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 Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom

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kissofdeath
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Name: Amaranth Viper
Age: 23
Blood Rank: Pure Blood

PostSubject: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Fri May 20, 2011 2:05 am


It was strange how a family home had a sense of immortality within it. Seasons could change, lives could begin, and others end, but home would always be home, not matter what. Deep within Viper Manor, the feeling was just that, as though nothing had changed as the emerald orbs of a Mother watched her the forms of her sleeping children warm and a serenely. The three had fallen asleep in her youngest daughter, Lynn's room in Lara and Demyan's attempts to read her a bedtime story. Bless their hearts, barely a word was read as it was more or less a pillow fight that ensued, causing the three to stay up later than they normally would have. 

A year ago, Viper may have been irked at the disruption of their schedule, as she considered it very important that children get their needed hours of sleep. Now was not the case, though. This year of tests and trials had taught her more than what a lifetime had. She no longer worried about the minor problems that occurred in daily life, nor did she fear and fret about her future. She had learned in the most painful lesson imaginable that time was whatever you made it to be. Should you waste it, so be it, forevermore shall it fade into oblivion. Should you cherish it, however, forever shall it sparkle like a fresh-cut diamond.

Gently, she draped a blanket around their angelic, sleeping forms and bade them goodnight with a kiss to each forehead before quietly shutting the door. She had meant to continue down the hall towards the guest bedroom she had been staying at since her arrival before the light permeating through the other end of the hallway caught her attention. Glancing down, she realized the light was coming from the room she had once shared with Sevastyan.

She hesitated for a bit, unsure of what to do. Upon her arrival, she and Sevastyan had exchanged glances and looks, though with painful awkwardness and the tension of unspoken words between them. She had meant to approach him so they could talk through everything and, at the very least, if nothing more, decide what to do and what was best for the children, but it seemed something always came up and the opportunity was never before them. Until now.

For a moment, she stood and debated before deciding to leave it up to chance: if the door was open, she would progress. If it was closed, she would return to her room and stay there once more, as alone as she had the last couple of nights that had passed. With a deep breath, she progressed, closer and closer down the hall until she reached the bedroom.

The door was open.

Slowly, she entered, taking care not to make any noise in case Sevastyan was asleep.

To her surprise, he wasn't sleeping, however. He was quite awake and appeared to be staring at something deeply. It was upon a closer glance that Viper realized he was staring at framed photos of the family throughout the years.

A soft smile appeared upon her face as emerald orbs followed where the grey orbs belonging to the man she adored fixated upon. A plethora of memories adorned the photos ranging from when she was pregnant with Lara to memories of various camping expeditions. 

"It all seemed so much easier then, didn't it?" she asked softly, breaking the silent. "Back then, the biggest worry we had to face was whether or not we would have enough energy the next day to keep up with the children," she uttered, referring to how back then, the present was very much the state of mind, but how now, in recent days, particularly with the events of the year passed and the ever-growing threat of the Purgers hovering over them seemed to consume all.

A  particularly familiar photo caught her eye, causing her to approach it, and gently trace the figures within it. It was a simple one taken roughly ten years ago, when Lara had first been born and had only been home for a few days. The photo was taken by Dracovan of her, Sevastyan, and Lara asleep on the bed despite it being broad daylight, with Lara curled between her parents. They had been completely worn out from sleepless nights of tending to their newborn, so the pair had more or less collapsed upon their bed when the infant had finally caught sleep. 

"I remember when we first brought Lara home from the hospital. She was so small and light and we were absolutely terrified that we would break her so your Mother had to step in and show us how to do everything?" the small smile upon the witch's face turned into a reminiscent one as she allowed herself to get lost in the memories of her entrance into the world of Motherhood. "I remember just staring at her while she slept in her crib, stroking her hand, and being completely amazed every time I looked at her. Amazed that, even when times were hard and full of uncertainty, something so pure could exist, and that she, this beautiful, perfect being, was a part of us. Something that we created..." 

Tears came to fill her eyes at the memories though the witch did her best to blink them away, though it did little good as e tears could be heard, woven into her voice. Timidly, she turned to her husband. "Do you remember?" she asked softly. Though, within that question, she also asked if he wanted to remember. Or did he loathe those memories and wish to forget those memories, and cast them away, never to be seen or relived again?

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sub_rosa
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Name: Sevastyan Kaminski
Age: 34
Blood Rank: Pure Blood

PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Sun May 29, 2011 2:45 am

When his world had initially fallen apart, a portion of Sevastyan had wanted to pack up his children and abandon Viper Manor forever. It was not his home, but Amaranth’s and Dracovan’s. He was the outsider once again, and without his wife at his side it felt as though he had usurped the Viper family’s prestige by staying. Besides: Dracovan would need the space for his own budding family, even though the manor would surely be able to hold several generations’ worth of family.

Sevastyan had just wanted an excuse to go back home to Mother Russia. Back to what he was familiar with, and see that for his parents at least not too much had changed. He often found that the place he called home rarely changed, even though his parents were definitely beginning to look older each time he visited. That didn't set well with him, for if they were growing old then so was he... Sevastyan didn't want to grow old just yet.

However, in visits to his Russian kin, Sevastyan learned something important: his children connected more with Viper Manor than they did with the Kaminski one. It became startlingly clear when Lynn got upset for the umpteenth time at having left a toy, and begged him for the umpteenth time to go and fetch it. Nearly all of her toys had been transported between the two estates. Despite what he wanted, Sevastyan realized that Viper Manor was more of a home to the trio. Permanently removing them from such a setting would do more harm than good during this difficult time. They also didn’t particularly need to witness Maksim’s criticizing him at every turn. Although, to the older Kaminski's credit, Maksim was pleasant toward his grandchildren and took every opportunity to spoil them when Praskovya was not doing the same.

Even as Sevastyan perused a select collection of framed photographs, he realized in retrospect that most of the photos had been taken here in England. A few were naturally in Russia, and at Hogwarts, but the bulk of them were snapped right here at the manor. As he sat near the vanity that was mostly Viper’s and partially his, Sevastyan couldn’t help but take that old familiar stroll down memory lane: nearly every inch of the manor was adorned with family photographs to proudly display the family's happier times.

In his hands the wizard clutched a bottle of vodka. Unlike a few months ago, however, the bottle was almost full. At this hour back when the pain was fresh, the bottle would have been almost empty and the evening would find Sevastyan somewhat stumbling around for another bottle or two. It still served as his crutch, but Sevastyan found he was dipping into it less and less. Admittedly if it weren’t for his sister and Kiara double-teaming him about his drinking, and Stefan confiscating just about all of it and guarding it with the help of a few nasty curses... well, Sevastyan really didn’t want to think about where he would be now if not for them.

Even with the curses Stefan put in place, Sevastyan was determined to prove to all the family and friends he'd let down that he wasn't some washed up, drunken failure. It took a bit to motivate himself and his spirits were still on the low side of the halfway mark, but he managed to at least get that far.

At one point early in the separation, Sevastyan stayed in the guest room his wife now inhabited since her arrival back home. It had confused his two daughters a great deal to not find him in his usual place, and one if not both had thought he had “run away” that night. After much assurance that he was not going to leave them and repeated dwelling within the guest bedroom they found his words to be true, although it wasn’t long before he was persuaded to move back to his original sleeping place. The bed didn’t feel nor smell quite right, the latter comment of which making Sevastyan a bit self-conscious for he didn’t smell anything other than a faint lingering of Amaranth and her perfumes. This lack of proper feel and scent made the nights his daughters managed to wheedle themselves into sleeping beside him uncomfortable and unproductive for all three, indeed, but not necessarily unpleasant.

’Speak of the little devil,’ Sevastyan mused, sensing someone entering his bedroom as his eyes settled upon a photo of Lara. He suspected his eldest had come to announce that her younger siblings were successfully tucked in for the night, and would proceed immediately after that declaration to petition for an extension on her bed time.

From the corner of his eyes Sevastyan realized he’d guessed wrong: it wasn’t Lara tiptoeing into the bedroom...

It was Amaranth.

