• Logout
  • Beqanna

    COTY

    Mazikeen -- Year 214

    QOTY

    "“Content to admire you from afar.” Well that’s just bullshit. She wasn’t *content* to be admired from afar. She would rather not see him at all then be tortured by a buffered distance." --Mazikeen, written by Squirt


    [private]  consider how to find a place to stand | nashua
    #1
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    In the brush and grasses of the meadow, the dawn birds begin to sing. The sky is a deep gray, and to the east there is a glow even fainter than that of the brindle stripes of the sleeping stallion, the smallest sign of the coming dawn.

    Gale wakes with a start, taking in sharp breath of cold air that stings his lungs. His blue eyes are wide, taking in the world around him. He does not recognize this meadow at all. He cannot recall arriving here at all. His last memory is falling asleep in Hyaline, wrapped around Mazikeen and the twins that grow within her.

    Rather than allow the panic to overwhelm him, Gale focuses his eyes. He will find out where he is, and he will go from there. To the east he smells fresh water, and to the west and north stretch a large forest that is thick with both ever and silvergreens. So those hills to the south must be Loess, Gale decides.

    He’s only ever flown over this place, and it looks remarkably different from the ground. Mostly it looks dark, but as Gale fills his belly on the autumn-dried grasses, the sky brightens and the sun rises slowly above the peaks of Hyaline. It is a beautiful sight, Gale thinks, enjoying this accidental return to himself for however long it lasts.

    Nashua

    Reply
    #2

    (and it's harder than you think)
    telling dreams from one another

    The dawn had come much too soon.

    He's spent a few days in Taiga and knew that journey over the Northern seas was soon coming. Leilan would expect him back on the Isle for his duties there. And while they all had enjoyed a respite after the Midsummer Festival, Nashua knew that it was coming to an end.

    Time passed quickly, much too quickly.

    Three small bodies had been nestled together and he had spent the last moments of the day studying their small shapes. His youngest children were growing more each day, always changing and it felt like the moments they were still was when he had any time to take notice of it. Their legs grew longer, the downy feathers were already being shed and the soft angles of their youth were already giving way to the adolescence that he already saw in Elegance and Luminesce.

    Noel had barely moved (with three children to feed, Nash doesn't blame here) when he pressed a kiss to her lovely cheek, and then the pegasus had left them to make an early morning patrol.

    Nashua chooses a southern path to take this morning, knowing that Yan and his family band were closer to the Nerinian border. If he runs into his twin, then they can share the knowledge between them. But there is nothing unusual this morning to find so it makes iridescent Gale who shimmers in the early morning light all the easier to spy. He settles his dark speckled wings against his chestnut sides and grins at his pale-haired sibling. They stand somewhere between the Hyalean and Taigan border but Nash is still tempted to ask, "What are you doing on my lawn Gale?"

    NASHUA
    [Image: jCdBK6.png]
    Reply
    #3
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    The soft clouds of his breath drift slowly upward, toward the mass of pale grey clouds overhead. Those are snow clouds, but is it time for snow already? Autumn can’t be more than half over, can it? Gale frowns, and looks around at the meadow around him. The trees are not losing their leaves - they are entirely bare. The grass in the meadow is still thick and rich, but it had tasted a little stale, like it had been frozen and thawed a time or two.

    Where had his days gone?

    Gale does not have time to find them before he catches the scent of another horse. The white wings at his sides disappear in a moment, and he sees his brother’s flaxen head over the chest high grasses of the meadow.

    “Nash!” He calls, raising his voice and startling a pair of quail from where they’d been roosting.

    “Your lawn tastes terrible,” Gale replies with a quick grin. “I’d rather eat the green part of one of Tiercel’s prickly pear cactuses.” This is an exaggeration (though Gale does sometimes enjoy the spiny pads, healing from the damage caused instantaneously). He is struggling hard not to smile, and instead attempts to imitate his mother’s wellbred disgust. The effort does not last long.

