"Akkey Says Good-Bye" is a Season 4 Day 2 (February 15, 20) thread during which Akkey first tells Haddock she will be leaving, and then Treepelt.
Part 1 Edit
Akkey Black: Akkey slowly opened a weary eye. She sat up, groaning as her muscles protested at the movement. Blunt had been a comforting and helpful presence last night, but when he left, her fitful sleep was constantly interrupted by nightmares about Dust. She stayed the night, longer than she had planned, but in truth she only managed four to five hours of rest.
It wasn’t enough, but it would have to do. She had already wasted enough time. She quickly pulled on fresh clothes, packed a small bag of necessities and grabbed her cloak. As an afterthought, she reached for a hair tie and gathered her hair into a low short pony tail. Akkey rushed out of the room, stopping only to hastily whisper instructions to a very confused yet willing guard, then headed straight for the throne room.
She halted right in front of the door. All this time, she was dead set on telling Haddock, but now that the opportunity presented itself before her, she hesitated. She bit her lip, considering her options. No, this is the right thing. The last two times you suddenly left, things turned for the worst. Let’s not make it three.
One deep breath, a few neck stretches then she knocked and walked in.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: It had been a day of surprise visitations, yet since Haddock had heard Akkey was in Purgatory, she was the absolute last woman he expected to see enter. “How are you… here…?” he asked, positively baffled.
Akkey Black: She had bowed upon entrance as was customary, then she raised her head to respond, but fell silent as she saw him. He was in an awful state… his shoulders drooped and his haggard face sported shadows underneath his eyes. And is that… a slave mark? she thought in horror.
She felt a lump rise in her throat. He looked like a complete wreck… “I… I came through the portal. I have a… job to do,” she whispered. A million questions were running through her mind, but she chose to ask the most important one. She took a hesitant step towards him, her hands shaking behind her.
"Sir… are you… I mean… it is you, right? The Warden… you’re alive… right?”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock remembered the last time she had seen him; the Warden had been in control and mocking Akkey. The king, looking at his feet, responded, “I am Haddock, not the Warden. She is completely gone from me. How that occurred is no short story, yet I assure you she has no more control over me, nor will she again.”
Akkey Black: She exhaled the breath that she didn’t realize she was holding. It gripped at Akkey for the past week; she was beyond shocked that Haddock was alive that she didn’t notice it was the Warden she was talking to.
"Thank gods… thank gods…" she covered her eyes with one hand, "That’s good." She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. She smiled at him, but she couldn’t hold it back. Tears spilled over her cheeks, non stop. She was so relieved, so happy… "That’s really good."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Hey there," Haddock said softly, stepping toward Akkey and gently tipping up her chin as soon as he saw her crying. "I am alright." He gave her a quick embrace, leaned in, and asked, "Are you?"
Akkey Black: "I am now…" she rubbed her tears away. She needed to get it together, they had important matters to discuss.
She hesitated for a moment, debating where to start, “I… it was Hel who dragged me into Purgatory. She had a lot to say…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Hel." Haddock felt distinctly uncomfortable thinking about her. However, if Akkey had information from Hel, this was incredibly important, and he needed to know all to the fulllest. "And what was it she said?"
Akkey Black: "I saw… you accepting Hel’s offer… regarding your souls for Ragnarok…" she avoided his eyes. The next part was the hard one.
"To give her the souls for her army… it is now my job to keep the portal to Purgatory open… and find even more souls. Like my father has been doing for the past ten years… like with Vox… and Stonegit… and…" she trailed off.
"I need to do the same thing now… I have to leave."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Why are you doing this?" Haddock asked. "You can see why I made my choice…" he looked incredibly uncomfortable "…but why must you now do what your father has done?" Haddock was hurt by this.
Akkey Black: "Because…" she clenched her fist behind her. She didn’t have the nerve to tell him the actual reason, "Because… Ragnarok is coming. We all know that Hel has a better chance at victory than Odin or any of the other gods, and I’d rather have all the people important to me on the… winning side. She’s promised us that."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "I’m sure every god and goddess would promise the same thing…"
Akkey Black: "Please, I have to do this.."
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Why?" And suddenly his voice erupted into a shout. "I want you safe! Can you not see that? I don’t care what your excuse is for Hel winning Ragnarok… this - is - a - fool’s - errand!”
Akkey Black: She flinched. It’s just like with Stonegit. Whether she liked it or not… past incidents have traumatized her. She’s terrified, and she wished she wasn’t, but she couldn’t help it, “It’s not… it’s not a fool’s errand. I just… I don’t…”
She stepped backwards, away from Haddock, “You don’t understand…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Then tell me,” Haddock murmured, reaching out to her even as she retreated. “I can understand if only I know.”
Akkey Black: She stepped further away from him. She should tell him, she wanted to tell him… but she was too ashamed. Familiar words echoed in her mind, You’re so selfish, Chief.
