Just know that these things will never change for us at all

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POSTED: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:36 pm

family exposition with Rina, directly following this thread. :) [896]

"...And so, Nier is my... m-mate now. I, I just wanted to tell you in private, in case you had any questions," Coli stammered nervously, clasping her daughter's hands in her own.

Coli's hands were so small in comparison. Farina dwarfed her mother in all aspects -- her Optime frame was tall, broad-shouldered, sleek and well-fed. She could easily join the tiers of hunters or warriors, but something had held her back from advancing, kept her off in her own world: the Ironside Conflict. Coli did not know what the brigands had said or done that summer day when Farina was caught by the borders, but they had wounded her in body and spirit. Farina kept to herself since then, avoiding her family and sleeping under the stars.

The mother and daughter were seated on a fallen log in the forest. Lengthening shadows and cooling air temperature signaled the sun was setting, but the tall boughs of the canopy formed a screen against light. Coli had scoured the territory to find her daughter, and finally located her far off the beaten path and pulled her aside to talk. Farina was silent for a time after the confession. Coli knew her to be quiet by nature -- strong-willed, stubborn, but taciturn. It was difficult to get a read on her feelings because of that. When she was little, Farina had been so much more expressive - noisy, assertive, even bullying at times. But she had outgrown the childish need for attention and validation, and perhaps she was even ashamed of it, Coli had no way to know. She probably missed having Florina to compete with... and relate to.

"Mom," the wolfdog spoke softly, and Coli glanced up expectantly. Obsidian-black eyes were scrutinizing her, and Coli swallowed, trying to keep calm. There were so many questions that could be asked, and Coli didn't feel prepared for any of them.

As she waited, Coli squeezed the warm hands she was holding, but there was no response. She wanted so badly to make a connection with her tallest daughter, but found it near impossible between Farina's guarded nature and her own insecurities. Farina had grown to mirror her sire's semblance almost exactly, and even after a year had passed since the black dog assaulted her, Coli was still vaguely unsettled around her middle child. Guilt and anxiety coiled in her stomach, but the best she could do was try to hide it from Farina, since it was never her fault. It wasn't like Colibri Haki didn't understand what it felt like to inherit a violent father's looks.

"You and Niernan founded the pack together, right? You've been friends all this time...?"

Coli breathed a sigh of relief, and nodded quickly. "Yes, dear. I've known Niernan as long as I've known Saul. He's a good man... He could help you become a Vald, if... if that's s-something you want." Blue eyes watched as the wolfdog grew pensive, gazing down at their intertwined fingers.

"Friends since before I was born... and... I'm as tall as him. My fur is black, with brown on my legs, my tail... just like him. I'm a good hunter, just like him. Is... is Niernan my real dad? Am I a Stormbringer?" Farina tilted her head in curiosity, watching her mother blush and stammer at her weighted question.

Coli gaped. Had she not wished for this? Sure, she had never expected any of her children to jump to that conclusion, even if they were yearlings now and old enough to know about reproduction. But Coli had once made a wish that Niernan could have been the father of her children, rather than the dog she refused to name. With one word, one small white lie, she could make her wish come true. Farina and Fiora could have a role model, and could accept and love Niernan as the part of their lives they never realized was missing. She wanted them to have a father, like she always had. But... could she lie to them, even when the lie was so much kinder than the truth? Coli licked her lips nervously, working up the nerve to speak.

"Wait, I don't want to know," Farina said suddenly. She pulled her hands free and stood, her full height towering over her mother. Coli flinched at the sudden movement, but scrambled to her feet, spluttering after her daughter. "Wh- are you sure? 'Rina!"

The tall wolfdog gazed calmly down at Coli, black eyes betraying nothing. "...Yeah, I'm sure. I don't need anyone new telling me what to do with my life. If I do become a Vald, I don't want it to be because I'm following in someone's footsteps. It'll be because I feel like it." There was a moment of silence, where Coli struggled to find the words she wanted to say. Was she proud that Farina was so independent, or was she disappointed that her daughter did not value family the way Coli did? Somehow she felt both simultaneously, and as usual, Farina noticed her hesitation.

"...But congratulations, I guess," she added lightly, turning on her heel to move gracefully into the forest. The shadows swallowed her dark coat, and Farina soon disappeared from Coli's sight. The Sannindi let her go without protest, and sank back down onto the log. Honestly, that went about as well as she expected.

Template credit here, stock photo by lou-in-canada.

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Luperci Gardener + Apothecary Mate to Niernan
Colibri perennial gardener memories of dahlias
caught in a sunbeam
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