“This sounds really dumb,” she said with a sudden violence. “Really, really dumb! But it’s––” she groped, helpless, then sprang to her feet, unable to stay still.
“It’s like––there are all these things I don’t even know!” she said, pacing with quick angry steps. “Do you think I remember what I looked like, learning to walk, or what the first word I said was? No, but Mama does! And that’s so stupid, because what difference does it make, it doesn’t make any difference at all, but it’s important, it matters because she thought it was, and… oh, Roger, if she’s gone, there won’t be a soul left in the world who cares what I’m like, or thinks I’m special not because of anything, but just because I’m me! She’s the only person in the world who really, really cares I was born, and if she’s gone…” She stood still on the hearthrug, hands clenched at her sides, and mouth twisted with the effort to control herself, tears wet on her cheeks. Then her shoulders slumped and the tension went out of her tall figure. […]
“You’re wrong, you know,” he said softly, and held out his hand to her. “It isn’t only your mother who cares.”
Voyager Chapter 22 All Hallows’ Eve
“Don’t you see, Mama? He has to know––has to know he did it, he did what he meant for us.” Her lips quivered, and she pressed them together for a minute.
“We owe it to him, Mama,” she said softly. “Somebody has to find him, and tell him.” Her hand touched my face, briefly. “Tell him I was born.”
Voyager Chapter 23 Craigh Na Dun
“It’s verra fine to see ye, Claire,” he said softly. “I thought I never… well.” He shrugged slightly, as though to ease the tightness of the linen shirt across his shoulders. He swallowed, then met my eyes directly.
“The child?” he said. Everything he felt was evident on his face; urgent hope, desperate fear, and the struggle to contain both.
I smiled at him, and put out my hand. “Come here.” […]
“My… she…” His voice was hoarse with shock. “Daughter. My daughter. She… knows?”
“She does. Look at the rest.” I slid the first picture from his grasp, revealing the snapshot of Brianna, uproariously festooned with the icing of her first birthday cake, a four-toothed smile of fiendish triumph on her face as she waved a new plush rabbit overhead.
Jamie made a small inarticulate sound, and his fingers loosened. I took the small stack of photographs from him and gave them back, one at a time.
Brianna at two, stubby in her snowsuit, cheeks round and flushed as apples, feathery hair wisping from under her hood.
Bree at four, hair a smooth bell-shaped gleam as she sat, one ankle propped on the opposite knee as she smiled for the photographer, proper and poised in a white pinafore.
At five, in proud possession of her first lunchbox, waiting to board the school bus to kindergarten. […]
“Tell me about her.” One forefinger traced the pudgy features of the baby in the snowsuit. “What was she like as a wee lassie? What did she first say, when she learned to speak?”
Last night I tossed a coin whether to write this or Silque/Faye next and it ended on this, hehe, so here you go, my guilty echoes pair. I think this is the first time I’ve written something from scratch that’s not f/f. It’s not my fault their supports are so damn adorable, okay??? What can I say, I’m weak. It’s a little longer than the Mae/Celica one but oh well it’s just for fun anyway.
Alm: Hey, Clair! I mean, salutations. You’re doing great out here today. Maybe they should start calling you queen of the battlefield, too.
Clair: Hoh! I think that crude label best remains under Mathilda’s purview.
Alm: Haha, maybe so.
Clair: Was there something you needed, Alm?
Alm: Well… I noticed my mind drifting around when I was fighting. I was losing focus.
Alm: So I needed to hear your voice again. To ground me back in the things that matter.
Clair: Why, Alm…
Alm: That a bit much?
Clair: Not at all, you foolish boy! It’s simply… You can tell me what is on your mind.
Clair: The Deliverance cannot have our leader so distracted in battle.
Clair: If there is something you need to tell someone… I am always more than willing to listen to you.
Alm: W-wow, Clair, I… Thanks…
Alm: I guess it’s just… Have I talked to you about Celica before?
Clair: …Ah. She is…your special someone, no?
Alm: *sigh* That’s…kind of the problem.
Alm: We’re not together. In fact, until we met in Zofia castle, we hadn’t spoken for over seven years…
Clair: S-seven years? Alm, you were nothing more than a child!
Alm: I-I know. But I made a promise. To be there for her, to…protect her.
Alm: She’s still important to me. I still want to do that.
Alm: I always thought that would take the form of love.
Alm: I… I’m feeling guilty, because now I…
Clair: Because now your feelings are wandering… I understand now.
Clair: Oh, Alm… It is just like the noble man you are to feel bound to protect others.
Clair: That is something I truly admire about you.
Clair: But you needn’t feel your heart is shackled to Celica. You can look out for her without being her husband.
Clair: If she truly cares about you, she would want to see you only where you’re the happiest.
Alm: …Huh. You…you know, you’re right.
Alm: Celica would want me to be happy. She’d understand. She’s always understood…
Clair: Precisely, my dear Alm!
Alm: Clair… Thank you. Wow, it’s crazy how much better I already feel.
Alm: Heh, figures it’d be you…
Clair: Oh? Why is that?
Alm: Clair… I think I might love you.
Alm: You’re…you’re really wonderful, you know that, Clair?
Alm: When you said you cared about me, it made me…so strangely happy.
Alm: Being with you always does that. You’re always just what I need to get a smile on my face.
Alm: When I realized I might love you, I…kind of freaked out. Now, though, I guess it’s just another great thing you’ve given me…
Clair: Oh, come here, you devilishly charming man!
Alm: W-whoa, Clair?!
Clair: My darling Alm… I adore you so. I adore you more than life itself.
Clair: I swear to you, I will support you in your every task… I will make your life grand.
Clair: You will not regret having fallen in love with me.
Clair: Now, go. We do not have all day to sit and fawn over one another.
Clair: Go save the day like the dashing hero I know you are. I will fight alongside you, and be here for you when the fighting is over and gone for, my love.