[M] Ready Or Not!

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Sarinah Lissden
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: Passively invested
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Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:55 pm

40th Ophus, 2718
HOME SWEET HOME | NOW
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It was quiet.

Over the city of the Rose, a winter breeze blew, bringing with it chilling ocean winds that brought the temperature down below freezing. For the folks that lived in the harbor, it meant there was a good chance of snow, though the sky so far had held back its soft downy deluge. The town was quiet, the winter sun disappearing from the sky under the cover of thick grey clouds that just begged to let go. The gamblers in Anglers Alley had taken themselves home, to cold even with substantial quantities of rum to stay out. Too cold even for a decent drink in the Dove, let alone a decent muster of people in the Queen. As much as the city was known to never stop, even vagabonds were susceptible to the chill of winter.

With nothing much to do, most of the Rose had retired to their homes, to keep their lovers warm or to drink the chill away beside a roaring fire. The wind rattled window shutters and whistled through palm trees, reminding the harbor that it was around. In the little home by the sea, Sarinah paced their small living area, field a tightly wound barrier of panic and genuine fear. She’d spent the last week complaining that she was tired of being pregnant. Tired of having another person in her body. Her back ached, her legs ached, her hips ached. She was uncomfortable and heavy, and instead of sweet little kicks, the being inside had run out of room and seemed to stick their knee or elbow right under her ribs. It was painful, and frustrating. The hiccups were adorable, until they became annoying. Her back had been aching for the past day or so, and the strange uncomfortable tightening of her abdomen had become more frequent. They weren’t painful per say, just odd, like her body was protesting the life inside by tensing up.

This day though, it had been different. The tightening had been more reliable, more consistent. The witch hadn’t wanted to bother Tristaan, knowing he needed the sleep from the late night before, and so she had continued about her business. She should have slept, knowing that she would probably struggle in the evening. Whilst she had been granted some leniency by Boriand on her workload, it didn’t stop her tossing and turning at night. It was hard to sleep when you needed to change sides every half house because of the pressure in your pelvis. Sarinah was up by midday, moving around the house with a sense of restlessness. Instead of resting, she cleaned. It wasn’t like there was much to do, but she did it anyway. She dusted, and rearranged. She folded clothing and swept floors. She paced, and ignored the fact that the clenching pressure in her abdomen came every half hour, on the dot. It wasn’t like it hurt, it was just…sort of uncomfortable.

That was what she kept telling herself.

It was as the day turned to late afternoon that the raven haired dancer began to feel that perhaps this wasn’t normal. That this wasn’t quite the same as before. The cramping feeling was coming a little more frequently now, every quarter, and it didn’t quite feel the same. It still didn’t quite hurt, but it wasn’t entirely just uncomfortable either.

“Tristaan!” The wick called to the passive, standing at the table they shared meals over, hands resting on the wood and voice strained with obvious panic. She took a slow, deep breath, releasing it in a long steady stream before straightening again. That particular one had sort of hurt.

“Hama, I think something’s wrong.” She said with a wince, rubbing her hands over her belly. The boch inside had quietened down, it’s kicks far less frequent as though it had fallen asleep. Outside, the day was turning to dusk, though with no sunlight to show the time it was simply getting darker.

“It doesn’t feel…this doesn’t feel like it did before. This is…more.” Sarinah said lamely, her hands trembling slightly, still denying that everything was feeling could possibly be the beginning of labor. Refusing to accept that it could be time.

She wasn’t ready. She had never been ready.

Placing a hand on the table again, she whined as the muscles in her torso tingled, beginning to contract again over the curve of her belly. Everything tightened, her stomach becoming a hard ball before her, and the dancer hummed a soft sound of discomfort. The tension only lasted a minute, but it felt longer, freezing her in place and bringing a small grimace to her face. As it slowly petered away, the olive skinned creature took another breath in and out.

“Vrunta…” She swore, mahogany gaze seeking the comfort of the scarred man’s face.

word count: 851

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Tristaanian Greymoore
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Location: Old Rose Harbor
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:31 am

not th' home i planned for
the last day of the 2718th year
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T
his winter had been bitter cold. Bone-chilling, even. The crowds at the Rose Arena had swelled on the most frigid of days, bodies packed in for cheap drinks and warmth had meant for a busy schedule of nearly random-seeming fights, just for the ging and the business. It also meant Tristaan was tired, stretched-thin, worn through, but rest was one of the farthest things from his mind with an exhausted, sore, heavily-pregnant witch to take care of. Never one to properly look after himself when there was work to be done, the dark-haired passive instead made sure there was always fresh food and plenty of water, always hand-cut firewood piled high near the hearth, and always a foot rub or a back rub waiting with his hands, no matter the bruised, broken state of his knuckles from fights the night before.

He'd taken to training some of the young, new bodies Hawke had managed to wrangle into his service, unable to stand watching them all dragged away bloodied and useless. Someone had to take charge and make something out of the arena other than a zoo—if the Bad Brothers wanted real profits instead of just dead bodies, the passive was already convinced Master Boriand had no clocking idea what he was doing when it came to actually keeping worthwhile fighters around.

This often meant that when he did finally find time to sleep, it was more akin to passing out in a lump on whatever surface he found himself, be it the floor or a chair or the bed.

Thankfully, he'd found the bed today.