Absently the wizard rubbed at his chest, the scar just beneath the cloth from when he had tried and failed to remove his heart burning suddenly. In all honesty, despite what had happened Sevastyan was glad his wife had come back to him and their children. The sad part was that so much had changed that their entire dynamic shifted from close-quarters and loving to awkward and tense. Although there was still pain over what had happened, Sevastyan sincerely wanted to at least attempt to civilly figure out where to go from here with Amaranth. He just didn’t know how to go about it, if she even wanted to discuss such a thing, or if attempting to have that conversation would inadvertently make her leave them all over again. The opportunity was never just right, either: something would inevitably come up before the words could be conjured. Now, with the kids asleep, would be a possibly productive time. But if he caused her to leave again...

Sevastyan kept still as she approached, though did give her a little nod to let her know he’d spotted her and had no qualms with her entrance. Orbs still transfixed upon the photograph of Viper, a days-old baby Lara, and himself, Sevastyan hadn’t realized by now that his wife was standing beside him. It had been such a simpler time nine years ago: in love and mostly at peace with the world. The world did not include the purgers that were still after them, even though that was a fact as well.

"It all seemed so much easier then, didn't it? ... Back then, the biggest worry we had to face was whether or not we would have enough energy the next day to keep up with the children."

The Russian offered a slight smile and nodded, not trusting his voice to do more than give a feeble “Mm-hmm,” in addition to show he had heard. It amazed him how, despite being apart for several months, they still thought approximately the same things. At least, regarding memories of their children they thought similarly. Gray eyes blinked in further surprise as Amaranth reached to trace the photo he’d been gazing at. To be honest, it was one of his favorite pictures of his newly-formed family even if he didn’t remember the snapshot being taken. Then again, he was rather plainly sound asleep when it was taken...

"I remember when we first brought Lara home from the hospital. She was so small and light and we were absolutely terrified that we would break her so your Mother had to step in and show us how to do everything?”

A quiet chuckle left the wizard, remember quite clearly the first few weeks as a new father. He had always wanted children, although his younger self hadn’t anticipated being a father so soon. When it happened, however, everything just seemed right. True, he wasn’t yet married to Amaranth, but he tried multiple times to propose. Perhaps a small part of it was indeed to uphold ancestral ideals, but it was more about being in love with the woman than any rigid code imposed upon him by family or culture.

Sevastyan also vividly remembered the day a medi-witch insisted he hold the baby, despite his terror of holding too tight. His mother almost had to literally massage the stiff muscles in his arms to a more pliable, acceptable baby-holding balance of softness yet firmness. And this was only within the first five minutes in his new lifelong job as Daddy.

"I remember just staring at her while she slept in her crib, stroking her hand, and being completely amazed every time I looked at her. Amazed that, even when times were hard and full of uncertainty, something so pure could exist, and that she, this beautiful, perfect being, was a part of us. Something that we created...”

"Do you remember?"

The sound of tears within his wife’s voice was not lost on the wizard. However, he did wonder if they were reminiscent tears, considering it was now almost a decade since Lara’s birth... or if her tears were for the same reasons Sevastyan was holding his own liquid emotion on a short leash. Realizing now that he owed Amaranth a much more substantial verbal response, Sevastyan swallowed and set his bottle of vodka on the vanity as he tried to find his voice in a hurry. “Da... I remember...” he murmured quietly. “My mother had the patience of a saint as she helped us vith Lara.” A chuckle that was much more audible left his lips. “I don’t know vot ve vould have done vithout her help...

“I most remember rocking Lara to sleep ven she vos fussy, and being afraid of placing her in the crib for fear she vould vake all over again. I vould get up in the middle of the night just to check on her ven she started actually sleeping through the night,” Sevastyan reminisced. A lot of his thoughts were similar to Amaranth’s spoken words. “I only vish this dark time vould pass, so that ve might raise them all in a vorld vithout fear. They deserve so much better. All of them are perfect in their own vays...

“They even still amaze me sometimes. Despite their mischief, they are all still pure. And by some miracle they have their Dedushka wrapped around their little fingers,” Sevastyan almost laughed. The betraying tear at the corner of his eye would surely give him away...

A large lump made itself to home within Sevastyan’s throat, causing him to swallow again. It did little to help rid himself of the sensation. “I vish... things vere still that easy...” he half-muttered, half-whispered with his head bowed just enough to appear to be talking to his knees instead of the witch beside him. The wizard decided if there was ever a semi-decent time to take the proverbial plunge then this was as good a time as any to stick a few toes into the waters.

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kissofdeath
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Name: Amaranth Viper
Age: 23
Blood Rank: Pure Blood

PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Mon May 30, 2011 1:47 am

Emerald orbs watched with curiosity as their owner's husband's hand skirted upon his chest. Viper wondered what it was that lay there, beneath the fabric of his clothing that gave him pain. Though it was technically impossible, considering her condition, she felt a pain within her chest as well. Especially when Sevastyan was near and she was reminded of all that she had lost.

She missed them all so dearly, but especially the wizard before her. She had learned hard and well these past few months that she could live without her students. She could live without her career. Hell, she could live without ever coming within 5 feet of a potions cauldron.

But she couldn't live without her family. Viper may have wanted her career, but it was her husband and children she ultimately needed. She missed the true place she called home. She longed to be her children's Mother once more. She yearned to be all that she swore to be to her husband: his friend, his lover, and his partner in life. 

If he would have her back, that is.

"Da... I remember..."

"My Mother had the patience of a saint as she helped us vith Lara... I don't know vot ve vould have done without her help."


Through her tears she smiled slightly at his nod of remembrance, the smile growing at the mentions of her in-laws, nodding in agreement. Had it not been for them, especially Praskovya, showing them the way, who knows what would have happened. The closest image Viper could picture was perhaps their entire quarters, including their very own hands, coated in bubble wrap in an unnecessary extent to try and  keep their daughter safe.

"I only vish this dark time would pass, so that ve might raise them in a vorld vithout fear. They deserve so much better. All of them are perfect in their own vays..."

The witch felt more tears form at her eyes as Sevastyan voiced wishes of his own, though she did her best to hide them. Not trusting her voice to work, she nodded her agreement, managing a small, whispered "As do I..."

Viper sniffed slightly, her gaze down upon the floor as she slowly regained her ability to speak. "I know... They deserve the whole world..." She hesitated for a moment before uttering a thought that had long since crossed her mind, especially in the darker hours of Gris past year when it seemed there was no light left, and only the shadow she had once craved in her youth, that now consumed all. "I used to wish I wasn't their Mother..." 

Realizing how her words could be interpreted, she added, keeping her gaze locked unto the ground as though she were terrified of making eye contact with Sevastyan. "I love them all so much, but... Sweet Merlin, I failed so many times as a Mother... over and over again, it seems. I failed Lara, I failed Demyan, I failed Lynn... And you..." Briefly, her eyes lifted off the ground in what had been an attempt to make eye contact, only to, ironically, fail once more. Her nerves evaporated and she returned her gaze to their former position, her hands beginning to shake with nervousness and, though the witch wouldn't admit it, fear.

"I vish... Things vere still that easy..."

Viper nodded once more wishing for all of that and more, though deep down didn't know how, or even if, it could be made to be so. Could a shattered tower be rebuilt to it's former glory? Or, perhaps, at least rise again to be one of a respectable stature?

Perhaps it could... If the foundation the tower was built upon was sturdy enough...

Willing herself to look up, Viper forced her green orbs to meet those of her husband. Her heart pounded and her breath was shallow. From head to toe she shook. It broke her heart to think of how, at one point in her relationship with her husband, all it took was one look to convey their thoughts and feelings. Now she wasn't so sure. Yes, she could see fragments and remnants, some of which, like pain, matched her own, but her own self-doubt prevented her from reading accurately. It was like a foreigner returning to the Motherland after having spent years within another country. The knowledge of the language was still there, deep within, but the own doubt and fear of being wrong lead to nothing but petrification and doom.

"D-Do you hate me?" she whispered softly, her voice breaking slightly at the word 'hate'. During their final arguments, she had Sevastyan had exchanged many words ranging from various intensities of pain and harshness, but none had ever mentioned the word 'hate'. She had never hated her husband... The long, lonely nights of her crying herself to sleep every night was only one of various pieces of evidence that could verify this fact.

...Could Sevastyan say the same?

