbeat, unable to really sleep but glad enough to have some time to think. And there was no shortage of things to think about, with the littler hearts beating beside her -- such as what they might be named, what they might look like, what questions they might ask. Sometimes the thoughts turned dark, but Ves only pressed her muzzle softly into Myri's scruff and inhaled her scent and remembered that she had her back, and she could deal with everything else.

In the quiet of the room, with nothing but the periods of rain and wind to catch her attention, the creak of the floor seemed louder than it really was. The coyote lifted her head and swiveled her ear forward, hearing those steps approach, and quickly but carefully disentangled herself from the Aquila, watching her for a moment to make sure she didn't wake. She then stepped softly out of the box and across the tile floor, stepping out into the hallway, where she lifted one forepaw and waggled it to tell Helotes to turn and keep walking beyond the room.

Myrika's asleep, Vesper whispered, stepping past him toward one of the empty rooms, listening for any of the other occupants in case they'd stir. She finally reached the room across from Kaena's, nearest the cafeteria and furthest away from her and Myri's, and took a seat once she'd opened the door (no small feat for a Lupus fighting to use paws and teeth). Her eyes found her friend's and softened lightly, a small self-conscious smirk confessing better than her words could that they had not spoken in a long time.

And so, she said: Hi, buddy.

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#3
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OOC / +322

Before he made it to the entrance his best friend’s face appeared at the doorway and he stopped in his tracks, a grin already spreading across his face. But Vesper was quick to whisper that the Aquila was asleep inside, and gestured at him to keep moving down the hall. His friend went before him, her nails clicking against the wooden floor as she moved, and he nearly laughed when she went to awkwardly open the door for him. He entered and sat down on the first piece of furniture he could find and she followed, giving him a look that said all too well how long it had been since they had talked; she said hello.

Helotes removed the remainder of his covering and slung it over a nearby desk, the dry, cool air hit him and he shivered, all his fur fluffing up to guard against the cold. He looked to Vesper with a smile before reaching over and cuffing her lightly upside the head, What the hell Vesper, where have you been? What in the world is going on around here! He said, sounding hysterical despite his smile. It was true that Helotes felt that he had been left somewhat out of the loop, a feeling that he did not very much enjoy at all.

The male leaned back against the wall and crosses his arms, giving the Centurion a look that said that she had best explain herself. Myrika would not speak to him on the reason she was pregnant, all he knew was that whatever had happened had not been good. Vesper would surely tell him though, they told each other everything right? And if she didn’t, he was in his right mind to beat it out of her if he had to. Helotes suddenly realized how incredibly lonely he had been without Vesper to talk and joke around with. Perhaps he have to rethink the beating.


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#4
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--


Photomanip by ~cantabile-reaper @ dA!

Vesper contented herself with smirking faintly as the man shrugged off his layers, although she was feeling a bit of the chill now too without a warm body beside her. She at least had a cloak for the cold weather, even if this rain just made everything fifteen times as miserable as it would have been with her own tattered fur against the winter chill.

A moment later, though, her friend's ember eyes landed on her, his lips touched by a smile -- before he reached over and smacked her upside the head. She bared her teeth but only shook her head and snorted good-naturedly, at least until he started asking questions he had every right to ask. She stared back at him, her half-smirk growing momentarily stronger but then fading at an alarming rate, as she found herself having to consider the time -- the time before, the time it happened, the moments all of this had started.

I -- Vesper got out, then hunched her shoulders and shuffled a couple of steps back. She very suddenly wanted to turn and run away, because she and Myri could go ahead and lie to everyone else and pretend nothing happened, pretend there wasn't a coyote skull on the stakes now, but she couldn't lie to the Primi Bellum.

Her blue eyes fixed on the floor as she tried to force out an answer. I mean -- I guess I'm going to be a -- a mother now. Or a father, she half-joked, but her voice turned up strangely at the last syllable and she realized she couldn't do this, she couldn't go back to this. She bristled.

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#5
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OOC / +000

It was amazing how quickly Vesper’s smile disappeared from her face once he began asking questions, and it just proved to him that something really bad really had happened to she and Myrika. He could feel anger bubbling in his chest again; if anyone was to blame for this he would hurt them… slowly.

