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Blessings and disguises — Sanguine Cove 
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Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall
backdated to 3/29 late morning. For @Magg but @Aquene and @Galen welcome to pop in.

Nash had been studious with the border, watching for any bears that might return or a killer come back to finish the job. He had been too studious, apparently, because he'd clearly neglected to babysit. Out of everyone, he didn't expect Magg. She had a history of disobedience, yes, but she'd just lost her leg.

He'd begun to suspect the previous night but as he approached her on the Lakeshore her smell hit him and he was sure. "Magg," he called in a firm voice as he approached. He stood before his eldest daughter and tried to keep his expression neutral. "Is there something you want to tell me?"

(This post was last modified: Mar 30, 2024, 05:13 PM by Nash.)

Played by Cade who has 160 posts.
Sanguine Cove XIII. Lowest
Magg Eastfall-Slayer
SHE SAYS THAT BEAUTY IS PAIN

Magg woke without her heat, and she thought that was likely normal. Even having started late, no one last year had gone into the next month with the symptoms, and so it was expected that hers would end so soon, wasn't it? Finally, a lucky break, a blessedly short window for being led by hormones. She needed to savor it, for next year would likely be different.

Even as she left the den and made her way down to the lake for a drink, she did not realize the change in her own scent, much less the development already occurring within her. Her mother's own pregnancy had been clear within the air for weeks now, it could practically be picked up anywhere at this point, especially in their most communal areas. Then she was at the water's edge, and it started to sink in. This was not the same. She was not the same as before.

Her heart leapt into her throat and she plunged her nose into her own fur, huffing deeply, desperate to discover that no, it wasn't her, she wasn't pregnant she was just paranoid. It wasn't the answer Magg got. Something like a sob broke away from her lips, a wave of adrenaline washing over her body.

Magg wanted to run. The impulse coursed strongly through every inch of her body, and she had to consciously lock her joints to keep herself in place. Her mind rallied against her pounding heart and knotted stomach, using flashes of what happened before to make its case. There was nowhere for her to go. However much trouble she was in now, it was still not as dangerous as subjecting herself to the world beyond the mountain again.

Her father's voice broke through her panic, piercing right into her core. Magg's throat felt like it had completely closed, but it very clearly hadn't. As she turned to face him, brown eyes wet and wide with fear, her lips parted and she vomited everything in her stomach onto the ground between them.

AND THERE'S BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

Magg seemed to be frantically snuffling herself as Nash approached, and then she froze, and turned to look at him. Her terror was clear in her gaze. It gave Nash pause. There would be consequences, yes, but he'd never wanted to terrify his child...

And then she vomited.

Nash's expression immediately softened and all the anger and disappointment flushed away in preference for his instinct to take care of his daughter. No matter what she might have done, Nash loved her dearly. He quickly covered the small distance between them and tucked his chin over her shoulders, tugging her into a firm embrace. "Deep breaths," he said softly, hopefully comfortingly. "It's okay, take deep breaths." He would hold her either until she calmed or forcefully wrenched herself from him. The conversation they would still be having would not be fun for either of them, but he needed her to know he loves her and they would be okay.


Played by Cade who has 160 posts.
Sanguine Cove XIII. Lowest
Magg Eastfall-Slayer
SHE SAYS THAT BEAUTY IS PAIN

The acid burned all the way up, even to the tip of her tongue. She gagged on it silently, fought back a second bout. Magg's eyes pinched closed and then she felt something heavy against her and she flinched. His voice had changed when it reached her ears again, and the consolation loosened a small amount of the knots in her gut. Emotions roiled through her. She wanted to sink into him and weep, she wanted to thrash and scream, she still wanted to break away and run and never be seen again by anyone. She wanted to suddenly wake up and realize this was all just a nightmare.

Her whole body trembled and her paws jittered with tiny stamps, clues to the barely-contained tantrum lurking underneath. Magg couldn't though, so much was out there now, things she had wanted kept close to her heart instead. She had to mitigate, could not bare to reveal more, to expand on that vulnerability.

She tried to do as he said, though it came out more as short breaths with extended pauses between. If she breathed too deeply, she would break. That was a certainty.

"No it's not," she spoke with a strained, tear-thickened voice and still it was certain. Magg needed to know, she couldn't plan in limbo, it was unbearable. Her breathes quickened, panic creeping up again.