Tristaan hadn't meant to be out for so long, sprawled on the mattress and half out of the covers, shoulders aching and ribs still uncomfortable from healing days before. The passive kept waiting for vroo to stop working on his beaten body, for the mona to ignore his flesh as much as it ignored his very existence otherwise. Sarinah had slipped from his arms earlier than usual, stirring him only slightly as she moved about their little drafty flat by the sea. Listless, he heard her clean and fuss around their tiny home, aware that even Lil' Mo had pointed out that her round, glorious belly had dropped and that their time of meeting their boch was, according to her, very soon. Whatever that meant.

His lovely witch didn't believe a word, miserable and uncomfortable, very tired of being the vessel carrying the life they'd made together. Farhid and his family had made their way to the Harbor and back a few times over the past few seasons, and the green-haired wick had given Tristaan plenty of advice in far more graphic detail than he'd ever assumed would be necessary. Lil' Mo had her own contributions, as had just about everyone they knew in all of Old Rose from the apocethary to strangers on the street, making sure the couple was, perhaps, over-informed about the process of birth.

For all of the impending excitement and joy that he felt, however, there were plenty of dangers and all of them had crawled their way like dark serpents into the back of the dark-haired passive's mind. He had no magic at his disposal, no way to heal the woman he loved so very much if something went wrong, let alone any way to quickly find help unless one of their neighbors felt so inclined to go out into the cold on their behalf. He'd set aside quite a bit of coin just for that—hidden in the kitchen in a tea tin just in case.

Would it matter? Would anyone be able to help in time?

Even as Sarinah's pregnancy drew to a much anticipated close, the weight of his genetic and personal uselessness seemed to grow with the heaviness of her belly.

Alioe—would he ever be enough?

Tristaan could have gotten up to help, could have ordered Sarinah off her feet for the afternoon, but his body refused to move. Half awake, half dozing, he lazed in soreness for longer than usual. His lovely witch had seemed to grow more uncomfortable as the day turned to afternoon and as afternoon began to reach slowly toward evening—pausing to breathe and hissing in pain, clearly holding something back to keep from waking him.

His name on her lips was loud and worried. Her tone was very different, just as her thorough cleaning condensed into less than a house of time instead of throughout the week had been very different.

Different held meaning.

"I'm up." He hummed, rolling out of bed with a speed he usually only reserved for the Arena or fetching snacks at odd hours of the day. Hiding his broad grin behind the shirt he tugged over his head, he couldn't help the chuckle that groggily rumbled through his chest, "Wrong? Ne, I don't think that's 't, hama."

Not yet fastening the pants he slipped into and making his way barefoot across the cold apartment floor with a hiss, Tristaan was unfortunately still grinning—stupidly now—pausing to place a kiss on the wincing witch's forehead as he made his way to the stove, "Count out loud for me, Sarinah, th' ticks b'tween th' tightenin' jus' like Farhid said. It ent wrong—"

Filling the kettle from their water tap and lighting the stove, the passive also filled a large pot and set it on the other hob—just to have handy or to fill the bath later who knew?—letting a moment of quiet fill the space between them even as he felt a breathlessness sieze his lungs like some calloused lugger's fist had reached into his scarred chest on the dirt floor of the Arena. He couldn't let his worry show—not now, not anymore—and while he would have otherwise admitted he had no clocking clue whether nor not he could do anything helpful at all if this really was the beginning of real labor instead of all the false labors they'd panicked over, the dark-haired passive was determined.

Burner flames dancing, water set to boil, Tristaan turned to lean his palms against the tabletop, standing opposite his lovely witch with the sincerest of excited but gentle smiles as he paused before going to stoke the hearth and gather blankets,

"—it's time."


Sometimes we are born with the keys
to doors we were not meant to open.


PASSIVE PROVERB
word count: 1159
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Sarinah Lissden
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: Passively invested
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:45 pm

40th Ophus, 2718
HOME SWEET HOME | NOW
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The smile on Tristaan’s face usually brought one to her own, delighting in his happiness and the warmth that she could find there. This time however, it didn’t. Sarinah frowned at his grin, closing her eyes briefly as he kissed her forehead and calmly asked her to start counting. She moved her hands from the table to her belly, thankfully not hard and round at the moment, afraid of the next one.

“Ye would smile at a time like this?” The brunette growled, before immediately apologizing for it, reaching for his hand and squeezing it lightly before letting him go.

“Ne, I don’t want it to be that. I’m not ready kov. I ent.” Denial reigned thick in the air as she shook her head, dark tresses pulled away from her face in a haphazard bun tied with her own hair. Moving away from the table, the witch unconsciously rocked from one foot to the other, a habit that her body had begun during the last week or so. Instinct, Teira had said wisely as she cuddled the boch they had left as a newborn that was now beginning to walk, her body was able to do the whole thing via instinct.

Y’ could be asleep f’ th’ entire event rosh, an’ y’ body would know exactly what t’ do. The experienced woman had said, before launching into far to many vivid explanations of ‘when I had my first…’, giving the olive skinned dancer more concerns than she had before.

“Three. Gods, I’m scared Tristaan.” The dark eyed woman said with a waiver in her voice, walking the small area that took her to the end of the table and back, before pausing in the middle and resting her hands on the wood.

“Teira told me that if I just breathe, it’ll be fine. Relax and it doesn’t hurt that much but look at me! Five!” She gestured to her belly, counting the seconds in her head and calling out the number every time she reached the minute mark. Placing her hands back on the wood, Sarinah shook her head and looked at him over the small space, taking in the much more gentle smile that he threw in her direction and taking a deep breath. Finally, she nodded.

“Ye right. Of course. Ent going to help anything being afraid. Okay. Okay oes. It’s time.” It was an admission, one that she really didn’t want to make, but had to accept. Taking another slow breath, exhaling more firmly than she had meant to, the witch closed her eyes and made a face.

