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    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    OCEANE -- Year 208

    QOTY

    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi


    kiss me until I can't speak, Ophanim
    #1

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    It would have been easy to let her temper get the best of her. It had all the makings of a slow-brewing tempest, and all she needed was the slightest shift in the atmosphere to unleash it all. He had provided her with everything she needed – finding Alita in the meadow, and being interrupted by Meraxes here in Loess. Two physical manifestations of infidelity, and perhaps it was just paranoia, but she can’t help but to think there must be more. How could there not be? Once – possibly a mistake. A moment of weakness, that she would have been reluctant to forgive. But two? No longer a mistake. No longer a mere moment of weakness, unless he was just permanently weak and she hadn’t realized it.  She doesn’t think she had ever trembled on the inside as hard as she did in their last meeting; when it took every ounce of self-control to not scream and break down.

    She had kept away from him. Her anger was spent, but not on him (maybe it should have been).

    When she comes back to Loess, she is far quieter than she has ever been. The electricity that seemed to always sing beneath her skin was hardly even a hum, but in the failing light of day, the stars scattered across her sides continued to glow vibrantly. She finds him just before night has fallen, and illuminated by the light of his halo and the golden streaks on his face, he may as well have been the sun fallen from the sky. The calmness in her dark blue eyes betrays the turmoil that has kept her awake the last few nights, and when she comes alongside of him she tries to not wonder if he had draped his wing across their backs too. The nearly subconscious thought keeps her from touching him, and she is silent as she stares at him, before she finally manages to begin in a voice so low it was nearly a whisper, “I know I am far from perfect.”  She’s a bitch, she leaves constantly, she is easily distracted, she buries her emotions...she could list them all for him, but she knows it is useless.

    For all her ferocity and sharp edges, there was something incredibly mild about her in this moment, but she doesn’t think he will even notice. She isn’t sure if he has ever seen the way she is a hurricane that she only allows him to tame into something manageable – trapping lightning in a bottle – and yet he tosses it away so carelessly. “But I thought….” Her voice trails off, and there is an ache in her throat so strong that she turns her head from him, refusing to let him see the tears that burn at the back of her eyes. For a nearly microscopic moment, all her hairline fractures that she barely held together seemed to split apart, and there may as well have been light streaming from the cracks for how apparent it had to be. “I thought you loved me.” When she angles her head back to him, the tears are gone from her eyes, but the damp tracks they had left in their wake have not yet dried.

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )




    Ophanim
    Reply
    #2

    Ophanim

    Her flaws have never, for even one second, kept him from seeing everything he loves so much about her. Every second he has spent staring into her eyes he has found something new, some glimmering depth for him to cherish. He wants to drag his fingers through the pools of her heart and drink from them until he drowns but she always manages to slam the door before he dives too deep. She plucks at his heart strings and plays him like a fiddle as she pleases. And all he can ever say is thank you, even when she walks away when he wants her most. Her name is carved into his heart and he put it there with a smile on his face.

    But for all the love and warmth she has made him feel before, it turns to broken glass and rips into him now. Her soft velvet voice sets fire to everything he’s ever adored and leaves him tied to the chair in the middle of it all. Yet he doesn’t struggle. He doesn’t even attempt to free himself from this moment. Ophanim just hangs his head and waits for the guillotine to fall across his pearl white neck.

    I thought you loved me.

    He forces himself to look her in the eye when she turns back to him and he maps the wet lines running down her cheeks. The light of his life, he thinks, even as her eyes cradle all her pain and anguish. How best to answer her, then? Should he admit the way he poured gasoline on everything on purpose? He lit the match because he wanted to destroy everything before anyone else had the chance. When their fire goes out, it will be because of him and not because he wasn’t good enough. Not because he was a failure. Jenova used to tell him that everything we love eventually leaves but he never understood how she said it with a smile.

    His breath shudders as he exhales slowly. His halo seems to quiver in the air.

