Baby’s First Betrayal
Summary: Glimmer and Bow's daughter says her first word...and Glimmer isn't exactly thrilled to learn what it is.
Read on AO3: Baby’s First Betrayal
A giggle alerted Glimmer to the incoming collision, just seconds before her now one year old daughter smacked into her leg, a little too quickly for the young woman to keep it from happening.
Michelle had adapted pretty quickly to walking; in fact, she was pretty much running at this point, and her first birthday had been only about a month ago. The only thing she was still trying to figure out what turning…and stopping, without having to literally crash into something. Thankfully, the collision didn’t seem to bother the little girl too much; she just grabbed onto her mother’s shirt and let out a delighted shriek.
Glimmer could help but wince a little at the volume, as well as the pitch. She swore that Michelle only got louder as she got older, though at least she didn’t cry much.
“Did you need something?” Glimmer asked as she picked up the toddler. “Or are you just trying to cause as much chaos as you can before it’s time for your nap?”
It was actually more like Glimmer’s nap time, considering Michelle barely seemed to sleep at night, much less whenever she or Bow tried to put her down for a nap each day. Despite that, she was almost always full of energy – way too much if one were to ask the commander, which was exactly why she still put her down for a nap each day. Even if Michelle probably wouldn’t sleep much, if at all, during that time, just the fact that she’d be in her crib and unable to get into any trouble meant that Glimmer could take a short rest for herself.
Maybe she’d ask Bow to join her; he probably wouldn’t be as tired as she felt, but she didn’t think he’d be against the idea of cuddling with her while they took a short nap together.
“Dadadadada” Michelle babbled excitedly, in apparently response to the early inquiry.
Glimmer smiled at the sounds coming from her daughter’s mouth. She knew better than to mistake the babbling for actual words – the healers had told both her and Bow that babies often made sounds that sounded a bit like words, but until they knew for sure that their daughter was intentionally referring to something (or someone), it was more likely than not just her making noises.
Still, Glimmer couldn’t help but be excited for Michelle’s first actual word; now that she was a year old, it probably wasn’t going to be long. In fact, she was probably so close to it already, Glimmer didn’t see any harm in giving her a little encouragement.
“Hey, Michelle, look over here. Look at Mommy,” she instructed, smiling as her daughter turned to face her. “Can you say ‘Mommy’?”
Michelle just stared at her, furrowing her brows slightly, as though trying to figure out what her mother wanted her to do.
“C’mon, you’re such a big girl and you’re so smart – I know you can do it,” Glimmer tried to encourage the toddler. She gave her a gentle bounce, as though that would help get her to speak.
After a few seconds Michelle pressed her lips together and started to make a sort of humming sound.
There was a moment where Glimmer genuinely thought maybe she was actually going to do it…and then Michelle just stuck out her tongue and let out another shriek of laughter. Glimmer sighed, though she couldn’t help but smile.
“You’re lucky you’re so cute,” she said, pressing her lips to one of her daughter’s cheeks in a kiss. That got more happy babbles from the toddler, for which she was granted another kiss, in the same spot.
As she placed Michelle back on the ground, she gave her dark hair an affectionate ruffle, unable to keep herself from smiling as she took notice of the faint sparkles that had started to appear within the locks.
“Okay, go and play for a little while. Just…try not to make too much of a mess,” she said, smiling as the little girl gave a small laugh, as though in response.
Michelle toddled off, heading over to one of the various toys that were strewn about the room for her to keep herself busy while her mother went back to looking over the potential battle strategies they could use in the future.
Glimmer heard the door open, but didn’t look to see who it was. Most of the guards knocked before entering any of the private chambers of the castle, meaning there was a pretty short list of people who it could have been, considering she never heard a knock. It wasn’t until the person spoke that she felt the need to even look up from the figures she was working with.
“Hey, Pancake, you having fun spending time with Mommy?”
Glimmer could help but smile at hearing Bow talk to their daughter, and while she knew she needed to figure out these strategies before they inevitably had to deal with the Horde again, she figured it wouldn’t do any harm to take a short break to spend time with her two favorite people.
She placed the figures back into the case that Bow had made for them, sliding that back into the drawer it came from, before getting up from her chair and walking over to where her husband was sitting with their daughter.
At first, Michelle seemed too busy with her stuffed duck and Bow appeared too focused on the little girl to notice that they were no longer alone.
However, that didn’t last long, as within seconds, Bow had taken notice of Glimmer walking up beside him, without her needing to say anything, or even making much noise at all other than the muted sound of her boots on the carpet.
“Any luck coming up with new plans?” Bow questioned as Glimmer took a seat on the floor besides him.
Glimmer honestly wanted to curse at the reminder of how badly her planning was going…but knowing how the universe seemed to work, that would probably result in Michelle’s first word being something they probably didn’t want her to repeat. Instead, she just allowed a small groan/sigh to escape from her lips.
