[P] it happened one morning
for Thread- set on the Peninsula, early morning
Waking with a start, Kohl sat up and patted the space next to her where her mate, Thread, always slept. The spot was empty but still warm from the heat of his body; it couldn't have been long since the male got up to make his rounds along the borders of their tiny territory. Her small hand caressed the flatness of her stomach through the threadbare dress she wore and her instincts sang a familiar song. It felt exactly as it had the first time, she recalled, and she wasted no more time stumbling out of the knotted blankets and furs they bedded down in at night. She poked her nose out into the cold air and hissed, retreating long enough to wrap a thick fur around herself before venturing out into the wintery forest again. 
The rest of the camp was quiet in the pre-dawn hours, their fire still smoldering just enough to allow an easier time restarting the flames when everyone was awake again, and she scented the air in the hopes of catching the direction Thread had went. Kohl hated to bother him while he was out patrolling but it was urgent, she decided, and knew he would understand. Her season had just recently come along and passed and a familiar pang in the pit of her guts had woken her; he might not notice quite yet but she certainly could tell the change that was happening inside her body. Kohl's mother had always said that a mother was the first to know of an impending child, and having now experienced it twice she could verify with certainty that the woman had been speaking true. 
"Thread!" she whisper-yelled, trying to avoid waking the others. She wasn't sure she was ready to discuss it with her friends quite yet, although it wouldn't be long before her scent changed so much that there would be no hiding it. An aching worry niggled at the back of her mind as she trudged through the frosty woods along the path her mate usually followed, scenting the air along the way. The woman's first pregnancy had ended in tears for more reasons than one, and she couldn't help but feel a trickle of panic at the revelation now despite the attempts she made to calm her mind. Thread was not Jericho, she reminded herself. He was kind and honorable and he would never leave her no matter what. Her entire body shook, both from nerves and from the biting cold.
Wrapping the fur around her fists with enough force to make her knuckles crack, the dog trundled through the dark underbrush and continued to scan the darkness for her lover. Every shadowy tree looked just enough like him to make her ears perk up, but the man was still nowhere in sight. He couldn't have gone far, but she knew she couldn't bear to wait until he'd returned to share the news. Briefly she allowed herself to picture the tall man holding a tiny bundle of fur in his arms and squinted her eyes against the painful thump in her chest that it triggered; she dared not allow herself too much excitement or fantasy yet, for it was still so early in the pregnancy. The female longed for his embrace; a single word from him was sure to calm her nerves just as he always did.
It was hard to sleep some nights. His thoughts often raced and were filled with ideas that really didn’t make any sense. They were safe, not as safe as they would be on Isle Royale, but safe. The world he found, he knew it was not kind, but nor was it evil. Those who dwelt in it, however, they were the ones of good and evil, or simply in between. This trinary hammered into him from the moment he could understand. All of the demons were just like him, despite being neutral. They all had families, wants, wishes, and because of that; Thread knew to be wary. He would not, could not, trust a man just like him; in it for him and his own. He would keep those he loved safe, and himself safe, in that order.

And in doing so meant he needed to patrol. At different parts of the night, and throughout the day, the inbred man wandered around the camp. From one side of the isthmus, to the other. From one side of the camp, to the other. He’d look for sign of travelers, chase off undesirable folk, and escort more amiable types through. A gatekeeper through and through, the man of neutrality, at least that’s what his pack believed.

The man sighed, his breath visible in the air. Fresh scent marks laid by him dotted the area. He was satisfied with the extra not to anyone with a nose that a very thorough male was in the area, and didn’t want anyone else putting anything close to even a single root down. Once he was sure that no one was on his territory, he ventured back to camp. It was on the way, he happened upon his love, Kohl. A streak of happiness and a streak of worry simultaneously shot up his spine and lit his brainstem. He enjoyed seeing her, but feared something must’ve happened while he was checking the borders. “Kohl,” he greeted her, his voice breaking the silent ambience around them. “What’re ya up ta?” he asked, head tilted, and reached out to hold her.
The sight of Thread was enough to make her burst into a trot to reach him quicker, wide grin splitting her face although it was too dim in the early morning light to see much of her pearly-whites. “I’m so glad I found you!” she barked, her cheerful tone of voice enough to dissuade any fears of disaster that her hunting him down in the dark might have created. The dog all but leapt into her mate’s arms, linking her hands around the back of his neck as his forearms looped around her lower back to hold her suspended in the air for just a quick second. Kohl giggled like a young girl as her feet dangled there, and then forced herself to be serious for a moment as she slid from his grasp and back down to the cold earth beneath them.

