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Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:21 pm
((000)) ooc. August 10th. <3
Lyris had decided that if she ever became fat, she would either ask someone to put her out of misery or do it herself. Nearing the end of this gestation she was becoming very impatient; with her weight and uselessness more than anything else. While she could say she enjoyed having an excuse to remain in her Lupus form for an extended period of time, Lyris did sometimes long for the use of her hands. The huntress hadn't shot a bow or held her horse's reins for weeks, and she was growing bored. It didn't help that she had lost all ability to do even the simple things that brought her pleasure, such as running or hunting. She was just a fat, pregnant thing that had confined herself to the garden. The most exciting thing she'd done in the past few days was walk through the river. She'd talked to very few aside from Luca, preferring her solitude for a multitude of reasons. One, she did not want to be seen at this sort of low point. Two, she never knew what would come out of her mouth. It could be angry or sad or psychotic and she wouldn't be able to control her tongue or emotions no matter how much she desired it. She was a terrible, monstrous mess, and the last thing she wanted was to be seen in such a state.
Currently, she had reached a rare moment of peace. Tucked in her den with her head pressed underneath Luca's chin, she slept. Her nightmares seemed to have vanished in the past weeks; when her mate was with her, even more so. Despite the constant fatigue she was plagued with, courtesy of her pregnancy, she was assured this was the best rested she had been in years. No longer would she rest in only short bursts, to wake with fading visions of terrible things. This slumber, however, Lyris suddenly was presented with the hellish images of her past that she was so certain she had outgrown. Her first thought when she awoke was that the bear had returned, and this time it was tearing its claws down her stomach rather than her face. Lyris' dark eyes shot open and she jerked away from Luca, a short howl rolling from her throat. But they were alone in the dark; this was an attack her body was placing upon itself: one, she realized, she had long been expecting.
A low whine whistled through her nose until the contraction passed, her expressions of pain unbidden but too powerful for her to hide. This was not the pain she was used to; it was not the sting of claws in her flesh or fangs drawing blood. It was not so easily ignored. "Luca," She said, eyes shining fearfully in the faint beam of moonlight that crept into the den. "Luca, get out." Lyris snapped this best she could, but her voice was not as demanding as she would have liked it.
Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:22 pm
Laying in the dark den, with his beautiful mate wrapped up beside him and their growing pups moving around in her belly, all Luca could think about was how much he missed his mattress. He knew that Lyris wanted to be out in nature, hidden in a hole of dirt for the first few weeks of their pups lives, but that did not mean he understood it or agreed. The ground was hard and cold on his belly, forcing him to use his mate’s head as a make shift pillow, and despite Lyris’ sound slumber the golden boy was struggling to sleep.
His body was exhausted from the balance of Lyris’ needs and the pack’s needs. During the night he was free to relax beside her but through the day he desperately tried to keep his mate happy and social while helping to keep the pack running smoothly – a difficult task when your mate’s hormones are going crazy and she is left alone much of the day. Golden eyes fought against his sleepy body, opening and closing each time Lyris, or the unborn pups, moved. At long last his eyes shut and he drifted into sweet sleep.
Movement and an alerting howl awoke the young Knight with a jolt. Fuzzy and confused the male searched the den for signs of danger, his ears flat against his head as he tried to process what was happening. Even as Lyris became aware of her contractions Luca remained naive, still trying to find the imaginary danger at hand. A sharp order form his mate telling him to get to of the den did not help, instead causing him to turn to her with confused eyes. A moment passed and he realized that Lyris was in pain. “Are you okay? Should I get Morty or Veri?” Still he did not recognize the signs of labor.
OOC: 300+ words
Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:14 am
((300)) ooc. August 10th. <3
Somehow, pain from which the source could not be seen was much more terrifying to Lyris. This was not an opponent she could dodge, or bite back at, or even brace herself for what was to come. She was blind and vulnerable, and vulnerability was the very thing she had dedicated the majority of her life to avoiding. It was difficult for her to send Luca away; which, that in itself showed she had grown from denying any form of help to craving it. But this was something she had to do on her own. He would only be frightened, frantic, and perhaps more anxious than she. He couldn't be here. Her Mani had done enough; he stayed with her in this dark place when she knew he was only dreaming of his house and of standing on two feet again. Lyris wouldn't ask him for more, if only for her own sake as well as his.
But it was obvious that Luca didn't quite fit the pieces together as easily as she had. It was a natural instinct for Lyris to understand what was happening to her even if she hadn't experienced it before; for her mate, it was clearly something he had to work to find. "Puppies." Was all that she could say before another wave of pain took her. To prevent whining or any outbursts the huntress focused on steadying her breathing and calming her heart, though she only half succeeded at this. When it passed again, she felt days more worn than only moments before. This, certainly, was nothing like battle. "No, I need to do it myself. I'll be fine." Lyris knew that no healer would help her; she would only become more wound up if anybody was crammed into the small space with her. "Please, get out. Just wait under the willow, okay?" She wanted to snap again- to fall back on her naturally aggressive method of getting what she wanted- but instead the mother-to-be managed a softer voice, one of assurance. She asked instead of demanded, hoping that Luca would listen.
Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:28 am
His body was heavy and he felt as though he might just fall over and fall back asleep if it wasn’t for the cringing looks from his mate’s previously peaceful face. For the time being he had forgotten about her swollen belly and the fact that they had been expecting the pups to arrive any day. The male was tired and with his tired brain came a complete and utter lack of comprehension. Had something in the den bit her? Did she have a stomachache? Headache? In this stupid feral form her felt so useless. Had they been on two legs he could have easily carried her to help but out here on four legs he would have to call and hope someone responded quickly enough and brought medical supplies with them.
Lyris’ face softened from the pain for a moment, long enough to speak a single word which focused Luca’s mind back to reality. “Puppies?” He asked, his mind finally clicking in to what was happening. “Puppies!” He nearly shouted in realization. Fenris, it was time! Desperately he looked around the den. What was he suppose to do? What could he do? Should he run for help?
Lyris’ uncharacteristically soft voice helped to ease his racing heart but at her request the Knight frowned. She wanted him to leave? "Okay...Let me know if you need anything....please." Unhappily obeyed, leaving the den with a sickening pit of worry in his gut. Silently he began to pace, his head spinning at the thought of his own offspring being brought into the world. Surely everything would be okay. Right?
OOC: 300+ words
Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:18 am
((600)) ooc. time lapse from early night to dawn. say hi to puppiesss!
She was careful not to panic, not to lose her head. The one upside of this pain being ever so different from that born of battle was that there was no opponent for her to get angry at; no foe where she became impulsive. Lyris did not need to panic, and she had already reassured herself that this would all work out. So on she steadied, filling her lungs with the sweet air of summer and avoiding thinking of the pain as best she could. When it finally clicked for Luca she would have almost smiled at his childish outburst, but there was currently no strength she could spare past softening her voice and asking him to leave. He did, albeit reluctantly, and suddenly Lyris was alone. She knew that Luca was just past the den, most likely pacing restlessly under the bowing branches of the willow, but she still felt extremely lost. Once again, reassurance was required. She had asked for this, she needed this. It had to be on her own.
Lyris steadied herself by pressing her back up against the far side of the den, the moonlight that streamed softly in highlighting her fur which ruffled with every labored breath. At first all that could be done was to wait; Lyris was aware that her contractions were too far apart and needed to become closer together. First it was a matter of minutes until she felt those phantom claws of the bear on her belly, and then it was only seconds. Figuratively, she was being cut to ribbons. Yet, despite the unimaginable pain that only a mother would ever know, Lyris kept her whines and cries low. She only allowed whispers of her distress to sharpen the air, because the huntress was too conditioned to remain strong, even in moments where she didn't need to. After what felt like hours or seconds, she felt it was time. Lyris braced herself, both for what was to come in the following moments and the following years. As much as she may deny it, she had wanted this. She had just never believed she would be blessed with it.
* * *
The true process of birth elicited more cries than she may ever care to admit, but only Luca was witness to them. And each moment was brief; she only need beg to the stars for it to end for seconds at a time. At the end of what could only be the most hell-likened pain she could describe, Lyris found quite the opposite. Two puppies, smaller and more fragile than she ever would have imagined. Frantically licking their wet fur backwards, Lyris seemed to almost breathe life into them. When they coughed, one after the other, to suck in their first taste of a long, long life, her work was at last finishing and only just beginning. Lyris pulled herself away from the mess that was the result of her labor to collapse against a cool, pleasant wall of her den. And then the huntress picked up her puppies, on after the other, and set them to nestle against her coat. The first was nearly lost in her mother's fur; she shared the same pristine white color, and was only identifiably different by patches of bright orange and brown that dappled her tiny frame. The sister, younger by only minutes, was a mirror of her father, with a body of beige and charcoal, dark and different against the pale of her mother.
Lyris curled her tail tightly against her body and dropped her head on her paws, suddenly realizing that sleep was her first desire. But she would wait. "Luca." Came the call, considerably softer and more tired than it was at the beginning, but full of brighter notes.
Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:48 pm
Pacing wasn’t helping but at least he was doing something, anything, in that moment. Matching his busy feet, his mind spun around in circles. Luca had spent the majority of his second year of life being anything but responsible, for himself or others. Living in Freetown he developed a lifestyle of drinking and searching out trouble to make and girls to flirt with. So far he had fallen from the perfect son being trained daily to make his father proud. Even when he had returned to Casa he had spent moons in the lowest ranks doing nothing to help his birthplace and smearing the reputation of the name Knight.
Since last summer, when Alistair had knocked him out cold for his actions, he had straightened up. Hardly ever did he drink, and when he did it was only a glass or two. Now he was a member of the council with a mate and a duty to the pack but inside he still felt like that useless boy. One third of his life brought him shame and embarrassment, and it was not something he could easily get over.
