Notes: Yeah, so, everyone has their own name for the queen... myself included. I decided to name her Vilia (VIE-lee-ah, not VIL-ee-ah), which means "their light" in the language I'm writing, which I'm using for the language of the Ancients in my Tin Man 'verse. Also, this is my first Tin Man fic, although I've been plotting and planning a few. Pronunciations at the end.

"Lessons?" Azkadellia fell back into the while she was still occasionally prone to. "Mother, it's my birthday!" Dark eyes turned pleading as she softly added, "My first real birthday since we've all been back together... I want to spend it with you and Daddy and Deege."

Vilia smiled fondly and reached up to cup her daughter's cheek. "My Azkadellia," she murmured. "This is a special lesson, one I had planned since your birth for your annual of age."

One corner of Azkadellia's mouth curved up. "All right, Mother," she agreed, managing to sound both highly aggrieved and contentedly amused at the same time.

Laughing softly, Vilia led Azkadellia into the now much-used teaching room. Azkadellia, well-versed in the present of the O.Z., often had lessons about its past, while the Other Side daughter, DG, learned about its present.

Azkadellia sat at the table, watching Ambrose - for his brain had been successfully reintegrated not long after the Eclipse - preparing for the lesson, acutely aware that her mother had decided to stay and watch this time.

"Now," Ambrose started, his words coming as though well-rehearsed. "It is tradition that during her annual of age, young princesses of the O.Z. learn to speak the language of the ancients." He straightened, obviously proud to have this honor. Azkadellia hid a grin. "It is also tradition that each queen name her first child in the language of the Ancients, thus, your first lesson will be in names."

Interested now, Azkadellia leaned forward slightly, hanging on Ambrose's every word.

Ambrose turned to the writing board on the wall behind him, writing the Queen's name. "It's common for the spelling to be changed to fit in better with modern Ozian," he added, writing the name again, with a slight change to the spelling. "As you know, the language of the Ancients was pronunciation-based, and contained eleven vowels." He grinned widely then, a very Glitch expression, and laughed, "No wonder they used pictures more often!"

Azkadellia giggled softly, but was much more interested in interpretations than grammar.

Ambrose quickly continued. "Vilia is a combination of two words, vi and lia, which, correcting the grammar to lia'vi, means 'their light.'"

Looking back at her mother, Azkadellia couldn't help smiling. Vilia was most definitely a light to the O.Z., whether she had her magic or not.

"Now, Azkadellia, on the other had, has a much more complex background."

She perked up, quickly turning her attention back to Ambrose as he wrote her name on the board.

"Aska, the Ancient word for 'beautiful' is rather straight-forward. Dellia, however, has deep roots. Commonly it was used in reference to the suns, but it originally comes from the phrase 'õ'ko dili'ũ nẽzh'pã' which translates to 'that which brightens our days.'"

Ambrose fell silent, then, as he and the queen watched Azkadellia for her reaction. After a long moment, the elder princess flew out of her seat and to her mother, nearly knocking them to the floor with the force of her embrace.

"Oh, Mother!" Azkadellia cried, pressing her face against Vilia's neck and squeezing her eyes shut against tears. "I was always so jealous of DG, of how you called her your light and your angel..."

"Shh," Vilia soothed, running her hands over Azkadellia's hair and down her back. "My Azkadellia... my beautiful girl who brightens my days."

In a long-forgotten piece of her heart, where doubt had once resided, Azkadellia felt the warmth and light of her mother's love and affection, and began to sob.

Vilia closed her eyes as Ambrose left, shutting the door quietly behind him. Softly, she began to rock her daughter back and forth, the silence wrapping around them, tying them together in the moment.

Finally, Azkadellia began to calm, sniffling and bringing a hand up to wipe at her eyes. "Mother," she half-whimpered.

"Yes, my darling?"

Azkadellia was quiet for a moment before saying, "I've always loved you, too."

Translations & Pronunciations

Vilia in the Ancients text: Vãlia
õ'ko dili'ũ nẽzh'pã pronunciation: ow-koh deelee-uh nehzh-pah