“Seven.” The dancer said in a slightly strained voice, another breath that came out with the tail end of a shaky groan, hands gripping the edge of the wooden surface firmly. It passed, and her gaze refocused on Tristaan with a nervous laugh.

“Ent a way to just cast something and have the boch in our arms that Farhid might have mentioned?” Her voice came out an octave higher than usual, hands letting go and body visibly relaxing. Her field pulsed with her frustration, a gentle wave of pressure that rippled in the small confines of their home.

“One.” Sarinah said in exasperation, a genuine pout on her lips, moving around the table to follow the passive towards the hearth, stopping him from gathering the blankets to curl into the man’s arms for comfort. Tucking her head into his shoulder, pressing her face into his neck, she took a sudden breath that came out more of a sob than it did anything else.

“Don’t want to do this.” She muttered almost petulantly, ridiculously childish given the situation, but unable to entirely adult at that moment. She knew women all over Vita birthed bochi all the time, but it was difficult to see that perspective when the boch was coming from herself. It would be a lie if the brunette didn’t admit to herself the situation outside. They had no one here, no healer on hand or friends to come save the day. It was cold, bitterly cold outside, so if something went wrong it would be dangerous to take the infant out. They would need someone to come to the home, but who? Tristaan planned, she knew he did, but it didn’t make her any less concerned.

Drawing back, she sighed, letting him do what needed to be done as she paced the living area. The contractions came, with perfect rhythm, every seven or so ticks much to her horror. They were more than uncomfortable, though she had experienced worse pain before, breathing through them with more humming than proper sounds. It seemed as the time progressed, they became more painful, and more intense.

“How long is this part supposed to go for?” The dark eyed creature whined as the most recent one faded, now a few less ticks apart, tiring of the pain as she leaned against the scarred man for support and comfort. She wanted to sit down, but sitting down and being still seemed to make things worse, so she needed to be up and moving. Walking, pacing, rocking…anything mobile. It had been at least half a house like this, and her tolerance was wearing thin. As another contraction came a little closer than the last, Sarinah dropped her humming for a moan, her field drawing tightly along with her.

word count: 939
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:54 pm

not th' home i planned for
the last day of the 2718th year

"I'm a pina manna excited, no' gonna lie, hama. Oes, nervous, too. An' all th' hard part's on y'self. I'd rather 't weren't." Tristaan ignored the growl, nonplussed, far too aware that pain made everything sharper at the edges. He'd lived a life of it in some form or another, after all. Sarinah's fingers slipped from his and he bit his lip at her refusal to accept things as they were,

"We ent ever gonna be ready, but this ent 'bout jus' us. Our babe's ready, by th' sounds o'things. Epaemo it's gotta be here like this. Y' don't want th' boch 'n there any more, anyway, ye chen. Might as well welcome her 'r him—it—out." Hummed the dark-haired passive as he moved about their home, pausing to finally fasten his pants and tie back his hair before he began the task of stoking the flames of their small but more than adequate hearth. Or, at least, it would have been plenty clocking adequate if the old windows weren't drafty and the wooden walls weren't shoddily nailed together.

Grey eyes watched the way his lovely witch moved, concerned hues searching her face to measure her discomfort, well-practiced in expressions of pain,

"Ent a thing t' be 'fraid 'f anyways. Y' got a body made t' carry an' have bochi, after all. I'm here. We'll be fine." If there was any doubt, which there was, he kept it all from his voice. There was a nervous flutter to his heartbeat, a flustered sensation that tingled the ends of his nerves, and an acceleration to his pulse that reminded him of all of his fears. He wouldn't know how to help Sarinah if something went wrong, not really, nor would he really know how to help a tiny babe. He'd been told what to look for, what to expect, but that wasn't going to ever be the same as staring death of a loved one in the face—

Ne. They'd be fine. Everything would be fine.

Tristaan had, quite literally, nothing else.

Blinking, the laboring witch was counting and he forced himself to listen, to pay attention, to crawl his own thoughts far away from all the doubts and the worries and to focus on the now. The beautiful, expectant, and apparently rather painful now.

"I wish there were, hama. Magic, that is, but then, I wouldn't b' able t' help you there. Y' don't want me goin' out lookin' for someone, d' you? I don't want t' leave y'alone, an' I don't want y' t' come out with me, ye chen. I can see 'f someone's home an' send a neighbor. Jus' tell me—" He paused as he stood from the hearth, reaching to support Sarinah, rocking them both gently, calloused fingers kneading carefully at her lower back while she sobbed more than breathed through another contraction. Tristaan could deal just fine with his own pain—he was now well-known for his purposeful silence when suffering, his indomitable will to not give his opponents the pleasure of hearing how much they hurt him—but he now had to come to terms with spending the rest of the evening watching the witch endured a suffering he couldn't bear for her and could never entirely understand.

Hovering until she was ready to let him go, he smiled softly, hands trailing gingerly over her belly between them, grey eyes glancing downward as if he longed to peer inside to see what had been hidden from him for these many months. He would soon.

"How long? Dze, that's th' hard part, macha." Tristaan offered quietly, reaching for one of the chairs to their kitchen table and curling her fingers over the back, instructing her wordlessly to lean while he went back to fetching preparations, chewing the inside of his cheek as she moaned.

