‘Sken! NO!’ Annanyn grabbed her wife’s hands in hers and squeezed tightly. ‘Never say that. I love you as you are. And I thought— I assumed— That we were going to adopt.’
‘Adopt?’ Sken paled as realisation washed over her face. ‘Oh, Goddess. I never even thought about that—’
‘—I was waiting to suggest it,’ Annanyn swallowed. ‘Until we were ready.’
Sken took a deep breath, her gills quivering. ‘I’ve been ready for years. I’ve been sorry for years...’
Young Sken and her mother, showing why Sken ended up the way she did.
(ignore the broken clipping mask I noticed 0.5 seconds after uploading and waterfall doesn't let you edit art posts)
‘I’m just sorry it took me so long to come back,’ Sken muttered. ‘I was … scared.’
‘Oh, stingray, you don’t ever need to be scared of coming home,’ Vayvie told her.
‘I ran away,’ Sken muttered. ‘I thought you’d be angry at me.’
‘Of course I was angry,’ she chuckled, then coughed. ‘But you were just a little girl. And I was worried about you. Running off with a man like that— Stupid decision. I hope you’ve learnt from it.’
Sken looked away.
‘Look at me!’ her mother demanded, then softened her voice when Sken obeyed. ‘Don’t ever look so ashamed of yourself again, you hear me? You are a Lyzik! Lyzik means pride!’
‘Actually, it means “clam eater,”’ Sken chuckled. ‘I looked it up.’
‘Clam is delicious!’ Vayvie said, flicking her tail. ‘There is no shame in eating clams!’