[M] New Arrivals

P: Ascher | June 4

POSTED: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:34 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.


Standing in the stable, Aspen looked in at one of the stalled horses, and then reached in to pet her on the head. Her large stomach impeded her reach a bit but the horse moved closer to receive the attention. Aspen felt so fat, and couldn't imagine she would be going much longer without giving birth. The past month or so felt like it had gone by quickly, and yet she was ready to not be pregnant anymore, even if the idea of raising puppies was still scary.

Despite how tired she was feeling, Aspen didn't want to be cooped up in her house. Even so, she supposed walking all the way to the stables probably wasn't a good idea, but she had walked slowly, and she wasn't here to do work; just to see Alazne, who she had taken out to the pasture after her morning meal.

Now, she felt like laying down, and even the clean hay in the stalls looked comfortable enough. As Aspen turned to head out of the barn, there was a rushing feeling between her legs, following by pain in her stomach. She looked down and gasped before grabbing the door of an open stall with the next ripple of pain. It wasn't bad yet; she was more startled than anything. Aspen wondered if she would have time to make it back to Jordheim, but she didn't want to risk it. Her legs shook as she stumbled down the row of stalls to the end one, realizing just how bad of an idea it had been to stray so far from Jordheim.

"Jin!" She barked, hoping he was close enough to hear her. Her panicked voice brought the dingo quickly to the door of the stall as she pushed the clean hay around with her feet, making a nest of sorts without really thinking about what she was doing.

"What's-" he started asking, then stopped as she let out a half whine and brought her hand to her stomach while closing her eyes. It wasn't too bad yet, but enough to make her pause. When it passed, she looked at Jin as realization formed on his face. "Oh, uh-" he said.

"A-ascher, please, get Ascher," she told him, trying to keep her breathing even.

"Right," he nodded and left. Aspen decided the pile of hay was good enough and sunk to her knees, waiting for the next contraction. She wasn't sure what else she was supposed to do. Wasn't someone supposed to get cloth and water? The next contraction was a bit worse than the others and she squirmed uncomfortably, moving from her knees to her hip while listening for some sign of Ascher.
Last edited by Aspen on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Aspen


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POSTED: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:35 pm


Ascher Stormbringer
i will go crashing through fences in your name

Ascher dotted an “i” in his neat script and shook out his wrist, glancing to the clear Spring sky with an almost sulky expression. Where he really wanted to be was at Aspen's side rather than beside the trunk of a tree, updating the Almanac. He didn't want to be overbearing, though, no matter how many paranoid notions managed to make it into his head. While Aspen was shyer than most, she was an adult and a Mother, and her instincts would guide her. That didn't stop the struggle against rushing to the stables with every glance he gave to anything other than the tome which lay across his knees. He felt a surge of gratitude for his rank as he wondered how many hours or days he would have to keep busy for.

The day was going by steadily as bees drifted lazily around flowerheads – but as Jin came into view his gait was decidedly hurried. Ascher's brows lifted in surprise and his hand rose from the page where it had been resting, poised to write another sentence. “Horse or sheep?” Ascher prompted lightly as the dingo approached. Somehow, despite knowing Aspen's labour would be soon, Ascher had got so caught up in the act of waiting that he was missing the point of the now.

“Neither,” was the panting reply. “It's Aspen.”

Ascher's head tilted and his mouth fell open but no words were salvaged from the state of shock he had fallen into. It was as if he'd been thrust headfirst into ice cold water; the ability to move or speak seemed distant, foreign, as if Ascher was a whelp who hadn't yet learned a language. There was a faint throbbing in his head as if he had just come round from being stunned.

A firm tap on his shoulder wasn't enough to stir the words he had once known into speech, but it did grant him the ability to move and strength enough to throw open his own front door with a loud bang. Ascher, being Ascher, had had a bag secretly set aside for a week. Even as he grabbed it, he felt wholly unprepared. Nobody was in, which was a blessing, because Ascher might have shrieked the news at them. While his children were used to their Father's quirks, their ear drums were unlikely to forget it.

Ascher followed the shape of Jin, which seemed vague even though one hand was still attached to his own coppery fur, until the familiar solid lines of the stables came into view beneath the ill-defined zigzags and swirls of leaves and branches. There he swallowed and moved forward tentatively, poking his head inside and calling out in a thinner tone than usual. “Asp'? I'm here. It's all right.” Asch's motions were full of caution – unlike his mate, he didn't entirely trust the animals who resided in the stalls, yet. He found them fascinating, but flighty – and his voice was low partly to soothe Aspen and partly to avoid spooking her charges.