    Nashua seems happy to see him, and Gale is reassured that nothing has changed between the two of them during any of his lost time. The Hersir is as jovial as he’d been during the festival, and Gale is glad that this meeting is one during which he is in control of his own body.

    Nashua

    Reply
    #4

    (and it's harder than you think)
    telling dreams from one another

    Nash might find it a little unusual to find Gale here - especially since Mazikeen was in Hyaline - but he's just glad to see his brother. An unexpected visit from his brindled sibling is a surprise but it's a pleasant one and so Nashua doesn't think anything more about it. Gale's voice rings out clear enough to start a pair of birds but those are things that the striped pegasus takes little notice of.

    He moves away from the patrol path he had been taking and heads towards the iridescent stallion. The grin that Gale wears turns to a quick expression of mock disgust. "You look like a newly-weaned foal," he teases back and is reminded of the face that Bravely had made when she had tasted grass for the first time. "Our youngest acted like we were trying to poison her," he said with a nod towards the green and leafy culprits. They were lucky in Taiga that the forage kept its color and nutrients for so long - something else that Nashua attributed to Borderline and Memorie - but Bravely seemed to think otherwise.

    Winter would be upon them soon and so it makes Nash all the more eager to enjoy Gale's company now. He didn't expect to see many horses traveling through or coming to Taiga once the first snowfall came. Most would seek shelter where they were, waiting for the coldest season of the year to pass and spring to come again.

    "Want to be my second pair of eyes?" Nashua asks his brother, knowing that the brindled stallion could 'see' far more than he could. His grin quirks to one side as he continues to explain, "I still have to finish my rounds. But perhaps you could help me and tell me of any news since along the way."

    NASHUA
    [Image: jCdBK6.png]
    Reply
    #5
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Nashua teases Gale good-naturedly about the faces that he’d been making, and Gale imagines he can almost feel the happiness emanating from his brother. It feels warmer than anything he has felt in some time, and he has no intention of ruining it.

    Telling Nash that he has no idea how he’d ended up here in this meadow and no memories of most of the last few months would definitely ruin it.

    So he chooses to live in this brief moment that he has been given, and nods agreeably to the chestnut’s suggestion. There might be things that he should be doing instead, but if there are, Gale cannot remember them.

    They walk along the river, Gale taking in the sights that he has never seen, while overhead Erne does most of the actual observation part of the patrol. Though Nashua had asked for news, Gale is rather quiet for some time.

    “Mazikeen is pregnant.” He finally says, and the words feel rather anticlimactic once they’re out in the open. That is all that Gale says, but that is enough to convey much more. There is no excitement in the brindle’s voice, no eager anticipation. Gale hadn’t wanted children before finding out this news, and his awareness has done nothing to change his feelings.


    Something itches at the back of his mind, something that tells him he should be worried about something. Something about a curse, maybe? The Curse takes even that away from him as soon as he thinks it. Gale frowns, looking deep in thought, and realizes he’s not been paying Nashua even the slight bit of attention.

    “Sorry Nash,” he says, aware enough to know he’s been impolite in ignoring him and unloading so suddenly. “Just still in shock, I guess.” He shakes his head, white forelock tumbling, and adds: “Erne says there’s a black dragon girl with yellow hair not too far into the woods over there.” Is it someone Nashua knows, aks the quirk of his brow, or a stranger?

    Nashua

    Reply
    #6

    (and it's harder than you think)
    telling dreams from one another

    Nashua pushes off but keeps his stride slow, a silent invitation for Gale to speak, if he wished it. A dark copper ear flicks in his direction but as the morning light gives way to mid-morning sun, the Hersir looks ahead and keeps his focus on finishing the route. The sooner that this duty was done, it meant that his whole focus could be on his brother.

    It's odd to see Gale here so unexpectedly but there have been far odder things in the Taigan woods.