He'd managed to haggle a bit of oiled tarp from some Hoxian sailors weeks ago, the wide, roughly cut square waterproof and thick. He had it folded with a pile of blankets and towels, many of them cheap and threadbare and hardly useful for warmth but still absorbent. He had cleaned the tub, though, then again, so had Sarinah in her needful nesting. He had gently herbed oils for massages. He had a little special sewing kit from Farhid for tears (but did he have the constitution for such a thing?). He'd even picked up a very small stool specifically for the purpose of labor, having been told by Teira that finding the right position for pushing was important.

Gods, he was supposed to remember what all of those instructions even meant!

Tristaan dutifully spread the tarp over part of the bed, letting the rest of it drape onto the floor. Blankets he set in two separate piles within reach along with a little bag of tiny baby things that they'd both somehow managed to collect over the past few months, the dark-haired passive often skimped on meals when he had to feed himself alone just to squirrel the coins away. It was easy to busy himself with this sort of work, fussing about their snug flat and pretending it was his only responsibility. It was all important work, sure, but his real focus was to be encouraging and present, to make sure that his lovely witch didn't panic or worry any more than she already was.

Once he felt as though he'd at least marginally prepared for whatever was unfolding and however long it would take, he turned his focus back to Sarinah, more than willing to offer more support if she wanted to weather more contractions standing up, content to bear the brunt of her frustrations, and willing to offer himself for squeezes and whines,

"I think th' waitin' part varies by boch an' daoa. We can jus' hope it's sooner 'stead 'f later, eh? Tell me what I can do for you?"


Sometimes we are born with the keys
to doors we were not meant to open.


PASSIVE PROVERB
word count: 1108
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Sarinah Lissden
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:42 am
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: Passively invested
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:39 am

40th Ophus, 2718
HOME SWEET HOME | NOW
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T​​he witch shook her head with a hum, closing her eyes and sighing at the firm fingers in her lower back. It helped, even if only for a moment.
​​
​​ “Ne, don’t leave me alone. It’s fine. We’ll be fine.” She said before moving back, looking down at his hands as they trailed across her belly. It was surreal honestly, to know that there was another person between them, just about ready to meet the world. Surreal and scary and exciting. Hanging onto the back of the chair, the dark eyed creature watched as the passive moved around the house, counting and half breathing-half moaning her way through each contraction as it came.
​​
​​ “Talk to me hama, about anything. About everything. Just keep talking, oes?” Sarinah said wearly, eyes closed and face slightly paler than usual. In the time between the painful cramps, the dancer asked Tristaan questions about what he was doing, distracting herself with what could be seen as normal conversation. She couldn’t help but smile, even amid the nervousness and pain, seeing how much love and effort he had put into this moment. Where she had complained and worried, he had researched and prepared. The money they had earned, he had spent on their family, sometimes coming home with things that she knew they couldn’t have possibly afforded but somehow he had.
​​
​​Alioe, she loved him.
​​
​​When he had first presented the stool that he’d been recommended to get, it seemed ridiculous, but the angle and the height were a welcome relief on her legs and back. The pregnant wick rocked her hips and breathed hard through the contractions as she perched on the device, leaning on her knees and resting her forehead on her hands. Time seemed to pass in large batches, minutes turning to hours, and as the time pressed on her contractions became stronger and closer. She was vocal, though not overly so, unable to contain the moaning whines that accompanied her bodily pain. Eventually they were too much, and the raven haired dancer begged for the bath, hoping the buoyancy of the water would provide some relief. With his gentle, patient assistance, Sarinah managed to slip into the heated water and rested on her knees, arms over one end and head on them. One hand held Tristaans, squeezing for dear life as the pain escalated.
​​
​​ “I can’t keep doing this. I can’t…” She said suddenly, tearfully catching her breath as one of the devastating contractions let her go. It was closing in on midnight, and the witch was exhausted. She had a minute of reprieve before another one crushed down on her, fingers tightening on his and moans almost anguished. Her teeth grit together, and her voice was strained, gasping for air desperately as it passed.
​​
​​ “Ye know this is your fault, ye chen?” Sarinah said with a whimper, turning to rest her cheek on her arm and scowling at him.
​​
​​ “Toft kov with all ye nanabo words and olio smiles.” It wasn’t entirely incorrect, the man had infact done this to her. The minor detail missing was quite honesty it took two to dance. At this moment in time however, the witch was far less inclined to accept that it was her own fault as well as his. Frankly it was, if they got down to it, the tumbleweed’s fault. As the next contraction came in an engulfing wave, her field contracted with it, weaker than usual. The weariness was apart in her whole being, and a sense of desperation hoping the end was insight.
​​
​​ “Never again. Never never again.” She groaned, moving to sit up a little more and stopping with a sudden gasp, mahogany eyes widening.
​​
​​ “Something happened. Oh Gods, something…burst. The…ohhh….” Everything changed in the next contraction, as the protective waters that had kept the boch cushioned inside escaped, and the pain became far more intense. Sarinah made a guttural sound, catching her breath with a panicked sob.
​​
​​ “Help me, I need to get out—ohhhh—ne….I need to…” She moved to stand, holding her hands under her stomach as water sluiced down her body. Gingerly, with the passive’s assistance, Sarinah escaped the water and stood still with a hand grasping his shoulder hard and another cry of pain.
​​
​​ “I want to get—mmm—I want to get to the bed. Now. Right now. Right clocking now! An urgency dragged at her voice as she tried to make her way from the bathroom to the bed, doubling over as they made it to the towels he had laid out, gasping another sound of agony.
​​
​​ “Tristaan, I feel like…like…havakda! There!” Even as she spoke the brunette managed to wave a hand at the stool, hands on the end of the bed and head down. Fear flooded her field and tears came without her knowledge. There was pressure, immense pressure that she couldn’t explain, stealing her breath and her words.
​​
​​If it wasn’t time before, it most definitely was now.

word count: 878
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Topics: 13
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:00 pm

not th' home i planned for
the last day of the 2718th year

"I ent goin' anywhere, hama." Tristaan grinned, clearly far more excited than the lovely witch about what was happening. Moving about the tiny, upstairs flat with a sense of calm urgency, grey eyes kept a careful watch on Sarinah.

