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2nd of Uktar - Third Watch - Dagadar

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2nd of Uktar - Third Watch - Dagadar

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:42 am

Elric couldn't help thinking about what he had overheard. He hadn't "Tried" to overhear anything... but when someone keeps mentioning your name, its hard to ignore. Still he for proprieties sake, he did try to block out what he could.

Still there was something going on. Ashara was very quiet this night. Taking a quick "Pixie check" with his gem, and seeing her resting comfortably on Kaber... Hopefully asleep, Elric broke the silence.

"Ashara? Can we talk about what happened at the entrance?"

--------------------------------------
 
Ashara leaned back against the stone wall, shifting her position every few minutes, so as not to start nodding off. Normally third watch passed by quickly for her, while she and Elric recalled stories from the road that now seemed so long past. Even the silences they shared had been comfortable ones, but not this night... Tonight the silence seemed deafening.

Consumed with her own thoughts, she jolted a bit when Elric addressed her.
"The entrance...," she hesitated wondering if it was too late to play the fool, "yes, I suppose that discussion is a bit overdue..."
Why did her hands feel clammy?

---------------------------------------

Elric took a deep breath. "I know you wanted to talk after we got out, but I'm sorry. I'm having trouble keeping my mind on the task at hand. We're on our way to fight a dwarf-god... and all I can think about is that quick kiss at the entrance!"

The half elf shifted nervously. "That wasn't just... some kind of... I don't know. End of the World kiss thing was it? I mean I understand if it was..." Getting a distressed look on his face and muttering in pixie "<gahh, I sound like an idiot!>
 
------------------------------------------

The priestess blinked at Elric in bewilderment. It was a rare thing indeed that he tripped over his own words.

"No, Elric, I'm afraid that was just my bad timing... I should have done that a long, long time ago. I didn't do a very good job of explaining myself either I realize."
The powerful man squirmed uncomfortably, and Ashara felt ashamed again for laying this burden on him.

"We've been friends since we were children, Elric, we are friends now, and will always be... But since Waterdeep..." She absentmindedly began twirling a braid between her fingers.

-----------------------------------------------

'No, I should have done that a long, long time ago.' the words echoed in his ears. Elric lost focus for a moment. How long? what was happening? Elric cursed his own ignorance of the idea of 'relationships', he simply had no real point of reference. Same with Women in general.

"Waterdeep?" Elric snapped back to the present, "You mean when Lathander brought you back to us?"

-----------------------------------------------

Ashara bit her lip hard, drawing blood.
Trust him...just trust him...
"Elric," her hazel eyes held his firmly, so there would be no mistaking what she meant.
"I love you."
"Since the day I woke up in Waterdeep, when you were attacked by assasins and returned to the inn broken and bleeding...that moment when you came into the room and saw me standing there, it was then that I knew I never wanted to be without you again."
The flushed priestess leaned back against the stone again, finding comfort in the coolness of it.
"That's what I should have told you before we entered this place."

------------------------------------------------

The world stopped.

Words that he had suspected, hoped even... were actually spoken. He tried to remember when the last time he had heard them. Certainly not Syrlynna. Nor even Eldorath. His old teacher treated him like a son, but not in any "formal" manner. The emotion was conveyed with the phrase "I'm Proud of you." but it wasn't the same. He hadn't heard that phrase since his true fathers bedside, all those years ago.

He knew he had feelings for her, but he had never put words to them before. Hadn't found one that fit. Not in Common, Elven, or Pixie.

Elric looked at his oldest, truest friend as she bared her heart. He thought back to when he first met her. Not so much the child that he barely remembered playing with in a half remembered dream, but the beautiful woman who met him when he returned.

He remembered the little pangs of Jelousy when Aretis had made his advances toward her. He remembered how glad he was Kaber refused to be healed... and the morning hugs had become ritual. And he remembered the bone chilling fear when he read the journal and Aretis' note that he would "take care" of the problem.

He remembered the need to save her. Wouldn't he have done that for any of the others though? Isn't that what friends do?

No. he admitted to himself. It was different. It was Ashara. If it had been the others he would have worked with the group. They would have tried to save the others, but if it came to the worst.... Most importantly they would have warned others. Warned them that a hero was now dangerous. He remembered the vicious arguments with Eddick and Therogeon.

It had never crossed his mind that Ashara would not return to them. He refused to let either her body or reputation be harmed. He knew he wouldn't let others look at her 'that way'. he had lived with scorn and knew he would have moved mountains to protect her from that. She would have enough guilt to work through when (not IF) she came back, and he would be there to help. He couldn't imagine an alternative.

As he sat there watching this woman, he realized he did have the words. They had been there for a very long time.

"I love you too, Ashara."

