I don't even know how to introduce this, so here. Here is my sappy, sentimental, silly, sometimes angsty, always fluffy collection of oneshots, wherein Rhen Darzon/Pendragon and Dameon Maurva fall in love. There will also be cats
I'm going to try to post everything in chronological order here, so updates will be slow because unfortunately I am not one of those people who can write in chronological order. But the most up-to-date version of this fic will be on fanfiction.net, because I can rearrange chapters over there (which was so nice once I figured out how to do it!)
One thing I can't do on ff.net, though, is include deleted scenes. Which I can totally do here, and I have some funny/cute ones, so I might share those here >.>
Before we start, I'd like to thank the Aveyond team for creating such beautiful characters who have taught me so much.
Aaaannd before I become too dramatic, here we go!!
EDIT: So Queen_of_ice101 had to go and inspire me to write another piece with her adorable artwork, and this new piece is set before the original first one, "A Matter of Preference." But it's a short piece, so I'll just paste it in here and there'll be two chapters on the first post. That's fine, right? Am I breaking some forgotten rule here? But anyway, here it is:
Set when Rhen is bringing Rashnu to the Sun Shrine. Dameon is waiting to meet her and then join her, having recently received his orders from Ahriman. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN okay I will stop being dramatic now.
He was going to hate her. He knew, because his mother liked her so much. And he would never trust her— he had learned his lesson about trust. But she was going to trust him. He knew his place, and his part, and he would do what was required.
He was prepared to swallow his irritation, his dislike, his discomfort— all of it. He would be charismatic, like his father. He would force a smile. He would say nothing wrong.
She would be pompous, he knew. She would be full of being the chosen one, and he would have to take her down, carefully, slowly, so she wouldn't notice, so she would only gradually realize how impossible it would be to defeat Ahriman, how hopeless it was to even try.
She would be puffed up with her own supposed importance, and he would have to show her what was really important— justice to traitors, traitors like his mother; and revenge for the wronged— surely even she, even the chosen one, had been hurt by someone, surely such a promise would appeal even to her.
So he was prepared entirely to meet her, and as he watched her lead her companions up the temple steps, her braid swaying behind her, he knew he had been right about everything. Nothing she could do would surprise him, nothing would make him hesitate or doubt, nothing, nothing, would fool him into trusting her.
Nothing, except the way she tripped right over the last step, and her arms flailed about wildly and her eyes caught his and he realized that she was going to fall, if he didn't move his arms right— now—
He caught her shoulders, and he was already much, much closer than he'd ever intended to be and he hadn't even introduced himself yet.
"Hello there," she said, which he never would have predicted even though now it seemed terribly obvious. She found her balance, and stood up straight again, and he pulled his hands back to his sides and tried to look polite, but he was sure he mostly looked bewildered. And she seemed to be trying to look serious but her nose was pink and her voice squeaked a little when she said, "I don't think we've met. Are you one of the druids?"
He had prepared for this. He had an answer, which he was supposed to give, and it was supposed to be cordial, and charming, and he had no idea what it was— her eyes were purple, but that had nothing to do with it.
"Rhen, this is my son Dameon, the Sun Priest."
His mother's voice irked him, and he was sure he sounded stiff and cold when he said to the chosen one, "M'lady, pleased to meet you." He took her hand to make up for it, and he wasn't sure if he was trying to be formal or friendly but it was too late, he had kissed her fingers, and they were very calloused, and she was turning a very charming shade of pink.
And either he had been a fool before, or he was a fool now, but he thought it would be ridiculous to try to strip away her pretensions, because she had none. And he never could have prepared for it, but somehow now he was smiling at her, and he knew, already, that this wouldn't be the last time she confounded him.
A Matter of Preference
This next short happens shortly (hahahaha) after Dameon joins Rhen's party. They are returning to Ghed'ahre to recruit Te'ijal into their group, having obtained sunscreen, but before they get there it starts to get dark and they have to camp in the Wildwoods.
"This looks like a good place to camp," the sword singer said, motioning at a flat space slightly sheltered by a few tall pine trees.
The green-haired one wrinkled his nose. "It looks lumpy."
Rhen rolled her eyes and explained to Dameon, "Lars always thinks that." Dameon nodded understandingly and privately thought that the sorcerer's antics were likely to become annoying very quickly.
The sword singer turned to their other companion. "Elini, why don't we--"
"I am not gathering firewood again!" The Veldtonian woman declared. "I get splinters and they make it difficult to do my summonings. I will set up the sleeping mats. You two can get the wood."
"Er... Okay," the chosen one said. Dameon noticed that a blush had bloomed across her face, stretching over her nose and touching the edges of each ear. It was very charming and he couldn't help smiling at her. She didn't notice because she was stubbornly looking at the ground.
"I'll light the fire once you're done," Lars volunteered, apparently feeling he was making a great sacrifice in doing so. Dameon rolled his eyes, but said in what he meant to be a polite tone, "Of course."
"We'll have to go deeper into the trees," Rhen was saying to him, already walking that way herself.
"I have camped before, you know," he said as he followed her into the woods, a little peeved at her apparent lack of faith in his abilities to do anything. Earlier she had cut down a crow that was coming his way, and at lunch she had ripped off his piece of bread for him.
She turned back to face him and suddenly all he could see were wide, sad violet eyes which were staring straight through him. He dropped his gaze, feeling ashamed for he didn't know what, and mumbled in a flustered sort of way, "Sorry, m'lady."