It was so much easier to deal with his own pain than to be forced to observe someone else suffer, but he'd always felt that way. He'd been the little brother who lied and said he broke the expensive vase in the hallway when he and his sister had been chasing imaginary hatchers through the house. He'd been the dirty urchin who lied to the baker about stealing rolls from the window when it was some other street kid who only shared later because the old man had bruised his knuckles with a rolling pin. He'd been the scrawny son of a galdor who took beatings for friends who were too ill to keep up with their work schedule just so they had a chance of getting better. He'd been the one man left standing by Yulina after their failed raid on a hefty shipment of fresh opiates from Mugroba.

Here, in this ramshackle apartment begrudgingly granted to them by Silas Hawke himself, Tristaan could do nothing but watch someone else suffer—suffer the consequences of their own very real love for each other. Love he'd been afraid of. Love he'd told himself he couldn't have. Sarinah's body had grown and changed to make a new life they'd formed together and in the meantime his entire existence had been forced to grow and change alongside of her. Born a different creature, revealed to be the cursed, unwanted scrap that he was, children were illegal. Passing on such faulty genes a crime. Mingling his heritage with those of a lowly wick would have been disgusting, wrong, and downright detestable had the gods not twisted who he was before he even understood what it meant to be a golly in the first place.

Caught in the middle, dredged through the lowest of places, and told he was nothing, now he had everything:

He had family.

Had he wanted it?

Did he have a choice now?

Was this some grand apology from the Circle for selling him short at birth?

Gods, Tristaan didn't even know anymore, but he knew now what had been missing for far too much of his life—love—and he couldn't wait to hold what he and his lovely witch had (unintentionally but not ungratefully) brought together as proof.

The dark-haired passive explained when asked to keep up conversation, describing all the preparations he was making in quiet, soothing tones. He might have snuck in a snack somewhere in the process, making sure he offered water to the laboring woman with the awareness she probably wouldn't want any food. He'd pause to hold her through contractions, sing soft songs, tell stories picked up over the past several weeks he'd been working the docks when not fighting or sleeping off injuries. He was full of distractions and gentle kisses, whispered encouragement and strong, calloused hands for support.

All the while he took his time filling the bath with hot water from the stove and the lukewarm water that seemed to dribble from the tap, back and forth in the spare moments, having been told it'd be a comfortable option during some of the most uncomfortable moments. Minutes became hours and hours became houses, the afternoon fading into evening. Tristaan helped Sarinah into the steamy waters which happened to be ready in time for her to beg for them, borrowing the stool to hover by the edge of the tub and rub her lower back while humming the few tunes he knew that weren't too baudy.

"Ye can. Surely, it ent for much longer—oh—oes. All m' fault." Grinned the dark-haired passive, tongue against the back of his teeth at the olive-skinned dancer's pained accusation, "I don't remember any complaints 'til now, hama. When th' boch be th' most nanobo thing you've ever seen, that can be m' fault, too."

Fingers brushed hair from her face and his palm came to rest against her cheek for a few moments, smiling somewhat stupidly. He deserved nothing, but this sinking, helpless feeling in the face of Sarinah's very real pain made him realize with unspoken discomfort how she'd had to spend nearly the entirety of her pregnancy watching his so-called Hawke-sponsored career unfold in the Rose Arena. If she could endure months of his pointless suffering to keep them together, then he could most certainly endure a fistful of houses of her very purposeful suffering for the boch that was definitely on its way.

Into what kind of life?

Tristaan's mind drifted downward with his lovely witch's sounds of pain—her tones lower, more guttural—distracted in his own thoughts for several moments. Tired, leaning against the tub and losing himself in the darker depths of his self-doubt and fear. Was this how labor was supposed to go? So long? Was everything alright? How would they know if something was wrong? What could he do?

Gods, it was—

"What—somethin'—oh—" The dark-haired passive blinked, reaching for her as Sarinah stood, dragged back to the very real rawness of this moment and back into himself, not thinking but just doing, grey eyes wide and attention suddenly totally focused.

Something burst? Her waters, judging by the bath.

That's what she'd felt.

Slowly, cautiously, he couldn't help but smile again. Nervous anticipation and that helpless fear writhed beneath his excited expression, hands moving to support the olive-skinned witch who had clearly reached some new place in her labor. He made very ginger attempts with whatever threadbare towel was in place to dry her a little, wincing as her fingers curled into a sore shoulder,

"Somethin' wrong? Somethin' jus' right?" He had to ask, more of a whisper, moving them both toward the bed at the sound of much more urgent need, "Feel like what?" All the various instruction and advice he'd been given over the past several months seemed to flood his mind all at once, a mixed up jumble of voices and terminology, expectations and warnings. He hovered, attempting to help her find some comfortable position that no longer existed with a babe attempting to make its exit from narrow places,

"I'm here, but y' gotta talk t' me." Calloused thumbs brushed flushed, tear-stained cheeks and he fought his own anxious emotions that stung the edges of his eyes and tightened his lungs. He was known at being the quick thinker in a pinch, the ace up a sleeve in a tight spot, the one who knew what to do when no one else did.

