Title: M-The longest of paths
Description: for Ahati and Nuata, and maybe everyone!
Daimu - March 20, 2012 05:22 AM (GMT)
There was some sort of comfort in the wind this very day, when the exiled sisters neared the greatest mountain in Africa: the snow-coated peak of Kilimanjaro. It was a truly beautiful sight to keep eyes on, and it was also one of the most faithful, for it has always been there, in the same place. Maybe the mountain was getting older, but it still didn't alter over time. As opposed to the life of Ahati and Nuata - was it a peak, it would be crumbled, flattened, razed to the ground. But Kilimanjaro was different.
"It's so beautiful..." Whispered the smaller of the traveling sisters, bearing golden fur. Ahati was her name, and despite having been scarred by life itself, she could still notice and appreciate the beauty of nature so many doesn't see. Both her silver eyes, despite one being wounded, then turned to her beloved sister, waiting for her to catch up. Ahati used to scout forward, being the stronger of the two.
"Should we stop for a moment, Ata? You look weary, dear." The lioness waited for her to come closer, and then rubbed her head against hers to cheer Nuata up a bit. In fact, she was exhausted too, so they would both enjoy a bit of rest - especially now, when the night was slowly coming. The sun was trying to hide itself beneath the horizon for quite a few moments already, despite its efforts unsuccessful and fruitless.
Quail - March 20, 2012 06:22 AM (GMT)
Nuata trailed behind her sister, struggling to conquer the mountain on her unpracticed legs. She watched her sister from her place ahead of her, continually marveling at the strength she had. Nuata had always been the weaker one, even though she was taller. Her sister had been the bigger one when they were cubs, the one born first and the one who always got the most nutrition. She was more competitive and had always been better at doing things, and always been stronger. It was only when they grew a bit that Nuata became taller, but she didn't gain the strength that Ahati did. Nuata didn't like to admit that things were harder for her, that she was weaker, but it was true.
She looked ahead to her stronger sister, the scars on her back looking better and better each day. Nuata silently hoped that one day they would heal completely, or at least be so subtle that Ahati didn't think herself ugly. She was still beautiful to Nuata, but she knew that wasn't enough for her sister.
Nuata caught up to her sister and was greeted with a head rub, which she returned with love. "I wouldn't mind stopping." she admitted with a bit of humor in her voice, if only to take away the embarrassment that she didn't think she could go one anymore. She was tired. "Do you want to keep going? I could, for a little while." She said, wanting to push herself a bit. She knew that if she tried, eventually things like this would become easier for her. She wanted to be as strong as her sister.
Daimu - March 20, 2012 04:03 PM (GMT)
"There's no need to press on." Ahati replied with a little smile, laying down under the nearest tree, which was kind enough to share some shadows with the wandering sisters. Making herself a comfortable lair between the roots, she ended up laying upside down, on her back. Her only healthy eye gazed at Nuata lazily. Despite her scars and wounds, her pose made Ahati look innocent, content and even a bit lazy somehow. "Really, there is no need to push forward. We're free, after all... kind of." Ati stretched her paws with a loud purr.
The price of freedom truly was mercilessly hefty, but it was still a price worth paying. Even though so much has changed in their life over time, they have prevailed, taking care about each other. They were now the only ones they could trust - and trust with their life.
"Oh, come on already, lazybones. Bring your sorry rump over here and have some rest, Ata." She encouraged her sister with a wide smile and a playful glint in her eye, as she usually has. Ahati has always been pretty straightforward, having inherited this trait from their father. As always, she has left enough space for her sister to join her, and then the lioness would simply surround her with her paws, as usual. Ahati's always loved to cuddle, and along with her attitude, those were the traits of her not changed by her wounds. She was still the same Ati she ever were, even though she was in pain inside.
Quail - March 21, 2012 11:23 PM (GMT)
Nuata smiled, following her sister with her eyes as Ahati laid down under a tree. Nuata sat in her spot and watched her for a few moments as she got comfortable, listening to her words. "Yeah, free." She said, looking out over the mountains and to the valley below.
The tan colored female couldn't help but feel responsible for the things that had happened to both of them, but especially to her sister. It was her fault, all of it. SHE had gone into heat. SHE had not been strong enough to fight him off. SHE had allowed Ahati to step in, and SHE had run away... leaving Ahati to fight Nuata's battle, and leaving her to become butchered. Nuata felt so guilty.