Vesper stumbled over her words and gave a joke that failed miserably, the end of her words curling sharply with emotion. Helotes leaned forward again, finger tips together as he looked at his friend, his face now serious, Yeah, you magically grew a dick for one night. Come one Vesper, what happened. Why is Myrika all… quiet. Why are you so nervous? For fucks sake, what’s going on! His anger was serious now, no smirk alighting his face. If he had to play rough to get some answers he would do that. Besides, he had a right to know, by rank alone if he had to pull that card.

Helotes looked out the door, beyond Vesper into the hallway, as if he expected Kaena or Myrika to show themselves and keep Vesper from explaining what was happening; seeing no such figure appear, he looked back to Vesper, his face a little more soft, Tell me Vesper, who’s ass do I have to kick? He gave the faintest smile then to show her it was alright.


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#6
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410 *ignores all other threads*


Photomanip by ~cantabile-reaper @ dA!

The seriousness on Helotes' face frightened her, the way he loomed forward -- and Vesper found herself shrinking under his stare. It was unlike her, but he had that effect, no matter how much she never ever wanted to admit to herself. Her fur continued to spike up as he spoke, citing the leaders' moods, demanding an explanation of her. When his features softened slightly, however, and he asked one more question -- Vesper barked out a cold laugh like a crow.

I tore out his eye, the one-eared coyote said, grinning a little crazily. Bit off half his cheek. Broke his fingers. And worse. He's bleaching on a stick now. She swiped her tongue over her lips -- though still protecting Myrika in this, always protecting her, easing her pain. Myri had done those last things, and he'd died, and they'd carried the skull together, flesh still clinging to the bone in gruesome stripes. But they'd struck down a member -- and Vesper was never going to confess what Myri had done, when they could have just cast him out, let him live a one-eyed cripple.

She started shaking then, and she had to drop her haunches to the floor, hunching over her front paws and giving her head a shake. She wanted to lie, she didn't want to give Myrika up, but the pain swelled in her again and the words tumbled out even though she didn't want them to, because as much as she pressed it down and down where she couldn't get to it, like she'd done with him, it was there, and it hurt.

But Myrika -- she -- she came to me, weeks and weeks ago, and told me that she'd -- she'd slept with him. He didn't -- he was a scumbag and he lied, he lied to her, but she did it. She shook her head. It wasn't until I found out she was -- that she was carrying the puppies, that I -- She stared at the floor, hard. I forgave her. I couldn't let her do it alone. And she was so miserable, Helotes. I'd never seen someone so sorry -- and he said so many more words about the pups. Monsters, monsters monsters monstersmonsters. I had to be there. She was -- she was sick. I was mad and hurt for weeks, I did stupid things, but I love her and she's my mate.

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#7
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OOC / +365

The insane glint that appeared in Vesper’s eyes, and the grin as well, sent a chill down Helotes' spine as she began to explain, thought vaguely, what had happened. She had killed someone, after maiming him apparently, and now his skull was on a pike. Perhaps it had been the same fresh skull that Helotes had seen before he had come and confronted Myrika. Either way, this coyote, whoever he was, had obviously deserved what he got.

Vesper then cleared it up for him, saying that Myrika had slept with the man, and that he had lied to her. She also confirmed what Myrika had told him, that she had forgiven her for her trespass, and would consider the puppies her own. But Helotes recalled the question the Aquila had asked them, whether they would be normal or not, and here Vesper was mentioning that the father had called them unspeakable things.

Helotes, while clearly more endowed in the brawn department rather than the brain, was still not a stupid male. He could be foolish, yes, gullible at times, perhaps; but he was not stupid, he could put two and two together. He sat back again and nodded, So, it was a cousin then eh? Not surprising, we’re all fucking related here. He grinned slightly, eyes somewhat closed before opening them again and shrugging, Myrika should know that it will be alright; Inferni hasn’t yet spawned any six legged, two headed freaks, and I doubt that it’s going to start with her litter. He laughed slightly, trying to make light of the situation.

Helotes leaned forward again then and reached out to ruffle Vesper’s head fur, You excited though? You gonna be a daddy! He had a good laugh then, his trade mark grin returning to his face, Too bad their not mine though, I thought that you and Myri would come to me for 'help' in that department whenever you got around to it. He winked at this. Still, deep down inside he once again renewed his vow to be around Vesper and Myrika more; they shouldn’t have to kill scumbags on their own, that was his job; their paws need not be dirtied.


