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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "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

    [private]  I'm staring at the mess I made, Ophanim

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

    She tried to not feel broken inside, but the harder she tried to hold herself together, the more she could feel the shattered pieces digging into her. The reality of the risk of sleeping with someone else had first hit her when she felt that familiar flutter of new life; when she realized that what had happened with Lie wasn’t just something she was going to be able to brush off. It wasn’t going to be just a single rough patch for her and Ophanim; she was going to have a constant reminder of how she had hurt him. A reminder of how she was, in a sense, no better than him.

    She hated herself for the turmoil of emotion that she felt the entire time; that she felt excitement, followed by guilt, and then guilt for feeling guilty. It was a cycle that never ended, and where normally she would have been able to shut everything down, and turn her nerves to steel and her heart to ice, she couldn’t this time. She is restless and anxiety-ridden, her mind racing nearly constantly. She tried to not avoid Ophanim, even though so many parts of her screamed that she should; why would he want her around when she was pregnant with someone else’s child? She knows, without a doubt, that if he had ever brought one of those girls around while pregnant with his child, she would have shattered them to a million scattered pieces without a second thought.

    When the twins were born, there was at least some kind of relief. It was over – done. They were here, and while it was abundantly clear they were not Ophie’s – Dove with her snowflake-muzzle, and Draco with his dark magic – that somehow made it easier. Everyone could stare all they wanted, but at least there shouldn’t be any rumors or speculation.

    But she comes to Ophanim now, alone. So much of her spark and fire has faded since that night in Pangea, or at least, when she is with him. She is afraid, always, of what he thinks of her, and most times, she doesn’t even read his mind. It was easier not knowing what he was thinking. There is still an intensity to her navy-blue eyes, but they swim with a million questions that she knows neither of them have the answer to. Still, she draws alongside of him, pulling on a mask of confidence and self-assurance as she touches her muzzle lightly to his shoulder, “Hey, handsome,” and the surety of her voice betrays the uncertainty that she feels, but there is a part of her that also knows he knows her too well and can probably hear the underlying doubt.

    She can feel her heart flutter nervously in her chest, not just because of everything that had transpired and how she still felt so unsure and like a stranger before him, but because of what had happened at the last kingdom meeting. “Castile needed someone to volunteer to lead Sylva, and I said I would go,” she starts off slowly, careful to keep her tone neutral, but her eyes never stop reading his face. “But I want you to lead with me.” Her heart pounds in her throat, a sudden wave of fresh anxiety washing over her as she follows up in a rush, “It’s just temporary. I don’t want to leave Loess, forever. Just until we find someone that we trust to lead it. And you don’t have to come, I just…” she swallows hard, trailing off at the end. He had no reason to want to go anywhere with her. He has followed her everywhere, every single place that she has gone, and she has destroyed everything they tried to build. I just really want you to, sounded stupid and pathetic, even to her.


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

    It had been easy for him to leave each time because he never let himself get attached to anyone. Not like he was with Starsin, anyway. He can’t remember their names or their faces unless he thinks for a while, stares into his children’s faces and studies them. Maybe that’s why Malone has always been so special in his heart – the way he laughs just like Starsin or offers up knowing stares when he picks through someone’s mind. Ophanim watches their son from afar today as he continues to shadow Meraxes despite no longer being a clumsy child. He wonders what they would ever do without each other and it makes him smile. His own brother is too young to leave Jenova’s side like that just yet but he hopes they have a similar bond.

    He is plucked from these hopes and dreams when he feels her touch his side while she sidles up to him. His bright blue eyes continue to watch their shimmering boy but some part of him briefly tenses when she touches her lips to his skin. Normally she plays her parts so well that the line between the real her and the actress is seamless, imperceptible to anyone watching her. But today the pacing of her words is slightly off and he feels an ear swivel in her direction to catch it.

    When he turns his head to finally face her, he cannot feign confidence in even the slightest. Ophanim is meek, belly-up like a sick dog to its master. There is love abundant within him and it still shows in the corners of his sad angel eyes but he doesn’t know what to do with it or the other hurricane of emotions in him. He lets it all just collect there in the back of his throat and suffocate him instead. When she speaks again, he swallows nervously and looks back ahead of them. This time, though, his focus remains on the horizon and not the boys, like they’re too bright to stare at for now.

    He takes a deep breath and when he exhales, it shakes across his tongue.

    I.. don’t think that’s a good idea,” he finally says, struggling to put words to his thoughts. There was never a day that he regretted following her, even now, but today his gut is twisting and turning in on itself at the thought of living in Sylva for even a day. Where would his children go? Would her twins be there too? His jaw clenches and his teeth briefly turn to points behind his lips before settling to their blunt shape once more. “You couldn’t pick someone worse to lead with you.

    Then he laughs, a sound that is warm and melancholy all at once, like a funeral pyre some dreary autumn day. He turns to look at her again, halo slowly orbiting his head.

    You couldn’t pick someone worse than me.
    you could drown in those eyes, i said.

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

    She can feel an electric tension brewing inside her chest, and the way that it builds and grows it feels like liquid spilling into her lungs until she might drown in it. The way his muscles grew taut at her touch is like someone brutally squeezed her heart, but she can’t even find it within herself to blame him for that. She has locked herself out of his mind, but she doesn’t need to be reading it to know what is coming. She hears it in the sigh that leaves his mouth, she sees it in the sorrow etched in his beautiful blue eyes.

    But before he actually says it, before he tells her no, there is the faintest flicker of hope. She tries to ignore it, she tries to not feed it, because she knows everything is going to hurt so much worse if she let herself think there was even a possibility that he might say yes.

    I don’t think that’s a good idea, he says, and even though she knew it was coming, it still causes her breath to inhale sharply against her throat. For a moment her dark blue eyes close, and she swallows away the tears that she can feel forming. When she opens her eyes, there is a forced smile on her face, but even that trembles at the edges as she says in a voice that she hopes doesn’t sound as bruised as she feels, “I understand. I didn’t think you would want to, but I couldn’t leave without asking.” She has never really done anything without him, she realizes, and the weight of that crushes her.

    “Worse than you?” She repeats what he says, slowly, with a confused disbelief casting a shadow across her silver face. “You are the only one I would ever want next to me for something like this. You are the only one that knows every single part of me.” The bad – and there was so much wrong about her, and there always has been – and then what little good she possessed. He was the only reason she had ever learned that she could love, in any capacity; he was the only reason that a good side of her even existed.

    She clenches her jaw against the desire to reach for him again, because she can’t stand the thought of him reacting how he did a little bit ago. But she shifts closer anyway, her muzzle lingering close to his neck, her forehead inches from where she usually pressed it against him, but she doesn’t close the space entirely. There is a pause, and even though it is short, she is sure he can feel the heaviness of it, that weighted moment before the words come, before she asks the question that has been aching to be asked, “Do you want me to stay away from you?” She would let him have Loess. Even though it had been her intention to come back, she knows she could find the strength to force herself to stay in Sylva. She would do anything if it meant she didn’t make him feel like this anymore.


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


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