The fear in the witch took over once more, leading her to take on her Alma Mater's philosophy and flee the situation. "I-I'm sorry... I-I realize that's a stupid, perhaps even obvious, question. I-... maybe I should just go back to my rooms..." her breath shook, her voice trembled, and her legs quivered with this horrendous fear. Unable to stand the fear of, what the witch had thought, was an almost positive likelihood of being turned away, she had started to flee. She was like a fish forced out of water, gasping for breath, and unsure of what to do except panic and attempt to flee. Her feet had already started pacing and her body was turned away, heading towards the door. With her voice shaking and tears cascading down her face, she whispered. "I'm sorry for bothering you... I suppose I was just... chasing shadows, it seems..."

"Forgive me..." she pleaded softly. But for what she was asking forgiveness specifically for was difficult to say, whether it be for everything, or this, what the witch deemed as a recent offense.

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sub_rosa
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Name: Sevastyan Kaminski
Age: 34
Blood Rank: Pure Blood

PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Mon May 30, 2011 9:03 pm

Sevastyan nodded and lowered his gaze briefly before raising his eyes to glance sideways at his wife. He wanted so much to reach for her hand at the sound of her tear-muted voice alone. The simple gesture said so much for the both of them. Without even thinking one of his hands took the other in an attempt to prevent it from carrying out the wish. Did Sevastyan even have the right to touch her anymore? Did she even want him to touch her? Given her distance since April, and their separation since the summer, the Russian honestly didn’t know and didn’t want to take the risk just yet. After nearly a year of drifting apart the wizard wasn’t quite sure how to act around his own wife anymore.

A combination of utter shock and pain crossed the wizard’s face at Amaranth’s admission. Sevastyan turned to look at her fully, mouth open to say something but nothing came out. He wanted to say something. But at the same time he knew his mouth was more in control than his brain of late: if he didn’t watch his step, they could be right back where they were that summer morning. In his hesitation, Amaranth continued on.

"I love them all so much, but... Sweet Merlin, I failed so many times as a Mother... over and over again, it seems. I failed Lara, I failed Demyan, I failed Lynn... And you..."

Sevastyan couldn’t recall a time when his wife had ever failed at being a mother to any of their children. Other than perhaps the time she had snapped at Demyan, and this passed time of abandoning them all, he couldn’t recall any other instances. Then again, the mind tended to conjure up one’s own flaws more often than those of someone else. Perhaps Amaranth saw things he either did not or could not detect that she was hypersensitive to. “Ven have you ever failed them?” he asked in a whisper. Sevastyan almost thought Amaranth was about to look at him as her emeralds rose, and in response his heart began to race. He was ashamed of the wreck he’d become while she was away. How could she ever want someone like him back, Sevastyan thought to himself.

Almost as if to answer his question, in his mind at least, the green-eyed gaze he craved dropped once again.

Her silent nod to his second stated wish earned a small, hesitant twitch of his lips that wasn’t quite a smile. Sevastyan hoped the nod meant agreement, although it would not be the first time he had made a wrong assumption. A thought crossed his mind to ask if she felt the same. However, the fear of further rejection kept his mouth shut. By Merlin, it even kept his lips sealed and hands bound from participating in any and all romantic endeavors that even made a pass in his direction... with exception to one magically-generated fantasy and one accidental kiss while he was under the influence of alcohol. The wizard had developed a severe anxiety to being rejected even though it came across as almost the exact opposite. Sevastyan couldn’t help but wonder if, assuming Amaranth had the same wish, she would want to try and rebuild what they had torn down. Was it possible to patch up the holes and heal the scars? There was really only one way to know if what was left was strong enough, and if the parties involved were willing to sort through the rubble...

Sevastyan blinked when Amaranth finally met his gaze. A part of him felt relief when she did not immediately turn away again. The other part felt terribly awkward and afraid. He was not oblivious to the fact that she shook, and he sincerely wanted to do something about it, but Sevastyan had a feeling that like times prior he would be evaded. The wizard hated feeling so helpless. Earlier in the year he could provide an entire overview of the signals his wife was sending him at the merest of glances. Now, though? It was like they were speaking two entirely different languages and had no knowledge of an interpreting spell. Only the universal concepts of sadness and pain could be read. Everything else was still there but Sevastyan wasn’t about to guess at what the subtle nuances meant due to not wanting to misinterpret the signs. Misinterpretation, he’d learned, had become one of his specialties. With his wife, with his son, and with his colleagues: he had misinterpreted much over the course of this year.

The Russian’s jaw dropped about an inch and a half at the loaded question Amaranth posed. Raven eyebrows knotted together yet straightened and rose as a pained shock came over his features. So many hurtful words had been exchanged the last time they had truly been face to face that he supposed he shouldn’t have been as surprised as he was to hear that question. The truth was that he was surprised. ‘Hate’ was a strong word, and it took Sevastyan several years in his adult life to learn that lesson. The only person he had ever truly hated had been his brother, but they had reconciled nine years ago. All this time he thought she hated him for what he’d said and done, causing her to leave... not the other way around. For a moment he debated what would have stronger emphasis: a safe shake of the head, which he could trust to work without fail, or a verbal response.

That moment to consider, however, was a moment too long:

"I-I'm sorry... I-I realize that's a stupid, perhaps even obvious, question. I-... maybe I should just go back to my rooms... I'm sorry for bothering you... I suppose I was just... chasing shadows, it seems...

"Forgive me..."


Sevastyan just about leapt out of his seat when Viper turned to leave. He could kick himself for having said something to cause her to run away once again. Unlike last time, though, Sevastyan wasn’t about to just let her walk away while he sulked in defeat. This time, he was going to fight to make her stay if he had to. The children needed her... Hell, Sevastyan himself needed her. Losing her had sparked his entire decline back into darkness. “Please vait...” he called in near desperation, his voice shaking well out of his control. “At least hear me out...?” the wizard pleaded and made to gently grab any part of her that he could reach. It would likely end up in her shrieking and backing away from him even worse, but Sevastyan had to try something.

“I do not hate you,” he whispered, feeling a pair of hot tears rapidly make their way down his cheeks. “I have never hated you... I vos angry, and hurt, and blinded by my pain to see that not everything vos a lie...” Sevastyan mentally cursed the instability of his voice when he needed it the most. Why was anger so solid to manifest, and pain as broken up as the static on muggle telephones? “I-I’ve done a lot of thinking since... that morning... and qvite a few things I am not at all proud of... Ve both made mistakes, in more vays than vone. I vish... I vish I had known more about vot vos going on vith you... even though you vere trying to protect me. If there is anyone I hate, it is myself,” the wizard glanced down and away to send even more tears to find the collar of his shirt or dive off the tip of his nose.

Sevastyan tentatively raised his hand towards Viper’s face to caress the pale features. However, halfway through the action he winced his fear and lack of confidence in his ability to comfort his wife and let the hand drop. The wizard had no idea what Viper was asking he forgive her for, though could only think of one thing. Several months ago he probably would have scoffed at the notion. Now, however, after a lot of time to think... Orbs the color of impending storms gazed deep into the emeralds of their owner’s wife, trying to find some speck of what they had before the volcano had erupted. Slowly, Sevastyan nodded. The wizard didn’t know if Amaranth would want him back after everything that had transpired, but quietly he replied, “I-I forgive you... If you vould also forgive me?”

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kissofdeath
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Name: Amaranth Viper
Age: 23
Blood Rank: Pure Blood

PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Tue May 31, 2011 4:03 am

From the corner of her eye, Viper noted Sevastyan's hand clasp unto the other, causing her to wonder why that was. Once upon a time, Sevastyan would have reechoed for her hand, to clasp it within his own, and stroke it in a comforting manner. Were those days gone, cast aside by the winds of time and change? Did he think she was tainted? Too dirty to touch anymore, after all she had done? She wouldn't blame him if that's what he thought, though the thought of that possible reality pierced her heart like the shards of a blade, for there was no touch she craved more and yearned for, even if past months had done nothing to prove that fact.

"Ven have you ever failed them?”

