[P] You’re so composed, but I’m wiser
This topic discusses miscarriage and lost pregnancies. Please do not read if this upsets you.

Backdated to ~ July 4th. Morning, lake near home.
Remember your youth, in all that you do, the plank and the passion
They had been home for enough time to fall back into a semblance of pattern and routine. It was all a little bit off, though, no matter how hard Kamari or Krios pretended it was returning to normal. It was like the shape of their lives had gotten sharp and jagged, a ruptured cell and the bits once contained spilled out.

What Kamari had experienced was indescribable and her husband had no way to properly show his hurt on her behalf. He took care of her as much as she allowed even as she pushed back for autonomy. It was like they had gone two steps back in their relationship and Krios merely tread water to stay afloat with her.

Slowly but surely he felt the pressure of coming to terms with what had happened and what he had done in their efforts to find her. He would have to sit down and evaluate himself and his behavior and wonder what else hid in the darkest parts of his mind.

Her quiet was more pronounced than it had ever been. Krios did not push her at the start, though he had questions that demanded answers. But he could not let her slip into that old habit of pushing him away and keeping him away from her.

Just like he had promised to come find her, he found her again as the sun blazed above them. It made the whole lake near their home glitter like a pretty picture that did not fill his chest with any sort of warmth despite the beauty of it all.

Wordlessly, he sat himself beside his wife and stared out at the water, waiting, as he always had.
Optime | The Ruins (KamKrios home) | Dated: July 4th
For four days, she had harbored the news in secret. For four days, she had felt terrible to such an extreme extent that it made her almost physically sick. For four days, she had been numb, quiet.

The longer she carried the burden alone on her heart though, the more it ate at her. She had lost all sense of appetite, and it had become harder to convince herself to even do simple chores around the homestead. Sleep either evaded her, or her dreams were poisoned by nightmares that felt all too real. Walks around the territory to clear her mind proved more harmful than good. In her waking moments, her thoughts were turbulent had gotten worse with depressive things, self-loathing, what-ifs, and, most of all, the anxiety of how she was to tell her husband of what she had confirmed.

Where his presence had been a comfort before, it had become a source of distress in the days after her visit with Argive. She had tried to be subtle about it, but it was abundantly clear that she had been avoiding him when she could.

She knew she had to tell Krios, and she wanted to, truly; but she feared what it might do to him, to them. She was scared of what his reaction would be, for, she knew that she was to blame. Her actions, her misjudgment, her weakness, it was her fault. All of it. Everything.

It was all her fault.

The knowledge was what ate at her the most. So much of what happened could have been prevented if she had only done… if she’d only been… if she’d just…

Everything was her fault.

That morning, she'd settled in a shady spot by the lake that nestled up to the back of their home. She'd thought that she might have been able to perform one of Velimir’s calming techniques in a last-ditch effort to not let the dark thoughts consume her. However, her attempt had only ended with her staring hollowly at the raven totem in her hand.

She missed Velimir terribly, and she desperately wished that he could be there with her in that moment. He had always been so wise and full of knowledge. No doubt, he would have known what to say to Krios. He would have known what to do.

But he was gone because of her.

The soft sound of approaching footfalls had her back stiffening. When she felt his presence appear beside her, she fought the instinctual urge to get up. He sat down, but she didn’t look at him. He was quiet, but his aura did not project anger or annoyance. He was calm, and a part of her wanted nothing more than to throw herself into his embrace in hopes that it might chase away the darkness that sat heavily in her thoughts and heart. She couldn’t though. She didn’t deserve such a thing after everything she’d done. After everything she’d ruined.

Her hands trembled as they tightened around the totem in her grasp. Would she have the courage to tell him that morning? Or would she inevitably run away like a coward once more?

She closed her eyes and took in a shaky, deep breath. She could do it. She had to.

“I…I’ve had something that I’ve…needed to tell you, Krios,” she began, her words softer than she’d imagined them to be in her head. She pressed on though, desperate to get the words out before she lost her nerve like she had the previous days. “…I…”

Am sorry? Know it’s my fault? Understand if you’re angry? Understand if you wish to leave?

She swallowed, and she felt the tremble in her hands worsen and spread up her arms and into her shoulders as her eyes began to sting. “I spoke with…Argive four days ago and he…” Her teeth clenched as she fought to contain her emotions. Her dull eyes opened, and she looked down at her hands where she clutched the raven totem like a lifeline. “…he confirmed that I lost the litter.”

Her vision began to blur, and she let out a frustrated breath as she tried to wipe her eyes quickly.

Damn it, she had no reason to cry. She didn’t want to cry.

“I’m sorry, Krios.”

Fuck, the tears only got worse, and her chest shuttered the more she tried to fight the feelings and emotions she’d been trying to keep at bay for weeks.

“This is…I’m so sorry…this is…this is all my fault.”

Krios’ goddess, why was she so terribly weak?

Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
Player Wiki · · Character Wiki
Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
Remember your youth, in all that you do, the plank and the passion
Shortly after they had found his injured wife, Krios began to worry less about her wellbeing and more about the litter she had been carrying. There was more than enough reason to suspect they had been lost, even without knowing the violent beatings she suffered. It would have been a true sign of providence if they had miraculously survived her ordeal. Krios knew it was too much to hope for that despite it all and despite the injuries.

It would have been too much to ask of her, too. How much blood had she lost? How much infection had she risked? How strong was she really even to consider taking a pregnancy to term in her state?

The most painful thing about it all was that there was no need to worry about those questions since the Goddess chose to answer it for them. For Krios, it was even more complicated. He was not the one who had been tortured and beaten. He had not lost his close companion, but he very nearly had despite only involving himself to rescue Kamari. She had been the one to carry the pregnancy and she was the one who lost it. He contributed to making them, but the hardest thing about it all would always have been on her shoulders.

