Sunspots After the Rain pt.1
Blake is pregnant. Sun’s driving her down the highway in a beat up sedan that the nun at his orphanage handed down to him in her will. The ghosts of yesteryear equally fills the spaces in his car as her grip on his arm is like a vice he resists just so he can drive straight. Her startling dependency reminds him of their days dating back in Beacon.
They dated a week after he carried her to the nurse. It was years back and she’d been with other people since.
They aren’t in love.
The kid isn’t even his.
Things seemed fine at first. She’d been pushing and pushing and the doctor between her legs had been urging her on with the same “good, good” so often that the word started to sound weird.
Which was a nicer distraction from the grip on his digits as Blake actively merged his appendages together while she screamed. He, too, wanted to scream from the iron grip on his fingers but he didn’t want to make her worry about him. He’ll just strain his lungs later.
Then they pull out the little bloody bundle of joy and suddenly Sun can feel his fingers again. They hadn’t had blood flow in half an hour. He’s surprised they aren’t bruising… Or atrophying.
With the snip of an umbilical chord, and a quick inspection (cause when does a baby NOT scream like a mandragora when it’s fresh out the womb), the tired circles of Blake’s eyes widen at the sight of her baby girl, its slick little cat ears folding over the fragile scalp.
The sight isn’t pretty. There’s blood, she’s drained, they’re all a mess, and he’s smiling through the aching fingers, but it’s still the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen.
Blake names her Salene Wukong. For him. Them. She wants to give them another chance.
She goes into ER that night.
The flatline echoes in his ear harder than any shellshock.
He hates funerals. Not for any reason other than he isn’t alone.
Only a fraction of a fraction of the people here actually cared about Blake. Her widowed mother, her friends Nora and Ren, her surviving teammate Weiss and her brother Whitley, and Tukson, the guy who ran her favorite bookstore.
The clerk still belonged there more than most.
Most everyone else are satesmen who met her in passing and had an interest in Menagerie, some avid fans from her world-saving days who got here purely out of their donation to the memorial, and loose family acquaintances who could barely spell her name.
Then there’s Joan Arc who has to attend the funeral of a sister-in-law she never met and spent the night being reminded of the brother she hasn’t quite grieved enough for.
Joan mostly belonged at the bar down the street. Sun and the rest join her. They get along.
When the program is over and people start leaving, a small circle gathers around Blake’s grave. They say their goodbyes.
Sun only walks in when even they’re leaving, catching a few hugs from his friends and a particularly tight squeeze from Kali. Salene passes back into his hands so she can greet her mother too.
He says his goodbyes and Salene tries to reach for his cheeks like she’s trying to wipe his tears.
Ilia comes out of nowhere. Wordlessly she grabs onto his arm and cries into his sleeve.
Joan visits often. Salene has Jaune’s hair, and maybe his jaw, but most certainly his eyes.
They’re a piercing blue. The color is staggering and vivid, might even see it in a crowd. Sun stares at them sometimes with her.
There’s a fondness they share. He misses Jaune too.
Sun read somewhere that Salene meant subdued or calm. He was wrong, of course, (it meant heaven) but it was no less accurate.
He’d heard nightmare stories about crying babies that keep you up at night but Salene was always quiet. It didn’t stop him from staying up anyway. No one tells you that a calm baby is equally terrifying cause you’re always worried if it’s sick or at least BREATHING. Sometimes it cries when it’s hungry, so despite three square meals, he’s still worried if his quiet little girl is starving.
He realizes that he’s just called her his baby girl. He cries at edge of the crib. This time it’s of joy.
One night she decides to cry. He peels an eye open to go to her but then she’s quiet again before he’s even left the sheets. He panics and runs through the beaded blinds only to find Ilia over the cradle.
Salene is in her arms, being bounced with a bottle held to her lips.
Sun’s surprised to find Ilia smiling.
He doesn’t even question how she got into his house.
Salene and Sun are like puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit. They do if you squint and push the pieces hard enough together, but the picture never looks complete. She has his hair, you could say, and that’s enough for people to think she’s his in more ways than one.
He’s content with loving her for all the reasons that matter.
That doesn’t factor in when she’s ten and some kid teases her for not having a mom.
He hates the cruelty of children, but he more hates that he couldn’t find her a mother in the ten years she’d been alive.
He hears Salene giggling one night.
He peeks in and sees Ilia chatting her up on her bedside. Slipping away, he sneaks back out into the hall.
It’s minutes later when he finds Ilia sitting on his island counter. He doesn’t ask why she comes. He only offers her a drink.
They spend an hour drinking together.
She sleeps on the couch. So does he.
Due to some increasing insomniac fears, I’ve decided to post part of my incomplete work to have something done before I sleep tonight.
This will be a four or five part series which I’ll try to etch out to completion before long.
I would have liked to dedicate this to RazorRambles but I very much doubt senpai would notice me.