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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi

    I know I need us more than I need me // any siblings
    i know i need us more than i need me
    It would seem that although my sister remains trapped in her dreams, I find myself most energized by the night. It makes for a terrible pit of loneliness that only early-morning to mid-evening sleeps can make up for, though lucky for me, Iri always greets me in my dreams no matter what time I pass out. Momma and Mother's disapproval of my backwards sleep cycle takes a backseat to their concern for my twin's wellbeing, too, since after all she and I are happiest when together.

    I guess that trying to navigate early childhood without my other half makes for some unusual behavioural patterns. Or something, anyway.

    Today, Mother awakens me with a nudge of her golden-pink nose as the sun hits the long evening angle. Time to get up, sleepyhead, she murmurs to me, and with a biiiiiig stretch, I bounce to my hooves. Grass sticks to my side as my sweat there cools, a strange, cool breeze drafting through this volcanic home of ours. With a high-pitch whinny, I reach to give Mother a kiss and stick around long enough to hear her say that Mother is out doing errands and that I am to stay within the kingdom; I manage to yell back that I will as I race out of the coconut grove.

    In our dreams last night -- err, last morning, really, -- Iri mentioned wanting a clear picture of the pond near Tephra's border at twilight as the sunset reflected off of it. Though the sun's journey to the horizon began but an hour ago, my stick-thin legs race to get me to my destination as though the sun might be set ablaze with color at any moment. The wings at my beg meet little resistance as I run, just half-lit in the dusking light with a faint twinkle here and there. The air feels sharp and delicious in my lungs, the grass underhoof soft yet durable; I'll have to show Iri that in our dreams, too.

    Whoop!ing with glee, I slide-stop next to the pond and half-rear in celebration. I made it! The grass rises up to meet me as I roll about in it, scratching off the grass that yet stuck to me from my sleep. With a sneeze, I shoot back to my hooves, wide-legged and grinning, eager as I await the setting of the sun.

    aegean Oriash Warlight Sviko
    Or any other family!! Come play with the baby? *presents cookies*
    There were whispers about Soso and Kiki's new babies, but they were whispers that never fully reached Locheed and Laia. Something about dream-travel and mushrooms - this of course made the dragon-scaled filly more curious than she would have been about her newborn aunt and uncle under normal circumstances. It was just enough second-hand information to fuel endless speculation by the Raulight twins. And most of their made-up explanations were things they would never say out loud. Because everyone knows, words whispered to a twin and not considered said out loud.

    So the yearling's curiosity is irresistible as she sees a little colt galloping across the grasslands. A little colt who happens to match much of her overheard intel.

    Locheed gives a call, one her sister would know meant to come find her if she was close enough to hear... but she wasn't going to wait around and miss her opportunity to meet him.

    She reaches the colt just as he is enjoying a roll in the grass, and she is tempted to do the same. But he springs to his feet and looks so expectantly into the sky in a way that makes her take a step back, and a laugh overrides the greeting she had planned.

    "What are you looking for?" she asks, as she comes to stand beside him and follow his line of vision. The sinking sun behind them was beginning to set the clouds alight with the colors of flames, and roosting birds flew noisily above them. It was interesting enough to look at, but the mystery that surrounded him made her feel like there was something more to it.
    Laia was never far from her own twin. When Loey called, it was only heartbeats that passed before the buckskin girl centered in to meet her. Proud little yearling spikes were growth from her brow, still velvet covered in the early spring but horns nonetheless. She'd been showing them off to anyone who'd spare her a minute since they'd emerged, thrilled that she now had one more thing in common with her mother. 

    When the white faced girl came to her sister's side, it was with a beaming grin, her eyes immediately latching on to the colt her sister had obviously summoned her to see. "Aww! Ohmygosh Loey, look at the baby! He's so cute!" Her words came out in a whiplash torrent, the energy vibrating off of her leggy frame almost visibly. "You're really adorable, you know that?" 

    She was gushing unapologetically, her petite muzzle wuffling close to his to drink in his baby scent. She was in love, there was no doubt about it. From his little baby nose to his itty bitty puff of a tail and everything in between, she adored him. Grammas' had done a good job with this one. With a deep sigh, she stepped back to give the boy room to breath again, leaning dramatically on her sister's shoulder. 

    This colt, of course, lined up nicely with the half-heard descriptions the grown ups had shared between themselves when they thought the girls weren't listening. That meant he, like and and Locheed, was a twin. His twin though, wasn't here, exactly. Laia still wasn't fully convinced the girl foal had survived, but that was too sad to think about much, so she didn't. It was happier by far to smother this little guy in giddy adoration while she had the chance. 

