[P] [M]-Isn't This The Part Where We Came In?
p. Kaly, backdated to Feb

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 Toraberā Tanaka ▩ 不名誉より死

There was still packing to do, but Tora couldn't bring himself to stuff more shit into bags. What was the point? No matter how well he prepared for migration his new home was just going to end up trashed. The Tanakas, the Miracle Court, New Caledonia, everywhere he went he just ended up with more corpses. When did he get a break? When was fate going to stop toying with him and just put him in the ground?

Never. The answer was never. He had offended the gods somehow and was now cursed to keep reliving the same awful events over and over and over. It was Sisyphean, his miserable carcass a boulder to push on. 

Tora drank, downing a gulp of garbage-quality whiskey before setting it aside for his wife. As much as Kalypso had scolded him for his alcoholism in the past, God knew she couldn't blame him now. Her grief was deeper than his now, for while he had lost his family she had watched her daughter die.

"I think we're pretty much packed and ready to go. Everyone who wants to knows who to follow."

What family they had left was splitting apart. Hokori had elected to stay behind to haunt the grave of Caledonia like some horrible, violent, skull-faced specter picking scraps out of the ruins. It was entirely fitting for her personality. 
➧➧ | Word Count [233
Packing up her things for the third time in her life had not been going terribly well. Part of it had to do with the things Eulalie had left behind and the rest had to do with the decidedly limited helpfulness of her husband. She didn't blame him for his uptick in drinking because she ended up joining him more often than she would have in the past. Amal had been left to the task of clearing out whatever Eulalie had left and Dorian had gone to assist her with some of it just to get out of his parents' hair.

Most of her children had gone to the wind and spread like seeds or wildfire in the case of her largest daughter. The only one that seemed terribly keen on joining her and Tora was Dorian, who admitted that he had nowhere else to go and his cousin(s) were the biggest reason he was content to join his overbearing parents in the newest venture.

Well, at least one child was joining them. One out of nine – rather, one out of eight living offspring. Her throat tightened from the fresh, raw grief tainted by guilt.

"We have to get every last thing. I'm not leaving anything for the scavengers to take," she countered without looking at him as she continued to fold the last articles of clothing she had left into a large woven basket. "I won't let Salsolans come through again and pick our home's bones completely clean."

She shut the basket with its matching lid and sighed, heavily. "How many of those do you have left?" Kalypso gestured to the bottle he had been gobbling down like a starving beggar with a stolen ham.

 Toraberā Tanaka ▩ 不名誉より死

She spoke of scavengers and Salsola, but Tora's disdain for their kind didn't outweigh the crushing sense of exhaustion. Why should he care if some ragged scrounger came picking through the ruins? There was no border to defend, no storehouse to keep a watchful eye on, just bad memories that had sprung out of bad decisions.

It was funny. The last time he had been in this situation he had been rather prickly about people looting the remains of the Cour, nearly drowning an unfortunate soul who had snagged a dropped doll. Now he was older and bitterer, too caustic to give a shit. 

"Hoko's staying nearby with Benjamin nearby, anything we don't take she'll dig up. Salsola'll have a fight on their hands trying to get anything out of her." 

He chuckled grimly, well aware of his daughter's strike first, ask questions never mentality. If she was anything like him the experience of the past month had only made her more dangerous. 

God, Hokori...he had failed her. Eulalie he hadn't been able to protect from outsiders, Hoko had fallen victim to her heritage. She had become the monster he had worried about, and he couldn't blame her. The world was cruel so she choose to be crueler. It was the only sensible way to live. All of the kind, gentle people Tora knew had been victimized in one way or another.

"Enough to last the trip...probably." 

Certainly, enough for him to give up the current one. Tora pushed the bottle Kalypso's way, standing up with a groan. His joints didn't appreciate the sudden shift in position, time had made them obstinate. Sooner or later he'd have to accept the fact that he couldn't fight anymore. Hopefully he'd die soon after. 

"We could always tell Hoko to torch the place after we're gone, make sure no one else can use it." 

Their home, the little fortress they had pieced together, turned to so much ash. 
➧➧  | Word Count [342]
"And I meant all the scavengers," she retorted flatly. Hokori may have been one of her daughters but that did not change the fact she was one of the parasites that would gnaw on their bones if they let them. There was good reason not to worry about Hoko's odds after New Caledonia's fall and also good reason to worry for their own over her opportunistic streaks. They could count on some level of loyalty to blood and family but she didn't doubt the hulking she-beast of a daughter could still manage to twist the screws a little.

It was better to let her keep the wreckage of her former birthplace as her hunting grounds and pick up the pieces of their lives somewhere close by but safely out of her sphere of rampage.

"It's a short trip and I doubt it'll make it even that long." Tora pushed the bottle toward her and she took it up without hesitation. Before everything she would have wrinkled her nose at his insistence on drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a tankard. Now, she wanted nothing more than to drown them both in a barrel.

Her eyes followed him as he stood from his chair, taking in the sight of her aging spouse -- not that she had anything to say on the matter considering she had begun to find sprouts of unwelcome grey here and there on her face. There was no point in denying that they were not young, if not really of an age to be considered 'old'. Tora certainly would crash land into that sooner than she would but that was only marginally sooner.

"You should try to relax. It won't be slow when we get to Winterwynd." Spring was the best time to start anything and they would need to spruce up the place if they wanted to make it livable. But it would still be a loss.

Kalypso put the bottle to her mouth and took a drink of the unpleasant liquid. She winced soundlessly as she brought the bottle back down with a sloshing sound. "I would be sad to see this place go. You work so hard on it." Kaly closed the few scant feet between them and delicately wrapped her fingers around his upper arm. "This is.. was home." Was. Was home.

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