I'm more alive than I've ever been
Time was at its very cruelest in this suspended and subjective reality. It raced a merciless tempo as it carried the odds further and further away from her daughter's favor... and yet the moments that lingered in the aftermath of Isolt's query seemed nothing short of eternal. Endless in the most vile and despicable way. So absolute is the young mother's attention towards the physician she addresses that hardly does she acknowledge her husband's departure from her side; the startling blue of her eyes does not so much as flicker towards his figure as he advances towards the group of clinicians huddled about their child. His frustration seems equal in measure and sheer intensity only to that of his wife as she battles valiantly against the coil of postpartum weakness as it constricts about her still-ailing body.
Renee flinches as she turns first towards Damon, the spires of his fangs disappearing momentarily beyond the fleshy curtain of his lip, and then to Isolt, her lithe figure still twisted as a readied viper upon the edge of the metal hospital bed. Yet another few moments and some hurried, hissed instructions to the small army of nurses at her back and Renee traverses the brightly-lit swath of tiled wasteland that separates her from the redheaded vampire, motioning to Damon so that he might follow in her stead. So too does the unmistakable stench of fear seem to cling to every last fiber of Renee's white coat, billowing forth and encircling the new mother to bring the acidic sting of bile to the tender flesh at the back of her throat. Carefully does the other woman kneel beside the hospital bed, the blood squeezed from the ivory mounds of her knuckles as she grips the metal railing, her lips pressed and pulled into a thin, harsh line. This was not the Renee that Isolt knew, this was not the confident physician with whom she had navigated the uncharted territory of vampiric pregnancy these last nine months. This was a young woman who was quickly succumbing to the prolific terror of the task presented to her, lost in the vastness of a terrifying unknown.
"Isolt," she begins softly, failing to meet the eyes of her counterpart for a number of long, arduous moments. "You remember when we discussed the possibility that there might be unique... complications once the baby was born? Because this isn't something that we've ever seen before and we didn't know what to expect." Isolt, her eyes only for the woman that kneels at her side, offers naught more than a hesitant nod by way of acknowledgement. "Isolt..." Her voice is soft, though hardly does it bear the notes of practiced, soothing confidence that was the hallmark of all physicians. The next words to penetrate the abhorrent silence come as a rush, the breaking of a colossal wave upon the precariously exposed shores of their shared reality. "Her body is failing and I can't figure out why. I'm trying everything I can but she... she appears to be going into multisystem organ failure."
The dazzling blue of Isolt's eyes flicker as if they might draw to a close as she looks away; away and beyond the woman kneeling at her side. Beyond her husband and the growing posse of nurses swirling about the table upon which their daughter lays, the infant's screams reaching an octave and intensity that rends the very fibers of Isolt's soul with the sheer and irrevocable terror that it portrays. This realization does not come as an electric current sizzling through the synapse of every last nerve-ending, no... it is a deliberate injecting of a glacial chill into every last part of her, a numbing ripple that snakes its path from the top of her fire-crowned head down to the tips of her lacquered toes.
This was not reality. It couldn't be.
"Isolt." Renee's hands fall gently to rest upon Isolt's fists, clenched in an unwavering vice grip upon the now-heavily dimpled metal railing of the hospital bed. It takes a not-inconsiderable measure of effort for Isolt to allow her gaze to fall to this woman... this harbinger of the most tragic tidings. "Whatever was keeping her alive in the womb, it... it's gone." With this does the fallacy of resolve proffered by Isolt's momentary stunned stupor splinter and fall away into the ether. Deep rivets squeeze their way unto the redheaded woman's brow, the once-rosy cushions of her lips now bearing a ghastly pallor and set to trembling as a dark line of crimson threatens at the brims of her downturned eyes. Unable, for a time, to force even a single word past the fibrous knot that clenches painfully at her throat, Isolt offers but a slow shaking of her head. "No," she finally manages, the desperation evident in every sorrowful crease on her angelic features as she proceeds to beg her counterpart. "No, Renee, please... please don't. You have to do something. Anything."
"I am, I promise, but it-."
"Give her my blood," Isolt interrupts, the syllables themselves a terrible jumble as her eyes widen a fraction, the despondent hope reflected in the azure helixes very nearly painful to behold. As if in assurance to herself, Isolt nods in response to her own affirmation. "That's what was keeping her alive. It'll heal her... it-" Renee's grip upon the stone-like vices of Isolt's fists tightens as if to ground the vampiric woman. "No, it won't. I-"
Before she is capable of rightly discerning what it is that she does, Isolt's fangs draw downward, the sheath of her upper lip pulling away from their glistening spires. "Just. DO IT," she commands in a manner that, though whispered, carries effortlessly to the clan of nurses... evidenced by the singular nurse that departs from their ranks, a syringe readied within her hands. Isolt extends her arm towards the slightly quivering nurse who makes impressively short work of withdrawing a vial of unearthly dark lifeblood and quickly passing it to Renee, who rights herself without any further word to the pair of vampires and turns from them to march towards the team that awaits her.
Isolt reaches blindly for Damon in the moment that follows, either unable or unwilling to allow her eyes to stray from the squirming figure of their newborn daughter even as Renee eclipses her. The supple bulbs of her fingertips press into him, as if it is only he who might prove capable of grounding her to this wretched world as the proverbial sands of time pour through their desperately clenched fists.