Emerald orbs closed against the fierce cadence of tears of snow white sorrow that fell upon her face. She didn't dare take a glance at her husband's expression, for fear of what she might see. How disgusted he must be at the sight of her...She was disgusted at herself, in all honesty, especially how pathetic she must look, unable to even stand still without shaking. He couldn't possibly want anything to do with her. Perhaps this conversation was even just his way of being polite and granting her a simple discussion. Surely he'd want her out of his sight once possible, she mused painfully.

"From the beginning..." she admitted in a whisper, her gaze trailing back up to the plethora of photos. While all the photographs displayed happier moments in their family's life, all Viper could see we her mistakes in each, ranging from not dressing her child in the photo was warmly as she felt she should have, to not holding the child in her arms in a more comfortable position. Ridiculous and trivial, perhaps, but when coupled to the dark cloud of guilt and self-loathing that rained over the witch, showering her until she thought she may drown from it all, it meant everything.

She had passed a genetic disorder to two of her children. Complications had arisen during her pregnancy with Lynn resulting in an early delivery that left her child in a slightly weakened state, particularly immune system-wise, to this day. She had snapped at her son for the simplest of offenses, on his birthday, no less. She had broken promises, lied, even lost what would have been their fourth child...

Not to mention abandoned them all...

She had never been a good Mother. Not even close.

"I thought -hoped, maybe- that if I loved you all enough, that if I adored all of you as much as I do now to this very day, maybe that would be enough. Maybe I would be a better Mother, maybe I would be a better wife. But I was so wrong... If anything, I failed even more dismally because of that thought," she replied, laughing dryly through the tears.

"I tried so hard for so long to protect all of you from the Monsters of the outside world, but I didn't realize until it was far too late that I was the monster... I was the toxin within our family," She was openly weeping now, tears pouring faster to the point where all that surrounded her was nothing more than blurred shapes and colors. "Sevastyan... If nothing else, please know... P-please remember th-that, all those times I pushed you away, there was never a moment I didn't regret it, nor a moment where I didn't want to return to you..." 

She wasn't sure if he would believe her, or if he was merely humoring her by still listening. Regardless though, honestly, what more did the witch have to lose? 

The gentle touch of his hand upon her wrist was what made her pause in her steps. A whirlwind of joy, as well as an embrace of melancholy washed over her at the touch. Like a warm fire that greeted you after hours outside in the snow, so too was Sevastyan's touch welcome. More than welcome, actually, for the witch absorbed it all much like a starving man would to a scrap of bread presented to him. Even if it were no more than mere crumbs.

All those sensations that were once produced by touches and even looks between the two were still there... Perhaps slightly difficulty to find, beneath the pain and the shame, but they were still there. And the witch found them, taking care to enjoy those so familiar sensations that she had feared were extinct.

Before she could be too swept away, however, reality's maze enveloped her once more. She realized with burning shame that the wrist within Sevastyan's gentle grasp was the one she had unleashed the most fury on that night upon the Astronomy tower. Because of the blade she had used, the scars would never truly disappear, though in the past few weeks they had lightened considerably. They were still noticeable, however, particularly to the witch. Nothing adorned is formerly important hand other than the various slashes she had made upon herself throughout her wrist and arms, as well as what she had carved upon herself: Nemo. Ashamed of the testament of what she had done, she flushed slightly, her cheeks burning from both shame and her tears.

“I do not hate you... I have never hated you... I vos angry, and hurt, and blinded by my pain to see that not everything vos a lie...” 

"I-I’ve done a lot of thinking since... that morning... and qvite a few things I am not at all proud of... Ve both made mistakes, in more vays than vone. I vish... I vish I had known more about vot vos going on vith you... even though you vere trying to protect me. If there is anyone I hate, it is myself,”


The witch exhaled a shaky sigh of relief upon her husband's reply that he felt no hate for her. Her heart still broke though upon hearing his opinions of himself. Why would feel such a way towards himself? Did he not see the great man, wizard, husband, and father he was? He was everything a woman, witch, wife, and Mother could ask for... Had all that she had done caused him to think so I'll about himself?

Tentatively, the hand whose wrist was gently held by Sevastyan shifted, so that the hand could hold Sevastyan's. Her hand still trembled slightly from nervousness, for the witch wondered if this was really something she should be doing. Did she even have the right to touch him anymore, even if it was something so innocent, yet meaningful, as a held hand? Did he want her touching him? With this sense of doubt in her mind, she kept the touch slightly less than what she would have preferred. It was still fairly firm, yet loose enough that should Sevastyan pull away as she feared but thought he may. H would still be able to do so.

"There is nothing that I regret more than what had transpired that morning... A-and the night before that had caused it..." she whispered, her mind filling with flashes of images of the events that had taken place, and the words that had been exchanged. Se cringed at the memories and closed her eyes, begging for her mind to vanish those images, though she knew it would do little good. That past could never be changed, or even forgotten. The most a person could do or hope for is forgiveness, atonement, and perhaps, if one was so lucky, redemption.

"I'm sorry..." she breathed out through tears, repeating whatvhad seemed to become her mantra as of late, though she meant it wholeheartedly each time she said it. "I just... I wanted you all to have all that was better in life, and knew I certainly wasn't best for you all... you all deserve so much more than I could ever give you..." the witch wept, glancing down.

Viper held her breath in both anticipation and longing as she noticed her husband's hand reaching closer in what appeared to be a caress. She could feel her flesh tingling with the anticipation of a long overdue and forsaken touch...

Only to be denied, as the hand dropped to the side.

She felt her broken heart sink, wondering if this was perhaps a sign that her original assumptions were correct and that maybe Sevastyan truly was disgusted by her to the point where touching her was repulsive to him. Still though, Viper took what she could and when she felt his gaze upon her, she met those orbs she had for so long adored, attempting to convey that everything she had felt since meeting him, courting him, marrying him, and starting a family with him, was very much still there, as well as her longing to return to those wonderful days of being by his side and nights of being in his arms. If he would have her back.

“I-I forgive you... If you vould also forgive me?”

A soft, shaky, tear-filled sigh of both relief and gratitude escaped her as the witch nodded slowly. "Yes," she whispered softly through her tears. He had done no wrong, she felt, but she was in no position to deny him anything he asked of her. "I don't know why you would need my forgiveness, but if you wish for it, all that and any more you may want of me is yours..." she added sincerely, her index finger of the hand slightly entwined with Sevastyan's gently caressing his.

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:35 pm

Concern crossed the wizard’s face at his wife’s whispered admission. Following the emerald gaze, Sevastyan once again perused the photos. Just like every other time he looked at them now, a sad smile began to stretch his lips. After a moment’s consideration, Sevastyan shook his head. “Aside from factors out of our control, I do not see any flaw,” he stated simply. The wizard didn’t want to bring up pain, old or new, at this moment in time. It would need to be discussed, he knew, but for right now his heart begged for bliss first.

Sevastyan listened as she spoke, even though portions were painful to hear. It further hurt to hear the tears in her voice and know that there was nothing he could do to take away her pain. Or, at least, that’s what he had learned early on this year. And given their argument... the wizard wasn’t certain if Viper’s shout that his always being there was a problem had been a lie or if it was truth. He didn’t want to smother the poor woman but yet the ‘hands off’ policy pained him. Asking permission to touch her would only make the situation all the more awkward.

"Sevastyan... If nothing else, please know... P-please remember th-that, all those times I pushed you away, there was never a moment I didn't regret it, nor a moment where I didn't want to return to you..."

Storm-cloud orbs looked at Viper, a little frightened and still in pain. Did her wording mean she was going to leave again? Awkwardness aside, Sevastyan didn’t want to be alone again. He wasn’t sure he could survive another round of what he had been through. Unable to find his voice, Sevastyan closed his eyes and nodded. Despite trying to hold it in a few tears rolled down his cheeks. “Each time I thought it vos something I did wrong...” he whispered. “It hurt that no matter vot I did, I could not help you...” A few more drops fell as he opened his eyes to gaze upon his wife once more.

“You are not a monster. Or a toxin,” Sevastyan went on, shaking now almost as frequently as Viper. “Both cause pain vithout regret. Y-You don’t.” Gray orbs glanced downward, for there had been a time he thought the events of the summer had happened for entirely different reasons despite evidence to the contrary. He had thought the affair was purposeful, that her records had been faked, and quite a few other things that in retrospect now seemed very foolish to assume. If only Sevastyan had not jumped to conclusions and acted so brashly... perhaps things might have been different. What if he had been drunk and he made the same mistake? Sevastyan couldn’t remember who had posed this enlightening question to him. It was this inquiry that finally made him rethink his position.