    A hoof-sized Rock Tortoise crawling on their path draws a cautious eye and Nash is mindful of where he steps, just in case a nearby clutch had hatched. While he is carefully moving around it, Gale finally speaks. Mazikeen is pregnant, he says and Nashua lifts his pale head to glance at his half-sibling. His voice falls flat and the chestnut stallion waits to see if his brother might say something more. The silence is far heavier than any word he might have said and as they continuing to walk, Nash looks ahead again.

    If Gale's voice had been brighter, Nashua might have told him 'congratulations' as he wanted to.

    "When I learned about the twins," he says instead, wondering if what the other pegasus might feel is the first time nerves and fears of impending fatherhood. "I was ... it was surreal." Nash admits, "the more real it became, the more it felt like that it was happening to someone else."

    There had been a part - a very large part - that had been afraid he wouldn't know how to do it. How to be a father. Or worse, he'd just fail. That he wouldn't need the excuse of a Curse or insanity, that what if this family that he brought into the world simply suffered because of some failure within him?

    For a moment, he wishes that he had the same gift that his mother and Yanhua shared. Perhaps it would have been easier to show Gale - to offer the insight that he understood through some memory. "It changes everything," he said quietly, "but then they come and it's like you can't imagine how life was before." That's how it had been for him, anyway. Nash peers towards Gale again, wondering if his rambling had offered any kind of comfort.

    His brother looks deep in thought and if his tirade had gotten lost in Gale's mind, well, that's something else Nash understood too. His own children often occupied his own mind. At the mention of a girl nearby - and knowing that they weren't far from some of the Taigan gardens - Nash explains, "That'd be Rosey." He gives his head small shake and then looks to Gale again, "you won't find a girl more dedicated to her flowers." It makes the younger pegasus grin, "I know, we're a wild bunch." He teases Gale, who comes from a kingdom full of shifters. 


    NASHUA
    Reply
    #7
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Nashua doesn’t recoil in horror at Gale’s admission of less-than-fatherly feelings, and some of the tension that the brindle stallion holds so firmly softens.

    Perhaps this is not so terrible an admission as he had thought?

    Gale is sure that he has been worrying about admitting a great truth to someone close to him, and he’d been wondering if this was it. The brindle stallion rolls his shoulders, but when Nashua begins to speak he returns all of his attention to his more experienced sibling.

    ‘It changes everything’. Yes. yes, that feels right.

    But is there something else causing changes? There is a shadow of worry at the back of Gale’s mind, a half memory that is snatched away from him before he can do anything but frown slightly.

    ‘It’s like you can’t imagine how life was before’ Yes, that feels just as right. Gale can still imagine though, because he is still living a life before the existence of children.

    The osprey’s warning about the girl had come as a welcome distraction from his own thoughts, and Gale blinks his blue eyes a few times in the bright morning light before looking through the woods to find the girl with a garden.

    Gale very much enjoys flowers (mostly for eating) and the image of a frost dragon in a garden is a wonderful one, and he smiles. When Nashua mentions being a wild bunch, Gale thinks he must be referring to the dragon, and chuckles appreciatively in a way that will seem as though he gets the joke. He is most definitely sure Nashua is being funny, Gale thinks; that is an expression he had quickly mastered interpreting because he so enjoys seeing humor in others.

    The brindle stallion has been quiet as the Hersir spoke, but he’s clearly been listening. Afterward, he is quiet for a while as they walk, and then says: “Twins must run in the family. A magician told us that they’d both be shifters.”


    Nashua

    Reply
    #8

    (and it's harder than you think)
    telling dreams from one another

    He's immensely glad for the moment that Gale finally smiles.

    It's what he had hoped to do. More worries are reflecting out of his brother's bright blue eyes and Nash finds himself wondering about them, if it is something more than the admission of his upcoming fatherhood. Nashua uses humor to attempt to chase some of them away. The morning is fair and the day looks to be promising, warmer than it usually is in Taiga for this time of year.

    Perhaps it will make the coming winter that much colder.

