Y'Roden's Stories

Rhagi's Birth


Ghet stepped through the portal, and two things happened at once. They physical strain increased, like a punch in the gut, and the mental strain eased. That part of her she tried to hide from, the S'Hean part that had been yearning for this place, relaxed. She leaned heavily on Galain as S'Hea's gravity tore at her, the next contraction hitting her so hard she screamed, tailing off into exhausted sobbing.

Then she raised her head. Something was different. She stared in utter incomprehension. "Ro? What the hell?" Hysterical laughter burbled up. "You look like shit."

"That's about how I feel," Ro muttered to Ghet before following the couple inside. Watching Galain he hung back a little leaning on the wall as he waited for his body to adjust. "That is one insistent little boy," he said to the redhead, flashing her a weak smile, "Not that I'm surprised."

As Galain moved away Y'Roden came around the side of the pool and crouched on the edge beside Ghet's head. "Give me your hand Ghettie," he said softly, "I can help with the pain." 

Ghet lowered her naked, aching body into the water, whimpering as the water took some of the weight, easing the strain. She watched Galain leave with a gentle smile on her face, then turned to Ro. "I'll probably break all your fingers, you know that, don't you." Tears leaked from her eyes, and scrubbed them away impatiently. "He's determined. He wasn't coming without you." She could feel that quite clearly now, in the difference between the previous struggle and the calm acceptance she felt now. He'd been quite prepared to torture both his parents to get what he wanted.

She took Ro's hand and raised it briefly to her lips. Her heart ached for what this must be costing him, what it would still cost him in future, the division it must cause in his marriage. But she knew, this was right. "I'm glad you're here, Rodi. I hate to think... oh, holy... WHY DIDN'T I TAKE THE BLOODY PAIN GODDESS?! SHIT!!" Pride went out the window, and she shoved the pain away from her, out towards both men. They could bloody well be useful for something...

Well, it wouldn't be the first time a woman had crushed his hand during labor. He smiled and gave her hand a gentle squeeze, right before she kept her word and nearly snapped a few digits. It was the wall of pain hitting him that caught the S'Hean elf off guard though, and he catapulted head first into the pool with a howl of surprise.

A moment later he resurfaced, spluttering, his arm twisted behind his back seeing as Ghet still had his fingers in a vice grip. "Bloody hell! I should have seen that coming!" It took him a moment to get sorted out and turned around without disturbing the pregnant lady, his eyes a little wild as he drew on the Aethyr and started drawing runes across her skin. "Ok... just hang on Ghettie ... I'm trying." 

It was really, really hard to laugh right now, but Ghet was trying. She'd been irritated briefly, but the annoyance had faded with the pain. Except this time the pain hadn't let go all the way, it was still there, lurking in the background. She was trying not to show it.

"And what would you have done if you'd seen it coming? I guess you could have got your pants off. That must be uncomfortable. Sorry about that."

She didn't need to say it, Ro could feel it. His emerald greens flickered up to meet her gaze for a moment, concern in their depths. He had been through this enough times to know when something didn't feel right. "I've had worse sensations than wet leather trousers," he said. His fingers stroked over her skin in a rhythmic pattern, a glowing design of runes forming beneath them on Ghet's abdomen. "Relax," he said in a softer tone, "Don't worry about a thing. You are what is important right now. Galain and I will deal. I think for once in our lives we can agree on just this one thing." 

Ghet laid her head on the edge of the pool and shut her eyes for a moment. Time was starting to drift on her, as if it was moving really fast and yet she was stuck in just one moment. She knew something wasn't right, and yet she wasn't really worried. Whatever happened would happen, and there was no point in panicking about it. Still, she said, "Don't look at me like that and tell me to relax. You know I can feel you. That's nice, though." Even with her eyes closed, drifting, she could 'see' what he was doing.

Ghet looked up when Galain came in and smiled, and then the smile faded. She didn't have a lot of spare energy. Yet she couldn't help but understand why he felt like he did. Still, perhaps it was best not to be able to handle long discussion. "You. Come here. I mean, in here, right now. If you're smart, you at least will manage to take your pants off first." I need you, anarnya, please.

Galain couldn't help but give Y'Roden a double take. Did the guy really have his pants on in the water? He raised an eyebrow and then nodded.

"Yes, dearest," he said meekly and shucked off his trousers. That was all he'd on as well and was in the water quickly enough. He was here for Ghetsuhm.