    Indius Locheed

    I should have loved a thunderbird instead
    at least when spring comes they roar back again

    Aegean has settled in easily to the Tephran lifestyle. It is no surprise, after all, with how much he has spent of his life wandering—how many places have served as a temporary home. He feels no great connection to the island, but neither does he actively feel discomfort in settling here. Instead, it feels like just another dream, an extension of the life he has led ever since he found Pteron once more. Their time together has been sweet, gentle, and now, the love manifested in not one but two little ones.

    He cannot claim that carrying them, or giving birth, was a pleasant experience. It was, after all, nature’s way, but he cannot ever claim to think it was not worth it. Instead, he wakes up every day feeling grateful for the gifts bestowed upon him. The twins are miracles and when Leliana comes to check on them, he feels his heart swell with joy—for their existence, for her help, for the love that brought them here.

    And, today, he feels great pleasure in watching them explore the land itself.

    They are young but already graceful for their age. Each beautiful and wondrous things. He smiles as they explore around him—Aureus with his gentle glow and secrets in his eyes and Asena with her own gifts of illusionism. He cannot imagine how much she will grow with them in time. To be born with such power would mean her control over it would far exceed his own reach in short order.

    It does nothing but make him smile.

    Humming lightly under his breath, he continues to wander forward, his amethyst hooves sinking into the moist volcanic soil with each step, his tail dragging just slightly on the ground. It is only when he comes across the trio that he pauses, purple eyes washing over them as a faint bemused smile tugs gently at the glowing curve of his mouth. “Hello there,” he calls, his voice gentle. He laughs lightly as he watches the first boy rise up in the air, the glee washing off him in waves. “My name is Aegean.”

    He smiles at all three before motioning to the pale faces behind him.

    “And these are my children, Aureus and Asena.”

    I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead
    (I think I made you up inside my head.)


    Waking with the dawn has become my habit. Daddy says its good I am predictable, but I think Papa would prefer I slept a little longer, snuggled in with my slower-to-rise sibling. I wait very patiently, planning our grand adventure for at least sixteen years before I felt Aureus stirring beside me and Daddy is finally ready to begin our explortation.

    Everything here is wonderful: the plants, the birds, the weird smooth places where the ground is nothing but flat stone.

    Even these three strangers are wonderful, though I have found Daddy's side at the sound of their voices. Instinct puts me there, but I am craning my neck wide, trying to spot them as we go closer. Could these be the family that Papa and Daddy had spoken of, I wonder? Are they aunts and uncles? Or, I think with a delighted wicker at seeing two girls are no more than a summer older than Ree and I, could they be cousins?! And that one there, with the cloud sparkle wings, he looks no bigger than me!

    I leap ahead of Daddy, lowering my head and shaking it a little in greeting, the way I might if the amethyst buds of my antlers were grown and I bumped them against another pair. For now it just looks like a silly thing a child might do, and precedes a more normal greeting where I look from one strange face to the other. The colt is dark, with white patches like both my fathers, and the pegasus girl shares them as well. The brown girl has spots on her legs and is covered in scales just like the lizard that Aureus have found earlier on our walk.

    "Are you part lizard?" I ask curiously. Remembering at the very last moment that I should also be polite, I add: "Please".

    A S E N A

    i’d rather run the other way
    than stay and see the smoke and who’s still standing when it clears

    i know i need us more than i need me
    Though a call goes out while I galavant towards the pond, my attention fails to register the sound. As such, a squeal of surprise accompanies a jolt of my entire body three inches to the left as I set eyes on the filly who settles in next to me when I rise from my roll. The crystalline sound of the scaled-filly's laughter soothes my shock, however, and I step forward to investigate with a thoroughness known only to monthlings.

    Standing many hands shorter than this girl-who-smells-like-family, I poke and prod her entire body with my wuffling nose, from her face to her hooves to her lizard-like tummy. I only remember my mission when she asks what I look for. The sunset! Leaping away from her without a word, I sprawl my legs and stare at the pond, then the sky, then the pond, then the sky, frowning in a concentration so hard that I fart a little. Lucky for me, I once again do not even notice.

    By this time (with enough of the sunset logged in my memory to satisfy my dream-related needs), another filly of the same age and size as the first shows up and begins to gush over me. Her words far exceed the other's in terms of excitedness - when I glance up at her with my blue eye, she vibrates right on the spot! The huge smile this brings to my face causes my cheeks to cramp but I forget that right away.

    "Hi!!" I exclaim at long last, grinning up at the twin sisters with glee. "And you are both very beautiful," I go on, the high pitch of my baby voice ringing through the humid air. Once again I step forward to sniff and poke at the new sister, ruffling her feathers with a wet mouth and sneezing on her knees before stepping back. "I have wings just like you! If you wait 'til sunset's over, you'll see."