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#8
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391 Ves is super angsty and grumpy @___@


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She was such a fool, and she felt inexplicably frightened, her stomach churning, and wondered if this was half what Myrika felt like in those moments that she'd gone mad. Vesper could feel judgment hanging over her head, but she had sharp words to counter it -- and was flabbergasted when he only nodded. He spoke words that shouldn't have surprised her in their frankness and crudeness, but she found herself wincing even as he tried to grin and laugh and write it off like it wasn't a big deal. There was no amusement in her, no desire to chortle along with him at the thought of six-legged babies with swollen, bursting stomachs and twisted mouths and too-big eyes.

His more jovial words about fatherhood and the implication that he could have helped only made her feel more bitter and upset rather than the happiness she would have felt normally, if her head wasn't caught up in all of this. She didn't look at him for a long time, only flinching backwards when he reached out to touch her head, nearly snapping at him but reining herself in at the last minute.

Shut up, she managed to respond, but it wasn't the same brusque, snapped order she might have given. It was instead something hurt, and even as she felt something panicky and feathered beating in her chest, she decided to throw the knife back and twist it into his flesh, instead. And don't you say a fucking word of this to the others, she ordered, and found raw anger in her voice at last. It's up to Myrika what she wants to say happened, if she wants to say anything happened at all. Besides... She paused, and stared at him with eyes as cold as that star-stained October night. I've forgiven people for worse before, she said, deliberately, and hated herself for saying it. Her tail tucked slightly, and she glanced away, deciding to stare at a wall instead.

What the fuck do you do? Vesper whispered a moment after, running her paw over a smoother, worn indent in the floor. After they're ... after they're born? You hunt for her and make sure she's fed and good but if they're born -- where do you even start?

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#9
[html]
OOC / +000

The way Vesper was reacting disturbed him, as she snapped at him and madly ordered him not to say anything about this. Helotes’ ears flattened against his head; he had never seen Vesper like this, except for a very long time ago, when he was someone he could barely even remember. And then Vesper even brought that time up, and it stung him deep, like a hornet piercing his heart with a stinger. And he could feel his skin heat up with embarrassment and anger and he tried desperately to keep it inside.

Vesper looked so frail as she wildly asked him what she was supposed to do, to help Myrika with all this and Helotes shook his head in a subtle manner; why was she asking him this? Sure she wasn’t a man with the instincts of a father, but surely her lesbianism hadn’t snuffed out her instincts as a mother. The look and smell of Myrika should be causing the same effect in Vesper that it was in her own body, Vesper should already know what to do; but she didn’t, and that disturbed him more than anything.

Helotes leaned back again and looked at Vesper with a cool eye until he saw that her breathing normalized; then he gave out a grunting sigh, What are you, a coyote or a crow? You should know how to take care of young, most likely your own teats with swell along with Myrika’s and you can both nurse. As long as the kits are kept warm, clean, and fat, there is not much more you do. Once they start talking, thinking, you teach them what is right and what is wrong and leave the rest to them. Vesper was making childrearing out to be a matter of life or death, and sure it could be that at times, but he doubted such a fate would befall the children of the Aquila.

Helotes leaned forward just a bit then, though stayed stiff and straight, You know, the children are not your own. They are part of the community and you had best remember that. God doesn’t bless us with offspring so that we can be selfish. He looked away slightly, suddenly aware that he was talking to someone higher ranking than him, and not just his friend; he didn’t like this turn of events.


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#10
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446


See galleries for credit.

The words were out before she could snatch them back, but part of Vesper wanted it all to be remembered -- and wanted some justification for the nightmares that hadn't quite ended, even what seemed like long years after. She didn't look at him to see if his expression changed, but then the mixture of guilt and justification came, and she was glad to be berated for something related to the not-yet-born children rather than past actions and her foolish habit of forgiveness and trust.

And she did feel stupid when he spoke plainly to her. The image of her own teats growing milky almost unnerved her, but there was something that seemed right about it, too; hopefully the scent of her mate and the stimulation of the puppies would make it so, because that meant she and Myrika could take turns nursing them. Myri would need a rest after all this.