    It aches into the depths of his spine not to hold her right now but he doesn’t want to upset her any further.

    I love you more than anything in this world. I love you so much I don’t know what to do with myself when you’re not near,” he confesses, chest rising and falling like he can’t breathe enough air to give words to everything he feels. “I was afraid my best wouldn’t be enough. I was afraid one day you would find someone worth staying for and you’d never come back to me.

    He chews the inside of his cheek until he tastes blood and then he chews some more.
    Starsin
    Reply
    #3

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    She has never been one of those soft, mild girls that always knew what to say. She didn’t know how to get someone to bend to her will because they wanted to; she only knew how to make them. But she had tried for him, even if it didn’t seem like it, even if he didn’t see it. She had tried to come back enough so that maybe he would learn that she would always come back, if only he could just accept that parts of her would always be too wild, too fierce, to simply stay in one place for long. She became a tamer version of herself around him, but she didn’t know how to be something entirely different; something docile and reliable. She didn’t know how to stay. She didn’t know how to build stability and confidence in a relationship when all she had been born with was absolutely nothing.

    She just knows that she tries, for him, and she still comes up short.

    When he speaks, she can feel her heart begin to quiver in her chest. Her face remains stoic, but she knows it is a useless front in the wake of the tears that still wet her cheeks. He seems sincere when he speaks, and genuine in his thoughts, but she’s beginning to doubt herself. He had never given her any indication that he would stray – but what a stupid, foolish thing that had been for her to fall for. Of course he would. She starved him of everything he looked for, and she had eventually pushed him too far. And maybe that realization is why her anger and humiliation fades into guilt.

    He wants to touch her. He is thinking it, and she waits for it. She waits for him to make the first move to fix what now lay broken between them, but he doesn’t. He is worried of what her reaction will be, and this brings a new wave of regret that tightens the lines of her face and darkens the blue of her eyes. “Ophanim,” his name still tastes with the salt of her tears that settled in the back of her throat, and for once, she is not stubborn, and she goes to him. She ducks her head beneath his wing, placing herself into the curve of his side just as she has done countless times before – hundreds of times, since the day they had met. “If I was never going to come back, I wouldn’t even be here now.” This, of all times, would have been the perfect excuse to cast him aside, if that had ever been what she wanted to do.

    Her delicate muzzle rests on the slope of his shoulder, and even though her doubts and her hurt nag relentlessly in the back of her mind, she cannot pry herself from his side. “You have always been enough.” There is a sorrow to the notes of her voice, an undertone of dejection that she usually never lets find its way through. “But I knew I would lose you to someone else someday.” She presses her lips against his skin, lashes fluttering closed over her cobalt eyes as she whispers into him, “Do you love any of them?”

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    Reply
    #4

    Ophanim

    Everyone seems to think he’s a smooth-talking angel with an arsenal of witticisms hidden up his sleeve. The truth of the matter is, however, he just says whatever comes to mind and it always works out for him for some reason. Except now. His mind goes blank and he doesn’t know how to tell her how easy it is to love her even when he’s alone so much of the time. Ophanim can’t begin to explain how happy he is to bend over backwards and move mountains all in the name of her love. She never had to force his hand or bend him into place because he is the ever-ready servant of her heart. He breathes because it pleases her.

    His name across her lips sets his skin on fire in the most pleasant way. Such a delight to burn for her. His perfect white wing presses its golden eyes to her back and hugs her close to him like she might drift away to the stars above them. Ophanim buries his face in her neck and devours every inch of her exposed skin in kisses despite the hurt still weeping from his fresh wounds. She speaks, and he believes her so eagerly, as he always has. How could he ever stop trusting her when she’s been so good to him? A girl like Starsin could pick any boy she wanted to call her own but she chose the one with the crooked halo and golden tears.

    He sighs against the wet lines of her face as she tells him that yes, he is enough for her. His bright blue eyes open as she asks a question that he could easily answer. How, though, could he show her that the others meant nothing? They never stirred his heart the way the mere sight of her does. Perhaps they had been pretty or kind, he doesn’t remember, but they were dead embers at the foot of a phoenix.

