The Valkyrie’s Daughters
Part VII: Family Duty
After we got our desserts and sat back down, Freyja came up to us.
“There you are.” She said. “I gotta talk to you. Alone.”
I waved a goodbye at the others and followed Freyja a little further away, standing in an empty spot by the walls.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Well, for one I’m glad you’re making friends with chicks.” She answered, switching to our native German.
“I think Riley and Avery are non-binary, actually.”
“Whatever,” she swished her hand dismissively, “what matters is you can get one of them pregger.”
I frowned. “Stop it with that… It’s not funny.”
“I’m not joking, Michelle. I’m not gonna stop, if you die, mom’s legacy is probably gone. I won’t allow that to happen. Beside, it’s not like it’ll be hard for you, just stick it in a girl and you’re done.”
“I’m leaving.” I mumbled, I turned back only for Freyja to grab my arm.
“If you don’t care about the legacy, then why don’t you give over the powers?” She said, a frustrated noise coming out of her mouth.
“How? Can that even be done?”
“Grandma’s sister was the one who inherited the powers but she renounced and it jumped over to Grandma inherited instead, so I know it’s possible.”
My thoughts jumbled for a moment, trying to think about what would happen. “I won’t abandon this.” I said.
Thanks to the powers, I had friends, I had a purpose. I couldn’t throw that away. It had chosen me, not her and there had to be a reason for that.
“You are so fucking selfish you know that? You have no fucking clue about all the sacrifices I’ve made for mom, for you, for this fucking legacy! All you care about is that you get to be a like your idol, is that it?” People were definitely staring at us now.
“That’s not true… Why do you care so much it happens now? It’s not like I’m in danger now.”
Maybe I was selfish, true, she’d trained all her life and I had been freed, but there was nothing I wanted more than to live up to Valkyra’s legacy, she had been my hero and idol…
“Because mom’s legacy the only fucking thing I have left.” She mumbled those words. “I can’t live with the idea it might be lost and that I can’t do a fucking thing about it…”
“I’m sorry.” I tried to reach out for her, but she pushed me away.
“I don’t want your damn pity. Just do your part for the family duty… Do it for mom.” Her voice was breaking, like she was about to cry.
Having said her piece, she walked away, all tense, while I just stood there. I wanted to help her, but how could I? The idea of doing what she wanted just felt wrong, they were my friends, I couldn’t just use them…
It was then that Avery found me. “Michelle, hey. What happened?” She asked.
“I don’t know… Freyja’s just so hard to deal with…”
“I’m sorry. Do you wanna talk about it?”
Should I tell her? Was it weird to talk about how Freyja wanted me to make someone pregnant… But then we were supposed to be friends, you’re supposed to trust your friends, right?
“She thinks I don’t take being Valkyra seriously…” I mumbled. “And that I’m selfish for not giving up the powers to her.”
“That’s crazy. You just got them, you can’t be expected to master them and start saving the world after this small amount of time.” They smiled and I had smile back.
“She wants me to have a baby.” I finally admitted.
“You’re not very old though.” They blurped out. “That came out wrong. You’re not an adult yet. Most people wait til they’re adults and can support one financially. Do you even want a baby? Like, I think it’s important to get the legacy to continue if I remember correctly, but still, do you want one?”
They were a little rambling, maybe they were flustered by the idea? I wished I could tell…
“I don’t know… But she says I need to have an heir for when I die so she inherit the power.” I sighed. “That’d be easier if I was a cis girl…”
Despite what Freyja thought, if I had been cis it would just be a question of getting pregnant, getting someone else to agree to carry a baby was so much more complicated… And the thought of not being able to do it myself resurrected that icky feeling I’d been plagued by my whole life… The thought I wasn’t really a girl, that Wycked and her ilk were right…
“That’s a fair point, but she shouldn’t be pushing you. I’m sorry she’s not being nice.”
“I was hoping I’d get a sister, but I don’t think it’s happening…” I mumbled. Thank you for being so nice.”
My body felt so gross at that moment, I wanted to hide.
“Can I have a hug?” I begged.
They pulled me closer and held onto me tightly. I did the same, with both my arms and wings. They smelled nice… Their natural scent wasn’t covered, just accented by the smell of unscented soap…
Everything felt so exhausting, I wanted to go back home and hide, collapse in my bed. I would have right then if Avery didn’t hold me… I was tired and felt so disgusted at my own body…
“Michelle, your thoughts are loud.” Avery said, still holding me. “This hasn’t happened before. But that doesn’t matter, because you’re upset I think. Wanna talk about it?”
“Sorry… I don’t mean to bother you… It’s just all this talk of babies and things make me aware of my body and how wrong it is…”
“I wish you didn’t have to feel like that. It’s stupid and bad.”
They hugged me even tighter and I just leaned against them, enjoying their presence. They were no nice… Cute too… Maybe they could be— I stopped myself, what was I thinking? Were they still reading my mind? Had they caught my dirty thought?
I focused on elephants. Repeating the words over and over.
“You feeling better?” Avery asked.
I nodded and let go. They were looking at my and my skin turned burning hot. “Let’s go back?” I proposed, muttering the words. I tried to look further from their gaze, my eyes going down. I saw their hand and had an idea… I didn’t think before saying it out loud.
“Can I hold your hand?” I asked.
They looked toward me for a moment before nodding shyly. I brought my hand closer to them and theirs brushed against mine for a moment, our fingers lacing together. They held on tightly, it felt so nice…
“Let’s go back now.” I said, a smile breaking through.