Her nails dug into her palm behind her, breaking the skin. Blood started slowly dripping down her arm. She gasped out, “It’s too… selfish… I’m… you won’t understand… I’m… selfish…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "We all have been selfish. I will judge you none for it," Haddock said, then after a pause, "a father’s word."
Clearing his throat, Haddock said, “Akkey, I really am worried and concerned about you. Please. It’s helpful for the rebellion, and especially for you. I will not let this come to a poor end.”
Akkey Black: "A father’s… word…" she said, her voice higher. She was getting increasingly agitated, and started rambling, "I am leaving my duties as chief to fish for innocent souls in exchange for something that benefits absolutely no one but myself… and you won’t judge me for it. As my father… but you’re not my real father… you won’t understand… she’s nothing to you, after all…”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "She may be nothing to me, but you are something.”
Akkey Black: "I…" she stopped in her tracks. You are something. She’d spent the past ten years wallowing in guilt and frustration at her uselessness, her inability to stop the tragedy on her birthday. She was always convinced that she was worthless, that it was her punishment for leaving. For doing something for herself.
Yet here he was, insisting that he would not judge her for her own wants… because she was important to him.
"M-my… sis…" she trailed off, still afraid to continue.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "It’s okay," he encouraged her quietly.
Akkey Black: "My sister is alive… I have to go…" she finally whispered.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: 'It is your own choice to make, Akkey.” Haddock sighed. “I will discourage you as I can. Wish to convince you that you 'have to' do this. Want to protect you through it… very much want to protect you through it. But I will not stop you. Just… Akkey… I don’t want to lose you. Okay? It’s been too close too many times.”
Akkey Black: Akkey shut her mouth in a thin line. She felt so discouraged, she was disappointing both her fathers. Neither want her to go through with it, but neither are forcing her to stop either.
She turned to go, intent on leaving without another word. But in the last moment, she changed her mind. She ran and flung her arms around him, burying her face in his chest.
"I’ll be careful. I… I love you," she choked, then she bolted out of the throne room before Haddock could say anything else.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: He stared, very, very worried, as she ran out of the room.
Am I really so helpless to help anyone?
Haddock sighed, staring at the door through which Akkey ran. “I love you too,” he murmured softly. Very softly.
Part 2 Edit
Akkey Black: She gasped as she ran with all her might, away from the throne room, away from the man who took care of her all this time, away from her King. She wasn’t planning on telling him the part about Maya… or anyone,for the matter. She was only going to say goodbye.
She needed to get away now. Otherwise, she would never leave. She rushed to where she asked the guard to prepare her dragon, trying to avoid any other encounters. She didn’t want to waste anymore time. Yet, as she stopped by the stables, she saw the last person she wanted to see.
Treepelt Halfpaw: Treepelt looked up from where she was stroking the Rumblehorn’s snout as someone entered the stables. The huge dragon was tired and needed a few days to recuperate before returning to…wherever Vox had gotten it from. He still refused to say. “Akkey!”
Tree rushed towards her friend and hugged her tightly, tears springing to her eyes. “Oh my gods, you’re back, I was so worried…!”
Akkey Black: It had to be you… Her breath hitched as the half cat smothered her. Her arms hung behind her, momentarily uncertain whether or not to hug her friend, but decided to anyway. It’s been too long for comfort since she’s seen Tree, it was a great relief to see her alive and well.
"Hi…" she responded, giving a small smile, "Hah yes I am… although…" she trailed off. Although I’m leaving again to look for…
Treepelt Halfpaw: She released Akkey and looked closer at her. “Although what? What’s wrong?”
Akkey Black: She forced herself to light up, reverting back to her energetic self. It wasn’t hard, she had the past ten years to practice.
"Oh, nothing!" she said, "I’m fine. What about you? How are you? I heard plenty of crazy things have been happening while I was gone…"
Treepelt Halfpaw: Tree was still a bit suspicious but she matched Akkey’s brightness. “So much, Stonegit’s back, and so was Hel for a bit, and Vox, too, he was off somewhere but he’s back now.” Her smile grew bigger. “And I heard that the Warden finally left, oh, Akkey, everything’s going back to normal!”
Akkey Black: "Ah, I know Stonegit’s back, it’s really good news. Vox, too. I didn’t know he left, though…"
Her fingers twitched slightly behind her at the mention of Hel, but she managed to keep her face in check. Itwas great news. “Thank gods, that bastard Warden left… she’s caused us too much pain.”
Treepelt Halfpaw: "Yeah, it is."Treepelt peered at Akkey, cocking her head. Her ears began to turn backwards. “Akkey, what’s wrong?” she repeated. “I’ve been around you too long, you know you can’t hide stuff from me.”