    Before I can explain further, another voice apprehends my attention (a voice whose approach I failed to notice, too!). My spin-around to face the voice almost ends with my face in the dirt. A stallion! The creature stands so far above me and with such regality in his glowing-white and amethyst aura that I forget to close my mouth while I stare. He also smells like family! When I get my mouth to click shut long enough for me to step towards the stallion (I haven't met any adults beside Momma and Mothers yet, nevermind a stallion!), two more small creatures appear next to him.

    My name is Aegean and these are my children, Aureus and Asena.

    A boy and a girl, just like me and Iri.

    A distinct feeling of oneness begins to set in.

    The youngest filly's mock-attack greeting distracts me from this, however, and I rear back on my hind legs with a mighty one-two punch of my skinny forelegs in response. Yet my eagerness to exchange a "proper" greeting with her abates none and I step forward to wuffle at her nose, ears, antler nubs, and down the length of her crooked blaze. "You're my twin sister's age!" I burst, unable to pretend to be a singlet any longer. Yet I once again fail to explain her absence during this gathering.

    Stepping back and tripping over a rock, I feel my heart tremble while the grin on my lips remains steadfast. "Who are you all?" I ask, eyes gravitating back towards the stallion and his son, who remains attached to his father's side. I wonder for a moment what it must be like to have a father but find that thought uninteresting and allow it to pass me by without interruption. "Are you my brother, Aegean?" My head lowers in submission, lips chewing and ears forward as I approach to greet and lick the much larger man's nose. "You smell and taste like momma and mother..."



    He is not quite as outgoing as his sister, although he never begrudges her that. From the very beginning, he has loved watching the way that she shines—loves the way that she lights up any area that she’s in. He is content to watch, to wear that bemused smile and see her prance and play and engage so easily.

    That same smile shadows the edge of his lips when she springs forward from father’s side, watching as she bumps her head against the other children. He angles his head a little, his smile spreading without him truly realizing it. For a second, he glances up to Aegean and notices that his father is looking down at him. There’s something understanding in his dad’s amethyst gaze and while he doesn’t force him forward, he does reach down to exhale lightly into the light fluff of his mane. Encouragement, at the very least.

    Sighing lightly, and knowing that he can’t stay back forever, he finally steps forward. His eyes are more serious than his sister’s but not unkind, and he dips his head in greeting to all of the gathered children. “Hi.” He wants to say more, considers it, but his attention is caught by the question aimed at his dad.

    He swings his head toward Aegean who is smiling dreamily down at the young colt. ”Perhaps,” his dad muses, his lip quirking in the corner at the greeting. ”Are you of Kagerus and Solace? Because, if so, then yes.” Delighted at the possibility, Aegean begins to weave illusions around the group, bringing forward woodland creatures who hop and dance around them all. Aureus smiles as the deer walks up to him and then turns his purple gaze to where his sister prances in front of him.

    For a second, he sends her a quiet smile and he feels that familiar warmth in his belly.

    Perhaps he could do this after all.

    — we need the dark to know the light —
    Sometimes she forgets that not everyone is to be treated like a twin at the first meeting, that she should introduce herself and not catch others by surprise. Her draconic eyes widen and her head snaps back in the colt's direction as he squeals and leaps sideways. But he recovers just as quickly as he had startled, and her fear she has chased him away disappears before it has time to sink in.

    She laughs as he investigates her, snuffing his short baby-mane when it's in reach, and giving a sort into the crook of his neck. His scent confirms who she thought was true - it's certainly her uncle. But she decides she would much rather think of him as a cousin.

    Laia is close behind and falls to fawning on the little colt and falling in love, and Loey thinks this evening couldn't get much better. She's already thinking of games they can play, and that they should probably help him get home safe once the moon comes out, when she senses the others.

    The yearling turns around to see someone who very much looks the part of the uncle, and she can't help but gives an open-mouth smile as she looks up into his glowing face. But as beautiful as he is, her attention is quickly captured by his two children.

    "A lizard!" She exclaims, no longer able to resist the growing energy of the group. Sticking her nose in the air, Locheed pulls her lips back and sticks her tongue out past her sharp teeth in her best impression of a lizard. She had never seen a dragon, but she had seen plenty of lizards, and she finds she like this comparison better than the one her father gave her.  But the little uncle-colt is rushing forward to banter with the asker of the questions and Locheed steps towards Aureus to avoid tiny, flying hooves.

    A deer appears in the space between her and the boy, and a little gasp leaves her lips. Instinctively, she reaches out to touch it with her muzzle, and when that fails, her vision switches to heat signatures.

    "It's magic," she says with reverence as she realizes the creature is more ghost than animal. Switching back to her regular vision, she looks around at the menagerie of soft creatures before turning back to the boy with the quiet eyes. "Are you doing that?"

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