2012 TREASURE HUNT CLUE #2: We are two fathers, whose dying thoughts are requests for forgiveness. Who are we? (Answer: Poem “Dying Thoughts” by Adrienne)
Ice watched the slow rise and fall of her Recognized's breathing with more than a little jealousy. It was all right for him to sleep warm and cozy. He didn't have a babe dancing on his bladder, making him swollen and uncomfortable. More than his ease, she resented his very presence. The closer they got to the cub's arrival, the more he stayed close by. As if she'd drop the babe at her forge and not tell anyone. As if she wouldn't be handing the child off to him soon enough. She couldn't sleep, couldn't ride, couldn't stand at the forge for long periods anymore. And pretty soon, she would have the babe at her breast at all hours, cutting into her work even more. Just the thought was enough to drive her mad.
She was hopeful for this little one inside her. She remembered her first pregnancy, facing the birth without Hawkcall, the father little Briar would never know. She was sure it had been hard on Farscout, having no parent but her. It would have been better to have Hawkcall to soften out her rough edges, but she was confident that whatever she lacked in mothering skills had been made up for by the love and attention of the tribe. It helped, she thought with pride, that Farscout was as taciturn and independent as she was.
Her thoughts turned again to the figure resting beside her, his features illuminated by the strips of mid-day sun leaking through the curtain. Riskrunner was brash and gregarious, almost her opposite in so many ways. She hoped that the High Ones would see fit to protect him through this little one's coming, to be there to guide her and love her in the way that Ice knew she never could.
Riskrunner opened his eyes and regarded her thoughtfully, as if wakened by her melancholy thoughts. Tentatively, he reached a hand out and touched her cheek. She allowed herself to be comforted by the gesture, and Riskrunner smiled, drawing her down to him and the warmth of the furs. Even the child within stopped her squirming, as if soothed by his touch, and Ice was finally able to push away her memories and fall into the hazy comfort of sleep.