show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Printable Version

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show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Heartfire - 10-22-2018

Perhaps she had waited too long. Perhaps it had finally occurred that she could no longer live with her conscience. Whatever the case, she is making a visit long overdue. For the first time in a very long time, she had deliberately delayed. Because, for all her failings, this is perhaps her worst. And though she cannot bring herself to regret, she knows she had caused her sister pain.

Only now, she has made it worse. That part, she would never divulge. Not if she could help it. But too recently she had discovered the memory loss she had thought only affected Dovev had also affected Luster. And it is that knowledge that finally brings her to this point in time. To finally seeking out her younger sibling. To tell her things she should have told her long ago.

As she makes her way through the trees, it’s easy enough to find her Luster. But as she seeks out sight to locate the younger blue mare, she makes a surprising discovery. One she had anticipated once, but is equally surprising nonetheless. One that is only compounded when she digs a little deeper.

In the span of only a few moments, every motive she had for being here has changed. So much so she nearly turns and leaves, fingers of dread clutching at her stomach. But she cannot.

Instead she continues, until she finds that familiar blue and emerges from the trees to face her. Her features, so similar and yet so different, are still and unreadable as her blue gaze settles on her sister. “Luster,” she offers by way of greeting, the calm of her voice masking the tight ball of emotion in her breast. “It’s been too long.” She had thought releasing her grief and rage and confusion would return her to her previous state of emotional quiescence. It seems she had been wrong.

i see your sins
and i want to set them free


RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - luster - 11-05-2018

There is no warning that today will be any different than those that have come before. No warning of the pain she will feel when her heart is torn free from the safety of her small, aching chest. It is better this way, though, to be able to greet her sister with a soft smile and love in her dark eyes as the familiar mirrored image of herself - swathed in blue and white and bruised beauty - bleeds from the shadow of the forest to greet her.

“Heartfire,” she greets the woman with gentle surprise, stepping forward without hesitation to rub the bridge of her nose affectionately against the underside of her sisters smooth jaw, “it’s good to see you.”

Because there is no warning, no way to know.

There is so much she does not know, though. A haze in her life that clings like fog to every corner of a mind aching to remember, aching to be whole again. She has dreams. Strange visions in shattered puzzle pieces, memories of a dark man dressed in violence and bone, his lips on her skin and impossible promises whispered against the curve of her blue ear. She remembers more, too. The ache in her chest when they had come together, made vows as though they meant them. They had meant them.

But those were shattered too, lost in the same brokenness turned to dust and sent to drift like the stars to a dark and endless sky.

Except she is rediscovering them in constellations of their former selves, recalling bits and pieces that are not quite ready to be put back together yet. But even without knowing what it is she is fighting to reclaim, she is fighting hard, fighting constantly. Dragging them back to herself while she sleeps, while they try to build themselves like dreams in her mind, but she knows better - is starting to know better.

She blinks softly, pulls back to she can look at her sister, find comfort in those electric blue eyes that have always, always seen more than they have any right to. It has never bothered Luster before, though. “What brings you out this way, are mom and dad well?”

And she doesn’t even know to brace for impact.

— Luster —
so we let our shadows fall away like dust ;

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Heartfire - 11-05-2018

For all that she knows, sometimes she is blind. Vision is honest and unfailing, but it is not the same as memory. What one sees is not always what one remembers. And perhaps it would have changed things, if she could see memory in the same way she did vision.

But she cannot. Instead Heartfire now stands before a woman she had tried to protect and instead betrayed in the most visceral of ways. And she doesn’t even know it yet. Luster would hate her once she did.

And she would be right to.

Would it be better or worse, that she learned from Heartfire rather than another? Regrettably, precognition is not one of her abilities, else she might have come with more ease.

She closes her eyes briefly as Luster greets her affectionately. She has never been a woman given to affection, but she gives it now. Perhaps the last time she would ever receive such a thing from her sister. Perhaps it is the last time she would be allowed to show her that she does care.

She is too flawed perhaps. She could not expect Luster to overlook those flaws, not after she knows the truth.

Her blue gaze settles upon that familiar face, expression stilling into a serene mask. “Mom and dad are well.” She pauses then, unsure how to continue. She frowns faintly, briefly, before her features smooth once more. “Luster,” she hesitates, at a loss for words for perhaps the first time in her life. She hadn’t expected it to hurt, and it is not something she could even think about. Not now. Perhaps not ever. “Did you know you’re pregnant?”

i see your sins
and i want to set them free

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - luster - 11-05-2018

“Good.” She says, soft and sincere, but it does make her wonder why her sister has come at all. Heartfire is a woman made of purpose, it would be so rare for the woman to stop by just to check up on her and say hello. In fact, Luster cannot recall a time they ever spoke just for the sake of each others company.