    There is a silence that follows them for some time afterward. Roselin will be happiest undisturbed, spending what little time she has with her flowerbeds before the first frost comes. The chill in the air had said it would be soon and the plumes of silver smoke that emerged from his flaring nostrils had confirmed it. Nashua continues to walk alongside Gale - close enough that his brother's quiet voice is heard clearly over the faint noise of the nearby River - and his smile broadens a little when the brindled stallion mentions that twins must run in the family.

    That had been a joke that he had shared with Yanhua and it warms something in him to be able to share it with Gale, too. It even allows the striped pegasus a moment to imagine what it might be like to have Gale and Mazikeen visit together with their twins so that they might meet the cousins within the Taiga. A few years ago, such a hope seemed like an impossibility. His half-siblings have never been unkind to Nashua but he always imagined that he was the physical representation of what they had lost. And with Yan, his twin always seemed to prefer to distance himself from anything related to Wolfbane.

    But the more that Gale visits and as more time passes, Nashua can't help but hope things might change. (To have spent a day on the Isle with him and Tiercel, to see Yanhua meet them had filled him with such joy. He hadn't known that kind of happiness outside of his own children being together.)

    Gale mentions that he knows about his twins from a Magician. And while he glances across the Hyalean border, that is not the thing that strikes him as odd. Both his brother and his mate are shifters; that their offspring would be should be no surprise. And yet Nash wonders, "Does that..." and then he pauses because he had never asked Gale about his own feelings about his ability to shift. He'd never felt that kind of reluctance from Gale. Was he worried about his children being shapeshifters? (The ability had bothered Nash when he had been a youngster but growing up under the tutelage of Leilan - a dragon shifter and one that Nashua has witnessed change one form for the other many times - it didn't take long for the Hersir to learn that it wasn't the shape that mattered.) Nash leaves the question open to Gale when he asks, "Does that bother you?"

    Why else would they have visited with a Magician?

    NASHUA
    [Image: jCdBK6.png]
    Reply
    #9
    Gale
    this is going to break me clean in two --
    this is going to bring me close to you



    Despite the contentment he feels, wandering in the sunshine with his brother, something less pleasant lurks just at the back of his mind. Gale is reluctant to reach for it, and finds that if he pretends he does not See it, it remains still. Only when he peers closer does it begin to flex and grow, and Gale had well learned his lesson about leaving well enough alone with the Monsters.

    So he ignores it, and instead focuses on a very similar prospective future, one borrowed from Nashua’s mind’s eye and enhanced with what Gale can only assume his children will look like (the boy exactly like him, the girl just like Mazikeen).

    Gale cannot recall the sounds of his own childhood, but there had been running and jumping and swimming and flying through the red canyons of Loess, and he’s sure that he, Eyas, and Tiercel had not been too large a burden on their parents. Not until Gale had died, anyway, and there his memory trail grows more somber, so he abandons the path instead to listen to what Nashua asks.

    Does it bother him that the children will be shifters?

    “No.” he answers truthfully. Before Mazikeen, it might have. With anyone other than Mazikeen, it would have. But they have inherited her magic, the magician had reassured Gale - their shifting was not like his shifting.

    For the life of him, Gale cannot recall why his type of shifting is not something he’d wanted the children to get. The memory is just out of reach, at the edge of the shadowy mass in the back of his mind. He has been quiet after his single word answer for some time, but long pauses are not unusual for Gale, and his blue legs have continued to carry him along the river path.

    He is glad they didn’t get his shifting, that he is sure of. Something (something dark , something stretching from that shadowy space) tells him that should be a relief, and so Gale smiles, as though a happy thought has just crossed his mind. And then one does, because the pair of them round a curve in the path and ahead of them stretches a smooth stretch of flat land beside the river, one that looks like the perfect place to run.

    “Last one to that log’s a rotten egg!” Gale calls over his shoulder, having already broken into a run. A head start is the only way he might beat Nashua in a flat-out race, Gale knows, and there’s laughter in his blue eyes as he meets the chestnut’s, who he is sure knows as well.

    Nashua

    Reply




    Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)