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 A Home for Darkness

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Rends the Gar

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Posts : 357
Join date : 2013-08-29

PostSubject: A Home for Darkness   Tue 16 Aug 2016, 23:16

Down a long and lonesome road, there lay a new place in the heart of an old place. If the old cedar of the forest could mourn, it may have shed a tear for the split bones of its cousins who made the walls of the Wolf Tail Den. But trees have no tears in their hearts, and the rain that fell in the old forest provided the only tears to be shed by the old forest.

Quiet lay thick and heavy in the damp air. It was a susserous, timid quiet too shy to settle in just yet and the rain ever washed it away. Here on the edge of the wild the raucus din of men cutting loose after a hard day's work still haunted the dark places in the night, though even the rowdiest revelers had retired by now, and the quiet could find no place to set its roots. Though it was dark, and dark is ever quiet's lover, Luna's face kept watch and the madness in her eyes held a scream of rage wherever it landed. So the darkness fled, and settled its self in the one refuge it could find.

Rends the Gar watched the rain fall, mostly empty bottle in hand. He'd been sitting on the front stairs to the inn for some hours now, and though his clothes were now damp with rain he paid them no mind. His eyes shone bright with Luna's rage unspent, but they were unfocused and distant. He took a long pull from the bottle, not bothering to wipe the strong Fianna whiskey from his beard. There was a small cry behind him, and the Ahroun tensed at the sound. After a moment, he relaxed. His son was content to sleep and not cry for now. He drank again.

He'll never make it.

Like a stone in his gut Rends felt the grief settle in. He'd been fighting it for three weeks now, but he could feel himself breaking inside bit by bit, ever since Jack's Baptism by Fire. Ever since he'd found out his son was a mere Kinfolk.

Since the boy's death sentence.

Resigned, Rends stood and shook the rain from his head. He caught himself on the wall of the inn, suddenly unsteady on his feet. He spat, then drank, then threw the emptied bottle off into the forest. He turned and entered the home he had built for the family he had made. Words long ago spoken to him taunted him as he pulled the door shut behind him.

""Know this, pup. You serve me while you live. Your body is a tool to my use. And while it pleases me, I will use you. But soon your body will fail you... You fight for Gaia, you serve Luna, but with every kill you bring glory to me. Remember that, pup."

Years ago and miles away though they were, Death's words had cut him more deeply than he'd ever admitted. Like a shadow they had haunted him, and like a stone in his boot he'd never been able to ignore them. He hadn't expected his body to fail him for years, but here he was. Jack coughed, and Rends approached the bedroom. He found his wife and son there, sleeping peacefully in each other's arms, a strand of Silke's braid had come loose and draped over Jack's head to tickle his mouth. Emotion surged inside him, hot and confusing and crushing. He sat on the edge of the bed with a smooth grace one wouldn't expect of such a large man. With a trembling hand he reached down to move the hair from his son's face, but he froze inches away.

Pain etched its self into his face as he looked down on his son. He moved his hand back to his own face, fingering the scars new and old that pocked his face and marked his status. He counted them all, staring at his son all the while. With every one his face grew more grim, and his heart grew cold.

The child snuffled, pink and soft and frail in its mother's arms. Rends blinked, eyes suddenly watering as he came to a decision. Empty but for Luna's rage his eyes shone down on his son as he reached down again, strong fingers spread wide in a practiced motion.

And they met a wall in the hand of his wife, her own hand small but strong wrapped its self inside his. She brought his hand to cup her cheek and spoke with the care of a new mother.

"It's okay to be afraid."

The sound of her voice sent a tremor through the darkness, and the Ahroun saw only her eyes.

"You went off to Galveston right before Jack was to come and missed his birth. You always find something to occupy your hands when I need to set Jack down, or find some errand to do. You send me to bed early and close the place down every night. Don't think I haven't noticed."

His hand gave a small tremble.

"You know, I never expected to live this long. I used to live every day thinking it was my last. There were so many things all around me I could never understand, so much that I could never fight. I used to cry myself to sleep every night, and wake up in the morning out of sheer cussedness at the things around me."

She gave him a small smile and in it he saw nothing but love.

"Then a handsome stranger came along and scared away the monsters. At first I thought you were just playing your own games, and I was fine with that. 'That's how people are' I thought. Sure he's strong, but he just needs me for something, then he'll throw me away like all the others."

Before he could make a protest, she put a finger over his lips.

"Hush. I'm not through."

Carefully, quietly, she pulled him down to lie next to her, their son between them. She leaned forward until their noses were nearly touching and idly played with the puckered scar on his chest. Her words came out soft as a sigh, but cut through the gentle night sounds.

"And then I met Harriet. And Janah. And Red Oath. And Connor. And I started to realize something. A Garou's strength doesn't lie in their arms, or in their heads, or their magic."

She tapped his chest with a pair of fingers.

"It's in your heart. It's in the bond you share with your pack. It's the way Kefka makes sure Harriet is always taken care of while you're away, and it's the way Zoe chased off that cheat of a smith back in Nacadoches. It's in the way your king fought to protect his Kin while his throne burned. It's in the way you love me, and how you stare daggers at any man that gives me more than half a passing glance."

She smiled wide now, lighting up the room for a moment before it turned sad.

"You go out and fight monsters every night, and I worry every time you walk out that door, but I know your pack will bring you home safe no matter what. And I know you'll always do right by Jack and I, and I'll always do right by you."

She leaned forward and kissed him.

"You lead your pack into battle; I want you to be the first in the fray. Bring everyone home safe and make the world better for me and Jack. But when we're here, alone, I want you to know it's okay to be scared. I can't fight monsters, but I can help with that."

He stared at her for a long while, chest boiling over with emotion. Finally he reached his hand down and brushed her hair from his son's face, and took the boy in his arms for the first time and the darkness inside him fled to die in the morning light.
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