Mother Dearest

It would be easy to think that lukhanyo hadn’t been searched at all, never mind that it had been merely a few days since he had returned to the weyr. Already his eyes had been caught be several of the residents at Half Moon, and when he had persuaded one of them to snuggle up to him in the hearth nook he had thought that the day was going to go beautifully. But such things are never meant to last, and if anything he should have known that his luck was going to run out sooner or later.

“So it’s true then.”

That disapproving voice could only be from one person, and he didn’t even bother looking up before replying, “Hello mother. So lovely to see you, too.” The girl on his lap squirmed, and not in the way he had been hoping. Stupid rules! Stupid parents! He let her go reluctantly, not even trying to arrange a second date just letting her leave.

His mother. Of all the people that could have come along. Oh once they were close, before he was sent away. Before he learned her reputation. Before his Grandfather died and he refused to come back. But he’d ended up back at the Weyr anyway, because the world certainly does have a sense of humour

“You couldn’t tell me yourself?” Taira’s voice was harsh, too much having been said by both of them for the rift to be easily closed.

“So sorry, mother, I’ve been busy. I’m sure you understand.” Ugh. Why couldn’t he just talk to her. Why couldn’t she just once be happy.

“Busy breaking the rules it looks like. What happened to that girl at the hall?”

“She married, mother. And clearly not to me. So I get my pick of the lovely ladies of Half Moon.”

“Are you trying to get yourself kicked out, though Faranth knows it’d probably be the best thing for all of us.”

Lukhanyo’s temper flared, “I would have thought you would have been happy I was following in your footsteps again. Though maybe that’s the problem. Can’t stand the idea of competition? That maybe I’ll Impress and be /better/ than you? That you’ll lose flights to me?”

The crack as her palm hit his cheek echoed round the nook, a few heads turning in their direction as both former woodcrafters fought against all instinct and tried to keep their tempers in check. For a time they simply stare, breathing hard, raw fury sparking from both sets of eyes.

“Such a warm welcome. I can see why Da stays around, can’t say I have his tolerance though.” With a hasty shove he pushed to his feet, deliberately taking half a step towards his mother before changing direction and moving away.

“Lukhanyo. Lucky!”

Lucky. His childhood nickname. Such irony.

“Goodbye mother, I’m sure our paths will cross again soon. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, save you from finding yet another reason to hate me.”

She started speaking but he just didn’t care. He didn’t want to hear it. He needed to go and… punch something. A wall. A fence. Anything. Just… something to rage at that wouldn’t hurt.

If he’d just waited a second longer he would have heard her say “I don’t. I never have.” but anger and pride are firm bedfellows, and both mother and son have more than their fair share of both.


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