Mary had always wanted a child, someone to raise and watch and know that they were hers. She’d wanted a husband to stand next to her while she cradled their young, his arm around her shoulders as the baby slept in her arms.
For most of her life, there hadn’t been anyone she’d wanted. most of her life was spent keeping her sister out of trouble and trying to find whatever it was they were looking for.
(It had taken too long, much too long, to find their purpose, but they hadn’t realized how long it was for the first millennium or so.)
Once they’d found their purpose, their princess, they hadn’t thought much beyond keeping her alive and then helping her and others of her ‘class’ (for lack of a better word) to do what they needed to do. They’d protected their princess and any others where and when necessary, but other than their duty and the few small friendships that had come with said duty…
Mary hadn’t started wanting, really wanting, what their princess, what the others had until after their princess, now their Queen, had given birth to her third child.
Watching Solaris with her two elder children around her, her husband standing behind her as they presented their third child to the Court had changed something within Mary’s heart.
Mary’s sister hadn’t felt that change for herself, but considering how they’d been connected at the time, she’d felt it in Mary. Star hadn’t understood, but Mary hadn’t blamed her.
For all that they were one at one point-
(Before Mother had split them, made them separate but the same.)
-they were very different by this point.
Her desires didn’t mean Mary wanted to leave her duty behind and considering the time shortly after the Third Child of Sol was presented…
Well, after the War no one thought Mary’d be able to do anything.
But Star had remembered and out of everyone else, she was the only one who knew that time didn’t matter when it came to finding a solution for Mary. And she had.
But all of Star’s work and planning and actions hadn’t been able to get her sister everything Mary had wanted. Mary had mental stability and health now and with time, she’d found Warren.
But they couldn’t have children.
And so Mary had continued to yearn for that thing she could never have.
She still loved Warren-
(Would always love her Bonded.)
-but she also mourned that they could never have children.
Once she realized that Warren was just as aware of her mourning as Star had been of her wish for a family, she’d been terrified that it was too much for him. Warren was one of a kind, but surely even he had to have his limits.
Warren had just pulled her into his arms, laid his face against her hair and cried with her.
It hadn’t ruined their marriage and the mourning in the back of their hearts had faded enough into the background that it was more a watercolor on a fantastic high definition snapshot of a meteor shower. There and always present, but not the focus and not the point of the picture.
Warren wouldn’t let it ruin what he had with his wife. He had wanted children just as much as she had and they would find a way to have children. If it took twenty years to get approved for adoption or fostering he would go through that.
(They would have gone through it together and loved any and every child put under their care.)
It didn’t turn out that way, but they would have taken more children into their home if they could have. They’d even been preparing themselves to go to Mary’s brother, Alex and ask for help.
(Alex would have helped in a heartbeat, sooner even.)
They hadn’t needed to.
It was around the flu season when they noticed something different. About a month directly after Warren had gone in for his own flu shot, specifically.
(Even with what she was sealed away, Mary didn’t really need the same shots that others did. She’d gotten the boosters needed for an immunization record, of course, but flu shots weren’t mandatory and so she skipped them.)
It started slowly-
(As slowly as anything but faster than some, it’s different for every person after all.)
-but Mary started to show signs of something different about her. Something that she had noticed about thousands of others throughout her very long life, but had never personally experienced. A small part of her had been terrified when she told her husband.
(What would he say? What would he do?)
She needn’t have worried.
They ended up going to see Alex after all and it was he who found out what had been done to Warren and what this meant for them.
(Mary would wait over two decades to thank the woman responsible.)