Note: This is a slightly different Haken's Clan fanfic... it was written to be the background story of two characters in our Blue Mountain forum roleplay: Jewelree by Starbolt and Fanya by me.

Sisters' Gifts

A Haken's Clan Fanfic

Taiyeen was sitting up in their glider-nest inside a treetop with her daughter and her lifemate, Vol Golden.

Golden was teaching the daugher to shape stone, or trying to. When he chided the five-year-old gently, yet again, the girl suddenly burst out, exasperated:

"Father, I hate my name! My name is always being spoken in that tone, by grown-ups, and Hassbet uses that tone too, when I forget the rules of her games, and Hassbet is only eight, not a grown-up, and she can't even glide, and worst of all I can't speak my own name properly because my mouth is all wrong!"

Taiyeen sighed and took the girl into her arms: "It must be hard, being the youngest, my love?" She always called both Golden and the girl "˜my love'.

"Awful hard!" The child agreed, "I hate being youngest!"

"Don't use that word, hate, so easily, my child." Said Golden, "And besides there is nothing wrong with your mouth. Your mouth is just growing, it is shaping itself, or time is shaping it. You'll learn to say all long names and tough sounds, eventually."

"I'm tired of waiting! I want a new name!"

"A new name? Well..." a locked sending passed between the parents:

~**Are we ready yet? After we tell her, everyone will know**~ Taiyeen asked, hesitant.

~**We must be ready. For our daughter's sake.**~

Taiyeen turned to the child: **Your father has a new name for you, go to him!**

The girl glided over into her father's arms:

**How would you like being called... Big Sister?**

Winnowill was watching her lovemate, Young Voll, shaping Haken's throne in the Green Hall. Treeshapers had made a clearing into a hall not unlike the rooms of the lost palace, with moss and licken for curtains, flowers for a carpet, moss for a floor, vines tangling all over the tree-walls, storeholes and dwellings and glider-nests everywhere in the trees for those who felt safe dwelling close to other elves. Two children, Hassbet and Salvi, were playing with stone toys Salvi had shaped - elf shapes and animal shapes. Salvi was making the longtooth-shape move its mouth and eat stones, and Hassbet was giggling. It was a pleasure to watch those two - it reminded Winnowill of how Voll had played with her when they were younger. Voll had been sixteen already when Winnowill was born, but he had taken no lovemate, just casual nest-mates, and when Rayeen died giving birth to Winnowill, Haken's child, Voll had volunteered to care for the newborn as if she was his own daughter.

Haken sat on his stone throne, and now Young Voll, as he still was called, served as his rockshaper and Winnowill was trying to learn to be a healer so that no mothers would ever have to die again, nor babies, nor anyone. Winnowill was already skilled in small healings, but the big ones gave her nightmares even when she succeeded. Winnowill was seventeen.

One of the out-in-the-woods families arrived to the Green Hall, Taiyeen and her lifemate and child. Vol Golden was Young Voll's half-brother - they were both Gibra's children. Gibra rested in a wrapstuff cocoon hidden behind Haken's Throne, waiting for Winnowill to grow strong enough to heal her. Three others waited with her, guarded by the preservers and a strong stone wall Young Voll had shaped. The whole family were gliders, but Winnowill felt no jealousy - there were many who could not glide in the clan, and she was lucky to have the best of all magics, healing.

"Uncle Haken! Uncle Haken! I have big news!" The child announced, and glided right into Haken's arms.

"Hello, little one! I haven't seen you in a long time, and you have grown so much, I forget what name your parents gave you." This was what Haken always said to the out-in-the-woods children, even though he did know their names, to indicate that he would like to see them more often than he did.

"That is the big news, Uncle Haken!" The child announced cheerfully, "I have a new name!"

"A new name, oh my? Well, will you tell Uncle Haken your new name?"

The child stood up on the throne beside Haken's legs, and announced to the world in general:

"My new name is Big Sister!"

The crowd was alive with gasps and whispers, and Hassbet and Salvi were running to congratulate their playmate. The grown-ups, Voll and Winnowill among them, gathered around Taiyeen and the blushing Golden.

"Don't you want to use your old name anymore... Big Sister?" Hassbet asked, frowning. She was confused - how was she to call a younger child big sister, or why?

"I hate my old name! I'll be Big Sister until my babysister is old enough to give me a better name!" Big Sister declared, standing on the leaf-shaped armrest of Haken's throne now.

"You don't have a babysister." Salvi pointed out logically.