((500+ wooooo!))
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POSTED: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:12 am

OOC: I added a mature warning to the thread, just in case. xD

IC:
While she waited, Aspen curled up on her side. Then she sat up again, squirming in discomfort. She knew it would take a little while for Ascher to get there; who knew how quickly Jin would even find him, and then he’d need to get back to the barn. The contractions grew a bit worse as the time went by, and Aspen wondered how long it was going to take. How long was normal? Worry started to set in more. What if something went wrong? What if she did something wrong? Her worry was only interrupted by another contraction.

Then finally, she heard Ascher’s voice, and suddenly it all seemed very real. This was actually happening. She was about to have puppies. She was going to be a mother. For a second, she didn’t answer, just stared at the straw on the floor in front of her. Soon she would be responsible for more than just her own life. Aspen wasn’t sure she was ready for this, but she didn’t have a choice.

“H-here,” she called back to him, remembering the last time he had found her in this stall. She had been afraid then, too, but for a completely different reason. Aspen tried sitting up when she saw him, but the next contraction was the worst one yet and she ended up bracing herself partially upright.

“Asch,” she whined, wrapping an arm around her middle while gripping the hay in her other hand. Finally, the contraction passed and Aspen straightened up and reached for Ascher’s hand. “I don’t th-think I can make it back to Jordheim.” The stable wasn’t exactly the best place to give birth; she figured she would be at her house, but it was too late now. Then she sucked in a breath as the next contraction came much more quickly than the others and she clenched her jaw with the pain while squeezing her eyes closed. She turned her head away, causing her hair to fall into her face. After it was over, she laid carefully back down, looking to her mate for guidance.
Aspen


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looking for heaven
believe in what i am
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POSTED: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:49 am


Ascher Stormbringer
i will go crashing through fences in your name

Ascher's nostrils flared as he focused in the dim light. The musk of horses and straw was strong, but Ascher's nose was stronger, picking up a whiff of Aspen as a frightened voice piped up from within one of the stalls. The Eljun's ears were flattened to his skull as he approached, peering around the door of the stall with wide eyes.

Aspen tried to rise as Ascher stepped into the stall and he swiftly shook his head, dropping to his knees with his hands hovering over her as if he might try getting her to levitate. After the sprint to the stables the Eljun's tongue still lolled from the side of his mouth. His heart still pounded in his chest – it even dared to build in a crescendo as he bent his head to look Aspen over.

Asch knew he should be counting how long it was between each contraction, but his overwhelming instinct was to squeeze his mate's hand and hold her gaze with his own. Nature had every ounce of control over this situation, and Ascher felt that he had none, despite everything he'd studied and learnt over the years. One of the horses shifted in its stall and Ascher's head whipped around, his ears pus

He was about to deny what Aspen had stated, to try to convince her that they could somehow make it back to Jordheim. The words died on his lips, though, replaced by a quavering, “It's okay. W-we can manage here.” The most recent contraction ended and already Ascher had lost count, unsure whether it had been a minute or ten. He vaguely remembered reading a very old story about someone giving birth in a barn, but he couldn't recall how that had turned out, so he said nothing of it. If this went smoothly – and he didn't know what he would do if it didn't – then he could always dig that story out later.

Somehow, delving into his own mind in search of the story's ending had calmed Ascher a little. Aspen looked up at him expectantly and he had only a moment of blankness before a look of encouragement crept onto his face. “You can do this,” he whispered, giving her hand another squeeze. “I've got you. Just breathe with me - and I don't care if you break my hand, okay?”

((395 / good plan, lol))
AscherStormbringer

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POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:02 am

It wasn't until Ascher mentioned breathing that Aspen realized hers was becoming erratic, both from the pain she was periodically enduring and from the stress of the situation in general. She frowned, though, at the suggestion that she might break his hand, but simply nodded while trying to control her breathing instead of worrying about that. It worked somewhat; the lightheaded feeling she had was starting to go away.

She felt restless, wanting to pace while at the same time wanting to lay down. Ascher had seemed to want her to stay laying down, so that was what she did, although she turned from her side to her back, and then returned to her side. For a second, she was distracted by the sound of the stall door next to the one they were in opened as Jin cleared out the couple of horses that were in the barn. She didn't hear him coming back in again after, and she was grateful for the privacy.

