- -by Rukra
((I have to give many thanks to Hukari, Wyst and Ogden. Their stories inspired me to write this, and I drew ideas from their works while writing this. ;) This thread has been full of wonderful works and I can only hope mine is half as good.))
It had all started while she was out with Hukari on their once a month trip to Booty Bay. Something had happened... She didn't understand it. All she really understood was that while she was looking at the selection of fresh Stranglethorn fruit being sold by a smirking goblin, she got dizzy. She had put a hand to her forehead and stumbled slightly to the side before Hukari caught her.
She heard him say something, but couldn't make it out. It may have been her name. The room spun and she had to close her eyes to fight the dizziness. She tried to breathe deeply, but it didn't seem to get better. She'd been feeling more and more tired over the past few months, and now it all was seeming to catch up to her. With a little sigh she slipped into darkness.
Rukra's eyes fluttered open, and she found herself looking up at the ceiling of the lodge on her and Hukari's secluded island. She turned her head to the side and reached up to push some of her long, white hair that was once a rich, dark purple, out of her face. Her vision was blurred slightly. It had been getting progressively worse since the beginning of the summer season, but she had not mentioned it to Hukari. She'd gotten into a bad habit of hiding her developing frailties...
She saw a fuzzy outline of her mate in the dim room. He smiled at her and she felt his three-fingered hand touch her forehead. She smiled back at him and reached out to touch his face that was not nearly as lined as hers was. It had become apparent to the couple as the years went by, that even despite all of Hukari's Voodoo concotions and magics, Rukra was going to inevitably age faster than him. She was an Orc, he was a Troll, and she had already lived longer than what was typical of her race through his abilities.
Many Orcs did not make it past their fifth decade... Let alone lived longer than a century.
Hukari did not say anything, but simply stroked her colorless hair and watched her. After living together for so long, the pair rarely needed words. There had been many days that went by in complete silence on the little island. A simple look into each other's eyes and the message was clear: "I love you."
The Orc's eyes slowly closed as she slipped into a dreamless sleep.
Time seemed to twist and blur together while Rukra lay bedridden, and she guessed that roughly a day went by before she realized she was dying. It was about another day after that before she got the courage to tell Hukari this. At first he was distressed, then he was angry, then he disappeared for a couple hours and returned with various herbs from the garden.
She could smell the potions he was brewing... Heard his muttered archaic Troll incantations. She let him go about his business. Perhaps it would calm him.
She willingly drank what he gave her once he was finished, but the weariness in her limbs did not subside. She told him to call for their children, to ask them to come to the island. He knew exactly why she requested this, and at first he tried to argue. In the end, Orcish stubborness won out, and the next day Koari and the twins were gathered around her bed.
Koari had grown into a beautiful Troll woman. She was their adopted daughter, and was actually not much younger than her parents. She was just starting to show age in her face, and there were a few white strands scattered here and there in her hair. Hukari's Voodoo worked much better on her than it did on Rukra. The twins appeared about the same as Koari. The Troll blood in their veins keeping them younger than they would be had both their parents been Orcs.
Rukra told them the grim news, to which Hukari 'harrumphed' in the corner. Koari took it well, or at least, better than the twins. The younger boy and girl hugged their mother, sobbing, while Koari simply kissed Rukra on the forehead, silent tears on her cheeks.
"Me love you all." Rukra whispered, holding onto each one's hands in turn. They all nodded, hugging her, touching her hair, and talking with her for the next few hours. Eventually they departed to Booty Bay to allow Hukari to be alone with her. Koari murmured to her adopted father to contact them when it was needed. Hukari didn't say anything.
A surprise had come later in the day when the sun was going down. A knock at the door and a familiar gurgling sound announced the arrival of Murky. The Murloc had been their adopted 'son' ever since Hukari had brought him home almost one hundred years ago. He must have heard the news about his 'mother' from the creatures in the sea, and swam to the island that had been his home for many decades.
After the Murloc left it was well into the night, and Rukra was feeling very tired. Hukari sat loyally by her bedside, taking one of her hands in his. The two were quiet for a long time, and Rukra drifted in and out of sleep. When it was nearing morning, the Orc tightened her grip on his hand slightly.
"Wha' be it lov'?" Hukari asked softly, immediately alert.
"Me want to... Watch sun." She rasped out.
Her mate hesitated, but then pushed back the blankets covering her, and lifted her in his arms. She was a lot lighter than she had been only a few years ago. Carefully he stepped out of the lodge and followed the path through the garden, towards the beach.
Rukra cuddled close to him and glanced up at his face. She could barely make out twin tracks of tears on his cheeks. He had the grim expression of someone who had finally stopped denying the inevitable. Perhaps it was the fact that lifting her had made him realize she was frail beyond repair, or maybe it was her request to watch the sun rise.
Ever since the pair had moved to the little island, they had taken to sitting on the beach together and watching the sun rise every morning. They had stayed true to this morning ritual for nearly a century.
When Hukari reached the white sands, the horizon was just beginning to glow a very dull orange. Carefully he crouched, setting Rukra down on the sand as gently as he could. He put his arms around her loosely, letting her lean back against his chest. She felt him shuddering through her back, his barely contained sobs.
Just as the top of the sun broke through the watery horizon in a magnificent explosion of oranges, reds, pinks and purples, Rukra's eyes slid shut and let out her last breath in a small sigh. Hukari embraced her tightly and buried his face in her hair. He rocked her body back and forth as his sobs escaped him.
She was gone.
It had felt like blinking. One moment the blurry vision of the rising sun was before her, then she closed her eyes and opened them again, and everything was in sharp focus. She was standing slightly behind Hukari's crouched form, where he was holding something in his arms and rocking it back and forth. She blinked, then took a few steps forward. He was holding... Her!
A slight whisper in her ear: We're ready for you...
Rukra looked around for the one whispering to her, but found no one. It took her a moment to realize that it was the spirits calling for her. She was about to answer them when a little tug in her chest made her hesitate. For some reason she felt compelled to look down at her arm, and saw the scar there glowing. It was the scar that had never completely healed. The one she had recieved when she'd been cut by Hukari's knife during the ritual that had bound their souls together as mates forever.
The tug wasn't insistent, and neither were the whispers. It took her a moment to realize what was happening. The spirit world was ready for her, but the bloodmagic could allow her to stay until Hukari was ready to pass into the Beyond as well. She had to decide, but she already knew what she wanted.
With a smile on her ethereal face, she crouched down behind Hukari's living figure. Reaching out, she put her hands gently on his shoulders. The moment her fingers came into contact with him, the whispering and the tugging both ceased. Her decision was final: She would stay with him.
She leaned forward, putting her mouth near his ear. "Me here." She whispered.
Startled, Hukari lifted his head and looked over his shoulder. His eyes looked back and forth, as if he could see right through her. He could not feel her touch or see her form, but he had most definitely heard her. She smiled and touched his hair, and it very slightly moved, as if ruffled by a breeze that wasn't really there. "Me love Hukari." She said softly.
Through the tears, Hukari smiled. Swallowing back a lump in his throat, he nodded. "Ah lov' joo too..." Together, the two turned their gazes back towards the sea to finish watching the sun rise, as they would continue to do every morning until the day Hukari would join her.