Here is a surprise. I don't own this. XD
I always adored how Daine named her son after our favorite sarcastic stormwing, and I can only imagine how she'd explain it to him. So here it is. It's two parts. This one being the set up and the next one being the full on story-time.
Part two will probably have some DainexRikash. But only if you squint. (DN is my OTP, still.)
Not a knight, dear, a hero.
The spring of his eighth year Rikash Salmalin became prone to nightmares.
The winter had been rough on the young boy, with a wealth of bandits and raiders to the point where both parents had to be away frequently to help with one thing or another. He had suddenly reached an age where he was fully confronted with his parents' mortality, as well as the dangerous lives they lived. It was not a pleasant experience.
And so, for perhaps the fifth night, Rikash's mother, Daine Sarrasri-Salmalin, woke to the sound of her son's anguished cry. Beside her, the still-infant dragon Skysong, or Kitten, made an unhappy chirp and attempted to snuggle itself back to sleep.
Her husband heard it, too. "Oh dear," he murmured, for lack of better vocabulary this late – or rather, early.
It was beginning to trouble both parents that they could do little to help ease his pain. Any comfort that they were there NOW, helped little to all parties involved when they all knew that serving the realm meant danger, and that neither Daine nor Numair would let that stand in their way.
Daine breathed out a sigh, rolling over, "I'll go to him."
"No, magelet," Numair replied through a yawn. Daine couldn't help but smile, as she always did, at the sound of the name he would forever call her. "You know it's my turn."
She shook her head, already sitting up, "Sleep, Numair. The moon will not stop its monthly journey because I comforted our son two nights in a row." He chuckled, sleepily, seeming to accept that. She smiled endearingly at the man, and then turned her attention back to their son.
She didn't need bats ears to hear the rustling of blankets or the whispers between her son and his sister, Sarralyn. The girl, two years Rikash's elder, had slept, or feigned it well enough, the past night terrors. She suspected the blunt ten year old was informing her brother that nothing was wrong and she wanted to sleep more.
However, when Daine pushed the door open it was to the brief flash of movement, and then utter stillness. It only took her a moment to realize what had happened.
"I know you're both awake," she said, mildly, "You've gotten your lying skills from your mother, which means they're terrible. I apologize."
Sarra sat up instantly, absently petting the two cats and a chipmunk her own wild magic drew to her. "Told you," she muttered. Daine figured that was not directed at her, or the animals. Rikash did not move. His mother sighed again, and took her place perched at the end of his bed.
"He was crying," Sarra said, rather unhelpfully, now kneeling at the end of her bed to watch the two of them. "He wouldn't tell me what's wrong. Ma, is he sick?"
So, Sarra had slept through the earlier nightmares. Good, Daine supposed.
"He's not sick, love. Just nightmares."
"I get those, occasionally." The girl said, absently playing with a light brown tendril of her hair. She resembled her namesake, her grandma, more than Daine did; with deep blue eyes and lighter hair than she'd expect of a child of her and the charcoal haired Numair to have. She was already beautiful, and being the oldest rather precocious. "I've not cried over them."
Daine shook her head, "I have it on perfect authority you did when you were a baby," she answered with a knowing smile at her daughter. Like Daine, she was, never to admit a weakness, be physical injury or emotional unless absolutely necessary.
Rikash chose that moment to mumble into his pillow, "'m not a baby, ma."
"Ah! He speaks!" She said with light laughter, "Not so asleep, are we?"
The boy sat. His shoulders were slumped, and trembling; his whole posture radiated with fear and unhappiness. But he met his mother's eyes and repeated, "I'm not a baby."
"No, you most certainly aren't." When he looked down, she tilted his face up, "Now, do you want to talk about it?" The previous nights, the boy had given some shaky accounts of what had happened in the dreams. Upsetting as they were to hear, Daine was glad he could; it made finding the proper words easier. She supposed it fair, that she who had such a bond with animals would find the comforting of her own species so difficult. It was just unfair to her son, without a trace of wild magic, to have to deal with her lack of eloquence on such a matter. Perhaps Numair should have gone.
But now he shook his head, making his black curls bounce a little, "I can't remember, not really," he lowered his voice to a mumble, "and I don't want to."
She nodded, "Then by all means, let us not talk of it." Daine paused, now at a loss of what TO say to her son. "What might help you fall asleep?"
Rikash paused, deeply considering this question. Here, he was much like his father, introspective and thought-driven. All of eight he could digest Numair's most scholarly comments with the best of them – something that had the mage absolutely tickled. Finally he said, with the embarrassment of someone admitting something childish, "A story?"
"Of course," she said instantly, before her sleepy mind caught up with her, "A story of what?"
Here Sarra spoke again, "Oh! Ma! Tell us the story of you and Da in the Divine Realms!" This was Sarra's favorite story. "Or, about how Grandda loved grandma so much he petitioned to all the Gods so she could live with him forever!"
Daine hid a smile, finding it forever hard to imagine the eternally youthful Weiryn and Sarra as grandparents. "How did my daughter become such a romantic?" She said wryly; THAT certainly wasn't from her. "You know you simply like that story because it's of your namesake." A thought occurred to her, "Rikash, how about I tell you about yours?"
Rikash sat up straighter, surprised, "My namesake?"
Sarra shifted closer as well, "I didn't know Rikash was named for anyone."
"I suppose I never mentioned him before." Their mother reflected, silently, that she had never mentioned Rikash Moonsword to much of anyone. Numair, of course, as well as Alanna, Ouna, Thayet, Jon, and a very select few of her Rider friends. Numair knew the most, and was the only one who had really understood when she'd named him among those they'd lost in the Immortals War. She supposed it had been easier not to speak of him to those who wouldn't understand, along with her stubborn way of not talking of upsetting things – a habit she had when she first came to Tortall and one she found she'd likely never shake.
But Rikash Salamalin was now staring at his ma with eyes full of excitement and wonder, and Daine owed him this. "No, Ma. Who was he?"
Daine cleared her throat. Here, now, she scolded herself, you shouldn't have suggested it if you weren't willing to talk about it. It's long happened, time to move forward. "Well, he was a- a friend, a friend of mine and your Da's... though really mostly mine," she said, awkwardly. What she wouldn't give for her husband's legendary way with words. She pressed on, "And he, well, he was a hero."
Somewhere, some realm, Rikash Moonsword was likely listening and even more likely laughing hysterically. Daine shook that thought aside.
Her son's eyes went wider, "A knight, ma? Was he a champion like Alanna?" The children called their adoptive aunt by her first name.
She couldn't have hid her smirk at the simple image of a Stormwing knight, "Not a knight, dear," she corrected gently. "A hero."
There is part one for you. :)