This fic was written for Gidaire for the Battleship 2023 exchange on AO3. The title comes from the Crane Wives song "Never Love an Anchor", primarily because of that one animatic for the song featuring Wake.
Awake Remembrance of these Valiant Dead was exhausted, and likely very lucky. She had just given birth alone, and while she felt very weak, she didn't think she was in any danger of dying from complications of the birth, at least not in the next forty-eight hours. She wasn't sure if the beast in the Tomb would kill her before it killed the Emporer. Just in case she had a chance of survival, she remained in orbit to heal. Surely she had thrown Gideon and Pyrrha off her tail for long enough.
The Bomb, too, seemed healthy. Ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. It – and it had to be an it, because a she would grow up into likely a little girl into a woman and it would not – had the echoes of Wake's nose and chin. It wouldn't grow up for Wake to see just how much of her was in Bomb. She could see whisps of red hair on Bomb's head, so soft and fine. According to her parents, Wake's hair had been very fine when she was born, and it had soon thickened in the months that follow. Bomb wouldn't live long enough for Wake to see if the same was true for, for it.
Bomb didn't need to be too healthy. It was going to die soon, but Wake needed Bomb to survive long enough to die at the Tomb and not any sooner. Plus, Wake didn't want to listen to Bomb's cries. She adjusted her shirt and bra to allow Bomb to feed. Bomb stopped crying; it eyes opened, soft gold staring up at Wake. Somewhere distantly, Wake remembered that Bomb's vision was so weak that the furthest thing she could see was Wake's face.
Wake's top priority had always been the Blood of Eden, but she had tried to be a part of her family's life as much as possible. Wake remembered the way that Pash would cry when she was hungry, the way that Kings and Monarchs of the Earth and her husband were both always tired before Pash started sleeping through the night. Wake tried not to think about leaving the Domincus system for good and taking Bomb home to meet the family. Tried not to think about the way Kings and Monarchs would coo over Bomb. Pash, at least, probably wouldn't coo over Bomb. What ten-year-old wanted to be around an infant? Even as they grew up, Wake couldn't see Pash particularly wanting to hang out with her baby, and then toddler, and then little girl of a cousin. Maybe it would be different when Bomb was a teenager.
Bomb would never be a teenager. Bomb would never be a toddler or a little girl. Wake would never get to see her daughter and niece grow up together, because the Bomb was going to die today, and Wake would probably die with her. With it.
And then the sound of a ship docking pulled Wake from her hormonal musings. Gideon had caught up with her. Or maybe they were Pyrrha, but in this case them being Pyrrha wasn't any better because she wouldn't let Wake kill Bomb to unlock the Tomb.
"Shit," Wake said as she pulled Bomb from her breast. She felt no remorse for swearing in front of an infant. She had taught her niece to shoot and swear; and if this was a daughter instead of a weapon Wake would have taught her as well. Wake put Bomb down on the ground, ignoring its fussing, and walked over to wear she kept the haz-suit and the bio-container.
Wake's sister's name, Kings and Monarchs of the Earth, comes from Henry V Act I Scene ii Line 124, which is the same scene where Awake Remembrance of these Valiant Dead comes from.
The amount I think Wake cared about Gideon depends on my mood. At least in this fic she was having regrets after Gideon was born, but wasn't willing to act on them (or maybe she will at the last minute after this fic ends ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).