She is just about to ask again, prompt her further, when the blue warrior frowns and the illusion of serenity is torn abruptly from her face. It is back again in an instant but the mask is chipped now, the cracks more easy to see. Luster softens, so unsure and perhaps just a little wary because she has never seen her sister anything but unshakeable.

“Yes?” She offers in trade for her name, those dark, wild eyes locked so uncertainly on her sisters face.

Did you know you’re pregnant?

Of all the things Heartfire could have asked her, that was definitely near the bottom of a rather long list. She flinches, startled, blinks and feels a heat creep into her skin, a blush burning beneath the blue and dark of her cheeks. Of course she isn’t pregnant, she’s never even been with anyone like that before. It was impossible. She was just getting a little fat around the tummy from all those apples with little Merry.

She shakes her head slowly, those eyes so huge and round and maybe a little bashful now. “No, Heartfire, I -” But had she not been wondering why only her stomach seemed to grow, hadn’t she wondered at the flutter that turned into something more - spasms of muscle, she had told herself.

It was impossible.

“I’ve never been with -” anyone, she had been about to say. But those constellations, ohh those constellations. A dark man dressed in violence and bone, his lips on her skin and impossible promises whispered against the curve of her blue ear. Dovev. Ohh, Dovev. His lips on her shoulders, kissing her - her neck bent to find him, kiss the leg draped over her ribs. She burns hot now, blushes wildly beneath the shield of blue and black fur. No, it’s impossible. Just a dream, it’s just a dream.

But it’s come to feel less and less like a dream lately, hasn’t it.

She’s wild and unsure and so confused, so confused it hurts to breathe because it can’t possibly be true. It can’t. But Heartfire had not asked if she was pregnant, only if she knew. She is quiet for one, two, three seconds that stretch into a dozen eternities as she finds that crystalline blue gaze and holds it with a confused, furrowed brow. “Why do you think i’m pregnant, Heartfire?” She’s so, so soft that even the snow falling around them makes more noise.

— Luster —
so we let our shadows fall away like dust ;

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Heartfire - 11-06-2018

She watches her fractured memories trying to piece themselves together behind her expressive features. Luster had always been the very opposite of Heartfire, so free with her emotion, with her love. A small part of her envies her sister for that freedom, even as she knows she could never hope to emulate it. There is strength in that, a resiliency difficult to find. Where Luster bends beneath her pain, Heartfire would only shatter. And, unforgiving creature that she is, she would take those who dared break her with.

There is nothing enviable in that.

She says nothing in response to her first halting sentences. If the memories returned, she would not need Heartfire to confirm what she already knows. And Heartfire has no desire to explain those particular details. She is not a voyeur. Not for that particular facet of life. She knows enough to say with certainty who her children’s father is, to tell her why only now, after so much time has passed, she is finally carrying them. But not even for Luster would she delve into that particular memory. It is better left unseen, especially by her.

She shifts slightly when Luster finally settles on a question. It is not the question she would have asked first, but she is also not the one finding out only now that she is expecting. The very thought sends a cold chill down her spine. She couldn’t even consider the possibility. It simply didn’t bear merit.

Reaching out to her sister, she gently tweaks her sight, giving her the ability to read signatures she otherwise could not. Let her see for herself the children resting in her womb. Two distinct heartbeats. “Look Luster,”, she commands softly, gesturing at her faintly rounded stomach. It might be nearly impossible to see when one simply looks at the subtle ways her body had begun to change, but those two pulsing lights are strong and sure. A life all their own.

i see your sins
and i want to set them free

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - luster - 11-06-2018

There is such a fragile eagerness in her when Heartfire tells her, look, when she can feel her vision shift and alter. For a moment though, all she can do is pause and close her eyes, brace herself for a truth she so desperately wants - a truth she is sure must be untrue. Her sister, for all her well-meaning, must have misunderstood, must be wrong. Luster is not, cannot be, pregnant.

But Heartfire is never wrong, never does anything without complete certainty.

So Luster hesitates a beat longer, those dark eyes open with such a wild ache in them that even the snow around them seems to grow still, hold it’s whispery breath. She turns, and she isn’t breathing either, has forgotten how or that she needs to, that she ever knew how, because all she knows now are the two pulsing lights blinking back at her from someplace deep in her belly.


She is mesmerized for an eternity, so quiet and so still, unblinking as thought if she does, it will all be a dream. Another sky full of lost memories she is left trying to piece back together even without knowing she needs to be.

They are so beautiful.

She exhales the breath she had not realized she was holding, watches the twin lights fuss inside her as the muscles tighten against the absence of air again. Time loses all meaning, seconds drifting off of minutes, minutes shedding from the edges of hours, eternities. This moment is all she knows, this ache in her chest of such honest, untouched joy. But then a flash of light bursts from her, hits the outside world and shatters into dust, drifts off like wayward fireflies among the trees and snowflakes. She hadn’t mean to use her magic, but it had become so unruly as of late, so sentient. Opinionated.