The tan female looked over the edge of the mountain path and contemplated all of this. Even now, thinking it over, the only conclusion she could come to was that she was weak. Look at Ahati. She was as bright and bubbly as ever while Nuata was worried and quiet. That was weak of her too.
Ahati brought her out of her thoughts though, with her comment about being a lazybones. Nuata smiled. If she didn't have Ahati she didn't know where she'd be now. Nuata turned to her sister and walked towards her, "Okay Ati you win." She said, hopping over her sister and curling down next to her.
Daimu - March 22, 2012 05:31 AM (GMT)
"Now there's a good lass." Ahati smiled back at her sister, following this little walk with the gaze of her silver eye. As soon as the brown lioness laid down next to her, she could feel Ahati's paws landing on her body in a warm embrace. Even though she has reacted as she always have, her scarred sister, despite being partially blinded, noticed there was something wrong with Ata. And she thought she knew why. She's left a worried, attentive kiss between her ears, trying to get her attention.
Ahati, even though she was more than a warrior and a hunter, than anything else, knew well enough what was troubling her sister and never letting go. Those were the scars on her body, the shadows of the past. The golden of the lionesses has already accepted everything what's happened before they have ended up being in a journey. She has accepted all the pain and scars she's received, despite crying in the nights sometimes. Despite being stripped of her beauty. Thus she was truly worried about her sister - and that's why she's decided to step in this time. "Stop staring at those scars of mine. I thought I've got some more interesting body parts than that." She has surrounded her with the paws closer, cuddling her peacefully.
"Don't blame yourself. Please, don't." She added seriously. Ahati was glad the currents of the past went as they have. She was the only one of the lionesses strong enough to face a male in battle and have even mere chances of survival. "It was my choice to fight this scumbag. And see, here I am, sis. And he also has something to remember me by!" She attacked her ear with her nose, poking it. She was never good at this sort of thing... but she swore to herself to do everything she could to comfort her sister.
Quail - March 22, 2012 11:26 PM (GMT)
Nuata settled into her sister's embrace, snuggling down next to her and placing her head on her paws. From that spot she let her eyes look up to Ahati. Her sister had always been the pretty one. Well, they were both pretty, but Ahati's golden fur and icy grey eyes had always entranced others more than her own tan fur and brown eyes. Nuata looked at Ahati's eyes now, but that always meant that she wandered to the scars on her left eye. They were healing well, she noted, before Ati made a comment about it.
Nuata laughed, trying to brush it of, "I wasn't staring." she said, giving her sister a nudge. "I was just looking. They look better today." she offered, trying to make her sister feel a bit better. While visibly, outwardly, she saw that Ahati was okay, she knew that inside somewhere she wasn't. Nuata knew her sister too well to not know something was wrong. How could she just be okay? The absence of sorrow didn't mean she wasn't sad. It only meant she was stronger than Nuata.
Apparently by thinking about being sad, Nuata had become visibly sad. She hadn't realized it though until Ahati asked her not to be. She smiled a small smile as here sister attached her ear, letting out a giggle and pushing her sister's face away with her paw. "I don't know what I would ever do without you." she said as she rolled onto her back, exposing her lighter underbelly.
Daimu - March 23, 2012 12:02 AM (GMT)
Ahati's answered Nuata's gaze by frowning a little bit. She didn't realize it was not very convincing though, but she continued her play anyway. "Perhaps I'm more blind than I thought. I didn't notice." She replied to her sister's comment about the scars on her eye. Actually, the only thing Ahati could say about them without having to look for her reflection in the water was... they hurt. They really have, every single time she was about to blink. That was the slowest healing of all wounds. At some point she's got used to that even.
She then listened to her beloved sister's... compliment? Yes, it almost certainly sounded like one, despite having been previously pushed away from her. Ahati gave a quiet growl and watched Nuata rolling onto her back. She didn't know what she'd do? "Oh, do you?" The golden lioness climbed onto her to look into the brown eyes. "Well, I do. You'd bore yourself to death without me, that's for sure." She's shown her ivories, raising her eyebrows and closing her eyes. That gave her an opportunity to wear her self-loving face. She's even laid her ears after her. "Well, without you... When I come to think of it, I'd be having a hard time looking for anything even half as comfy as you, actually..." She added, laying on her back beside her - still cuddled up to her. "...and even half as lazy and boring, too." Ahati, in the terms of expressing affection, differed so much from other lionesses. She's shown her ivories yet again.