The wizard glanced down at their hands to make sure he was not imagining things, and then back into his wife’s eyes. She hadn’t flinched, nor did she shriek and pull away from him. Breath caught in Sevastyan’s throat at the delightful change and was exhaled in a silent sigh of relief. A tingling sensation cascaded over him as though he had just stepped through a waterfall. The wizard wished the moment would last forever as he had thought even an innocent touch as this was forbidden and no longer desired. As silly or disturbing as it might sound, now that Sevastyan had her wrist in his grasp – admittedly a gentle one – the wizard almost feared opening his hand again to let her go. What if she flew away?

A slight panic overcame Sevastyan when the wrist he was holding shifted. Had she had enough of the contact? Perhaps she had done better than he had in moving on... Sevastyan hardly knew what his wife’s life was like since their separation. Reluctantly he loosened his grip so that his hand could be held properly. As her fingers entwined with his so too did Sevastyan tighten his part of the hand-hold. Like his wife, the wizard made sure it was not too tight in case she felt it best to let go. The tense and uncertain expression on his face melted into an awkward smile. Sevastyan had missed this contact between them. He caressed the top of Amaranth’s hand with his thumb affectionately, the action both a hesitant step forward and muscle memory taking over. If it weren’t for the conversation, the awkwardness, and changes in their appearances overall one would scarcely think anything had changed.

"There is nothing that I regret more than what had transpired that morning... A-and the night before that had caused it... I'm sorry... I just... I wanted you all to have all that was better in life, and knew I certainly wasn't best for you all... you all deserve so much more than I could ever give you..."

That frightened quality overcame the wizard’s eyes again, when the fateful summer morning that had turned everything upside down was mentioned. Sevastyan winced at the memories that swam to the forefront of his mind. He had tried to drink them out of existence but to no avail. Prior to those events he had thought that a failed engagement was the most painful thing he would ever endure. How wrong he had been... both on that thought, and on other levels. Sevastyan prayed that the blow he had lashed out with toward Viper did not leave a lasting scar. “Me too...” he murmured quietly, daring himself to initiate further contact. The wizard wasn’t quite that brave yet. “Don’t say things like that; vot better voman can the children have than their mother? ... I can think of no vone else in this vorld I vould have at my side as my vife, except you,” Sevastyan went on. “That is vot has made every day since then so dark...” The Russian bit his lip and lowered his eyes in an attempt to hide his pain.

“I... I am lost...” he muttered once his voice allowed him to do so strongly enough, without wavering or cracking.


"Yes. I don't know why you would need my forgiveness, but if you wish for it, all that and any more you may want of me is yours..."

Before she could elaborate any further on that simple ‘yes’ it felt as if a great weight had been lifted from Sevastyan’s shoulders, and the former anger taken from his heart. Eyes still glossed over with tears unshed, he gazed deep into the emerald pools that had been in his dreams in some form or another but had been agonizingly absent in his waking hours. In her eyes he saw much of what he knew, and some things he wasn’t quite sure if the interpretation was correct. It was such a complicated entanglement, but a positive one. A few memories of what seemed like an eternity ago swam to the surface, when Amaranth had bestowed a similar expression upon him to convey what she felt. Sometimes words simply got in the way of an emotion, they found. A simple hand-hold or a look between them said volumes more than even the largest book in the world had to say.

“I shouldn’t have hit you... I should not have done plenty of things, both th-that morning and since you’ve been gone,” Sevastyan replied, the orbs turning apologetic. More certain now that he would not be shunned Sevastyan once again reached up with his free hand. His first action was to gently wipe away the tears on her face that said hand could easily and comfortably dry. The next was to rest the same hand on Amaranth’s shoulder. “I have much to be sorry for...” he murmured, occupying himself with caressing his wife’s arm. Sevastyan’s hand shook a little as it did so, for what he really wanted to do was to wrap his arms around her and bask in the tranquility and hope that maybe, just maybe, they could rebuild the shattered tower at their feet into an impenetrable fortress.

As much as his heart yearned for bliss it also pleaded against further breakage. He didn’t dare risk being too bold too soon. ’Baby steps, Vas...’ his sister had murmured at him once while he was in the throes of heartbreak. The advice had been hard to follow then, and was even more difficult now. Even without the vodka as his sensory-impairing crutch, Sevastyan found himself not so sure of his footing. “...Ihavemissedyou...” he ventured in an almost hurried, whispered breath. Sevastyan was certain the feeling was mutual.

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:45 pm


“Aside from factors out of our control, I do not see any flaw,”  

Control. A simple six letter word, yet one of the many words that carried so much magnitude. Was anyone ever truly in control of themselves, and their lives? Sure, people say time and time again that it was themselves who decide their own destiny, but how much of that is true? Viper had thought she was in control, despite her debilitating illness... She had thought she had known what she was doing when she started avoiding her family, only to have it all blow up on her face, and demolished.

You don't control when you are born. You don't control who you fall in love with. You don't control the challenges that come your way. You don't even control when you die.

So what can one control? Trust? Security?

...Forgiveness?

“Each time I thought it vos something I did wrong... It hurt that no matter vot I did, I could not help you...”  

"No... You did nothing wrong, my darling..." she breathed out shakily, shaking her head. While it may have been a bit too early to start using names again, Viper couldn't help it. I seemed to be vocal memory, if such a thing existed. She had always referred to her husband "darling", especially in times when he was upset and now that he was before her, clearly in pain, it hd slipped out before she could control it. Her pale skin flushed slightly as she realized what she had uttered, and she immediately mentally chastised herself for it, for she wasn't even sure if she could refer to him as "darling". Much less her's...

Still though, it pained her to see her husband hurting, and she was determined to help him see that none of what happened to her, him, and their family was his fault. "I didn't know to help myself." she whispered in all honesty. "At first, I thought if I closed m eyes and pretended it wasn't real than it wouldn't be. Then, when that failed I-I panicked and tried to run from all of it, including our family. A-And now, I've ended up losing you because of that idiotic thought..." she trailed off, glancing down, still very much ashamed of her past actions.

At Sevastyan's returned words, emerald orbs lifted once more. She hoped and prayed that perhaps by now Sevastyan had started to believe that all that had come to pass with Victor had all been a mistake, and not at all something she had enjoyed or intended to do. She hadn't loved Victor like she loved Sevastyan. Not even close. Perhaps Victor had, at the start had her hand, considering both the Levinthals and Vipers had intended for their clans to be united rough their union when both Viper and Victor had been infants, but it had Sevastyan who possessed her heart, from the beginning and would do so, even if he no longer trusted her with his, until the end of time.

The sight of their hands entwined was a welcome one. The caress from Sevastyan's thumb only heightened the moment. She longed to run into Sevastyan's arms and never let go, just as she had promised to herself she would do if ever Sevastyan opened his arms for her again. All those sleepless nights the sheer loneliness her self-imposed solitude pushed her to the edge where her hope for any reunion was faded. Until, perhaps, hopefully now.

She wanted so badly to run into his arms and curl into her husband's chest. Actually, she yearned for a lot of things... To feel his arms around her, to sleep beside him again, to wake up with him, to kiss him, to lie with him...

She wanted to love, wanted to be love, and wanted to feel love again. Even if just for a moment.  

“Don’t say things like that; vot better voman can the children have than their mother? ... I can think of no vone else in this vorld I vould have at my side as my vife, except you,”

Green orbs looked to Sevastyan in surprise at his words. Viper wondered, at first, if perhaps he was merely saying so to spare her feelings, especially considering how icy Lara had been towards her lately. The young girl had witnessed the fight itself between her Mother and Father, as well as the effects upon her family and blamed Viper, and had yet to forgive her. Assuming, and hoping the young girl would in the future, though.