I'm right here. No nonsense from me, I promise. Let's just get this baby born. He kissed her ear and instinctively slid his hand behind her until he found the small of her back which he rubbed in tiny tight circles. 

Ro's gaze flickered up for a moment when Galain entered the room, then returned to Ghet. He didn't have the time or energy for anything but her and their child at the moment.

Have you decided on a name yet?, he asked, We are going to need to know before he gets here.

And yes, Ro had his pants on, and for once, they were going to stay on.

Ghet leaned back against Galain's hand, seizing the moment of respite from the pain. She looked at him, looked at Y'Roden, and the whole situation suddenly seemed rather absurd. There'd been a time when she would have given a lot to get them both into a situation like this - minus the whole baby thing, of course. She started to giggle, knew it wasn't helping, tried very hard to stop, made it worse, and lay helpless against Galain's arm laughing until she had to fight another wave of pain.

"Sorry," she muttered, fighting for her breath. She had to wonder what the pain would have done to her mind by now if it weren't for the men. "What were we talking about? Oh, names. You want me to make a decision now?" She tried to think. She knew, the only way to keep the peace was if she chose the name. She was the connection point here. And the pain was wearing her down, so much. This was not the kind of pain she liked.

Her relationship with pain had always been kind of dodgy. Even from this pain, she would gain something. The thought of finally seeing the child whom she'd been aware of for so long. She would hold him, and there would be reward for all she'd endured. It was only right that his birth should be steeped in pain, just like his conception had been. So much pain, and then there would be joy, surely, after so long. Pain... joy... She remembered so many hours, in the caves, debating long into the night... it was the closest thing the People had to a heresy, though they would never use the word. Still, it hadn't been entered into the Rolls. It wasn't one of the Joys. Rhagi... She had given too much of her soul away, and stopped arguing. She could not share what she knew, that pain could bring the profoundest pleasure.

She smiled. "I shall do as my mother did with both her children. She named us after the Joys. So my son shall be a Joy as well. His name will be Rhagi. It's the Joy that comes from Pain." She relaxed briefly, relieved, and then tensed again as the pain returned. She waited for it to fade, and it didn't, it kept building. She felt a shift in her son. She leaned forward, between the two men. It wouldn't stop, how could she get her breath if it didn't stop, let go of her. Just for a moment, please. Helpless, she wept, clinging to both men, demanding their strength. 

It was Ghet's especial delight in the absurd that usually led to the sort of hysterical giggles she had just dissolved in and Galain didn't grow alarmed. He just let her ride out the laughter, a small smile playing at his own lips. He held her and stroked her hair as she explained how she was naming her son and the elf's heart nearly burst with something indefinable -- pride? deep love? awe?

Joy from pain.


A soft smile flickered across Y'Roden's features. Ghet could not have picked a more perfect name for their son. It defined them, their boy, their relationship from day one. It had always been joy from pain, and Rhagi would be the ultimate outcome of that. No matter what it was costing either of them, Ro could never regret this child's existence.

For an indeterminate time, Ghet clung to both men, unable to speak in the grip of a pain that only waxed and waned, never ceased. She sensed her son's implaccable little will: he was coming, and he would bend her body to his purpose, regardless. She could not have a moment to gather strength, from now on there would be no break for any of them until he was born.

After a solid moment of blinding white pain, she decided he was a proper little something. There was a horrible, tearing, top-note pain that cut through all the rest, and she realised, it was time to start working. She pushed sweaty hair out of her face and grimaced in Ro's direction. Ready? Cause I don't think he cares if you are or not.

Gentle fingers helped out with the sweaty hair around Ghet's face and he nodded. I've been ready for months.  

If she's had a hand free, and the strength, and the concentration to spare, she would have smacked Y'Roden over the head. Well good for you. You'd be the only bloody one. Well, you and him. This is all some kind of conspiracy, isn't it? I'm doomed to D'Riel men trying to control my life.  

She leaned heavily on Galain. Ro would shortly have his hands full. Oddly, now that she could do something useful, it didn't seem to hurt so much. She could concentrate on pushing with the peak of each contraction, they served a purpose. Okay, it still hurt, but it was different. It was wearing, too, and it was impossible not to yell.

Y'Roden shot a look at Galain, he was a little wide eyed by this point. He was beginning to see the mechanics involved here. Summerlin and Silverthorn were both larger than Ghet ... but of course it had never occured to him. S'Hean women were tiny by nature, which was perhaps why they went they water birth route. Ghet was mostly human ... sort of, and built differently from the Elves that had borne Y'Roden's other children. 