"Oh but I will! She's in my mother's tummy now, but Winnowill will help her out six seasons from now, and then she will be the youngest, not me, and I will teach her to speak, and mother will teach her to send, and she will give me a new name!"

"All right then, we will call you Big Sister, won't we, Salvi?" Hassbet asked her friend.

"Of course we will! Come play with us, I'll help you shape a Big Sister doll and a babysister doll, and a mother and father and a glider-nest, how would you like that?"

Big Sister grinned and did somersaults in the air, laughing and calling out: "I'd love that!"

Petalwing noticed the highthings and glided around the littlest one, who was dancing: "Hello, hello, littlestone highthing! Littlestone highthing much-happy! Petalwing much-happy too!"

"Come, Petalwing, make wrapstuff dresses for our dolls! I'll tell you all about the other littlestone highthing who will play with us, too, someday!"

Big Sister was eight turns of the seasons old, Little Tai was one. Big Sister glided up to the glider nest with her gift, calling out:

"Hello, little Tai!"

The baby, who was tethered to her mother with a long leather cord dyed purple to match both their clothes, raised her chubby little arms and glided to embrace her sister:

"Tai! Tai!" It was her only word so far, and it had been enough. It meant either Taiyeen or Fanyan-Tai, which was her full name, depending of the context. One word for mother and baby both, Big Sister thought it was a bit silly, but Little Tai was allowed to be a bit silly, because she was Little Tai. She was the baby now. And Big Sister had a gift for her. She had been working all day on it, and Young Voll and Salvi hadn't helped her at all, they had just watched and given istructions. It was a necklace, in baby size, made of all kinds of colourful stones, bright as glass, found in the hearts of the hills - Voll had given her the unshaped stones, and she had shaped them all by herself and connected them to each other so that the necklace bent - it was all stone, all transparent round orbs, no leather cord in the middle like in the ones Big Sister had shaped before for Mother, bead by bead. Each orb reached out into a cave in the heart of the one beside it, making each round stone carry inside it the round head made of the different-coloured stone beside it on a long, strong neck of stone. Young Voll had told her it was very symbolic, but Big Sister had been too busy shaping to ask what it was symbolic of. Hassbet and Winnowill had watched with interest, and Big Sister wondered if they were envious of Little Tai for receiving such a grand gift.

"Look, Little Tai! I made you jewelry!"

The clumsy little hands reached for the gift, and Big Sister gave it to the baby. Little Tai tasted the stones with her toothless mouth, ran them through her fingers, stared and stared with her purple liitle eyes wide open, wondering the colors and the shine. Eventually the little eyes turned to Big Sister, and the shy little voice asked:

"Tai? Tai?" The eyes turned to mother, the child was wondering which Tai the gift was for - surely something so pretty could not be for her!

"It is for you, Fanyan-Tai." Taiyeen answered, and turned to advise Big Sister:

"Put it on her so she will understand."

"May I, Little Tai?" Big Sister reached a hand. Little Tai gave back the gift a bit recluctantly, but her eyes shone when Big Sister reached it round her neck and shaped the last amethyst to enter the heart of the first sapphire, making the necklace fasten so that only a rockshaper could open it. It was neither too loose nor too tight. Little Tai fingered the stones happily, touching and caressing them, and then she asked another question:

"Tai? Tai?"

This time, it meant 'what?', Big Sister guessed.

"Jewelry, Little Tai. It is called jewelry. Je-wel-ry!"

**That is too big a word for...** Taiyeen began, but little Tai interrupted:

"Jewelree! Tai - Tai - Jewelree!" The baby fingers pointed at self, at mother, and then at big sister, naming each: "Tai - Tai - Jewelree!"

Jewelree was crying tears of pure happiness when she hugged her sister. **Jewelree it is**, she sent to them, and felt her mother hug both her daughters, **I knew she would find me a good name, I knew she would!** the young rockshaper declared.

**Then maybe you should give her one in return. I think I named both of you a bit too hastily, forgetting how hard long names are for little tongues.**

**You're right, mother - Little Tai is old enough now for a name of her own. Little Tai, from now on I'm going to call you Fanya.**

**Fanya?** The sending was undeveloped and clumsy - Fanya still had a lot to learn.

"Fanya", Jewelree said aloud, and said it again, and again, but Little Tai did not want to learn another new word so soon.

"Jewelree," She kept saying, touching her sister, touching her sister's gift, "Jewelree, Tai, Tai!" When Golden came home from the hunt, the meat was "Tai!", he was "Tai!", everything was Tai except for Jewelree, who was Jewelree, who was the stones, who was magic.