It didn't take too long for another contraction to begin, this one a bit more intense than the last. She closed her eyes, and it took her a moment to realize she was squeezing Ascher's hand tightly. That must have been what he was talking about before, about breaking his hand. Luckily, it hadn’t come to that yet.

"S-sorry," she breathed, looking at him while loosening her grip. She would have let go, but she wanted the comfort the physical contact provided. Aspen’s breathing grew unsteady again as she waited for the wave of pain to pass. She could feel her heart hammering in her chest and several more contractions later, she was already starting to feel tired from the pain, stress, and fear. Was it supposed to go more quickly than this? It felt like it was taking forever, but Aspen had nothing to compare to.

"Asch... is this, um... am I- is everything okay?" She asked.
Aspen


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believe in what i am
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POSTED: Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:14 pm


Ascher Stormbringer
i will go crashing through fences in your name

Asch was vaguely aware that Jin had turfed a couple of equines out of the stable to give them some privacy; he would have made a mental note of it had he not been consumed with concern for Aspen. She seemed restless, shifting this way and that to get comfortable. "Would you be more comfortable upright?" the Eljun asked tentatively, already reaching for some of the straw lining the stall to try and mould the golden strands into some sort of surface which Aspen could lean against if she said yes.

The copper scholar had to hide a wince behind a cough as a pressure - which he didn't quite believe was Aspen's doing - crushed down on his hand. He might have got away with it, given the small cloud of dust he'd stirred up moving the substrate around. His eyes were wide, though, as he allowed the ache to build and then felt her release him - almost. His hand didn't pull away as the weight of Aspen's grip eased up, nor did it relax from its claw-like stiffness.

"You're doing fine, everything's fine," the man breathed, leaning to press a gentle kiss to his mate's forehead. Asch found himself bracing for the next contraction, too, but he kept his voice steady now, the initial panic subsiding. Nothing was awry, but at the same time he was impatient to see his children's faces and for Aspen's pain to be over. "Keep breathing," he instructed, squeezing her hand to remind her of his physical proximity as well as eye contact.

It was difficult not to marvel at Aspen's resilience in this moment, as she shouldered the pain so many generations of females had since time had started. Had Ascher not been in love with Aspen already, he might have fallen for her then. There were a thousand things he wanted to tell her, a million promises and oaths the Stormbringer wanted to make to every God he knew of, but he would save them. As he straightened his back a fraction to give Aspen some breathing room he simply smiled and murmured, "You're doing so well."

((ooc))
AscherStormbringer

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POSTED: Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:00 am

OOC: you get to pick who's first :D

IC:
She wanted to sit and yet at the same time, she didn't, so Aspen shook her head and remained laying down. The guilt she felt over possibly hurting Ascher's hand was forgotten as the labor progressed, or at least, Aspen hoped it was progressing. The contractions were getting closer together and more painful, so she thought that was probably a good sign. It didn't feel like there was something wrong, but she still wanted to hear it from Ascher.

"Okay," she said with a tired smile and squeezed Ascher's hand again, this time gently in thanks. Her other hand formed as tightly clenched fist with claws retracted so they didn't dig into her palm as the next contraction started. The Starfa Rikr made sure to keep breathing this time.

" I feel like... Like I should..." She wasn't quite sure how to describe it. But it felt like she needed to do something. "Push, like I should push." That seemed right, and so with the next contraction, she did. She was startled by the smell of the blood and fluids, but she tried to ignore that. Her exhaustion only grew more obvious, but in the end it was worth it. For a second, Aspen didn't move, and then her eyes shot open when she didn't immediately hear anything from the puppy like she thought she would.

"Asch?" She said between heavy breaths, with panic in her voice while propping herself up on her elbows to look for the newborn puppy.
Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
because it's all i have today
and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:43 pm

OOC: HI SHORE :'D

IC:
Although there were the marks of fatigue across her features, when Aspen smiled Ascher's heart turned cartwheels. He was glad to have put her mind at rest, at least for a moment or two before the next contraction and wave of pain arrived. Ascher was breathing so hard and fast that he was feeling a little dizzy, but the world snapped back into focus when Aspen spoke again, saying she felt as if she should push. Ascher gave a jerky nod and readied himself for what was to come: the birth of their very first child.