"What are we what are you now what is it?" the words tumbled out in a rush, her anxiety so great she was failing to make a true sentence.

"What now?"

Not regarding the process she had started within her own body. Magg wasn't stupid, she knew. What she hadn't ever thought to ask was, what was the punishment for it?

AND THERE'S BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING
(This post was last modified: Mar 31, 2024, 11:36 PM by Magg.)
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

He could feel her trembling in his embrace, neither leaning into him nor pulling away, so he remained in place, listening to her staccato breathing until she spoke. Her words came in a babble, but he thought he understood the meaning. Now he pulled away, but only far enough to look her in her face. "I am your father," he said, "and you are my beloved daughter." His gaze roamed over her, reminded of how much hardship she had endured despite growing up within a pack. The scars across her face - oh so like his father, if only she had green eyes - and the complete loss of her leg. He took a deep breath.

"I am also your leader," he said, and while his voice was still calm his tone had shifted. "I set a pack law, and you chose to disregard it. You know there are consequences." He paused. He hadn't actually given a lot of thought to what he might do if his subordinates disobeyed him, particularly about this rule... he wondered if his feelings might be different if it hadn't been his own child, and was grateful that none of his other female members - thus far - had fallen into the heat for him to have to find out. "I am not banishing you," he said, not that he would do so with any member without Aquene's input. He wasn't sure he would ever have the heart to banish one of his own children anyway.


Played by Cade who has 160 posts.
Sanguine Cove XIII. Lowest
Magg Eastfall-Slayer
SHE SAYS THAT BEAUTY IS PAIN

This was hard for him. Magg knew that, and tried to keep it an active thought, but, well, it still wasn't anything close to what she would now go through, was it? There was a part of her heart that was deeply grateful for her father's temperament in this moment, at the love he conveyed through words and actions both, and yet every hesitation also ate at her like lashes of flame. She needed her answer.

'I am not banishing you.'

Magg blinked. A heartbeat later, her eyes widened with absolute abhorrance. That had been a possibility?! They weren't even allowed outside of the pack's territory because of everything that had happened to her and- her lids lifted even higher, circles of white appearing around those brown irises.

@Galen.

She hadn't thought she could be any more tense, any more scared, but apparently she had somehow managed to underestimate just how seriously this would be taken. Would she have been ousted if she had all four legs, or was it if she wasn't his daughter? Why say it, if that hadn't been part of the original plan? What would that mean for him? Her voice was so forced it barely made it out at all.

"Then what?"

AND THERE'S BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

He hadn't expected such horrified surprise from her. He hadn't expected that her eyes could grow any wider, either, but here they were and Nash was a little worried that he would have @Aquene chewing off his ears for making Magg damage her eyes. He should have waited for her to have this conversation... It made him feel very wrong-footed. Even so he had to carry on, and he would take whatever scolding his wife gave him. She may not be leader by title, but he certainly respected her as his equal.

Nash considered his options - what options might be fair. He didn't mean to string her along and feed her anxiety, but he didn't want to drive her away either, and so he was choosing his words with care. He wondered who the father was, who had disobeyed him too - or what it a stranger beyond their borders? That could be dealt with in a minute.

He brushed his muzzle over her head, a gesture meant to be another reassurance that he loved her - but he couldn't play favorites. "What was your plan?" he murmured. "You had to have known this was a possibility." Nash took a deep breath and stepped back again to take on the posture of his position again. "You are expected to care for your children. You of course have the support of the pack, but you will be taking the primary responsibility for childcare - and that includes helping your mother care for our newest litter as well." His voice softened momentarily. "She will help you through early motherhood."

"You and the father - if he is a member of the pack - will both be demoted in rank to lowest. We will have to work harder to provide for the extra mouths over the summer, and if he can make babies he can put in the extra effort to provide for them." His edict finished, Nash relaxed his posture again.


Played by Cade who has 160 posts.
Sanguine Cove XIII. Lowest
Magg Eastfall-Slayer
SHE SAYS THAT BEAUTY IS PAIN

Magg's eyes cast down when he spoke again. She had indeed known it was possible, but the feeling in the moment of everything that little act had meant had been overwhelming. Then it had been, she supposed, worth it. Now, of course, it very much wasn't, because she hadn't gotten away with it. Instead of being just a private, cherished memory, it had changed her life completely and transparently. So, in short, there had been no plan at all for this.

