Been meaning to write this up for ages, but my sister and I just never got around to it. We finally started on it a few weeks ago, but it was further delayed by writer's blocks, other posts, and just playing the game instead of writing. But it's finally finished!
This is a collaboration between myself and my sister, with my druid and her pally who have been "together" for a few months now. Alanon had asked her to come see his home in Ashenvale ages ago, but they've been kept busy. With the lull before the Horde and Alliance hit Icecrown, they finally found time to slip off. Enjoy!
(Also- PG warning >.>)
Alanon met Arien in Darnassus, and together they flew down to Astranaar. They rode down to the house from there, talking some but mostly just enjoying the other's company. They arrived and stabled their mounts, then Alanon led her inside. "I'll start supper," he said. "Feel free to look around. I'll give you the full tour later." He grinned at her, and she returned it before heading into the main room. She perused the books on the shelves, then turned to the various knick-knacks.
Arien's attention was drawn to a small portrait on the side table. Picking it up, she studied it. It showed two Night elf females, both in Sentinel armor. The older one looked sober and reserved, but the younger's expression was cheerful, mischievous even. Arien peered closer. The younger one actually bore a strong resemblance to...
Alanon cleared his throat next to her. She hadn't even heard him come up. "I see you found them already," he said, laying a steadying hand on her shoulder as she jumped. "Sorry," he added, chuckling, and she smiled at him briefly before returning to the portrait. "Who are they?" she asked him.
He didn't answer for a long time, until she finally looked at him. He was staring at the picture, his expression a mixture of affection and sadness. "The older is Jaryla," he said at last. "She was my best friend; we grew up together. We were... together, off and on ever since, but never got serious; neither of us wanted anything more. The other..." He trailed off, then gently took the picture from her, studying it intently. "The other is Indria," he finished. "My daughter." He handed it back.
Arien blinked as she took it. "Daughter? B-but you never mentioned having any kids." He smiled faintly. "You never asked." Arien opened her mouth, then closed it, conceding the point. She looked at the picture again, then carefully set it back on the table. "Where are they now?" she asked as she followed him to the couch and sat. He paused before sitting down beside her. "What do you know of the battle for Hyjal? At the end of the Third War." Arien thought hard for a few seconds. "Um, not much, I'm afraid. The Cathedral mostly just taught us more recent things, and all of it centered around the Church's viewpoint. I believe a lot of records and things from Hyjal were lost, soon after the battle. At least, the humans' copies were." "I was there," he told her. She looked up at him, eyes going wide. "So were the others. Quae and I worked with the healers, Pitch, Jahira and Kel were scouts." He paused and sniffed the air. "One second, need to rescue our supper."
Once they had their food and were settled back on the couch, Alanon picked up his tale. "The Burning Legion was making for Mount Hyjal, the site of Nordrassil, the World Tree. And the Well of Eternity." Arien blinked. "But they didn't reach it, obviously." "No, we fought them off," he said. "It was quite a sight. The Night Elves together with the human's Alliance, and the orcs of the Horde. You should have seen it." He paused. "Jaryla thought the alliance wouldn't last more than a week after the battle. Turned out she was right, though-" He stopped himself, shaking his head. "I'm getting ahead of myself. We got there in time to set up base at the foot of the Tree, then the demons were on us." His face darkened. "They brought Scourge with them too."
"We fought them off while Malfurion Stormrage attempted to summon the wisps. Their leader, Archimonde, did manage to reach Nordrassil and attempted to take its power for his own, but Malfurion blew the Horn of Cenarius before he did, and the wisps destroyed him." Arien just listened as he spoke, eyes wide. When he finished, she quickly asked, "But what about Ja-.. Jaryla and your daughter?" He looked off into space for a minute before he answered. "They were part of a scout squad defending our eastern flank, keeping watch for any surprise attacks. While they were on patrol, a massive group of the Legion came upon them, in the exact maneuver that they were trying to prevent. There were too many demons, however, and the whole squad was lost." Arien simply looked at him for a moment, then reached for his hand. "I'm sorry," she said softly. He shrugged slightly. "When you live as long as we do, you learn to live with loss. It hurt for a while, a long while actually, but it's passed." She just sat still after that, looking sadly thoughtful, gently stroking the back of his hand with her thumb. Alanon suddenly stood, pulling her up with him. "I didn't ask you to come here just to listen to old, sad stories," he said. "How about that tour?" He released her hand to pick up their empty plates, holding them up with a grin. "Starting with the kitchen?"
Arien helped him clean up their supper dishes, then he showed her around outside first, while there was still some light. He showed her the herb beds, then pointed out Pitch's favorite den, under a massive tree root nearby. It quickly grew too dark to see, and they returned inside where he continued the tour. He waited patiently while she examined Quae's bookshelves, then finally led her upstairs. "It's not much," he told her as she looked around. "But it's a place to sleep, and there's usually not many of us here anyway. With Quae and Barraccus gone and Pitch in Northrend, it's been empty for a while now."
Arien looked around the large, open upper floor. There were four beds spread along three walls, interspersed with small bedside tables and a pair of dressers. The fourth wall was a balcony left open to the outside, allowing the cool night breeze to blow in. Alanon cleared his throat, and she turned to look at him. "I, uh, probably should have said something before now," he said, looking a bit... embarrassed? "But, I was hoping you would spend the night here tonight." She blinked at him- was he asking what she thought he was?- then felt herself blush slightly as she realized that yes, he was. Alanon took her hand. "Arien, I love you," he told her softly. "I've been in love with you for weeks now. And while I would like to go further than where we are now, nothing is going to happen tonight if you don't want it to." He squeezed her hand gently.
She just looked at him for a minute or two, blushing faintly, indecision warring on her face. Then she took a deep breath, offering a small smile, and stepped closer. Reaching up with her free hand, she pulled his head down and kissed him soundly. Their arms went around each other, and she didn't protest when he lifted her up and moved toward the nearest bed.
* * * * *
Alanon woke shivering in the pale pre-dawn light. It took him a moment to remember why he was lying in bed at home, with no covers and a very warm body pressed close against him. He looked down at his side and stifled a chuckle. Arien was cuddled up at his side, her head on his chest, and was also half-uncovered; the blankets were twisted around and trapped underneath her. He tried pulling them loose, to no avail, then he looked at her again and forgot what he was doing. She looked so beautiful in the faint gray light. Helpless too, but he knew that wasn't true. He reached over and gently brushed some stray hair off her forehead, then suddenly frowned as she shivered. The winter morning was cold, and a chilly breeze was blowing in from the balcony. He gave the blankets one more tug, then gave up. Gently easing away from her, he got enough distance to change without waking her, though she reached for him with an unhappy sound when he moved away. He quickly turned cat, then lay back down, curling up around her. She snuggled in close again, her fingers burrowing into his thick coat, and gave a contented sigh. Smiling to himself, Alanon went back to sleep.
Collaborating with this was fun. Hopefully we'll get to do some more with these guys soon. And it seems there's quite a bit of romance going around; to see what I mean, check here. >.>