“Let’s just say, it’s not going great,” the commander admitted, somewhat reluctantly. She did have to smile a little when Bow rubbed her arm in a gesture that was both comforting and reassuring; and the smile only grew as Michelle climbed onto her lap, holding up her toy with an enthusiastic squeal before settling down a little.
“Don’t worry about it too much, okay?” Bow said, moving his hand from her arm to rest on her knee. “We can figure out something together, and even if we don’t have all the details figured out…we’ve gotten by on winging it before, haven’t we?”
As he said the word “winging”, their daughter giggled, and Glimmer felt the toddler’s tiny wings beating softly against her as she fluttered them in response to what her father had said.
“I don’t think Daddy meant those kinds of wings, Michelle, sorry,” Glimmer said with an amused smile, affectionately ruffling the baby’s fluffy dark hair.
Michelle titled her head up, stuck out her tongue, and blew a raspberry at Glimmer, who couldn’t help but cringe a little; even though she was used to this by now – this seemed to have become one of Michelle’s new favorite “games” over the past week.
After she was done, Michelle seemed to get bored with her parents, and decided that her stuffed duck was much more worthy of her attention.
“You know, I wonder where she learned that from?”
Glimmer looked over at Bow, her eyebrow quirked slightly in a silent question. Thankfully, the archer was quick to clarify what he meant.
“Her blowing raspberries – who taught her how to do that? I never did that in front of her, and I don’t think you have either, so who taught her how to do it?” he asked.
That was honestly a good question. However, it wasn’t exactly a hard one to answer, considering if neither her nor Bow had taught Michelle that particular “game”, there were only really a very small handful of options….and all but one of them were pretty unlikely to be the culprit.
“Unless my mom acts way different when she’s alone with Michelle, pretty sure we can blame Catra for this,” she replied, her tone slightly deadpan even though she couldn’t help but grin, just a bit.
Bow smiled a little, and opened up his mouth to respond. However, before he actually said anything, he was interrupted….by Michelle.
She hadn’t said it very loud, but both her parents had been waiting to hear her say her first word…even if that wasn’t exactly what either of them was expecting.
The initial shock wore off soon enough for Glimmer, as she looked down at her daughter, who was once again playing with her toy. Michelle made a small noise when her mother suddenly picked her up, turning her around so that their eyes could meet.
“So…I carry you in my belly for months, give birth and take care of you, and get you all those fun toys for your birthday….and I don’t even get to be your first word?” The way Glimmer spoke was soft, playful – she didn’t want to try and make Michelle feel bad, after all; even if she couldn’t deny that she was a little jealous, she was still very excited, and more importantly, proud, that her daughter had said her first word.
For a second, Michelle was quiet, staring at her mother with an almost questioning look. It was like she was trying to figure out what was being said to her, or how she was supposed to respond.
She suddenly grinned, moving forward to give Glimmer a somewhat messy kiss on the cheek. The display of affection made Glimmer smile, and she was quick to return the gesture.
“Okay, I guess I can forgive you,” she said, settling the toddler on her lap again. “Besides, it’s probably Daddy’s fault you said that, anyway.”
Bow looked up at her when she said that, a look of genuine surprise on his face. “Why me?” he asked, almost sounding like he wasn’t completely sure if he was actually supposed to feel hurt by the accusation or not.
Michelle also let out a small, almost confused-sounding sound, looking over at her father and then back to her mother.
Glimmer gave a little shrug in response. “You’re always saying how cute Catra’s ears and her sneezes are – if anyone’s going to get Michelle to talk about Catra, it’s going to be you.”
The archer seemed ready to offer some form of argument, only to quickly give a defeated smile instead.
“Okay,” he admitted with the smile still on his face. “You do kinda have a point there. But, you know I didn’t teach her to say that on purpose, so you can’t really be upset at me, right?”
A moment of quiet passed between them – well, relative quiet, as Michelle made occasional babbling comments to herself, or to her duck, in the meantime – before Glimmer suddenly looked down at the little girl.
“What do you think, Michelle? Should we forgive Daddy?” she asked in a playful tone of voice. Michelle stared up at her mother for a moment, and then turned her head to look at her father, almost seeming to actually consider the question.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for her to apparently come to a decision. Babbling excitedly, she reached out her arms to Bow, a gesture that both the commander and the archer knew was a request to be held; a request Bow was happy to fulfill, carefully taking her off his wife’s lap and onto his arms.
Michelle’s excitement only increased as Bow proceeded to kiss her forehead, and then gently press the tip of her nose to his.
It didn’t take long until she was giggling so much that she started getting the hiccups. They didn’t seem to bother her, thankfully, so it just resulted in her giggles occasionally being interrupted by a hiccup, until both eventually subsided.
“I’m going to take that as a yes,” Glimmer said with a smile, reaching over to stroke Michelle’s hair affectionately, before moving a little closer to snuggle up with Bow. As he settled their daughter down on his lap, the princess reached up slightly to cup one of his cheeks, turning his head gently so that she could give him a kiss on the lips. She pulled away when Michelle started blowing raspberries again, gently tapping the little girl’s nose.