Quail - May 7, 2012 12:03 AM (GMT)
At her sister's reply Nuata laughed lightly, placing a paw around Ahati's neck in a light cuddly hug. "We'd both be lazy and bored I bet, with nobody to talk to and no reason to do anything." she said, thinking about it while she gazed at the clouds that rolled by above them. The more she thought about being without her sister, the more she was glad she was with her. She wouldn't be able to hunt as well, she wouldn't be motivated to go as far in a day, and she wouldn't feel safe at night alone. And she would just be plain lonely. Nuata looked over at Ahati with a smile. She was really happy to be with her.
Her eyes wandered for a moment to her sister's scars, but she was quick to look back up at the clouds while she though. "Hey Ati?" she said, staying quiet for a moment as she watched the clouds. "What if.. what if we had stayed? I could have just let him-" she fell quiet, not wanting to finish the sentence. "I could have had his cubs and then you wouldn't have those scars, and we wouldn't be wandering and we would be with our family." she said, the words coming out faster than she realized. Hopefully her sister would be able to understand her.
Daimu - May 7, 2012 05:39 AM (GMT)
Ahati has always been pretty straightforward - chances are, Nuata has seen that one coming already. And regretted mentioning it. "I'd tear his balls apart." This scary snarl has been completely taken over by hatred. Ahati calmed down though, when she looked at her beloved sister. However, her gaze still was dour and steely, rather than silver. "And, for crying out loud, forget about these damn scars already!" She added in annoyance, slipping away from Nuata's embrace only to stand in front of her, exposing every single scar she has received while defending her. She seemed to be everything, but concerned about her appearance, yet she wanted her sister to see, to remember the deepness of her wounds, the smell of her blood, the pain in her walk. She went on.
"I am not interested in what-ifs, Ata. But I could tell you what would be happening. Yet I will not. You know well enough. Is THAT your idea of "and they lived happily ever after"? She asked her, finally calming her voice and her gaze down. She sat down in front of her, carefully picking her head up and lifting it, so that they look in each other's eyes. "Forget about these scars. Every single one of them was my choice. Everything I have done, I have done for you, sis. They are worth nothing to me. And you are free. You haven't been raped. You still are a beautiful, attractive lass, only a bit stupid. And I am still alive. I can still see, I can still hear, I can still walk and hunt. That is all I will ever need. But I know you need so much more."
Ahati then lowered her head and fondly licked Nuata's cheek. "I love you so damn much, you blithering idiot. I have done what I've done because I wanted to ensure you live a happy life. But, please, shut up with those what-ifs. We are free, and I believe our pride is as well. I have told them exactly what they need to do. I have taught them how to fight a male. I have taught them, how to be fast and accurate. Were they brave enough to attack him all at once, the son of a bitch rests in pieces already. I'll knock your rump into the middle of the next week, if you don't stop living in the past. We have future right in front of us. And we're together." She smiled at her with a truly warm glint in her eyes.
Quail - May 7, 2012 06:12 AM (GMT)
Nuata didn't expect her sisters reaction, although she did know her sister could be like that at some times. She had thought though, that since they were down for a rest, that things might turn out a little calmer than they had. When her sister shot up from her spot Nuata rolled over onto her stomach again and watched her. She hadn't meant to upset her, and it upset Nuata that that is what had happened.
But as Ahati went on an on, she became upset for a different reason. She became upset because Ahati was insulting her. She called her stupid. She called her an idiot and she said she needed more than Ahati did. Nuata stood up and looked away from Ahati, the anger and hurt in her face apparent. "Don't call me stupid." she said in a low voice, perhaps to quiet to hear. If she knew that was what Ahati thought of her she might have never gone with her. She didn't WANT to be taken care of because she HAD to be taken care of. She wanted to be with her sister and take care of her, too. That is what she had thought was going on. She thought they were together, taking care of each other. Not Ahati taking care of Nuata because Nuata was too weak and stupid to take care of herself.
When Ahati came out of her rant with a more cheerful talk about the future, Nuata could only stare at her blankly. Was that last bit supposed to make the rest of what she had said okay? Nuata hated that Ahati had sacrificed herself for Nuata. She hated it so much that it made her hate herself. So the few sentences about it being okay at the end, especially after Ahati had made it clear that it wasn't, and that she was stupid.. it just killed her inside.