When the latter part of Sevastyan's statement reached her ears though, Viper couldn't stop a fresh wave of tears making their way down her face. She paused, wondering if perhaps this was a sign that Sevastyan would want her back and be willing to return to all that they had been, but the rationale part of her mind scolded her for being foolish enough to entertain such a notion. Still though, once again her heart won over her mind enabling the witch to tentatively ask "Still? E-Even after all that has passed?" she bit her lip slightly, a habit often indulged in whenever she felt nervous. 

“That is vot has made every day since then so dark...I... I am lost...”  

She pondered at those words, wondering the meaning behind them. While she had been at the Institution she had received a letter or two from friends and family with vague descriptions of ongoings at home, but no real facts or details. What had happened during her absence, but was almost afraid to ask. It was like opening Pandora's box, she felt, yet she still had the overwhelming curiosity and temptation to ask. "Then let me bring you home..." she whispered in reply, tightening her hand's hold on his, wondering what his meaning was, but in the end deciding that it would be best for Sevastyan to tell her on his own terms rather than her prodding.

“I shouldn’t have hit you... I should not have done plenty of things, both th-that morning and since you’ve been gone,”  

At the touch she had dreamt of and longed for finally caressing her face, emerald orbs closed, savoring the touch. She prayed to any and all deities that existed out there in the Universe that it wasn't a dream or a hallucination that Huntington's was cruel enough to play on her knowing that it would drive another nail through her shredded, shattered heart.

When her eyes opened and she saw the Man of her dreams before her amidst reality's clearing maze, she breathed a silent sigh of relief. The apology within Sevastyan's orbs made another wave of guilt wash over the witch. In all honesty, she didn't see what Sevastyan felt he should apologize for since in her mind she had more than deserved all the events and words exchanged on that summer morning. Wanting an end to the era of heartache and sorrow, her free hand reached for the hand now caressing her shoulder to caress him in return. 

“...Ihavemissedyou...”  

At the whispered words that escaped Sevastyan, Viper couldn't stop the next round of tears from cascading downwards, though this time, rather than sorrow, they were of joy. It was as though her heart that had for so long been gradually grounded into a fine powder was finally beginning o receive a soothing balm. Slowly, she stepped closer.  She took the hand caressing Sevastyan's on her shoulder and reached towards his face. Slowly, just in case her touch would be deemed unwelcome, she caressed his face, gently tracing all the features she had for so long adored and dreamt about in her time apart. "I missed you too. More than I can ever express..."

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:18 am

"No... You did nothing wrong, my darling..."

The words echoed within Sevastyan’s mind. He wanted to preserve those words in his memory. So much like how they had been before chaos broke free... The wizard had blamed himself for a great many things while they were separated. Some were the big things: not understanding, could have listened more, and so on. A lot of them were relatively little, including the thought that perhaps he had been unintentionally smothering her by always being there. That was one of the thoughts that did the most damage. It explained why she would go elsewhere if she felt trapped by him. Sevastyan chastised himself almost daily for this, and tried not to “smother” his children like he had felt he’d done to his wife. To hear from Viper’s mouth that he had done no wrong... a heaviness melted from his heart and the feeling was indescribably blissful. She had even used a term of endearment. He wasn’t just ‘Sevastyan’ like he had been in the summer. Sevastyan wasn’t sure if it was too early or not to be using such terms, but he was glad she did and a little unsure of himself. Had she said it merely out of habit... or did she mean it?

"At first, I thought if I closed m eyes and pretended it wasn't real than it wouldn't be. Then, when that failed I-I panicked and tried to run from all of it, including our family. A-And now, I've ended up losing you because of that idiotic thought..."

He listened to her explanations, and silently nodded. Ashamed of his own behavior that summer, and having been hurt due to hers, the wizard too kept his gaze lowered. Sevastyan had thought he had forever lost the woman he loved. At least now they were speaking, and doing so civilly at that. It was a great improvement to months passed. But still, Sevastyan felt as if there was a gaping hole in him since she went away. Now that she was here the hole had partially filled itself. However, he was by no means complete. The wizard kept silent, not sure what to say. He could claim she never lost him, but it would be a lie. If they hadn’t lost one another, none of the hell from summer to now would have happened.

"Still? E-Even after all that has passed?"

Sevastyan gazed at Viper, almost asking if she were serious about that question. He refrained, for she likely had no idea about his activities much less the reasons behind them. Even he wasn’t so certain why he did some of the things he had. The wizard himself had not much to go on about how she had been other than Stefan’s information from when he visited her. And, knowing Stefan as Sevastyan did, he wasn’t about to believe everything he’d been told. The wizard had also become closed off from the world, bearing only his return to darkness for the world to see. “... Yes,” he half-whispered back. The wizard wasn’t sure if Viper would like this answer or not but it was true. “I know at vone point you... vanted me to move on... But I could not.” Sevastyan shook his head to emphasize his point.

The Russian sniffed back his tears at Viper’s whispered reply of bringing him home. They were not tears of sorrow, but of joy. The grip he had upon her tightened affectionately. Sevastyan wondered if his wife fully understood his words. He decided either way he didn’t really care: having her here and seemingly willing to apply a sweet and soothing balm to his shredded soul, and Amaranth allowing him to do the same for her, was what really mattered. She would find out sooner or later the levels to which he had gone in attempt to reduce his pain, whether he wanted her to know or not. Secrets would do neither of them good and there was all-too-clear evidence of that.

Sevastyan leaned into the touch of her caress, sighing almost silently. The wizard did not flinch even a sheet of parchment’s breadth as Amaranth reached toward his face. Instead he welcomed the contact openly. When her hand came near enough, Sevastyan stretched forward a little to kiss any part of it that he could reach. “Please don’t cry...” he murmured, noticing her tears. He wasn’t really one to talk for a few tears expressing his own joyous return from the brink of despair also made themselves known.

"I missed you too. More than I can ever express..."

Without even thinking, or even thinking about thinking, Sevastyan pulled Amaranth to him and into his arms. Up until now, he had been careful not to cross any lines too soon. The Russian kept his embrace firm yet loose enough for her to wriggle free if the action was too sudden. His heart soared, having dreamt of a moment like this for so long. Suddenly all the pain he’d been through to get back to a moment like this all seemed worth it. Possibly unnecessary had he just taken the time to listen and hadn’t been so blinded by hurt and assumption... but worth it all the same.

Merlin and Viper willing, Sevastyan wanted to rebuild his and Amaranth’s fallen tower.

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:17 am

For a moment, Viper wondered if perhaps she was rambling on with nonsense Sevastyan might not even be interested in listening to. She wished she knew what he was thinking... She saw so much of what she knew and once knew upon those storm colored orbs she craved, but was so scared to make assumptions. Fearful of being disappointed, terrified of being wrong... All of it made her pause in her steps and hesitate, for fear of being wrong and only causing pain for both of them. For so long she had felt nothing but a hollow emptiness and now she just wanted it all to end. Being near Sevastyan was helping, but the witch knew that she was far from complete. There was only one wizard who held her heart in his hands, and it was only he who could control her destiny, whether she be alone again, or whole once more.

“... Yes. I know at vone point you... vanted me to move on... But I could not.”

The witch wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. Part of her so desperately wanted to laugh and let out a whoop of joy at not being replaced. Another part of her wanted to knock some sense into the wizard and open his eyes to the world around him that didn’t involve a heavy baggaged wife. And yet, another part knew deep down, all along, what the outcome would be. Through the whole time span of this saga, this little voice of reason had long since been silenced by both a chorus of demonic voices forged into “reality” by Huntington’s and both Viper, when she was lucid, herself. When it came to her relationship with her husband, there was no, nor was there ever, reason to doubt.

Doubt. That horrible toxin doubt. It was something young children loathed for the silent b that caused them to stumble as they attempted to read the word, and it was a concept that destroyed adults who knew above all that while curses and hexes could destroy a life, it was doubt that could annihilate a soul and spirit in any world.

But oh, how the witch had doubted… Time and time again, she doubted herself, she doubted her children, she doubted her family, she doubted her husband, the strength of her home, and the strength of all their decades worth of love…

Viper fumbled for words for a moment, as though the current three sides of her were arguing amongst themselves, much like one faces an angel and a devil on their shoulder. Unsure of exactly what she should say, she blurted out the first words that came to mind. “Then you’re a fool…” she sniffed, though the soft traces of a smile that lit through her falling tears revealed that it was all said in a more light-hearted tone. A moment in the past flashed before her mind. Almost like an ember flashing amidst a pile of ashes, longing to become a beacon of hope once more.

