Let's kick off Episode 7 back in Rider's camp :)



Scene 1: Knowing

2020 B.C.

It was just silly. Stupid, really. To pretend that she might've chosen differently; to pretend that there had even been a choice to make. During her latest visit to the Cave, before the Loom, regarding her own thread enlaced so happily in its place-happily, in spite of the heartbreak. Considering whether to stay, today. Knowing that she'd rather wake up to a cold, empty bed, so long as it was his bed, than anyplace else.

And so she awoke. Almost silly enough to hold out hope that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be empty... but not quite that stupid.

She blinked into the space beside her, midmorning sun filtering through the tent, its golden rays tracing the same path as her gaze: the folds and ridges in the fabric of this modest bed, where he had laid. The fading imprints that his back had made, his shoulders, broad and beautiful and strong enough to carry any burden in the world, it seemed to her. She was sure that there was far more strength in Rider's mortal frame than in her own immortal soul.

Lachesis heaved a silent sigh. Had she been stronger, then she might've had a choice to make, back in the Cave. Might've been able to resist her human heart's desire. To remove her thread, to disengage it from her husband's, set it somewhere faraway instead. Knowing full well in her most broken heart of hearts that she did not belong beside him. That their marriage was built on an act of mercy. Her frail sense of happiness sustained by delusion, denial, and... sometimes, Lachesis felt to her dismay, fueled by defiance of the very force of destiny.

She released another sigh and shut her eyes. That notion made no sense at all; it was just silly. She was the force of destiny. One third of it, at least. It shouldn't matter if it seemed, more often than not, that her little sister held all the true power. That she herself was just a figurehead, forever tending to an empty task, when in fact everything was already determined and decreed by forces of which she could never even dream. Forces well within Clotho's comprehension and control. Granted, for now, the youngest sister couldn't read the Book of Fate-but how long would it be until that changed? Clotho always found a way. The right way, the good way.

Just as Atropos had said. Lachesis had never felt closer to her elder sister than when she had heard those words, slicing through the tension of the Cave and shoving all of Clotho's righteous virtues in her face. Perfect little Clotho, fumbling and faltering. Flawed, for once. Failing to fulfill something herself. Overstepping her limits, forced to impose on another Fate to finish what she had so foolishly started.

Lachesis bit her tongue, even though the stream of spiteful thoughts had not been given voice. She stayed, still and silent in bed. In Rider's bed. Her husband's bed. Her fingers, of their own accord, slid in a slow, possessive dance along the coarse cloth of the pallet, where he'd slept. Maybe Clotho deserved this, she mused, powerless to stop the thought from slithering inside her head. To know just what it felt like to have something sacred overstepped on, taken, by a sister...

"Awake at last?"

With a startled jolt, Lachesis sat upright and turned to face the entrance of the tent. She had known straightaway that the voice was not her husband's, which brought her disappointment even when she'd never hoped.

"Awake indeed," her green-eyed guest observed, approaching to set down a plate of simple fare beside the bed. "Here. A bite to eat."

Lachesis recognized him as Chrysaor, whom she knew to be Rider's closest companion. She blinked at him, then bit her lip, looking down blankly at the sorry crust of bread and scattered berries.

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