Daimu - May 7, 2012 06:30 AM (GMT)
Was the point Ahati's made wrong? No. From the way she looked at her sister's behaviour, she has really needed more than her. She could see the loneliness in her eyes, the bitterness of her memories and pain of her thoughts. She needed care more than Ahati did. She needed love Ati could never give her. Nuata needed someone Ahati could never replace: she needed a lover. The scarred sister could see that in her eyes. And her heart missed a beat, once she's realised she's gone too far this time. She's hurt her, even though Nuaya knew she wasn't serious, when calling her a stupid idiot. The lioness would have never thought a mere joke could raise this much of a pain.
Silver eyes reflected her fear. She's done a few step backwards, not believing what she's seen. There were no words which could describe how guilty Ahati's felt. "I... I didn't mean to..." She whispered in shock and pain... and then she turned away from Nuata to leave the range of her sight, hiding behind a tree.
She has never been this scared and never been feeling this guilty before. She couldn't breathe. All she could do was curse herself... and cry.
Quail - May 7, 2012 06:42 AM (GMT)
As Ahati ran away in shame, Nuata's face softened. Her sister's actions reminded her that, deep down, Ahati needed Nuata too. Even if she couldn't see it and even if she didn't want to admit it. Nuata was stronger emotionally, and that was because she wasn't afraid to show her emotions. She took a few steps towards the tree her sister had fled to, but stayed far enough away to give Ahati her space.
"Ahati?" she asked quietly, staying in her spot but letting her eyes and ears get as close as they could from where she stood. "Ahati I'm sorry.. I don't want to make you cry." she did her best to apologize, not wanting her sister to feel bad. There was so much between them, more than two sisters would usually have. It tore them apart sometimes, but in more ways it made them closer. "I just... I just wish you didn't feel like you were around just to take care of me. It makes me feel so guilty. I just wish you were here because you wanted to be. Not because you have to be." She tried to explain but felt like she was drowning in her own words.
Maybe it was because she thought Ahati needed space, or maybe it was because she thought that SHE needed space, or maybe it was just because she didn't know what else to say, but after she finished talking she turned to walk away. She went back to where the sisters had chosen to rest and looked at it for a moment. Just a minute ago they had been happy there, and now this. Sighing quietly to herself, she walked on a bit further. Maybe some space would do them both some good.
Daimu - May 7, 2012 06:57 AM (GMT)
Even though Nuata has decided to leave for their last spot, Ahati's heard and marked her words clearly. If there was anything, what could hurt her more, those were that sentences she's heard. The scars of her cheek ached extremely, as the bitter tears started to find their way in the fur. She was tough on the outside, burying her weakness under tonnes of roughness and physical strength. And Nuata's poked exactly the wound, which has hurt her the most: her heart.
"I want to, damn it!" She cried in pain, as loud as she could. She simply couldn't stand the fact she was beaten by her own self. Left in pieces emotionally. She never was able to fight this pain. "That's why I'm here with you, because I want to be! And I care for you, because I... damn it..." Because I love you, she added in her mind. She could not believe the words she's heard from her sister.
She'd rather face that scum in battle again, rather than fight her demons. Over time, she calmed down... went silent, as her eyes dried out from the tears. She didn't say a word more, as if she wasn't there. She has forgotten she's not the one for talking, and the price for it was high. Too high. She was torn apart inside. But she's hidden that under a tough face again. Never to reveal it in Nuata's presence again.
Quail - May 7, 2012 07:13 AM (GMT)
Nuata stopped and turned back towards her sister as she called out her broken hearted words. With mouth agape she listened only to turn back away in shame. Nuata knew she wanted to be here. She did. It was selfish of her to think otherwise. Yet, she still would rather see this side of her sister than the fake cheerful side. As much as it pained her to hurt her sister, it was also kind of exciting to see the side of her that was real, true emotion. But that wasn't what she had wanted originally. It wasn't what she wanted at all because she knew it hurt Ahati.
Nuata's head hung low as she stood facing away from her sister. Her own eyes began to well up in tears. "I'm sorry." she said. Sorry. Sorry for what? For making Ahati cry? For taking offense when she had been called stupid? For pushing the situation a little bit further? If Ahati wanted her apology to be for that, that was what it was for. Nuata knew on the inside though that the apology was for much more.