-----------------------------------------

Ashara always tried to prepare herself for the worst possible scenario. She figured if they waited to have their discussion until after Dagadar, she would have somewhere to run and hide for a time after the inevitable rejection No where to run down here. She figured though, that he would let her down easy. He was such a good friend, he would never hurt her if he could help it.

She had failed to plan for this scenario... The priestess hadn't even let herself think it a possibility, for fear of getting her hopes up. Elric was a half elf who had spent most of his life with beautiful, graceful elves who lived for centuries in their perfect worlds. They were magic...she was so very human, so very flawed. He had seen her at her darkest moments. None of her faults were hidden any longer. Not after spending so much time on the road, sleeping in the dirt and blood.

His simple declaration swept over her like the first rays of dawn during the Festival of Planting back home. Cleansing. Life-giving. Pure.

There were no words to say. With trembling fingers she reached over placing her hand gently on his and smiled softly. Since Champions of the Red Dawn had come into being, Ashara had healed this man hundreds of times. The feel of the magic flowing through her fingers, knitting bone and flesh was so familiar... This felt like a different kind of magic, and one that she was unfamiliar with. It felt...enduring, and somehow...right.

------------------------------------------

Gwilly was not asleep, despite all appearances. Rarely did she find the urge to sleep at night. Night time was her hour to play, to prank, to rule-unhampered by mortal's judgments.

But this night she had other reasons not to sleep. How could she when so many wonderful things were happening. The relationships of love and life were always of keen interest to her for, most often, they brought with them great joy and cause for celebration!

Over the past months, Gwilly had come to love and respect both Elric and Ashara (though she wasn't to sure about Ashara when she first woke up...) and to know that they might soon be married was a joyous thought.

She listened, quietly in the darkness as they both confessed their love for each other and she couldn't help but beam! It was the perfect moment! Now Elric would lean in for a tender kiss and Gwilly would light the fireworks. She could just see it all happening perfectly!

But wait! Something was wrong! Elric didn't seem to be moving in to kiss Ashara... How could that be possible? Didn't he know...?

Gwilly sighed a soft, but exasperated sigh. I guess he needs a little boot in the right direction, she thought to herself as she quietly rose from her perch. Taking pains to not let Ashara hear her so let her voice waft whispering through the darkness to Elric's ear. "<Kiss her NOW, you %@#$ idiot!>" she swore quietly, yet forcefully, in pixie

---------------------------------------------------

As Ashara's hand touched his he heard the tiny pixie voice. and his blood ran cold. Part of him wanted to grab for the gem, but he couldn't bear to break the contact with Ashara.

Swatting at thin air would also have ruined the moment. On many levels. Besides... She wasn't entirely wrong. It wasn't a "bad" idea... And Gwilly would ALWAYS be around...

Elric leaned in for the kiss.

-----------------------------------------------------

Just a little bit further... thought Gwilly as she smiled, safely out of swatting range, just in case. Now Ashara had to do her part... Hopefully she doesn't need help as well, Gwilly rolled her eyes. Mortal's can be so helpless sometimes!

---------------------------------------------------

There was only Elric. No cold, hard rock encasing them miles beneath the earth, no heavy chain chafing her shoulders, no snoring minotaur only feet away... If the party had been attacked now, it is likely they all would have perished.
When her lips brushed hesitantly against his, it felt as if she was standing in one of her own walls of fire. She decided to let herself burn.

------------------------------------------------------

YES! Finally!! Gwilly triumphed.

The air around the kissing couple illuminated in sparkling pink light as a shimmering heart "firework" framed them perfectly! The cavern ceiling changed to take on the appearance of a starlit night with a full moon setting and the tiniest bit of dawn creeping in on the east (as best Gwilly could figure). Beautiful flowers grew around the couple's feet while a good sized oak came into being behind them. Lighting bugs buzzed softly round their heads. Everything was perfect.

Gwilly knew the couple wouldn't see what she had done for a while (if ever!) so she filed the picturesque moment away for later. Someday she would show them, though she had a feeling that what they were "seeing" was far better than anything she could create. Her mother and father had shared much with their children about the pure joys of love, so Gwilly could well imagine what it was like. A silent tear rolled down her cheek. She missed her family. But she would see them soon.* And yet, as much as she missed those who were bonded to her through blood she knew she was coming to kind of care for those who were becoming her family in such short time...as annoying as some of them may be...

Gwilly let out a sigh as she watched the light of her fireworks fade into the night. Her illusion stayed as she flew back to her perch once more, content to spend the rest of the night in peace. She had a lot of work ahead of her, planning a wedding party and all! If only berries and grapes grew underground.


*"Soon" in Pixie speak could easy refer to several years
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Colin Marcus
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