“I’m sorry to spook ya like this, I just couldn’t wait. I woke up and I could just feel it- something was diff’rent, y’know?” She patted her still-flat tummy, hoping he’d catch on. “We’re gonna have little ones soon!”

Speaking the words aloud was enough to make the woman’s head swim, but luckily she kept her balance rather than fainting like a lady in the old-timey stories like her mama used to tell her before bedtime as a kid. Her eyes glittered up at Thread and she let the information process in his mind for a moment, and while she knew deep down he’d be just as excited as she was, there was still a glimmer of worry that he’d have the same reaction she had once gotten from Jericho upon revealing similar news. A grimace, a pensive look, a murmured ‘what are we gonna do?’ would be enough to kill her now, she worried. No, Kohl had suffered enough sadness and rejection and loss for one lifetime- this time would be different and she knew it deep in her heart. Everything would be just fine, she told herself.
[WC — 332] | 
hope a tiny bit of powerplay is okay!
Holding her was like holding his world. His closed-off ecosphere of friends made family. The importance of Kohl was paramount to the crooked man, she was a tether to the Earth. She kept him grounded, kept him in once place, or kept him coming back home. Marten, Quincy, and the rest of their friends had various ties of various strengths to Thread, but his mate held the strongest and most elastic of leashes. He’d leave, only to come back with ease. Guided home by the promise of her presence. Thread was in love, a feeling he never quite got to really enjoy for long back in Isle Royale.

The joy in her beautiful voice let him cast off fear, and instead he was very happy to hear what she had to say. Her bubbly laughter warmed the cold dark around him, as he allowed her to touch the ground once more. His eyes followed her hand, as she patted her stomach, and the words that came with the gesture caught the man off guard. They weren’t trying, but he knew that didn’t stop the possibility of life. He tilted his head, just slightly, eyes still on Kohl’s stomach. He had children before, but not with anyone he was as close to as he was with Kohl. “Little ones?” He repeated what she had said, and then brought a finger and thumb to his chin to ponder.

It would be well into winter by the time they’re born, he thought. It was a dangerous time, but he’d be able to get plenty of food to keep them going in the meantime. Kohl wouldn’t need to lift a finger once their pups were born, all she’d need to do is feed them, and eat whatever she wanted of what they would manage to gather. He smiled, a dopey smile, one of happiness and thoughts of the future. How many would they have? One? Two? Possibly more! It wasn’t very likely, at least in his experience. “We gotta get food fer yer carryin’ den!” He stated, before clapping his hands together. “I’ll see if Quincy can find some better huntin’ grounds furder inta da peninsula, n’ maybe Marten’s frens in New Caldonia can get us some dried meats ta last us through the win’er.”

Thread took Kohl by the hand and began to lead her back to the camp. His tail was wagging behind him. “I bet Marten’s gonna go wild when we tell her,” he explained, glancing back at Kohl. He smiled. “Do ya tink dey’re all boys, or all girls?” The man asked, it was not a genuine question, as he knew that they could be any mix of the two, it was a question just to pass the time and think about the future with.
A whoosh of relief left Kohl’s mouth in a huff as Thread processed the reality of it and, thankfully, showed just as much enthusiasm as she’d hoped he would. Her fluffy tail wagged in a wild, black and white blur as he laid a gentle hand on her tummy and mused about the future. It wasn’t likely that she’d have more than one or two pups, but she couldn’t help but hope for a girl. Little boys were rough and tumble and lots of fun, but there was something special about the bond between a mother and daughter. Plus, once she and Thread were too old to properly look after their little territory on the Peninsula it might be a boon to have a daughter to live nearby with her own mate and children. Although, any sons Thread had were sure to be more than capable of looking after the place once the time came…

She shook her head good-naturedly and reeled her imagination back to the present. Kohl had always been the type to let her mind run away with her, whether for the good or bad.

He mentioned Quincy finding them some extra provisions, and how Marten would lose her mind at the news, and Kohl’s heart suddenly felt awfully full. For the first time in recent memory, all felt right in the world. She had a little family, as mis-matched as they all were, and there were puppies on the way, and they were all sequestered on their little island where nothing could hurt them.

“Marten’s definitely gonna be excited…a litter of munchkins to play with is just what she needs!”
we can wrap up here if you want, i just wanted to get in one last cute scene for kohl c:

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