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    COTY

    Svedka -- Year 212

    QOTY

    “He only knows home in his dreams and even those dreams do not mimic large, centuries-old redwoods. Lio doesn't remember the last time he laid his head down and truly felt comfortable.” --Elio, written by Phaetra


    [open]  that's my cross to bear
    #1

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    It is quiet.

    Deep in the shadows of a wavering willow tree, silence stretches save for the weak singing of scattered wintertime birds. The sun, pale but still illuminating, winks from behind the leaping peaks of Hyaline's mountains. With the setting sun comes the promise of colorful, impressive, intoxicating dreams, and Elio is eager to rest his head beneath the willow's tickling branches.

    It is cold.

    Winter wraps chilly, cruel fingers around the stallion's neck, reminding him of the family and friends that would warm him if only he hadn't abandoned them. Nevermind, I have Lannister to keep me company, he thinks as a timid smile spreads his lips. Lannister: his dream-boy, his sweet creature, his perfect child. The perfect salve to his infected, sickly heart. Boisterous and joyful, such a sweet gift from a sweet dream-weaver.

    It is certain.

    Certain and whole in a way only the cosmos can create, Elio leans an itchy side against the tree trunk and absently scratches. His stormy eyes stray to the setting sun, reflecting the fiery orange and glowing white. He shivers, shuffling uncomfortably in the little snow that has managed to smatter the dead grass beneath the willow branches. Out beyond the shadowed branches, a couple of inches of snow stretch and silence the landscape, wide and only interrupted by Elio's stuttered tracks.



    this is weird and small but have an open post :)
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
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    #2

    I've got you deep in the heart of me

    -So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me-

    Sinking her black hooves into Elio’s tracks, Eyas meandered quietly through the snow and made her way toward the willow tree. The few inches of white powder that had accumulated earlier now lay quietly across the meadow of dead grass, undisturbed aside from the hollow pockets where Elio had first walked and which Eyas now used to keep herself from being followed. Her smaller black legs fit neatly into the larger, rounder hoof marks stamped out by her younger sibling - he was a buff stallion, like their mutual brother Gale - and she trod easily over the icy turf. Eyas still remembered how grown-up Elio had looked when she’d met him in Loess, all golden red, and how she’d marveled at his similarity to Wolfbane.

    Now it was the new year, and she knew better than to equate her father to her brother. They were nothing alike; Elio never could be and never would be Wolfbane. He’d only gotten the best and least from their father in terms of physical beauty, and that wasn’t something Eyas could fault him for.

    In fact, as she murmured out, “Elio?” And slipped her sooty nose between the hanging limbs, Eyas was nervously excited to see those self-same gold stripes and Elio’s signature red-marked coat. Her nostrils bumped against something - feathers from his wing? - and Eyas withdrew, taking a step backwards. She shook her own svelte wings free from the cold and waited, breathing plumes of icy smoke into the air while the sun faded away into dusk.

    EYAS



    elio <3
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    #3

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    It's typically very easy for Elio to lie to himself these days. Not that it was terribly hard before, but the crushing weight of solitude has molded his morals: crumbled the sharp edges to dust, rained on the remnants to create sticky clay, hardened by a cold winter sun into some amorphous, alien shape.

    It's easy for him to lie to himself, and he knows this deep down--way, way down where the singing ocean of life still beckons, where the man of anger and certainty still buzzes with desperate energy, paddles in the shallows crying out for Elio to wake, just wake up.

    (Dreaming is so easy.)

    He lies to himself, now. Lies as he pretends he cannot hear his approaching sister until she is upon him.

    "Eyas?" the striped man croaks out, blinking bleary gray eyes to sharpness when her nose bumps gently into his loosely hanging wings. He turns his head, shifting his back legs just enough to face her with a hesitant smile. "Eyas," he breathes out, and doesn't feel the tension he felt when he imagined reunions with his family. With a shake of his tangled, red mane and a heavy breath out, he steps forward to brush his cheek with hers in a familiar, eager greeting. There's love in such a simple brush--love and something else (doubt? fear?).

    "Come here," he murmurs next, "it's cold." Elio shifts to make more room under the twinkling, icy branches.

    "What're you doing out here? What have you been up to?" he questions quietly, and it's meant to be lighthearted, but his voice barely holds the tone under the weight of their shared worry: Wolfbane.

    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
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    #4

    I've got you deep in the heart of me

    -So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me-

    The web of fate surrounding their family was always growing larger each time Eyas looked, but she often refrained. She doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does, and she knows quiet more than she ever should. The less she pried on the ones who still mattered, the better. Horses of her bloodline, past and present, the horses she considers as good as family because of their continued support and often strange presence; they live their lives in twisted spurts of action, true immortals beginning to feel the truth behind forever, and Eyas can’t spend her own unlimited time wasting away by keeping up with their myriad choices.

    Instead, she prefered moments like these where Elio (in the flesh) greeted her with a familiar kiss and a welcoming wing to shelter under. Eyas leaned into his nose, smiling roughly, and pushed past the tinkling curtain of frozen branches to join him. There, she made herself as small as possible to fit and shuddered gratefully, feeling his warm skin against her frigid side.

    “Oooh, that’s better. Thanks Elio.” Eyas chittered and huffed out a short laugh. She jostled her wings for friction, stomped her forehooves, and huffed out the chill.

    For a moment it seemed like she might not answer either of his questions, then she broke the silence with a high, casual, “Just waiting for the right time to go home.” As she stared through the crystal-droplet leaves and observed the quiet winter world. Her head turned; she looked at the familiar planes of her little brother’s face and smiled, but her eyes were flat black, all-knowing. No mind reader, though she could read Elio’s mind right this minute.