"...This Maniac's In Love Vith You,"

"Hope the asylum has room for one more. Or is at least lenient on room-mates..
."

Those happier times… Sweet, blissful memories of a time that seemed to be of a different era called out to her, much like a butterfly flutters before one to lead them to a place of enchantment. “A maniac…” she whispered, her eyes clouded slightly from her mini venture to the far away past, her hand tightening slightly around Sevastyan’s in affection. He would probably think she was a little out of it and loopy, the witch thought, but Viper didn’t mind. Memories had, as of late, become particularly valuable, albeit never a substitute for the real thing: the present.

"I just… wanted for all of you to have a better life... one I knew I couldn't give to you with my illness. I-I never meant to leave all of you behind. I didn't want to let you go, but I thought it was the only way you could all ever be happy..." she confessed honestly, avoiding her husband’s gaze in a self conscious manner.

Despite having every detail of Sevastyan's face committed to memory, courtesy of many years of waking up to the man before her, as well as many nights of watching him while he slept, the witch still explored her husband's face, tenderly caressing it, as though it were a new terrain. She saw so much of what she once knew and made her heart beat fast, but also some newer features that made her heart weep. Such as the rims of darkness around his eyes... Viper wanted so badly to hold her husband and kiss away all those remnants of a darker past that seemed to have regressed in the man she loved, but refrained, for fear that it would be too soon. Instead, for now, she settled for a safer route and continued to caress his features and mirror his earlier actions of wiping her tears away. A soft smile lit her face at the kiss as she leaned into it. "Likewise..." she replied, gently pressing her forehead against the side of his face in affection.

"We've spent so much time in sorrow..." Viper trailed off, her gaze glazed over with various visions and flashes of moments from their decade together, particularly all the happier ones spent with the family they created. However, as flashes of the past year followed it seemed much like a priceless relic, forever tarnished and devalued because of a gigantic crack formed upon it. They had fought long, hard, and well, like creatures in a pit fighting for dominance. By the time both were finished, it seemed they were stained with each others blood, having ripped out each others hearts with their bare hands and the hot blade of their words. It seemed like the loving couple they had been was so long ago… The past couldn’t be repeated, nor could even the Gods change it. Did they still stand a chance?

A soft sigh of relief and pure bliss escaped the witch as she felt strong, familiar arms encircle around her once more, much like what she had dreamt of for what seemed like an eternity. "I love you..." she breathed out against Sevastyan's chest as she curled into the familiar warmth that had wrapped her more warmly at night than any blanket or warming charm ever could.

"I can't give you forever..." she whispered to him in all honesty, gentle tears still cascading gently down her face. "I can't promise that I will be there for all the days of your life. But I promise that for all the days of my life, I will love you just as much, if not more, than all the days that have passed." With the darkness of the Purgers surrounding them into consumption, as well as her own sickness of Huntington's that wrecked more havoc upon her with each passing day, there could be no promises for the future, for who knew what tomorrow would bring. It was only this moment in time that could be given.

The witch sniffed and blinked back further tears from falling before as she leaned back slightly to make contact with her husband, but not so much as to leave his comforting, much desired embrace. "Is love enough?" she asked, mirroring a question that had been posed and discussed during that Summer morning. Back then, Viper had been a fool and hastily assumed that love, despite being a foundation could do nothing to salvage a crumbling tower. She knew differently now. Over the course of several months of solitude and loneliness, she had learned hard and well that love was more than enough. A single breath makes a difference between life and death. A burning ember, however small, can still create a flame. Willingness to forgive, forget, and move on, as well as immeasurable love could save all that had crumbled.

…Or was it all a fool’s hope?

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:13 am

The hesitance in the air after Sevastyan’s confession that he hadn’t been able to move on was not lost on the wizard. Was she glad he had held out, or infuriated that he had not done as she hoped he would? Sevastyan was uncertain almost to the point of feeling sick. It was perhaps the furthest he had opened himself up in a long time, the scar down the center of his chest notwithstanding. He could not control how he felt when it came to love and Sevastyan hoped that on some level Amaranth would accept that. The wizard was not the type to merely give up on anyone. Given the words exchanged so long ago Sevastyan wondered that, in the event their places had been switched, if she would have left him or saw him to death’s door before beginning all over again. He decided not to muse on it for too long. Pain already plagued his heart without the need to add more unto an already heavy load.

Storm-swirled irises blinked at her response in confusion, a flicker of hurt and shame revealing itself for the briefest of moments. Regretting the honest confession his lips pressed together with embarrassment and he glanced to the floor. Sevastyan was a fool... yes, he believed that. His father had said it, his brother had said it, Stefan had said it, and even a little voice like his that doubted his every move told him that. In the darkness that had become his world Sevastyan believed a great many things about himself that were not necessarily truths.

However as he dared to return his gaze to the face he had dreamt of long before its owner had flown from him, the wizard finally noticed the smile on her face. Once again his mind-voice scolded him for having taken it so literally. To show he eventually understood the desired intent, Sevastyan offered a whispered laugh at the same time a tear fell and raced its fellows to the wizard’s chin with the speed of a racing broom. The expression fell again at the whispered addition, though this time for a different reason. Sevastyan noticed her eyes had taken a different stance of sorts, and felt her hand tighten its grip. Without really being aware of it Sevastyan tightened his grasp in return. Why had she said that? It took him a few moments but then it all came back. Oh, how happy they had been. Everything seemed to be so much simpler compared to the present. Was this her way of expressing that she, too, was having trouble letting go of the past and moving on? The thought of asking her frightened Sevastyan.

"I just… wanted for all of you to have a better life... one I knew I couldn't give to you with my illness. I-I never meant to leave all of you behind. I didn't want to let you go, but I thought it was the only way you could all ever be happy..."

Not exactly in agreement with her reasons, but understanding some, Sevastyan nodded. “Life vithout you is hell... illness or no illness,” he replied hurriedly before the same voice that told him he was a fool could stop him. The wizard wanted to say more but doubted it would do any good, hence kept his mouth shut. It would likely all fall out of his mouth in a huge mess and only cause further problems. “For a vhile Lynn thought you vere just at the store... I did not know how to tell her, nor could I, that... Demyan vould spend hours on end in his animagus form... Lara...” Sevastyan decided to stop himself there before any more unfinished sentences left his lips. Lara seemed the least affected by Amaranth’s flight. That and he really didn’t want to explain that most of his time in this era had been spent drowning himself in alcohol and plunging into the dark arts. He had lost his temper with his children on multiple occasions, wept with them, and overall hopelessly crawled through the muck and broken glass of grief and heartache.

Sevastyan closed his eyes and savored the contact, leaning into it without disturbing the travels of her fingers. How he missed even the simplest of things about their relationship. The wizard raised his free hand caress Amaranth’s cheek with the backs of his fingers, wiping away tears as he felt them, as her forehead rested against the side of his face. He nodded subtly at the trailed-off remark, not knowing how to add to that. While Sevastyan honestly didn’t have a clue what thoughts were going through his wife’s mind, his was dwelling on every lonely night he had spent alone in a bed much too large or on the couch drunk beyond coherence. Then the memories dove further backward to better times. How he longed for a return to such an era in his life... It almost seemed an eternity ago.

It was difficult to say whether the sudden expanding of Sevastyan’s chest at the whispered declaration of love from his wife had been due to simply breathing or if it had had something to do with the tears on his face. Either way he rested his head so that his mouth was parallel to her hear just long enough to whisper, “I love you, too,” before burying his face into the cascade of Amaranth’s ebony hair. A bit more of the gaping hole filled itself in. The wizard still felt an almost overwhelming urge to keep apologizing to her but refrained for now. They had already made their apologies and declared forgivenesses. It was time for the conversation to move forward. Like a lot of things since he had ‘fallen from grace’ the notion left Sevastyan a bit unsettled.

"I can't give you forever... I can't promise that I will be there for all the days of your life. But I promise that for all the days of my life, I will love you just as much, if not more, than all the days that have passed."

