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Akako Akari

Return of the Fallen Yokai Queen

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Relief flooded her when she felt him catch her weight with his free arm. The daiyokai readily leaned into him, accepting the assistance, and reveling in the warmth he emitted. Closing her eyes, she left her head fall to his shoulder, her forehead against his neck as she rested a moment. Her breathing was shallow and her blood was lethargic in her veins. One minute, just one minute of rest. Akako felt she could finally rest with the Cambion's warmth at her side, but she knew better than to fall asleep. 

Forcing her eyes open again, dull golden orbs blinked slowly as she looked at the column of Xartia's neck before averting to the energy still in his hand. Her gaze didn't falter even as he brought the orb to her lips. The vixen parted her lips and with an inhale, her lashes fell to her cheeks again, the Cambion's energy trailing into her mouth. 

Her yoki stirred immediately at the invasion and at first it was painful. As if he knew that the first few seconds would be an excruciating battle, his thumb smoothed over her shoulder. Meanwhile, his energy finally cradled her yoki before spreading to the rest of her to restore part of what was lost. It was warm, his energy. With a hum, Akako shifted against his side, her knees pressed against his thigh as she turned her face to bury it in his shoulder. 

"Forgive, This One," the words were barely audible, muffled against the cloth of his shirt. "This One will repay her debt." She was embarrassed that he saw her in this state. Somehow, Xartia always saw the very worst of her. 

"Khaliq..." She started again before inhaling a shaky breath as she felt strength returning to her limbs. "He needs you." 

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His cheek pressed gingerly against her head, his nose just barely touching the top of it. He basked in her scent while he was afforded it's company. Regardless of the past, and regardless of how much he had changed, she was still a creature of divinity. Having achieved such a state for himself, however limited, he understood her so much more. He didn't doubt for a moment that there was still much to learn. As she regained a fraction of her strength, she struggled to speak into his chest. His thumb continued to caress her shoulder. subtly he shook his head no at her declaration of owing him. His lips parted to speak, though before he could, Akako had more words to get out. Suddenly, his thumb stopped moving, and if she listened closely enough, perhaps she could hear his heart skip a beat.

"Khaliq...He needs you."

Khaliq Alkawn Almadiyi, The Demiurge. A fitting name for the psion prodigy of his potential. Xartia did not doubt for a moment that the boy needed a father figure in his life, though he was hoping Red would have been wise enough to find a suitable replacement for the task. Immediately Xartia thought about how he had failed all of his several children to date, for the first time in a long time in fact. After centuries of ignorance, he realized the root of his problems. He hadn't failed at raising his children, he simply failed to raise them for whatever excuse he had at that moment in time. He never did a bad job raising any of them, he simply wasn't there. Perhaps this had something to do with his own traumatic upbringing, despised by his father whom was the King, and loved unconditionally only by his brother. Even when he wasn't, Orphen was always there for him. If anything, Xartia simply needed to remember how his brother cared for him in their youth despite being twins. This being a fresh thought upon a pile of the old ones boasting his inadequacy, the Cambion had his doubts of course. Though Akako saying something to him about it made him feel all the more a fool for having doubt to being with. Orphen would be disappointed in him.

"He does...wait, how do you figure? Has something happened I'm unaware of?"

As the current longest standing councilman, Xartia was all but certain that news of any drastic changes would have reached him with haste. The fact that nobody but Red, Akako, and himself were the only ones to know he was Khaliq's father was of course something he still thought was the right thing; If only for the sake of reputation. Though his face hardly moved, she had obviously struck a chord in him. A chord showing that he was still capable of feeling like a man, so long as he existed as one. In the back of his mind he couldn't help but wonder the worth of his actions this day. The Verse was were he belonged, or so his brother told him. These feelings were what made him unsure of that statement.

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As her vitality seeped back into her body, she was hard-pressed to move away from the Cambion. There was comfort in the touch and his scent. Between the time she met him in Sigil and now, his presence always made her uneasy, perhaps the demoness knew instinctively that the Xartia she had known between that time wasn't the original, even if she wasn't conscious of that fact. Something had her on edge which she could never explain, and now, she was relaxed and let her guard down more than she ever had. 

It seemed that Xartia didn't mind her proximity either. The vixen could feel and hear the way he inhaled her scent. The fuzzy triangles perched on her head twitched at the sound before folding forward again in a satisfied manner. The tips of her tails lifted and fell, a sign that she was well enough to move without pain. There was no indication that she was planning to pull away, though. Instead, one of her hands clutched the cloth of his shirt at his stomach. Color returned to her, dusting her cheeks a light pink as warmth returned. 

The soothing touch at her shoulder ceased as soon as his son was mentioned. The vixen pulled her face away from Xartia's shoulder and glanced up momentarily, curious to see his expression. She frowned when she saw that he'd hardly reacted outwardly at all. The daiyokai could empathize with his reaction as she normally held herself back from being entirely honest because there was a risk of showing weakness. However, deep down she knew that showing weakness was an incredible act of trust. 

"He does...wait, how do you figure? Has something happened I'm unaware of?"

Her gaze lowered and she settled again, her cheek to his shoulder before responding softly. 

"He called to me. To the dreamscape..." 

