With your loss, my reason for breath would surely follow.
(1x04 - The Thing In The Pit)


She reaches for his hand.

A kick!— and her husband's fingers on the curve of her belly, where they have been a thousand times before, but never so gladly as now.

'Feel that!' he says, young proud joy on his face. The years yield to it. 'The footfalls of a fucking god. The world shall rise to grant his every wish, or else crumble.'

'Quintus, you blaspheme,' she scolds without bite. The room is serene as a sea; she is turned hazy by her happiness; the painted birds on the wall may take flight and start to sing. If done, it would not catch her notice. Not with him so warm and near. Perhaps the birds do fly. She can hear them, feel them rushing past on bold wings.

'I speak truth,' he insists, twining his fingers with hers. Hands rest together over unborn gift. Soon, she thinks, and will not mind all the blood. All the blood. More than ought to surge inside her. How did she never burst with it before; she wonders. 'A legacy, at last, for this cursed house. No longer will fortune pay us in shit, or son live in father's shadow.'

The image takes her: a son, to stand by her husband's side, to pull into her arms. They will rest at last, knowing they can climb no higher. She has no need to rise again; she has this bed and father and son.

'There can be no luckier boy—' She kisses him. '—with such a father to guide him.'

'And such a mother,' he growls, hot and approving, into her neck. His teeth in a smile against her skin.

For of course he knows just how hard she has fought for this. All the swords she's fallen on.

'What joy lives on this earth that you have not given me?' His voice moves with feeling; his hand with purpose, traipsing down. 'All the world's blessings from between these thighs.'

She surrenders to it. And the kick, the bright obstinate kick in her belly. It screams and screams for her attention. The footfalls of a fucking god.

Quintus drops kisses on her neck, in her hair. She arches against beloved fingers and wishes him closer. If he were closer the pain would not scream so bright, drowning all other things. His touch in her is faint as an old memory, and only leaves her calm; she is wet but just with blood; she reaches for his hand. The bed is cold and stone-hard against her back. She can make no sense of that. He smiles at her with love. 'Lucretia,' he says. 'Lucretia.' There, again, the rushing of wings.