“I know...” he trailed off sadly. “The future is... unpredictable...” Sevastyan murmured. He wanted to say something along the lines of ‘til death do we part’ but felt it might be misconstrued as an accusation regarding their wedding vows. “I cannot and vill not leave you so long as you vill have me. Perhaps it is foolish and masochistic but I vould rather be vith you for votever amount of days ve have left... than forsake you vhile I struggle to find somevone new that vill put up vith me. I... I could not do that and sleep vell at night aftervard...”

Hoping the gesture was not too soon to make, Sevastyan rubbed Amaranth’s back and still held her tight in an attempt to soothe all of her pain. It was equally therapeutic for him, too. The touches were not as firm as they would have been before but they were at least there. His reason for the lighter caresses would never be spoken aloud, but Sevastyan feared he would do something to make her flinch away from him. As far as touching went the wizard felt it was best to assume this aspect was still like walking on eggshells. When she shifted backward, Sevastyan let her and did his best to support her leaning form.

”Is love enough?”

Raven eyebrows collided just above the bridge of the wizard’s nose and slightly curved upward, forehead wrinkling with the movement. An irrational fear flickered across his eyes. He remembered that question well and wished he could forget the snarling, scratching, biting argument it had sprung from. How he wanted it to be enough both back then and now. In his part of the argument he had accidentally gone from saying it was enough to claiming it wasn’t in his wounded raging. Was it not love that kept him from moving on, longing to hold out until maybe – just maybe – she might reconsider and come back? The romantic isolation nearly killed him with the way he drank but it was undeniable that love still remained in his heart. But was it enough...?

“I vant it to be," Sevastyan answered after a moment. He shifted slightly, discomforted by the familiar question previously voiced in angry defeat. The Russian swallowed a few times as though he were having trouble getting his voice to work. "Vot about you?”

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PostSubject: Re: Winter 2028 ~ S/V Bedroom   Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:01 pm

“Life vithout you is hell... illness or no illness,”

After the initial phase of denial that came with her diagnosis, Viper had visited a hospice designed for patients of Huntington’s during one free afternoon. It had been there that the cool, strong, composed witch had begun to unravel. All around her were patients moaning, groaning, clearly in pain but nothing could be done to help. They quivered with their motions random and dangerous, no longer in control of their body, crying out various names, screaming… It was horrible.

She hadn’t been afraid of all that happening to her. Viper had feared the problems her family would have to face with her in that state.

Now, to know that she wasn’t a burden lifted a weight that had clung to the witch right off to oblivion. Looking back now, the past several months seemed like such a hollow waste, and positively unnecessary had she not been so foolish and ignored what her own family, not to mention her own conscience, had told her. She scolded herself fiercely and mentally cursed herself, but paused in her wake. There was no point in looking back on “would have”, “should have” or “could have”s. Now was a time for “will” and “now”.

“For a vhile Lynn thought you vere just at the store... I did not know how to tell her, nor could I, that... Demyan vould spend hours on end in his animagus form... Lara...”

Green eyes dropped in shame and pain after hearing the repercussions of all Viper’s actions over the course of the past several months. What she wouldn’t give for the chance to take it all back and start it all over… She would be a better Professor, better Potions Mistress, better friend, and do everything in her power to make her children feel safe and loved and everything to make sure her husband knew, without doubt, that it was him, no one else, that stood firmly on her pedestal.

“I can’t kiss and make everything ‘all better’…” she breathed out sadly, both an honest admission to her husband and herself. Viper bit her lip, fighting against the new cadence of tears that threatened to fall. She wondered once more what else had happened, for she had the feeling there as much more than Sevastyan was sharing with her. Especially considering how her oldest child had been so cold towards her… She knew it would be opening Pandora’s Box, but felt that it was the only way to move forward and receive full closure with no more secrets. Mentally, she pondered the best way to approach this likely painful topic.


“I love you, too,”

A soft sigh of relief escaped her at the returned declaration of love. Part of her wanted to shout it from the highest mountains of the world that he still loved her. Sevastyan still loved her. He was still as much her’s as she was his. It was even sweeter than the first time he had said it, nearly ten years ago. The witch wanted nothing more than bask in this moment forever. Closing her eyes, she seared everything about this moment into her memory so deeply that not even Huntington’s in it’s final stages would be able to steal it from her.

“I cannot and vill not leave you so long as you vill have me. Perhaps it is foolish and masochistic but I vould rather be vith you for votever amount of days ve have left... than forsake you vhile I struggle to find somevone new that vill put up vith me. I... I could not do that and sleep vell at night aftervard...”

Feeling Sevastyan in such close proximity and the soothing touches he bestowed upon her soothed the ache and yearning she had carried for months, it also fueled a hunger within the witch that now begged to be quenched and sated. Now that the dark tunnel of loneliness and heartache now seemed to have a light within sight, the witch wanted to make up for all those nights of romantic loneliness and yearning. She reveled in the tingling sensation that washed over her like cool rain, washing away all of her sins and dark memories and leaned towards Sevastyan’s touch. She tilted her head’s position at the side of Sevastyan’s face to press a light kiss at the hand that was gently wiping away all the tears she shed, just like Sevastyan had done through all the days that had passed. Viper hesitated for a moment, pondering if she still had a right to do what was on her mind and what her heart, mind, and soul was pushing her to do in all of it’s bleeding yearning before pushing on ahead. Perhaps it was a bit too soon, and maybe she still had no right to do such a gesture, but in a moment where words would only get in the way and silence and its gestures were all that was needed, it only felt natural. The heart wants what the heart wants. Slowly, she leaned in closer to Sevastyan and pressed a soft kiss gently on his cheek a few inches away from his lips. She lingered for a moment as she did so, savoring the warmth and scent of her husband.

Viper held her breath for a moment in anticipation for Sevastyan’s response. Yes, she loved him. Yes, she longed for him, for his heart, body, and soul, but she wanted so much more for Sevastyan and her children. She felt so inadequate, not even close to being good enough… She waited with bated breath, sure that Sevastyan would mimic both their thoughts from the previous summer and that there wasn’t anything either of them could do for the damage thrown. The silent moments that passed were agonizing, with Viper longing and dreading the answer, though at the sound of Sevastyan’s voice emerald orbs focused on the dearly beloved gray ones of her husband.

“I vant it to be,"

"Vot about you?”


A sigh of relief and bliss escaped her as a small smile slowly formed. It took a moment to come across, for the recent months had provided little opportunity for happiness needed to perform such a gesture, but not of that diminished the emotion or honesty of her smile. “Yes,” she replied, blinking through her tears. She wanted to add more, but then thought better of it. With some moments, words were unnecessary. They could only do harm. With this in mind, she rested her head against Sevastyan’s chest, savoring the warmth she had been so far away for far too long from. She listened to his heartbeat closely as though to convince herself that everything; Sevastyan, her, and this moment were all real and that she wasn’t imagining it or even hallucinating it.

Ideally, with a relationship, one would have wanted stability, assurance for the future, and no risks of it all going wrong. However, it seemed that was simply not in the cards for the two of them, or for anyone, really, for all of that was no more than fragments of a faux reality known as “The Perfect World”.

In a perfect world, there would be no purgers. There would be no illnesses, no maladies, no harshness, no cruelty… it be a world of bliss made in a nutshell of lies and ill-conceived fantasies lead astray. There was no such thing as perfection. Only reality. It was a lesson hard to swallow for the green-eyed witch, for she wanted nothing but perfection for her life and family, but one necessary for happiness in life. It was time for her to realize this, accept this, and embrace her flaws, for life wasn’t about avoiding the bad, concealing the ugly. It was about seeing the flaws and loving life and everyone in it in spite of it all. Her loved ones had forgiven her for not being perfect, accepted her for who she was. It was time for her to do the same.

The nightingale had to see life beyond the golden cage, for as beautiful and safe as the golden cage was, it was nothing but a cage of lies and deception that kept her away from the outside world’s mysteries and wonders.

“I don’t want to run anymore. I just want you...” She breathed into his ear, savoring the feeling of his arms wrapped around her. While the homes they lived in at Viper Manor, Hogwarts, and Kaminski Manor all held a sense of welcoming to it, it was in Sevastyan’s arms that the witch truly felt whole, home, and at peace in.


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