In watching the light go, she is reminded once more of the woman at her side, the sister who has given her such a precious, unmatchable gift. She reaches out to brush her lips across Heartfire’s brow, smoothing aside the forelock there as she has a thousand times before for little Merry. “Are you sure?” And the question is so soft, so vulnerable, built with aching lips and trembling words. “I don’t understand how this can be.” She hesitates, brow furrowed, eyes cast in shadow beneath the currents of dark, silky forelock. “I had a dream once,” but she is hesitating again, hearing how foolish it sounds and shying away from the expectation of amusement in the blue eyes of her very practical sister. You don’t get pregnant from a dream.

She shakes her head, laughs softly, but there is a new guardedness there, a shield she is trying to construct for the cracks and fissures that suddenly seem so eager to erupt across everything she had thought to be true. “I must sound crazy.” But then the smile fades a little, and she glances back again to find those same twin lights nestled together inside her. Life, so beautiful and unmistakable. Growing inside her. “I’m going to be a mom.” She murmurs, suddenly struck by the notion that as some point those lights will inevitably be warm noses pressed against her belly, sleeping in a tangle of limbs with her and their brother, Merry.

And it is everything she had always imagined. To feel life growing inside of her, bigger and stronger until that life - those lives - are ready for the world. To have hungry little lips tugging at her belly, dark eyes full of love and promise, nuzzling against her chest. A family to give herself to. She can see it so easily, her sweet Merry tucked close to her chest, her head over his withers and holding him so near. A child - no, two. Twins? Pressed to her side and so safely guarded between them. Tangled and content in their togetherness.

But it is not everything she had always imagined. She had imagined it too much like her parents, a mother and a father, their children safely, happily with them. But there is only Luster here, only children. And it is still perfect, still makes her heart ache with a joy she has never known so intimately, but it is darkened with the rust of not understanding. “Heartfire?” She asks, turning those soft, uncertain eyes on her sister with such vulnerable trust, “Do you know who the father is? I.. don't think I've ever been with anyone.”

— Luster —
so we let our shadows fall away like dust ;

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Heartfire - 11-06-2018

Her sister’s joy at the discovery is nearly palpable, expressed in the sudden burst of lights that glitter around them like the night sky. For a moment, she knows happiness for her sister, for the fruition of a dream she has so long held. But knowledge is a devil in her mind, and she cannot remain beneath the sway of her joy for more than a moment.

She had not come here with joyful news, but, for a moment, she is happy she can give Luster that much at least. She does not know that it will truly soften the edge of the truth however.

Are you sure? she asks, though Heartfire does not respond. She doesn’t need to. She had shown her the truth already, even if it takes her a moment to fully believe. Her words cut at her, more than she had expected. But it is no more than she deserves. She has never run from anything in her life, and she would not be a coward now. No matter how much she might wish to escape the purity of Luster’s brief happiness or the unwitting sharpness of her words.

“It wasn’t a dream,” she replies almost gently, a heavy certainty in the words. Perhaps she cannot be privy to her dreams, but she knows without a doubt that whatever she recalls in such a dream-like haze must be memories shrouded by the accidental clumsiness of a magician.

It is her last question that is the worst, however. No matter that she knew it was coming, a part of her wishes she could escape its inevitability. There is confusion framing that simple question, a plea for completion of her long-held dream. A dream that would break apart the moment she admitted her culpability in this entire mess. The moment she admitted she is reason he is not here with her now.

She isn’t entirely certain she can explain it all either. He had been free to leave her (to return to this life) for a long time now. Even if his memories were as Luster’s, surely he must be curious. He had remembered other pieces of his life she knows. But she hadn’t been brave enough to ask why.

She isn’t sure she wishes to know the answer anyway.

She is silent too long after the question, as she tries to piece together the answers her sister would no doubt seek. When she finally does respond, her voice is soft, barely more than a breath. But, to her own ears, it feels as a gunshot in the air. “Yes.”

i see your sins
and i want to set them free

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - luster - 11-08-2018

Four words change everything. Only four of them to turn her whole world upside down - she knows because she can feel nothing solid beneath her feet, nothing at all and she’s falling through it soundlessly. But it’s okay, it’s okay, because it wasn’t a dream. Because that means this ache in her chest that she’s been buried under for years is real and normal and she isn’t crazy after all.

Isn’t in love with a dream.

It means that somewhere there are steady arms waiting to catch her and hold her close, and that’s good, because she’s still falling.

