Et me sentais fier

POSTED: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:24 am

C'est dans tes yeux que je grandissais

Asagi plodded through the snow, silent save for the huffing of her breath and the occasional creaking of the saddle leather against the chill air. Hati leaned against the horse's warm neck, letting the chestnut mare carry him at her own relaxed pace. He felt needy today, strangely empty and desiring company after his strange visit to Cercatori d'Arte. It wasn't the same depression he had struggled to cope with these past months -- life went on after tragedy, and he was slowly moving past the bleakness of loss. This was simple loneliness, a yearning for more than his horse or his brother or a friendly face. Hati wanted to be loved.

The tree spread its bare limbs up into the grey sky, standing its eternal vigil over the resting place of four departed souls. Hati recognized the sombre silhouette and straightened in the saddle, bidding Asagi to reach a gentle halt. He cleared his throat, feeling choked up. He wanted to come here for some time since his father's pitiful funeral, but now that he was staring at it, all the dark feelings came welling up again.

His mother and father, cut down in their prime by unknown assailants; his uncle Zafier, fallen in battle; his stillborn sister Ame. They lay quiet and peaceful beneath the blanket of January snow. Slowly, stiffly, Hati dismounted, approaching the grave markers cautiously as though he was reluctant to get too close. His plumed tail tucked low against his haunches, and each step that sank into the snow was smaller than the last. Pale blue eyes regarded the tranquil plot of land, ears swiveling at the sound of nearby birdsong, and then a weary sigh escaped his lips. He gently began to dust the snow away from the names inscribed on each one, whispering as he went.

"Si vous étiez ici, que penseriez-vous de moi? Ce que j'ai fait quelque chose digne d'être fier? Souhaitez soit d'entre vous ont remarqué?" He exhaled in a huff, breath crystallizing into a pale cloud that vanished as quickly as it materialized. He was once his mother's shadow, following her everywhere and trying to emulate her kindness and warmth. He supposed now he shadowed Alder and Skoll instead, the two brightest beacons he knew. He glanced over his shoulder at Asagi, the calm horse regarding his actions with her liquid-brown eyes. Some part of Ayita still resided in the mare, he was firmly certain. He whined softly as he confessed what she must already know, having been witness to his moment of shame. "Je pourrais avoir des sentiments romantiques pour la première fois... mais je ne suis pas sûr de savoir comment procéder avec eux. Je ne suis pas normal."

Hati waited to see if the horse gave him any sign, but the chestnut mare merely stared, her tiny ears flickering back and forth as she listened to the songbirds flitting in the tree branches. The Page smiled wryly at himself, turning back to the graves of his family. If he actually believed in ghosts or a life after death, he might not be so open with his secrets. But this, he could admit everything that weighed his heart down, and know that his secrets were safe buried here. "Il ya un homme. Je ne peux pas arrêter de penser à lui, mais je le dois. Il ya une femme... Il est préférable pour la famille que je choisis une femme, n'est-ce pas...?"

He did not sound very convinced of this, and slowly sat down in the snow, thick wolfdog pelt protecting him from the cold. His tail curled around his midsection, and he buried his fingers into the slate grey fur, fiddling anxiously. "Liam a choisi une femme. Peut-être y aura des enfants plus tôt. Je me demande si cela devrait être un objectif de la mienne aussi ... Je pense que c'est peut-être la seule contribution utile que je pouvais donner."

He, Skoll, and Charlotte were already adults, working hard at their jobs and integrating themselves into the daily life of the Court. Surely his littermates realized they would soon be mature enough to start their own families, didn't they? Was it something they thought about as much as him? Ayita loved motherhood, had thrived on it -- whether the pups were her own babies, her grandchildren, or adopted, it brought a smile to her face and a light to her crystal-blue eyes like nothing else. He missed that.

Hati could not really imagine himself as a father though, no matter how hard he tried. It was outlandish. He wondered if fatherhood would make him light up like that... if anything at all could. The closest he had ever felt to weightlessness was the kiss he shared with Alder... and it had all fallen to pieces after that, a mess he was only just repairing now. He was supposed to be with a girl, wasn't he? That was the natural order of things, the way their family would grow and children would fill the house again and chase away the empty silence. That must be what was missing. It... didn't feel natural to Hati, though. But that was because he wasn't normal.

"Thank you for listening to me, everyone. I love you... and happy new year." He murmured politely in English, rising back to his feet and fastidiously brushing the snow from his fur. This place was good for meditation, it cleared his troubled mind and helped him see a little more clearly. He would visit Cercatori d'Arte again, and pursue the warrior woman, whatever they had together. Alder was his dearest friend, and he could not risk damaging the friendship again by trying to force something more upon the stablemaster. This was the way it needed to be, if he wanted to be loved and have a family of his own.

Solemnly, Hati rubbed Asagi's velvety nose, hugging her long face briefly before grasping her mane and remounting. It would be a peaceful ride back to the stables.

Spirit sequel to this old thread, although I'm not actually certain they're all buried together...? Retconning. :I +1012 words

Hati Catori
He is always seen wearing his moon necklace.
Hati may be accompanied by his niece, Esper.
(Art by Raze, Signature by Sie.)
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