"Ghettie ... are you going to be ok? Do you want me to send for a S'Hean Healer?" Worry shadowed the depths of his emerald eyes, and a tinge of fear. He had lost two children and nearly lost a third ... a Father's worst nightmare. Three women had died carrying his children, the odds were frightening. 

"No," said Ghet. She meant it to be a calm, reasoned refusal of the healer, but it sounded more like the sort of defiance that could result in someone losing a limb. No-one else was getting in here. Then her teeth stopped clenching and she let out an unholy roar. Each push she managed to summon increased the awful pain. If someone had offered her the alternative of dying right now, she might well have taken it. She was so tired...

The look she gave Ro was desperate. "You can just pull him out now, right? Please?"  

Ro shot another look at Galain, who wasn't looking any more confident than the expectant Father was at the moment. "No love, I can't just pull him out." Later he would think about his next sentence and cringe, "Just ... let me get between your legs here and see what I can do to help." The S'Hean elf shifted in the water and actually managed an apologetic expression in Galain's direction before he did what he was here to do.

"Ok Ghettie ... you are almost there, one more good push and his head will be out." The half-elf looked up at her, his expression indescribable, "You can do this ... it's ok. Just another minute and you'll be holding our boy." 

Ghet was either laughing or crying, she couldn't tell which. "Promise?" she asked Ro hesitantly. It would be over, it would end. She leaned heavily on Galain, sucking down the comfort of his presence.

Y'Roden's move seemed perfectly natural. He was here to take their son, so that was where he was going to have to be. Their son... When the next contraction came, she scraped up the last of the strength they had between the three of them, and bore down, pushing to the point where she knew she couldn't do it any more, and then further, pausing only to breathe in again. In desperation, she reached out to her son with her mind and willed him to come.

"Yes! Here comes his head Ghettie!" A hysterical laugh barked out of Ro as the baby's head crowned into his hands. Now for the hard part. The half-elf's son had apparently inherited his Atto's rather broad set of shoulders. "One more good hard push Ghet, and then you can rest." Y'Roden's eyes were a riot of conflicting emotions when the flickered up to met Ghet's for a brief moment. "You can do it ... you're almost there." 

Ghet raised her head and gave Ro a vicious glare. She couldn't believe she was doing this and it was all his fault. One more? She'd used all she had. "I am never having sex with you ever again."

With a short sob she sucked her breath in again and pushed, sure she was going to burst some internal organs if she had to keep this up any longer. There was an awful, wrenching pain, and then such a strong sense of relief she started to weep, her head falling back onto Galain's shoulder, her eyes closing. She'd look in a minute... 

A horribly perplexed look crossed Ro's features for a moment and he opened his mouth as if to say something. Then thought better of it and shut up. Which was likely a good thing, since he was a little busy bringing his son to the surface of the water.

A first breath of air was drawn, then an angry bawl of protest released from healthy lungs. Ro fairly beamed at the tiny life he held in his hands; taking in the downy, blondish red hair, and when they were finally opened, the intense emerald green eyes of a D'Riel. "Suilad Rhagi Riker D'Riel," the Prince greeted his child in his native tongue, "Creoso, yondonya." 

On the edge of Ghet's consciousness, there was a sound like the world's most enraged kitten.  She opened her eyes, and the intense weariness she felt seemed to vanish. 

Ghet had seen babies before, but none had really touched her, or even impressed her as being real.  She looked at her son in Y'Roden's arms and her heart stopped.  She raised a wet hand to wipe tears away rather futilely.  "Look at him," she said, her voice shaking with awe.  "My gods.  He's so beautiful.  He's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen."  The look on Ro's face made her immensely proud, for some reason she couldn't quite define. 

And her arms ached.  "Let me hold him, please.  You have to, anyway, you can't cut the cord if you're holding him." 

"Here we go," Y'Roden's voice had taken on the gentle tone he used with all of his children. "Mummy wants to see you." The D'Riel web was virtually humming with Rhagi's presence and Ro's soul was afire with the bond that only a S'Hean elf could share with their child. Eyes literally glowing he smiled softly at Ghet and tucked their son safely into her arms.

His favoured dagger appeared in his hands and he was just about to cut the cord when his eye caught Galain. The half-elf hesitated for a moment, shifting emotions flickering in his emerald greens. His expression settled, finally, and he held out the dagger to the Elen hilt first.