Wish me luck.
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Prompt 001 – Beginnings
Every beginning was an ending. Nothing new could start without first destroying what had come before. Nature at it's most basic was proof of that. Dawn was the beginning of day and the end of night. Love was the birth of both strength and weakness, but the death of the same for it destroyed anger.
Even Amaro's own life was proof for this theory. The beginning of his friendship with Kestrel had been the end of his ability to turn a blind eye to the evils of slavery. The beginning of Amaro's growth into a stronger man had led to the end of his brother's life. The beginning of his friendship with Talon and his first steps into the life of the mercenary had been the end of his comfort with nobility. The beginning of Alethia and Talon's life as a married couple had been the end of their travels.
He hadn't always been pleased with those beginnings and endings. Hell, he'd resisted at least half of them like his life depended on it. Yet none of them had scared, no, terrified him a fraction as much as what lay before him now.
His little sister, the little girl who'd healed the wounds of Thom's death and his own abandonment of Vortai, was curled up in her bed, with Aria in her arms. Both of them were asleep, peaceful, content and looking like older and younger versions of each other. What terrified Amaro was that, seeing his toddler daughter and his sister in stark contrast together, he couldn't deny that Acqua wasn't a child any more. Somehow Acqua's adoption of Bas and Pas hadn't brought that home to him. Not in the way seeing her and Aria together did. And if his sister wasn't a child, would she need him to protect her? What would it do to their relationship if she didn't?
Moving nearly silently, Amaro picked up the vaguely dirty white teddy bear from where it had been left on the dresser and set it gently between the two girls. Neither woke, but both girls shifted slightly. Aria wrapped her tiny, chubby arms around the soft fur even as Acqua turned her head away from the ear that was tickling her nose, rejecting the once ever present piece of fluff.
Amaro pulled a second blanket over the girls, guarding them against the cold and silently left the room, and the house. Looking up at the stars as though they could carry his words to their mistress herself, he whispered something that was half a challenge, half a prayer. “Not this time, Etaf. They're both my little girls and they will always be my little girls.”
The beginning of fatherhood would not be the end of anything. Especially not being Acqua's big brother. He needed both roles to much to surrender either.