But this?

He grinned and faked confidence, "Y' wanna push, don't you?" Finally. His brain strung syllables together and his tongue managed to get them correctly out of his mouth. That was the godsbedamned word!

But that meant—

Oh—

Ooohhh.

Well. It was really time now.

"Don't fight 't, hama, if that's what y' feel. Ent no sense 'n hurtin' yerself 'r th' boch. I know ye don't wanna, I know it's all scary. Alioe knows this ent where we wanna be doin' this, but, well, th' boch doesn't know that. I'm here. It's us. An' it's gonna be okay—oh, gods. Listen, I—hmm—a'ight—lemme jus'—" This also meant he had to look, really look, and while he'd certainly seen and enjoyed all of the lovely witch's body before, he'd been told things would be remarkably different. He settled her on the stool and shrugged off his shirt instead of bothering to roll up his sleeves, settling on his knees in front of Sarinah and taking one selfish moment to himself to breathe in slowly, shove away all the darkness, exhale slowly, and carefully, cautiously glance downwards,

"Wo chet."

Slow breath. Slower blinks.

"Jus'. Benny. Everythin' 's benny, macha."

You can totally do this. Oes. Tristaan, you've got this. Sarinah needs you to do this. It's fine. Everything looks fine. As far as you can tell, anyway. Gods, what did it look like before? What would wrong look like?

"Ah, hama. Good news—you've been doin' all th' right things. Better news—I'd say we're jus' 'bout done." Voice wavered with only a hint of shock at what he would only later remember was called crowning, awareness hitting him hard in the chest that their babe was, quite honestly, just a few good, painful pushes away from being in someone's hands. That someone probably being his first.

Good Lady.

Everything he'd ever been told he might possibly need was scattered around the bed and the floor and the stool but for the life of him he couldn't remember where any of it was at this moment. He was to offer a hand, a shoulder. He was to offer support down there to prevent tears. He was to pay attention to her vocalizations and encourage her. He was supposed to—

Gods, now was not a good time to be dizzy.

"I'm excited." He admitted, even if his tone of voice revealed all of his fear without his permission, "Hamaye. Yer amazin'. There's a boch ready t' meet us an' I'm jus' gonna catch so we can be properly introduced as daoa an' da—oes?"



Sometimes we are born with the keys
to doors we were not meant to open.


PASSIVE PROVERB
word count: 1705
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Sarinah Lissden
Posts: 129
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Location: Vienda
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: Passively invested
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:53 am

40th Ophus, 2718
HOME SWEET HOME | NOW
Image
“I can’t…I can’t—“
​​
​​Talk? Think? Breathe? The witch couldn’t speak, settling on the stool and leaning her elbows back on the bed, fingers digging into the linens and she gasped against the pain and pressure within. There was nothing, nor would there be anything, that felt like this. Ever. It was unique and terrifying and primal. Her dark eyes looked into his grey one as he brushed the tears from her cheeks, and as the contraction subsided for a moment the dancer nodded with a sob.
​​
​​ “I need to push.” She whispered, the next contraction coming on hard, the muscles of her frame tightening on their own to encourage the boch to make its entrance into the world beyond its warm cocoon. Sarinah couldn’t stop the feeling even if she wanted to, bearing down with a strained sound and flushed face. Tristaan chancing a look, if she wasn’t so afraid, she would see the slighter paleness in his face and the widening of his eyes. The witch nodded with a shaky, teary voice.
​​
​​ “Benny. Oes. Benny. Okay.” She panted the words, before the next contraction came with force, gritting her teeth and pushing hard into the very core of her being. The pain was astounding, stealing her breath and dragging a desperate cry from the woman. The passive weakly admitted his excitement, and Sarinah tried to smile, but the next urgent tightening came on like the rolling tide and she couldn’t do more than squeeze her eyes shut and push. Her hands clenched the blankets tightly, fingers white with the intensity and her voice broke with the effort.
​​
​​It happened then, a sudden brief relief of pressure as a small dark haired head emerged. The brunette gasped in shock, hands lurching to Tristaan’s shoulders as she caught her breath, fingers digging in deep and hard.
​​
​​ “It hurts hama. It hurts and I can’t. I can’t. Oh Gods, ne more ne more—“ She pleaded as the final contraction came, bearing down with her lovers encouragement, trusting him to catch the infant as it arrived in one last dramatic and surprisingly fast movement. Sarinah cried out with pain and with effort as her body did what women’s bodies had done since forever, instinct taking over.
​​
​​Immediately, there was a warmth against her inner thigh, a soft arm or leg. A warmth that the wick had never felt before, causing an intense surge of love to swell in her chest. The pain was immediately gone, but the breathless exhaustion remained, head swimming and pulse racing. Her head fell back against the bed, eyes closed and body relaxing. Barely a second later, the olive skinned creature lifted it again and looked down, tears blurring her vision, panting to catch her breath. Sweat soaked her hair and she began to shake with shock and exertion.
​​
​​ “Is it ok? Tristaan is it ok? Is the boch okay?” Sarinah asked with a slight edge of panic to her voice, to afraid to reach down, too afraid when no sound came from the babe. New babies cried didn’t they? All the time? Especially when born. It had been only been a few seconds, but it felt like a lifetime as she waited for the passive to reply or for a cry to emerge.

