Disclaimer: Unfortunately the MS&T characters don't belong to me but to Tad Williams alone.

Since English isn't my native language I would ask you to be gracious concerning grammar errors

She let her head fall back into the cushions. The thin layer of sweat which was covering her brow wasn't a toll to the not-quite-yet-risen sun but to more exceptional circumstances. It was the one and only toll she conceded to the situation - her pride allowed her no more. So she stayed quiet despite the pain which was surging through her. If not for the pressing matters she had attend to she might had mused about the tightly woven relationship of pain and happiness. Instead she closed her eyes and tried to block out the smell of blood as well as the unhappy memories, which were awoken by it. It was a hard thing to do for the memories were fresh to her mind and the coppery smell was heavy in the air.

As she focused her strong will to breast the waves of pain, the song of the just awoken birds faded from her consciousness as did the healer and the male next to her. She had known from the beginning that this was something she had to do on her own. With the practice of centuries she took back the control of her body. Already overused muscles were reactivated to finish the task that lay before them.

A shrieking cry pierced the silence of the room. It was a frightened sound that needed to be soothed. She opened her eyes to see the source of the crying.

"May I introduce your son to you?" The female sithi healer smiled as she lifted up the wailing infant so his parents could see him clearly. Then she set about to sever the last connection between the wailing infant and its tired mother. "Just another moment, my little one", she crooned at the baby. "You need to be cleaned first. Your parents shall dwell in your beauty undisturbed." The child itself didn't seem too impressed by the healers soothing words for it still whimpered like a newborn kitten.

While the healer took away the newborn to wash away the blood, the mother looked at the child's father, who still sat next to her. She reinforced the pressure on his hand, which was still linked to hers, as though to reassure him.

Their eyes meet and a communication that needed no words took place. She could tell by his unusual tension that he too longed to crane his neck after their newborn child. But they were dawn children and as such they were patient. They had waited long months for this precious little one – what were another few minutes to them?

Eventually the healer returned with the little boy. The small body was wrapped into a piece of white shimming cloth now, only a tuft of white hair visible among the silken foldings. He seemed to slumber peaceful now, pacified by a lukewarm bath and immemorial lullabies.

Once she settled her little one against her shoulder, she pushed open his wrapping to inspect her son. Carefully she counted fingers and toes, traced the outlines of one ear and touched his tiny nose. Woken from his shallow slumber by these strange sensations the small child opened his eyes and meet his mothers gaze. For long moments two pairs of amber eyes meet each other.

"He is beautiful" she said at last and made a nodding gesture, which involved her head as well as her long neck.

"Aye, he is", said the child's father who had watched the pair in his silent and unmoving way.

He leaned closer toward the infant, meeting its questioning gaze with a calm smile. One of his long and slender fingers traced the lines of the boy's face. When tapping a certain spot at the tiny nose the infant made a small noise similar to what a mortal would call a sneeze.

The father seemed delighted. "Who had thought that he would inherit a ticklish spot? And it was discovered in such a similar way", he chuckled while his wife was watching him in silence, "I was only a few days older than you are, my son, when my father…" He broke off in mid-sentence, the eyes suddenly dark from painful memories of other times and other places. It was not long before his expression also darkened.

"Maybe we were selfish to beget him. Look at the world we brought him to."

The mother looked at her husband and shook her head in silent disproval of his words. "Today, of all day, we should not dwell in these things", she said. "I won't let the mortals past or future doings cloud this day of renewal". When he did not answer, she touched his face and kissed his cheek carefully to drive away his dark mood.

A claiming contact on her breast made her break the kiss. She looked back to where the little bundle was settled. The little boy had wormed himself out of her protecting grip just to find his first meal shortly after that.

All dark thoughts forgotten the father chuckled again. "Our son seems to be determined to achieve what he wants by his own strength".

The mother's head whipped around and she stared at her husband for long moments. Then she closed her eyes and began to hum a strange melody. If her husband was irritated or worried by her behaviour, he didn't show it.

Before long the mother reopened her eyes, but they were unfocused as though she could see something no one else could.

When she began to speak her voice held a powerful ring. "It is decided then. I, Likimeya y-Briseyu no'e-Sa'onserei, Lady of the House of Year Dancing name you, my son, 'Jiriki'. I swear to love and to nourish you as long as I shall live."

Her husband's face had change into a solemn expression. After Likimeya's declaration he took the bundle from her arms and hold the small one in his own arms like Likimeya had done before him. "I, Shima'onari i-Sa'onserei, Lord of Jao é-Tinukai'i proclaim you, Jiriki, being my firstborn son and heir. I promise to love and protect you as long as I shall live".

After these words were spoken Shima'onari rearranged the cloth, which was wrapped only loose around Jiriki, before giving the small boy back to his wife.

"It's time to announce his birth to the tribe and record his name in the book of Year Dancing". Despite his parting words Shima'onari seemed reluctant to leave his new founded family. Nevertheless, the confirming and assuring nod he received from his wife sent him off.

After his departure Likimeya smiled once more and kissed Jiriki's brow. "Welcome to this world, my little Jiriki". The infant only looked at her.

This is meant to be the first piece of a collection of sithi one-shorts. I fear my updates will quite irregular at best.

Please RR