It was this very thing that made the Mani feel frightened for his children to be. He had never liked pups. They were loud and did not understand personal space, and they could not learn useful skills until they shifted. What happened if he didn’t like his own children? Pups deserved parents that loved them at the very least, and were more honourable them himself.
Lyis’ cries and groans shook him to the core but there was nothing he could do but continue his anxiety filled pacing. Even if he went back in the den there was nothing he could do about the process, and it was not something he ever wanted to bare witness to in his lifetime. So his feet continued to walk and his mind continued to question himself.
Then her call came. Soft and weak with her exhaustion clear in her tone. That tone alone caused everything to stop, and time to stand still, as his golden eyes stared at the den’s opening. Lyris was not meant to be weak or exposed in such a way. She was a rock that stood beside him even in the face of death. Taking a few hesitant steps forward he took a deep breath. This was it, for better or for worse.
Slowly he entered the den, blocking the light from the moon as he moved. Sniffing the air he could smell the scents of birth, and his heart raced. There was his beautiful mate, looking ever so tired. He wanted to reassure her, to let her rest against him but the sound of high-pitched squeals and movement caught his attention before he could do so.
Ever so gently he lowered his head, his ears perked with curiosity as he took in the sight of two little girls happily clinging to their mother. One was a star white with a few markings of orangey red and browns clearly showing off her dog heritage, and reminding Luca of his mother. The second matched his colors with only small variations. Looking at what he and Lyris had created his heart melted and filled back up with pride. “What should we call them?” He asked, his voice full of wonder as he stared at the two bundles, scared that if he looked away they would disappear.
OOC: lalalala ;_; 500+ words
Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:53 am
((400)) ooc. cutest little fluffs
While Lyris often liked to deny things, no matter how obvious they were, she could only admit that in that moment she was terribly, hopelessly raw. Never had any fight taken more from her; but alas, never had any fight taken so long and ruffled up her emotions to go along. Her heart didn't only flutter from exhaustion but from the bittersweet infusion of fear and ecstasy that was to consume her. The children were beautiful; perfect, she dare say. Any newborn was. Even she had been perfect, at one point. But if Lyris was anything she was a realist, and the huntress knew her puppies would not stay perfect forever, however she may try to protect them.
But the fear that came was unbidden and intrusive; Lyris had always been rather critical of herself and fought to stamp out every flaw she found within her. But maternity wasn't one of her flaws; it seemed to be completely nonexistent. Of course, this was far from the truth- but the Stryder's mother had been such a looming example, and she couldn't help but try and follow in her mastodon footsteps. If she could not become as good as a mother as Wisteria, was she really worth being a mother at all?
Lyris' dark gaze was heavy and she felt herself begin to drift even in the seconds after she had called Luca. Yet the shadow of the Mani suddenly danced across her face and brought her back to the present and the moment. The female's deep green gaze was careful to watch, silently, as her mate witnessed their children. His reaction, to her contained joy, was subtle physically but monumental in every other way. The doubts she had about parenthood faded further, as it had been in the past days. It was clear that the warrior pair held a genuine love for their offspring, no matter the fact that they would undoubtedly try to downplay it. Unconditional love was too soft for them to express so gushingly; but it was no secret to either of them, at least in this second beneath the fading stars.
A question of names was the first Luca spoke, and Lyris realized she hadn't even had a thought about such a thing. Shifting her eyes from him to their daughters, she paused, filling the silence with unspoken thoughts. "Indi." She decided. The small figure reminded her of a character in her past; a cousin, perhaps, who was as wild and strong as the world she grew up in. "Indi Knight. She reminds me of someone," Lyris echoed her own thoughts to Luca, still not moving her gaze from the sunset-painted first born. But then her attention changed, now assessing the darker of the sisters. "I believe it's only fair you get to choose hers," Lyris did smile this time, humored by the uncanny resemblance the younger held to her father.
Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:47 pm
Daughters. Luca was perhaps one of the last males that deserved two beautiful daughters after the way he had treated females in his past. He had treated them like objects to be won over, lesser than himself. Ever since finding Lyris that had changed though, he had not even thought of another in seasons. Of course he would always think of Casa females as better than others, his sisters were trained warriors, capable of defending themselves and not so easily wooed – or so he believed. Still, looking down at the little pups nursing and squirming about he couldn’t help but wonder if Fenris was giving him a chance to redeem himself for his negative actions towards the female gender.
His snowy white mate looked exhausted and Luca wanted nothing more for her than rest. Slowly he lowered himself against the cold earth, his body trapping the two pups between them and his tail resting gently against Lyris’. Listening to her voice he heard his first daughters name spoken for the first time and he smiled. “Indi. I like it.” It wasn’t a conventional name, it had a little spice to it, and he thought it very fitting for one of their offspring.
When the naming torch was passed to him his smile faded and he began to think. If she had named a Knight then he would name the other Stryder. “Teagan.” He spoke softly. “Teagan Stryder.” The name had a similar extra flair, and rolled off the tongue. After Lyris responded he licked at her muzzle, “You should rest now.”
OOC: The End? 300+ words