It was for getting them into this mess to begin with. It was for getting caught by that male, it was for running when Ahati fought for her, and it was for the scars she got because of it. It was for being the reason that the two had to run away, and it was for always being too slow to keep up with her sisters pace. It was for being the reason they didn't always have successful hunts, and it was for not having a good sense of direction. I was for everything. "I'm just.. sorry."
Nuata turned towards her sister, her head still low to the ground, as a single tear fell down her cheek.
Daimu - May 7, 2012 07:32 PM (GMT)
At first the only thing to reply to Nuata's apology was silence - deep, bitter silence. Ahati didn't say a word, when leaving the hideout to meet her sister's declaration of guilt. These moments of huge misunderstandings might have been inevitable and important by their nature, but the sisters seemed to have both gone too far this time. The sad thing was, however, while Nuata was able to fight her emotions, Ahati was not. The golden lioness could only bury them deep inside. Wait as her sadness and pain builds up in her heart, and then empty it in solitude, where no one could see her cry.
Was it really that exciting to see her suffer, Nuata? How did it feel to see and hear her pain? And how did the toughest of lionesses look, when crying out loud? In fact, Ahati has never felt that way before, not even in the very moment, when she challenged the male in the worst battle she's ever been in. By assuming Ahati only has kept her company because of responsibility, she has hurt her way deeper, than the sharpest claws ever could. And yet she was still here, gazing at her sister with her cold, silver eyes.
Even though she has not been prepared for such a thing to happen between them, she couldn't believe Nuata has suddenly decided to forget about the way she usually behaved. She has never meant it, when she called her sister a lazybones or anything like that - she did, because that helped her keep the crumbling bits of normalcy together. Because she has always been like that. And then, even though she was glad with the currents of the past, she felt truly terrible after hearing Nuata's words. After everything she'd done for her.
She has never blamed her for anything, yet she knew Ata thought she was guilty for what has happened. Perhaps the past was easier to accept for her, than it was for her sister. It was Ahati's choice. Even if she was given a chance to alter her past, she would have never done anything differently.
It was Ahati's love towards her, which made her challenge the scum trying to hurt the beloved sister. It was Ahati's love towards her, which built hatred and rage in her lion heart, as she marked her blows and received her wounds. It was Ahati's love towards her, which has made her convince Nuata to leave as soon as possible in the first place. And those were Ahati's paws, which surrounded her every single time she saw tears in her eyes afterwards. Those were her claws, which grabbed prey to keep them going. And it was her crushed heart, which still loved her, after she's hurt it so much. It was her choice. She could not just watch Nuata walk up to her.
"I have never meant it, when I called you stupid, lazy or boring... Please, forgive me..." She sat down and turned her gaze away from the sister, laying her ears after her in sadness and regret. Ati has made a decision. Perhaps Nuata's reaction changed her once and for all inside. Perhaps it has only spilled the bitterness building in her heart. "I just... can't believe you felt like this after all we've been through... I thought everything we have done for each other meant something..." Her voice has been soft and calm, and she could feel her heart quietening down in her chest as well.
After every single word, which she has hurt her sister with, she truly hated talking. She'd rather stay quiet and let her deeds do the talking, but she couldn't think of anything louder than what she's already done. She had to talk somehow. She raised her paw to wipe her tears as hard as she could. Pain of her eye, which she had to keep closed because of it, only made her more decided to step in. Face it. That was all she could do.
"You blame yourself for what has happened, don't you? But you cannot change the past. Deal with it and stop blaming yourself for my choices. And my scars. I have attacked him, because I love you, Nuata. Do you blame yourself for that? If it weren't for you, I'd be dead, don't you remember? You have saved my life, when I was just a few steps away from bleeding to death. You have taken care of me, while I was healing. You have fed me and helped me walk, when I was limping. And now you're acting like if that doesn't matter? Like if those damned scars are the only thing that matters between us? Like if it was wrong of me to save you? Like if it was nothing of you to save my life? I know it may not be the best of times to say that, but you have to grow up, sister. And accept, that you have saved my life and it's me who's in debt, not you. Accept, that I love you so damn much I'd have died for you if I had to. And I would do it all over again, no matter if you want it, or not."