The birth itself seemed to come and go in bursts of clarity. One moment the world was dimly lit and smelling heavily of straw and horse, and in the next it was as if a light had been switched on. Ascher delivered the tiny, dark bundle with eyes like saucers. For a moment he simply stared, dumbfounded. Then Aspen spoke up, and the Eljun's head ducked to free the tiny whelp from the mess which had bound it while in the womb. He had a quick peek downwards before cradling the now mewling pup to his chest and bringing her to Aspen with a coo of delight. “Asp', it's our daughter...”

Tears shone in the scholar's eyes but he knew that the trials were not yet over. Aspen would be afforded only a few short moments with their firstborn before the other – or others – arrived. That didn't mean that this moment couldn't be savoured and revelled in. It was, after all, a moment Ascher would never forget; even if his mind rotted to pieces as his age advanced upon his slender form, he would think back on the moment day by day and thank the Gods that their daughter had arrived safely.

The pup gave a stronger, more urgent squeak and it was Ascher's turn to look to Aspen for guidance. He had forgotten what he was supposed to be doing or what he should do next - his world had been swallowed up by the tiny, shadowy form.

[300+]
AscherStormbringer

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POSTED: Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:14 pm

OOC: yaaay! :D

IC:
"Our daughter," Aspen repeated in a whisper and in the midst of a floating feeling since the pup was finally making some crying noises. Ascher hadn't seemed concerned, so maybe nothing had actually been wrong. Aspen fought to keep her eyes open as Ascher brought the puppy closer to her. She turned slightly to her side as everything in her drew her towards her new daughter. It must have been the right thing to do, she decided.

Her eyes returned to Ascher's face and she saw the lost look, but there was still a smile on hers. Aspen's arms felt like they weighed a ton as she reached up to push her wild, hay filled hair out of her face, and then to take the dark furred puppy from Ascher. She knew the puppy could neither hear nor see, so instead of speaking to her, Aspen began licking her to her fur. The little female's cries became more insistent and Aspen wondered tiredly if there was something wrong. Tiredness was taking over as she laid back down instead of being propped up with her elbow, and before she could do more, another ripple of pain spread through her stomach.

Aspen was momentarily surprised, having been so wrapped up in her new daughter but she quickly squeezed her eyes closed as she prepared for another round. Hay stuck to her hands, wet from having held the pup that was now at her side as she braced for the next contraction. Her tiredness came back in full force and her pushes were weaker this time. When her second puppy entered the world, Aspen felt utterly drained. She could barely lift her head to see this time; just holding her eyes open was nearly a lost cause, but she pushed herself to stay awake, knowing her job wasn't don't yet.
Aspen


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Luperci Livestock Manager + Cook + Stable Hand Head of the Starfa Tier
looking for heaven
believe in what i am
because it's all i have today
and tomorrow,
who knows where we'll be

POSTED: Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:17 am

Ascher felt his heart swell when Aspen smiled at him, reassuring him. He smiled back, but it was with a quick shake of his head, shamefaced. Aspen always ended up helping him when it was she who needed aid, and he was determined not to fall apart halfway through this endeavour.

A daughter. Of course, Ascher already had one daughter as beautiful as the sun itself: Bel was growing stronger, more exquisite and freer in spirit with every passing day. This child, though, was the first glimpse of the embodiment of the love the Starfa Rikr and Aor Eljun had for each other. The immense joy held within the Stormbringer's chest was almost overpowering – almost.

Ascher watched the first moments of bonding between Mother and daughter with glistening eyes. He couldn't bring himself to speak, to ruin the moment for any of them, but he knew the moment would soon pass and the gruelling contractions would return. Their daughter had to have a sibling.

He shuffled a little bit closer to Aspen's head, extending his hand to place a whisper-soft touch upon his new daughter's brow. His eyes went to Aspen then, brows pulled down. He hated that this moment had to end, but it would all be worth it. “Not much longer,” he promised, cringing inwardly as the next wave of pain broke over his precious mate.

This batch of contractions seemed to pass yet more swiftly than the first build-up. Within minutes there were two sets of lungs breathing air, two mouths crying for warmth and sustenance. The second puppy was paler in colouration, though it was hard to tell with her fur still damp from birth. Two, two daughters,” Ascher marvelled in a voice choked with emotion. Chubby little paws waved around thoughtlessly as Ascher presented the squealing heap of fur to Aspen. “Do you feel.. is it over?” Aspen looked exhausted, and Ascher couldn't wait to wrap his arms around her.

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