There was more, but Akako didn't know if she wanted to tell him or if it would complicate things. Did he know that his son carried a small portion of her demonic essence? To yokai, he was her child. Any of her kind would scent and feel her aura in him and deem him as her kit. Though, the child wasn't yokai, and certainly not kitsune. He was human and Cambion... a frightfully powerful one at that. Her lips pressed into a grim line then she continued. They had lied by omission enough to last a lifetime. If anything was to change between them, someone would need to take the first step. Akako decided that she would do so, because she was older and supposedly wiser, though she acted like a spoiled child more often than not. 

"He can sense me... as my own kits can." Akako paused as she let her lashes kiss her cheeks again while she chewed the inside of her cheek in thought. "It seems your son has a thread of my aura in him." 

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As proud and surprised as he should be at the boys mental ability to do something so advanced at his age, Something about the words that followed convinced a greater reaction out of him. When her cheek was placed on his shoulder again, the thumb resumed its rhythm. However, when she mentioned about a thread of herself being within the boy it stopped again. Xartia's eyes grew wide, his jaw becoming slack as he realized the full reality of her words. His body's temperature rose ever so slightly as his palms moistened, his mouth and throat grew dry. His heart rate increased and a faint red stained his face. Partly out of trying to keep her from seeing his face, and partly because of the intimate feelings inspired in this revelation, the Cambion gingerly placed a kiss upon her head before placing his chin where he kissed. His arm holding her pulled her closer, urging her face to his chest as his other arm moved to wrap around her as well in one awkward, albeit warming embrace.

"And here I thought it was just my quixotic longing. A figment of your presence in my imagination."

If her wisdom was broad enough, she'd catch his slip of vocabulary, followed by a swift deflection from the statement with some relevance. So the boy had two mothers it seemed, no doubt it was relative to Red possessing some of Akako's aura within herself. The very same reason Xartia blame's his prior ustulation. Though his body standing here and now had never touched her flesh, Xartia would be lying to say it was not he whom slept with her. He carried the feelings and the memory of the experience, thus it was his. Knowing the Kitsune to speak in mystery, her blunt truth was something so uncharacteristic of her when it came to their discussions. No slyness, no mischief. This coupled with the fact that this child was in one way or another a byproduct of her, he felt obligated to share his personal thoughts and feelings with her.

"I've had long time to reflect on my past, and I've realized one huge mistake I've made with all of my children. I failed to simply be there...Each and every child have that most in common. I never failed at raising my children because I simply raised them wrong, I never actually raised them. Every child, every life, I conveniently had a reason to not be there for them. I think a part of me knew this long before the last three were born, though my hubris wouldn't allow me to ever admit it, aloud or even just to myself. I will go to Khaliq, and I will raise him to the best of my ability. I would bring him here, though I feel his upbringing would be best around similar individuals. That being said, Caelum will need the leadership it deserves, I was finished ruling years before I had the chance."

Lifting his chin as his body regulated itself once more, and as his face was more or less recovered from his anxiety, Xartia attempted to lean back just enough to peer down at Akako's face, searching for those golden orbs he fancied so much.

"Take your rightful place here, the only answer that make sense. The only one that will make us all happy. Just as Khaliq needs me, he needs you, as does Red. As do I."

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A burst of carnations filled her senses, bright, clove-like, and floral with a hint of spice. There had been occasions where she caught that particular scent on the Cambion, but they had been mild and fleeting. Now it was as if she was standing in a field of the flower, overwhelmed by the aroma. It was pleasant and forced her lips to curl into a hint of a smile. Internally, the vixen wondered what he was thinking and how he felt. She could hazard a guess with his physical reactions; the steady rhythm of his heartbeat stumbled before speeding up. Then a kiss was placed at the top of her head as he wrapped her up in his embrace. 

Typically, she would have found a reason to flee, but the daiyokai remained and allowed him to pull her closer. With her cheek now on his chest, she listened as his heartbeat began to slow down as his calm returned. His voice, as he spoke, was a low thrum in her ear as she heard him through his chest. It was a relaxing sound, and the demoness closed her eyes and listened quietly. His choice of wording wasn't lost on her though, yet she didn't react outwardly. He didn't give her much chance to, regardless. 

Soon he was delving into his thoughts and mistakes from the past. Akako understood and knew what was to come. He would leave, as was right. If they had learned anything, his absence typically brought disaster. Lucius was a perfect example of that. Had Xartia been present, perhaps her daughter and his son wouldn't have festered like an open wound only to cause rot. Though, Akako blamed herself for it. She was far too harsh in her punishments back then, though memories of her first daughter terrified her. At least she still had three sons living, two were with their father's family, and Akane's twin was here, now a man. 

Xartia confirmed what Akako knew would come as he mentioned Caelum's leadership. From the beginning, the port was meant to be in her care, but for one reason or another, Akako had been absent. It was time for her to assume responsibility, despite how much she despised it. She owed it to the people, to Red, to Xartia. Her lips pressed into a thin line as she considered what that would mean for her. The isolation would be painful, especially since she had just come back. With a sigh, as Xartia lifted his face away from her hair, Akako also tilted her head back to lifted her gaze to his. 

She nodded, silently affirming that she would remain in Caelum while he left for Predator's Keep. 

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SUMMARY

Upon hearing that there were yokai without homes and being mistreated for their appearance, Akako returned to Port Caelum to open a portal to the Void. After holding the portal open for an extended period of time, Akako depleted her yoki. With her power completely sapped, Xartia comes to Akako's aid and they end up discussing Xartia's son who is in Predator's Keep and the future of Caelum. Akako is named Regent of Port Caelum once again and Xartia returns to Predator's Keep to care for his child. 
 

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