Oh my golly, it's an actual story post! /gasp
Yea, my writer's block? The one that's persisted over the last several months? It hasn't been fun. But at least now I know that if it happens again, all I need to do to fix it is have my characters have a baby... >.>
Also? This was fun, and now I want to do Loren arts. :D
Shad had left almost as soon as they determined that mother and baby were both healthy. Pitch couldn't blame him; it was probably closer to morning rather than night by now. He walked Alanon and a yawning Shaurria to the door, then went back upstairs to the bedroom. Lark was still in bed, of course, with Loren cradled carefully in her lap. She stared at the baby in fascination, gently running one finger over his tiny fist as he lay sleeping.
She looked up when Pitch sat down beside her, giving him a smile that almost hid how tired she was. "He looks like you," she said softly. Pitch leaned over to peer at his son. "Yea, I guess he does," he agreed. "He's got more of your coloring, though."
They both lay there together watching the sleeping baby, Lark shifting over to lean on his shoulder. He sensed when she started to doze off and nudged her gently, asking her, "Do you want me to take him so you can sleep?"
Lark stirred herself awake at his words. "No, I'm fine," she answered, though she still sounded tired. "He'll need to eat soon, won't he? I need to be awake for that." Pitch chuckled quietly, and she frowned. Before she could say anything, he bent to kiss her forehead, then gathered Loren up. "Sleep," he said softly. "I'll wake you, don't worry." She just sighed, then settled back against the pillows. Within moments she was fast asleep.
* * * * *
A whimper pulled Pitch from sleep. It was still dark, but the faint touch of grey outside the window hinted at dawn's approach. He slipped out of bed, careful not to disturb Lark; she stirred in her sleep but didn't wake. Silently he padded over to the cradle.
Loren lay quietly, whether awake or still asleep, it was hard to say. Pitch gingerly lifted him up and carried him over to the nearby chair, then settled his son on his lap. For a moment he just watched him, then with a deep breath, he summoned the cat.
It responded immediately, as he knew it would. Snarling, it threw itself against the barriers he had put up in his mind, fighting furiously for a few minutes before it grudgingly subsided. Stand still, he said to it. Look at him. I want you to know him.
The cat wanted to ignore him. What did it care for such a small scrap of elf meat? It wanted out. Snarling again, it continued testing the bars' strength, searching for a weakness that was, to its eternal frustration, no longer there. Pitch sighed, very quietly, then gave it the mental equivalent of seizing its scruff and shaking it. No, he told it firmly. This is your cub, your heir, as much as it is mine. You will not touch a hair of his head, or so help me I will destroy you.
The cat snorted, disbelieving. If he destroyed the cat, he would destroy himself, and the cat refused to believe he would ever do that. Try me, Pitch told it flatly. If it will keep him safe, I will do anything it takes- including sacrificing myself. You had best learn that, if you want to survive.
The cat was less certain now. He felt it reading his thoughts, considering, before at last it submitted to him. He allowed it to peer through his eyes at the newborn in his lap. His own nostrils flared as the cat took in the baby's scent, then it left him, sinking back into its cage within Pitch's mind.
Pitch slowly let out the breath he'd been holding. The worst battle was over; Loren was as safe as Pitch could make him. He got up, a little stiffly, and settled the infant back in his cradle, then climbed back into his own bed, next to Lark. She snuggled up to him automatically, and he let himself drift back to sleep.