    Only you,” he whispers softly as he maps more greedy kisses along her jaw. “It has always been only you. I’m so full of love for you, Starsin, there could never be room for anyone else.

    Except perhaps their baby, he supposes, and the thought distracts him enough to notice the curve of her belly for the first time. His breath shudders from his lungs as he wonders what their firstborn will be like. Maybe it will be all galaxies and ancient secrets within its eyes like its mother, he thinks. Or it could be fire and gold like him. Either way, this heir will be the embodiment of his love for her.

    I’m sorry for being stupid. I didn’t think of how much it would hurt you. I was too selfish and too blind.

    He kisses her temple and leans his face against hers as his brows remain furrowed together in shame.
    Starsin
    Reply
    #5

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    He was perhaps the one thing in her life that she had not hand-picked. She had not sought him out the way she had so many of her other interactions; at least, not with malicious intentions. She can still remember his boyish face, how even when they were children he had been too handsome, too pure for this world. She had recognized it the moment she had seen him, and no matter how hard she tried to keep herself hardened and walled off from him, she had never been able to bring herself to lock him out the way she had everyone else. He had picked her, more than she had ever picked him.

    The feel of him pulling her tightly against him causes her breath to catch in her throat, and her heart jumps to an unsteady rhythm with each kiss against her skin. She rests her forehead against his neck, all the while ignoring the pains that keep rolling inside of her. Even as they steadily strengthened, she had been so focused on the emotional turmoil she had been enduring that she hadn’t even noticed that their child was intent on making his appearance now. Her own lips find his jaw, offering him in a strained whisper, “I forgive you.” She isn’t sure if she does – but she says it, hoping that saying it out loud will make it true, will make her feel it. “And I love you too. Just you.” That part is genuine; there is no room for doubt or second-thoughts in that statement. She loves him, and she would try to forgive him. 

    The pain inside of her increases, until she is trembling and curled tightly into him, as though he could somehow make the pain go away. She knows that he likely has no idea what is going on, and truthfully, she barely knows, but by now her body is so wracked with the force of the contractions that she couldn’t explain it to him even if she wanted to. She bites back a sound that is almost like a whimper, before slowly lowering herself to the ground. With sharp, ragged breaths she lets instinct take over, the muscles of her barrel clenching tightly as she pushes and strains. Her coat grows damp from her effort, the starlit dapples bright and shining against her sweat-slicked skin, and she isn’t sure if this seems so hard because it’s her first, or if it’s always like this. 

    When the colt finally slips free, she is shaking with exhaustion and some version of adrenaline. With sides still heaving as she struggles to catch her breath, she shifts herself to look at her – their – first child. Even laying there damp and shivering, he is stunning, and she can’t find words to even speak. He had the striking gold of his father, and his wings and glowing markings, but the rest of his body was broken up by patches of endless stars. “He’s….beautiful,” Is the only thing she can manage to say, unable to tear her gaze away from the newborn’s eyes to even look up at Ophanim. There was a shadow lingering over her overwhelming happiness, however, a sudden ache in her chest that spreads in the wake of the surge of love she had felt upon first looking at him; she couldn’t imagine ever leaving him, but her mother had left her all the time. She had never understood it then, and she doesn’t understand it now. 

    With a gentleness she hadn’t even known she possessed, she cleans him dry. She doesn’t stand quite yet, but instead she curls her head over top of the newborn’s back, and pulls him tightly to her chest as she whispers with her lips buried in the soft curls of his mane, “I won’t leave you. I promise.”

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    Reply
    #6

    Ophanim

    He doesn’t remember the first time he met Starsin because it feels like he was born at her side, just waiting for her to exist. Ophanim remembers telling his mother goodbye because he refused to flee from the plague without her, though. It’s easily to recall Jenova’s tearful goodbye as she kissed his face and spread her wings. He hasn’t seen her since then but he knows he could find her if he tried hard enough. Maybe he should have sought her out in his times of weakness so she could breathe some new lesson into him like she used to.

