Author’s Email: email@example.com
Summary: Rue makes the decision to bring his son to Immanion.
Spoilers: Just for the end of Bewitchments, which I assume you’ve finished if you’re reading fan fiction.
I’ve read the article a dozen times now, sitting here in the dark, but I still don’t really know my own reaction to it. Kate found it printed in the local paper, usually nothing more than a jumble of Ferelithia gossip but tonight containing something more interesting. The Gelaming have a new Tigron – I guess that’s supposed to mean king. Nice ring to it. His name is Pellaz.
Maybe I should have put that together when I met him, but I’m not very good at that sort of thing – case in point; how long it took me to realize I was with pearl. He was so beautiful he could only have had some sort of great destiny. You don’t have that air of confident command for no reason. He was just special; one look made that obvious. Like some sort of god or angel who blessed me with a single night of attention and magic before being lifted off into heaven once more.
I thought that was the end of it. I missed him, and even before I realized what had happened I felt like he had changed my life in some way. Like I had a brush with something great and nothing, not even time, could ever take that memory away from me. I don’t know if its normal to fall in love with someone after such a short time, to only have one night together but know you want it to be forever. It sounds like the sort of thing that only works out in fairy tales, not real life. It didn’t work out for me, after all.
It’s almost embarrassing how long it took me to figure out I was carrying a pearl. I thought I was just getting sick, gaining weight, a thousand other excuses. Maybe I knew and just didn’t want to face it. Eventually there just was no way to lie to myself anymore. Kate admitted she knew and we had a fight before she stormed out.
I remember the second that door shut behind her, I just lost it. All that anger I’d been able to hold onto when facing her vanished in a second. I probably spent hours just curled up sobbing, because how else was I supposed to react? I’ll admit to being scared. A part of it was that I used to be male, and this idea of giving birth was just so alien. Most of it, though, was just worry I’d screw up. I didn’t know how to raise a child, I wasn’t ready for this. It’s something that is so terrifyingly easy to mess up and all I could think about were the thousand ways it could go wrong.
Eventually, though, I had to sit up, fix my make-up and deal with this. So I did. I apologized to Kate, who, for the record, is the best friend anyhar can have, and she immediately started making plans to buy baby clothes and toys. She’s not the sort of woman who has ever really wanted kids of her own; she has her own life to lead and her own experiences to have. I think she sort of thought of me as some sort of doll or pet, in the best possible way. She could dress me up, help me buy things and take care of me without ever having to go through this herself. For her, it was the perfect solution.
Telling the band they were going to need to find a new singer was the hardest part. I love what I do, and there’s nothing more amazing than that connection and power that comes from getting up on a stage and rocking my heart out in front of a crowd. Plus, it’s my source of income, but Kate has come through again and chipped in to help make ends meet until I have time to find a new job or get back with the band. I don’t think that’s going to happen, though. I need to be here, to take care of my harling, not off partying all night in some sleazy club. Guess I got responsible. How many rock stars do that? But singing him to sleep at night is even better than the perfect gig.
Back in school when I was human, a girl got pregnant. I remember how everyone stared at her and whispered, and the way we all treated her. Like she was somehow suddenly worthless. Things are different with Wraeththu but sometimes, during those few short months, I understood exactly how she felt. I’m pretty well known around town, thanks to the band. Well enough that everyone knows I have no chesnari. That I’m single. I know exactly what everyone was wondering; what had I done, that someone would love me enough to create that pearl and then leave me alone with it? How had I driven him away? Pearls are small enough, but I’m tiny, too, so my swelling belly was incredibly obvious, certainly enough for a judgmental stranger passing on the street to see and make assumptions. There were so many days when I didn’t even want to get out of bed, not because of the discomfort that goes with carrying a harling but because I just did not want to face that. I didn’t want to deal with the stares.
And yet, other days, I almost looked forward to them. Because no matter how much judgment they passed on me, there was always that tiny flair of wonder, of amazement, maybe even envy. Despite everything I felt so beautiful, like I was magic. So few hara have had harlings yet. I was one of the first, certainly the first in Ferelithia, and I’ll always have the pride that goes with that. It still amazes me.
I can’t really describe the way I felt, watching him break out of that pearl. I’d been terrified delivering it, scared of the pain, of being alone, of screwing this up. I hated Pellaz, wherever he was, for not being there to hold my hand or at least hear my screams. He must have known what he had done to me; there was no way this was an accident, after all. But he had just run off, taken no responsibility at all, leaving me to face this alone. Some king.
The first time I saw my son’s face, though, the first time I held him, all that disappeared. It just didn’t matter anymore. This is my whole world now. He is so perfect. Sometimes I just sit up at night watching him sleep, lost in the wonder of it all. I named him Wolf because something in him reminded me of one, and it just fits him. I’m completely head over heels in love with him, more than I’ve ever been before. I understand now, how mothers can sacrifice anything, even themselves, for their children. I would. I think I may have to now.
I love Ferelithia. It’s my home and I’ve built a life here. But just because it’s the right life for me doesn’t mean it is for him. This cramped apartment works fine for a broke singer who just wants to have fun, but it’s not really the place for a harling. Even with Kate’s help I’m low on money. It’s a dump, and he deserves a lot better than that.
He’s asleep in my arms now, so tiny and perfect it makes my heart stop. Reading this article about Pellaz and then looking down at our son there only really seems to be one thing I can do. I need to take him to Immanion, to his father. Maybe he won’t be thrilled to see us; he has to know this child exists, but he left anyways. That’s not the actions of someone who wants a son, obviously. I don’t know if I trust him to raise Wolf alone, after that. I’m just hoping he can set us up with a place, just some nice house in that city. Doesn’t have to be huge, just something a little better than this dive. Some place we can be happy. He doesn’t even need to be that involved in Wolf’s life, much as I’d like him to be. I’m not a beggar or some gold-digger. I just can’t be everything I want to for my son, or take care of him the way he deserves. I only need a little help, that’s it.
Sometimes, like now, when I sit here watching my harling sleep I wonder why this happened. Pellaz knew what he was doing to me, but I don’t know why. What’s the point of creating a harling with a stranger and then leaving him to deal with that all alone? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe it doesn’t have to. Surprisingly enough having this child has been the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I’ll never regret it, no matter what follows. No matter what kind of welcome we receive in Immanion I think remembering this perfect happiness right now will be worth it.