Yup. Genfic. Rose. Unbeta'd. Hearts. (PG at the very most, just considering what's mildly implied.)
"Mama?" He warbled, loudly toned as always, but with a dip of vulnerability that almost threatened tears in the back of his voice, "Do you not want me?"
The young woman, shocked at the sudden question not expected among his typical apron-grabbing curiosity repetoire, tried to calm her own discomfort, lest the child take up the same emotion in symbiance. She forgot to bother drying her soapy hands thoroughly as she quickly kneeled to his level and held him reassuringly.
"Where did you get such an idea?" She asked, drawing her hands back to her apron to dry before she raised them again to his shoulders and face, gently brushing a messy lock of hair from his eyes. His lip twisted, and he pushed a fist against his cheek as though he were scratching some invisible itch.
"A- at school," He began, wavering once unsurely, nearly muttering some bits of his sentence, "K- a kid said children without daddies weren't wanted. S- said they're all accidents. An'... nn-" He stumbled, again, shaking, "An' that their mommies did bad things. S- so th- they-"
The boy's mother didn't let him suffer through finishing his shameful retelling; only swept him close to her, encasing the tiny resillient frame close to her chest as she ran her fingers through his hair, sticky from a day's worth of grime, mud and fingerpaint. The boy sobbed against her shoulder, leaving a little dark spot on her faded sweater, not caring how much his nose ran from the tears.
"Ssshhh..." She reassured him as she hooked her arm gently behind his knees and lifted him up, surprised at how heavy he had become, and how it was still so easy to keep him close like this, "Ssshh... that's not true. That's not true at all," She whispered into his ear, not sure whether he could hear her.
"Wh- where's daddy, then?" He managed between sobs, "Why don't we have a real family with a daddy?"
She flinched. She had known the time would come when she would have to explain everything, the plain truth, to her son; she just hadn't hoped the question would arise when he was as young as five. She carried him over to the window and sat on the wide sill, hoping the familiar image of the lazy resembool countryside would calm the both of them.
"There are all sorts of families, sweetie," She began to explain, trying to contain herself from giving him too much to worry about at such an age, "There- there are some families with a mommy and a daddy, and there are some with lots of brothers and sisters, and some little boys and girls who grow up with their grandparents, or have adopted families. They're all different, but they're all families. And so are we. You and I are a family, and it dosen't matter what the other people might say; I love you. I love you so much."
The boy, Cain, rubbed one of his eyes and looked up blearily at his mother. She looked back at him with sincerity that only the truest love is capable of cultivating. Relieved, he clutched her stained apron, reiterating for security,
"I'm not an accident, right? You always wanted me, right?"
Her breath hitched a little, and she smothered him in a hug once again,
"Of course, baby, of course," She breathed, holding her son as though he would melt away if she did not, "Always. There was never a second that I regretted having you. Not ever. You're a gift from God, and I've never been happier than when I had you. I love you, Cain. I love you."
Rose had hated herself. She had hated the weakness that made her as she was. She had hated the men who decieved her; the society that had mislead her; the soldiers who hurt her. She hated herself for being the vessel of their wicked acts; for being the one to take on all the responsibility for their crimes. Even as the days passed with her outward apathy, she had cursed herself for being so weak, and prayed desperately that God would strike history; take the evil seed from her unwilling womb, let her start again, and even when she first saw the face of her child, newly cleaned, innocent and chaotically precious, she still had those shameful wishes in the back of her mind.
She prayed God would forgive her for having thought such awful things about her beautiful son. She prayed God would forgive her every time she dredged up horrible remembrance when she observed how much fairer her child's skin was from her own. And even now, sitting on the windowsill with the vulnerable boy in her arms, a beautiful bittersweet burden of joy to console, she silently prayed that God would forgive her for lying to her son, and that someday he would have the strength to understand why.