Vignette: Heart

Who: Zinovia and Yukijiath
When: Month 5, 201 AT
Where: Weyrling Barracks, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Zinovia summons something from home.


i.

Most things, they’d sent via messenger or dragonrider, but her Steward insisted on bringing her mother’s jewellery box to her directly, too afraid to let it out of his sight. It wasn’t that its contents were particularly valuable – the Silverfield women were never ones to spend much on jewellery – yet their value to her was beyond words. Whatever he felt about her having Impressed and the contract she’d entered into, he was polite to Yukijiath and didn’t ask questions that roamed beyond her wellbeing, nor did he press her to open the box there and then.

She wasn’t ready.

ii.

It took two weeks before she could face it. Zinovia waited until the rest of the class was at dinner, feigning tiredness so as not to join them, and perched at the edge of her bed with the heavy mahogany box sat in her lap. If she were doing this for herself, she would’ve given up already, but she wasn’t after some trinket to wear or some token to remind herself of the mother she’d lost. She didn’t need those things.

She let her gaze drift to the sapphire ring on her finger and opened the lid of the box.

iii.

She knew what she was looking for. Past the marriage marks of generations of her family, the rare fine gold pieces handed down from mother to daughter, she hunted for the solid band of silver her mother wore until hands worn by hard work threatened to seal it upon her finger forever. Her parents’ marriage had been one of practicality and duty, growing to love each other as they raised their children and looked to their people.

A gift, from her father to her mother. He had never been a man of many affectionate words, but the ring spoke all.

iv.

‘Silverfield’s heart’.

The engraving had tarnished slightly at its edges, though the words were still plain and clear along the inside of the band, laid out in an elegant script. She tilted the ring this way and that, contemplating whether it would need resizing, but she thought it would fit. Letting the box drop closed, she cradled the ring in the palm of one hand and worried at it with her thumb, blinking to clear her vision of unwelcome tears.

No. She would outrun her grief a while longer.

Would Akemi think it was silly? Would Akemi even want it?

v.

She strung the ring on a silver chain, which she clasped around her neck to let lie over her heart as she curled up on her cot and hauled the blankets up over her, dinner written off. From the outside world, Yukijiath slunk gracefully into the barracks and onto her couch, inching over until she was a warm, reassuring bulk within easy reach.

<< Of course she will want it. It is part of you and yours and your home. >>

What if she doesn’t understand?

<< She will. >>

What if–

<< Sleep now, Nova. I am here. Maozheth and Akemi soon too. >>

She knew her name.

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