Disclaimers: I do not own the Wheel of Time universe, however much I did, it belong to Robert Jordan. Any fiction of mine is just for pure fun.
Author's Notes: Troubled by a nasty flu, and busy with school, work and "I Will Find You", I took time to write down this one-shot fluffy story in a moment of inspiration. It is set in Lan's point of view, and I am planning on writing another from Nynaeve's PoV. There is a tiny mention of femal anatomy, but I do not think it is something to be offended by. It is, after all, the most natural thing in the world, and we have all (as children) seen it before. However, if someone finds it revolting, you are free to leave the story unread...
Thanks to faeriepuck who betaed this story and came with suggestion to the title. I'll have that other piece sent to you soon!
greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved -
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."
-- Victor Hugo
Of Tears, Love and Timeless Bonding
A Mother's Embrace
It was the most beautiful scene he had ever seen
He stood in the doorway, watching the woman sitting propped up against the headboard, red-faced and sweaty from her recent ordeal. She was unbuttoning the top of her nightgown, releasing a breast to the bundle in her arms.
Tiny fingers reached out, trying to grasp the soft skin in an unsuccessful attempt, while small rosy lips searched wildly for the source of nutrition. A gasp escaped the woman's lips when the child found it and latched on, then she stared lovingly down at the bundle. Her other hand reached up to stroke the soft, dark mop of hair as a smile appeared on her face.
He had never imagined himself in this situation. The possibility had been out of reach for so many years until he had finally accepted it and tried to move on. Then she had come, and within a month had turned his life upside-down and claimed his heart for her own.
It seemed like only yesterday they had met for the first time, in that little village which had been the goal of his companion and him. The Warder had carefully examined the local Wisdom at a distance, who already then was worming her way into his heart with her temper, sense of duty and strong determination of protecting her own.
He was not a man who believed in love at first sight, nor did he believe love was the driving force which made the Wheel of Time spin. But at that time, and especially now, he was willing to change his opinion.
The dark-haired woman did not stop her ministrations as she opened her mouth and spoke softly to her child, too low for him to hear. The child was restless in her arms, flailing with his arms and legs, and he knew his son would be like his mother. He might look like his father, but he would act like his mother.
Never had he felt such happiness at being alive. She had saved him, in more ways than one, from a never ending path which only led to destruction and death. The oath sworn by his parents and the consequence of his bondholder's death had been small obstacles in her view. He could recall her saying, "Anything short of death can be Healed", and in her own special way, she had Healed him.
His attempts at dejection and carelessness had been shied away by her the second he mentioned them. She would not take 'no' for an answer. Not even when he was lying on the bloodstained battleground, surrounded by Shadowspawn and Darkfriends, and drawing what would have been his last breath while telling her to leave him behind. To get on with her life.
Such talk had earned him a mouthful.
In this moment, he could not understand how he could have said those words. He could not understand why he had been bent on keeping her on an arm's length, when she brought so much happiness into his life again.
Never had he shed a tear, but he was close now. This was the most sacred of all bonding; the bonding between mother and child, and he was here to see it. Emotions he had little experience with were rushing through him. He felt complete. The woman he had threatened with a widow's garb sat in their bed, feeding their newborn son, his firstborn, the heir to the renewed Malkier, and he felt totally, utterly complete. He had not known a man could feel so much bliss and not burst from its pressure.
A tear ran silently down his face. He did not move, could not move. It would break the spell. Deep inside, he was afraid it would vanish into thin air, or that he would wake up and realise it was all a dream.
"Are you going to stand there all night?" her voice was quiet, but soft. It reached through his musing mind. She did not break her gaze from the suckling child. Only when he did not answer, did she look up at him. Golden veins began to pulsate throughout her body. The tears fell freely, running past his wide, loving smile. She locked eyes with him, understanding, before returning her gaze to the now sleeping child.
No, he had never felt so happy in all of his life. Without brushing away the tears, he walked silently over and sat down beside her. His eyes turned on their child too.
A big, sturdy hand reached out to hold the small fist with a gentleness that spited the hard skin from years of Dancing with the Sword. The baby boy turned in his sleep, moving towards his father's hand and letting go of his mother's breast. She did not bother to button-up her dress, just watching the sleeping child with a content look upon her face.
He could hardly speak, throat thick and eyes watering still. However, after some time, he managed to say, "Thank you," in a hoarse whisper. The moment stretched on, and he enjoyed these small minutes of bonding time, unsure if he would ever experience them in this way again.
Then a slender hand cupped his cheek and turned his head to meet a pair of dark brown orbs, shining with held-back tears. His wife was smiling at him, a finger reaching out to brush away the tears on his cheeks. They stared into each others' eyes, before she pulled him down to her in a soft kiss.
With his wife in his arms and holding the hand of his firstborn, his world could not be more complete.
Author's Note: Please take time to review. It really does make my day, especially now as I am bothered by sinusitis... Also, I might come with a companion piece from Nynaeve's PoV.