    But he didn’t.

    Still, Starsin speaks her forgiveness and he sighs in relief when she confesses that she still loves him and only him. He doesn’t notice the fleeting signs of pain in her face until he feels her body begin to quiver with the agony of birth. His ears stand up straight and he presses his face to hers nervously. “Starsin, are you alright? What can I do?” he asks dumbly, pacing around her anxiously as she lowers herself to the ground as her body commands. His wings ruffle and settle over and over as he searches their surroundings for.. something. Something to help her or to defend her from, he supposes.

    He kisses the sweat from her brow as he finishes each lap of his incessant pacing. When Malone takes his first breath, the sun is an inch or so over the horizon and it turns the sky all orange and pink as it bids farewell to the day. The dying rays seem to set the gold of his wet body on fire while the ink black stretches of depthless stars glimmer softly in between. When their firstborn opens his eyes, they are dark like his mother’s with freckles of paler blue. Ophanim has to remind himself to breathe when he lowers his head to look at the tiny baby, all knobby knees and a scruff of mane.

    The colt blinks, and the perfect black of his sclera makes his stare seem solemn despite his age. He smiles and leans into his mother’s touch as she grooms him. When she is done, he snuggles into her embrace and basks in her loving warmth. Ophanim delicately offers one last kiss against Starsin’s temple as Malone sighs contently against her chest.

    The angel boy loved his other children, of course, and wanted them each to lead happy lives. But something in him roars to life at the sight of this son and he knows without thinking that he would die for this one. He would sacrifice everything for his heir. With his pale head still lowered, he presses the pink of his lips lightly to the baby’s cheek. Malone only sneezes in response before settling back against Starsin once more.
    Starsin
    Reply
    #7

    and let me crawl inside your veins. I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain.

    Even though she had tried to ignore it, she had actually been terrified of becoming a mother. She was used to being in control, of at least having an idea of the direction she was steering things. But when it came to motherhood, she hadn’t a clue what to expect. Her mother didn’t raise her. Her mother barely kept her alive, and for most part just  turned her loose on the world to fend for herself. She had learned from a young age how to fight to survive; how to become something sweet and compliant so that someone might take pity on her. It was easy, being able to read their thoughts, and to fit herself into whatever box they wished she was in.

    She didn’t want to be like that with him, and she didn’t ever want him to feel like he had to act like something he wasn’t in order to be accepted.

    Her lips have not left the little boy’s skin since he had been born, and even after he was dry and clean her muzzle remained buried in his baby-soft fur. Almost reluctantly, she gathers her own legs beneath her, finally tearing herself from him to press her lips into Ophanim’s neck. She leans into him, and for the first time she seems to have forgotten how tumultuous they had been not long ago. “He looks like you,” she says softly, her blue eyes still staring in wonder and amazement at what they had created, before adding with a small laugh. “Except for the stars...I guess that came from me.” And the mind reading, but she doesn’t say it out loud. She had sensed it, as soon as she had looked at him. Their minds were seemingly intertwined, and with the exception of meeting the magician at the river, it was not something she had ever experienced before. She couldn’t deny that she was incredibly pleased that her own child had inherited it.

    With her cheek resting against Ophanim’s golden neck, she stares down at the colt with a quiet, thoughtful expression. “I want to name him Malone,” there is a decisiveness to her voice, but she catches herself. She feels like maybe one of the things that had driven him away was how brisk and demanding she could be, and her blue eyes find his as she adds quieter, and more uncertainly, “If you like that name, I mean.” Her heart gives an odd pang in her chest, but she steels it away, suddenly second-guessing everything about herself but refusing to let it show.

    starsin

    it’s not like me to be so mean. you’re all I wanted.
    ( just let me hold you Like a hostage. )

    Reply




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