Akkey Black: "I’m fine." she denied it a bit too quickly. She met Tree’s eyes, but it’s always been difficult with her hypnotic gaze, and right now was no exception. She looked away and tried to change the subject, "S-so… where did Vox go?"
Treepelt Halfpaw: "I don’t know, he still hasn’t told me yet." Tree frowned and circled Akkey a bit, taking her hands and bending down slightly to meet her eyes. "Akkey. Please tell me."
Akkey Black: Her thoughts flashed back to her talk with Haddock. It was the same thing. She wanted to tell her, but she was still afraid what she would think. This was Tree she was talking to. The person who treated her like a sister ever since they met each other four years ago.
And now she was leaving to find her real sister. Because Tree’s soul now belongs to Hel.
She shook her head. She could feel the pressure behind her eyes threatening to spill over. Her voice failed her and rasped, “It’s… nothing. It’s nothing! Please don’t…” Damn it why did I have to run into you…
Treepelt Halfpaw: She squeezed Akkey’s hands. “Come on, I know it’s bothering you. Is it personal? Is it going to hurt the rebellion?” Tree brushed Akkey’s hair out of her eyes. “I don’t want to see you like this, please.”
Akkey Black: Yes, it’s personal. Yes, it is going to hurt the rebellion. I’m a selfish little girl who’s leaving her friends behind, willing to sacrifice thousands of souls just to keep one person safe. It’s going to hurt the rebellion. It’s going to hurt you.
She wrenched her hands out of Tree’s, concentrating on keeping the tears in. This was why she wanted to avoid her. Telling Haddock was hard enough, this… this was painful.
She took a few steps backwards. She really needed to get away now.
Treepelt Halfpaw: "Akkey, don’t…" Tree attempted to step forward, forcibly reminded of their animal halves, the cat closing in on the frightened rabbit, and she held up her hands carefully, trying to keep Akkey from getting away.I won’t lose you again. “Please talk to me.”
Akkey Black: Her eyes flicked around her, looking for an escape. Her breaths were shallow, she couldn’t do this. She timidly shuffled even further, staring at Tree as she tried to convince her to talk.
Suddenly, she froze. Tree’s pupils had contracted into familiar slits, but she didn’t notice, and continued pleading with her. Akkey’s eyes widened, and her shoulders heaved. Her hand slowly reached for the sword by her waist.
Treepelt Halfpaw: Treepelt’s eyes filled with tears and she reached out a hand, not noticing where Akkey’s fingers were drifting. “Please, it’s me, it’s Tree, you can trust me.”
Akkey Black: It fell on deaf ears.
"You lied… you said the Warden was gone. Haddock said she was gone… both of you lied! I shouldn’t have told him… and I’m not telling you! You won’t understand!" In one fluid motion, she drew out her sword and swung.
Treepelt Halfpaw: Tree shrieked as the tip of the blade carved into the skin across her collarbone, cutting through the thin fur and causing a red line to appear and immediately start spitting blood. “It’s not…it’s not her!” she panted, each word a choked scream. Her hand was clasped over the cut in an attempt to stem the bleeding. The Rumblehorn behind her tossed its head at the scent of blood and bellowed, tiny eyes finding the blade in Akkey’s hand. “Stop, shhh, it’s okay—”
Akkey Black: "That’s what we thought right before you forced her to kill the love of her life!" she gritted her teeth, still backing out with her sword up, "Leave, Warden. Just leave!"
Treepelt Halfpaw: "I—I promise it’s not—!"But before Tree could say anything else, the Rumblehorn shoved past her and knocked its nose-horn against Akkey’s sword, sending it clattering to the side, and then pushed her onto her back, planting a foot on her chest and baring its teeth. “Stop it!” Tree cried, pushing against the side of his head. “She’s not…she’s not thinking straight!”
Akkey Black: The air was knocked out her as the Rumblehorn snorted in her face. She tried to push it off, but she was a tiny little thing against its massive size, and it refused to budge. “Get… off me…” she choked.
Treepelt Halfpaw: "Shoo!" She managed to dissuade the Rumblehorn from its stubborn protectiveness and it lumbered off, swishing its tail disconsolately. "Akkey, I…I think it’s best if you go," Tree managed to get out, neck throbbing as the pain flooded her tense muscles.
Akkey Black: She shakily got on her feet, breathing hard. The room spun, and she put a hand to her head. She spotted Tree, blood flowing down her neck, and she gasped. The slits were gone. Her eyes were back to normal.
"Tree… I…" The Rumblehorn’s attack knocked some sense into her, and she realized what she had done, "I’m sorry… it happened again… I’m so…"
The tears that she tried so hard to contain spilled over, and she turned, hastily heading out the door.
Treepelt Halfpaw: Treepelt watched her go, biting her lip and shutting her eyes. “Just go,” she whispered, shoulders heaving. “Just go.”