Then, finally, the fog was cleared. There was little that really surprised her. Of course she was going to be a mother to her own children, and obviously that involved providing for them. Still, those words burned in her ears. It was happening now, that reality was settling in, any denial she'd held over the past week thoroughly dissipated. She didn't want it, though. Magg knew deep within her bones that she not only wasn't ready to put others before herself and be responsible for their development, but that she hadn't been meant for a role like this at all. There was nothing about her that would make for a good mom. What was that going to do to the innocent lives she'd started, no matter how well-fed and protected they might be?

'You and the father - if he is a member of the pack - will both be demoted in rank to lowest.'

Embarrassment heated her face, and her eyes pinched with anger, though this ire was mostly for herself. She gritted her jaw, and still had not looked up, doing her best not to show too much. Lowest. It rang repeatedly through her head like a clangorous bell, deafening and enraging. It was bad enough that she could not hide her pregnancy, but there had still been aspects of it all that she could have maintained secrecy about. This gouged the wound open even wider, another brand that seared. They would not have more of her. No longer left hanging in the air, she was finally in a position to make a move of her own, to take back even a fraction of that control she was so desperate for.

Still, this was mortifying for her to even approach speaking about such private things with her father. Her mouth opened and closed with both hesitation and a severe need to pick her words right.

"I didn't want this to affect anybody else," her voice was soft in volume but firm in tone, and her gaze had settled at Nash's paws.

"I just..." she pressed her eyes closed a moment, "I don't want to talk about what I wanted," and she hoped dearly that he would just accept that, "but hurting you and Mom wasn't it.

There's no one else, Dad," her gaze met his then, earnest yet darkened, knowing what she was consigning herself to, "I made sure of that much. I didn't want any of it to be permanent."

AND THERE'S BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING
Played by Flywolf who has 604 posts.
Sanguine Cove I. Leader
Nash Eastfall

She listened as he spoke without meeting his gaze, and he supposed he didn't expect anything different. He wasn't sure he would have been able to meet Al's gaze had he and Aquene not asked permission first. It would have been a betrayal to his friend - just as this was a betrayal from his daughter, although she was younger than he had been. And, he supposed, she was the only youth who hadn't actually been sitting before him when he made his decree. She'd clearly known it wasn't allowed, that she'd been doing something illicit, so even though she'd been in the den and barely conscious at the time, Nash had to act.

When he finished she finally shifted and even though she still didn't look up she was at least looking at him. Sort of. He listened without interruption, as she had done the same for him. She didn't fight back, didn't lash out against her punishment, and finally met his eyes. His gaze softened as she spoke. She was still so young, practically a child herself. She's too young for this, he thought with a small pang of grief. He wished he could take the lesson from her, but he couldn't. She needed to learn it, and he and Aquene would not take on the responsibility of raising her children as their own when they didn't know how big their own litter would be.

"I will not force you to tell me who he is," he said gently, "but I would very much like to know, some day. Not just as a leader, but as your father. It has happened, it cannot be undone. Some consequences are permanent... some will not be."


Played by Cade who has 160 posts.
Sanguine Cove XIII. Lowest
Magg Eastfall-Slayer
SHE SAYS THAT BEAUTY IS PAIN

Slowly, the rest of the world started coming back into focus. She could smell her own bile, still splattered upon the frozen shore right there with them. She could hear the wind past the blood pounding in her ears. She could take a deep breath without falling apart.

"I didn't even ask his name..." the words came out as a defeated whisper. There was no sense in Nash holding onto that hope, especially given the story she was choosing to spin. The details would help, but she needed to play the part convincingly as well. There was an annoyed flick of her ears then, before she spoke again.

"I don't need him to be a part of this. If he was worth anything, he'd be here, wouldn't he?"

In this fiction, it was as she had said: her choice had been made pointedly well, the imaginary donor the kind who would have no plans of taking any type of responsibility onto himself. In actuality, the edge to her voice came from the freshest realization settling over her. She had made a very big decision on @Galen's behalf just now. One he might very well resent her deeply for, especially when...

Magg's eyes closed, and she took another steadying breath. One crisis at a time.

"... can we find Mom now, please? I... She'll want to know all this too, I'm sure."

AND THERE'S BEAUTY IN EVERYTHING
(This post was last modified: Apr 01, 2024, 04:30 AM by Magg.)