Prompt: She studied her face in the mirror.
Despite it being her day off Robin rose early. There were times she enjoyed sleeping in or even lazing in bed: usually when she’d had an exhausting day previously or, less often, when she had a warm body to curl up against. The warm body that had shared her bed last night wasn’t the sort she laid around for though. Henderson, her beloved shepherd, slowly stirred as she gave a stretch and pushed back the covers, reaching down to stroke through the thick fur on his neck. His tail thumped gently on the duvet as he lifted his head to give a broad yawn.
The air in her quarters was somewhat chilly on her bare arms and after slipping out of bed she shuffled to her closet door, pulling a thin hoodie down off a hook and drawing it over her shoulders. Henderson hopped down and padded in his owner’s wake as she made her way to the small kitchen. It was breakfast for both of them. The dog sat patiently until his bowl was filled and when he’d begun eating Robin saw to her own, pulling a nutrition shake out of the fridge. She usually only sat down and had a formal breakfast when she had company or when she stayed over with her father. As it was the shake would suffice until lunch.
She headed to the bathroom then, raising the dimmer switch slowly so she didn’t half blind herself. Setting her breakfast on the counter she turned on the water, lathering up a bar of soap and washing her face, the cool water helping to drive the lingering sleepiness from her. She wasn’t the sort to linger when getting ready and took up a towel to pat her face dry, catching her own reflection in the mirror. She didn’t like to think of herself as vain, never spent hours in front of the glass, but a mood came into her and she stopped and began to study her face in the mirror.
Robin had never been ashamed of the way she looked, even during her teenage years when she’d been more gangly than anything, a sharp contrast from the toned muscle she sported now. She’d never really fallen into trends. Her mother had always encouraged her and showed her how to be comfortable in herself and not to have to feel like she needed fancy things to give her life value. It might have helped she’d spent most of her young life on various ranches and farms on a quiet little backwater world. It was hard to get too caught up in yourself when you were covered in dust or mud or helping a mare birth in the middle of the night.
She ran her fingers over her cheeks, wishing she saw more of her mother in her face. There were hints, her nose, the curve of her lips, even her slightly high forehead. Her mother had always been the most beautiful woman in her eyes and though she’d feared time would fade the memories of her they remained as vivid as ever as the years went on. Memories surfaced unbidden and she gently fingered the ring her mother had left her.
The scent of rain and a distant rumble of thunder, curling in close to her mother’s softness as they rocked gently back and forth on the porch to watch the storm roll away into the distance.
The hot, dry, dust-choked air thickening with every hoof beat. Her mother’s voice in the distance as she ordered the dogs. She couldn’t see her in the swirling haze but felt safe knowing she was near.
Bedtimes, bruises, sweet smells in the kitchen, laughter.
She remembered the last days too and even now, after all these years, she had to swallow down a lump in her throat. She was happy and loved and though she still missed her it gave her solace to know her mother’s last wish had been fulfilled. It filled her with joy to see her mother’s smile echoed in her own.
Her mother had raised her alone through most of her young life which made it interesting that most of her looks came from her father. He’d found her late, after her mother’s passing, but she loved him no less and their bond had grown strong in the years since she’d come to live with him. Things weren’t always perfect but no relationship ever was. Her jaw and cheekbones were his, lending strong definition to her face. Some might have called her features somewhat masculine but it had never bothered her.
Her father’s influence was perhaps more noticeable because of the other features he’d passed to her. Her eyes were the same blue as his, her hair the same sleek black, and if there was a slight point to the ends of her ears first meeting her father had answered where they’d come from.
It had been less than a day since she’d last seen her father. She didn’t need photographs and memories to recall him, though she cherished both, and while she took up a brush to work through her long black hair her eyes trailed the lines of her face as she thought of him.
A gentle kiss to her forehead as her father tucked her in, softly bidding his ‘Sunshine’ good night. Drifting away at ease knowing he was near, watching the stars out her window.
Her aching body, drenched in sweat after the final combat test, heartbeat in her ears. The pride in her father’s eyes at her triumph, the strength of his arms as he hugged her, filling her with happiness.
Conversations, training, fine meals shared planet-side, joy.
There were darker days too, perhaps more than most lives might hold. Her father had been alone for a long time but she’d embraced all of him and never turned away on the bad days. He could appear hard as a rock to those who didn’t know him but to her he’d always be ‘Daddy’.
She didn’t realize she’d stopped brushing her hair until her reflection in the glass suddenly went blurry. Blinking helped diffuse some of the tears and she laid the brush down as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Robin wasn’t the weepy sort but thinking about both her parents filled her with a potent mix of emotions, from joy, to love, to some sorrow, and everything in between.
She felt lucky to have had two such wonderful people in her life, who’d shaped who she was far more deeply than her outward features. Despite the few tears she laughed, a true sense of joy and warmth moving through her.
She smiled, and her reflection smiled back.