He spoke of the children growing up, and Vesper murmured, That's what I meant. I mean -- they're going to ask questions eventually that I don't know how to answer yet. She twitched her ear back. Having two mothers will be normal to them, and I can teach them that it doesn't matter -- but they're going to learn that you need a male to make puppies. They're going to ask about their father, and -- and what can I do? Hide the truth forever? Tell them I ripped his eye out? There were a lot of other silly questions following that more pressing one, questions the more experienced father Helotes would scoff at if she voiced them -- but which seemed stressful to her. It was easy to train someone else's kid, but how did you train your own; how harsh a paw should she give them? What would make them love her; what would make them resent and fight against her?

The large, dusky coyote leaned forward again slightly, but Vesper didn't flinch away this time, only met his ember gaze then scowled as he spoke. I had best remember? she echoed, not certain at the commanding words -- or where they were coming from. I was counting on the clan having a great hand in raising its own children, Helotes, she said flatly. Do you think I'm going to hide them jealously away like trinkets in a bird nest? They're mine and Myrika's -- and we belong to Inferni, so they belong to Inferni. They belong to their great-grandmother and their dozens of cousins and their aunt Sparrow and their womanizing bum of an uncle, she said, and her eyes softened a bit, though she wasn't really sure what else to say to defend herself, or if she even needed to.

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#11
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OOC / +363

Helotes listened to her concerns, about what to tell the children once they started asking about their father. This was difficult to answer; if the man was so despicable, it might upset the offspring to a point that they detested their own mothers. He had seen it happen before, with his own sibling, Columbine; no matter how much love that male received, the darkness of his father was like a poison. Evil was sometimes inherent, and there was not much a good intending parent could do about that. The Primi Bellum let out a sigh, You can lie, I suppose. Tell them their father was a good man, died in an accident, or you could tell them I was the father, or another male was the father; someone more appealing. But if you decide to tell them the truth, be prepared for a lot of anger; it could be possible that they could become very upset over the truth. There was no point in beating around the bush on this matter, and therefore Helotes was very blunt.

As for his telling that the children were part of the clan, Vesper seemed to take offense, and Helotes could help but screw up his muzzle at Vesper’s unkind words at his assuming the children would be hidden. Luckily though, she ended on a joke, and Helotes laughed, being able to do had a very soothing effect.

Hey now, He said in jest, I haven’t been too bad lately, though I’m sure my newest butt-load of children would beg to differ. He was quiet for a moment, unaware that at that very moment, the newest of his children was being born. His far of gaze was then returned to Vesper, and he gave her his trade mark grin, You’re going to be a great father, and if you ever need any help, you got me! And Myrika. And Kaena. You have a lot of support, don’t worry so much, and enjoy it, ok? He put a hand on her boney shoulder then, You best make sure and come find me when they’re born too, so we can celebrate Helotes style. He gave her a wink then.


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#12
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332 Can archive this right now or post again or I dun care; last post from me thouugh. <3

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Vesper must have sounded like a fool -- and she anticipated another biting remark from Helotes agreeing with her, or pointing out another one of her flaws. He seemed to take her question seriously, but spoke in standard blunt Helotes fashion as he mentioned lying to the children and their possible anger. Ves lowered her head, a little more dejected at the thought of the kids hating her for what she'd done -- but she had done it, hadn't she? Or helped, at least. Who knew what Cirael would have done had they let him live, but they could have waited to find out against Vesper's gut.

It will likely be Myrika's decision more than mine, Vesper murmured -- because she's the one who slept with him left unsaid. I suppose... they won't ask for some time yet, not until they realize that me siring them is biologically impossible. She smiled, weakly.

And she had to relax a little more and laugh as Helotes explained he hadn't been bad lately, despite a few new mewling, suckling bodies as obvious evidence to the contrary. She smiled a little more broadly at his encouragement, though she secretly hoped she'd be as good a mother as a father -- because for all the hunting and protection and rough-and-tumble raising, she knew she wanted to nurture them, too. She could play both roles easily, she hoped, and there was a ton of support in case she needed it.

A dark hand settled on her shoulder, and Vesper grinned crookedly back at him. Already a bad influence on my puppies, she admonished him, but reared up onto her hind legs so she could rub her cheek against his chest before dropping back down onto all fours. I'm sure I'll need a drink, she muttered, and swatted him in the leg with his tail. I should probably get back to Myri now, but -- thanks, she said heavily, and smiled again.

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