Neither one would notice, perhaps, that the day had rolled into the first of Intas just moments before they had settled before the bed. A new babe, for a new year.
​​
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Tristaanian Greymoore
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:00 pm

not th' home i planned for
the last day of the 2718th year

She needed to push. That was that and this was the time and Tristaan did not at all have any opportunity to overthink things or question things or worry about what he would be doing wrong in this moment. He made sure she was positioned as comfortably as was at all possible, given the circumstances, on his knees between hers and hands moving to support her, aware that he couldn't offer to hold hers and potentially be prepared to catch a baby at the same time.

He could only do one of those things.

He could only be present.

Grey eyes, teary and bright, glanced up at her face, grinning, leaning into the grip of her fingers curling into his bare shoulders, "Oes. It's a'ight." He gasped, attention focused on what her efforts were doing, unable to look away from the rather glorious and strange and messy and amazing thing that was happening, "Oes, y' can. Jus' a lil' more, hama."

His hands moved, calloused fingers reaching with trembling excitement to brush over matted, dark hair, to cradle a head, to press a tiny shoulder into his palm, holding his breath and unable to speak another word of encouragement as the small, beautiful life they'd made together and Sarinah had spent all of this time growing unseen inside of her own body made itself known.

Made herself visible. Poured herself into hands that weren't worthy to hold her, that shouldn't have her, that couldn't possibly—

"She is perfect."

Tristaan breathed the words in an awed sob, shifting his grip on the tiny babe enough to tilt her head and produce a warbly cry, far quieter than he'd expected, but robust and strong none the less. He was grinning, broad and stupid and totally outside of his own existence, lifting their child—their daughter—their tiny babe up toward his lovely witch for her to hold, careful of the cord that still pulsed with life, that still spoke of their connection, vaguely aware that this wasn't entirely the end of the process.

"She's so perfect." The dark-haired passive echoed, tears down his cheeks, sweaty and trembling with this odd sense of exhilaration mingled with fear. It was a strange thing to have been so afraid of loving someone new, but his hands lingered on the tiny warm body that whimpered and snorted, grey eyes meeting the rich depths of Sarinah's dark hues, "Hamaye."

He meant them both.

Reluctantly, he blinked, so caught up in the moment, filled with a joy and a host of emotions he couldn't even process, reaching for a towel to wrap the babe against her mother, one hand lingering on her shaking, exhausted thigh while he adverted his attention back to caring for the end of things. Making sure there wasn't too much blood, cleaning, a wee bit of stitching, and all the unmentionable details of the aftermath of birth. Then, he could cut the cord and admire his family some more.

Family.

His family—

Alioe be praised! As if she sought to redeem all the time that had been stolen from him in his short life as a magicless son of a galdor, this singular moment was everything. His whole life changed in an instant and it was the best instant. He would never forget.

Tristaan had no idea he was crying, simply moving through everything he'd been taught, everything he'd taken so much time to prepare for despite how life had tried so desperately to distract him from this. From this. How he loved her. How he loved them both.

"Y' a'ight, Sarinah? This'll sting a lil'. Jus' tell me how you're feelin'. Jus'—look 't her. Look 't you. Gods, jus' look."

Sometimes we are born with the keys
to doors we were not meant to open.


PASSIVE PROVERB
word count: 724
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Sarinah Lissden
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:42 am
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Location: Vienda
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: Passively invested
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Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:01 pm

40th Ophus, 2718
HOME SWEET HOME | NOW
“She? Oh, oh our boch.” Sarinah breathed in exhausted awe, smiling wearily as the infant cried, a beautiful tiny sound that gave a sense of relief to the woman. She cried, still smiling, as the small body was placed in her arms and the tiny being made tiny noises. The witches arms scooped to hold her, unable to look away from the face that was new to the world and yet captured her heart instantly.

“She is so perfect.” The brunette whispered, looking up to meet his stormy eyes with an almost disbelieving sort of look, laughing through her tears with a sense of overwhelming love and shock. They’d made life, brought new life into the world. A cruel, cold, harsh world made suddenly brighter and less important for the moment.

“Hamaye.” She whispered in return, looking back down at their daughter as her instincts kicked in, snuffling and whimpering and searching for nourishment as her newly minted father covered them with a warm towel. Awkward in the unknown, Sarinah helped her to feed, surprised by the warmth that swelled anew in her chest. Fascinated, she held the boch with one hand whilst stroking a tiny arm and examining tiny fingers. Teeny tiny fingernails and dark hair. She swept soft fingers over a full chubby cheek and a little button nose.

Perfect. A perfect tiny person.

As Tristaan took care of things, the dark haired dancer closed her eyes and leaned her head back, worn and weak. Her body trembled, but the pain was gone. Now the urgency of labour and delivery was over, the witch wanted to succumb to her exhaustion. Instead however at the passive’s question, she lifted her head and looked down at the boch again, fussing and learning herself how to nurse and squinting at the mushy blurry world around her with little grunts and noises.

“I’m alright, oes. Tired, a little dizzy, but alright.” She smiled again, dragging her eyes away from the tiny pink being to look at her lover.

“I didn’t know it would be like this, it would feel like this.” Sarinah said softly, teary all over again. Laughing softly, she reached for him once he was done with all that needed to be done, kissing his lips and holding him close with a sigh.

“She has your nose, and your lips, I think.” The witch said softly, leaning against his cheek and closing her eyes briefly. For the time being, there was nothing else in the world that mattered, nothing that could ruin this moment. All there was, was the three of them. She loved the man, so much that it hurt to think about it too much, and her voice was wavering with emotion as she spoke.

“I never want to do that again.” The dancer said with a sigh, vehemently sure that she would never ever go through that again, even if the pain was already a strangely vague memory. It had hurt, but had it really? She knew it had hurt, but the hormones flooding her body helped to fog the details. Outside, snow had begun to fall again, the temperature frigid to bring in the new year.