HIs heart hurt for her and for them and for the lost children that would have been so loved.

Krios waited for her to muster the courage to speak. She had always been afraid of honesty with him so he was well versed in waiting for her to collect herself. He didn't prompt her. He didn't try to ask leading questions. He waited. He would always wait.

Kamari confirmed what he had suspected before Argive came to inform him. Argive had known Kamari enough to realize that she would dither and struggle and avoid telling her husband what had happened. Krios had appreciated it, even as it properly shattered his heart.

The tears and apologies flowed freely. She apologized to him. She apologized to him. It was hard. It was complicated.

It was her fault. It wasn't her fault. It was no one's fault. It was the Mireblades' fault.

None of that was productive thought. How could he blame her? He couldn't blame her. He did blame her, but halfheartedly. He had been spoiled and the Goddess acted in kind to rectify the abundance of joy. She was to blame, but she was also not to blame.

There had been enough time and thought for Krios to feel mostly ambivalent to the entire quandary of who to blame. In the end, it didn't matter at all and it was a waste of his emotional capacity to even bother anymore.

Kamari sobbed out her apologies and Krios silently scooted himself beside her. He reached out to gently touch her shoulders as he pulled her toward him.

He wrapped his arms around her and let her cry into him as he softly stroked her head.

"<My beloved shadow>, if it would keep you safe and with me forever, I would give up ever having children in a heartbeat," he murmured into her hair.
"Allaenat ealayk ya allah," Kamari hissed brokenly as she furiously tried to wipe away her tears with the palms of her hands.

She didn't want to cry. She wasn't allowed to after what she'd done. Her bad decisions, her weakness, her inability to defend her packmates. She deserved to feel miserable. She deserved the scars and bruises she'd received. She deserved to lose everything.

But it still hurt.

She stubbornly turned her head away from him when she felt him move closer to her. She clenched her jaw tightly in an attempt to stop herself from relenting to the terrible emotion that threatened to consume her. The tears kept flowing and her body continued to tremble though. Gently, Krios tugged her onto his lap and into his arms. She buried her face into his shoulder to hide her weakness, still trying to fight a losing battle within herself.

When he spoke though, something within Kamari broke. Holding the raven totem to her, she gripped his shirt tightly within a balled fist. Years of tightly controlled emotion cascaded out of her with the force of a flash flood. She sobbed, and her shoulders shook.

"I'm so sorry, Krios," she cried.

If she'd just been stronger, she could have protected them. Velimir, Larunda, their unborn puppies. But she'd been weak.

This was her punishment. She had no right to cry or be…sad. But she did. She mourned what she'd lost. She mourned what her weakness had cost her.

"They took so much from me." She whispered between wet gasps.

She'd been helpless as they'd killed Velimir and Larunda right in front of her. She'd been helpless as they had destroyed the life that had been in her stomach. She'd been helpless as they'd beaten her, touched her, stripped her, humiliated her, tortured her, scarred her.

She deserved this agony.

"I'm so sorry." Kamari continued to sob.

Despite what he'd said, she'd known what the puppies had meant for him. Of the two of them, he had been the most excited at the prospect of children...and her foolishness had cost them both. He'd already made so many sacrifices to be with her, to stay by her side after so many years.

"This is all my fault." She couldn't take back her actions. She couldn't undo what had been lost.

She would never hear Velimir’s voice again. Argive would never see his Ward's pretty face. Krios would be forever left to wonder what their first child might have been like. She would be forever scarred both physically and mentally.

She desperately clung to Krios, not caring if it hurt her back. She cried and she cried like she had never before. The agonizing guilt sat heavily on her heart, and it made her chest ache as if, it too, had been a wound left by the Mireblades.

"I'm so sorry." She cried again and again against his neck.

Kamari Kaiser
— The Shadow —
[Image: k4f73A1.png]
Player Wiki · · Character Wiki
Avatar art by Alaine · Sig art by Despi
Remember your youth, in all that you do, the plank and the passion
There was nothing cute or adorable about the way Kamari sobbed out her heart in his arms. There was nothing praise-worthy of the way that he held onto her and let her spill the sadness that she had been keeping back. There was nothing warm and sweet and fuzzy about the two of them lamenting the loss of far too much to put into words. No amount of poetry and purple prose could elegantly describe what they felt. It was raw, sharp, and cold.

Krios could only do so much for Kamari and she was never an easy creature to figure out. She was cryptic and difficult, but at that moment she was just a woman who had suffered greatly before also confirming that she had lost her litter. Maternal or not, it was obviously a lot for her to handle. She lost Velimir. She had watched Larunda die. She was no stranger to death and killing, but it didn't mean that she was immune or heartless or unaffected.

More importantly, Kamari was the worst at expressing herself. The feelings over what happened likely ate at her enough to truly wear her down and out. No wonder she wasn't eating. No wonder the Shadow was ironically a shadow of herself. How could she bounce back immediately?

Krios wished she had said something to him sooner, but he also knew that it was never going to be so easy with his prickly wife. That she came out to tell him anything at all eventually was better than ever. That she relented and bawled her eyes out with him was another improvement to her past behavior.

For once, it wasn't just Kamari facing her problems alone. For once, they were both together against the burdensome weight of loss.

As he held her, the Striker hummed sounds that he remembered from his childhood. Melodies without words and soothing rumbles. He stroked her hair as she cried and did his best to ignore her apologies.

"You didn't deserve any of it." Krios shut his eyes against her head as he fought the sympathetic tears that threatened, too. He was not inclined to sob as she did, but his heart ached more than it ever had. "But you're okay. You're home, it's okay, <sweetheart>," he cooed as he let his tears silently fall.

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