"I... am sorry, too," she said. "I guess I'm just used to having to take care of everyone."
Her nose was pink again and it was so adorable that he forgot to be uncomfortable. "No more, sword singer," he assured her. "I will pull my own weight." To prove it, he picked up a stick. "See, I am contributing already."
She smiled, just slightly, and Dameon realized the strangest thing. He had just made a joke. Albeit not a good one, but he hadn't even heard a joke since... since his father… since that day. He wasn't sure how to feel, but he was sure he shouldn't feel lightheaded and nervous. What was happening to him?
They didn't speak much after that, except to point out bunches of sticks to each other. Once he moved a particularly low-hanging branch out of her way, and her shoulder brushed his hand as she passed. He felt his ears get hot and he silently thanked the darkness of the forest.
He had fully intended to hate her. But she was so sincere, so entirely herself. She spoke as she thought and was so open that instead of disliking her he found that he was rapidly opening up to her. It was at once exciting and frightening.
When they had both filled their arms with sticks of varying sizes, they returned to the campground. Lars started the fire and Rhen passed out hunks of meat. Everyone reached for a thin stick to roast their dinner on, and Dameon did likewise. Nobody spoke.
Everyone's meat was soon sizzling over the flames. The smoke rose straight up into the sky--the slight breeze wasn't enough to drive it into anyone's face. And over the smoke, the sky was clear and starry.
"The weather is nice," Dameon observed conversationally, then quietly cursed himself for making such a dull comment.
"Mmgdh," Elini said, but she wasn't responding to him. She was trying to bite off a piece of practically raw meat. Dameon was shocked and a little disgusted, but he quickly turned back to the fire.
"Elini likes her meat rare," Rhen explained.
"Mmpft" Elini said, having successfully taken a bite.
"I also prefer my meat rare. Anything more done is dog food," Lars said haughtily. Then, his meat caught on fire.
"Arrgh!" he squealed, beating his now blackened meat against the ground beside him until sparks stopped flying from it. "Blasted flames! Every time..."
Dameon smiled slightly, amused, then turned to Rhen. "And how do you like your meat?"
"Er," she looked at the ground, "Medium. But I can never get it right."
"I, er, never really learned..." she trailed off.
Dameon stared at her, but instead of seeing her he saw a lock of purple hair from a slave dealer, purple, not red, and he thought of her thin form curled in the dirty lower decks of a slave ship, or bent beneath a heavy burden, or flinching under-- under--
"I am... sorry, sword singer."
She smiled thinly. "That's all right. I'm sure I'll get it eventually."
He couldn't tell her what he had meant. Instead, he reached for her stick. "Let me try."
"O-kay," she said, looking surprised but letting him take it. "Er, where did you learn to cook?"
"I--" he swallowed, and said carefully, "lived alone, for some time." He turned her stick and moved it farther from the fire.
"Oh," she said, and looked down, apparently embarrassed.
"Couldn't you just eat in Teacup Town?" Lars said with a roll of his eyes.
Dameon narrowed his eyes at him, unsure how to respond. "They're cats..."
Lars shrugged. "So?"
"They eat cat food."
Suddenly Lars smiled viciously. "It sounds perfect for Peta then."
Dameon was confused. Did they have a dog? He hadn't seen one.
"Don't call me that," Rhen growled, and Dameon realized what was going on. He frowned at the sorcerer, but Lars hardly noticed and continued to smirk.
"Ahh," Elini sighed contentedly, apparently having finished her meat. "That's it for me, sword singer... Sun priest... sorcerer..." She inclined her head at each in turn. "I will retire now. Goodnight, northerners."
"Goodnight Elini," Rhen said.
"I'm going to bed too," Lars said, tossing the rest of his burnt meat into the flames. "Don't forget to put out the fire."
Rhen sighed. "We won't."
Then it was just the two of them by the fire. He should say something. He should try to bring up the finer points of Ahriman's plan, slowly reveal the truth to her. His mouth was open but nothing was coming out. What was wrong with him? Her eyes were so purple, violently purple, like storm clouds whirling through a night sky, sometimes pouring down destruction, otherwise softly calling to the tiny growing things beneath the soil. He felt he couldn't look at them for too long or he would be swallowed up, lost, destroyed--yet he couldn't look away.
He wanted to say something witty and charming. He wanted her to blush again. Blushing suited her, made her silly little nose look more adorable, made her eyes stand out twice as much--
He realized then that she was blushing, though he hadn't said anything at all.
"What are you looking at?" she asked, self-consciously moving a piece of hair out of her face.
Embarrassed, he quickly looked away, then cleared his throat awkwardly. "Your dinner is done, sword singer." He handed her the stick, carefully keeping his eyes down.
He heard her chomping down on the meat, sucking up the juices like a starved animal. She was certainly not an elegant eater, but he thought it was fitting. She had no pretensions about herself, why should she have any for her meal? Without noticing, he raised his gaze to look at her, and was a little surprised to see she had already finished half her food.
She caught his eye, and said, perhaps a little shyly, "It's very good, thank you."
"Is it?" He said, more excitedly than he had meant to. "I am very glad." Then, after a little hesitation, "It is a pleasure to cook for you."
She smiled, a real smile, and it was infinitely more becoming than the blush.