these battle scars

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these battle scars Empty these battle scars

Post by Pooka on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:16 am

these battle scars Img-thing?

~in my daughter's eyes i am a hero; i am strong and wise
and know no fear. but the truth is plain to see,
she was sent to rescue me,
i see who i want to be in my daughter's eyes.~

"Momma? What are those stripes?"

Usually when Tariza visited (though visiting her was more along the lines of hunting her down), Riza listened with half an ear. Did it with always the smallest niggling of guilt, mind; she knew the habits of the adults she'd grown up with were not necessarily good habits to repeat. And yet as dear to her as her daughter was, she also seemed intent on spending most of her day chatting away, and had made a habit of doing so from the moment she'd learned words.

Possibly before then, in fact.

And so Riza found, ultimately, that the only way she could get anything done once her firstborn found her was to keep doing what she was doing, and make sure she listened just enough to catch anything important. Questions, not so much-- the kid was good at demanding attention when she wanted it, a talent at straddling the line between assertive and rudeness when she did, and so if the question was important enough to her, she'd find a way to have the adult in question answer her.

Something Riza couldn't judge her for, even if she wondered frequently where the chattiness had come from in the first place. But in the end, the stubborn desire to know things (and maybe have them her way some) was entirely an inherited trait that was her very own fault...that, and the question was an extremely vague, odd thing to ask. Thus, Maurynneth's rider cast a bemused eye over her shoulder at the wavy haired ball of fuzz and affection and limbs beginning to grow lanky now clambering over the immense mess of furs and bed needed to house a tall Weyrwoman and her larger again weyrmate, pausing mid-tying of her pants as she did so.

"What are you talking about, moppet?"

"Your stripes!" When all that got was a blank look, Tariza snuffled in frustration, rolling herself off the bed entirely so that she could go to her mother's side. Once there, she poked gently at Riza's stomach, little fingers coming to rest ultimately against her mother's lower abdomen. Riza tried not to flinch, not so much at the cool contact as the fact that, though she wasn't one to whine about it outright, her stomach was no longer the svelte, flat marvel to be smug over that it had once been.

"They look like scores but not, too."

"...oh." Oh. The queen rider cottoned on after another half of a moment, and despite herself, she had to smile. A little tiny bit wry, a little lopsided, but a smile nonetheless. "You mean my...those stripes."

Tariza nodded absently, though now it was clear that her mother wouldn't protest the contact, most of her attention was now on stripes that had caught her attention. "How do you get them?"

Ah. Right. Kids and...weird questions, awkward questions, funny questions...questions in general, really, and Riza wished not for the first time that she was as easy explaining the facts of life beyond the purely and brisk type of informative as say...Deegie was. Or even Folara...Faranth help her, Folara was as likely to scar a child with her descriptions as much as she was likely to educate them, and yet at the end of it all, the green rider still did a much better job of explaining things in the more fun kind of way children seemed to necessitate.

Stripes? Like felines? Maurynneth's husky tones were riddled with the dregs of deeper sleep (deeper and deeper, the prelude to the Gold's cycle ticking over into mating season, Riza knew all too well), but it didn't quite mask the curious amusement in the gold dragon's voice. It made Riza crinkle her nose in the direction of the main Weyr...but at the repetition of that particular word, it also ticked her mind over into thinking some, and after another moment of contemplation (in which Tariza, ebullient little thing though she was, propped her chin upon her mother's hip and watched her with patient, black eyes), Riza rather hoped she had her answer.

"They're not...scars, not like Thread score." And Faranth how she wished every day that a child could be ignorant to the reality of life with Thread and the war against it. "More like...marks. Like felines...get stripier and stripier as they get older, you know? They're stripy marks that a person's body ends up with when they've...had babies, mostly."

" Da won't have them? Wait...did I make you have those marks? Did the twins?"

Riza couldn't help snorting with laughter a little at the first remark, but the second one sobered her considerably -- in part because of the memory that was not, by far, the most pleasant she had suffered where giving birth to Rikairu and Risoru was concerned, but also because Tariza was still apparently stuck some on the idea of those stretch marks (stripes) being akin to Thread score, and it was causing her considerable distress by the look of it.

Riza sighed a little, resting a hand reassuringly on her daughter's head.

"They're not bad stripes," she said quietly. "Yes, I got them mostly from having you, and your brothers. Deegie has them too, and Rossie probably...maybe even Ferrah, or Rue by now. But they're just...stripes. They don't hurt. Maybe it hurt a bit when I gave birth to you, but they don't now. Now they're just...stripes like a feline's. But instead of telling people how old we are, they're just there to tell them that we're...tough. And brave. And women. Proud and tough and brave women."

Riza gently detached her daughter then, giving her time to digest while her mother rooted about for a clean shirt (and hoping upon hopes that, cliche it might sound or not, her explanation was somewhat satisfying to an eight year old).

"...I think I want stripes, too."

"What?" She'd expected a response eventually, but that was definitely not it, and it startled a laugh out of the queen rider. The sound set her daughter's lips twitching happily even as she puffed her cheeks out indignantly at her mother's amusement, reaching a hand out to poke at the fading purple lines jagged across Riza's skin.

"I want stripes also. I want to be a tough and brave feline woman like you, and Deegie, and Rue maybe, but you mostly, and...ooh! Does Maurynneth have feline stripes also?"

Riza was left blinking as the room went quiet once more, the only sound the flutter of the curtain as the child bustled out to the main space, clamouring for Maurynneth's attention in a way very few would dare.

It's alright. I'm not averse to the notion of calling them stripes myself...though I think you rather misinformed the child. Dragons are *much* fiercer and braver than felines.

The remark was accompanied by a sniff, but there was no true rancor in it, and Riza merely chuckled softly and projected fondly the image of the gold dragoness's belly as it was so often seen from the angle of her rider -- well tended and well cared for, but there was no escaping the marks myriad pregnancies left on soft stomach hide. Maurynneth grumbled in response, but it was as playful as the chuff offered to the hatchling now asking with the most patient and sweet of demands to see her stomach for comparison, and Riza could hear her life mate shifting upon her couch...acquiescing, apparently, to the attentions of the child.

I enjoy her chatting. She's always happy. I think calling them 'stripes' was a lovely idea.

Indeed, and in the dimmer quiet of hers and T'skal's sleeping room, Riza allowed a little laugh at the polished mirror glass and the soft, slightly silly expression she'd adopted since her daughter's confession.

"What a better world it would be, if every little girl could be told these things about her body in such a way," she said softly, passing a hand gently over the now rather less loathsome than they had been stretch marks staining the pale caramel of her skin...still imperfect, where they encased skin and muscle softer than it had been (much to her chagrin, that vain sense of loss at losing the supple, svelte, hard muscles that had been there before), but maybe...less of something to be self-conscious over than they deserved.


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