“Happy Clocks Eve, Tristaan.” She said softly, realising now it had to be past the midnight hour. They had weathered the weather, and the world had turned over another year older whilst they welcomed their daughter into their fami. The olive skinned woman lifted her head, realising the weary babe had dozed off against the warmth of her skin, breathing fast but clear.

“Do you want to hold your daughter, da?” Sarinah asked quietly, offering the little girl up with the ungainliness of a new parent, trying not to disturb her too much as she supported a tiny head and warm little body.

word count: 667
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Tristaanian Greymoore
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:02 pm
Topics: 13
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: I'm just here for the Sho.
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Writer: Muse
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Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:17 pm

not th' home i planned for
the last day of the 2718th year

It had been so much easier to imagine the moment—this moment—before it arrived, to let all of the various scenarios, both good and bad, play out in his own scarred, damaged mind instead of to actually find himself in it, in the now. Tristaan was a creature of action and reaction, his body used to moving more out of muscle memory, his life one of endurance and patience, and yet everything was new, everything had been so new and uncharted and unfamiliar for months that he was unsure if he'd ever be able to properly process it all. He was quite sure he could physically feel the enlarging of his life with the soft cry of his newborn daughter that had slipped so easily from her world of safety into the dark-haired passive's reality of danger, his chest aching with the stretching of bone and the tug of sinew as his metaphorical heart made room.

Grey eyes blurred with tears and it was all he could do to pass the tiny life to the woman who had changed him so much already, unaware of the wet lines that trailed down stubbled cheeks or the sigh that escaped chapped lips at the sight of the pair together: mother and child, a universal vision of perfection when skin against skin. For a heated heartbeat, Tristaan was reminded that he was the outsider, the interloper, and it was a sharp, fiery lance in his side, the pain gone as quickly as it had come, stealing his next breath and causing him to look away, gaze traveling over flushed, olive skin and downward to the work that still was before him, cutting a cord and caring for a body that was not his own,

"Dizzy seems normal. 'F anythin' feels weird 'r wrong, don't go doubtin' it. Tell me first." He whispered, voice sounding far away as calloused fingers reached for her pulse to keep its time for a few moments and the bruised back of his other hand rubbed tears away with a smiling sob. Care given in the form of stitches and a witch hazel-soaked cold compress, he'd move onto wiping everyone clean and a minimal form of dressing, humming warmly into Sarinah's arms that reached for him and lips that pressed against his.

What had he expected to feel?

It was good to be held, to pause, and he lingered when his lovely witch made no immediate move to let him go. Looking to the tiny face at the mention of features, he let calloused fingers trace lightly over newborn skin, "I told y'all th' cute bits were mine. Ent gonna say no t'that, hama."

Kissing her sweaty forehead, he laughed at her promise, brushing hair from her face before he slipped away, "Never? Considerin' we weren't exactly plannin' on this th' first time, that means there's some other things y' gotta swear off forever, ye chen." The dark-haired passive teased, slipping away to prepare the bed and returning again to help them both into it slowly and carefully and with far more kisses to newborn heads and tired mothers than at all necessary for the process.

"M'haps y'll change your mind later. Ent no rush. Ye did amazin'. Made 't all look 's beautiful 's could be, even 'f it hurt." Tristaan finally grinned, moving with purpose and unspoken necessity to finish cleaning, to fold things, to pack away unused items, and to expend far too much leftover adrenaline fluttering about the small old flat while Sarinah and their daughter settled. Once he'd satisfied himself with the state of things and stoked the fire, peeking out a window at the darkness and the snow before the dark-haired passive slipped out of stained pants and eagerly crawled under the covers with his fami, grey eyes warm and bright when gazing upon the sleeping little thing curled against his lovely witch's olive skin, "Clock's Eve boch, eh? Show off."

Da?

Da!

The single, simple syllable drew a sharp inhale from the man who'd sworn off the galdor that had made him, the renewed heat of tears welling against the edges of his gaze because of the clumsy, unsure motion of Sarinah in offering the precious little life they'd made in his direction, "Oes." Tristaan choked quietly, suddenly worried his calloused hands were too rough and his body not soft enough to comfort someone so small and surely so fragile. Awkwardly, he accepted the tiny thing, snuggling closer to the olive-skinned witch as he carefully set their babe against his chest, near his heart, unwilling to entirely move his hands away from cradling her—

His sleeping daughter melted without a cry or a whimper against his scarred skin, sighing deeply, little tiny fists shaking while she resettled, unconcerned with the pathetic sort of sob that escaped her father's lips at the experience of it all.

—but she wasn't a fragile thing. She'd made up her own mind about when to make them into a family. She'd survived traveling. She'd survived performing. She'd survived their capture. She'd hung on through all the tired days, safe and loved in Sarinah's womb. She'd come to them both in a hopeless time, arriving not simply at the end of a hard year but at the beginning of a new one.

Like a promise.

Like a light in the dark.

"LinoraLinora. Inspired by the Hebrew Leora, which means "light unto me." Lina or Nora or Ora are options for cute little nicknames. 't 's then. Our li' light. If your daoa ent opposed, ye chen." Tristaan murmured between the three of them, nestled together in a world that, for the moment, was untouched and unblemished by the harsh realities beneath the snow, the year too new to be stained by the struggles they'd just overcome or the hardships Hawke would most likely ask them to endure all over again.



Sometimes we are born with the keys
to doors we were not meant to open.


PASSIVE PROVERB
word count: 1101
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