    She reached out, buried her nose into his beautifully striped, crested neck and wished she could take away their mutual concern.
    She couldn’t.
    Instead, Eyas could be here with him. They could suffer together for once. Their father was going to die and nothing was more terrible than to think of a forever without him - the way he used to be, the way he should’ve been for Elio and their other siblings.

    “And you?” The little pegasus pulled away from her brother, curious herself. “Are you getting enough sleep? Enough to eat?”

    EYAS



    elio
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    #5

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    "Home," Elio murmurs on a laugh, tilting his already standoffish head away from Eyas. Where was home, now? Now that Taiga thinks him an enemy and a joke? Loess never felt like home, even when Elio stuck close to Lepis' side. An arduous sigh heaves the golden man's sides. He only knows home in his dreams and even those dreams do not mimic large, centuries-old redwoods. Lio doesn't remember the last time he laid his head down and truly felt comfortable.

    Though, Eyas does offer open, awaiting arms; and perhaps he should have said home as a question. Where is her home? Loess? Taiga? Some land opposite Beqanna Elio has not taken the time to visit, much less get to know?

    Eyas' nose burrowed in Elio's neck is a warm, if shocking, sensation. He hesitantly tucks his head, resting his chin lightly on her dappled skin. Home comes to mind again: Elio's mind twists and twists until it is being wrung out, taut and painful as pain rushes out soon followed by slow, methodical understanding. He could be here, in this moment, with his sister just as vulnerable as he beneath their father's shadow. He could be here, even if it took squeezing out every distracting, self-deprecating thought. He could find a way out of his own selfish orbit.

    "I do my best, sister," Elio murmurs, following it with a quiet laugh. He doesn't want her to worry, even if she offers a back to bear the weights of his regrets.

    The earlier question burbles like hiccups in his throat: "Where is home, Eyas? Have you found somewhere?" Somewhere safe, or whole, or even just a little warm. He doesn't know what somewhere means. He hopes she does.



    Eyas <3
    [Image: elio-by-dozymare-ddo34i6.png]
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    #6

    I've got you deep in the heart of me

    -So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me-

    The burden of so much pain should never be borne alone, Eyas thinks. It should be distributed if possible, carried by those who love the broken party and wish only to see some semblance of freedom and lightness return to their hearts. Eyas, though she doesn’t know Elio as she should, knows that she loves Elio enough not to look past the way he scoffs at the word ‘Home’. Yes; they’ve been displaced from so many lands that could’ve been just that, and she doesn’t begrudge his casual indifference toward the word itself, but need it always be that way? Must he suffer so, forever?

    The comforting pressure of his bent cheek is enough to give Eyas hope for the opposite, and she smiled into his skin when he glossed over his problems nearly as well as she did her own. They were siblings, were they not? Alike in mannerisms even if the years and circumstances have divided us, Eyas mused silently to herself, withdrawing from her brother’s side for the sake of his well-being and her own. She, too, did not like the feeling of touching or being touched, but had considered it might help given their current situation. Even a cold hermit needs the occasional enjoyment of creature comforts.

    “Gale and I have founded a home of sorts, yes.” She’s glad he asked, and the accompanying smile that followed her answer was as warm as Islandre’s black-sand beaches during the summer months. “Island Resort - well, Islandres now, thanks to Gale.” She chuckled prettily at the back of her throat. “He’s really taken the whole leadership thing to wing. I just sit back and watch.

    Mhhm, she smirked behind dark lips. Sometimes Eyas could make herself laugh.

    “You should visit, brother. See what Gale’s done to the place, maybe vacation there for a month or two.” The little pegasus mare suggested, though she wanted to tack on ‘stay forever’ at the end. “In the middle of the ocean, no one cares who you are or where you’ve been. The isolation is… refreshing.” Eyas explained.

    EYAS



    elio this thread is like a warm coffee on a slow morning for me: just damn good
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    #7

    elio

    some say I should learn to cry but I only learned how to fight
    and I know everything must die but nothing fades like the light

    Elio would have known Eyas would offer her home readily if he had known she has one; but the extension of love comes as a surprise, and all he can muster in the moment is a slow closing of his eyes.

    It feels as if every atom in Elio's body cries out to be soothed. They lift tiny arms to worship Eyas, to praise and believe and blindly follow. Touch-starved and so, so lost, the dunalino has forgotten what it feels like to have goosebumps. To feel love in its unconditional embrace. And most of all, he doesn't remember what it feels like to truly be home. Not even Taiga does that for him anymore, and now, standing so easily beside his sister, Elio wonders if it ever gave him the feeling of belonging.

    "I really want to," Lio blurts, turning his head to offer Eyas his whole face. The space now between them allows him space to breathe, to perhaps finds more understanding. "I have to tell you something, though, I--" he pauses here, swallows, mouth set into a hard line. How does he explain his son that lives only in his dreams? That Lannister is real and controls their world despite never touching foot on real ground?

    "I have a son," he breaths out, more relieved than he thought he would be to say it out loud. "But he's not here, on this plane of existence. If I come stay at . . . at Islandres, then I might lose him. I can't stop looking for a way to get him here, with me. He only knows what I manage to dream on the nights he can find me. I know I'm not making much sense, but please, believe me, Eyas. I want almost nothing more than to relax with you and Gale in the middle of the ocean."

    Elio thought his eyes would be more desperate as he spoke, but instead they find a calm gentility he rarely knows. The generally stormy lines of his face soften and he frowns, flicking his gaze down to his hooves.

    "His name is Lannister. I bet he could find your dreams, too, if you want to meet him."



    Eyas <3
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