And that was it. She has started talking all over again, even though she has sworn to herself she would never-ever do that again. And yet she did, just after a few moments have passed. She felt guilty for breaking what she felt was good, but there was no other way. She had to open her mouth once more, for she felt Nuata would have never understood anything, if she hadn't made it perfectly clear. There was only one thing she could say now, and she couldn't help, but let a tear fall onto the ground. "That's why it hurts me so much to see you blaming yourself for the past... and the scars... so blindly you don't see how much I need you... how much I love you." She lowered her voice, feeling it trembling in her throat. She really wasn't the one for talking.
Ahati felt like if... she had failed. She lowered her head and closed her eye in shame, not able to do anything.
Quail - May 9, 2012 05:47 AM (GMT)
Ahati's words hit Nuata like boulders, bringing her to a stop. They were so heavy to her that she had to sit down as they sunk through her chest and made her stomach feel as though it were going to turn inside out. Silently more tears streamed from her eyes as she listened, doing her best to hold her breath as her sister spoke so that she didn't interrupt her with sounds of crying. And when Ahati seemed to be done she let out that breath in a long and heavy sigh, looking down at the ground. With that breath she let out a lot more than just air. She let out everything that she was feeling and everything she was thinking too. And for a long moment, she couldn't do anything but look at the ground and cry.
"I love you too." she managed after a while. It seemed longer to her than it actually had been. Nuata hadn't realized how her sister felt. She was so hard to read sometimes, what was she supposed to think? But now that she understood, she felt differently. She didn't know before how much she had saved Ahati. Caring for her sister's wounds was only what anybody else would have done. They were family, and she loved Ahati, why would she not take care of her?
And with that thought, Nuata understood. She looked up at her sister and through watered eyes examined her. She had seen Ahati her whole life one way, and now saw her so differently. She wasn't the thing she should strive to be. She wasn't the one who was always going to be better than her, and she wasn't doing this just because she had to. She was just her sister. That was all.
Cautiously, Nuata stood and took a few final steps towards Ahati so that she could be close to her. "When you do something like that.. sometimes you just don't realize how much it means." she tried to reconcile her actions, "I didn't know that you needed me. I didn't know... but I always knew you loved me. And I know that you know I love you too."
While she was still teary eyed, a small smile did cross her face as she searched her sister's eyes. She wanted to reach up and wipe Ahati's face of her tears, but she was afraid her sister would turn away. So instead she just lifted her paw and placed it down on Ahati's, hoping the gesture would show how much she did care. Of course she cared. Otherwise none of this would happen.
Daimu - May 9, 2012 06:23 AM (GMT)
Nuata had to wait a few moments for anything to happen. Then she could watch Ahati's paw slip away, and then simply grab her in a tight embrace. Even though it was not Ati's intention, apart from her warmth Nuata could even feel the touch of her claws on her skin. That was how much the sister cared for her. As if she was never going to let her leave the embrace. Ati needed her company so much she never dared to imagine how would her life look without her sister. She was so glad she paid attention to mother's boring lectures, and then keep on doing that, when the hunts began. She was so glad she became the best. She was the only lioness capable of changing Nuata's future. Only her claws could tear the ties of male's lust. And they did.
"And don't let anything make you think otherwise..." Ahati's softened the embrace and then raised it, simply sitting in front of Ata. "...or I'll really knock your ass into the middle of the next week." The golden lioness smiled in return, having dared to bring these words back in a joke. That's simply the way she were - as weird as it might have been, that's simply the way Ahati was. Has it really been this wrong and painful for Nuata to cope with? After this argument Ati could only hope it wasn't, so she waited for her answer with trembling heart, ready to step in as soon as her sister feels offended... and ready to shut up, of course.
Quail - May 11, 2012 02:43 AM (GMT)
Nuata sunk into her sister's embrace with a heavy sigh of relief. This was the first time the two had really talked any of this out, and Nuata felt a whole world of weight lifted from her shoulders after her sister hugged her. She lifted her own front legs to embrace her back, squeezing as hard as she could to show her sister that she too felt the same. As they stayed there for a few moments, Nuata shed her final tear. This one was a happy tear though, not sad or sorry or angry. This one was good.
Their embrace loosened and Nuata went back to sitting next to her sister. Her small smile had grown a little, but it was still soft and caring. At her sister's final words she laughed. Nuata had never doubted her sister was joking, except for the last few times. After so many little mentioned of her being less than Ahati with her own guilt on top of it, she just couldn't take it. But she still knew deep down they weren't true. Now that she felt better, she could go back to how she usually acted.
"I promise I'll never forget it again." Nuata said with a smile, nudging her sister with her shoulder.