“You know, you wouldn’t even be here right now if Mommy and Daddy didn’t kiss,” Glimmer told her, unable to keep herself from laughing a little as Bow suddenly raised an eyebrow in a silent warning that she probably should watch what she was about to say.
Despite the look he was giving her, Bow was soon laughing as well, and then the three of them were sitting together once more; Glimmer and Bow snuggling up close together, her resting her head upon his shoulder, while their daughter sat in her father’s lap, playing with her toy and occasionally making babbled comments to one or both of her parents.
Bow and Glimmer knew they would have to leave eventually, and attend to their various duties for the Rebellion, but for now, they were content to just enjoy these (relatively) quiet moments.
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Glimmer manipulated Scorpia into using the Heart so ehh no
Oh this is interesting, because I had thought about that too, it's part of why I wrote, "Part of that’s because I remembered Scorpia and Glimmer seemed to *mostly nicely bond toward the end of season 4," but I just felt like giving a short answer and not going more in-depth.
I would have to rewatch the scenes, but it came across to me as more complicated--Glimmer manipulated Scorpia to use the Heart, but it still seemed like there was a shred of Glimmer genuinely being civil with Scorpia too, and it made me kinda think of the trope of how manipulation can work via using a grain of truth.
Also, more complications in this: it feels like S4 was the first time Glimmer starts really using manipulation, but there's no pattern developed yet; and then after manipulations and such backfires in her face and Glimmer realizes she too was manipulated by Light Hope (and likely really had that realization about Shadow Weaver too), Glimmer is faced with a certain choice still, and she chooses to realize she screwed up and try to fix things, try to stop the Heart, and I feel like that includes the suggestion that Glimmer realizes she probably shouldn't have manipulated Scorpia like that.
But also another complication: overall, by the time Glimmer uses Scorpia, Scorpia's defection to their side hasn't been very long, Glimmer's likely still more used to Scorpia as an enemy and may think it's not that wrong to manipulate an enemy or someone who was an enemy just hours ago. (Though this also touches on contradicting the pushed Alliance narrative that they're the "good guys" and "morally superior," but that's like another post there too.)
Tl;dr I feel like Glimmer and Scorpia's brief scenes together are more complicated and messy with the potential for maybe actual friendship later, or not at all. Could Glimmer and Scorpia have become real friends after that? No canonical idea, because canon S5 just pushes so much aside in favor of whatever the f*k they wanted for C*tra. It is wild that Glimmer and Scorpia never have to deal with any aftermath over their short partnership being the final thing to trigger the Heart of Etheria in the S4 finale, because Glimmer's just captured right after that, Scorpia is also captured, and the next time there's a possibility they're in the same area to interact, the show's over. :/
And I feel like I should bring it up because I feel like the comparison can be made/some might be thinking it: "Glimmer manipulating Scorpia is no better than C*tra"--ehhh. Actually kinda have gotten into this already in the part above, just didn't draw the direct comparison to C*tra though I was thinking it.
Approach to manipulation?
Glimmer: Pretty much just starts doing it in S4.
C*tra: Has shown a consistent pattern of doing it throughout the entire series.
Approach to triggering world annihilation?
Glimmer: She was manipulated into doing it. Once she realizes what her actions have actually helped caused, immediately tries to fix her mistake/stop world annihilation/save the world.
C*tra: Was not manipulated into doing it. Tried manipulating Hordak into doing it, but then just does it herself. When impending world annihilation becomes apparent, has chance to try to help undo the damage and impending total destruction, instead doubles down and does nothing and claims she's still fine with the world being destroyed because she "can't let Adora win/be right again."
Glimmer's actions/behavior still less than C*tra's. Glimmer and Scorpia have a more believable chance at connecting in some sort of relationship more than C*tra and Scorpia, at least when not under the constraints of canon S5 mostly derailing and ignoring exploration of how characters would actually feel about things.
...Oh that got long and spiraled into a longer ramble on more things. And tbh I'm still only mildly interested in the possibility of shipping Glimmer and Scorpia (specifically in terms of poly ship with Adora). And weirdly I still--like, think the characters just discussed aren't even really my favorites per se (especially not C*tra), but still something about them makes me care enough to focus on some instances where it seems like they're not being fully examined/the writing inconsistencies/fumbles they were saddled with in canon S5.
Like, for instance, tbh still have some mixed feelings on canon Glimmer (that started way back in S1...though I've had mixed feelings on the whole show since S1 tbh), but do feel a little touchy on how it seemed like she started getting unfair treatment later in the series and in parts of fandom.
...Like, it's really wild that Bow gives Glimmer more sh*t about her part in triggering the Heart of Etheria and at first it seems fair, but then he doesn't give the same treatment to C*tra when she triggered the Portal and it caused the loss of Angella (and probably played a role in Glimmer's downward spiral and putting her in a better position to be manipulated by Light Hope). It's just freakin' "aww cute sneezes" with him over C*tra jfc.
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