"Oh Dart! He's so beautiful!"
Dart smiled gently, watching his parents and sister coo over his newborn son. Around them the Wolfriders drew near, all eager to see the child.
"Just look at him! Oh Strongbow, how he looks like you!"
"Looks a bit more like his father, wouldn't you say?"
"But he has Serrin's eyes."
Tyleet looked up at him, eyes bright with joy and curiosity, "Dart, have you chosen a name for him yet?"
His heart skipped a beat as all eyes turned his way. This was it. Taking a deep breath, he cleared his throat and spoke. "Rayek, Joyleaf? We were thinking," he looked up at them, trying to hide his nerves, "if you allow it, we'd like to name him Fox."
No one spoke. Dart swallowed, not even the comforting strength radiating from Shushen and Serrin calming him fully.
Rayek had turned away, Joyleaf standing next to him, one hand clapsing his shoulder. It seemed as though an eternity passed.
"Fox…" Slowly, Rayek turned back to Dart, eyes glistening. He smiled softly, then nodded, "It's a good name."
Beside her lifemate, Joyleaf smiled, blinking through her own tears as she nodded her agreement.
Dart returned the smile, all his worries fading to a tiny, single fear. Finally, he turned to a lone figure standing apart from the rest, "Sandcat?"
At the edge of the gathering Sandcat was still, arms crossed, eyes fixed on the ground. Dart saw the tremble in his shoulders, the tensing of his jaw, the mist over his eyes. Finally, the younger elf looked up, face stony and distant. "Bit cruel to give him a name like that. It'll be the devil to live up to. Still," he shrugged, then sighed deeply, "a bit of incentive never hurt anyone." Their eyes met and, beneath the cold words, Dart felt Sandcat's acceptance.
As tears threatened to overflow his eyes, the tribe gathered close to welcome Fox.
The cool, pre-dawn air wrapped itself around Dart, bringing the sweet scent of dew to his nose. Nestled in his arms, Fox cooed sleepily and blinked his blurry eyes.
He smiled down at his son, "What do you think cub? You ready to live up to your name?" His smile grew even wider when the child giggled, reaching his tiny arms up to grab at his father's hair, "Yes, yes you are. And it's a good name to live up to." He kissed Fox's head softly, "She would have loved you."
He started in confusion, glancing around at their surroundings, "Serrin?
A soft sound, so like a laugh, chimed out from the emptiness.
A breeze swept over him, running through his hair, brushing his cheek. It felt… it felt strangely like a… hand. Slowly, the breeze slipped down, seeming to caressing Fox's cheek. The baby giggled, reaching up a hand as though grasping someone's finger.
The breeze rolled away to the ground, catching up sand and earth that swirled into the air. Dart stared in shock as the dawn light illuminated the swirl, seeming to transform it. There, just for a moment, it was not sand on the wind that held his gaze, but a bright flash of golden eyes and a wild tussle of golden curls.
Dart's mouth fell open, a gasp caught in his throat, "…Sunfox?"
The breeze swirled again, golden sand dancing in the air, drawing a burst of laughter from Fox and a warmth to Dart's eyes. As dawn fully broke over the Sun Village, Dart smiled, and a soft ring of laughter rang in the wind.
AN: And there it is. Not that long, not that thrilling, but I have to say I love this little fic. I hope ya'll liked it as well!
elyse43230, Mondtanz, and MorningStar101, thank you guys so much for the reviews! Also, big thank you to Negrath for reviewing, faving, and following. Glad you all enjoyed this, and hope to see you in other stories!