Heartfire barely has a chance to get her yes out before Luster is whispering a name that she has no idea means so much to both women. “Dovev.” She says, and it is so full of the ache of missing him, the ache born of all those dreams that aren’t dreams at all, that are instead memories dressed as dreams and she’s remembering that doesn’t make sense either. “But why can’t I remember? Why is it so hard?” Her brow furrows and finally a darkness reaches out to stroke cold fingers across the joy in her eyes, dimming it.

Because he hadn’t come to find her, and in years of quietly searching this wicked world for any sign of him, she had found none. They had promised their forevers to one another, promised their always because who else could ever be enough for her. Who could ever fill her heart, her spirit, like he did.

But he hadn’t come.

She feels a nauseous kind of horror when she turns her wild gaze on Heartfire, feels that weight like a rock in her throat, boulders in her chest. Because there is one good reason she can think of that he wouldn’t have come for her, wouldn’t have found her. “Is he dead?” The words nearly choke her, taste like bile and blood and sick, and she can hardly spit them out fast enough. Unless, oh god, please. Unless he couldn’t remember either, unless his memories had disguised themselves in the very same way hers had. Because a life without him would be like a living hell. A brand of pain burned into her brow again and again with every new, dark day.

Anything would be better.

“Please tell me he just forgot about me, tell me he isn’t gone.” Her head is bent now, eyes closed to hold back a pain she is sure is sharp enough to wound anyone who looks too closely. “Heartfire, please.”

— Luster —
so we let our shadows fall away like dust ;

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - Heartfire - 11-08-2018

It is difficult to watch, to see the way her emotions melt across Luster’s expressive features. As realization settles and recognition dawns. His name falls from her lips, and she knows her sister is remembering. Fitting the pieces together until the fissures begin to heal. There are gaps in the memories, but slowly she has begun to fill them in.

It takes conscious effort to remain still beneath the onslaught, beneath the questions and the ache she had not expected.

She releases a breath, unsure how to answer those questions. Even she does not have all the answers, and what she does know will offer Luster nothing but pain. There is never an easy way to shatter someone’s entire world. No kind way to explain one’s own culpability in it.

Perhaps it would have been better if she hadn’t even tried. Eventually though, Luster would have found the truth.  And in spite of everything Heartfire has done in her life, such deliberate cruelty had never been one. Kinder, then, to tear the bandage free now before it had time to fester and set.

“I do not know… everything,” she finally answers, couching the story with a warning of her own fallibility. “You were caught in a stray bit of magic, I believe. But it altered your…” she hesitates “both of your memories.” And other things too, it now appears, though she hadn’t known of the children before now.

The last part is the hardest, almost. To give her such false hope. “He is alive.”

i see your sins
and i want to set them free

RE: show them the joy and the pain and the ending; Luster - luster - 11-08-2018

It will be a long time before Luster is able to see it clearly, but one day, she will understand that it is better to know than to be left to rot in the dark of mystery. She will know Heartfire was kind enough to set her free from the prison she never meant to build.

For now she is only quiet, only listening - nearly cracking a bit of a grin in the corners of her mouth when Heartfire admits to not knowing everything. But there is too much weight in the frown that has stolen rights of her lips, too much weight in it to lift even a little. Instead she is a bird, brightly colored and wide-eyed, a mirror to the words her sister hands her so carefully. “Stray magic?” Repeating things, trying to understand. “Both of our memories?” A parrot, nothing more.

She is struggling now, that beautiful blue and white face a mess of so many things, too many things for any one being to experience at once. But here she is, trying, failing, drowning more than a little.

But the next words give her something to hold onto, a way to keep herself afloat while everything else is a weight bound to her ankles and pulling her down into the deep. “Alive.” She repeats - why does she keep doing that, is she really so broken, is there really nothing more in her than a reflection now?

Except she’s shaking her head, dazed, pulling herself back up out of the dark because he is alive and she isn’t sure anything else matters more than that. As long as he is okay. “So,” but she’s pausing and frowning and blinking, trying to organize the thoughts being so completely overwhelmed by the emotion ruling her, “he doesn’t know. About me, or that,” the breath goes out of her, a skip in her heartbeat at the thought of their beautiful children growing so safely inside her, his children, “I’m pregnant.”

And it sounds different now, feels different. Knowing these little lives growing inside her were placed there by a man who had promised her so much. It’s good, and perfect, and it makes her ache inside because it is nothing she thought she would ever find, ever deserve. But it is everything she has ever wanted. A family of her own. A family for Merry, who needed more than just her, more than just a mother.

But Dovev doesn’t know.

Her eyes lift to Heartfire’s face, so soft and aching and full of gratitude for the woman who had come to give her the life that might’ve slipped right past her otherwise. “Can you see where he is? I need to find him, try and explain the impossible.” Because it is impossible. Still impossible, even now. "Maybe it'll be easier to understand if you come with me.

— Luster —
so we let our shadows fall away like dust ;